March 29, 2011

Modern Living

Life can change drastically and quickly.  Some recent events have forced me and my fiance to move to take a new job and start a new life.



This move has made me more familiar than ever with the new trend of modern living in historic renovation projects that are sprinkled throughout New England.  

These buildings tell a story of the regions manufacturing wealth and prosperity.  They symbolize both the tremendous opportunities of the past and the pain and desperation that was left behing when manufacturing found their way over seas. They symbolize so vehemently and graciously the absense of industry in the US. Slowly, very slowly these communities have struggled to rebuild and redefine themselves.  

People have taken note of the beauty and integrity of these old mills and mill communities.  Many of these communities  have been reborn an commuting cities or chic places for middle-income hipsters.




These buildings tell a story of the regions manufacturing wealth and prosperity.  They symbolize both the tremendous opportunities of the past and the pain and desperation that was left behind when manufacturing found their way over seas. They symbolize so vehemently and graciously the absence of industry in the US. Slowly, very slowly these communities have struggled to rebuild and redefine themselves.  

People have taken note of the beauty and integrity of these old mills and mill communities.  Many of these communities  have been reborn an commuting cities or chic places for middle-income hipsters



In the end I have fallen in love with mill living, and could probably write a short essay on all the benefits and joys of waking up to 14ft ceilings, 8ft windows, and wood and brick.  The purity is refreshing.  The history is utterly captivating. 

October 20, 2010

Has the art market thawed? Frieze thinks so.

5081576167_1d4cb53b79photo above from Everyday Lifestyle

Just in case you don't have your finger on the pulse of the art world, here's the skinny.  There are a series of "Art Fairs" in major cities all over the world that take place annually or biannually.  Galleries apply and pay a substantial amount of money to rent a "stall", and in turn sell artwork to the public. These fairs are massive cultural meccas - full of art, talks, panel discussions, performances, awards, and contemporary musings on current educational platforms and art-making in general. In short, it's a total playground for new and emerging ideas and practices as well as established ideas and concepts.

5079153001_9b52803812 photo above from Everyday Lifestyle

Each year, thousands of collectors come in droves to these fairs - so smaller fairs have popped up around the bigger fairs and are populated by the galleries who were rejected from the bigger fairs, or simply didn't want to pay the premiums. These smaller fairs have leveled the playing ground somewhat, but there is a status symbol to being included in the big-deal fairs like Basel, The Armory, Frieze, Cologne,...

For example, the Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, London. The fair showcases new and established artists to an international audience (the complete list of exhibitors is here) over 170 galleries were exhibiting work this year, with miles and miles of labyrinth-like temporary walls studded with works - some hung so heavily that you wonder how the wall stays vertical.

5092542699_b50e00448d_b photo above from Visionet

There are more galleries than ever this year and a higher quality of applicants,' says Frieze co-founder Amanda Sharp, who, when she set up the annual art fair eight years ago, never in her wildest dreams thought it would become such a London blockbuster. (from Wallpaper magazine)

Stories like this one are not uncommon: "New business is what makes fairs worth it, otherwise we could just stay in our galleries and work on our shows,” said Rachel Lehmann (B13). The gallerist sold only to new clients, including Jennifer Steinkamp’s Orbit 8, 2010 (shown below) (all three editions plus the artist’s proof), for $55,000 each." (From's article here)

1286654223_4f5ba118_iphone(above: Jennifer Steinkamp, Orbit 8, 2010)

Andreas Geiger at Sprüth Magers (B9) summed up the overall feeling: “People are acquiring, but there’s no more five-minute buying. The market has found a good pace, it’s not crazy, but it’s solid.” (The Art Newspaper)

But it's not all about selling - it's about seeing and learning. There are a series of talks and educational events, concerts and performances, and prizes awarded to Artists and Galleries. There are also a series of Artist Projects - including Jeffrey Vallance among others.

"The coveted Cartier Award is open to artists living outside of the UK, up to five years from graduating from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or under thirty years of age. The Cartier Award is organized by Frieze Projects, sponsored by Cartier and presented in collaboration with Gasworks. The recipient of the prize will have the unique opportunity to present their work at Frieze Art Fair 2010, guaranteeing a major international audience. Additionally the prize will cover production costs of up to £10,000, an artist’s fee, per diems, travel expenses and a studio residency at Gasworks in London from August to October 2010." (from Art Knowledge News)

Bridget Riley was one of the featured "conversations" of the Frieze Art Fair, she spoke with Michael Bracewell about her lifetime of artmaking and development of her signature style. Many of the talks are available here as podcasts.

Riley_largeweb(above: Bridget Riley)



October 19, 2010


Recently I was given a gift from Estudio-Iris's Dimple Collection.  I am in LOVE!  The simplicity and uniqueness of her designs are captivating.

This young designer, trained in architecture, has meticulous attention to detail and a controlled hand.  She is meticulously aware of how her work reacts to the body, giving the pieces a fanciful quality. Estudio-Iris has recently launched this jewelry line and I look forward to seeing more of what's to come. 




Two Way Bracelet



Stackable Rings



Section-ring-1bRing 1



Wedding-cuff-2 Onyx Cuff-links 1

All images courtesy of Estudio-Iris

October 12, 2010

Kieran Timberlake - Loblolly House

Kieran Timberlake  won the 2010 Copper-Hewitt National Design Award.

A small firm based in Philadelphia, their work captures the organic way in which the best architecture develops from initial concept.  Taking inspiration from the site conditions, this house is "about the trees within the trees". The work is deep and incredibly thorough, taking into account the complexity of assemblage and looking responsibly onto the building life-cycle and the disassemblage necessary in the future. Much like the trees, the house has a structural system, from which all parts (walls, mechanical systems, cladding, etc. ) hang. Moreover, light is artfully manipulated both in the buildings orientation and in the careful choreagraphy of the external cladding; internal and external logic is fully defined.





images of the Loblolly Project are taken from the Kieran Timberlake's website

Wilson House, Medhurst Yarra Valley, by Denton Corker Marshall Architects

Denton Corker Marshall is an international design practice, producing striking and innovative architecture and urban design in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Their work is characterised by the ability to solve complex design problems on every scale. From design commissions for buildings of international significance to micro skyscraper coffee cups, their approach consistently produces responsive, dynamic and highly original solutions.



Wislon House is set above a vineyard in the famous wine producing Yarra Valley of Australia, north-east of Melbourne. Two thin rectangular plates – roof and floor – lay into a gentle rise above the vineyard stretching down to the main road. The black metal floor plate is supported by a series of parallel black pigmented concrete walls set at right angles to it. One end rests on the hillside; the other cantilevers 11 metres beyond the supporting wall.



The identical roof plate floats above, separated by full height glazing on the front and ends, and on the back by two vine green sticks laid longitudinally between the plates. Each plate is 50 meters long and 11 meters wide. Their singularity and clarity is reinforced by deep setbacks – 2 meters on the front and rear and 5 metres on the cantilevered projection – to the external wall. The roof plate is supported by internal steel columns.



The lower lever, defined by the black concrete walls, contains entry, car parking, wine cellar, study and guest bedrooms. The upper level – conceptually a single space – contains master bedroom, second bedroom, living, dining, and kitchen. A floor to ceiling glass wall with sliding external doors extends the full length of the house, and opens onto an upper level terrace stepping down to an outdoor swimming pool.



The interiors are as minimal as the building itself. Floors are honed mid grey pigmented concrete, and the ceilings are finished with white plasterboard. Internal spaces are defined by sycamore panelled volumes inserted into the space, and held free of the ceiling and the long glazed wall. The breath-taking vistas enhance the overall impression of an infinite and sublime space.


October 04, 2010

Arthur Tofani 1958 D'Onofrio house

This modern 1958 house has a timeless appeal with contemporary angles rendered in stone and glass.

2Modern Design Brief

Views from the Modern Side...

Imagine this view each day. 'Swedish Dream Home' featured on digsdigs. A harmonious blend of views and architecture-divine...

Picture 1
This home by Joel Sanders Architecture in New York tops my list of favorite US residences -E.V.E.R. You really must check the link for this firm to see all the eye candy this home has to offer. Look for house on Mt. Merino.

I keep trying to get to Bali...Something always seems to come up and my grand plans are interrupted...the first time I laid eyes on this magical location, it became my destiny. Warm breezes and Balinese vistas await at the Alila Villas Uluwatu...someday...


October 03, 2010

Welham Studios by Mark Merer, Somerton, UK

Mark Merer’s work is rooted in the elements. They range from kinetic and balletic sculptures that move with the wind, to solid grass tors hewn from the earth. He was brought up in Malaya, where he spent much time on the beach flying kites and much of his work retains a love of light and air. But just as influential, perhaps, were the hours he spent digging sand. “I like to understand the landscape,” he says, “not just by walking through it or looking at it but by splitting it open to reveal what’s underneath. I want to peel back the crust to reveal Mother Earth.”


Welham Studio, designed for Landhouse, is a housing module developed from the Swinomish project at Washington State. Constructed from structurally insulated panels (SIPS) clad in Thermoform three-strand ply, with a meadow roof. A variety of layouts have been designed for home, holiday or work and three basic sizes have been developed. Welham studios is the larger of the three designs.


The Penncocks, a couple from Seattle, was interested in Merer's work and how it would translate to a building form. That is how Landhouse project was born. Merer took off with the idea with the help of architect Art Peterson of Cedar tree Architects in Seattle. A meeting was organized and out of it came the idea to develop an environmentally sensitive scheme for an allocated development area. The structures were refined and developed into module units comprising of Elder, Student, Single Family, Vacation, Multifamily and community facilities.  


Merer got back to the UK and decided to build an example of the larger unit. It became Welham Studios, from which Merer and his wife, artist Lucy Glendinning, work from. The building is constructed in structurally insulated panels using the factory in Seattle that was involved in the Swinomish project; this was to be a test for the modular units. Thermoform 3ply cladding was used. It came in 5m by 2m sheets. The roof is an EPDM membrane with a inbuilt root barrier, a 100mm substrate with a wild flower turf.


October 02, 2010

Art + Design = Life

(Etsy: ArgyleWhale)

When it comes to design, we forget that it is handmade, just in a different way.

Certainly this had some labor involved in its making.

(NYT Logo - made of chairs)

But design can be fun and lite (or light).


Design can be inspired from anywhere and anything.


Ikea has put out a visually stunning cookbook ( titled: Homemade is Best


Is this the future? Will everything be broken down into a global visual language?


Which begs the question:


Design + life = unexpected delights in everyday life
(blend of hand-made, mass-produced, creative applications)



Everything is going to be alright

That goes for everyone. (below: Kumi Yamashita)


And anyone.
After all, this is our world.


(above: Richard Galpin, "Noosphere", 2006)

September 30, 2010

Sentry :: Andy Freeberg

I am totally digging this photographic series by Andy Freeberg, entitled "Sentry".  I don't know how many times I've walked into spaces like this - always with an over-sized, white reception desk, it seems - and had this same experience.  The top of a head, the absence of a "hello", and the feeling of an unnecessary disconnect.  Have you experienced this?  Share your thoughts and/or reactions to this series in the comments.

Artist's Statement:

It was an odd moment when I walked into that first gallery in Chelsea and saw a large white desk with a head poking up from the top edge of the computer screen. I took out my camera, carefully framing and exposing the scene, and the head never moved or took notice of my gaze. As I walked around that booming Chelsea neighborhood of art galleries, I began to notice a trend: at some of the biggest galleries there are giant entry desks, where the top of the head of the desk sitter is often the only other human presence. This leads me to wonder, in this digital world of email and instant messaging that supposedly makes us more connected, are we also setting up barriers to the simple eye to eye contact that affirms our humanity?

See the whole series here.  More pics after the jump.

Continue reading "Sentry :: Andy Freeberg" »

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