Perhaps a little of both. A new chapter - a different portal. We make the choice to either pass through and embrace what lies beyond, or we prefer the comfort/security of reposing in the past.
Personally - and professionally - I am driven by the compulsion to always look ahead : : to explore new pathways, new opportunities. It is always far too easy to 'float'- tread water - drift. . . . . rudderless and direction-less. This world is changing, frighteningly so - so much of what was always familiar, in terms of 'the way it used to be', but we don't really have a choice - do we? Think back on this past year - major changes, upheavals - most visible in the world of retail bricks/mortar stores, simply evaporating - gone to dust. In Montréal currently, our Mayor has signalled that the preponderance of empty stores on previously thriving thoroughfares, is approaching a crisis status - to the extent that a special task force is seeking to find answers to 'fix' the problem. Here's my take on it - it's simply not, fixable. Why? The newWorld of online commerce is not ever going to regress - not going to go away. Amazon, blazed a trail into this unknown. Can you remember back about 10 years ago when the business press ridiculed Jeff Bezos for the massive warehouse distribution centres he was building, that had few customers to ship goods to?
It's a fact - and look at Amazon now....look at AliBaba - juggernauts. Personally, as a subscriber to Amazon Prime (it is the very best deal anywhere) I order everything from coffee to computer parts, gloves to gardening implements - all on Amazon. Shoot - I get my items delivered within 48 hours usually.
No traffic or parking hassles - no crowds - no p r e s s u r e - of any kind. So it matters little, or matters not at all, how our city may attempt to find innovative ways and initiatives to foster a re-growth of empty storefronts, in most instances the street level retail model is pretty much dead. Key pivotal shopping sectors, some retail malls, will continue and survive - but on a popular street such as St Denis, or St. Laurent in Montréal - there is no solution to inducing new stores/start-ups to risk investments along arteries that have been drained of their bloodstream. Reduction of taxes is not going to be enough of a motivator to lure enterprise. And so, what will become of all these empty stores? I believe we, as a society need to re-examine how storefront environments can be converted to organs of social benefit......convert them to reading rooms - convert them to homeless shelters - create community . . . . put p e o p l e back into these empty caves. Once accomplished, a natural outgrowth would be services and retail to cater to that new 'village'. Yes - create villages - many villages along these roadways of desolation.
Think about that.
Madrid Architect Iker Ochotorena Finds Sublime Serenity in Minimalism
In the living room of an apartment near Madrid’s Gran Via, Ochotorena paired a low-slung upholstered sofa and black stone coffee table of his own design with a chair by Christophe Delcourt and a floor lamp by Tommaso Cimini. Photo courtesy OOAA
Elsewhere in Madrid, on Calle Blanca de Navarra, Ochotorena designed a residence whose living room features a built-in, floor-to-ceiling, four-panel screen, which can be opened out to turn the alcove into a semiprivate guest room. The chairs are vintage French. Photo by Rafael Diéguez
The October 2019 issue of AD Spainfeatures one of the latest projects by Iker Ochotorena, the 35-year-old founder of the Madrid-based practice OOAA Arquitectura: a nearly 6,000-square-foot duplex in the Spanish capital’s Almagro district. The magazine’s cover displays the apartment’s living room, a subtle space outfitted in a mix of creams and beiges, with a low-slung linen-clad couch, a Willy Rizzo coffee table, a Charlotte Perriand stool and two welcoming armchairs upholstered in a plush teddy-bear-like fabric.
The following is work by the California architectural firm, Marmol Radziner
It is featured in the magazine, Introspective (by 1st Dibs), written by Fred A. Bernstein
The architects note that Marmol’s own weekend home, in Desert Hot Springs — about two hours east of L.A., near Palm Springs — sits within, rather than above, its surroundings. This allows it to engage with the land more fully. As one climbs up the stone path, an opening in the facade offers views of the nearby San Jacinto Mountains. Photo by David Glomb
As a matter of choice I work on a MAC. . . . . since 2007 when Apple opened up their OS to embrace Microsoft extensions, it is the platform I have worked with. I still maintain a high end PC for some CAD apps simply not available on MAC OS, and/or for tutoring of students in AutoCAD who work on a PC.
But the MAC environment is continually evolving, is constantly rich in features and efficiency tools.
One such I've discovered recently is called 'SideNotes'. It is just really cool - and it works flawlessly. Check out the youTube video here - it explains it much better than I could. One of the very cool features is that, if you work on dual monitors (I have two 27" Apple Cinema displays), the SideNotes 'tab' will automatically re-locate itself to whichever screen your mouse is currently active in - seamlessly.
SideNotes is distributed through another pretty cool MAC OS app, called SetApp. It is a monthly subscription that allows one to access a wide range of productivity apps for MAC.
From the SideNotes Press Release : : Apptorium today is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of SideNotes 1.0, the company's new note-taking solution developed exclusively for macOS. The application allows to take notes on the side of the monitor in a very comfortable manner " notes can be shown or hidden with a single click, by pressing a keyboard shortcut or by moving mouse cursor. The goal of the application is to work with handy notes, without getting distracted from one's main workflow. Application comes with very fine, clean and minimalistic User Interface.
For further information: Marcin Krzywonos (CEO) • Contact form
or their web-site: https://www.apptorium.com. The app is available directly from Apptorium or from Setapp.
2020 • 新年快樂 • Happy New year
What with the Coronavirus, my friends, ex-students + colleagues are indeed suffering through this most challenging time. It is my sincere hope that all will remain healthy, and find ways to share their happiness for this new year.
DecoratorsBest, an American supplier of many different brands of fabrics and wallpapers, has assembled a range of Asian designs in celebration of the Chinese New Year - here are a few of them.
Like a space capsule - a journeyer from, e l s e w h e r e • this is a spectacular batiment!
This is but only one of the amazing portfolio of the architectural firm of: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Brian MacKay-Lyons was born and raised in the village of Arcadia in Southwestern Nova Scotia. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1978 where he was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal. He received his Master of Architecture and Urban Design at U.C.L.A., and was awarded the Dean's Award for Design.After studying in China, Japan, California and Italy working with Charles Moore, Barton Myers and Giancarlo De Carlo, Brian returned to Nova Scotia in 1983 to challenge the historic maritime 'brain drain' trend, and to make a cultural contribution to Nova Scotia where his Acadian and Mi'kmaq ancestors have lived for centuries. In 1985 he founded the firm Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design in Halifax. Twenty years later, Brian partnered with Talbot Sweetapple to form MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd. The firm has built an international reputation for Design Excellence confirmed by over 100 awards including six Governor General Awards, two American Institute of Architects Honor Awards for Architecture, 13 Lieutenant Governor’s Medals of Excellence, 8 Canadian Architect Awards, four Architectural Record House Awards, seven North American Wood Design Awards and in 2014 the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Firm Award. In 2015, Brian was awarded the RAIC Gold Medal, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement in architecture. He is a fellow with both the RAIC and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA); Brian was named Honorary (International) Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (Hon.FAIA) in 2001 and most recently an International Fellow from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Int. FRIBA) in January, 2016.
Visit their web-site for a number of other outstanding architectural projects. You will not be disappointed.
I think I want one of these
FlyNano is a brand for fun of flying – no passengers, no cargo – just you and the endless blue. FlyNano is 100% electric. Weight under 70 kg. Water operations only.
Pilot license free. For anyone ever dreamt of flying.
It is 100% electric, weighs 70Kg, seats 1 (only) with a max speed of 120 Km/h, range 20 - 30 Km
But if you do get one then you'll need one of these:
Designed by Seven Seas Yachts
The Greek architect Nicolas Politis designed the hydrodynamic underwater hull and based its appearance on the 1959 Porsche 356 and the 1930s Gentleman's Runabout boats. Everything is made by hand in his shipyard. Step by step the parts of the boat are assembled, until finally everything comes together in an unparalleled boat. A magical moment...the Hermes Speedster
Modern loft-style apartments built atop a dentist’s office
This sleek, metal-clad building in Montreal is business on the bottom and dreamy loft-style living on the top. Paul Bernier Architecte expanded a street-level dental care practice—of all things!—by adding two floors above for a duo of apartments.
To make a distinction between the business and upper-level residences, the architects sheathed the front apartment windows in a perforated mesh screen. This striking facade made of aluminum panels obscures the interiors from the busy street traffic and casts a cool, dotted shadow pattern into the rooms. Lest you’re worried about natural lighting, the apartments feature huge skylights inside, plus expansive floor-to-ceiling windows toward the rear.
Both of the two-bedroom apartments embrace a modern aesthetic with gray walls, exposed infrastructure, black ceilings, and concrete floors. Out back, terraces and a green roof atop the garage add a necessary dose of nature to the industrial-chic setup.
Another fine watercolour from the talented Suzan Carsley : : Horses of a Different Colour, 9 ½" x 7 ½"
Just for fun : : some students, during introductory courses to understanding plans, elevation drawings and such, really struggle with getting the 'right' handle on views - so, a bunch of years ago, when I was bored one day, I set up this tongue-in-cheek photography model - was fun....but, when shown to students, they GET IT!
©michael moore 2008-2020
Phew! Think it's time to 'call it a day'.......another full issue - and still there's lots of stuff in my goody bag.
Will have to wait 'till next issue. I know - there was no DesignPreview this month, Why not? Because we are still appraising the possibility that we will move to two issues a month....so, again - stay tuned.
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