Ce quoi ça?
It is, my birthday - and that will see me entering my 75th year as of Friday November 23rd.
Moreover it tells me - and you - that for the last 57 years I have worked in the world of design, construction, graphics for my first job was a junior draftsman/trainee/apprentice with Webb Zerafa Menkes, Architects, Toronto. Known for the last few decades simply as WZMH Architects they have become an internationally renowned pioneer in design. When I was working there, the principals (Peter Webb, Boris Zerafa) had adjacent offices. Brian Brooks was the Design Studio lead, Boris Lebedinsky the Chief Draftsman and Allison Hymus was one of the first interior design Associates in high profile architectural firms. She mentored me, guided me as I moved from the world of architectural technology drafting into the domain of interior design. It was a small, vital, cosy firm - maybe a maximum of 25 staff with René Menkes heading up the Montréal studio. It was a seminal time for me as I ricocheted between being a goFer, the printBoy, junior draftsman, courier - whatever. Hanging around the small Design Studio unit I was a fly on the wall. The guys all knew of my passion and they kindly indulged my lurking background presence.
In reviewing their current web-site I have selected one recent project that I believe best expresses the core commitment to human scale, to humanity - to good, solid, responsible and accessible architecture.
It is the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse in Belleville, Ontario.
From the WZMH web page:
The winner of a Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) competition, this court facility is located on the Moira River in central Belleville. WZMH’s design develops a strong connection between the courthouse and the city’s other main civic facility: City Hall, located across the river. WZMH oriented the building on an east-west axis, slightly off the main city grid, to ensure that its significant exterior and interior public spaces have a view of City Hall. This orientation emphasizes the civic importance of the courthouse and also creates optimal conditions for sustainability strategies, including passive solar heating and daylight harvesting.
A minimalist, modern design using local Ontario limestone gives a sense of gravitas to the courthouse exterior, its stature further underlined by a dignified entrance forecourt and public square facing the downtown core. The functional organization of the facility creates a zone of public space on one side and more secure spaces on the other. Functions are vertically stratified within the six-storey structure according to the need for public access: large courtrooms, ceremonial spaces, and jury selection rooms are located on the ground floor, while less-used and more secure spaces are on higher floors.
Client: PCL Constructors Canada
Size: 16,075 m2 | 173,000 ft2
Sustainability: LEED Gold
Scope of Service:
Full Architectural ServicesAwards:P3 Awards Finalist, Best Designed Project: Partnerships Bulletin/P3 Bulletin, 2015Canadian Design-Build Institute, Award of Excellence Honourable Mention, 2014
To my mind there is a simple, elegant purity to this project. Is it earth-shaking, ground-breaking design?
Probably not by most standards - especially with the current obsession with twistyTurny pretzelArchitectiure. But, it does, deliver.
And I believe one of the core principles of professional practise that was ingrained in me, in that firm, all those years ago, was simply - always deliver!
It is my belief, that I have done so. And thankfully it is a believe shared by all my clients over almost 6 decades of dedication, devotion to design
• • You may well be asking, 'Whoever is he droning one thus?' It is simple, my answer : :
On November 22, 2019 DesignReview•International will move to a monthly paid subscription model.
Fair notice, yes? How much? Not much - but I'm giving 12 months notice....should we not attain the necessary subscription target we will discontinue publication. Stay tuned - as we establish the price schedule we will publish it here.
But, in the event that DRI gets put out to pasture, in the next 12 issues, starting in December, I will, selfishly, showcase one selected project that is part of my portfolio. It will be the last entry of any given blog so that it does not become a self-serving distraction. In this issue you will find my design development work on the world's first electronic kiosks. Yup -'twas me....as you will see.
Stunning! What a vista! As if in the prow of a ship, one looks outwards to the frozen lake and beyond.
This is an amazing home designed by Alain Carle, Architect, Montréal.
Built on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, in Cornwall, Ontario, it is a refuge from the world, a place of serenity and solitude....disciplined in its choice of materials the visual language expresses a purity of principle. In my opinion. . . .
Photographs : : Adrien Williams
Based in Montreal, this up-and-coming photographer has worked across North America – including Detroit, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver – as well as in Portugal. His work has garnered numerous accolades and awards.
For the tinkerer in most all of us, check this out : :
But now, look closer -
Here it is, in action
What fun! For young, old.....
Tinkineer’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) kits introduce children and adults to engineering principles and physics concepts through dynamic model kits that are made of wood in America. Each “marble machine” kit is an engaging lesson that is told through the eyes of a cast of characters (the “Tinkineers”) in graphic novella format. The principles introduced in the comic are then reinforced through the construction of the kit and, finally, brought full circle with real-world examples and applications.
Sailing, sailing - over the bounding main -
A spectacular new luxury yacht is soon to be delivered, launched.
P U R A
is her name
ROYAL HUISMAN PURA SAILING YACHTThink about the Pura as more of a platform and less of a finished product. Centuries-old Dutch shipbuilder Royal Huisman has teamed with architect Mani Frers to let each buyer customize their yacht. Much of the engineering for the 130-foot vessel will be completed beforehand, but the shape of the hull, deck, and superstructure will be created via a collaboration between the owner and Frers, who will provide drawings along the way. The interior will be similarly customizable but should offer room for up to eight guests and six crew members and a wide range of high-end creature comforts.
Occasionally I will come across items of astonishing beauty. . . and I have an irrepressible urge simply to share them with you. Being as they are, unique, it is my opinion they do not require explanation or provenance.....they are simply to be enjoyed, as are these following photographs. I came across them some years ago, in a library book - was so taken by them I scanned them....and sadly, I do not now know from which book they came - thus I cannot provide honourable attribution. In a text reference I could see the name Alicia Goñi........she may have been the photographer. We will do further research....
Now this is a view I would love to look at every evening.
The summit of the Swiss mountain Titlis measures in at 3,000 meters above sea level. Its peak draws in over a million tourists every year and its former mountain outpost could no longer meet the demands. Architects Herzog & de Meuron plan to replace the dated 1967 summit station with the Titlis 3020 Mountain Outpost. The project calls for a new alpine station with a bar and restaurant as well as an updated antenna tower and underground tunnel. Its innovative design aims to transform Alpine architecture while showcasing Switzerland's surreal landscapes.
Titlis 3020 Design Unveiling
ENGELBERG, SWITZERLAND, 5 November 2018 – The TITLIS 3020 project was unveiled to the public today.
At 3000 meters above sea level, the Swiss mountain Titlis is one of Switzerland’s most renowned international tourist attractions.
The summit station was built in 1967, and despite several modifications and expansions over the last 50 years, it no longer fulfills current and future requirements. As a further modification would not optimize the situation in a sustainable manner, the summit station will be entirely replaced by a new construction.
Herzog & de Meuron developed a master plan for the entire summit that entails the new construction of the summit station, the redevelopment and extension of an old beam antenna tower, and an upgrade of the underground tunnel.
Photographs by: Herzog de Neuron
And if you do, do you also know what day it is?
Well, if you're not sure here's a really cooool iOs calendar app for you.......minimalCal
Of course CHICAGO is musically asking that question....but this is a really beautifully designed calendar app. To me it's a throwback to the 60's, when Helvetica ruled supreme. The crisp clean graphics - what we, as designers then referred to as 'Swiss style'. Heck, I love the look of it so much I sprung for the $4.00 and installed it on may phone......you too can get it here.
If I died, and went to heaven - and came back and wanted to describe it to you, this is what I would want you to see.....
American studio MW Works has designed a compact cabin in a Washington forest with exterior walls clad in weathered cedar and blackened cement. The cabin called Little House is located in Seabeck, a waterfront village and former mill town in Washington. It sits within a forest on a bluff overlooking Hood Canal, a natural waterway that is part of the Puget Sound.
Seattle-based studio MW Works built the holiday home for clients from Houston who have spent many summers in the area, visiting family members on a nearby property.
"They loved the wildness of the southern canal and imagined a small retreat here of their own," said MW Works in a statement.
Rectangular in plan, the cabin was built atop an existing foundation that measured 20 by 20 feet (six by six metres). The team sought to create a compact dwelling that was efficient and relatively easy to build.
Envisioned as "a simple box with large carved openings", the cabin rises two levels and encompasses 1,140 square feet (106 square metres). Exterior walls are wrapped in cedar – which has been oxidised to speed up the material's aging and turn it black – and blackened cement panels.
This is a fine house - a very fine house....it is the work of a newly evolving architect, Ray Dinh. He refers to this project as his 'First lessons House'. And to my mind, he got it right the first time.
To be specific - and to state a bothersome observation that I have wrestled with for some time - too long probably, and that is, although we see wonderful architecture on a daily basis - for example the first article in this blog's issue - I am intensely bothered by a seeming determination by far too many architects to stress the lean purity of a designed envelope forsaking almost all aspects of comfort. It really, really, bothers me. When you observe, review - look at - many of the beautifully spawned architectural designs, do you ever think to yourself, 'Yes! It's wonderful - but how am I going to sit in that corner over there and read my book, sip my tea? And where actually, will I put my tea cup?, for there is rarely even the basics of simple human comfort provided with something as rudimentary as a side table. Or a reading lamp. Absurd......
However, In Mr Dinh's efforts here not only do we see great taste, great design and balance, wonderful material mixes/combinations, we see - and feel - an inviting comfort.And does that not make sense to you?
It does to me. I have often tried to explain to my design students that an unspoken rule of a good interior designer is to create a mood in a space - to weave a feeling in a room. To provide that subliminal cloak of comfort, like a shmooshy quilt, that embraces you and your spirit. Mood architecture, to my mind, is created by many various contributors. Lighting is a primary one. And good, or great lighting must be conceived at the time of the design journey.....'cause all your drawings need to incorporate that special hidden LED behind a bookshelf, or a gentle uplight in the floor over there in that corner.
So I take my hat of to Ray Dinh - this is a place that I would like to call home......
For architect Ray Dinh, the First Lessons House is just that. The home is his debut project after going solo and is a practice in mastering the basics. Part of that was creating a design that responds to its landscape along with the owner's needs which included an abundance of exterior space to take advantage of views of Australias's Portsea lagoon and wildlife reserve. The result is a charred blackbutt, concrete, and corrugated iron structure with seamless indoor/outdoor living. Large sliding glass doors aid in this transition, allowing for unobstructed views of the garden when closed and direct access to the central terrace when open. Acting as more of an extension of the interior rather than a separate space, the deck features its own dining table and BBQ for summer dinners and a sitting area organized around the double-sided fireplace.
Photos: Peter Bennetts / Ray Dinh Architecture
Ray Dinh Architecture is a one man practice, working weekends with family and friends.
Ray is a registered architect living in Melbourne, currently working at Austin Maynard Architects.
Ray studied architecture at University College Dublin & Ecole Nationale Supérieure d' Architecture de Nantes, graduating in 2012 with First Class Honours. Ray’s final year thesis was featured in The Architect’s Journal and his dissertation on social housing was published in the Irish Archizine 2ha. Ray has since worked in Dublin and New York and is now based in Melbourne, completing his professional registration in Victoria in 2016.
2017 marked the completion of First Lessons House, Ray's first solo project
This article first appeared in: https://uncrate.com/first-lessons-house/ .
. . . . and, 'tis the season, fast approaching.
Books! Love books - here are a couple of timely offerings....have been a student of Rothko forever.....actually bought a book of Rothko paintings, scanned them all - use them a screensavers.....
Though he rejected the label, Mark Rothko is known as one of the most influential artists in the Abstract Expressionism movement that began in the late 1940s. This hardbound book provides a detailed chronological summary of Rothko's life including his role in the first American art movement to have a worldwide influence. Part of Taschen's Basic Art series, Rothko includes 96 full-color pages filled with the artist's iconic canvases of bold color blocks that were meant to create an active relationship between the observer and each painting.
Hardcover / 8.3" x 10.2" / 96 pages https://uncrate.com/rothko/
Available from Amazon.com $14.00
So now, to kiosk design.
A little history first. In the late 80's Royal Bank of Canada was a primary client of mine. The nature of the design assignments varied from branch design to Special Projects. And in the course of meetings one day I was asked if I knew anything about electronic kiosk design. Of course, I replied honestly, 'No.'
Their response was, 'Do you want to learn? And help us figure out a problem in the process?'
Naturally I was enthusiastic. The challenge? To develop the design for an information services kiosk that would be installed in some of the larger branches across Canada. The intent was to provide a non-threatening passive 'sidekick' where a customer could key in requests for information about financial services and see the replies/answers on overhead screens. They knew what they wanted to aspire to - just not how to get there. Here is an early concept sketch.
Clearly it is quite large. Big, bulky - intrusive. Of course it had to be shop produced and transported to a branch. And once in place it would not be moved about. As can be seen, the upper arm, being cantilevered as shown, would require a very robust structural support column. The following drawings and details tell the story......and bear in mind - this was in 1988 - almost 30 years ago.
I retained the services of a structural engineer and we worked in concert to deliver this, at the time, completely unique 'modern' service kiosk. I wonder whatever became of it. It should be living in a tech museum of some kind.
In any event following the success of this undertaking I became involved with a couple of colleagues to explore the viability of what we saw as the next, new wave, of tech. Bear in mind, 1994, 1995 - Netscape Navigator (the first web browser) was just creating big waves on the WorldWideWeb. There were no web-sites selling products or merchandise. Our collective concept was to design a service kiosk with two screens, the lower screen being a touchscreen (yes, believe it or not HP actually had developed touchscreens way back then) and the upper screen, being a large TV, would showcase the requested information to the user. The Panasonic GAAO TV was the state-of-the-art television then - and of course, it was certainly not a flat screen - these this were huge, bulky, crazy expensive. The touchscreen interface would be conned to a laserdisc player within the structure. When the customer tapped on an icon (let's say a travel destination like Club Med) it would trigger the laserdisc to play a video clip - like a commercial - on the upper screen. My role was the design of all aesthetics - the form factor, graphics, all the visual aspects of the unit. My partners, being engineers, handled the electronics and the programming. The following photograph shows our Model II unit installed in a shopping centre in l'Estrie, Québec.
In fact we installed three units throughout the shopping centre and they were linked, wirelessly, believe it or not. Talk about 'ahead-of-its-time' innovation! And they worked! But the superhuman effort to convey/convince the corporate world of their value was an endless uphill battle. As we were in intense negotiation with some of Quebec's premier tech giants we were also transporting our monstrously huge prototype to places like Germany (Hanover Fair), Ottawa, Toronto - in order to showcase its value. Concurrently, the WorldWideWeb was growing - rapidly. Netscape went through various rapid iterations as it worked to induce corporate America to use the internet to market and sell. And ultimately, the forces of Microsoft, IBM, Netscape combined to bypass our technology, then. It was deemed that using a computer monitor to convey marketing messages via internet was a more cost-effective way to reach target markets. Ultimately, our enterprise failed. Sadly, it died. Just one more of 'sounds like a good idea but' kinda stories, right? True dat.......
The following images are the original design drawings and details I developed (and saved all these years)
Some many months following the closure of our enterprise, the first public use financial kiosks started showing up.
It is quite obvious that he curvilinear form factor was 'borrowed' from my very early design concepts. And why exactly was that formShape selected as being the best one? In a day when the world was just starting to be seduced by consumer tech, my thinking was that the consumer, when faced with such a new-fangled apparatus, or interface - be it in a shopping mall, a hospital, a library - needed to feel a gentle visual greeting -- that the interaction between man and machine would be seen as a collaboration not a confrontation - that there would be no sense of intimidation in the dance with the interface......and so the gentle curving form evolved as the natural embodiment of that design. And know what? That principle has proven awesomely successful for kiosks designed and manufactured today tend to mimic that form factor.......who knew?
Am I bitter? Bitter that my 'thunder' was mis-appropriated? Nah......would been nice to cash in maybe.....but, life goes on.
Until it doesn't.
Next month's issue is already in development - target date for release? December 22nd.....watch for it.
Remember - write me with questions, comments, complaints - whatever : :
and it is always nice to be, wanted. . . . . .
That’s what this week is……the time of winding.
How so? Well, today is Hallowe’en…..and what is Hallowe‘en?
The day of Hallow. A day to honor and celebrate, remember the dead.
Those that have gone before. Winding back the clock to earlier times in later lives.
And this week-end, here in most of North America, we literally wind back the clock.
To save, not time, but daylight.
And in that spirit this issue is also about winding – or more precisely, re-winding.
In a recent effort to houseclean the thousands of files I maintain across my main system and 4 or 5 external hard drives, I took the time in the last two weeks to review, re-visit, older blog issues (going back to 2010), older files/projects – older ideas.
And I experienced a delightful re-nourishment in much of what I reviewed.
And so in this issue there will be a number of ‘refreshes’ of previous features. Many/most of which are technologically still relevant and meaningful for our lives today. When you see this image,
it indicates something that was either published previously, or work tat was done quite some time ago.
Ghosts and goblins, ghouls and gloopy gloppy eyeballs – you probably won’t find those things here.
Tonight you can all venture forth to seek out such delights……good hunting to all of you!
Spot quiz....what is it?
It's tiny, that's for sure. . . . . big things? Small packages? Yup.....
The Cinemood will project to 10'-0" and more. Watch the video.
$399.00 USD. Sold out for the moment but taking orders with the promise of Christmas delivery.
BIG things......small packages....you'll figure it out.
First person to reply/respond with info and details about this building will win $25.00.Need to identify what it is, where it is, why it is and who done it.......as in architect, designer - whatever.....
Responses can only be entered in the Comments section at the end of the blog.
M O R E small things.
Know what this is?
It's the world's smallest cel-phone
Just introduced by Kyocera it measures almost the same size as a business card, 2" x 3 ½".......
e e n s y t e e n s y
s m a l l - as in smallish. . . . . . . go here to see it in operation on YouTube
about $300.00 when it hits the street
So who's looking?
For a job, I mean....you? You looking?
How? What tools are you using? Do you have a CV? Well, of course you have a CV.....or resumé.....oui?
Did you write/design/composite it yourself? Or did you pay bigBuckz to a pro to fashion/craft it for you?
Hey! Are you a member of LinkedIn? Who isn't these days. Me, I signed on in their infancy - up to 750 connections = that and $3.00 will get me a coffee....maybe.
But, LinkedIn is good.......not perfect, but Microsoft bought it a year or so ago, then they bought Lynda.com - the online courseware company.....looks like they're gonna segué one to the other....
But now, these new guys have come along......www.ceev.com. They saw a need and they developed this really cool feature that will take all your LinkedIn data and format it into a CV for you.....
yeah, check it out.....
Who does what?
Who LOVES New York?
We all do?
I think. . . . .
So here's yet another reason to love the really, very cool
essence of New York...
The skinniest residential building of all
is now open for business - and living.....in
Man! Jaw dropping, eye watering, breathtaking! What a gorgeous building!
Check this out. . . . . .
The world's skinniest skyscraper will soon open up in New York City.
Rising more than 1,400 feet above the ground, 111 W. 57th St. features a facade made from bronze and terra cotta. Its height-to-width ratio, 24:1, makes it the skinniest tower in the world.
The new structure stands on top of the historic Steinway Hall, which has been called a "timeless monument to classical music and architecture" by New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is being developed by JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group, and Spruce Capital Partners.
Kevin Maloney, the founder of Property Markets Group, praised the building in a statement for "its unrivaled location, genuine architectural pedigree and perfect symmetry over Central Park."
Listings for the property went live recently. They feature a variety of full-floor and duplex residences.
Expected completion date is January 2019.
Residences will cost anywhere from $18 million for 4,491 square feet to about $56 million for 7,128 square feet. Apartments have three or four bedrooms.
The building's interior features Great Rooms with 14-foot-tall ceilings, solid-oak floors, and entrance galleries with white-macauba stone floors.
The amenities include a two-lane lap pool, a spa with sauna, steam and treatment rooms, and a lounge with an outdoor terrace.
Residents can also access a private dining room, a fitness center, and several meeting rooms.
In addition to being near Central Park, 111 W. 57th St. is close to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art.
From Business Insider and written originally by Peter Kotecki
Get the 'skinny' on the skinniest building, here.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed this one-of-a-kind small masterpiece in 1938 for a northern Wisconsin schoolteacher, but it was never built.
Forty years later, the design was purchased from Wright's widow by a University of Michigan professor, Frederick Haddock. The firm Wright founded to manage his legacy, Taliesin Associated Architects, chose the site10 acres of lawn and woods sloping to Honey Creek, the placement and the design itself, in accordance with Wright's vision.
Haddock House is one of Wright's Usonian homes, designed for efficient living and built to blend in with the natural surroundings. The home is a small gem1300 square feet, with slanting layers of wood, glass, and ceilings that reach 25 feet high.
The two bedrooms and two baths are warm and comfortable. It has been meticulously maintained and enhanced with a beautiful garden that nods to Japanese landscape design. Drawings and blueprints from the Wright Foundation and the Taliesen Fellows are included in the sale of the home, as is the original letter from Taliesen Associated Architects, confirming the house is certainly an authentic Frank Lloyd Wright design well-executed and maintained. It is also a unique design for Wright, a one-of-a-kind small masterpiece. This first appeared in DWELL (www.dwell.com)
M E M O R Y L A N E
Like I said at the outset, we're gonna be doing some memory tripping here.
All the photographs by Leo Bechini were taken when he lived here in Montreal as a student in 2000.
My brief was to create a calendar for Pantone, the world-renowned authority on colour. The main aim for me was to make this calendar relevant on a global scale. With the colour wheel being universally recognised, I used this and combined it with a mosaic made up of 1440 different images to create my main graphic. Sticking with the whole worldwide idea, I have included many visual references to a host of different countries within the mosaic, and highlighted many of the main religious and cultural holidays throughout the year.
To answer a question I have been asked a few times, no 'special software' was used to produce this. The grid was build in Illustrator and I placed all 1440 images by hand in (as close to as possible) some sort of colour order.
"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." - Charles Richards
I dunno - to me, this was ultra cool in 2011, it's still ultra cool today - anybody agree with me?
Hola! A Mexican retreat . . . . IMHO one of the more elegant examples of the marriage of great woods, the natural quilt of sand, rock, foliage - that unique chemistry that one finds only in central and south america. It has a resonance of Costa Rica to my travel experience.
Scan across the rocky coastline and you might miss the SJAIII House. The home is almost entirely embedded into the San Juan de Alim, Mexico landscape. Hanging vines and native vegetation cascade over the front elevation, making the exterior become a part of the scenery. Its interior is wrapped in rich woods, a warm contrast to the hillside's exposed stone. Retractable walls turn the inside into an open-air pavilion with extensive views over the Pacific Ocean. The living spaces now spill out onto an outdoor terrace covered by the oversized roof. A stone walkway leads down to a swimming pool. Like the rest of the residence, the water feature is integrated into the natural environment using the existing rock formations as a basin.
Photos: Rory Gardiner and Javier Dueñas / Casas de Mexico
For more information
Happy HobGoblins to y'all......
Remember - 25 bucks to the first one who submits the correct answer to our architectural quiz.....
Next issue we are going to continue in this vein of remembrance......hope you are enjoying it.
Here we are - again.....and it's Fall.
In the northeast (Vermont, New England, Canada East) we never fail to be amazed at the riot of colour, texture and tone as the heat and season of summer segués into Autumn. Glorious!
Some see this season as an ending time....for myself, I feel it always as a time of encouragement......a time of re-growth. Not as in renaissance, per se - not as in Spring - but as in a gathering of goods, the remarkable harvest - a re-visitation to values and things we hold important....reflection, rather than renaissance.
Does anyone else feel the same?
If you know me, you know I am cursed with being an early (very) riser......not by choice, quite honestly.
It's a hereditary thing passed down to me by grandfather.......he was always up at 4:00, 4:30 AM.......and it's not like he had anything to do......he was retired - had no responsibilities other than stoking the wood-burning furnace in colder weather. And at some point in my life, maybe about 25 years or so ago, my internal clock switched over to the same heartbeat. I don't resent it......although it is always the same, be it a Tuesday or a Saturday......vacation times, holidays, have no meaning to me in the sense that, 'Wheee! I get to sleep in....' Never happens. But, in early June, when our east facing windows first see the crack of the sunrise at about 4:15......it is a most glorious window onto the world. Knowing that I am probably about 1% of the population up and about at that time, provides an odd sense of ownership over the new day........anybody else so afflicted/blessed? In terms of productivity, it's an awesome advantage.....typically by 7:00 AM I have already put in half a day's work......and now, as it's end of September, those morning sun rays do not break the horizon until 6:15-ish. And I know, of course, as we wind down into November, Christmas and beyond, the depth of darkness will continue its rhythms as time immemorial. And, but - that's, okay......okay by me.
Here is a photograph published on Facebook by a former interior design student of mine.....Adriana Garcia, who lives and works in Ottawa. To me, albeit this does not conform to the typical fall foliage photographs one sees, this evokes the mood and feeling of a changing season.
As her teacher, back about 10 years ago, I didn't know her well - except I do recall her work was always meticulous, detailed, determined....at some point she began to study/pursue photography......this, is, to me, an awesome contribution
©adriana garcia 2018
Brava Adriana........incroyable! I hope you don't mind that I have just up and posted this - but your work is fantastic and it deserves to be seen.
And on the topic of time, I want to bring to your attention, one of the best tools (apps, programs - whatever you choose to call them) for the recording of professional time that I have ever seen or worked with. Way back in the mid-80's, when I was managing my design firm, Marshall/Moore/Goyette Design, with a staff go 12 full-time designers, the need to efficiently and accurately track our time spent in projects, with clients, was the lifeblood of our business. This was back before Windows had become the de facto standard....back when we worked in DOS (MS-DOS). We experimented with and skinned our knees on numerous productivity tools....our firm was the first in Quebec to be completely automated as a design firm......we were networked, we had multiple copies of AutoCAD, network-linked, we used a very cool general administration software called Open Access (spreadsheets, word processing, database) and, we used a fantastic product for its time, Timesheets.....also networked. Timesheets is still in existence - but in recently checking into see that it is more cumbersome than it needs to be, but still effective......and, expensive. One of the great features of Timesheets was the ability it provided for me to do a sort by designer, by project, by timelines - of work done, unbilled, reports - you name it - it was a powerful tool. Over the years I have tried literally dozens of different management time-tracking tools......some did some things great, but not all things.....I kept searching, particularly for an app that would run on my main system (MAC Pro) along with my iPad, iPhone and AppleWatch ........ and be dynamically linked so that an entry/edit on one device was immediately viewable on all the others.
I found that tool.......and it is fantastic.
The thing is, you enter/create TASKS one time only.....can do it on your iPad and they will show up on your iPhone simultaneously - so, if you've been lackadaisical about doing your timesheet (who hasn't?), now there is no excuse.....even do them on your Apple Watch......the same applies for Clients, task abbreviations, expense codes, etc.
To top it all of it has a built-in invoicing system - and you can run an invoicing issue and sort by whatever fields/terms you wish.....it creates really cool graphs - will export to RTF, DOC, PDF.....
And it's less than $100.CAD - why wait? It's a time-SAVER and $$$$-maker. For MAC and PC......oh yeah - they're Canadians these guys....no wonder it's so good!
So - here's challenge for you.......what if, you wanted to create a graphic image....say, of a partially open cardboard box. Simple enough, eh?
But you want it to appear as if there is light flowing out from within - like there's a lightbulb and you see the glow.....sortof like this:
However, it's easy to see that this is fake - it is an illustration of what light mght look like......I'm talking REAL light here.....
'But why?', you ask.
Well, see - I have this client assignment - to re-design/re-vitalize a logo......and as I've been pondering it, rolling it around in my brain, I began to play with the constituent letter - V and R . I reviewed the current logo - that has been in service for quite some years.....
....and really - there's nothing wrong with it - it's just kinda flat and lifeless.
All of a sudden the lightbulb went off in my own head.......asking myself the question, in separating the 'V, what form shapes is that perhaps derivative from? I began to see a curl - a curling page corner.....YIKES!
Yes! Why not? And while I'm at it, why not use the analogy of 'turning pages' as the verbal hook to introduce the concept.......hey! Cool.....
But - how the heck am I going to make it look real? Looking fake is not going to cut it......
Fortunately, being a better-than-average 3D visualizer/modeler, I realized, I had to 'make' a box......make a form, a three dimensional form, and simply insert light sources beyond, or within the form.
Okay - so in AutoCAD I traced the existing logo, and even extended the 'R' with a swoopy kinda tail......
then I imported it into SketchUp........then I extruded it, so I had, my box...... finally, using Podium Light Tool I inserted a number of light source points behind - within - the box.......changed my camera view to parallel, plan view, and rendered it out......
Well the first result was pretty good
Not great - but I felt I was on the right track......the diffused light did look realistic. However, the overall form shape looked flat - had no 3D characteristics to it........hmmmmmm!
Further experimentation (adding more light points, 'painting' the interior box surface with different colours, metallic materials...) resulted in this:
It was getting closer - still didn't have the realistic curl I was searching for.
.....next brainTwister was to try to figure out, geometrically, how do I build, digitally, a form that is an accurate representation of a page, curling. Clearly, I had to actually 'build' that geometry.....how the heck to I do that? I spent hours scouring the web - bring over this way and that....asking questions - mostly never getting answers. Trying to physically reproduce the issue....
So, I took a piece of paper, and curled it - actually as it would be in real-time....
Analyzing this form shape, what doe we have? If you draw a line straight across, and cut, you would be left with a cone shape......not what I was looking for....
Following is paper partially folded. . . . .
And this is the shape of the paper, as it was cut. . . .
Hmmmmm, again - what to do? Clearly the spiral line that creates the desired endShape, is not a random line......it has to follow a very precise geometry.
I went back to the internet - started to scour SketchUp instructional videos until. . . . .
I came across this dude.....
Justin Geis - and his muchCool SketchUp tutorial site, www.sketchupessentials.com.
In reviewing a number of his online videos I finally figure, 'What the heck - you never know, right?......and so I e-mailed him -provided a short description of the problem/challenge and - he replied! Not only did he reply he provided a link for a SketchUp utility that showed me how to achieve what I was looking for....
Curviloft is a specialty tool/add-in for SketchUp modelers.
The following images are progressions that he so kindly provided to illustrate the process : :
Cool! Very cool......and i was off......took a few kicks, but each time I got closer.....until
Somewhat crude but I could see - could see where I was going....and then these flowed from that
Am I finished? Not quite......the following was what was presented to the client following their response/reaction to the idea of a 'page curl'.......not where i thought it should go, but - hey! Who signs the cheques here, eh?
The jury is still 'out' in terms of final acceptance - we may still tweak colours, materials and other aspects - but, my point is, quite simply, a) never give up, and b) trust your gut......if you have a vision, do your very best to either prove, or disprove, it's validity. Did I get paid for all the time invested in this....of course not. I wouldn't think of billing for it - but, I now have mastered a most unusual tool - the very idea of creating an effect wherein light flows from behind a constructed object - well......another tool in my toolbox.
AS an example, I recently completed this quick design study fro a client - idea is to install a slab of granite with the top edge serrated, at an angle from the back wall of the shower, install an LED light strip behind it, et, voila!
Of course, experimenting with the lighting intensity becomes a part of the final decision....could probably tone this one down a touch.
It's TravelTime once again....this time to northern Germany - Göttingen.
A little research tells us that Göttingen is famous for its old university (Georgia Augusta, or
"Georg-August-Universität"), which was founded in 1734 (first classes in 1737) and became the most visited university of Europe. In 1837, seven professors protested against the absolute sovereignty of the kings of Hanover; they lost their offices, but became known as the "Göttingen Seven". Its alumni include some well-known historical figures: the Brothers Grimm, Heinrich Ewald, Wilhelm Eduard Weber and Georg Gervinus. Also, German Chancellors Otto von Bismarck and Gerhard Schröderattended law school at the Göttingen University. Karl Barth held his first professorship here. Some of the most famous mathematicians in history, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann and David Hilbert, were professors at Göttingen.
Like other university towns, Göttingen has developed its own quaint traditions. On the day they are awarded their doctorate degrees, students are drawn in handcarts from the Great Hall to the Gänseliesel-Fountain in front of the Old Town Hall. There they have to climb the fountain and kiss the statue of the Gänseliesel (goose girl). This practice is actually forbidden, but the law is not enforced. She is considered the most kissed girl in the world. [from Wikipedia]
This, to me, is a visual treat....a cornucopia (harvest time, right?) - a feast of great design balance, a mastery of much - - clearly, the architects/designers have evolved professionally to be fluent in the practise of eclecticism in design.....not an easy skill to come by.
This feature was showcased by DesignMilk (https://design-milk.com/hotel-freigeist-gottingen-hotel-rooted-academics-design/) - by staff writerVy Yang.
Somehow, this wonderful hotel - its rooms, common areas - speak to me of fall, Octoberfest - fires and fireplaces.....warmth and comfort. Isn't that what any good hotel should say to you?
Walk along with me on this visual journey.....
Of course, this is photographer's trick - see how the light is cat vertically and horizontally, as in a grid des lumières.........but it's such a c o o l effect, no?
And the rooms are delicious - note the almost full-height disappearing pocket doors between the sleeping area and the lounge area......attention to detail. Someone was thinking....
From the DesignMilk article, the following:
Hotel Freigeist Göttingen, the latest member added to the Design Hotels portfolio, doesn’t look like a hotel that belongs in a college town. With its princely interiors that exude a quiet sophistication, the modern hotel looks like it should be located on the outskirts of town in a quiet meadow versus at the center of the city. It’s not until you take in the surroundings that you realize the Göttingen, Germany hotel is linked to a number of academic landmarks (including the university, the museum, and the university’s Knowledge Forum opening 2020) and the calming interiors were designed for intellectual stimulation.
Designed by Hannover-based architecture firm Ahrens & Grabenhorst Architekten, the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen’s façade is made of bricks laid in a wild pattern, a reflection of the contemporary nature of the building and the creativity that lies within it. Interior designer Frank Kassner took inspiration from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and gave the interiors a gritty vibe by adding graffiti street art by Patrik Wolters (aka BeNeR1) to balance out the luxe effect from the ash wood paneling, plush velvet, and modern furnishings.
The Intuu restaurant serves up Japanese-South American cuisine by head chef Alexander Zinke, so guests can experience a flavorful palette of sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and grilled meats in the restaurant’s open concept style kitchen.
Public lounge areas are lined with custom-designed carpets by Nani Marquina, colored Moroccan cement stone tiles, oversized arm chairs, plush velvet sofas, and contemporary fixtures – all elements conducive for conversation and collaboration.
Modern amenities include a spa, fitness rooms, yoga facilities, a “Fatboy” relaxation lounge, and a rooftop terrance.
What: The Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Where: Berliner Straße 30, Innenstadt, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
How much? Rooms start at approximately $156 per night
Highlights: The hotel has all the signifiers of a member of the Design Hotels portfolio: luxe interiors, gastronomic offerings, modern amenities, and more.
Design draw: The street style graffiti art adds a playful element to the sophisticated hotel.
Book it: Visit the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Photos by Sebastian Böttcher.
Steven Hu, our ace contributor/colleague, has come up with a fascinating story and we are including it here.......the mandarin version will be found under 'mandarin' from the MainPage.
From Shabby House to Gorgeous Inn
Nowadays in China, with the rapid promotion growth of urbanization, traditional dwellingsarebecomeingincreasingly decadentand declining. They are being destroyed. They are disappearing.
Langzhong is one of the four mostintact ancient cities in China. ComparedtowithPingyao in Shanxi, Lijiang in Yunnan and She county in Anhui province, traditional residential buildings in Langzhong have a very different uniquestyle. These dwellingsIthave a blendedstyle of iscompatible with the northernand style and the southerninChina, including the quadrangle courtyard in the north, the garden style in the south, and the peculiar hui style from Anhui.
To synthesize Based on the respect for the traditional historyand focus on the contemporary humanities, the renovation of Langzhong floralwerhall has retained the original folk dwellings in northern Sichuan, such as the mortise, tenon structure and the roof form of sSmall green tile double slope suspended mountain.
The complexity of de-constructing something ancient and preserving the integrity of its core, its soul, is a daunting, a challenging responsibility......following images show some of the careful dance that had to be done in order to gently move the old to the new - without losing, the old.....
The care and the caring, brought it to this point:
Thank you Steven.....This article was published by Taoyuanjun on www.zhihu.com.
Beyond ridiculous....you've all heard the expression, no? Like, it is SO dap......it's ridiculous and beyond....
such is the case in they spectacular residence, that cares not a whit about the conventional envelope - it surges, pushes - way beyond........its spirit challenges our conventional perceptions of scale, glory, passion - yes! All in this....see for yourselves: (published by archDaily - https://www.archdaily.com/902791/artery-residence-hufft-projects?ad_medium=gallery)
Text description provided by the architects. This home we named the Artery residence. The couple has been repeatedly named by ARTnews in the top 200 contemporary art collectors globally. The focus of this home is the art collection and how it flows and is pumped throughout the home, by way of a main ‘artery’.
Art is at the heart of this home. Hufft designed a custom residence for two prominent contemporary art collectors and philanthropists. The design of the home centered on a sub-grade gallery space that houses paintings, photography, and sculpture spanning 20 years of collecting with specific lighting and climate control for the preservation and display of such works.
Just look at that cantilever, that overhang.....shades of Frank Lloyd Wright!
I have little else to say - in regards to this e p i c example of one unique example of architecture....enjoy!
one last thing....(as Steve Jobs would say....) - and he, a lover of Porsches (come moi...) might just have one of these in his home office:
Quoi ça? What is it? It's a small home desk, called a Porsche Desk - it's the rear deck of a 911.....check it out:
Want/need one? You gotta write me and ask - real pretty now......
Okay - so THIS is c o o l . . . . . this system is outrageous......
Curious? Write me.....I'm here to help
Hey! Can you lend a hand here? These things are heavy - takes two of us to manhandle a sheet of drywall off the stack and over to the studs.....
Thanks Floyd.......wasn't sure I could handle it by myself.....can you sock that puppy into place or do you need me to help you......you can? Cool....I'll just be over here - give me a shout if you need me.....
Oh....you got that? You're good....'k....well, I'm gonna go grab a coffee......want anything?
Yeah - I know.....not today, maybe - but tomorrow? For sure.....these guys are gonna re-write the world of construction. Wonder if they have a union?
I'm thinking. . . . . I like this:
Okay - wrapTime. . . . . never fails. I have SO much stuff.....that I want to include. But there's a practical limit......IF, this were a paying proposition, I could easily be convinced to make it a twice a month publication...... but, not.
So - here's a preview of what we'll be showing next issue:
Thank you for your support - this month marks the second full year of DesignReview•International.
It is my sincere hope that we will be able to continue into the next few years, bringing you interesting, scintillating + challenging examples of what is, in our opinion, good, responsible, innovative design.
Classic - an American Classic, as was American Graffiti. . . . . See You in September, what became the iconic, back-to-school anthem for a number of generations.....the pangs of missing that summer love.
Ahhh....youth! Why is it wasted, as they say, on the young? This song was released by The Tempos, written in 1959....almost 60 years ago!
And although it is now September, I am working on a backwards calendar. . . . . this issue is 2•8 - August.
Why? Well, from auditing the readership stats for the July issue it was clear that most of you were travelling, or in cottage country where internet access was not easily available....so, I've been waiting for everyone to get back to normal......the September issue will be forthcoming in a few weeks.
And so, what do we have for you this issue? As is always the case, way too much to fit in.....from the newest Scottish Design Museum to a fabulous design for a new very slick camper (still in prototype stage), to this fantastically delicious beach house......Jennifer Aniston's, no less.
Situated directly across the street from the beach, it is located in Corona del Mar, California......
With a classic blue and white coastal motif, this living room is elegant and
could comfortably entertain a crowed
This traditional bathroom features a polished nickel lantern above claw foot bathtub with wall-mounted tub filler paired with Waterworks Easton Metal Stool.
The master bathroom also boasts wainscoting and custom cabinets topped with white marble and marble tile flooring
Located on a sought-after street, Ocean Boulevard in Corona Del Mar, CA, and just across from a fabulous beach, this beach house has everything you could wish for! The very talented interior designer Barclay Butera from Barclay Butera Interiors designed this home coordinating coastal decor with traditional architectural details. The result is a beach house with classic coastal interiors full of timeless ideas.
This submission is from Lucianne, HomeBunch.com - the full article can be viewed here.
Ed note: Here's what I think. . . . . I am impressed by designers and architects who, in every aspect of a project, an undertaking, they deftly demonstrate complete control of their craft. That, is what i see here....there is not one false note, not one mis-step.The overriding gentleness speaks volumes - the serenity of tone, texture and temperment responds both to the wash of the waves and obviously to the amazing life balance of the Owner, Jennifer Aniston - who has steadfastly sailed her own craft through difficult waters. There is not one thing I would change - I can't think of a more sincere compliment than that.
The V&A Dundee is a new branch of London's Victoria and Albert Museum and is not only Kuma's first project in the UK, but the very first dedicated design museum for Scotland. Structures that exist in harmony with their surroundings are a hallmark of Kuma's portfolio, which spans from his native Japan to Brazil to Portland, USA.
Set on the edge of the River Tay in the Scottish city of Dundee, the museum was designed to integrate with the environment and serve as a "living room" for the city and revitalize the community. Along with exhibition spaces, the museum is home to a large public hall for concerts and workshops, a shop, cafe and restaurant.
The facade is an intricate and complex arrangement of long panels made from a mix of stone, cement and reinforcement mesh. These pre-cast concrete blocks gently rotate along the building's exterior, giving the impression that its walls lean inwards at some points and outwards at others.
Inspired by the cliffs of north-eastern Scotland, this cladding also creates unique shadows that take on different patterns in changing weather conditions and times of day. A large void also runs through the center of the building, creating a dramatic walkway that connects the river to the city streets.
"My inspiration always starts from the place where the project will be," says Kuma. "In the past, I have visited Scotland many times. It is a very beautiful country and I'm truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature."
The V&A Dundee opens on September 15, with its first exhibition to showcase the design and importance of ocean liners throughout the 20th century.
The complete article can be read here.
I don't know how many of you are photography aficionados........moi, I've been a student of the art for 10+ years......never taking any formal courses, trial and error - experimentation.......I developed a passion for the 'magic hours'- 4:00, 4:30 AM in high summer - dusk, whenever. Being an early bird I would often rush out before the first fingers of dawn were apparent - to get to where I've I wanted to be, to get into position to shoot through that magic light. I idon't have very sophisticated equipment - all NIKON......started with a DX40, added a D5000 - bought two great lenses - a 12 - 21mm wide angle Nikon lens + a long range lens.....given that one gets next to nothing when trying the sell used camera equipment I kept my DX40 and leave the wide angle lens on it permanently - saves a lot of time when you want to take etc same shot with two different lenses.I am constantly in awe of the artistry of my friend/colleague Lydia Pawelak, whose work I have often showcased in this blog. And she has, from time to time, allowed me to stumble along behind her on impromptu shoots......great fun.
But for all my day to day stuff - site shots, product shots, etc, I do what you all do now - rely on my iPhone....which is perfectly serviceable for run-of-the-mill stuff.
This week I stumbled across what might be a very cool device - but until Lydia checks it out and blesses it, or not, I'll refrain from buying one. But, in principle, it seems like a no-brainer....
Currently this is available for $85.99 USD........if it were $CAD I would probably sign on - just a bit too pricey for something that might be just junk....here's the features list:
Take unprecedented control over your smartphone's camera—and naturally, better photos—when you shoot with this innovative grip. Fitting most smartphones, this grip comes packed with buttons and wheels that let you shoot one-handed and with greater control over your camera's settings, like exposure, zoom, and ISO. Its secret lies with the companion app. The Pictar app picks up high-frequency sounds emitted by the grip when you press its buttons, letting you adjust settings on the fly while using less battery than traditional wireless communication methods.
And the video demonstration can be viewed here.
While I'm sure many of you are still in summer•mind mode, let's check out the kind of place we would all love to live in - and it would feel like summer all year round.
Floating homes are unique by their very nature—they are, after all, literally floating on the water. Since it takes a special kind of builder or homeowner to go for the floating home, though, they sometimes come with all sorts of special little details. This floating home, built in 2012, has a lot going on, starting with a green roof and ending with a secret entrance to the basement.
Upon approach, it looks like a more standard high-price floating home, with a modern design that adds wooden accents for an extra-nautical look. Right inside, an open living room, dining area, and kitchen are decorated by sweeping views of the lake from floor-to-ceiling windows. Wood trim, built-in shelves, and an exposed-grain accent wall with compass decor add to the maritime theme.
The basement level includes a wine cellar and storage. It’s not much to look at now, but it’d make an incredible batcave.
This home was listed for $3.4 million.
From: Curbed : : by Sarah Ann Lloyd
I have always been intrigued by small spaces......my earliest memories in the exploration of space design were when I was about 11 years old. My grandparents had this old country house with one large bathroom. Had the requisite claw foot tub of course - no shower though. My recollection is that it probably measured about 10' X 12' - pretty much the norm in old farmhouse bathrooms.....and I would spend an inordinate amount of time pondering, wondering - imagining, how if one had only that bathroom to live in and was not allowed to remove the tub, the toilet or the washstand (yes Gracie - that's what vanities used to be called...). And I remember toying with the idea of a bed, on a pulley, that when not in use lived on the ceiling......when lowered it precisely covered the bathtub......the logic was brilliant, no?
I mean, if you're sleeping what need do you have of a bathtub? Anyways, in playing space headGames of that nature I was somehow shuttled to the world of interior design. But some of my most successful projects have been actually the tiniest, spatially speaking.
And so this wonderful environment shown here really speaks to me.....it is brilliantly conceived but even more brilliantly, and with a deft hand, made to sing in the choice of materials and patterns used to enhance the space.
As I often tell my clients, 'It's not how much space you have - it's how much space you feel, you have...'
This, has a most wonderful feeling......I believe the most brilliant decision was to float the bed in the middle, providing movement space all around it......the normal temptation, to maximize every square inch of floor space, would be to push the bed up against a wall......but no! Reason prevailed - great design instincts
Could You Live in 15 Square Meters (161 sq ft) of Space? SUMATORIA's 'Tiny Home' May Make You Think Twice
SUMATORIA proposed a living solution based on digital transformation and increasing urbanization. The solution starts with an efficient, scalable, and easy-to-implement design for primary residences, secondary residences, or even a hotel project, where demand for comfort and durability plays out in a reduced space. The scalability and efficiency of the design works under the 'Plug and Play' concept, which permits serial construction, and makes for reduced building time and costs, as well as easy implementation.
In this 15 square meter (250 x 600 cm) structure, basic needs for a living space are fulfilled. The space is flexible and can play the role of a dual kitchen and living room, bathroom, and bedroom. The dimensions are defined, yet structured in a manner that allows the inhabitant to make use of every centimeter of space without feeling claustrophobic. This is achieved with the installment of mirrors that create the illusion of a larger space.
The kitchen/living area is outfitted with an appliance that serves as a two-burner stove, a combo oven (that fulfills the role of a conventional oven and a microwave) and a refrigerator located beneath the dishwasher. In front of the 'kitchen,' there is a living area with a table.
The restroom is located between the living room/kitchen and bedroom; it also serves as a mediator between the two spaces. The space is fitted with a light shaft that serves as both ventilation and an entry point for natural light, giving the bathroom an element of vertical spaciousness. The shower is located on the other end of the bathroom and is outfitted with two workable glass doors that can be extended to form the shower, or a way to conceal the wash area when not in use.
The bedroom hosts a full-size bed, while under the mattress are 6 suitcase-sized compartments that serve as a closet. At the back of the bed, there are reading lamps and USB outlets with a shelf that also serves as a nightstand.
Everything in the Tiny House fulfills sustainability criteria, from the reuse of grey water to the possibility of installing solar panels, and even insulation materials.
The project was awarded the Casa FOA prize for 'Best Transformation of a Space' and 'Best Application of ROCA' which are distributed in Chile by CHC.
BRAVO! What a deliciously delightful space.....accolades well deserved
Vanessa Bertran - one of our start designer/collaborators/contributors, has completed the spanish translation of this piece and you can see it / read it here:
If, you have to ask, 'What is THAT?' you obviously are not an astute student of design.
Or you've never seen the movie, 'How to Steal a Million Dollars' with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole....
What this is, is the re-released E-Type Jaguar, fully electric version. . . . . .
The general rule is it’s considered uncouth to upstage the bride and groom at their own wedding. But when it’s the iconic Jaguar E-Type we’re talking about, even royalty can make an exception. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s electrified matrimonial Jaguar E-Type Zero sparked such great interest with its appearance at the conclusion of the Royal Wedding this past May, the British luxury automotive manufacturer decided to turn a one-off fairytale into the reality of a production vehicle
The Jaguar E-Type has long carried bona fides as “the most beautiful car in the world” (attributed to Enzo Ferrari from a 1964 interview with Classic Car Review), one of only six automotive designs deemed worthy of inclusion in New York’s Museum of Modern Art permanent collection. The decision to integrate zero-emissions tech while leaving the model’s sleek feline silhouette untouched seems prudent considering the risks associating with messing with such an iconic design. Jaguar assures us this updated roadster will “drive, handle, ride and brake like the original E-type, with its front-rear weight distribution unchanged”, a symbolic spearhead designed to acknowledge the past, while point toward the luxury manufacturers plans for an electric powered future.
Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.
You can follow Gregory Han on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google. Read all of Gregory Han's posts.
It seems that every issue has its fair share of things mobile - from RV's to sailing craft - from sports cars to.....well, this : :
But, in each case, the point being made is, every one reeks of amazingly brilliant design - from the muscular styling of this Warhawk motorcycle to the seek/sexy styling of the e-type Jag.....first unveiled in 1961!
And this, also from Curtis - its forthcoming all electric motorcycle......WOW! HOT!
Speaking of the simple life. . . . as on a farm, perhaps - what is more symbolic than a silo?
This just happens to be a live-in silo.....
And so, once again, here we have, a s m a l l s p a c e .......cool, huh?
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 2012 - 2014
Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix’s up-and-coming Garfield Historic District, the Silo House is a converted 1955 corrugated steel-wall grain silo. With a 230sf footprint and 340sf total livable space, a central design challenge was attaining a sense of ‘home’ within a shape and size foreign to common perceptions of home. Spaciousness and simplicity are achieved by accommodating all functions for living in a two-story walnut and black steel crescent that hugs the silo’s southern perimeter. This approach maximizes construction efficiency, usable floor space, and the perceived spatial volume of the interior. Subterranean air ducts that mitigate mechanical noise from the air conditioning system also work passively, in conjunction with an operable skylight at the top of the silo to deliver passive cooling
This is the product of some pretty cool architectural thinking by the firm : : KAISERWORKS
There are some of you - the faithful few - who have stuck with me over these past two years - yup! Two teams this month. . . . who by now, get it - get me. And, is that important, or is it like, 'who cares?' Wish I could answer that. What I do - what I and my colleagues, students, attempt to do with DRI is provide you with a unique prism - a looking glass - through which you see the best examples I/we can find of clever - that's clever spelled C L E V ER - design, design thinking. We don't do boxes, as in thinking on the inside of them......and that is what defines us as a relevant journal of design. Are we arbiters? Nope - wouldn't presume to be that. Are we taste-makers? Not that either. . . . are we pilgrims/pioneers....absolutely not - what we showcase is often the work of pioneers - design pioneers...different thinkers.
"THINK" is a slogan first used by Thomas J. Watson in December, 1911, while managing the sales and advertising departments at the National Cash Register Company. At an uninspiring sales meeting Watson interrupted, saying The trouble with every one of us is that we don't think enough. We don't get paid for working with our feet — we get paid for working with our heads. Watson then wrote THINK on the easel.
Asked later what he meant by the slogan, Watson replied, "By THINK I mean take everything into consideration. I refuse to make the sign more specific. If a man just sees THINK, he'll find out what I mean. We're not interested in a logic course."
And in 1998 or thereabouts, Apple introduced the 'Think Different' campaign. There is a huge story behind that story......it is available as a separate PDF file if anyone would like it, I will share it with you.
The point is, simply, thinking differently, oft-times referred to as 'thinking outside the box', is a trait that we here at DRI seek out in the work we showcase. If there is a mission to what we do, it is that. . . . in that spirit, please take a look at this, thinking differently.
Don't look like much, right?
How about this?
And, this -
Futuristic camper expands to reveal huge party deck
In the camper world, there are only so many types of vans, trailers and RVs. Need a ton of space?
Class A is your best bet. Don't want to haul anything and enjoy stealth camping? Check out an adventure van. It's rare to see anything that challenges these categorizations, because for the most part, designing a brand new type of camper requires thinking way outside the box,
Back in 2012 a New Zealand architectural and interior design firm, W2, designed a camper called the Romotow that - at first glance - looks a bit like a normal trailer. Push a button, however, and the centre of the camper folds out, spins around and reveals a sheltered deck area.
It was the stuff of sci-fi dreams - a concept that could reinvent camper design - if only it could actually be built.
And now, it has....well, almost. The world's first Romotow is being built in Christchurch, New Zealand.
A team of experienced boat builders are tackling the project and the Romotow should be completed in a few short months.
Boasting 290 sq feet of living space the Romotow is made from an advanced composite body shell....and it sits on carbon composite chassis.
Even in the closed position, the Romotow is an impressive camper. The cabin can sleep four adults comfortably, two in a rear bedroom and two other people in a front sleeping area created from the living room couch. A customizable kitchen backs up to a spacious bathroom outfitted with high-end fixtures, and the show model will feature teak for all of the interior timber and a leather headboard. A state-of-the-art sound system is integrated throughout the three living areas—bedroom, living room, and deck—and windows with built-in shades create a comfortable sleeping cave at night.
The deck is lined with synthetic teak normally used on luxury super yachts, and you can cook outside thanks to a fold-down electric barbecue. Up to 1 KW of solar panels and a 400Ah battery will power the camper whenever it’s off the grid, and a diesel heating and cooking system provides the comforts of home. A deck enclosure kit with awnings and screens will also be available, meaning that the Romotow could sleep an additional four people on the deck.
The first Romotow is under construction and the company is taking orders for a limited number of custom trailers that will be shipped to clients directly from the factory. Pricing starts at $350,000, but will vary according to custom finishes.
Check out the video here. and the youTube video here.
Boxes? Who needs 'em?
I 'm beginning to consider a byline in each issue - And Now For Something Completely.....'
and you know what the missing word is. Well, this, is different - question is, 'Who cares?'.
Except it's very existence does in fact underscore our mission statement.....and, it's cool.
Some bright light(s) decided we had to have this - it os a fully functioning app, of Windows 95. Yes, it is an app - fully functional just as it was 20+ years ago.....Windows95 app
Available for both MAC OS and Windows......have fun!
Windows 95 is the operating system that’s now used as a yardstick for what’s possible on modern devices and platforms. We’ve seen Microsoft’s popular OS appear on the Apple Watch, an Android Wear smartwatch, and even the Xbox One. Today, someone has gone a step further and made Windows 95 into an app that you can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Slack developer Felix Rieseberg is responsible for this glorious app, based on an existing web project that supports Windows 95, Windows 98, and a whole host of older operating systems. Now nostalgia lovers can play around with Windows 95 in an electron app. Rieseberg has published the source code and app installers for this project on Github, and apps like Wordpad, phone dialer, MS Paint, and Minesweeper all run like you’d expect. Sadly, Internet Explorer isn’t fully functional as it simply refuses to load pages.
The app its only 129MB in size and you can download it over at Github for both macOS and Windows. Once it’s running it surprisingly only takes up around 200MB of RAM, even when running all of the old Windows 95 system utilities, apps, and games. If you run into any issues with the app you can always reset the Windows 95 instance inside the app and start over again. Enjoy this quirky trip down memory lane.
As stated at the outset, we are in September - start of a new school year. Para mi, Just finished my courses for this year......and it was a great experience. Fourteen students, graduating and moving on into the world of design/décor. . . . . . seeking experience, looking for jobs - hoping to find a place - any place, to start. I wish them well.....I had them for one other course prior to this one. I am happy that I was their 'exit lane'......next issue I will devote the appropriate space to the final projects which they completed with me....for the moment I will share only one......it is the work of Greta Hermosa, a lady with a wonderfully attuned and intuitive grasp of design and décor. This image is of a living room concept she developed for a real, live client that participated in our final project.......I hope you enjoy it. If you would like to hire her, you can contact me - I'd be happy to put you together.
2•7 July already?
Week 29. . . . . I'm all about symmetry.....maybe I should hold this post until next week - Week 30.....
Like the feel of that. And you know, it's the lazy, hazy days of summer that are slowing me down. And this summer, in Montréal, we are all trying to find ways to cope with the traffic/construction madness.....it is non-stop, diabolical, mad - crazy and unpredictable. And those are the good points. . . . . Also, for all of you non-quebecers, yesterday was the start of our annual pagan festival de constructivo......or maybe constructeviL........that wild, wacky, insensible, indefensible 2 week hiatus that the poor deprived construction workers insist be respected - when all construction projects shut down (well, most all - except those deemed to be important to the general public interest - like tearing up yet more roadways, streets, etc) .....moreover, all (most) related support professions 'get outta town' also -architects, designers, engineers - even those directly unrelated but who can spell construction - yeah, them too - they shut down, leaving town, seeya around.......kinda people. On the upside, since about 60% of the population does leave the city, driving is heavenly......so, a blog about design? Ya - like, whoCares?
Well I'll do my best to give y'all some distraction.
So - who here likes music? You all do? Cool - I love music.....wish that had been my life methinks.....self-taught on the guitar, I doodle about - but I am, constantly moved by really good, clever and intelligent composition. A week or so ago, I told my Google Home assistant to play Rod Stewart Great American Songbook.....all the selections there are great - he's such a master. But, once again, I heard 'You Go To My Head'.......and it stayed in my head for days.....resonance, kept repeating. And so I thought, 'Who wrote this? When?'. Asked Google and of course Wikipedia rolled in to save the day.....J Fred Coots.....that's who. Who? Sure - you never heard of him, right? Neither had I. And it's understood - 'cause JF wrote this classic in 1938 - EIGHTY years ago!
'You go to my head
And you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne'
80 years ago......
And although it's been eight decades guess who some of the artists are that have offered up their own renditions of this piece?
Diana Krall - and, OH! But you MUST check this one out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiSMEwYPW0
Dimitris Tsaganos, an amazing artiste/photographer, put together this fabulous visual epic that fronts for Diana Krall.....checkit out! It is visually riveting!
'You go to my head
With a smile that
Makes my temperature rise
Like a summer
With a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul
With your eyes'
Nat King COle
and many, many other. . . . .
and, of course, Rod Stewart
And so you're asking yourself, 'Whatever has this to do with design?'
Well, maybe nothing at all. To me? Para mi? Texture. Life's texture. . . . . the texture of mood, of emotion in music. So inspiring. I dunno. . . . . late nights when I'm working my way through a design concept, an elusive construct that I really need to nail.....if I hit just the right piece of music, it's like the tumblers in a vault lock plopping into place......freeing, elevating, uplifting. And so, it comes back to this......I accidentally acquired a Google Home thingamajig last Christmas....it was a promotion to renew one of my online subscriptions.....NC - no charge. 'Cool', I thought, 'Was gonna do that anyway....bonus!'
And as I've made friends with my GoogleFriend, I've come to love it.....I placed it in the kitchen so when I'm preparing a salad, or pasta - whatever - I simple say, 'Hey Google...play Gato Barbieri Europa'.......and it just does! Not looking to sell Google product - Amazon has it's Echo - Apple now has it's version......sure they're all about the same. But it's M A G I C A L ! Command performances.....go ahead - try it.....I will say,'Hey Google - Play Stefan Grapelli with Django Reinhardt'. Instantly I then hear it.....to me, this is a superb example of design - not of a material thing per se......but design of an implement, a like-changing tool/bonus......of course these devices can do most anything....you all have heard that. Weather, stocks, playlists - flight information, It's not so important what they can do today - what is mesmerizingly fascinating is what might they deliver tomorrow? Along with self-driving cars.....there's a whole new class of designers out there - W I Z A R D S , as I call them! These magical industrial-programming visionaries.....who are delivering us a future that nobody - not Nabokov - not Gene Roddenberry - nor George Orwell, ever really envisioned. And, I like it! There's a new player in town......a whole bunch of them.....wizards....young folk teamed up with software engineer pioneers, to deliver to us a whole new paradigm of l i v i n g - and therefore, of life.
As c r e a t i v e s [a relatively newish term.....as opposed to creators] - we all live in, with and beside our imaginations. We learn how to do that, we are trained...we train/discipline ourselves, to tap into the root visions that infest our heads. Looking back to the era and days of da Vinci, or Brunelleschi...... they lived inside their restless, rambling imaginations. As a creative, one learns to come to grips with the management of fantasy - of creative compulsions. . . . . some better than others. And we find ways to convey the language of the art, the concept to those in whose employ we may be......in the world of the built environment the tools that have come to be available to us are far more robust than say the tools that the portrait artist could avail themselves of. For us, 3D modelling software has become the core of our conveyance of concept......SketchUp, Vray, Maxwell render, 3D MAX, Podium - they provide us a wheelhouse from which to drive concepts to close-upon-reality. And, as a longtime practitioner, I love it
And so it is that a number of weeks ago I became completely unhappy and frustrated with my home office. Comfortable it was - yes, no doubt.....but when we moved from a house to a condo there was a lot of casualties....furniture that just didn't fit....things/stuff that one just couldn't bear to part with. . . . . stuff! And it became a tail wagging a dog.....my workSpace, albeit functional, became an unhappy place. So it was that I decided to fix the problem. In doing so I conceived a plan (as creatives isn't that what we do?) - and the plan called for demolition/disposal. Get rid of all that didn't work....I made the ugly decision to dispose of about 150 design books in my library. Why? Because I just didn't hardly ever use them or refer to them.....some were treasures....my friends for 30+ years. Go! They had to go! I felt I had to strip myself to the bone to re-build....Many attempts and offers were made to various design schools to donate this valuable library. No takers. Lots of reasons.....no takers. So I proposed to one of my brightest, most passionate students, that I donate hem to her. It was by far the best solution.....'cause when she came to look at the collection, she was effervescent in her excitement of this trove.....and I helped her fill up her car with these treasures. But, that was only the beginning.....I had a plan.....but first, here is the layout I was going to change. . . . . the corner desk made it difficult to refer to drawings or binders/books on my left side - inefficient.....and the space always felt cramped. I felt like I was shoe-horned into a phone booth.
Of course, living in my head - messy place for sure.....I could see my vision. And by using SketchUp I created a 3D model of the optimum condition I was shooting for in my new + improved office. I need to say, also, that in my vision I was planning on creating a workspace whereby I could sit with a client, side by side - or with a colleague, or student. In fact part of my business plan for this year is to develop a tutoring facility. Fact is, I could actually work with two students at the same time.....it would be, cosy - but, productive. And of course the wall-mounted TV screen would be what I would broadcast videos and tutorials to.......so, here then, was the vision.
Of course, in a perfect world, one doesn't see all the wires, cables, connectors & clutter that tend to mess up a vignette......it's that darned reality stuff that makes a mess of things. And in this vision I conveniently ignored the fact that I had artwork I would most definitely want to retain.A double row of ultra streamlined bookshelves - is, s o o t h i n g, non? Well, tweren't to be, quite like that. The reality is:
I agree - the reality of the clutter is, the reality of a today office. Try as we might we'll never get our personal office space to look like a pristine Apple store. But, this works.....the other chair is simply not shown in order to provide a clear understanding of the overall space.
The final result varies somewhat from the imagined outcome - but that was in fact deliberate. I did not want to part with my artwork, my artifacts.....my antique box collection - so I found a way to comfortably compromise.
As creatives we deal in our imaginations. We live there - sometimes maybe only renting space, most times we are our own creative landlords. The other thing that is not shown is that I have two Canadian Tire black stained folding TV trays, $19.95 each. Because they are so flexible and take up almost no space when folded away, I use them as 'by the chair' reference tables. Multi-tasking is a skill that is learned - it is acquired through practise.....this environment provides me with all I need to multi-task. The laptop to the left, connected to a 27" screen, is a Lenovo PC dedicated to 2020 - which does not run on a MAC.....it also has AutoCAD 2018 installed on it both for my professional use and for tutoring purposes.
Result: serenity, ,most everything at arm's reach....a sense of being ín 'control of one's craft'. Upheaval, change - can be stressful, certainly - but if one sets their expectations realistically then one can attain them - and that too contributes a great feeling of satisfaction to the exercise.
And summer is often about road trips......well, here's a road trip that would take some effort to get to.....this stunning villa retreat in Sri Lanka is architecturally gorgeous! The environment is rich, lush, vibrant - overwhelming in it's explosion of colour, texture and mood.
There are no disagreements here, right? I mean it's only $400.00 CAD/night. . . . for 2 bedrooms....for 3 bedrooms it's $550.00 - for 4 it's 675.00 and for 5 it's $750.00. So - who wants to sign up to join us on this road trip?
This rate includes housekeeping and service from Jeyanthy, the housekeeper/cook. The whole retreat can accommodate 9 comfortably. There are 3 bedrooms in the main house, 2 double bedrooms and one single bedroom, all with attached bathrooms. Then a further two bedroom villas built into the side of the sloping terrain which add an extra dimension of privacy and peaceful relaxation and can accommodate 2 guests in each. An open mezzanine area can be used for yoga, and table tennis.
Guava House is family home which has been designed and built by the owner architect, to blend in and compliment the surrounding nature outside, the roof is thatched in “iluk” (a Sri Lankan reed) and the floors and walls are mango wood and teak.
There is a Wi Fi connection, however it is not unlimited. It is sufficient for sending emails and limited internet use. The Wi Fi connection throughout the country can be intermittent.
In this tropical rural area there are an array of wild insects, including mosquitoes, butterflies, beetles etc. Remember to bring mosquito repellent. However we provide mosquito nets on all the beds.
Any takers? Flights are not all that bad - Air Canada Montreal to Columbo, Sri Lanka....app $1100.00 per person return.....now THAT'S a great road trip.
D O O D L E S !
Do you doodle? DO you like to doodle? Do you draw stick figures or stars, cars - flowers?
Most doodle - most don't think their doodling has any merit, value....
Well now, if you're a serious doodler, maybe you should buy one of these - and go int the DOODLING
Whaddaya think? Check out the video
Scribit is a drawing robot that can turn your walls into a work of art. The little bot raised over $1.6 million on Kickstarter, crushing the company's $50,000 goal in just two hours. Scribit uses four erasable markers to draw images up to a 6.5 ft x 6.5 ft on your wall. Images are uploaded from a user's phone to the robot and automatically starts drawing. It's held to the wall with just two nails and guide wires that move it along the wall. The company says the $450 device is slated to ship by the end of the year.
So - keep on doodling......who knows - you might become the next Picasso!
And speaking of doodling......what about creative/productive doodling - brainstorming doodling - where you're sitting in a room with a dozen colleagues - or you're sitting in a room by yourself and eleven colleagues are spread across town, across the country - around the world.....how do you convey stream of consciousness ideas - inspirations - brainstorms? Not particularly easy. Until maybe now. Microsoft - remember them? They have been making great strides lately in amazing productivity tools......this is yet another one.....
Take a look....here is what their promo package has to say:Microsoft has finally launched its Whiteboard app for Windows 10 devices. It’s a free tool for collaborating on ideas with as many people as you like, and it’s not half bad.
Whiteboard (which has been available in preview since last December) is designed for use with a stylus, so it’ll automatically recognize when you’re trying to draw shapes and tables, and help you out with your doodles.
Of course, it works just fine with a mouse or your finger on a touchscreen too. You can draw, add sticky notes, import images, paste text, and pull in pictures from the web using the built-in Bing search tool. All these elements can be manipulated and moved around the board as you wish.
It’s also easy to invite people to collaborate from wherever they are in real-time by sending them a link. Of course, they’ll need a Microsoft or Office 365 account to dive in.
There are several other whiteboard apps out there, but with this, Microsoft can offer it to Office users, integrate it into its Teams group chat app (which is now available for free), and sync your data across devices when it later arrives on the web, iOS, and Android.
So while Whiteboard isn’t impressive enough on its own to convince you to switch from similar apps, it might be the easiest one for you to get into, if you’ve already bought into the Office ecosystem.
You can give it a go by installing the app for free from the Microsoft Store.
Pretty cool, huh?
But - what is it? Maybe it's a dental clinic....like in Arizona maybe....
Nope - not!
Here is what it is:
WOW! Awesome! Where? How? How much?
Situated on a 250-acre vineyard in the Maldonado region Uruguay, the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel is a modern retreat for wine lovers. The property consists of a winery, a farm-to-table restaurant, and 13 small cabins. Clad in a mirrored facade, the rectangular structures slyly disappear into the surrounding landscape, keeping the focus on the rustic scenery. The tops are covered with green roofs, making the exterior undetectable even from above. Internally, light oak panels and dark stone floors lay the groundwork for a minimalist pallet, allowing the views to take center stage from the floor-to-ceiling glazing. Each cabin has a private terrace, overlooking the rolling hills. The resort is expected to be complete in September 2018.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti / Sacromonte
So if Sri Lanka is not your cup of tea, maybe this will ring your bells......love the design - the vision - the vision realized!
'k - back to earth - back down to earth.....here's a cool product - I'll probably jump on this. The price is certainly right.....
44 Bucks! For any car....yeah - I know - it's $44.00 USD......still - a really good price.
So many car accidents each day are the result of poor visibility at night or in inclement weather. What’s crazy is that two simple purchases can help avoid fender benders in many of these cases. First, get yourself a pair of high-quality windshield wiper blades. We recommend Bosch ICON blades, which are worth their weight in gold. Next, if you don’t have a premium luxury car, it’ll only cost you $44 to upgrade to the same kind of headlights found in luxury cars. The CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit comes in all sizes to fit in all cars, and it takes a novice 20 minutes at most to install them. Seriously, these are going to be game-changers for you.
Here’s what you need to know from the product page:
Bruag - is an am innovator in decorative panels/screens.......
They bring a whole new approach to managed 'scapes'.......
Character for Stairwells
A banister can also be a highlight. While the interior rooms receive the greatest attention, the design of the stairwell is sometimes forgotten. But in spite of this, they are one of the first things we notice about a building. A Bruag banister allows you to reveal the identity of your house the very moment your guests step in. As with all our products, you have maximum flexibility at your disposal. Your bespoke banister is available in thousands of colours and an almost infinite variety of shapes. There is absolutely no requirement for the stairwell to be rectangular. The panels can therefore be made to match the design of your building with great precision.
An Easily-mounted, Customised Balustrade
While the perforated cladding panels produced by Bruag can be used to create totally individual stair railings, a few things still need to be borne in mind when it comes to mounting. While it is usually 30mm MDF panels that are used for banisters, it is possible to use elements that are only 19mm thick if the feature is to be more used as a curtain passing through several floors – which means it can be fixed at several points. 30mm banisters are usually sufficiently stable when screwed into the stair stringer. Depending on the application (e.g. a public building or private home), a post at the bottom and the top of the railing may provide additional stability.
If requested, we deliver not only the cladding panels, but also the respective polished aluminium T-sections. These provide additional stability and at the same time form a handrail.
Features and Benefits
- Totally individual forms (incl. perforations and ornaments) possible
- Big choice of colours
Download brochures and extra info about Bruag’s here
For more information about Bruag's Perforated Panels contact through the contact/quote button on top, visit Bruag's page in Materials, or visit www.bruag.ch.
We have shown you some far off, exotic places in this post. The worst part about the best part about actually being there is actually - getting there. Today's air tavel is just one massive headache......there is no j o y in air travel these days. I remember, when I was directing our aviation design firm, Transplan Design Consultants, that spending time at Trudeau International, doing on-site surveys, having meetings - was a heady experience. The smell of kerosene jet fuel was a 'charger' for me..... air travel, before 9/11 was a heady and exciting part of the journey. Now - not so much....in fact, now - not at all. Still, I love airports, airport design.....for a year leading up to 9/11 I was Senior Design Leader at Gresham, Smith Architects in Dallas. One of our projects was the complete design and expansion of Terminal B at Boston Logan Airport. On September 10, 2011 I made the master design presentation to the senior executives of American Airlines in our boardroom in Dallas. It was extremely well received......in fact, there was palpable excitement in the air as we wrapped up the afternoon with arrangements to re-convene the next morning at 8:00 for finalizations. In a sense, 8:00 AM the next morning, failed to arrive. 9/11 arrived instead. And air travel, security, levels of comfort in air travel all disappeared in the months and years following that tragedy. Of course, the project was cancelled......AA never recovered from that event. The once proud leader of US flight carriers was reduced to an empty shell within a year or so......
Following are a few of the presentation images prepared for that day:
One of the primary concerns of the AA executiveswas how to develop a design that reduced or eliminated corridor wall damage from luggage carts. My solution was simple, elegant - angle the walls to slope away from the traffic flow. Although it was never realized for the Boston Terminal I gave permission to les architectes JLP to copy/incorporate that same strategy in Trudeau Airport. Next time you arrive on an international flight at Trudeau you will move through the upper secure corridor from the plane to Customs/Immigration......you will notice that design is used there.
Well - I hadn't started out to take you on a tour of one of my past projects - just kinda tumbled out as part of the whole air travel conversation......what I did want to show you is this:
If/when Boeing ever gets this into production, this super sleek, hypersonic plane might whisk you from Montreal to Sri Lanka in about an hour. Designed to travel at Mach 5 (app 3,836 mph) you could circle the globe between breakfast and dinner with time to spare. Really....
Here is the official release regarding this project: (from dezeen : : by Rima Sabina Aouf - June 29, 2018)
Boeing has revealed a concept design for a hypersonic aircraft that could reach most locations in the world within one to three hours.
The American aerospace company showed a rendering of what the plane could look like at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta this week.
Boeing said the design was based on current research by company engineers, who are looking at passenger travel as one of many possible applications for the hypersonic technology they are developing.
Boeing estimates that something like this concept could be operational in 20 to 30 years' time, and would most likely be used for national security purposes first.
where do you sign up? Patience - some day - it will happen. Cool huh?
A great deal of the content in DRI as of late has been architectural projects. But usually architectural projects that are of a unique design - a new and/or experimental design. And so it is with this one:
The Japanese architectural firm of Kengo Kuma & Associates has developed what to me, is an ultra-cool
interpretation of a building's skin. Certainly the core structure is the expected glass/aluminum/metal curtain wall. But as a completely different twist, they added this amazing wooden lattice screen.
Check out their site at: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Name: Hekikai Shinkin Bank Misono
Location: Aichi, Japan
Size: 4,140.02 m2
All images © Hekikai Shinkin Bank Misono © Kawasumi/Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office
If you've gotten this far in this issue you may well think you've stumbled on a travelogue site. . . . . Sri Lanka, Uruguay - jet travel . . . . . and now this:
Ain't she, jest, s e x y? So cool! 1961 edition, Holiday House Geographic Model X trailer.
So - howbout that road trip now? After all, it's summer - the open road is calling. This baby is only $250,000.00 (US).....like I said she's sure purty.
Written/posted by: John Mannheimer for Living magazine
In the 1950s and ’60s, the camper trailer – the house you could hitch onto your car and take out into the woods, for a wholesome weekend with the family – was an emblem of Americana. Though dwarfed in popularity by the iconic Airstream, the Holiday House Model X is a quintessential example of the American trailer craze. Though they have been out of production since ’62 (when the Holiday House Factory burned down), Flyte Camp has restored this 1961 Holiday House Geographic Model X to its former glory.
Built for “holidays” and camping trips, the Holiday house is among the rarest vintage trailers out there. The vintage trailer restoration team at Flyte Camp did a remarkable job on the Holiday House. The all aluminum and wood crafted trailer is painted a beautiful champagne and moss green two tone on the outside, and an interior with Black Walnut wall skin, cabinetry and black walnut hard wood flooring with bronze colored pin-stripping. With its chrome siding, louvered windows, and glossy glass-front bay, other campers will certainly look on with awe and envy as you drive by, towing a veritable time capsule. Thought to be 1 of just 7 built before the Holiday House’s demise, this extremely rare example is a beautiful and practical antique.
You might prefer this:
Complete with a hot tub and helipad on the roof.....and a price tag of a cool $2,000,000.00 USD
Yeah - Get Outta Town.......Get Lost! Away with you! Beat it! Take a hike! Or
Hit the road Jack
Bye! I'm outta here. . . . enjoy this hot, humid sticky summer.....seeya all next month
Where to start?
Is this 'writer's block'? Or, mayhaps, 'writer's blog'..........
Whatever it is the onset of ennui has sidelined my schedule these past couple of weeks.
Truthfully, I have way more than enough content, to make y'all ..... content. Maybe even happy and content.
I will confess, infirmity is a bitch!
The only thing worse than most infirmities of the physical kind would be those of the emotional kind.....and in this past sad week we have seen both Kate Spade (a design doyenne) and Anthony Bourdain, succumb to certain infirmities. As for M.Bourdain, I have a sense - that the music of Francis Cabrel is at this time, appropriate. Cabrel is one of the greatest songwriters, troubadors ever......his songs, lyrics, melodies are painfully beautiful.....one such 'C'est écrit' - has little relevance here in these comments - except, the f e e l i n g....the feeling it evokes, of a great tragedy, a greater sadness and incalcuable loss......pour moi....il est parfait......listen to it here. Tell me if you agree.....so sad! So sad that he's gone......
Life, lives - cut too short too soon serve only to have upon us a greater impact as we wonder, all -
'What might they have additionally achieved, next year - 5 years from now......in a future to which they can no longer make a claim?''
I for one, watch and wonder, and feel a great heaviness of pending tragedy, as the political powers play the dangerous games currently. Have we ever - ever, flirted on the brink of such madness before? Have we ever been so ill-equipped, so impotent, to put a stop to this madness?
For myself, I feel a stultifying rage, on the boil, in witnessing the sheer idiocy of the political riskiness in the US of A.......led, of course by the Chief Clown....the Commander in Clown.....
As we approach the halfway point in this chapter, one can only feel a smidgen of optimism in the same way that when a Wednesday arrives, and we applaud HumpDay - so shall HumpYear/TrumpYear greet us all about 5 months hence......and then, it's downhill, hopefully.
Albeit, we've been hurtling downhill since the results of the last election!
And so, how best to battle? How best to find the strength, the fortitude - the conviction that there will be, 'better days ahead'?
Perhaps frivolous distraction helps.....and thus I see it as my job, now - and in these next issues, to find and showcase such frivolity, such distraction.
Is this what you think it is? Yes - of course....it's a license plate. Issued in the good ole state of California. So, Big Deal, right?
Yup! BigDeal - 'cause this is the first ever digital license plate - ever/ever.
The Rplate Pro transforms the 125-year-old stamped metal vehicle license plate into a cool-looking, multi-functional digital display and connected vehicle platform, delivering multiple efficiencies to businesses, government agencies and consumers.
Check it out : :
You can read all about it here.
Frivolous enough for ya?
No? Try this then. . . . . .
CowZ? COWZ? What's with the cows?
Cows are not known for frivolity - they rarely frolic, they do not leap hedgerows.....nor do you see them in steeplechases.....But, you CAN, see them here:
As you can see, Round Top, Texas is about a day's cowride east of Austin, Tx....
well, me? I've been to and through Austin a buncha times....when I worked in Dallas back in 2000/2001 we frequently hit off to Austin - for one reason or t'other.......but back then, this particular facility did not exist....
I'm talkin' about Flophouze
This would be, Flophouze......a chain of somewhat linked shipping containers converted into the funkiest funkiest hotel ever. Check this all out:
Whimsical it purely surely is......personally I love it!
See! I did promise you distraction.....
So, now - THIS is distracting.....and how come I didn't know about this before?For one who loves design, architecture....it is inconceivable that I've been hiding myself under such a big rock.....Ludwig Godefroy is who I'm talking about....and here are some random samples of his brilliant work.....
He uses his pencil/stylus, whatever like a hammer - a cleaver....to cleanly cut formShapes that assault one's senses....that challenge aesthetic entirely.....It used to be that the only creative genius that I truly felt that strongly about was Frank Lloyd Wright....Godefroy's work is not in the same vein, per se - but it is the same design language.....challenging, daring - completely unafraid, re-defining BOLD!
Summer is, finally, arrived......today is Grand Prix day in Montréal.....
through my open window I can hear the F-1's blasting through the pure June air....
it is, always is - heady....
and summer means, for most, travel - and travel means for most, these days, hassles, headaches, horriffic experiences as one attempts to wend and wind through airports. I had occasion recently - in the last few weeks to take a flight from Montreal to Toronto.......WOW! What a nasty! A nasty in terms of the exhaustion, fatigue, annoyance that is nowadays de rigeur in air travel.....Given my current infirmity - a severely damaged lower back - I walk these days with a cane.....and although Dr House elevated the CaneWalk to an almost artForm, believe me, t'ain't no fun.....
And so, this little lovely gizmo surely caught my attention:
OVIS by ForwardX Robotics.....
Trying to navigate through busy airports while wheeling around luggage can be tricky at times, but self-driving robotics company ForwardX is looking to change that with its new luggage, Ovis.
Equipped with computer vision technology, Ovis is the world’s first vision-powered carry-on that can not only follow you from behind, but can also move autonomously by your side, company representatives claim.
The carbon fiber suitcase is also equipped with sensors that allow it to follow you at a speed of almost 7 miles per hour without running into anything, while route projection technology helps it recognize its path.
Ovis is the 1st vision-powered smart carry-on that is able to follow you BY SIDE autonomously & seamlessly. To offer a stress-free travel experience, Ovis is equipped with GPS location tracker, smart alarm, embedded weight sensor, TSA-approved digital lock & removable airline-compliant LiPo battery that doubles as a charging station. Ovis by ForwardX is designed to enable a new class of business flyers to travel completely hassle-free. An all-in-one suitcase that can follow you by side autonomously and seamlessly. To offer a stress-free travel experience, Ovis includes features such as GPS location tracker, smart alarm, embedded weight sensor, TSA-approved digital lock and removable airline-compliant LiPo battery that doubles as a charging port of smart devices.
Distractions? Or focal points?
As a designer with 50+ years experience I have done my share of residential design projects.....my early career started with residential design projects . . . and in the late 60's, early 70's, wallpaper was a standard form or component in every project I was involved in.
From fabulous grasscolths to sumptuous silks, vibrant florals to chinoiserie scenics, wallpaper was oft-times the fulcrum against which the balance of a room pivoted......especially dining rooms, where there is little opportunity to display patter, aside from window coverings.
In my last decades of design work, predominantly in corporate/commercialundertakings, wallpaper was a non-issue. But, honestly? I love it? Fact is I'm also very, very good at it.....the application/installation
I mean. Loved the complexity of the geometric calculations re:pattern matching - the precise cuts/cut-outs to apply wallpaper around kitchen cabinets....even to the most arduous and extreme challenge of applying it to a ceiling! Now, that's a challenge....
So when I read and see that wallpaper is experiencing a renaissance it pleases me greatly....
Check these out:
In terms of distraction I have had considerable success with mes amis, les Scotch....
As far as I know I did not win the lottery - that's 'cause, probably, 'cause as far as I know I didn't, buy a ticket.......but what the heck....$60million would have been an interesting place from which to purchase this epic specialty......oh yes - it's only $500,000.00
Well - maybe just one.......
THE MACALLAN 1926 60 YEAR OLD WHISKY
Distilled in 1926 and aged for no less than 60 years, only 40 bottles of this whisky were bottled. And of those, 12 were labeled and signed with an exclusive design by the "Godfather of British Pop art" Peter Blake — best known for his design work on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. One of the twelve bottles recently fetched more than one million dollars at auction, and this one (number 9 of 12) will go under the hammer this fall from Sotheby's.
Simply stunning in its simplicity.....
Known as Four Corners, this remote 'cabin' is completely off the grid. There is no electricity or running water.
It is p u r e
It is the work of architect
a v a n t o
and is located in Verrat
Photos by kuvio.com
The cross like shape of this simple villa reaches towards four very different views.
The space is open and defined at the same time. The exterior is treated black and to
contrast the interior is very light. The building is insulated well and heated by wood only.
There is no electricity or running water.
The simple and ascetic life at the countryside differs
dramatically from the hectic city life.
Okay - so now
P A Y A T T E N T I O N !
What you are about to see is a stunning new advance from
Originally published on verge.com and titled
Microsoft’s meeting room of the future is wild
Microsoft just demonstrated a meeting room of the future at the company’s Build developer conference. Meeting rooms, conference calls, and meetings in general are usually the stuff of nightmares, but Microsoft is working on prototype hardware that will make meetings a lot easier. Microsoft’s meeting room demonstration is seriously impressive, and provides a glimpse of what’s possible in the future.
It all starts with a 360-degree camera and microphone array that can detect anyone in a meeting room, greet them, and even transcribe exactly what they say in a meeting regardless of language. Microsoft has been working on translation features for Skype for years, and the meeting room of the future includes this technology.
Watch this fascinating 11 minute video.... it is a jaw-dropping demonstration of the future of corporate life and communications
Microsoft takes the meeting room scenario even further, though. The company is using its artificial intelligence tools to then act on what meeting participants say. If someone says “I’ll follow up with you next week,” then they’ll get a notification in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s Slack competitor, to actually act on that promise. Cortana already does this in Windows 10, but this feature makes a lot of sense in a meeting room scenario.
It’s not clear when this meeting room scenario will become a reality, but Microsoft’s demo seemed to transcribe participants accurately and identified them well. Microsoft has promised new Surface Hub displays in the first half of 2018, and it’s easy to imagine that a future Surface Hub could be the ideal device for Microsoft’s wild meeting room.
And speaking of high technology, check this out....available from Amazon for all of $39.99 (USD), this LED light bulb contains a fully functional 360 degree camera.....
Researched and reported by Maren Estrada (firstname.lastname@example.org)
'If you’re looking for the perfect place to plug in a home security camera where it’ll be out of the way but will still have a good vantage point to let you monitor your home, just look up. The SDETER Hidden Wireless Security Camera is a wide-angle security camera that’s built right into a real LED light bulb. Simply screw it into any socket and you’ve instantly got a 360-degree view of your room that can be streamed to any iPhone or Android device.
Here are some key details from the product page:
I V Y S T U D I O
Go there . . . . . why?
Because Gabrielle Rousseau and Philip Staszewski, architectes
are a formidable creative powerhouse.
They have conceived and created
C R I S P
a mostCool barber shop in Montréal
Go get yer hair cut....
PEZ.....do you remember PEZ candies? Fabulously vibrant colors - I remember them as a kid!
Well, they still exist....yes, here.
But, the following feature, contained in
Luis Barragán, who died in 1988, was one of the most
influential and dramatic of Mexico's architects
You can follow the link to dezeen
for the full article....I am posting here
the amazing photographs of this unique home
We've all heard, 'And now for something completely different....'. Well, that's now.....in my relentless scouring of the internet for fresh, new creative ideas I stumbled across the work of one Isabelle Picard who lives and works on the island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. In her own words, 'We were hit by two category 5 hurricanes back in September, and with all the damage our islands sustained, a lot of people had to rebuild their weather heads to code, so a lot of those ugly concrete posts were erected by people’s homes and were a real eye sore. My client asked me what I thought we could do with it in order to make it go away a little, and I came up with the design. I have a work FB page under Isabelle Picard Design I will send you a photo of the weather head before and after. If you could share my info on your blog, that would be really great because its not always easy to get exposure on a 7 x 25 mile island.''
And so, Isabelle, here we are....I love that you were so uniquely creative in resolving this tricky challenge.
A most DEFINITE B R A V O !
Please be sure to email us with any other projects you are involved in....
And so now, this issue's bonus content. Jeremy Irons is one of the world's greatest actors....but he also seems to be such a real person.....if I were to guess, he and Anthony Bourdain, would have become greta pals....cut from the same cloth if you will Jeremy and his wife bought a crumbling down Irish castle a few years back, and by doing most of the work themselves, created this most unique paradise..
This wonderful article appeared in 1stDibs.com - one of my favourite resource sites on the internet.....
Well.....I think we're done here - for this issue.... inbox@DesignReview.International
until next time
Quite the balancing act!
What IS it?
It's a gyroscopic futura transit vehicle......not quite ready for primetime yet, but in advanced stages of development. The dual leg supports run along a narrow band set in the roadway. The internal gyroscopic engine/controls maintain it on a constantly level footing. This, IS, the future.
This is a stylistic image of a gyroscope:
The above cutaway illustration shows a luxury class transport.
The following scenes are of a unit that is a 'fire truck'......so to speak. Watch the video - it is fascinating and captivating.
This scene is of a fire fighting unit that elevates up to the fire source, and when level uses water cannons to extinguish the fire.
Far-fetched? Maybe? Possible - yes....the video traces the history of gyroscopic development over the last 100 years or so. How long before it might become a reality? Well, who knows....the whole idea of self-driving cars was far-fetched fantasy ten years ago.....now? Not so much.
Here is another video of this amazing concept.
This issue is all over the map....although the central focus/message is concerned with tools - tools that we use in the world of design and the built environment. From small little handheld devices like this
that allow one to see exactly what is behind the wall....look here and check out the web-site and the videos.
How lovely! Yes - it's a towel warmer. Para mi, the whole idea of having a warm towel to envelope oneself in speaks of luxurious indulgence!
Not so today - in terms of it being a luxury....with the ease that exists to run a red flex hose for hot water to a sculptural for such as this - well, it's little different than our acceptance of the natural inclusion of a heated floor in our home spaces.
This is but one creation by the highly respected designer Monica Freitas Geronimi.....here are some other along with site-links to places where you can explore her creations and actually order the products.
Some people believe creativity is born within everyone, for which this can be develop with determination and training. There are also those who totally admits they couldn’t color coordinate anything by themselves without an expert guidance… however, there are the ones we could call “the naturals” to whom creativity and inspiration comes from anything and everything.
• • •
Monica Freitas Geronimi graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Politecnico di Milano with specialization in Industrial Design, she lectured at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and now divides her time between the Italian company MG12 and Punto,
a company situated in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where she is an art director since 1995.
For the spanish translation go to espagnol
This feature was researched and developed by: Vanessa Bertran.
The Work(s) of Daniel Bracci
I like to believe we are all capable of reaching of maximum creative potential if we really wanted to but if you don’t, it’s alright... There are fantastic sources of information and talented professionals all over the world that will be more than happy to help you in any artistic related matter in various tendencies.
For this issue, I am happy to introduce Daniel Bracci, Venezuelan photographer- graphic designer- illustrator, who’s extraordinary and colourful creations (décor elements and clothing) are currently going around the world while being modeled by his very happy customers.
Daniel’s creations from his latest line, Caracas Psicodelica, are inspired by diverse images of product brands, personalities from his childhood and city views. With this beautiful homage and display of art, he really brings a sense of nostalgia to all those Venezuelans who lived during that period of time.
To get to know more of his designs check out
Instagram: @DanielBracci , #bybracci , #caracaspsicodelica
Here a small interview in Spanish from November 2016
This feature was researched and developed by: Vanessa Bertran.
This, is not a tool.....but it caught my eye as it is SO effervescent in colour, pattern scope and scale!
It's a wonderful space, a beautiful room....
As for tools, well here's one I drool after:
A 49" HotMomma curved screen! Yowzah! Sign me UP! And it's only $1100.00 US! Remarkable....
From Raymond Wong's review in Mashable:
Samsung's humongous screen is considerably expensive. You could buy two 27-inch curved monitors with similar features (resolution, brightness, color accuracy, refresh rate, etc.) and hook them up together for a few hundred dollars less, but you don't get the single, uninterrupted display. Becoming the envy of all your friends is worth it, too.
Sucks you right in
Sitting down in front of Samsung's 49-inch display is like plopping yourself into a cockpit. You feel like you're at a battle station, ready to get a lot of shit done, even if that's just checking emails and watching YouTube videos. This screen makes you feel like a boss because it covers almost your entire field of view.
Every one of my coworkers who has seen the 32:9 aspect ratio monitor (most widescreens are 16:9 or 21:9) were unable to resist stopping to take in the massive panel. If there's any display that can be likened to an Imperial Star Destroyer looming over minuscule freighters, it's this.
Samsung says the screen's equivalent to dual 27-inch monitors so I pulled over two 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Displays and sure enough it was about as wide. If you have a messy desk like I do, brace yourself for a cleanup because you'll have to move everything to make room for this beast.
The 49-inch monster is sold as a gaming monitor, so it has a full list of display performance specs to meet gamer standards: 144Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time for less motion blur during fast-paced gaming sessions, HDR (high dynamic range), and AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 graphics technology.
Samsung's own Quantum Dot technology, or QLED as the company likes to call it, also serves up to a billion shades of color (I tip my hat off to you if you can actually see so many shades).
Pixel geeks will probably balk at the display's 3,840 x 1,080 resolution, which is definitely lower than you might expect for something this big, but it honestly didn't bother me. 1080 vertical lines of resolution is enough on a screen that's specifically designed to maximize horizontal resolution. There are some gigantic ultra-wides with more vertical resolution if 1080 isn't enough. Acer's XR382CQK is one, but it's also 10 inches smaller.
So you end up trading size for resolution. If you're spending big money on a big-ass screen, you might as well get the biggest you can. And size really is the primary reason to buy this screen.
The 49-inch display is so large that my neck hurt after a few minutes of turning from one side to the other post-setup. My mistake, of course, was I sat too close to the monitor. Samsung recommends sitting 15-20 inches away from the display for the best experience.
After I moved back, I stopped having neck pains.
The screen is excellent for gaming and is a good substitute for a dual-monitor setup. I've always disliked seeing the bezel division between two connected displays and now it's not a problem on Samsung's big screen.
Some of my gamer colleagues nitpicked at games looking fuzzier than on their own dual- or triple-monitor setups, but my nonpro-gamer eyes thought they looked fine. I played several games including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Rocket League, and Battlefield 3 that support native 32:9 aspect ratio and they looked pretty darn crisp and smoother than on my 120Hz monitors at home. Not all PC games support the ultra-wide aspect ratio and many stretch out the resolution, so definitely check
if your favorite games do before buying one of these bad boys.
And, to go with your wonderful 49" curved screen, how about this lil' puppy?
The world's smallest PC running Windows 10.....about the size of a smartphone, at the introductory price of $249.00 (US), well - heck - take 2 or 3.....While smartphones continue their march to global domination, there’s still a place for a home PC in that computing landscape. Especially if that home PC doesn’t strictly need to stay at home.
Mobility remains key in all of our fast-paced lives, so when even a laptop can be too cumbersome to tout around all day, the allure of a pocket powerhouse like the Ockel Sirius B Windows 10 Pocket PC becomes clear.
It can do almost anything your home PC can do, it’s infinitely portable, and right now it’s $100 off its regular price at just $249 from TNW Deals.
Just hook up the Sirius B to any HDMI-compatible screen, connect a keyboard and you’ve got a Windows-powered, fully-operational PC ready to rock.
Check the video here
The first concern with most mini-PCs is that also comes with mini-processing capabilities. Not so with the Sirius B. It’s sporting an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. You’ve also got ports for USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and Micro SD built in as well as full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.
If you’re hitting the road, even just heading across town, this is the perfect tool for projects that a tablet or smartphone just can’t handle.
For all of you who rely on accurate visualizations of spaces, either by using 3D MAX, SketchUp, VRAY, Podium or other such tools, speed of site measurement data along with accuracy, and the transference of such data into AutoCAD (or another CAD programme) is of paramount importance. The on-site measurement, the accurate recording together with photographs of site conditions is super important.
It is, what we call, 'grunt work'......except we grunts need to be completely aware of the conditions and elements that we are looking to record for later transcription to a computer.
All that is soon to change for some of us....there's a really cool new techTool on the market now that, by using an iPad, it 'captures' in a video form, all the visual data of an interior space.....and it measures it as it is processing that data.
Structure Sensor (by Occipital) is the only company that I am aware of that is most active in the development of this fabulous tool.
As you can see they manufacture both a VR-type headset and an iPad sensor adapter. An app, CANVAS, is used to process the visual/virtual data.
Using the iPad adapter, one scans the space/room(s) and then uploads the file to their office for processing. For a $29.00 fee a completely accurate CAD file is produced, along with a SketchUp 3D file, and is returned to you within 48 - 72 hours.
We have been in touch with the principals at Canvas, had requested a test unit for evaluation, but seemingly there are few available.....none in enough time to meet our issue deadline.
So - I have NO choice here....I simply have to come up with the $399.00 US to buy one! I have no doubt that it will be a highly valuable tool that will pay for itself very quickly. Will keep you posted as to when we receive it and test it out.
Since we're concentrating to some extent on futuristic ideas, processes, maybe you want to check this Star Wars trailer out.....personally I can't wait to see this one:
To watch the trailer : : SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
As professionals in the design community (interior design, architecture, interior décor, landscape design, graphics) our daily efforts pivot off of our abilities to use and manipulate computer tools. CAD, 3D modeling, Illustration software, web-site design apps.....such tools are our stock-in-trade. Some of us tend to focus on one or two such tools, others - like myself - venture into all nature of digital wonderlands. Moi, I've been an AutoCAD user since 1983.....started dabbling in Photoshop in the early 90's. I have invested of myself in 3D Studio, 3D MAX, CADVANCE, MicroStation, Illustrator, Net Objects Fusion, SketchUp - many, many others. They are all power tools....in some hands, more powerful than in others.
What we as creators can do today is astonishing. I remember late nights in attempts to collaborate with a colleague in the exchange and transference of CAD files via modem connection. The computer would dial, ring.....you'd hear this funny brrrrr sound, then a kindof clunk which signified a connection to the other user, and you'd wait, watching paint dry, as the file transfer progress bar crept across the screen. More times than not to terminate prematurely before 100% of the file was transferred.
On the phone, calling your co-worker.....'What happened?'.
'We try it again?'
'Think we have to...'
and the time would slide by as we patiently willed the connection to stay live.
And when it did, your work was only about to begin. Because now you had the source file which you had to spend hours into the night developing as a drawing, a design concept - whatever.
Today, we don't even think about it.....file transmission is an afterthought. Image manipulation is a game.
And in that spirit, as we are tool-talking here, let me share this with you.
I have clients who recently re-located to Tel Aviv.....they have been clients for 35 years. I have designed 5 homes and numerous corporate offices with them and for them. And now, they have finally found their slice of paradise overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. And who did they call? Yup! Me.....could I help from so far, far away?
'Of course! Piece of cake! Get me the floor plans, we'll figure it out.''
And, we did.....received the architect's AutoCAD drawings, developed a layout concept.....proposed certain ideas, directions. They moved in, arranged the furniture as per my lay-outs - were happily ensconced and enjoying their new abode.
Except, there was one remaining issue to be dealt with....window coverings, draperies, etc.
How do you do that with a CAD program? Short answer is, you really don't.
'So, what do we do', my client asked.
'Take photographs of all the windows - make sure to take them as 'face-on' as possible', I said. 'You want the camera to be parallel to the picture plane....then send them to me.''
Well, I received about a dozen window photographs...they clearly showed me the frame, the outline of the windows....naked, barren - cold. How to transform such sterile imagery into a sense of style, character?
The method I came up with was to harness some of the graphic design tools I regularly use
Tools with names like Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Photoshop......
It's easier to explain now with the picture being 'worth a thousand words':
Patio doors, Master Bedroom
This image was opened in Affinity Photo and using certain processes, tricks, it was converted from being a very cold, but informative image to being a pencil sketch:
The design concept I proposed to my clients was to create 3 fabric panels, using whatever pattern, colour we were happy with, create a fabric 'sandwich' consisting of the core fabric on the inside, and on the backside (so that the pattern would also be visible from the elegant terrace) with a drapery liner/stiffener in between. The panels would be installed on 3 parallel tracks so that one slid in front of the other, à la shoji screens......
Manipulating the image in Photoshop and Affinity a reasonable facsimile of the design intent is conveyed
....and in using contrasting colours, the message becomes more clear.
Now, this is not, fine art - not intended to be.....it is an attempt to present and explain a gentle idea, a gentle concept, from a great distance. And in that respect it does the job.....could I have done this some other way? Of course...I could have printed the photograph, hand traced it using tracing paper - sketched over a number of stylistic renditions, scanned the images and sent them back by email......most likely in black and white unless I were to take the time and used coloured markers to achieve a similar result.
But the time! The time it would take to do all that......what I haven't said here is that in the space of a couple of hours I used this same technique on 10 windows. Voila!
If anyone really wants to know the precise steps as to how to accomplish this, write me and I'll send you a tutorial.
So - tools.....knowing which ones to use, how to use them and when - under which circumstances - to use them, they have become our digital assistants. Many years ago I remember - I believe before Windows - that AutoCAD users could use voice commands to draw.....quite a few architectural and engineering firms experimented with voice technology. Recently I have been researching how we might employ voice recognition with today's AutoCAD....so much more efficient to simply say, 'Draw line from endpoint of xxxxx to centre of circle at yyyyy'. Will keep you posted as to how that goes.
FREEBIES! we, all of us, like to get a fair share of 'freebies'......and when TechTools are offered
free of charge, no strings attached, there's a rush to glom onto them.....
Such will be the case with today's announcement from Autodesk (publishers of AutoCAD)
Full version of AutoDesk’s SketchBook app for iOS, Mac, Android & Windows is now FREE
Today, the folks over at AutoDesk have announced that the full version of its SketchBook app for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows will now be totally free. The was always a free-to-try type of situation with the pro version available via in-app purchases and upgrades. Well, now it is yours for absolutely nothing. It carries a 4+ star rating from over 12,000 users on the App Store. Head below for all the links.
iOS Universal: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Android: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Mac: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Windows: AutoDesk SketchBook: FREE
Everyone, including professional illustrators, concept designers, comic artists, manga lovers, and the everyday doodler, will enjoy using Autodesk® SketchBook® – the digital drawing app made for everyone who loves to draw. An easy-to-use and customizable interface makes tools easily accessible, so artists always have convenient access to the power and flexibility of a digital tool while maintaining a natural drawing experience. Install the app to discover the power of SketchBook and start unlocking your creativity today.
This segment is not, about tools.....or it is.
It is more about how thinking/perceptual tools might be used restoratively.....not necessarily to aid in providing scalar efficiencies to tasks, but more as to how the most appropriate thinking tools can regenerate, restore - re-capture a way of life, a cultural tattoo - and provide encouragement and faith that will lead a people to a place of greater confidence - and thereby comfort - in the knowledge that their history, their ancient ways of life and living, will be in fact preserved and even, promoted.
This stunning visual journey was reported recently in the great architectural web-sire, ArchDaily (www.archdaily.com). The author, Natasha Badalge, is an amazing researcher with ArchDaily.
We are reproducing segments of her astonishing report here. The original article may be visited here.
Can Architecture Save China’s Rural Villages?
DnA’s Xu Tiantian Thinks So
Travel seven hours by car in a Southwest direction from Shanghai and you will arrive in Songyang County. The name is unfamiliar to many Chinese people, and even more foreign to those living abroad. The county consists of about 400 villages, from Shicang to Damushan.
Here, undulating lush green terraces hug the sides of Songyin river valley, itself the one serpentine movement uniting the lands. Follow the river and you will see: here, a Brown Sugar Factory; there, a Bamboo Theatre; and on the other side, a stone Hakka Museum built recently but laid by methods so old, even the town masons had to learn these ways for the first time, as if they were modern methods, as if they were revolutionary.
And maybe they are. Songyang County, otherwise known as the “Last Hidden Land in Jiangnan,” may look like a traditional Chinese painting with craggy rock faces, rice fields and tea plantations, but it has also become a model example of rural renaissance. Beijing architect Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA_Design and Architecture, has spent years surveying the villages of Songyang, talking to local County officials and residents, and coming up with what she calls “architectural acupunctures.”
Xu Tiantian’s story is an interesting one about inspiring rural self-confidence and turning provincial attitudes towards outsiders into welcoming, open arms through her architecture. She explains how she did it, and why this is important to China, in the exhibition “Rural Moves—The Songyang Story.”
“The real China is in the countryside.” Aric Chen of M+, Hong Kong, remarked in his opening piece for Rural Moves—The Songyang Story. For thousands of years, the core tenets of Chinese design were built upon feng shui and the use of natural elements such as clay and wood to encourage positive flow through the built space. But when Deng Xiaoping opened China up to the world in the 1970s, he also spurred the migration of more than half of China’s 1.4 billion people to cities for work. In Shanghai and Beijing, construction companies were frantically building skyscrapers with bright signboards and big names a-dangling, to the fascination of the Chinese people. At the same time, there was a sense that the “real” China was fast disappearing and must be saved without being “Disneyfied,” as so many of China’s towns and villages have in the name of tourism.
This is what gave Xu Tiantian her raison d’être to bring her architectural practice to Songyang. Yet when Xu first arrived a few years ago, she had some difficulty mediating between what people see in cities and what should be developed in the rural areas. She said, “They [the residents] always come up with 2 different impressions of architecture. One is the ancient buildings, like you know, the local Min, Qin Dynasty style, and the other type is something modern looking, just like Beijing, Shanghai, or like Hangzhou.”
But Xu was headstrong in her design process. The history of how structures were built in each village was too unique to be erased and plastered over with modern designs. So, she insisted. “With this individual acupuncture... we try to convince them it should be a language addressed to their own traditions,” she said in an interview, “All these buildings are not about a form or about a iconic image, it’s rather becoming a media or a translator of this history and heritage of the village”
TOOLS - more tools! GIMP!
Qu-est-ce que 'ca?
GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.
. . . . and, it is also F R E E !
GIMP 2.10.0 released: Features 32-bit support, new UI and more
Features and Capabilities
This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features. You can also have a look at the illustrated features overview.
If you are a serious user of graphic arts/design tools you need to explore GIMP for yourselves.
In this issue, as you've read (above) there is an enlightening article regarding the rejuvenation of rural China, its farming communities, its cultural backbone.....
Steven Hu, our DRI colleague and Staff Writer, coincidentally researched and prepared the following wonderful article. The original piece, in mandarin, can be see on this page.
This story is a beautiful study of how China is coming to terms with the massive changes, the swelling industrialization - the city surges.....and how many. with deep centuries-long history, are seeking to revitalize and re-establish the old ways of villages and communities.
An artist's representation of 'how it used to be', translated into the world of today.....
ancient farming communities, villages, in China....the close clustering of the dwellings, the wonderful purity of symmetrical formshapes
. . . . and today, how it is, how it has been re-born
Everyone agrees pretty much, that Montreal is s p e c i a l ....from the old city (Vieux Montréal) to Parc Mont-Royal.....the Old Port, the bustling and vibrant downtown, to Habitat.
And currently one of the unique million dollar residences in Habitat is on the market for a monthly rental of $4500.00.....one of the outstanding features of this world class development is that there are no two apartments the same.
The brainchild of architect Moise Safdie, it was conceived and then built, ready for the 1967 Expo, the World's Fair.
Following are photographs of this most wonderful place.
This wonderful visual panorama was recently featured in MTLblog, by Riley James.
OHBoy OhBoy OhBoy! Do I ever WANT one of these! A M A Z I N G - clever, cool.....oh so cool!
TRUCK SURF HOTELThe best waves aren't always right in front of the best accommodations. Unless you're staying at the Truck Surf Hotel. Located on the coast of Portugal and Morocco, the Mercedes Actros expands into a two-story retreat right on the beach. The interior offers a kitchen, living room, and bathroom with a show below while private bedrooms are above. Ample windows and an outdoor terrace keep the surf in full view, that is if you're not already out there riding it. Your stay comes with a buffet breakfast and a range of packages make sure you get the most out of your trip.
If you too, just have to have one of these go to: www.trucksurfhotel.com/the-truck
Just SO cool!
I think that's it....it is a lot, I know - it's not anywhere near as much as I'd like to pack in.....
a wonderful piece on the new Ritz Carlton Yacht Cruisers, a great apartment overlooking the Dnieper River in the Ukraine..... some funky gadgets......plus an in-depth review of the 2018 SIDIM show that took place in Montreal last week.......and it's diminishing presence and importance on the design landscape of Québec. + a review of the Milan Furniture Show - a real success story.
As always, please write - please complain - please - say s o m e t h i n g ......
Not gonna talk about it.....not no more.
It will be what it will be - in its own good time....
Spring, or perhaps a reasonable facsimile thereof, should/could/might - will, arrive.
Maybe not here in Montréal (if you are a Montrealer you are aware that we never really have spring, per se).....we go from too much snow to too much muck, to too much grey/cold/rainy conditions.....but never Spring. Not as I remember it growing up in Toronto. The event of Spring, in other cities or places, is a wondrous time.....softer, gentler air, comfortable warmth......bathed in sunshine. But, just not here.....we go from Winter to early Summer..... sometime around mid-June.
So - not gonna talk about it.....the weather, I mean.
You may ask, 'Well, how cold WAS it?' Cold....Brrrrrr - - shiver cold....it was this cold:
Yeah....I know - these two images don't make a lot of sense....
but, I took these photographs in November of 2010 in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
. . .and when I think of COLD, I recall that particular day, a Saturday,
when on assignment to survey a hotel for a client the GM took
me to the coast, about a 15 minute drive from downtown Iqaluit,
and I was stunned by the harsh, desolation - of what cold really is.
Standing on the stone beach of the Arctic Ocean, the abandoned
row boat was the epitome of c o l d and loneliness.....
This is where Iqaluit is:
They don't have daffodils there,
It's always good to remind ourselves, in context, how
things really are
In this issue we have a bunch...... of good things. Not as in a bunch of tulips, or daffodils.....just a bunch of very interesting pieces.....
Firstly, I have been in contact with the staff at Cadalog Inc.....they are the creators of Podium and Podium Browser. I submitted a series of questions to Justin Slick that I thought would be of interest to all you out there in design, architecture, interiors. Just for some background, I have been an AutoCAD user since 1983.....my first version was 1.4 on a single floppy disk. Over all these years I have experimented with mostly the full range of 3D tools......VRAY, Maxwell, 3D MAX, Kerkythea, and others. Most all are very good - they all provide muscle to the knowledgeable user in terms of generating excellent 3D visualizations. Some have steeper learning curves than others.....some are ridiculously over-priced. Within the last year I have finally settled on the one product that, in my work, is the best.....Podium. Combined with Podium Browser and it's amazing catalogue of furniture, finishes, materials and its fantastic lighting library I have all the tools I need to produce top-rate 3D imaging. Plus, Browser is a one-time $69.00 (US) investment....once bought there are no annual upgrade fees. There are frequent updates to the library contents. And, like VRAY and Maxwell, Podium runs completely inside of SketchUp.
Here are a few image files - the first is the raw SketchUp model followed by the Podium produced results.
These are student works.....the first image is a screen capture of the model
as it is seen in SketchUp, followed by the final visualizations with lighting
added and then rendered through Podium
The above work was done by Vanessa Bertran
Following is work done by Danhui [Danni] You
And this last one is the model created by Julie Brisebois:
Podium also has the ability to add a variety of image filters, from this one (Negate) to black/white, sepia and about 7 more.....
Interview with Justin Slick, Cadalog
DRI : : Can you give us an overview of the background of Podium, it’s principals, the mission that it sees for itself?
Podium was launched in 2008, for SketchUp 6/7.
The mission with was to build a preset-based approach to rendering, and streamline all the technical aspects of the process into a simple, approachable workflow. To make it easier for an architect, designer, or visualizer to generate lifelike photorealistic imagery without spending hours and hours tweaking a dozen obscure parameters.
An interesting bit of trivia: Kerkythea was actually Podium’s underlying render engine in version one. But we eventually switched to Kray (originally an engine developed for Lightwave 3D), which gave us higher-quality global illumination and lighting.
The mission of easy, affordable, high-quality rendering for are still the principals we work toward.
DRI : : Is the company staffed with architects, designers or primarily software engineers?
It’s a relatively balanced mix; hard to pin it down exactly.
On the software side, there are three C++ developers that work on Podium, ProWalker GPU, and some of our related tools/plugins. Plus the Kray developer, who works on the underlying render engine.
Apart from the software engineers, you could probably say there is an architectural leaning. We have three people in various “non-software-development” roles who primarily work as architects.
Then there are about five modelers working on Podium Browser content, with occasional contributions from others (sometimes directly from Podium users). And a few more of us in generalist roles: documentation, web, support, marketing, testing, etc. And one translator for the Japanese pages!
DRI : : Are there any product plans for this year you can share with us?
There will be another ProWalker GPU update relatively soon, adding a few animation tools for transitioning between scenes more elegantly.
But most of the development effort is currently focused on Podium 3, which will be the next “major” iteration. There’s no concrete time-frame on this, and I can’t really go into specifics until we’re further along.
jDRI : : How many schools/colleges is Podium installed in?
We don’t have an exact number, but estimate that it’s probably in the hundreds. Certainly, there are thousands of student licenses out there. Trimble’s educational SketchUp reseller in the US chose to offer Podium as part of a SketchUp bundle, so I think we have a pretty strong base among educators.
DRI : : Are there training courses available for Podium?
Well, aside from the documentation and tutorials available on the website, there are three people I know of offering some form of web-based Podium training.
1. Dan Brown at SketchUpTrainer.com. He has some on-demand courses available here: https://sketchuptrainer.com/sketchup-tutorials/, and occasionally schedules Webinar sessions teaching Podium. These come up sporadically, se we typically just post the info on Facebook, or include a notification in our newsletter when one is coming up.
2. Diane Dieterlich – She’s a certified SketchUp instructor with an interior design background, and offers an on-demand Podium course at Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/user/dianedieterich/
3. Tamy Cody runs a website called SketchUp for Interior Designers, and offers an introductory Podium course: https://www.sketchupforinteriordesigners.com/online-courses/
I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more people out there doing live training in their respective cities and towns.
For example, I came across a Dutch interior designer named Christina Williamsenwho held a Podium seminar recently – but of course, that’s only relevant if you’re in or near the Netherlands. Wish I had a more definitive list for you!
DRI : : Are there plans to develop certification for Podium trainers, teachers, etc.?
Not at this time, no.
DRI : : What does the company consider to be the best feature of Podium?
I think we’re all very proud of the simplicity of the UI and the preset system – it’s an important part of what makes Podium so easy to use compared to other render engines. You can download one of the test models from our website and have a basic understanding of how to produce an appealing render in very little time.
But of course, none of that would matter without the underlying rendering tech. Podium uses a pretty high-end ray-tracer, and the global illumination/photon mapping engine is capable of very beautiful results, with a lot of subtlety and nuance in the way light bounces around the scene.
Aside from that, we’re quite excited about 360° Panoramic rendering, and the accompanying panorama tours feature!
DRI : : How frequently will Browser be updated
There are modelers working constantly, and large batches are uploaded whenever a set of related items is finished. On average I’d say updates happen twice a month, with anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred additions.
The number of components we add per month just depends on the complexity of the items being worked on.
Lately they’ve been working on premade furniture assemblies, which I think is a great direction! So far I think we’ve added bedroom, dining room, living room, office, conference room, classroom, and outdoor patio arrangements. They take bit more time to produce, but are so, so useful from an efficiency standpoint.
DRI : : Will Podium be ‘hitting the road’, so to speak – attendance at trade shows, etc? BTW – every December there is a huge trade show in Toronto – it’s called IIDEX – sortof Neocon North
We go to the AIA conference every year. This year is in New York City, June 21-23, so no doubt it will be a great show!
And Dave, our CEO, attends most of Trimble’s SketchUp events. So we have a presence at pretty much all the official SketchUp 3D Basecamps.
Cadalog is also a SketchUp Pro distributor in several Asian countries, so there is sometimes a Podium presence at reseller events in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and less frequently in SE Asia.
• • • • • • • • •
Only yesterday I received, via email, the most current Podium and Podium Browser
newsletter....among other things, these office furniture models have been added to Browser....
The newsletter is viewable at: http://suplugins.com/whatsnew.php
Obviously I have a deep respect for Podium and their ongoing efforts to
provide the best of tools for the designer, architect, technician. As mentioned before,
I have experimented with, and used, VRAY, MAXWELL, LightUp and others.
Podium is IMHO the leader of the pack
Those of you who follow DRI regularly know by now of my passion for detail,
for unique and unexpected beauty, in all things. In a recent WebCrawl I came across
offerings through Christie's. . . . the venerable auction house. The following description is taken from their web-site:
What is it?
It is the web-site of a group of very talented architects, designers,
'Oh? And where are they? London? Paris? New York? Montréal?'
'Mais non.....they are in Amman, Jordan.''
As is my very good friend, colleague and former student, Hana Elayan.
Hana is, quite simply, amazing.....she graduated as an architect in Jordan - attended University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to complete a Master's degree
in Digital Imaging (this was around 2003). She arrived in Montreal and enrolled
at the International Academy of Design, in the Interior Design programme.
And that, was where we met.....I was lucky to be one of her teachers.
The educational programmes through institutions like the Academy are
extremely intense, high pressure.....classes go on for 15 months
with only a break at Christmas and one other time during the year.
In any event, Hana graduated, and fast forward - she is now back in Amman
and is the Managing Partner and co-founder of
So, in this issue we are featuring a recent project done by her firm
and her associates and partners.....
It is the landscape design for the
Samir Alrifaei Park
From their Master Presentation : :
The document is 12 pages long - too long to include all of it here...
we also have the Arabic version. Both the full length Arabic and
english version will be included in our sister site,
but not for a week or so....when completed there
will be a liveLink here, in this blog, to the pages
that contain the full-blown version.
Following are 4 of the pages depicting the design, the
context, the relationships.
Kawthar was the Lead Designer on this project,
the overall Concept Developer.....congrats Kawthar!
M.A. Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, 2013
B.Sc. Architectural Engineering, University of Jordan 2008
B.A. Agricultural Engineering, University of Jordan 2014
B.Sc. Architectural Engineering - University of Jordan
M.Sc. Design + Digital Media (with distinction)
Diploma, Interior Design - International Academy of Design
Oak Refuge Cabin
is a resort/retreat located in upstate New York.
Five separate units can be connected as one by opening the sliding doors between them.
Rugged and rough boarding is used as the primary visual theme, which coupled with brass, concrete and blackened steel generates a feeling of industrial elegance.
Given that he windows are huge, and that it is located in the midst of an old growth forest,
the connection to nature is both live, and alive.
I'm pretty sure I could happily spend a week-end there.....or a month of week-ends.
And now, for...yes - you know the punch line...something completely different -
Steven Hu, our colleague and contributor just returned from eight weeks in China...
His ‘hometown’ is Guangzhou….and he sent us these incredible
photographs/images of actual projects, or planned projects…..
there is an obvious common denominator that links all of them…..
clearly, that doesn’t require clarification….
If you are terminally curious, you may ask, what/where are these amazing structures?
Ask away - but ask in the Comments section, okay?
We have featured some of the work of Herzog + de Meuron recently...the amazing
Beirut project in DRI Issue 2•1. Here is another even more astonishing project, this time in Moscow.
Personally, my admiration for this firm is off the charts. They are relentless innovators in the spirit and style of architecture.
This project is stunning, audacious, whimsical, bold – exciting and again, ground-breaking.
Over the last 5 years or so I have observed, along with the rest of the world, the forays into what has been called architectural ingenuity, building design innovation. The twisty-turny soft ice cream shapes of buildings are in most cases, to me, attempts simply to be different – for the sake of being different. Disappointing in most cases. However, the approach taken in this project is so uplifting (literally….) and such a fine problem-solving initiative.
From their web-site:
A Redevelopment Project of an Old Factory Area in the Heart of Moscow
The aim of the Badaevskiy Brewery project is to redevelop the six-hectares old factory area, between the Moscow River and the vector to Minsk, and to transform this famous but largely abandoned and dilapidated site into a vibrant destination point in central Moscow. The factory grounds and river embankment are to be opened to the city; the old industrial structures are to be assessed, with more than 30’000 m² of them restored and brought back to life through new internal organization and uses; and more than 100’000 m² of new residential, office and retail program is to be added in order to rejuvenate the site, support the complex renovation, and provide quality residential, work and recreation areas to this prime location. After an initial feasibility and concept study, Herzog & de Meuron were formally appointed for the design of the Badaevskiy Brewery Project in 2017.
A City Block Lifted up in the Air
The new building on the site could be described as a piece of city lifted up in the air. This "Horizontal Skyscraper" is the result of a research phase where we tested and tried out all kinds of building typologies along the riverfront, but whatever we tried felt wrong. The greatest problem was that any new structure on the ground would have divided the site into privileged and less privileged areas, into front and back sides, and the amount of public green would have been reduced to a minimum. It was obvious that we started to lift up in the air the piece that we had tested on the ground before, although we were hesitant to come up with a building typology which is so remindful of the "Wolkenbügel", one of the most heroic icons of the Russian Avant-garde. But here it didn't look heroic or monumental. The building does not fly; it rather sits on many slender stilts like an elevated lodge in the forest. The stilts connect the building with the ground and the park like trunks of trees.
The single operation of elevating the new building 35 metres up in the air brings three key advantages for the project: first, the new green area, an urban park, emerges in the vacated land under the hovering structures, between the heritage buildings and the river front; second, despite the substantial densification of the site, the historical buildings retain their direct connection to the river and their clear visibility and access to the city; and third, all the flats in the hovering structure are top floors with prime views to the Brewery, Kutuzovskiy Prospekt, Ukraina Hotel, the State Duma, Moscow City, and beyond to greater Moscow. Running along the riverfront plot line, the new lifted building follows the outlines of the heritage structures and the established north-south orientation of the old industrial grid. The resulting undulating form resembles the geometry of the meandering waterfront buildings in this part of historical Moscow
and maximizes the views out to the river.
The elevated building consists of approximately 100’000 m² of residential area. The apartments are highly individualized in terms of layout and facade expression and command sweeping panoramic views with their fully glazed facades. Each apartment has a large balcony, a truly private exterior space in the centre of Moscow.
The largest external spaces are located on the roof, belonging to the eight sky villas, where rooftop gardens complete the top of the hovering building. A single underground complex on three floors inhabits the entire site, connects and serves all the buildings and provides the required parking, delivery and support facilities.
Our friend, colleague, Lydia Pawelak had some of her work featured previously in DRI.....she recently returned from 3 week trek/trip to Nepal and the Himalayas. Before studying interior design at the International Academy of Design in Montreal (she was in fact a classmate of Hana Elayan), Lydia was a highly acclaimed professional photographer......now, this:
Her photoJournal is just amazing.....she decided to publish this book, not as a vehicle to enrich herself,
but as a tribute to the people she met while on her journey. All the profits from this venture are being donated to charities in Nepal! The images above are, of course, the front cover and the back cover of her book. If you want to see more of her work visit her web-site at: http://www.lydiaphotomontreal.com
Her photographic journeys to Cuba,Vietnam and now to Nepal are stunning. She has the amazing ability to capture the true sense of the people she meets in her travels. Bravo Lydia!
My efforts with this blog have been driven by a sincere interest and care for the world of the creative
thinker • • • the artist, the artistry that shapes them. With that being said I want to introduce you to some friends. . . . . one, Monica Parker, is a brilliantly funny lady. We went to high school together about a thousand years ago in Toronto.....Monica was funny then, she is funnier now. She is a comedienne having played roles in many movies, and now spends her time writing books and doing her one-woman performances. 'Getty Waisted' is one of her more recent books. Although we have been Facebook friends for quite some time, we haven't seen each other for 40+ years......and we hadn't talked to each other for about as long - until about a month ago when I volunteered to re-design her web-site......and from that first phone call, it's been as if those 40 years never happened. Please take a look for yourselves - www.IamMonicaParker.com.
More recently we also met some new friends......Kathleen Conway and Denis Pelletier, husband and wife, are in the business of c o m m u n i c a t i o n s. Their business CAMDEN Communications Inc. does exactly that. Denis is the english/french translation half of the business and Kathleen, who has an impressive client list that includes Apple, HP and other big name companies, now specializes in
' teaching managers how to interview prospective employees.'
Also, Kathleen writes her own wonderful blog, Passage des Perles at http://passagedesperles.blogspot.ca/...you will want to read it I promise.
Translation + Consulting Services / 412-6655 boul. St-Laurent / Montréal H2S 3S2
So, this is a wrap for this issue......if you follow the blog at www.DesignReviewInternational.blogspot.ca you will read much of what is in this issue, there....you will also read that I have come up against, what seems to be a non-fixable glitch with the Blogger engine.....so it may be that future issues will only appear here in www.DesignReviewInternational.com
I will keep everyone advised
Sitting here in Montréal this winter, gazing out at the turbulent St. Lawrence River as it flows past my home, I watch the spume and the ice fog as it drifts up and away from the tumbling chunks of ice making their way to the Atlantic coast.
Colleagues have been remarking that this year - this year is a real honest-to-God good old-fashioned winter......huge snowfalls, temperatures that make your teeth hurt after being outside for even ten minutes. The whine and grind of the snow removal trucks in their continuing battle to clear clogged streets.
And yet. . . . . and yet there is growth. Growth is coming. We live here in a bitter cold environment like this, as they do in Ottawa, in Moscow - in Sweden, with the flash of hope, the sliver of confidence that soon, soon it will end and will transform into warmer weather, into spring - into growth.
And it is growth that this issue is centered around. As this enterprise/effort struggles to evolve
we find great and wonderful discoveries - about places, people, purpose even.
The following is a listing of the primary topics of this issue:
• Leonardo Bechini - is a master photographer with a Master's degree in same. He lives and works
in Milan, Italy as the Chief Creative Officer for a well known European fashion and lifestyle
magazine. I met Leonardo when he came to Montréal in the year 2000 to attend a special
graphic design programme at College Inter-Dec. He was my student in a Professional Practises
and Print Management course. He had already built up a number of years of professional design
credits in various design firms in Europe. But since our course was totally business-centric,
as his teacher, I had no reason to review or see his portfolio. . . . . until the second to last class.
When he displayed his work to the class we were all, astonished, that this creative giant had
been in our midst for those many weeks. Being humble and gentle as he is, his credential
never became a part of the conversation.
We established a great bond in that course and when he returned to Milan we remained in
touch, discussing frequently a desire to design, develop, produce a 'really cool' online design
journal. Whenever he visited Montréal we spent tome together ....he became, a friend.
But oddly enough, since I was completely aware of his vast talent, I never found reason to
re-visit his online gallery. Until a couple of weeks ago......I was doubly astonished.
You will also be, I believe, doubly astonished - for he granted me access to both a fantastic
web-site he had just finished producing (his first, believe it or not) along with access to his
newly revised photographic web-site.
It is in part, his growth, that I refer to in my introductory comments......to view both
simply follow these links. Match + Leomore And then come back
and in concert, lets's all say to him, 'BRAVO maestro!'
• Elie Nehme, Interior Designer, Architect - Beirut, Lebanon
Growth too is an important part of this profile....Elie is our Lebanon correspondent, and like
Leonardo, he was a student in my Construction Detailing class at Algonquin College, Ottawa.
Although a Canadian citizen Elie returned to his other home in Beirut to work with his family
in design and construction. He also began his Master's degree in Architecture.
Elie's work as a designer is predominantly in residential design - the very finest of residential
interiors. So much of Beirut is built along the french influence in architecture, fashion and
design. Elegance is the byword.
It was to address that intrinsic elegance of Beirut inhabitants that the fine Swiss architectural
firm of Herzog & Meuron approached their concept for les Terrasses de Beirut.
An award-winning ground-breaking articulation of exquisite form/shape and style, the
result is a unique one-of-a-kind architectural statement.
It is in such an atmosphere that Elie carries out his work.
In reviewing candidate projects for his first article in DRI Elie proposed that we do a
feature on this wonderful architectural masterpiece.
• Anna Kovalchenko - Moscow
Anna is graduate of the KLC School of Interior Design in London, England.
Her blog - her delightful blog - L'Essenziale is widely followed globally. She is also a
frequent contributor to Architectural Digest - Russia edition. And she has just learned that
her blog has won, for two years in a row, Best Interior Design Blog, Russia
Anna has also written two books - one a must-have for all decorators, designers hoping
to establish their own p r o f i t a b l e design enterprise. 'Marketing for Interior Designers'
is a digital edition available on her site.
Anna and I have never met - we have corresponded for some years now as our philosophies
are somewhat identical. She is a classicist, a problem-solver - she brings great f l a v o u r
to her stylings. How often have you heard of a designer as being able to provide flavour?
Well, she does. She is also a presence on Facebook. She recently re-located to Marbella,
Spain from Moscow (may have had something to do with the Moscow/Montréal winters).
Her sunny disposition will be found frequently on DRI with regular re-posts of her blog
And of course, her career, her message is also in a vibrant state of growth.....be sure to
check in with us regularly as she will be writing some great articles about design in the south
of Spain, of her visits to Ronda and the Alhambra.
• Alma Trelo - Architect, Engineer, Designer
Growth, again. Alma is a colleague - a co-teacher at NOVA Career Centre. She emigrated
to Canada from Greece, and rather than continuing her architectural practise (for the time being)
she has turned to teaching. Her web-site provides much greater detail about her amazing
On Friday of this week she will be travellng to Toronto to attend the 2018 Toronto Interior Design
Show. Her experiences, comments and reviews will appear in our next issue.
And growth for her, for now - is growing out from and into, perhaps a different venue entirely.
• L E O N A R D O •
We start here......with this wonderful web-site he designed for MATCH....
these are some of the images contained therein
....and, then, we visit his photography site.....www.leomore.it.
I have selected a few of what I think are the more powerful images, here : :
So - is it ME?
If it is, I would 'have a big house' and have a room that contains ALL these amazing images....
You may - or may not - agree......
This, is, his work - really only a small part of it...had to force myself to
s t o p
all work, of course, ©leonardo bechini
There is this really cool site, www.uncrate.com......
r i c h
in wild and wonderful content....
For example their coverage of the
SCENIC ECLIPSE DISCOVERY YACHT
Most ships are dedicated to either luxury or discovery. The Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht is designed for both. The tour brand's first ocean cruise ship, it measures 168 meters long, yet has just 114 suites, each with a private verandah. With 176 crew members, it offers as close to a 1:1 ratio as you'll find, which ensures you never have to wait to enjoy your next indulgence at the spa, pool, theater, lounges, or bars. It also carries its own Discovery team, who has a fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, e-bikes, and other outdoor toys at their disposal to help you explore your surroundings in ways traditional luxury launches can't. Its maiden voyage launches in the Mediterranean next August, and current itineraries include trips through the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, and the Arctic.
Why is it in this issue?
Dunno - except that the lines, the style - the form shape
d e s i g n
Located in the heart of the Lebanese capital, ‘Beirut Terraces’ is one of the city’s
latest sky-rise buildings that are shaping its horizon. Beirut has always been considered
the cultural and geographical connecting city between Europe and the Middle East.
The city’s social and cultural diversity are major factors that influenced Beirut’s
unique identity overs centuries. In Addition, the various epochs of Phoenicians,
Roman, Mamluks, Ottoman, and Colonials contributed in shaping its unmatched history
and built-environment. All these aspects have been delicately reflected in
Herzog and De Meuron’s design of their residential project in Lebanon.
The multilayered design of the building pays great respect to Beirut’s history
in a very contemporary language that portrays the city’s futuristic perspectives.
Situated in Mina Al Hosn and adjacent to the new yacht marina,
The Zaitunay Bay, ‘Beirut Terraces’ is the latest addition to the capitals’
most prestigious residential area. The architect lists five design principles
that define their project: Layers and Terraces, Inside and Outside, Vegetation,
Views and Privacy, and Light and Identity.
Selected by ‘Architectural Digest’, as being among
The Most Influential Buildings of 2017, ‘Beirut Terraces’
is re-defining the way skyscrapers are designed. The 119 meters high-rise
tower is a combination of five modular floors repeated differently.
Each plate has its own extended views along with panoramic glazing that
maximizes exposure to sunlight and provides exceptional views of the
Mediterranean and the city. The different perforations in the parameters
of each floor, allow vertical travel of sunrays from one level to another,
and provide the building with a distinctive identity by generating
The Green partitions and horizontal gardens emphasize the inhabitants
living experience. In addition, the structure of each floor slab is engineered in
particular method to balance the temperature of spaces by absorbing the
cold at nighttime and releasing it during the day. These implemented features
made this sky-rise building a sustainable landmark, and will allow it to stand
out in Beirut’s master development plan.
Completed in 2017, ‘Beirut Terraces’ offer 57,000 square meters of high-end
luxurious apartments, 1,500 square meters of commercial space,
and 20,000 square meters of underground parking.
The commercial space recently
hosted an exhibition by ‘Gabriel and Guillaume’, a travelling gallery for
decorative arts and furniture. The residential areas offer a variety of
apartment types ranging from 210 square meters to 985 square meters of
simplexes and duplexes. The spaces of ‘Beirut Terraces’ allow tenants to
visualize their homes throughout a luxurious environment,
each with a unique identity.
• development manager: benchmark
• design consultant: herzog & de meuron
• executive architect/engineering consultant: khatib & alami
• project manager: hill international
• main contractor: man enterprise
• structural & MEP consultant: arup
• landscaping consultant: vladimir djurovic landscape architecture
• lighting consultant: arup
• façade consultant: PP engineering
• technical controller: socotec
• pre-contract cost control: davis langdon
• project Year: 2009 - 2017
V E S T A B O A R D
Check it out......were you ever in a train station,
oh so many years ago, and were mesmerized by the
message display boards mounted high up on the wall,
that with a smoothly whirring clickety-clack,
rhythmically changed up the info re which train on which track,
arrival data, etc?
I remember them at Union Station in Toronto.
It was fascinating to watch.....
and the sound was rather comforting.
Almost like a little train running along a
Well these brightLights at VESTABOARD
have re-discovered that device and have
re-engineered it for use......anywhere.
In your home, in your office - airports, restaurants,
service counters....wherever there is a need for
instantaneous information updating.
And it's controlled form a smartphone or a computer.
Over 5 decades of design practise I have done my share of
residential interior design. From modest undertakings to the
conceptualisation, design and execution of mansions.
Throughout I have always been excited to work with clients
who understood, who were sensitive to, great wall coverings.
From beautiful textured grasscloths, to silk, to documentary
prints, wood veneers - all of it.
One company that has been a stand-out across more than a century
is Shumacher. They are in the same class as Brunschwig et Fils....
or vice versa.
Originally, as I first knew the company, they were primarily fabrics and wallpapers.
Today they design, manufacture fine furniture, fabulous carpets, trimmings,
many wonderful accessories.
Always, chinoiserie, has been a favourite.....
and following here are a few of their current offerings:
How would you describe
c o o l d e s i g n
We present here one project of an astonishing architectural practise in Spain
From their web-site,
'We believe in reestablishing architects and architecture as leaders in the search for better cities. We design and imagine every project individually: from the largest scale to the smallest, seeking excellence in every detail. We strive to create an unbelievable experience, handcrafted and tailored exclusively to the miser of each distinct
client that exceeds his expectations.
We are MESURA, Partners in Architecture
The photographs that follow are of an ongoing project
1735 - CAN LLIMONA
There's really nothing need being said.....
it is an example of a deft hand, a clear vision
and a distinctive grasp of
c o o l
and so, from the landOfCool...... sortof - actually H O T
see, here's the answer to many a dream
a really true functioning compact countertop dishwasher....
With a smaller capacity than the average dishwasher available on the market today,
Tetra holds two full place settings (including plates, bowls, cups, and flatware) or
10 plates or 12 pint glasses. It's compact on purpose
“Our research indicates that although the average household is comprised of
2.58 people, the modern dishwasher holds place settings for 13 or more,” said
Jerry Callahan, CEO and founder of Heatworks. “This makes people believe
that they either need to handwash their few dirty dishes — which wastes 10
times more water than using a dishwasher — or wait for a fill load to run a cycle.
With Tetra, we hope to change people's mindset.”
Just think, if a two-person household were to switch from handwashing to a
dishwasher for one meal a day, they could save 1500 gallons of water a year.
There are no faucet connections required and water is loaded by hand so users
know exactly how much water is being used - about a half a gallon per load.
There is also an internal detergent reservoir that will last dozens of cycles.
And the coolest feature? Tetra is transparent so you can see exactly where
in the dishwashing cycle it is.
The way Heatworks heats water is completely different.
Watch the second video here
Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water,
through our patented Ohmic Array Technology, we actually pass electrical
currents through the water itself. Using graphite electrodes and electronic controls,
we increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster.
The faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. This causes the molecules
to begin to bounce off each other; that kinetic energy turns into heat.
through direct energy transfer, your water is heated instantly, within (+/-) 1 degree
Fahrenheit of the temperature setpoint. With no coils or traditional heating
elements that can scale and rust over time, the water you get is purer than
what any other water heater can provide. That's good news for you and your family.
et finalement....à Québec
ce maison unique
La VILLA VINGT s’ancre sur un site en pente adjacent à la station de ski le Relais. Le terrain en altitude offre une vue magnifique sur les collines des Laurentides et le quartier résidentiel du Lac-Beauport.
Photographe : Adrien William
par les architectesBourgeois / Lechasseur
Bourgeois / Lechasseur architectes est une agence d’architecture
contemporaine réalisant des projets résidentiels et commerciaux
à travers la région de Québec et des Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Ville de Québec:
261, St-Valier Est
Canada G1K 3P4
Îles - de- la - Madelaine
433, chemin de la Martinique
L 'Étang-du-Nord (QC)
From Steven Hu, currently in Guangzhou, China, these unusual items...
The growth I referred to initially is centric to all of us.
Some deal with it better than others of course.
But growth is a measurable metric. . . . whether
one's height as a child, one's academic achievements,
pregnancies. . . . . sales - and all the other prime
elements of our lives as humans.
We, in our initiatives here at DRI are planning
our growth. . . . as strategically as possible.
Our growth, ultimately, will maybe provide you,
our readership, with another kind of growth.
One wherein our efforts to inform you of relevant
aspects of design, architecture - artistic achievement -
provide you with a satisfying growth through learning,
enlightenment.....and the satisfaction of expanding one's
understandings of a variety of creative initiatives in our world.
We will bring you the next issue in about 3 weeks.....
if anyone has a particular effort you might like us to focus on,
don't be shy. Reachable always at Inbox@DesignReview.International,
we'd love to work with you to explore and discover other growing
concepts, ideas and the réalisation of same.
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