Mayhaps. . . . . . perhaps.
Why? Readers of the recent posts, both here and through other media, have been hearing about changes — an evolution. A progressive, positive development in the ongoing growth of DR•I.
First however, let's review the word, 'moment'. The most familiar definition is such as:
'I'll be with you in a moment'— an indefinitely short period of time. Along with other related usages of the word.
However, 'moment' also means, importance or consequence — as in, 'a decision of great moment.'
So, in the case today, perhaps the word 'great' may be left out - but, a decision of moment in our case carries the meaning, or suggestion, that something fundamental is changing - or is about to change.
Yes. . . . . .it's been in the works for a time, and now that time is nigh. And in keeping with the change,
our issues numbering will also change. This is Issue #5.0. It defines this fundamental shift in the way DR•I will flow from now on.
In the last issue we featured a product called CUBE — a digital colour scanner. Sortof magical 'tis.If you need to replicate, exactly, a colour one simply holds the CUBE up to the surface of the object, does a scan, and the device, along with the attendant software, produces the code for the colour. Output is available for most paint companies, or for Pantone. It's a real efficiency tool.
Three years ago, a Canadian company —NixSensors — brought to market this same product. Called the NIX Sensor it does exactly that (update: current version will also allow one to capture colour of a liquid).
Ar about the same time I was in the midst of the design of a really high-end kitchen in Montreal. The client had a very discerning taste — and many elements involved in the design were non-negotiable.
One such was the cabinetry colour. Client had a vision as to what they wanted it to be — he could explain it to me — he couldn't show it to me. Kinda leaves one 'dancing in the dark' in that situation. In any event,
design development was proceeding well — we all figured we'd pin down the colour 'one of these days.'
And one of those days occurred on a Sunday afternoon when the client called and announced, 'We found it! The exact colour we want!' When I queried 'where, what', he said, 'We found this antique salad bowl in a shop - of course we bought it. . . . .and that's the exact colour we want. So, what next?', he asked.
I said, 'Sit tight - I'm on my way — bringing my trusty scanner and we'll nail it down.'
Well, I did, and we did. As per the following.
The next steps involved sourcing the pigment to a paint producer who could provide that colour in the type of paint necessary for use in cabinetry applications. But, I was also able to do that. From the millwork manufacturer (Ebenisterie Nostra, Montréal) we obtained a finish sample — which we reviewed and approved.
The nature and style of this kitchen design was simplicity personified - very z e n , if I may be so presumptuous. But the following photographs certainly emphasize that point. For example - there is no visible hardware, no knobs, no pulls, no handles. The base cabinets, of a beautiful walnut, have continuous finger grooves from one end of the kitchen to the other. All upper cabinets are touch-latch doors. Also, there are no appliances, save for a small scale espresso machine, on the counter. Even the microwave is hidden away behind one of the upper cabinet doors.
The overall effect is utter simplicity — the blue colour is unique in a kitchen, but more importantly, it is exactly 'what the doctor ordered.'
So — I strongly suggest that all of you - architects, interior designers, graphic designers - invest in this amazing tool. You will not regret it. Following are some photographs of the kitchen.
Yeah It's c o l d ! Brrrr! But, also, it's cool - no?
There are SO many things I want to do when I win the SUPER lottery......this is but one of them.
I've written of this before - the fantasy is to buy (not rent) a super class expedition craft like this and set sail - 'round the world. Yes? Anybody wanna sign up for crew?
It would be kinda like having your very own, veddy b r i t i s h private club. No — there's nothing wrong with that — if'n you can afford it.
RAGNAR is not just a charter yacht. RAGNAR is a powerful portal into a world of adventure and excitement, an ice breaking vortex that transports the brave and the bold into a world of bears and orca, of midnight fire in the sky and glistening, untouched pistes of snow and ice. RAGNAR grants the willing the ability to fly with eagles, to dive with whales, to carve through the waves with the power of 800 horses and to race across snowy valleys at the twist of a wrist.
At the end of another day of living as few will ever live and seeing what few will ever see, RAGNAR's 12 guests will retire to two elevated B deck master suites, four main deck double suites, a twin suite for staff and an office that converts into another twin suite.
RAGNAR has Arctic explorer capability, the power to handle all weathers with full ice breaking functionality, 6,000nm range and zero speed stabilisers for peaceful nights. Guests will need at least a week to experience all of her toys, including an Airbus EC145 helicopter for heliskiing and a three-passenger submarine to explore the depths, both available by request.
Add to that the 8.9m Marell ice condition tender with 800hp engines and power
heating and two 7.5m Castoldi jet tenders, four jetskis,four snowmobiles,
four quadbikes and you understandthe unbreakable
spirit of adventure that flows through
RAGNAR and her guests.
So - here we have yet — just another house — in the hills — in the woods • • •
not too shabby.
But, as I have been doing more lately, I examine, closely, the design, the content — the design intent, in fact. . . . . .always asking myself, 'Was this successful? As a design — as a place to be - is it successful?'
And, 'Do I like it? What might be, should be, improved?'
Yes, I know - it's presumptuous to even suggest that I - or someone else - knows better. But — knowing better is not really the point. Knowing ALL the options - all the choices that make sense — THAT, is the point. As a design professional I have never been shy to tell a Client exactly what my thoughts, opinions are.
I did that one day, many years ago, with a high-powered President of an international oil/gas company . . .
He has asked me, 'So son - what would you do to make this place better maybe?' And I told him - lucidly, intelligently. He looked at me, kinda pissed off and then said, in a very peremptory, challenging tone,
'Oh! So THAT'S what you would do huh?'and he waited my response. I calmly looked at him, took a deep breath and replied, 'Well, Sir - that IS what you asked me.' He looked hard at me, slapped his thigh and said, 'You're damned right I did - and thank you for not chickening out on me!" We enjoyed a long-running professional and personal relationship from then on.
So - here goes - this, the Ledge House - is kinda cool. Perhaps to my mind a little overly brittle but it could be warmed up. But I have one objection. . . . . the black and the white, in general, albeit a very slick rhythm for a city dwelling, is somewhat misplaced in the beautiful woods. But, it CAN be made to be workable - except - except the damn chimney-pipe throws everything out of balance, IMHO.
So - read on - at the very end you will see one photograph taken as it was built. It is followed by the same photograph but wherein I 'removed' the chimney-pipe, via Photoshop. Who amongst you thinks it's an improvement or should it have been left well enough alone? And, oh - BTW - don't attempt to use the rationale that the chimney-pipe had to be there, in only that location......I'm not convinced of that. But even if 'there so, could it not be white?
Desai Chia Architecture : Ledge House
Text description provided by the architects. The Ledge House clients asked us to design a new home that would resonate with the history of the Connecticut Valley, include a material palette that is environmentally friendly, and works with the challenging site on a large rock ledge. We removed an existing cabin that had been expanded in unsuccessful ways over time by a previous owner; we were able to reuse the cabin’s foundation (which saved money and reduced construction waste) & add to it to simplify the footprint of the building while amplifying the program. The new footprint moved the house closer to an existing boulder- a prehistoric “glacial erratic” that was deposited along with the ledge hundreds of thousands of years ago when the glaciers formed the Appalachian Mountains.
The boulder is a rugged companion to the house and acts as a muse for the uphill forest views. The form of the house was inspired by indigenous barns of the area as well as the nearby, historic West Cornwall Covered Bridge. A clever structural system utilized balloon framing techniques— the beams, walls, sheathing, and a carefully calibrated nailing pattern allows the structure to perform as a unified diaphragm, eliminating the need for exposed cross bracing. The interior vaulted ceilings are open volumes of space accentuated by clean planar surfaces.
The living room, dining room, and kitchen form the nucleus of a large breezeway through the house; the breezeway was strategically positioned to take advantage of the views to the valley, the uphill cross-ventilating breezes, and an existing boulder that becomes a rugged companion to the house and the views of the landscape. The exterior of the house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban siding which offers a rot-resistant and bug-resistant finish that also articulates the iconic form of the building. The interior finishes are light and airy.
Et finalement : : les deux versions : :
So here's an odd looking house.
Wait a minute - do you think it's house? Kinda weird - the façade backed up against the cliff face like that
If it's a house it sure doesn't have much room in it - you think?
. . . and who are all those strange looking guys out front? They look like - firefighters. . . . . maybe there's
Ahhhh! Making a little more sense now - the façade is exactly just that - a façade — it backs up to the cliff face and tunnels like this lead off the front. But - why?
Margreid Fire Department
A cliff face is the setting for the new Magreid Fire Department station: three caves digged in the mountain are connected by a horizontal gallery. The first two caves are reserved for vehicles and machinery, whereas administration areas are located in the third one. a black concrete wall is placed with a one meter offset from the slanted mountain wall, replicating its geometry. the wall becomes a defining element of the project and works also as a shield against falling rocks. concrete was selected as the main material because of its durability, resistance and strength. The dark color recalls that of burnt wood and it was obtained with beech coal dust.
Client: Margreid an der Weinstraße Municipality
Location: Margreid an der Weinstraße,Italy
Time of completion : : 2010
Photography : : Günter Richard Wett, Jürgen Eheim, Ulrich Egger, Gustav Willeit
EulJiDaRag / Limtaehee Interior Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects.
EulJiDaRag is located in the middle of Seoul, which is famous for the Korean Industrial zone for several decades. Now many of the industries including industries of apparel, fabric, dyeing and finishing, machinery, parts, and accessories, have moved to a suburb area or far away from Seoul. However, we still can see many small factories remained in Seoul.
The meaning of time in these locations is one of the most important considerations in terms of design. The industrial area is shrinking in size, but it still is a historic place that has supported Seoul's industry. To reflect the history of these areas, we sought to minimize the possible deformations of existing buildings and preserve their historic imprints even from the old signs and graffiti. Another important concept was the meaning of the process.
Each step has its design and aesthetics. As a result of the completion, we hoped that the previous steps would blend in the space so visitors can see them in slow motion. To implement the above concepts concretely, we decided to create a space only with the materials including metals, acrylics, glass, mirrors, and profiles processed in the area where most factories were located. We created the details using fabrics, threads, and sewing machines that historically empowered the fashion industry. Especially the fabric, which is the raw material of fashion, was the most important source of inspiration because it was a space run by the fashion company, KOLON.
So - some of you may be wondering why I included this design example. For a couple of reasons -
one, I love the carefully calculated contrast, the contrast in mood and tactility that is found in this space.
Seems that is something that is not easily taught. Why not? Because it's impossible to quantify, right?
One can't simply say, 'Okay - take 8 yards of funkyWall/old plaster and combine it with 125 sq ft of aniline dyed leather - and then add a dozen really sharp LED lights.' It's not a recipe - or it's simply not
'recipe-able'. And yes - I know that's not really a word. But perhaps you understand what I'm saying.
Instinct, intuitiveness - a 'feel' for textures and tone - these are some of the 'invisibles' that form the chemistry in mood spaces. So - there's that.
Plus, we seem to see so very little in the way of design coming out of South Korea. What I have seen is usually innovative, unique and has its own kind of edge to it. Maybe being in such intense proximity to its neighbour promotes a different sense of what's important - even in things design.
And finally - and I've never done this before - but a few years ago I had a South Korean student - Minjee.
In her former life in Korea she had been a high school algebra teacher. In settling in Canada she turned to Interior Design as a new place to start a new life. And she is, and was, extremely talented - and one of the hardest working students I've ever encountered. So - I know not where she is now, except last I heard she had found a position with a design firm in Toronto. I wish her well - the very best — and in a way this inclusion is a little bit of an acknowledgement of her special attributes as a student of interior design.
Bet you all know the answer to this question : : "What is selling?"
Of course you do — you yourself are either constantly selling or being sold to - right?
Do you like it? Either way, do you like it? I suppose it depends on many factors - only natural.
But if you stop and think about the times you've been sold to - been the customer, the buyer — do you remember the best experiences you had at those times? I know you remember the worst - we all do.
But the best memories, I'm sure, are when the money has passed hands, you are in receipt of the goods, and you are excited both about your future experience with the whatever but also you're excited because you actually enjoyed the experience. I'm right, right?
Do you know there are generally considered to be three distinctive kinds of selling? Yes - there are.
And I'm gonna tell you -
Value Added selling.
And can you guess which one is the one you'll probably like the best? You're possibly wrong!
Why? Because the very best kind of selling experience to have is when all three are a part of the process.
Yes, of course - any one will do. Transactional selling is like when you pop into buy a newspaper.
Relationship selling is when you pop into by the newspaper but you have nice quick chat with
Mr Proprietor as he hands you the paper, makes change - makes small talk - asks how your kids are - right? And Value Added Selling is when he does all those things and offers you a morning coffee - gratis - at the same time.
And so you're wondering, 'What on earth is this guy going on about? Just give me my paper and let me get on my way!'
Okay - but when one has the 3-in-1 selling (buying) experience he remembers that - and he remembers that the salesperson went the extra distance to assist - to help out, to solve problems. And next time you'll go back to that same person or business in order to repeat the pleasant and rewarding experience.
And so it is with guys like Fred Black and Ronnie Usheroff. They have been the mainstays of TRAS Office Systems for 20+ years. And although I knew and worked with Fred way back then, it had been quite a while since I was undertaking any office furniture assignments. And when recently I realized I needed the help of someone I could trust, I called Fred. And although it's been many years it was as if there hadn't been - we picked up where we left off. Fred was insightful, experienced, wise and experienced, helpful and - did I say, experienced? He was all that — and I found exactly what I needed, and more importantly exactly what I wanted, with his help and guidance.
The whole crew at TRAS - from Fred and Ronnie to Lawrence Stein and Gajan Veermaraha - are all consummate professionals with over a 100 man-years of experience between them. And they know their products. See, TRAS may have started out selling used office furniture but the major manufacturers soon realized these guys were special - and they started being wooed to take on lines such as Global, Logiflex, Humanscale, Ambienti Moderne, Nightingale, GArdex, Lincora and others.
So - a word to the wise - a word to my architect and designer friends and colleagues - when you need the best service, the best k n o w l e d g e about product and performance, go see TRAS.....let them,
TRASforme you. You'll be all the better for it.
My bag of goodies is still overflowing - shame. Just so much great stuff. . . . . not enough hours, not enough space.
So - we're off on a new/improved track - hopefully. As noted this format will continue for the next while.
Most of your names/addresses have been removed from the substack mailer — those that haven't all begin to receive DR•I in it's sectional format - soon.
Again - please comment (you do that at the BEGINNING of the blog - okay?) and ask questions - or even scream and yell. It's all okay
DR•I has followed a pretty clear path these past 4 years. It has been a pretty simple path with a very clear focus : : to seek out new, novel and interesting examples of design - be they architectural, industrial, graphic interior or otherwise.
In years past (2010 - 2012) I published a weekly design blog
[https://designplan.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/1-1/] — and yes, you can still access many of the posts from that time. The link shown will take you to the post dated January 2011. After a couple of years I moved the blog over to my own server and renamed it DesignPlanOnline. Those posts were lost as a result of a hard drive crash, unfortunately. Must confess, doing a weekly issue was very, very demanding - and again, I stuck to the policy, NO ADS - ever.
to seek out new, novel and interesting examples of design - be they architectural, industrial, graphic interior or otherwise
'Tis mid-August, believe it or not. Nights are already cooler, sunrises a little later. As we fade toward the fall, personally I look forward to it. I love the bracing chill, the hint of change coming. And yet we're showing you this little gem. A BBQ.
But for sure it ain't your reg'lar run-o-the-mill BBQ, no it ain't.It's special and a large part of its specialness is its simplicity. And you know - all of you know - that my credo is 'the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance.'
There for sure be no i r r e l e v a n c e in this puppy! Clean, pure, functional - just a lil' marvel it be.
Whaddaya think? As I have looked at it, closely - thought about it, I realized it has one serious flaw.....it should be sold in pairs. I mean, how cool, no? That way you can have chicken or sausage or duck - or a big ole pot of chicken stew cookin' away on one, and the strip loins and baked potatoes on the other.
So, being as I'm a curious cat, I drug out my trusty Photoshop and gave it a go -
Whaddaya think? I'm right, right? Sure I am — two of these babies ('cause they sure don't take up no room) is for sure better than one.
On another note, if you're at all handy — or you are willing to pay someone else to be handy for you, it would be no big deal to retrofit one of these babies to run on propane. Drill a hole in the backplate, run the gas line through the wall (as would be the case here) and down the backside where the propane tank is not showing itself all ugly.
From their web-site, SIGMAFOCUS : : This steel wall barbecue folds up, so that when closed it takes up limited space.
Attractive in both open and closed positions, the Sigmafocus offers a range of cooking heights. It is easy to attach to any wall (there are only two fixation points).
The generous ash pan allows the barbecue to be used a number of times without having to empty it out. The disc that attaches to the wall protects the wall from smoke.
And this video sure shows it off best.
This does have a meaning — read on
THIS BATTERY GRIP TURNS ANY SMARTPHONE INTO A FULL-FLEDGED PROFESSIONAL DSLR CAMERA
By Takashi Yamada
This may be the most well-designed smartphone grip we’ve seen in quite a while…
They say (and I’ve repeated this multiple times) that the best camera isn’t the one with the biggest sensor or the highest megapixel value, it’s the one that’s closest to you. Photography is so much about capturing the right moment that it really is about accessibility more than it is about technology… because what good is a camera if it isn’t around when you need it the most?
Smartphone cameras have gotten pretty good over the past few years. I just bought a new one myself and get this… 30x zoom on a device that slides into my pocket. Incredible, isn’t it? The only thing that’s missing from the smartphone photography experience is, however, the actual experience. Smartphones are dictated by their need to be thin, not by their need to be comfortable, which is why DSLRs have a very tangible edge over them. You could shoot for hours with a DSLR without your hand cramping, but try taking a selfie with your smartphone and you sprain like 5 muscles in your thumb alone just trying to reach the shutter button. I’ve seen my share of camera grips for smartphones that give it an ergonomic upgrade, but the ProGrip just stands out for a bunch of reasons.
The ShiftCam ProGrip comes with a universal gripping mechanism that allows you to clip any smartphone onto it and turn it into a pro-shooter. It features a Bluetooth shutter button that’s perfectly positioned so that you can click images with your index finger, and a grip that’s so inviting, you’re more likely to focus on photography rather than accidentally dropping your phone (it’s a real concern, believe me). The grip comes with a swivel joint that allows you to flip the phone over into portrait mode while you’re holding it in landscape, giving you varying degrees of freedom and the ability to shoot in a way that’s comfortable to you. Now that we’ve covered the basic stuff, let’s get to why the ShiftCam ProGrip stands out from brands like Pictar or Moment when it comes to providing the best DSLR-like experience.
Within the ProGrip’s voluminous gripping area is space for 2 x 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries. These batteries hook directly to a Qi charging coil within the ProGrip that wirelessly charges your phone while you’re in the middle of a shoot. Built with fast-charging, the ProGrip extends your smartphone’s camera experience by actually prolonging it, so you could go on shoots for the entire day without worrying about battery depletion… or you could grab long time-lapses without worrying about having a power-bank handy, because the ProGrip is, in fact, a power bank! The grip even comes with a flat surface that allows you to rest the ProGrip on its side, turning it into a tripod of sorts. Perhaps the first (and only) smartphone camera grip to wirelessly charge and dock your device, the ProGrip’s nifty design detail allows you to rest your phone on a surface, using it as not just a tripod to film content, but even your own multimedia device that lets you do everything from attending to hands-free video calls, or watching recipes as you cook along in the kitchen… and in case you really want to go professional and use a tripod, the ProGrip has a 1/4″ tripod mount built in, along with a cold shoe mount for various accessories like lighting setups or external microphones. Up until now, the smartphone camera was the most convenient option available… with the ProGrip, it’s also the most advanced camera experience available!
Designer: ShiftCam Design Team $119.00
From ArchDaily : :
Text description provided by the architects.
Immersed in Costa Rica’s mythic elements, Origins Lodge captures the wild opulence of nature along with Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian history.
Tucked up high on a mountainside with a 250° panoramic view of the valley, volcanoes and Lake Nicaragua, Origins is influenced by Costa Rica’s pre-Colombian circular architecture. With the passionate support of Origins’ owner, designers Patrick Rey and Hugues Blanchère modernized the honored antique philosophies and natural building techniques to create a place shaped by nature and tamed by low-impact luxury.
The buildings’ exteriors were designed to meld with their natural surroundings, giving them their own identity and personality. Even the vegetation on the living roofs was selected after careful consideration of the neighboring trees, colors and sightline of each particular area. The interiors, on the other hand, were designed to enhance Origins’ overarching energys by defining each space through natural lighting, organic textures and artistic craftsmanship.
The curves of the six private bungalows echo the serpentine curves of the jungle. The bungalows include private hot plunge pools heated by wood fire on each terrace. Much attention was put into synergising the flow of nature in each bungalow: from using an operculum in the ceilings, to positioning each bungalow in a way that allows rainforest clouds to literally fill the room on certain days. Suspended amongst the treetops higher up on the mountainside, the 3-bedroom Villa Vertigo is the essence of raw luxury, exhibiting the use of aggregated raw materials handcrafted by local artisans exclusively for Villa Vertigo.
The design team implemented several traditional and indigenous techniques that are pillars of low-impact construction, thus making Origins an exceptional venue , where one can admire the fusion of creative engineering, sustainability and ingenuity.
You've heard this from me before : : beyond the core responsibilities a designer has to his client --
the responsible delivery of a shared vision, management and control of costs and timeframes —
an unfailing dedication to interpretation of purpose — there is, like tactility is, one more subliminal responsibility. . . . that is to create m o o d . Mood is chemistry that captures one's soul, that imbues one with a sense of peace, serenity, tranquility - and a sense of well-being. The designers/architects of this spectacular retreat have done that. In fact, IMHO, they started with that and then shaped, formed the architecture, the envelope about it. Bravo! Really, really well done.
It's a what?
The Geberit wall drain permits floor-even showering in pure form. Integrated behind the wall, it is outstanding not only for its elegance but also for its clear added value in terms of planning, installation and maintenance.
Features / Benefits:
Clear separation of trades thanks to pipeline placement in the wall
Optional collector profile for efficient and precise formation of the slope in the floor
Integrated comb insert which can be removed and washed out in no time at all
Now - THAT'S what I'm talkin' about : : clean, elegant - super cool
Something fishy going on here!
Yes! There is : : these fabulous paintings are from : :
In the early 18th century, publisher, bookseller, and apparent fish enthusiast Louis Renard compiled the seminal compendium of color-illustrated ichthyological studies. The volume contains more than 450 species rendered in vibrant hues that, while somewhat anatomically accurate, feature embellishments in color and characteristics. From beak-like mouths to extraordinarily patterned skins, the vast illustrations of marine life are unusual, bizarre, and sometimes psychedelic.
A digital copy of Renard’s work—which officially is titled Fishes, crayfish and crabs, of various colors and extraordinary figures, which one finds around the Moluccas islands and on the coasts of the Austral lands—is available in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an incredible open-access digital archive. Overall, the library estimates that about 9 percent of the illustrations are fabricated, a detail that’s unsurprising considering the Dutch publisher never traveled to the East Indies to complete his studies. Instead, he copied 460 hand-colored copper engravings from other artists, many of which were contributed by soldier and painter Samuel Fallours who was based in Ambon, Indonesia. In a similarly duplicitous manner, the library also believes that Renard identified himself as a secret agent to the British crown as a way to sell more copies of his work.
I was so taken by the surreal beauty of these renderings that I just had to extrapolate this one, and placed it on a black background in Photoshop.
It's a show-stopper methinks.
The tome was published in three editions, and only 16 of the initial printing, which happened between 1718 and 1719, are known to exist. Thirty-four copies of the second version from 1754 remain, which is also the iteration shown here. There are just six books left from the third printing in 1782.
Page through the entire compendium in the digital library. To enjoy the vivid illustrations off-screen, Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings, is selling masks and prints of the enhanced creatures.
It's interesting to see - it's interesting to feel, well - validated, sort of. The great web-site Dezeen, just published their 2020 Architectural Long List _ from which a winner will be chosen. The interesting part for DR•I is that in previous issues we have featured a few of these designs in our issues. We may be, on the right track here. Next issue we will delve into some of those specifics.
For now, enjoy the Dezeen issue here.
Who amongst you all, are convinced you have an infallible 'eye' — an eye for colour. Who of you, or who do you know that possesses that kinda black magic voodoo ability to 'carry colour'? What do I mean, 'carry colour'? That one can look at a colour - say of a room or a sweater, and can then, some time later, be able to pick out the paint chip or colour swatch that is if not an exact match, pretty darned close?
If it's not a part of your DNA you can train yourself. Fortunately for me, it came pretty natural. But even with that ability, that skill, it's still only a 'best guess', right? Well, about 5 years ago a new company, a Canadian company - Hamilton based - came on the scene. They introduced their product, the NIX ColourSensor. And it was cool. I bought one immediately. I have used it reliably a few times - especially when a client for whom I was designing a new kitchen, insisted that the upper cabinets were to be lacquer painted to exactly match an antique blue/white salad bowl. I scanned the blue, determined the Pantone equivalent and then had the cabinet-maker order that exact colour — it was a huge success!
Following here is a product that copied NixSensor - the CUBE. It is also pretty awesome — judge for your self. Next issue we will do an in-depth review of NIX.
CUBE by Palette : : https://palette.com
With a single tap, Cube removes the guess-work from color-matching and makes it easy to save and work with the colors that surround you. An essential for designers of any kind, Cube integrates with smartphones and desktops to put you in colorful, creative control. Cube is the perfect creative companion for graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, interior designers, trade painters, and any other creative minds that love color.
Capture color from just about anything. Store, favorite and share your colors with the free Cube Companion App. Reveal RGB, HEX and CMYK values, match to paint libraries or match straight to Photoshop's built-in libraries—such as Pantone—and artist palettes, spray paint palettes and more.
Take the guesswork out of color matching and instantly find the perfect shade from thousands of built in paint and art colors including:
· Behr · Benjamin Moore · CIL · COPIC · Crown Trade · Dunn Edwards · ECOS Organic · Farrow & Ball · Glidden · Holbein · Interpon RAL · Kelly Moore · Montana Acrylic · Montana Gold · Montana MTN94 · Molotow · Sherwin-Williams · RAL Classic · RAL Design · Royal Horticultural Society
Just think — you could scan and import the exact colour match of an ink colour, a paint chip - whatever, directly into Photoshop.
The NIX ColourSensor has advanced to the point where you can now scan a glass of scotch or a fine
deep ruby Cabernet-Sauvignon — and use that colour in whichever way you need to.
A SOBERING NOTE
Honestly? I struggled with my decision as to include this in DR•I. Why? Because it is not an example of design, or innovation - it does not celebrate clever solutions to client problems — it is - well, it's a sobering moment.
It has gone on long enough - far, far too long, most would agree. Our current international paralysis occasioned by the pandemic. You don't need — and you don't want, to hear it said again, here.
DR•I is intended to provide welcome distraction, right? To provoke contemplation and curiosity about design and its values.
'But", I argued with myself, 'One is doing oneself a disservice if one sticks head in sand and says, 'Hmmm...nothing new here!'
So the prudent half won out and I decided it be better to be aware, to be, or become, prepared.
An old saying, as a teacher, springs up - 'You don't know what you don't know.'
Before continuing with some hard data allow me to state why I'm concerned. Think back - a few months ago - around April/May, when Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter) announced to all 5,000 Twitter employees, and the world, 'Hey! Stay home - work from home. It's okay - not for just a few months - like forever. This will become Twitters' new work paradigm. ' This is para-phrasing his actual statement - but is the correct context to the statement he made.
So, I did some thinking. How does that affect everyone other than those 5,000 employees?
Let's do some arithmetic — if you agree that in a typical office environment it's not unreasonable to assume that every employee occupies 100 sq ft of space......that would include circulation space, meeting rooms, cafeterias, washrooms, whatever. Not an unreasonable amount. After all most dedicated workstations have a footprint of 35 - 50 sq ft to start with.
Okay - 5,000 X 100 = 500,000 sq ft of space. All commercial leases are based on an agreed upon amount of X dollars per sq. ft - per year. A modest commercial rental rate is say, $30.00/sq ft. That is $15 million per year that Twitter is obliged to pay to the Landlord. WOW! Double WOW!
Okay — like, so what? Well here's so what : : Twitter is going to have to negotiate their way out of their lease. Depending on where they are in a conventional 5 year term.Let's, for the sake of this exercise, allow that they are halfway through their term. Therefore with 30 months remaining on the lease the Landlord has a legal right to expect to receive $37.5 million by the end of the next 30 months. Phew!
And Twitter is going to just let that space sit empty? Some may say, 'Don't be silly. They'll sub-let it'.
And, maybe they could - at a deep, deep loss - but we won't go there. Let's continue with this model.
If Twitter, under normal circumstances, were to complete their lease obligations, but not renew the lease at the end of five years - and vacate the premises, there is one more awesomely expensive financial whack they would have to take. All commercial leases require that the Tenant, upon relinquishing a property, must foot the bill to return the space to its raw, empty condition - at their sole expense.
WOW! WOW again! Demolition and removal costs could easily run another $20.00/sq ft. OMG!
That's a further $10 million — cut that in half - a fire sale rate - still $5 million.
See where we're going here? It's not only Twitter. Twitter is a small corporate tenant. Facebook alone leases in excess of 35,000 sq ft in Manhattan. . . . and that is not their only facility in New York City.
Do that math! Everything would multiply by, a lot.......
so in light of that we are now starting to see, very tentative 'test-the-waters' corporate opinions as to what the fall-out is likely to be - globally - in the next year or so.
Last week, August 9 to be exact, CNBC published an article, opinion in respect to exactly this crisis.
To be safe, I suspect they focused on the Asian markets so as not to scare the be-Jeezus out of all of us......check it out:
Some office space could get permanently cut during the pandemic. Here’s how companies will cope
The report went on to say:
Working from home has become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic, and Morgan Stanley predicts that office tenants across Asia will permanently give up between 3% and 9% of their existing office space.
That will result in rent declining between 10% and 15% over the next three years, a recent report by the investment bank estimated.
Big tenants from the financial and IT industries, which have well established business continuity plans or work-from-home infrastructure, could give up even more office space — at 10% over the next three years, said the report.
Below is the projected rental impact from June 2020 to December 2022, according to the report which assessed the rental impact on key financial centers in Asia Pacific.
How companies will cope with less spaceAs companies cut their office space, Morgan Stanley predicted that they will do it through a combination of three strategies.
One option would embark on desk-sharing, where everyone works from home one day a week. That can save 20% of office space, the investment bank says.
“Across Asia, desk space per person has been declining for some time. We expect that to remain flat or grow if social distancing requirements are adhered to for longer. However, unless COVID-19 lingers for an extended period, we do not expect social distancing to drive office demand, as highlighted by many property consultants,” Morgan Stanley wrote.
Another strategy would identify some functions that can be permanently done from home, such as human resources or other back-office jobs. Companies could also look into relocating some roles to low-cost locations such as India or Vietnam, according to the report.
The investment bank predicted that if companies have any additional demand for office space, they would tap on flexible work spaces instead.
• This is not the complete report — go here to read the complete article.
But hear me out, please. This is not intended to be 'doom and gloom'. Its purpose is to provoke awareness. This will be the new reality. I have personally spoken to many who report that in very large corporate premises, her in Montreal, there is only a scant skeleton staff in the premises. In one case, in a 12 storey building, only 6 people!
My question - my BIG question is, since this will be the new normal - vast landscapes of unoccupied commercial office space - what will become of those empty floors?
Think about it! It would be far, far too costly - if even viable or possible, to retrofit whole floors to residential accommodation. Good lord - just the plumbing costs would be out-of-this world. Some I have discussed this with suggest those cavernous empty floors could be outfitted as classrooms. Now, that's silly! There is no shortage of classrooms - especially when many/most students will be distance educating.
And so, here's 'the rub'— who can come up with a creative idea to harvest these new moonbases?
Just to put this into perspective, Place Ville Marie is comprised of four quadrants of space entered about the tower core. Each wing is approximately 10,000 sq ft. Whatcha gonna do with multiple floors/wings with nobody in them?
Worrisome? You bet yer booties it is! Think about it.
When ya gotta go - well, ya just gotta go!
The Japanese have always been trailblazers in many, many things. Culturally, sociologically, architecturally. And now, this:
The humble and much maligned (with good reason) public toilet.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, these are now a part of the Tokyo street scene.
From a CNN report:
One of Tokyo's most popular districts has recently added some unusual new attractions: transparent public toilets.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, the two new sets of see-through restrooms have been installed in Shibuya, the bustling city center famous for its busy pedestrian crossing.
Though the restrooms sound risqué, they're actually part of an innovative project aimed at changing people's perceptions of public toilets.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, a Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm, the two new sets of transparent toilets have been installed in two Shibuya parks -- Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park.
"There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park," says a statement on the project's official website, Tokyotoilet.jp. "The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside."
Shigeru Ban Architects' design tackles these two concerns by offering a toilet with glass walls that -- at first -- allows the public to see through from the outside. But once a user enters the toilet and locks the door, the walls turn opaque to provide privacy.
"This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside," says the statement. "At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern."
What's it like to use one?
During CNN Travel's visit to the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park this week, a steady stream of visitors came to take photos of the new attraction.
The toilet facilities were impressively clean, a mix of gleaming white and chrome.
Part of the thrill is that once inside, you can't tell if the glass is frosted or not. The walls between the compartments have mirrors installed, adding to the weird feeling of being on display.
This means it's incredibly important remember to secure the door lock, which is located well below the handle.
During our visit, one person presumably did indeed forget to lock it, stirring laughter among those outside. Both park facilities include a women's toilet, a men's toilet and a multi-use toilet.
All in all, pretty cool. The use of photo-voltaic glass and its properties is not new - not really. Some very forward-thinking tech-savvy corporate premises have used such glass to enclose conference
rooms - when visual privacy is required, hit a switch and the glass becomes opaque.
'k - done! Done now. . . . .it's a lot, but not yet, enough. Well another issue in a couple of weeks.
And maybe - just maybe, a major announcement about DR•I and it's continuous improvement and development. It may well be that soon - real soon, we'll transition to a weekly publication. Can't say anymore just yet. Of course, each issue would, by necessity, be a little smaller in terms of 'volume' of content — but, you're all okay with that, right?
BTW - if anyone LOVES the fish graphic and wants a real live print, contact us. We will print - on photographic quality paper - any of the marine life shown, at 11" x 17", full colour (with a background colour of your choice from any of the colours that are present in the image - for the princely sum of $30.00 + shipping. Shipping will be in a rigid cardboard tube. Let us know.
Ever heard it? The classic Abbott & Costello baseball routine? Still funny 70+ years later • • • •
I'm not gonna repeat it here - but go read it for yourself....then watch the video on youTube.
Why? Let's just say, the times, and the tone, of these times require it . . . . . .
Where else but San Francisco? How many of our readers have been there I wonder? Whether you have, or whether you haven't — it is, the most special place. Me? I've visited SanFran either four or five times. I must confess - it's been 25 years since my last trip.
Okay - so we did things a little bit differently this time - you've seen all the exterior shots - hope it whetted your appetite.
DWELL magazine just ran this feature property for sale - $5,500,00.00 USD - once you've 'toured' it you'll agree, it's a bargain.
Housed in a former laundry and tooth powder warehouse, the Fillmore Factory House is an industrial haven in San Francisco. The 3,600 square foot residence features three bedrooms and three baths with a home office and a loft. Living spaces take advantage of the building's 17-foot ceilings while exposed ceilings, beams, and rough cut floors maintain the historic charm. At the center of the interior, a pair of stacked shipping containers hold an ensuite bedroom on the bottom and an office with a bunk above. On the rooftop, an additional 800 square feet of living space provides a custom bar with 11-foot custom teak bar top and lounge area backed by views of the city.
This truly one-of-a-kind space prominently features industrial design elements while retaining the warmth and comforts of a single-family home in design and layout. 3600± sq.ft., 3 bedrooms/baths and home office with loft, this voluminous space features ±17' ceilings and custom artisan details throughout, including two internal customized cantilevered shipping containers, teak vanities, Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances, indoor/outdoor multi-zone Sonos-powered sound system and state-of-the-art projection home theater as well as a 2-car garage with additional storage/workspace.
Additional 800± sq.ft. of outdoor living space completes the experience with custom-built outdoor bar featuring professional bar touches and 11’ custom slab teak bartop and under-bar heaters, fire table and grill area.
Upstairs bedroom comes complete with its own deck and massive catamaran-style hammock. Privacy, sophistication, true NY SOHO loft living in an established, vibrant neighborhood.
See the tub in the far corner? Draw back the full height draperies et voila!
Office / Guest Room
If you had to - really had to, leave your heart in San Francisco, this would be pretty good spot to leave it.
From ArchDaily : : Jakob presents Green façades, which is a wall system, where climbing plants or cascading groundcovers are trained to cover specially designed supporting structures.
Green façades use climbing plants, which are divided into self-supporting plants like root climbers or adhesive-suckers, and plants that need supporting structure, like twining vines, leaf-stem climbers, leaf climbers, or scrambling plants.
There are different types of support structures for Jakob's Green façades:
Modular trellis system: Stainless steel cable and rope wire systems consist of a kit of parts that includes high-tensile steel cables, wire trellises, anchors, spacers, and supplementary equipment. Vertical and horizontal wires can be connected through cross clamps to form a flexible trellis system in various sizes and patterns. And to cover large areas, stainless steel wire-rope nets can be supported on flexible or rigid frames.
Single cables system: Cables can be oriented in a vertical or horizontal arrangement and spaced to suit the overall look and/or plant type selected. Single Cable Trellis systems are a great way to draw vines up a space while scrambling plants love to sprawl sideways along horizontal style trellises.
Webnet for Greening: The stainless-steel mesh Webnet as a plant support blends well with modern architecture and enables an exact greening of the façade.
Spinnaker House (2018), the most recent work of Sparks Architects, reconciles another monumental setting. It builds upon lessons learnt by the practice over more than a decade of being challenged by precarious sites. Perched on the edge of an escarpment overlooking Hervey Bay, Queensland, the building seeks to balance the visual opportunities of the landscape, while providing sanctuary from the windy coastal environment. The building projects confidently, its sloping form paralleled by the falling ground below. The continuity of roof and wall strengthens its presence, making it a defiant object in a windswept landscape. Like many projects before it, Spinnaker House’s building section reveals most about the architectural intentions. Light and glare, breeze and wind, are controlled by the manipulation of enclosure. Occupation is encouraged to the very edge of the building, against the leaning timber screen hovering on the precipice. X : : https://architectureau.com/articles/sparks-architects/
The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is considered to be the West Coast’s premier design showhouse event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top Interior Designers. Selected to design “His Office” for the 2015 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, ABD STUDIO explored the concept of beauty resulting from destruction. A timeless design, the space featured a highly textured custom shou sugi ban desk with a patinaed antique brass sculptural base and an abstract painting depicting fading memories inspired by damaged video tapes. The home's original, expansive iron-framed windows and herringbone wood floors served as the prime foundation to layer lush textures such as soft white wool drapery, a well-loved antique rug, woven cashmere, Patagonian sheepskin, ebonized wood and linen paired with crisp contemporary tufting.
ABD STUDIO is a high-end San Francisco interior design firm specializing in residential & boutique hospitality interior design and architecture. We are committed to thoughtfully creating elegantly understated interiors that are inviting, encourage connection and provide respite from our busy world. Each space is customized to enhance the authentic personalities and lifestyles of those who dwell there.
Through mindful consideration, we achieve the intricate balance between architectural style, scale and overall room composition enduring a consistent and effortless ease as well as subtle luxury. It is our deepest hope that these spaces inspire meaningful memories for many years to come.
With a dedication to excellence and building trusting relationships, we welcome collaboration with clients, architects and general contractors while supporting artists and craftsmen in the communities in which our clients reside.
But first, a question to the readership — as you are all well aware I invest countless hours in seeking out fresh new, novel, inventive expressions of design —be they architectural, furniture - graphics — the whole broad spectrum. And in so doing I apply my own sense of judgement as to what constitutes the extraordinary from — well, the ordinary. Frankly, you have no idea of the articles, pieces I preview — and reject. But I have to look at them, examine - explore, to see whether they meet a certain standard. Those that do, appear here in DR•I. And judging by comments I receive, it seems you agree with those choices.
However, in reviewing certain design installations I find I am often appalled at the callous indifference that many designers have for the real practical use and enjoyment that a patron or a client has a right to expect following both their investment of faith — and dollars. And so I have decided to speak out - to expose examples of such to you - all with the idea that there is learning that can be done here.
For example - the following room was designed/decorated by ABD Studio as a feature room in the showcase house. And it has a nice appeal - until you attempt to put yourself 'in the picture'. Look at the photographs and then I'll draw specific pointers about them
This is what I might term a 'very handsome and sensitively designed home study'— most likely envisioned for a woman in spite of the bold use of black as a striking backdrop.
But — a) who among you would ever sit on that bench? It is a bench, right? With no back — and so, one might sit, very uncomfortably — for a mere few minutes. But why? What's the point? It looks expensive. . . . it IS expensive.And it is - pointless. By virtue of its placement in the room it might suggest it is positioned where it is so that one might enter, and go and sit and look at the painting. But, that is just weird!
b) let's examine the other end of the room - trés elegant, yes? But, trés dumb! Why? For starters look at the chair and then look at the rug — a facsimile of a pony hide. By its very nature it is very thin. Imagine you go around the desk, pull out the chair so you can sit down and then pull the chair towards the desk.
One of two things must happen next - either the chair legs 'scrunch' the rug forward under the desk (most likely), or, you have to literally pick the chair up and move it — above the floor — in order to position it on the rug. And, what happens if you don't get it quite right the first time? You have to repeat the procedure enough times until you do get it right - until you are comfortable. . . .and then you don't dare move 'cause you have to do the chair calisthenics all over again. So - haven't these designers heard of comfortable chairs on casters? Perhaps not. And when it is time for you to get up and leave, how do you manage the chair? Do you slide it across the surface of the rug? Remember, I pointed out that the rug is rather thin - exactly how many times will you do that before the rugs has un-removeable chair leg marks in it. And, what then? Not fixable, certainly. It's simply, plain, dumb — all to aid in the perpetuation of the requirement to create 'cool' design. The one thing I am guessing that does make some kind of sense is the armchair can be readily turned about to face the desk for use by a visitor.
As we continue with DR•I we will share additional examples of 'wrong-thinking design'.
I trust you will find it both interesting and educational.
If you're of a certain age you'll recognize him as Ernest Hemingway -- one of the world's most famous authors.
In 1934 he bought a boat in order to pursue his love of fishing. The boat, Pilar, became a home away from home. He jumped back and forth between his house in Key West and Cuba. In 2012, Ernest Hemingway's niece Hilary explored his old fishing boat for the first time. The 38-foot Wheeler Playmate "Papa" named Pilar after his wife Pauline was just sitting in a berth outside Havana, holding nothing but history.
Hilary Hemingway boarded the boat that day with Wes Wheeler, whose great-grandfather founded Wheeler Shipbuilding in 1910. They measured the Pilar from bow to stern and now—eight years later—a new Pilar has been built from those measurements by the Wheeler Yacht Company and is expected to launch in September.
It probably was the most famous at the height of Ernest Hemingway's fame. The Nobel Prize-winning author piloted the Pilar throughout the Caribbean and had many adventures,
"It’s probably the most famous fishing boat in the world."Hemingway's boat — PILAR
Wheeler Yachts has worked hard to re-constitute the Pilar in a modern-day rendition.
Editor's note / comment: I have a great respect for leadership in design that seeks to perpetuate character and style from an era long gone. Simply because we, the world, are so very high tech now, does not, in the least, diminish the values inherent in fine and proud craftsmanship. IMHO - in the world od robotic leadership today, pride of craftsmanship is simply not a constituent element of mass production - pity that.
Why? Why this? 'Cause it's just, c o o l . Cool design, cool execution - it has flavour and character.
Jay Ahr bags:
If you’re inspired by travel and fashion alike, you cannot go wrong with a piece or two from the all-new One&Only Heritage Collection by Jay Ahr. With the launch of the new ensemble, the renowned resort chain aims to celebrate the love for travel with a touch of luxe.
Designed as a limited-edition range of custom-designed vintage Louis Vuitton Keepalls, the Heritage Collection celebrates the natural beauty and rich culture of each One&Only resort location. Sourced from the 10 global resort destinations, each bag is handpicked and embroidered to perfection in quintessential Jay Ahr style. Only two bags are designed for each of the brand’s resort and are exclusively available for purchase from One&Only.
WOW! Is it maybe, a slice of watermelon? Surrounded by - broccoli? Nah! that's silly!
Seen from a different perspective - it's a rooftop
Designing a project like Casa Biblioteca is every architect’s dream. So being able to combine an idyllic location, a sizeable commission, an open minded client who knows what they want, and the inherent sense of experimentation of a start-up, is quite a coup for a young practice. The residence’s creator, Sao Paulo based Atelier Branco was just a year old when this project came along, making this distinctive piece of architecture a breakthrough one for the firm, winning them since a number of awards and attracting international attention.
Nestled in an idyllic, tree-filled spot in the municipality of Vinhedo, in upstate Sao Paulo, this private home was the result of the architectural flair of Atelier Branco’s founding duo, Matteo Arnone and Pep Pons, and the character, needs and idiosyncrasies of their client. ‘It was a very challenging client and we were able to experiment a lot with the architectural solution,’ the pair says. ‘The result, even after a few years is still surprising. We are very proud of it.’
The brief outlined a home ‘to accommodate the need for a place to read; and the need of a place to think’. The architects’ response was to create a space more like a modernist pavilion or an art gallery, than a traditional home.
The structure is a simple rectangular glass box with a cast in-situ concrete structure (‘all the concrete was cast in a single working day,’ say the architects proudly). A series of slender columns hold up the tall ceilings creating a generous, triple height space. The walls are glass expanses that dissolve into the views, bringing the outside in.
Studio / Atelier Banco
After graduating from the Accademia Architettura Mendrisio in Switzerland, Italian Matteo Arnone and Spaniard Pep Pons moved to Brazil to set up their studio, Atelier Branco in São Paulo in 2012. Soon after, the firm started to attract international attention, winning the Gold Medal at the Triennale di Milano in 2018 and the Dedalo Minosse International Prize for Commissioning a Building – OCCAM Under 40 in 2019 for their Casa Biblioteca.
From WALLPAPER: (Ellie Stathaki - https://www.wallpaper.com/author/ellie-stathaki)
Photography: Ricardo Bassetti Kaza and Jaqueline Lessa
Enter Anthénea: An eco-friendly floating party pod that can sail where ever you want
You KNOW you want one, right? Man! What a fantasy!
Enter Anthénea: An eco-friendly floating party pod that can sail where ever you want
If a quirky getaway is on your mind, consider hopping onto Anthénea – a luxury floating hotel suite and water-based mobile home that is perfect for traveling in the times of COVID. Inspired by James Bond’s floating pod in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, the vessel is fun, fancy, and every bit fantastic!
Designed by architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle, the floating wonder runs on solar power and is 100% eco-friendly. It releases clean water back into the ocean using black and gray water stations and is equipped with sand screw anchoring to avoid any harm to the underwater ecosystem and environment.
Built as a luxury pod, the vessel offers 360-views of the ocean via its dome-shaped structure. It features a bedroom with an overflow round bathtub, a small living area with kitchen necessities and fiberglass windows as well as an outdoor seating area with a capacity to accommodate 12 people at once.
Anthénea can sail across waters and can be used by travelers to get to one destination from another. It is currently stationed at the Pink Granite Coast in Brittany, France and can be rented for a few nights. Interested folks can also buy one to live in along with customizations. Details on pricing and more are available on the company’s official website. Well, offbeat travel cannot get any better than this!
So — that's it for another issue — and I've barely scratched the surface. Stay tuned - be back at you in a couple of weeks.
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