Where to start?
Is this 'writer's block'? Or, mayhaps, 'writer's blog'..........
Whatever it is the onset of ennui has sidelined my schedule these past couple of weeks.
Truthfully, I have way more than enough content, to make y'all ..... content. Maybe even happy and content.
I will confess, infirmity is a bitch!
The only thing worse than most infirmities of the physical kind would be those of the emotional kind.....and in this past sad week we have seen both Kate Spade (a design doyenne) and Anthony Bourdain, succumb to certain infirmities. As for M.Bourdain, I have a sense - that the music of Francis Cabrel is at this time, appropriate. Cabrel is one of the greatest songwriters, troubadors ever......his songs, lyrics, melodies are painfully beautiful.....one such 'C'est écrit' - has little relevance here in these comments - except, the f e e l i n g....the feeling it evokes, of a great tragedy, a greater sadness and incalcuable loss......pour moi....il est parfait......listen to it here. Tell me if you agree.....so sad! So sad that he's gone......
Life, lives - cut too short too soon serve only to have upon us a greater impact as we wonder, all -
'What might they have additionally achieved, next year - 5 years from now......in a future to which they can no longer make a claim?''
I for one, watch and wonder, and feel a great heaviness of pending tragedy, as the political powers play the dangerous games currently. Have we ever - ever, flirted on the brink of such madness before? Have we ever been so ill-equipped, so impotent, to put a stop to this madness?
For myself, I feel a stultifying rage, on the boil, in witnessing the sheer idiocy of the political riskiness in the US of A.......led, of course by the Chief Clown....the Commander in Clown.....
As we approach the halfway point in this chapter, one can only feel a smidgen of optimism in the same way that when a Wednesday arrives, and we applaud HumpDay - so shall HumpYear/TrumpYear greet us all about 5 months hence......and then, it's downhill, hopefully.
Albeit, we've been hurtling downhill since the results of the last election!
And so, how best to battle? How best to find the strength, the fortitude - the conviction that there will be, 'better days ahead'?
Perhaps frivolous distraction helps.....and thus I see it as my job, now - and in these next issues, to find and showcase such frivolity, such distraction.
Is this what you think it is? Yes - of course....it's a license plate. Issued in the good ole state of California. So, Big Deal, right?
Yup! BigDeal - 'cause this is the first ever digital license plate - ever/ever.
The Rplate Pro transforms the 125-year-old stamped metal vehicle license plate into a cool-looking, multi-functional digital display and connected vehicle platform, delivering multiple efficiencies to businesses, government agencies and consumers.
Check it out : :
You can read all about it here.
Frivolous enough for ya?
No? Try this then. . . . . .
CowZ? COWZ? What's with the cows?
Cows are not known for frivolity - they rarely frolic, they do not leap hedgerows.....nor do you see them in steeplechases.....But, you CAN, see them here:
As you can see, Round Top, Texas is about a day's cowride east of Austin, Tx....
well, me? I've been to and through Austin a buncha times....when I worked in Dallas back in 2000/2001 we frequently hit off to Austin - for one reason or t'other.......but back then, this particular facility did not exist....
I'm talkin' about Flophouze
This would be, Flophouze......a chain of somewhat linked shipping containers converted into the funkiest funkiest hotel ever. Check this all out:
Whimsical it purely surely is......personally I love it!
See! I did promise you distraction.....
So, now - THIS is distracting.....and how come I didn't know about this before?For one who loves design, architecture....it is inconceivable that I've been hiding myself under such a big rock.....Ludwig Godefroy is who I'm talking about....and here are some random samples of his brilliant work.....
He uses his pencil/stylus, whatever like a hammer - a cleaver....to cleanly cut formShapes that assault one's senses....that challenge aesthetic entirely.....It used to be that the only creative genius that I truly felt that strongly about was Frank Lloyd Wright....Godefroy's work is not in the same vein, per se - but it is the same design language.....challenging, daring - completely unafraid, re-defining BOLD!
Summer is, finally, arrived......today is Grand Prix day in Montréal.....
through my open window I can hear the F-1's blasting through the pure June air....
it is, always is - heady....
and summer means, for most, travel - and travel means for most, these days, hassles, headaches, horriffic experiences as one attempts to wend and wind through airports. I had occasion recently - in the last few weeks to take a flight from Montreal to Toronto.......WOW! What a nasty! A nasty in terms of the exhaustion, fatigue, annoyance that is nowadays de rigeur in air travel.....Given my current infirmity - a severely damaged lower back - I walk these days with a cane.....and although Dr House elevated the CaneWalk to an almost artForm, believe me, t'ain't no fun.....
And so, this little lovely gizmo surely caught my attention:
OVIS by ForwardX Robotics.....
Trying to navigate through busy airports while wheeling around luggage can be tricky at times, but self-driving robotics company ForwardX is looking to change that with its new luggage, Ovis.
Equipped with computer vision technology, Ovis is the world’s first vision-powered carry-on that can not only follow you from behind, but can also move autonomously by your side, company representatives claim.
The carbon fiber suitcase is also equipped with sensors that allow it to follow you at a speed of almost 7 miles per hour without running into anything, while route projection technology helps it recognize its path.
Ovis is the 1st vision-powered smart carry-on that is able to follow you BY SIDE autonomously & seamlessly. To offer a stress-free travel experience, Ovis is equipped with GPS location tracker, smart alarm, embedded weight sensor, TSA-approved digital lock & removable airline-compliant LiPo battery that doubles as a charging station. Ovis by ForwardX is designed to enable a new class of business flyers to travel completely hassle-free. An all-in-one suitcase that can follow you by side autonomously and seamlessly. To offer a stress-free travel experience, Ovis includes features such as GPS location tracker, smart alarm, embedded weight sensor, TSA-approved digital lock and removable airline-compliant LiPo battery that doubles as a charging port of smart devices.
Distractions? Or focal points?
As a designer with 50+ years experience I have done my share of residential design projects.....my early career started with residential design projects . . . and in the late 60's, early 70's, wallpaper was a standard form or component in every project I was involved in.
From fabulous grasscolths to sumptuous silks, vibrant florals to chinoiserie scenics, wallpaper was oft-times the fulcrum against which the balance of a room pivoted......especially dining rooms, where there is little opportunity to display patter, aside from window coverings.
In my last decades of design work, predominantly in corporate/commercialundertakings, wallpaper was a non-issue. But, honestly? I love it? Fact is I'm also very, very good at it.....the application/installation
I mean. Loved the complexity of the geometric calculations re:pattern matching - the precise cuts/cut-outs to apply wallpaper around kitchen cabinets....even to the most arduous and extreme challenge of applying it to a ceiling! Now, that's a challenge....
So when I read and see that wallpaper is experiencing a renaissance it pleases me greatly....
Check these out:
In terms of distraction I have had considerable success with mes amis, les Scotch....
As far as I know I did not win the lottery - that's 'cause, probably, 'cause as far as I know I didn't, buy a ticket.......but what the heck....$60million would have been an interesting place from which to purchase this epic specialty......oh yes - it's only $500,000.00
Well - maybe just one.......
THE MACALLAN 1926 60 YEAR OLD WHISKY
Distilled in 1926 and aged for no less than 60 years, only 40 bottles of this whisky were bottled. And of those, 12 were labeled and signed with an exclusive design by the "Godfather of British Pop art" Peter Blake — best known for his design work on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. One of the twelve bottles recently fetched more than one million dollars at auction, and this one (number 9 of 12) will go under the hammer this fall from Sotheby's.
Simply stunning in its simplicity.....
Known as Four Corners, this remote 'cabin' is completely off the grid. There is no electricity or running water.
It is p u r e
It is the work of architect
a v a n t o
and is located in Verrat
Photos by kuvio.com
The cross like shape of this simple villa reaches towards four very different views.
The space is open and defined at the same time. The exterior is treated black and to
contrast the interior is very light. The building is insulated well and heated by wood only.
There is no electricity or running water.
The simple and ascetic life at the countryside differs
dramatically from the hectic city life.
Okay - so now
P A Y A T T E N T I O N !
What you are about to see is a stunning new advance from
Originally published on verge.com and titled
Microsoft’s meeting room of the future is wild
Microsoft just demonstrated a meeting room of the future at the company’s Build developer conference. Meeting rooms, conference calls, and meetings in general are usually the stuff of nightmares, but Microsoft is working on prototype hardware that will make meetings a lot easier. Microsoft’s meeting room demonstration is seriously impressive, and provides a glimpse of what’s possible in the future.
It all starts with a 360-degree camera and microphone array that can detect anyone in a meeting room, greet them, and even transcribe exactly what they say in a meeting regardless of language. Microsoft has been working on translation features for Skype for years, and the meeting room of the future includes this technology.
Watch this fascinating 11 minute video.... it is a jaw-dropping demonstration of the future of corporate life and communications
Microsoft takes the meeting room scenario even further, though. The company is using its artificial intelligence tools to then act on what meeting participants say. If someone says “I’ll follow up with you next week,” then they’ll get a notification in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s Slack competitor, to actually act on that promise. Cortana already does this in Windows 10, but this feature makes a lot of sense in a meeting room scenario.
It’s not clear when this meeting room scenario will become a reality, but Microsoft’s demo seemed to transcribe participants accurately and identified them well. Microsoft has promised new Surface Hub displays in the first half of 2018, and it’s easy to imagine that a future Surface Hub could be the ideal device for Microsoft’s wild meeting room.
And speaking of high technology, check this out....available from Amazon for all of $39.99 (USD), this LED light bulb contains a fully functional 360 degree camera.....
Researched and reported by Maren Estrada (firstname.lastname@example.org)
'If you’re looking for the perfect place to plug in a home security camera where it’ll be out of the way but will still have a good vantage point to let you monitor your home, just look up. The SDETER Hidden Wireless Security Camera is a wide-angle security camera that’s built right into a real LED light bulb. Simply screw it into any socket and you’ve instantly got a 360-degree view of your room that can be streamed to any iPhone or Android device.
Here are some key details from the product page:
I V Y S T U D I O
Go there . . . . . why?
Because Gabrielle Rousseau and Philip Staszewski, architectes
are a formidable creative powerhouse.
They have conceived and created
C R I S P
a mostCool barber shop in Montréal
Go get yer hair cut....
PEZ.....do you remember PEZ candies? Fabulously vibrant colors - I remember them as a kid!
Well, they still exist....yes, here.
But, the following feature, contained in
Luis Barragán, who died in 1988, was one of the most
influential and dramatic of Mexico's architects
You can follow the link to dezeen
for the full article....I am posting here
the amazing photographs of this unique home
We've all heard, 'And now for something completely different....'. Well, that's now.....in my relentless scouring of the internet for fresh, new creative ideas I stumbled across the work of one Isabelle Picard who lives and works on the island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. In her own words, 'We were hit by two category 5 hurricanes back in September, and with all the damage our islands sustained, a lot of people had to rebuild their weather heads to code, so a lot of those ugly concrete posts were erected by people’s homes and were a real eye sore. My client asked me what I thought we could do with it in order to make it go away a little, and I came up with the design. I have a work FB page under Isabelle Picard Design I will send you a photo of the weather head before and after. If you could share my info on your blog, that would be really great because its not always easy to get exposure on a 7 x 25 mile island.''
And so, Isabelle, here we are....I love that you were so uniquely creative in resolving this tricky challenge.
A most DEFINITE B R A V O !
Please be sure to email us with any other projects you are involved in....
And so now, this issue's bonus content. Jeremy Irons is one of the world's greatest actors....but he also seems to be such a real person.....if I were to guess, he and Anthony Bourdain, would have become greta pals....cut from the same cloth if you will Jeremy and his wife bought a crumbling down Irish castle a few years back, and by doing most of the work themselves, created this most unique paradise..
This wonderful article appeared in 1stDibs.com - one of my favourite resource sites on the internet.....
Well.....I think we're done here - for this issue.... inbox@DesignReview.International
until next time
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