Here we are - again.....and it's Fall.
In the northeast (Vermont, New England, Canada East) we never fail to be amazed at the riot of colour, texture and tone as the heat and season of summer segués into Autumn. Glorious!
Some see this season as an ending time....for myself, I feel it always as a time of encouragement......a time of re-growth. Not as in renaissance, per se - not as in Spring - but as in a gathering of goods, the remarkable harvest - a re-visitation to values and things we hold important....reflection, rather than renaissance.
Does anyone else feel the same?
If you know me, you know I am cursed with being an early (very) riser......not by choice, quite honestly.
It's a hereditary thing passed down to me by grandfather.......he was always up at 4:00, 4:30 AM.......and it's not like he had anything to do......he was retired - had no responsibilities other than stoking the wood-burning furnace in colder weather. And at some point in my life, maybe about 25 years or so ago, my internal clock switched over to the same heartbeat. I don't resent it......although it is always the same, be it a Tuesday or a Saturday......vacation times, holidays, have no meaning to me in the sense that, 'Wheee! I get to sleep in....' Never happens. But, in early June, when our east facing windows first see the crack of the sunrise at about 4:15......it is a most glorious window onto the world. Knowing that I am probably about 1% of the population up and about at that time, provides an odd sense of ownership over the new day........anybody else so afflicted/blessed? In terms of productivity, it's an awesome advantage.....typically by 7:00 AM I have already put in half a day's work......and now, as it's end of September, those morning sun rays do not break the horizon until 6:15-ish. And I know, of course, as we wind down into November, Christmas and beyond, the depth of darkness will continue its rhythms as time immemorial. And, but - that's, okay......okay by me.
Here is a photograph published on Facebook by a former interior design student of mine.....Adriana Garcia, who lives and works in Ottawa. To me, albeit this does not conform to the typical fall foliage photographs one sees, this evokes the mood and feeling of a changing season.
As her teacher, back about 10 years ago, I didn't know her well - except I do recall her work was always meticulous, detailed, determined....at some point she began to study/pursue photography......this, is, to me, an awesome contribution
©adriana garcia 2018
Brava Adriana........incroyable! I hope you don't mind that I have just up and posted this - but your work is fantastic and it deserves to be seen.
And on the topic of time, I want to bring to your attention, one of the best tools (apps, programs - whatever you choose to call them) for the recording of professional time that I have ever seen or worked with. Way back in the mid-80's, when I was managing my design firm, Marshall/Moore/Goyette Design, with a staff go 12 full-time designers, the need to efficiently and accurately track our time spent in projects, with clients, was the lifeblood of our business. This was back before Windows had become the de facto standard....back when we worked in DOS (MS-DOS). We experimented with and skinned our knees on numerous productivity tools....our firm was the first in Quebec to be completely automated as a design firm......we were networked, we had multiple copies of AutoCAD, network-linked, we used a very cool general administration software called Open Access (spreadsheets, word processing, database) and, we used a fantastic product for its time, Timesheets.....also networked. Timesheets is still in existence - but in recently checking into see that it is more cumbersome than it needs to be, but still effective......and, expensive. One of the great features of Timesheets was the ability it provided for me to do a sort by designer, by project, by timelines - of work done, unbilled, reports - you name it - it was a powerful tool. Over the years I have tried literally dozens of different management time-tracking tools......some did some things great, but not all things.....I kept searching, particularly for an app that would run on my main system (MAC Pro) along with my iPad, iPhone and AppleWatch ........ and be dynamically linked so that an entry/edit on one device was immediately viewable on all the others.
I found that tool.......and it is fantastic.
The thing is, you enter/create TASKS one time only.....can do it on your iPad and they will show up on your iPhone simultaneously - so, if you've been lackadaisical about doing your timesheet (who hasn't?), now there is no excuse.....even do them on your Apple Watch......the same applies for Clients, task abbreviations, expense codes, etc.
To top it all of it has a built-in invoicing system - and you can run an invoicing issue and sort by whatever fields/terms you wish.....it creates really cool graphs - will export to RTF, DOC, PDF.....
And it's less than $100.CAD - why wait? It's a time-SAVER and $$$$-maker. For MAC and PC......oh yeah - they're Canadians these guys....no wonder it's so good!
So - here's challenge for you.......what if, you wanted to create a graphic image....say, of a partially open cardboard box. Simple enough, eh?
But you want it to appear as if there is light flowing out from within - like there's a lightbulb and you see the glow.....sortof like this:
However, it's easy to see that this is fake - it is an illustration of what light mght look like......I'm talking REAL light here.....
'But why?', you ask.
Well, see - I have this client assignment - to re-design/re-vitalize a logo......and as I've been pondering it, rolling it around in my brain, I began to play with the constituent letter - V and R . I reviewed the current logo - that has been in service for quite some years.....
....and really - there's nothing wrong with it - it's just kinda flat and lifeless.
All of a sudden the lightbulb went off in my own head.......asking myself the question, in separating the 'V, what form shapes is that perhaps derivative from? I began to see a curl - a curling page corner.....YIKES!
Yes! Why not? And while I'm at it, why not use the analogy of 'turning pages' as the verbal hook to introduce the concept.......hey! Cool.....
But - how the heck am I going to make it look real? Looking fake is not going to cut it......
Fortunately, being a better-than-average 3D visualizer/modeler, I realized, I had to 'make' a box......make a form, a three dimensional form, and simply insert light sources beyond, or within the form.
Okay - so in AutoCAD I traced the existing logo, and even extended the 'R' with a swoopy kinda tail......
then I imported it into SketchUp........then I extruded it, so I had, my box...... finally, using Podium Light Tool I inserted a number of light source points behind - within - the box.......changed my camera view to parallel, plan view, and rendered it out......
Well the first result was pretty good
Not great - but I felt I was on the right track......the diffused light did look realistic. However, the overall form shape looked flat - had no 3D characteristics to it........hmmmmmm!
Further experimentation (adding more light points, 'painting' the interior box surface with different colours, metallic materials...) resulted in this:
It was getting closer - still didn't have the realistic curl I was searching for.
.....next brainTwister was to try to figure out, geometrically, how do I build, digitally, a form that is an accurate representation of a page, curling. Clearly, I had to actually 'build' that geometry.....how the heck to I do that? I spent hours scouring the web - bring over this way and that....asking questions - mostly never getting answers. Trying to physically reproduce the issue....
So, I took a piece of paper, and curled it - actually as it would be in real-time....
Analyzing this form shape, what doe we have? If you draw a line straight across, and cut, you would be left with a cone shape......not what I was looking for....
Following is paper partially folded. . . . .
And this is the shape of the paper, as it was cut. . . .
Hmmmmm, again - what to do? Clearly the spiral line that creates the desired endShape, is not a random line......it has to follow a very precise geometry.
I went back to the internet - started to scour SketchUp instructional videos until. . . . .
I came across this dude.....
Justin Geis - and his muchCool SketchUp tutorial site, www.sketchupessentials.com.
In reviewing a number of his online videos I finally figure, 'What the heck - you never know, right?......and so I e-mailed him -provided a short description of the problem/challenge and - he replied! Not only did he reply he provided a link for a SketchUp utility that showed me how to achieve what I was looking for....
Curviloft is a specialty tool/add-in for SketchUp modelers.
The following images are progressions that he so kindly provided to illustrate the process : :
Cool! Very cool......and i was off......took a few kicks, but each time I got closer.....until
Somewhat crude but I could see - could see where I was going....and then these flowed from that
Am I finished? Not quite......the following was what was presented to the client following their response/reaction to the idea of a 'page curl'.......not where i thought it should go, but - hey! Who signs the cheques here, eh?
The jury is still 'out' in terms of final acceptance - we may still tweak colours, materials and other aspects - but, my point is, quite simply, a) never give up, and b) trust your gut......if you have a vision, do your very best to either prove, or disprove, it's validity. Did I get paid for all the time invested in this....of course not. I wouldn't think of billing for it - but, I now have mastered a most unusual tool - the very idea of creating an effect wherein light flows from behind a constructed object - well......another tool in my toolbox.
AS an example, I recently completed this quick design study fro a client - idea is to install a slab of granite with the top edge serrated, at an angle from the back wall of the shower, install an LED light strip behind it, et, voila!
Of course, experimenting with the lighting intensity becomes a part of the final decision....could probably tone this one down a touch.
It's TravelTime once again....this time to northern Germany - Göttingen.
A little research tells us that Göttingen is famous for its old university (Georgia Augusta, or
"Georg-August-Universität"), which was founded in 1734 (first classes in 1737) and became the most visited university of Europe. In 1837, seven professors protested against the absolute sovereignty of the kings of Hanover; they lost their offices, but became known as the "Göttingen Seven". Its alumni include some well-known historical figures: the Brothers Grimm, Heinrich Ewald, Wilhelm Eduard Weber and Georg Gervinus. Also, German Chancellors Otto von Bismarck and Gerhard Schröderattended law school at the Göttingen University. Karl Barth held his first professorship here. Some of the most famous mathematicians in history, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann and David Hilbert, were professors at Göttingen.
Like other university towns, Göttingen has developed its own quaint traditions. On the day they are awarded their doctorate degrees, students are drawn in handcarts from the Great Hall to the Gänseliesel-Fountain in front of the Old Town Hall. There they have to climb the fountain and kiss the statue of the Gänseliesel (goose girl). This practice is actually forbidden, but the law is not enforced. She is considered the most kissed girl in the world. [from Wikipedia]
This, to me, is a visual treat....a cornucopia (harvest time, right?) - a feast of great design balance, a mastery of much - - clearly, the architects/designers have evolved professionally to be fluent in the practise of eclecticism in design.....not an easy skill to come by.
This feature was showcased by DesignMilk (https://design-milk.com/hotel-freigeist-gottingen-hotel-rooted-academics-design/) - by staff writerVy Yang.
Somehow, this wonderful hotel - its rooms, common areas - speak to me of fall, Octoberfest - fires and fireplaces.....warmth and comfort. Isn't that what any good hotel should say to you?
Walk along with me on this visual journey.....
Of course, this is photographer's trick - see how the light is cat vertically and horizontally, as in a grid des lumières.........but it's such a c o o l effect, no?
And the rooms are delicious - note the almost full-height disappearing pocket doors between the sleeping area and the lounge area......attention to detail. Someone was thinking....
From the DesignMilk article, the following:
Hotel Freigeist Göttingen, the latest member added to the Design Hotels portfolio, doesn’t look like a hotel that belongs in a college town. With its princely interiors that exude a quiet sophistication, the modern hotel looks like it should be located on the outskirts of town in a quiet meadow versus at the center of the city. It’s not until you take in the surroundings that you realize the Göttingen, Germany hotel is linked to a number of academic landmarks (including the university, the museum, and the university’s Knowledge Forum opening 2020) and the calming interiors were designed for intellectual stimulation.
Designed by Hannover-based architecture firm Ahrens & Grabenhorst Architekten, the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen’s façade is made of bricks laid in a wild pattern, a reflection of the contemporary nature of the building and the creativity that lies within it. Interior designer Frank Kassner took inspiration from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and gave the interiors a gritty vibe by adding graffiti street art by Patrik Wolters (aka BeNeR1) to balance out the luxe effect from the ash wood paneling, plush velvet, and modern furnishings.
The Intuu restaurant serves up Japanese-South American cuisine by head chef Alexander Zinke, so guests can experience a flavorful palette of sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and grilled meats in the restaurant’s open concept style kitchen.
Public lounge areas are lined with custom-designed carpets by Nani Marquina, colored Moroccan cement stone tiles, oversized arm chairs, plush velvet sofas, and contemporary fixtures – all elements conducive for conversation and collaboration.
Modern amenities include a spa, fitness rooms, yoga facilities, a “Fatboy” relaxation lounge, and a rooftop terrance.
What: The Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Where: Berliner Straße 30, Innenstadt, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
How much? Rooms start at approximately $156 per night
Highlights: The hotel has all the signifiers of a member of the Design Hotels portfolio: luxe interiors, gastronomic offerings, modern amenities, and more.
Design draw: The street style graffiti art adds a playful element to the sophisticated hotel.
Book it: Visit the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Photos by Sebastian Böttcher.
Steven Hu, our ace contributor/colleague, has come up with a fascinating story and we are including it here.......the mandarin version will be found under 'mandarin' from the MainPage.
From Shabby House to Gorgeous Inn
Nowadays in China, with the rapid promotion growth of urbanization, traditional dwellingsarebecomeingincreasingly decadentand declining. They are being destroyed. They are disappearing.
Langzhong is one of the four mostintact ancient cities in China. ComparedtowithPingyao in Shanxi, Lijiang in Yunnan and She county in Anhui province, traditional residential buildings in Langzhong have a very different uniquestyle. These dwellingsIthave a blendedstyle of iscompatible with the northernand style and the southerninChina, including the quadrangle courtyard in the north, the garden style in the south, and the peculiar hui style from Anhui.
To synthesize Based on the respect for the traditional historyand focus on the contemporary humanities, the renovation of Langzhong floralwerhall has retained the original folk dwellings in northern Sichuan, such as the mortise, tenon structure and the roof form of sSmall green tile double slope suspended mountain.
The complexity of de-constructing something ancient and preserving the integrity of its core, its soul, is a daunting, a challenging responsibility......following images show some of the careful dance that had to be done in order to gently move the old to the new - without losing, the old.....
The care and the caring, brought it to this point:
Thank you Steven.....This article was published by Taoyuanjun on www.zhihu.com.
Beyond ridiculous....you've all heard the expression, no? Like, it is SO dap......it's ridiculous and beyond....
such is the case in they spectacular residence, that cares not a whit about the conventional envelope - it surges, pushes - way beyond........its spirit challenges our conventional perceptions of scale, glory, passion - yes! All in this....see for yourselves: (published by archDaily - https://www.archdaily.com/902791/artery-residence-hufft-projects?ad_medium=gallery)
Text description provided by the architects. This home we named the Artery residence. The couple has been repeatedly named by ARTnews in the top 200 contemporary art collectors globally. The focus of this home is the art collection and how it flows and is pumped throughout the home, by way of a main ‘artery’.
Art is at the heart of this home. Hufft designed a custom residence for two prominent contemporary art collectors and philanthropists. The design of the home centered on a sub-grade gallery space that houses paintings, photography, and sculpture spanning 20 years of collecting with specific lighting and climate control for the preservation and display of such works.
Just look at that cantilever, that overhang.....shades of Frank Lloyd Wright!
I have little else to say - in regards to this e p i c example of one unique example of architecture....enjoy!
one last thing....(as Steve Jobs would say....) - and he, a lover of Porsches (come moi...) might just have one of these in his home office:
Quoi ça? What is it? It's a small home desk, called a Porsche Desk - it's the rear deck of a 911.....check it out:
Want/need one? You gotta write me and ask - real pretty now......
Okay - so THIS is c o o l . . . . . this system is outrageous......
Curious? Write me.....I'm here to help
Hey! Can you lend a hand here? These things are heavy - takes two of us to manhandle a sheet of drywall off the stack and over to the studs.....
Thanks Floyd.......wasn't sure I could handle it by myself.....can you sock that puppy into place or do you need me to help you......you can? Cool....I'll just be over here - give me a shout if you need me.....
Oh....you got that? You're good....'k....well, I'm gonna go grab a coffee......want anything?
Yeah - I know.....not today, maybe - but tomorrow? For sure.....these guys are gonna re-write the world of construction. Wonder if they have a union?
I'm thinking. . . . . I like this:
Okay - wrapTime. . . . . never fails. I have SO much stuff.....that I want to include. But there's a practical limit......IF, this were a paying proposition, I could easily be convinced to make it a twice a month publication...... but, not.
So - here's a preview of what we'll be showing next issue:
Thank you for your support - this month marks the second full year of DesignReview•International.
It is my sincere hope that we will be able to continue into the next few years, bringing you interesting, scintillating + challenging examples of what is, in our opinion, good, responsible, innovative design.
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