Some time back - oh maybe, like in January or February - I made a promise to you the readers. . . . that
I would no longer use the platform of DR•I to voice concerns, critiques in respect to world events.
That I would maintain a respectable posture of non-engagement in regards to the performance (or non-performance) of political world leaders (or wanna be leaders. . . ) I strayed, once I think - as I thought the situation merited it.
'And, so - what do you think now?', you might well ask. I have, many thoughts - I have many feelings -
I have disappointments and frustrations. . . . as do, I'm sure, many of you. But those will not be shared,
or spread across these 'pages'.
Suffice it to say, in allowing my conscience to speak for me, on Friday night last, I cancelled/deleted my Facebook account. After more than 10 years, 'sayonara'........the 'whys', the 'what fors', - well, if you have to ask you're just not tuned in..
Sadly -as the FB connection was one that kept me in front of friends and colleagues, ex-co-workers, ex-students - in Amman, Hong Kong, Milan. Beirut, Victoria, Miami - other places..... I will surely miss them.
A void is now in the place where once a warm spot used to be. . . . . but, one has to either live by their code of morality, or - not.
Moreover, no longer will FB be a place where I can announce to my confreres, news about DR•I and other design-related issues.
'Nuff said', he said. Grazie though, to my FB associates. I will, miss you.
A London Home Goes From Georgian to Modern, With a Detour : :
By Alice Rawsthorn : : New York Times
Notice the plaster mouldings? You have to assume the ceiling here is about 14' in height. Why? Because a standard door measures 80" - and here we have almost double that. Pretty awesome.
The house/home was designed and built from 1773 to 1774 by one of the estate’s surveyors, John White, and Thomas Collins, a sought-after ornamental plasterer. MM
The owner of an apartment in an 18th-century townhouse thought she was undertaking “an easy conversion.” Then she entered a maze of rules and interpretations.
When Heather Kane was scouring her favorite London neighborhoods two years ago searching for an apartment to buy, she discovered a promising candidate on the first floor of an 18th-century townhouse on Harley Street, in the Marylebone area of the city center.
“I loved it,” recalled Ms. Kane, a 42-year-old technology executive turned design entrepreneur, who was born in Los Angeles and has lived in London since 2015. “Most of the apartments I’d seen had beautiful, original facades but were too pared back inside. This one was huge with high windows and ceilings, original plaster moldings, and an amazing terrace.
“I love London’s historic architecture and wanted to preserve as much of the period detailing as possible. I thought it would be an easy conversion, but it turned out to be 10 times harder than anything I’d done before.”
The cause of her difficulties was Britain’s labyrinthine architectural conservation system, which ensures that any changes to a building deemed to be of historic importance, like the Harley Street townhouse, must be approved by the local planning department. Ms. Kane’s home is in the City of Westminster, which includes some of London’s finest historical buildings, but whose planners are famed for their strictness and for having very particular opinions on what constitutes acceptable — and unacceptable —— architectural interventions.
Translating such a building into a comfortable, functional contemporary home is almost always intensely subjective and potentially contentious. One person’s interpretation of sensitive restoration can be another’s idea of architectural carnage, while a third might regard it as too timid. As Ms. Kane admitted, one of her challenges in navigating British conservation politics was having no knowledge of the planning system. Another problem was the difficulty of translating her needs and wishes into something that Westminster’s planners would approve.
Like much of Marylebone, Harley Street originated as a speculative development by the Portland Estate, owned by the Duke of Portland, whose wife inherited most of the land between what are now Oxford Street and Marylebone Road, in 1741. Harley Street’s construction began in the 1750s, and the house containing Ms. Kane’s apartment was designed and built from 1773 to 1774 by one of the estate’s surveyors, John White, and Thomas Collins, a sought-after ornamental plasterer.
Grander houses were built nearby at that time — notably those designed by the Scottish architects Robert and James Adam on Mansfield Street — but the delicately rendered cherubs in Collins’s plasterwork would have been enough to distinguish this one. His renown may also explain why several of his ornate panels survived nearly 250 years of construction, including the house’s conversion in 1949 into flats. Collins’s skill also contributed to the entire house’s being given a Grade 2 listing, which is awarded to a building “of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it,” in 1987.
Like many London apartments of similar vintage, Ms. Kane’s two-bedroom, first-floor flat combined some original elements with a motley assortment of additions dating from the early and mid-1800s, early 1900s, the 1949 conversion, and subsequent makeovers. Westminster’s planners insisted that all of those features be preserved and that any adjacent work match them. Ms. Kane was happy with that, but not with the planners’ response to her request for what she thought were modest changes to make her new home “more livable,” as she put it.
Ed note: Don't you just love the archway? Homage to a radiator. . . . of course, in 1740, it may well have been that radiators were not as yet in existence. Therefore, it begs the question, 'Why an archway? Why here?'
And the answer may well be that it was in fact a passageway to somewhere else.......make sense?
This to me, is a lovely example of a renovation, sensitively and elegantly undertaken to reflect both the tenor of the architecture of the time, and also to bring forth a very personal stamp of the current owner.
The full article in the New York Times is available at:
M E D D L E S O M E ?
Who, me? Well, maybe so - but I would argue, it's only a designer taking creative license/freedom - to comment, critique - to show perhaps a better way. IMHO this is a lovely, simple space, this guest bedroom. Gentle, elegant, simple. But I feel the two pieces of art displayed on the wall of the recessed archway are a) too small, b) out of context. So, I did some searching. Firstly I thought a ROTHKO poster reproduction - with the wonderful range of colours ad moods - might be right. And, many would be. But I luckily tripped over the work of a Canadian First Nations artist, Linus Woods. He is a Dakota/Ojibway artist from the Long Plain Fisrt Nation of Southern Manitoba. He is largely self-taught. Please visit his work here.
I selected the one you see in the following 'edited' image. It is called,
'Untitled - White Horse Looking Down' .
And as part of 'Designer's License', I added the frame. So - what do you think? Would love to hear your comments.
By the way - because I find his work so rich, so compelling, I am showcasing some of Mr. Woods paintings here.
A SHACK NOT IN THE WOODS
There is a wide-ranging fascination of late, for small spaces. Nobody seems to be able to explain it.
Is it cost-related? Think not - at least not in the main - a certain percentage equates smaller with cheaper. And in that they are not necessarily wrong. However having designed numerous small spaces in my career (from powder rooms to kitchens, staterooms to home offices) - oft-times it can cost much more to achieve miniaturizaton in anything. Hardware is more costly, labour is more expensive - there is no rule of thumb, but it costs big money to be, well, innovative.
But that fascination exists - it's akin to small boat (or even big boat) interiors. Having had a 40' houseboat for a few years, I know firsthand how one has to consider the consequence of every decision to 'bring something else onboard.'
To that point - this is a quite lovely exercise in clever thinking.
PREFAB MOUNTAIN REFUGE
Gnocchi+Danesi architects merge traditional alpine shelters with modern design to create the Mountain Refuge. The compact cabins are constructed from two prefabricated plywood modules that feature dramatic roof pitches while a black pine tar finish gives them a minimalist character. Interiors total around 258 square feet and although the designers offer a variety of layouts, the living spaces are left mostly open to give owners the flexibility to accommodate their needs. There's also the option of adding another module to boost the inside 129 square feet. With helicopter delivery and no need for a poured foundation, the Mountain Refuge can be placed in remote locations that couldn't normally be reached using conventional methods.
Photos: The Mountain Refuge
Copyright © THEMOUNTAINREFUGE.COM 2020. All Rights Reserved
Pour moi, there is a 'baring of the soul' in the raw bleakness of this environment. Striking, it resonates deeply. Pour moi. . . . .
When we're finally able to break out of quarantine, you won't want to be confined by four walls anymore. The Casa Cosmos is the perfect cure for cabin fever. Located on a remote piece of Pacific coastline in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, the seaside retreat features an open-air design. Wooden screens slide out to seamlessly expand the minimalist living spaces to the jungle landscape. For full ocean views, head to the rooftop terrace and catch the sunset. Its interior is comfortably equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, and queen-size bed while an outdoor hammock and private plunge pool ensure relaxing is part of the agenda.
Casa Cosmos is the perfect house for you to relax, come and disconnect yourself from the city chaos.
In this remote beach of the Mexican Pacific coast, you will be able to let go of stress, we want you to enjoy your stay, have time and space to finish that book that you been willing to read or just enjoy the incredible sunsets while you walk down the beach.
Casa Cosmos was designed for guests to remember that taste of life that we usually forget in the city, to have time to think on the importance of our cosmos, space, planet and nature that surrounds us.
This minimalistic space is designed as a house that can be completely open to nature, light, air... or closed to be more intimate with one another. With spectacular views of the sea, the sunsets that hide behind the mountain next to the house, and the huge ecosystem that wraps the house in nature.
Life in this part of the ocean feels slower, giving you time to enjoy every little minute, that splash on the swimming pool or the sea, the starry nights on the rooftop while zipping a glass of wine.
You can rest in one of our hammocks in the house, or take a sun bath; whatever you want Casa Cosmos is the perfect seaside retreat to enjoy your holiday. Perfect for couples or to be by yourself with your books and favorite playlists.
We are pretty proud of two things the house has: The rooftop and the bathroom.
The rooftop is the perfect spot to enjoy the magnificent sunsets that Puerto Escondido offers, or gaze at the starry nights through our water mirror.
The bathroom will make you experience one of the forgotten delights that humans let go... showering in candle light, a romantic and sensorial moment that will allow you to understand better the act of bathing with your couple or with yourself.
Our bedroom is fitter with a queen size bed, and a spectacular view to the gardens and swimming pool, that helps cool down the temperature of the space.
The living and kitchen are connected, allowing guests to move from one space to the other and live through out the house while enjoying each others company.
The pool of the house also connects the kitchen area with the bedroom, and has an hammock to chill while enjoying the view of the mountains.
NEWPORT FIRE STATION RESTORATION
The Redwood Hose Station 8 served Newport, Rhode Island from 1887 to 1912. After acting as an upholstery shop and a triplex apartment, the old fire station was converted into a four-story dwelling. Its current state is the result of a three-year renovation that restored the building while preserving its historic character, including its original bricks and a fire pole. Although its exterior has retained its authentic appearance, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom interior has been loaded with modern amenities from a Thyssenkrupp elevator and 200 amp Tesla car charger to a SONOS sound system and radiant floors. Rooms are washed in natural light through 9-foot windows and an atrium above the staircase. A third-floor master suite occupies the third floor where track doors open to a terrace. From there, a spiral staircase leads to the rooftop overlooking Newport Harbor.
ABOUT 118 PROSPECT HILL STREET, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
Redwood Hose Station 8 is unique in every sense of the word. This former fire station saw its last active duty in 1912 and is an incredible piece of Newport history. The stunning renovation features the modern architecture of David Hacin with a focus on green living and a commitment to historic preservation. Situated in the heart of the Historic Hill district of Newport, this modern, naturally lit oasis offers three floors of living with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Every aspect of the Hose Station 8 restoration and renovation has been thoughtfully designed for ease of living. Luxurious amenities include a Thyssenkrupp elevator that services all four floors, SONOS sound system with individual room controls, nine-foot windows that allow natural sunlight to flood into the house, 200 amp Tesla car charger, and geothermal heat with an 850-foot well that provides heating and central air throughout the residence. In the Firehouse, you will enjoy 10- to 12-foot ceilings, radiant floors, sustainable woods, and a refurbished fire pole that will take you from the second floor straight down to the Club Level! Relax on the master floor with track doors that open up to a beautiful Ipe deck. Additional features include ADT security, August Smart Lock, Nest Camera System, generator, and master-bedroom steam shower and insulated air tub. Redwood Hose Station 8 received the prestigious Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award in 2009, the highest compliment for any renovation and restoration in Newport! And for your guests, a very private space with two bedrooms, bath, and kichenette. Truly a one-of-a-kind property where you can park your car for the weekend, be in the heart of everything that Newport has to offer, and return back to the serenity and quietness that the Firehouse offers.
So, who knows? Maybe if you come up with the $3,495,000 USD, you might be Lord of the Manor - and can shout out, to all passersby, 'Hey! Where's the fire?' Yuk yuk.
Some of us - if not all of us - have dreams of 'hitting the road', or, cruising off to quietude and placid places......at little or no expense. Sheesh! And how realistic is that? Not very, is the truth.
But, dial yourselves into this little gem......its Everyman's Dream escape.
For $300.00 US, you can do exactly that. Provided you have a vehicle that can adapt itself to the CARSULE.
Or even if you don't have the appropriate vehicle, you can do this.
You can take bus, or an Uber - or even hitch-hike, with this little wonder.
Unlike most tents that are only meant for sleeping, CARSULE provides you with a living room in the outdoors and offers mobility since the simple installation makes the movement possible and easy. The cubic shape allows for a 2-meter standing height making the interior a suitable space for a wide range of indoor activities. The CARSULE is designed for cars that have a tailgate that swings up. You are no longer limited by your internal car size. It's expansible space allow for unlimited configuration according to your programmatic needs. Thanks to the hatchback, CARSULE has great reliable support and it can be installed quickly. With the guy rope, CARSULE can even withstand a strong breeze.
: : Switching gears : :
I love graphics : : I love typography - I love the fluidity of serif fonts, the swoop, the curl. And I love the crispness of a Heletica Neue letter. . . . many/most of you know that I am a Certified Graphic Designer. Yup! Attained my licensure way back in 1994. That was years after I had decided to offer graphic design services to our interior design clients. Many of those were, coincidentally start-up retail companies - seeking both a design that was reflective and interpretive of their corporate mission. And, of course, the store interior was developed to extend the spirit of the venture. But because we were often at the threshold of such enterprises seeking to establish a visual presence in the marketplace, we were in a prime position to propose an identity programme - logo design, print media, etc. And so ,as I had a fair degree of such experience under my design belt, I was the one that shepherded our way to such service offerings. And so, I became a CGD. I will, in a future issue, post some of the kinds of work I did for our firm in those years.
But, I love graphics! And I don't devote enough time/space in DR•I to that. In the future it will become better showcased. But until then, consider this example of what, to me, and my eye - is a most elegant and striking graphics programme for a client.
From the web-site, www.weandthecolor.com, is this example of a design study using one of the templates in Adobe InDesign. The actual example is for a business proposal.
'It is a useful and easy-to-use graphic design asset for all freelance graphic designers and
Designed by Adobe Stock contributor @TypoEdition, this highly professional business proposal template is based on a well-designed layout and a modern design with yellow and gray accents. Equipped with 20 fully editable pages, every little detail can be customized with just a few simple clicks. Please note, photos shown in the preview are for display only and are not included in the downloaded file. Just add your own images and text according to your graphic design and branding projects. The template is included in two standard sizes A4 and US Letter. With CMYK color mode and 300 dpi, the Adobe InDesign file is fully print-ready but you can also save it as a PDF to send it via email to your clients.
As already mentioned, the INDT file requires Adobe InDesign. You can get the latest version from the Adobe Creative Cloud website, just have a look here. Learn more about this business proposal template by clicking on the following link or have a look at the images below.
It is a 20 page production, of which we are including only five here. But - the elegant simplicity of two-coeur printing (yellow/black) is striking. It is, at the same time, soft, gentle and sense seductive....
A really fine effort with a consistent 'eye on the ball' of the design objectives. Job well done.
Cool, huh? Yes - very cool. Been a while in coming, but it is now a reality.
It's called CASTAWAY
It adds a second screen to your smartphone.
From Geeky Gadgets (https://www.geeky-gadgets.com/dual-screen-smartphone-30-05-2020/),
written by Julian Horsey, we have this full technical description of this really neat piece of bonus equipment.
Check out the VIMEO video
“We heard you loud and clear. After listening to your feedback, we’re excited to announce that we have expanded castAway into a full platform. We’re still delivering a second-screen experience — but now you can customize your case with a variety of accessories as well to meet the demands of your daily life. “
castAway is a new case designed to add an extra screen to your smartphone allowing you to benefit from a wide variety of new features. The castAway case allows you to open multiple apps at once, copy/paste, and access files and photos from either screen.
“A second monitor used to be a luxury, and now it’s a necessity. Juggling between apps and screens is how things go today. Adding a second screen to a PC is easy, but what about a second one for your smartphone? It’s not like you leave the need for multitasking behind when you are away from your desktop, out in the world doing things. Introducing castAway case, a fantastic new accessory that adds a second, ultra-slim screen to your favorite smartphone. The second screen is a powerful Chromium-based tablet that lets you multitask while on the go.”
Features of castAway include :
– castAway case connects with any iOS or Android phone and continues to work even when detached from your smartphone.
– Features a dual boot option that lets you quickly turn it into a larger keyboard, trackpad, or game controller for your phone.
– It is fully-equipped with a hi-res capacitive touch screen, WiFi, Bluetooth, front and back-facing cameras, & audio jack.
– Integrated SD slot allows you to expand storage and offload photos from your phone
– The built-in battery can do double duty and be used to boost your smartphone.
“Created by Ken Mages, a 40-year veteran of the electronics industry, the castAway case is your second screen. Ken brought on a skilled product designer, Joe Jasinski, the former head of industrial design at Dell, along with two former executives from Microsoft and Intel to create this fantastic device. By Design. The castAway case design uses an ingenious patent-pending universal magnetic hinge. The magic part of the hinge is on the second screen tablet side”
“When the tablet is detached from your smartphone, your phone will look and feel like it would in any other high-end protective case. The hinge design also simplifies the task of supporting the myriad of smartphones. The smartphone side of the case is a custom fit for each major model type. That said, there are many unique (lower volume) phones for which we are developing a universal case back that works with the hinge. The castAway case will be available in 3 model sizes:”
And so - this is the end of another odyssey.
Some of you - those that were paying attention, will recall that I respectfully asked, that if you liked/enjoyed DR•I producing a mid-month issue, to reply/respond in the affirmative. And guess what?
You did! All two of you! That is, beyond discouraging....... I do not mean this to be any kind of a lecture.
I had long ago decided to continue with DR•I because I have a passion for the research, the discovery -
a passion for seeing and showcasing pieces of the wonderful world of design, and somewhat foolishly, perhaps - I assumed that many of you shared in that respect.
But, as I have had to do - as a result of our sponsorship - I have had to search for and employ various tracking tools - so that The Design Trust can get some idea as to whether they should sustain their very minimal financial support.
Sadly, the results are also, beyond discouraging. See, these tools - which are pretty awesome - reveal who not only received the issue, but also the identity of those who opened/clicked/read, the issue.
And, albeit discouraging it is also frustrating - frustrating in that the only question that is any longer relevant, or worth asking, is, 'What's the point?' And, what is the point?
Reviews and discussions are scheduled for this month. The ultimate decision as to whether DR•I
continues will quite possibly be, out of my hands.
I'm truly hoping we will continue beyond the next two issues - no guarantees.
Thank you - merçi - grazie
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