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.
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