MAY 2021 • Issue 02
Hello all. . . . .
Days of the month, months of the year : : tomorrow, June 1st, 2021.
Is today a 'corner' day? As in, turning a corner? As in are we now, or soon, to resurrect normalcy?
In some senses, normal will never be, normal again.
Love this : : there is NoNormal - NotNo more.
So true these past 16 months or so.
I, sense change - but I sense nervous change. How long will it take until we no longer 'look over our shoulders', conditioned to the possible onset of yet another viral hybrid - one even worse that he others. There have been recent reports of new and frightening avian flus being discovered in research centres.
Horrifying - feels like 'ALIEN', the movie. Remember that?
I have been accused of being, shall we say, hysterical, in some of my concerns. But here's the deal - for the rest of my life (maybe another 20 - 25 years if I'm really lucky) - I will never completely relax my personal vigilance in regards to new and frightening invaders lurking just beyond the dark rim of the horizon.
Better safe, than sorry . . . . . . . .
IN THIS ISSUE
And, being as how it's June, it's swim time.
This is pretty cool. Me, I'm not afraid of heights as a rule -
but I'm not so sure I could deal with this swimming pool - WOW!
EMBASSY GARDENS : : Suspended 35m in the air, the Sky Pool has captured imaginations across London and far beyond. The world’s first floating pool is exclusively for Embassy Gardens residents and their guests.
This crystal clear, 25-metre-long pool seems to float in the air. Dive in and there’s nothing but clarity between you and the world below. There’s no other pool in the world like the Sky Pool.
Embassy Gardens is putting all rooftop pools to shame with the unveiling of its Sky Pool. Anchored between two 10-story buildings, the 82-foot-long, 10-foot deep swimming pool is suspended 110 feet off the ground. its constructed from possibly the world's largest single piece of load-bearing acrylic, creating a transparent basin that appears to magically float in the air. Swimmers will get a full view of the streets below as they take laps, as well as glimpses of the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and the Thames at night. Opening soon, the Sky pool will be available to Embassy Gardens residents with Eagle Club memberships and their guests.
Photos: Embassy Gardens
La Loica and La Tagua Cabins / Croxatto y Opazo Arquitectos
Text description provided by the architects. (From ArchDaily.com)
This project was born as a holiday home on the coast. The two cabins for two people each are located in Matanzas, Navidad, approximately 2 ½ hours from Santiago. Placed 80 meters above sea level on the Lagunilla hill, the cabins rise in front of the “Lobera”, a large rock mass jutting out of the sea, home to sea lions and other native species.
Matanzas has become a world capital for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing, thanks to its outstanding wind and wave conditions. Both these elements were purposefully incorporated into the development of the project.
The design process was conceived as an opportunity for experimentation, looking for a way to both ‘dominate’ the steep slope and blend in with the surrounding nature.
“La Loica” & “La Tagua”, both named after bird species native to the region, are placed on the ravine using a wooden pilon structure that supports the main platform, over which the programme is developed.
Each structure is resolved in few square meters, 20m2 for “La Loica”, and 25m2 for “La Tagua”.
A large loft connects the interior premises both visually and spatially. The dining room, bathroom, and kitchen are laid out on the access level, using furniture that merges with the architecture, to optimize space. Large windows are mounted on the western façades, enhancing the feeling of ‘hovering over the ocean, dominating the horizon.
In both cabins, the master bedroom is located on the upper level and can be accessed using a vertical ladder. The bedroom is connected with the rest of the space through the double-height living room, a disposition that seeks to frame and direct the view, pointing towards the wooded hills to the south, and the rocky “Lobera” to the north.
The access doors on each cabin can be opened wide into the northern façade terraces, as a way to connect and interact with the exterior, and ultimately extend the interior spaces. This also allows the main structure to act as a shield against the strong winds coming from the southwest, consolidating the terrace viewpoint.
Both buildings are built entirely in wood, using impregnated, chamber-dried pine on the main structures to improve long-term performance. For the interior finish ½”x 3” pine board was used, and the exterior timber cladding was manufactured from reclaimed oak sleepers. This inert material was treated with petroleum oils, which provides stability and resistance against marine corrosion, and gives it a look that blends in with the landscape.
Of all the decorating trends that have been in vogue over the last 50 years – be it Scandi, Minimalism or Industrial – none has been as powerful or as enduring as that of the English Country House.
Some very good advice:
‘It’s important to have good communication between designer and client from the start. A clear brief should be agreed up front and then a detailed proposal with costs should follow, so that all parties are clear on how and when the project will be achieved and what it will cost,’
advises Gilly Craft, the president of the British Institute of Interior Design
From the vast range of designers, decorators and wonderful
estates that are a part of the U.K.,
I selected these five examples of design that exemplifies
the English Country Home - you may agree with me.
I can say it again - and again, and yet again - attention to detail. Live by that and you'll never fail
If you’ve ever tried photographing the moon with your smartphone camera, you know what a terrible job it does. Smartphones, as incredible as they are, just aren’t good for long-distance shots like the moon… which is why TikTok users have apparently taken to using Moon Lamps instead. A Moon Lamp is much easier to photograph since it’s closer to you, and with a little visual trickery, it can look exactly like the real deal! Besides, when you’re not photographing away at it, it serves as a neat ambient room light too!
Dim the lights and switch the Gingko Smart Moon Lamp on and it quite literally looks like you’ve got a supermoon inside your home! Its gravity-defying levitating design completes the illusion, creating a pretty remarkable-looking prop that’s great for decor as well as photography! The floating moon comes 3D printed from translucent PLA, complete with craters and undulating surface details to make it look like the real thing, and it floats on its base too, gently rotating as a planetary object would. 140mm (5.5 inches) in diameter, the moon floats on a wooden base made of dark walnut or light ash wood, suspended in place by a strong rare-earth magnet. It comes with built-in LEDs that give the moon its signature glow, with 3 light temperatures to choose from – warm white (3500k) and white (5000k), and a special yellow warm (2700k) for that rare blood moon effect!
Each Smart Moon Lamp comes with its base and a 12V- 1A AD adapter to power the entire experience. Plus, Gingko offers a cool 2-year warranty that should quite literally send you ‘over the moon!’
Designer: Gingko Design
Click Here to Buy Now: $175.
Such a clever idea and design - I like the juxtaposition of the new 'golf tee'
pier supports alongside the old wooden pier columns.
From Dezeen • written by India Block
The elevated topography of Little Island was designed to create a sense of escape from Manhattan, according to designer Thomas Heatherwick in this interview with Dezeen.
Designed in partnership with global engineering firm Arup and landscape architects MNLA, Little Island rests on 132 concrete columns over the Hudson River near New York City's Meatpacking District. It opened to the public last week.
Heatherwick was originally asked to design a pavilion for a traditional flat pier, but his studio pitched the idea for an undulating island away from the mainland.
By building a park out over the Hudson, accessible only by gangplank-style bridges, Heatherwick hopes visitors can experience "the feeling of actually leaving Manhattan behind".
"[It's] somewhere that would give a sort of emotional permission to look back at New York from somewhere other than New York," he told Dezeen.
Originally called Pier 55, the park sits near the remains of Pier 54. The historic structure, where survivors of the Titanic disembarked in 1912, is now reduced to clusters of wooden piles sticking out of the water.
Little Island's design was informed by "ghost piers" such as this, according to Heatherwick.
"Normally there's a lid put over them," he said. "The reason that the old piers are interesting is that they've had the lid lifted away and that exposes these piles."
Little Island's forest of concrete columns pays homage to these structures by making a feature out of its undergirding, Heatherwick said.
"We let the piles that we need to have become the containers for the earth and plant material," he explained. "It was our version of minimalism, to not add another ingredient, we just focus on that one ingredient."
Little Island design altered after Hurricane Sandy
According to Heatherwick, Little Island was originally going to be built closer to the water.
However, the design was altered after Heatherwick and his team presented early designs for the structure on the day in 2012 that Hurricane Sandy hit New York, engulfing parts of the city in a deadly storm surge.
"As we walked out for the presentation, the wind was growing, the rain was increasing," Heatherwick recalled. "That night, the flooding really kicked in and did further damage to Pier 54, which was where it was originally planned for the project to go."
"It gave an extra mandate to strengthen any new structure being built extremely sturdily and lifting it that bit further from the water level to ensure that its chances of being flooded are hugely reduced," he added.
Little Island was raised around 13 feet (four metres) further above the waterline in response, Heatherwick estimates. The design team embraced this change, he said, exaggerating the elevation to capitalise on the sense of separation from the mainland.
I’m new to QR Codes. What should I know?
Glad you asked! Here’s a few basics to get you started.What is a QR Code?QR Code is a two-dimensional version of the barcode, typically made up of black and white pixel patterns. Denso Wave, a Japanese subsidiary of the Toyota supplier Denso, developed them for marking components in order to accelerate logistics processes for their automobile production. Now, it has found its way into mobile marketing with the widespread adoption of smartphones. "QR" stands for "Quick Response", which refers to the instant access to the information hidden in the Code.
Quick Response or QR codes were popular even before the coronavirus pandemic, but now they’re everywhere: from restaurant menus and tickets, to billboards and adverts.
These square codes are quick and easy to use, and since Android and iOS users can scan QR codes with their phone’s default camera, people don’t need any special software or update to make use of your code. On top of that, QR codes require no physical contact for you to interact with them, so it’s not surprising that they’re now taking off.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your own QR codes, know that it doesn’t require any great degree of technical know-how or a huge amount of time. You just need the right app and the content you want to encode, which will be formatted differently depending on how you’re using the black and white pattern.
What you can do with QR codes
QR codes can store around 4,000 characters of text, which can be anything from a plain message to a link to follow or a file to download. These graphics are most commonly used to store website URLs, so people usually use them to redirect customers to their company website, their bar’s drinks list, or their new app.
But these patterns can do even more than that. You can encode your contact details in a QR code, for example, and print it on your business card. That way, every time someone scans it, all of the details you’ve shared will pop up in their default contacts app, ready to be saved.
If you’re running a live gig venue, you could have a QR code printed on the bottom of posters advertising future shows, which will take people directly to the website where they can buy tickets.
On a more simple level, you might want to create a QR code that includes login details for the Wi-Fi network in your home or Airbnb rental. Guests could scan the code on entry, which would connect them up to the wireless internet without any need to search for a network name or input a password.
It only takes a minute to generate QR codes for these simple uses. There are more advanced ways to use these patterns, like logging directly into websites or apps, for example. They require some programming skill and specific coding, so if that’s what you want to do, you’ll need to do more digging.
How to make your own QR codes
Plenty of web and mobile apps will happily generate QR codes for you. There are no great differences between most, and to a certain extent, any of them will do for your QR code-generating needs.
QR Code Monkey is one of the slickest and most versatile options we’ve come across, supporting QR codes for websites, social media profiles, email addresses, Wi-Fi codes, app store links, and more. To get started, choose the type of content you want to embed into your QR code (text, link, or whatever), and the input fields will change accordingly. Put your data in the Enter content section, then click Create QR Code to generate the graphic.
The Set colors option lets you change the hues of the QR code, while under the Customize design heading you’re able to tweak the look of the barcode. The Add logo image section, meanwhile, lets you add your company logo in the center—this won’t affect the readability of the code, which will still scan as normal.
Use the slider underneath the QR code that you’ve generated to choose how big the finished graphic is going to be, then click Download PNG to save it to your disk. You can then use the code wherever you like, for free—it won’t have an expiry date.
For serious commercial use, you can find more advanced QR code makers. Take a look at
QR Code Generator, for example, which starts at €120 euros (about $145) a year. This is a steep price to pay, but for your money you get advanced graphic design features and analytics, including how many times people scan your QR code per day.
Plenty of mobile solutions are available as well. As with web apps, there’s a lot to choose from but we’ll just highlight QRbot for Android and iOS. The app is lightweight, simple to use, and it does double duty as an advanced QR code reader as well.
To create a new QR code through the app, tap Create and then choose the type of barcode you want to make. The app will prompt you to add the required information like the website URL or contact details, and your QR code will then appear on the screen. Tap PNG to save it. The QR code generator is free to use, though you can pay a one-off $7 fee to remove ads inside the app and get extra features including an unlimited number of QR code scans.
What is a QR Code and how does it work?The quick response, or QR, Code is a two-dimensional version of the Barcode able to convey a wide variety of information almost instantly with the scan of a mobile device.
Able to store up to 7089 digits or 4296 characters, including punctuation marks and special characters, the Code can equally encode words and phrases such as internet addresses. One thing to always keep in mind, especially when it comes to designing the Static QR Codes aesthetic is that the more data is added, the more the size increases and its structure becomes more complex.
Even when damaged, the QR Code’s structure data keys include duplications. It is thanks to these redundancies that allow up to 30% of the Code structure to take damage without affecting its readability on scanners.
The QR Code: A brief history. In 1994, DENSO WAVE, a subsidiary manufacturing company, required a better, faster, stronger technology to the Barcode to process higher amounts of characters and to aid them in tracking vehicles and parts. Masahiro Hara with a team of two, undertook the task of developing what we now know and recognize as the QR Code.
Some of the most challenging problems for Hara and his team were figuring out a way to make 2D codes read as fast as possible, while preventing false recognition once the shape of the position detection pattern was added. It needed to be unique, which meant the development team spent the better part of a year doing a survey of the white to black areas’ ratio after reducing them to patterns on printed material. The results? They identified the ideal ratio as 1:1:3:1:1.
By identifying this number, they were able to determine the black and white areas in the position detection pattern which enabled the Code to be detected regardless of the scanning angle. In short, this unique ratio simply meant you could scan it from up, down, left or right.
Though the initially targeted field for QR Code use was the manufacturing industry, with the rise of smartphone use and the fact that it remained without a patent meant it became an open-source technology, available to anyone and everyone.
You can now find QR Codes stylishly delivering great amounts of information and redefining the print to digital marketing scene.
Are there any Photoshop mavens out there? Me, I started using Photoshop
way back in the late 80's or early 90's. Joined up to the NAPP -
National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Today Photoshop is still the benchmark for professional graphics and photography although many other apps have come along to either displace, replace or butt heads with PShop.
Here are some great alternatives - some free, some very inexpensive.
Personally I use the Affinity Suite (https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/)
But for many types of projects I still go back to PShop.
- Darktable - free
Affinity Photo - $50.00 desktop $20 iPad
Luminar 4- $89.00
Pixelmator Pro $40.00
Click on any of the above to go to their web-site.
As a professional interior designer (45+ years) and as a Certified Graphic Designer (25 years) I have devoted my life to the pursuit of design excellence. Winner of numerous design awards I have also spent 25+ years teaching Interior Design.....the greatest quote regarding design is: the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance
• Note Regarding Archives •
Weebly provides an archive header by month - such as March 2021 . . . . when you select a month, you will be able to access all issues posted in that month - there is no way, thus far, to provide the reader with archival access via Issue number - were working on it.