Archive for the ‘ Installations ’ Category

Dizzy yet…?

So, like any architecture firm, we get gobs of design magazines that we either subscribe to or not.  Usually they come in the principals names, but no one ever picks them up so they either end up in recycling or on my desk because I am too cheap to subscribe to a glossy magazine I can get for free at the office.  Recently, I “came into possession of” Interior Design magazine…it’s a glossy and a goody.  Apart from it being half ads and the other half interiors concepts that no one would ever spec in their project because it would tank the project in one foul swoop in just finishes and FF&E, Interior Design is the typical trendy design rag.  I did, however, enjoy these pics right from the cover.  I was completely confused and duped at first and I admit I opened the magazine solely because I could not figure out what was happening on the cover.  I am not sure I would want to work in this environment, but the jury is still out on that……this is Salon Himmelblau in Welsberg-Taisten, a village in the Italian Tirol,  and the designer, Architekturbüro Stefan Hitthaler, designed the basement upside down.  Also, I can’t imagine having to spell that name over the phone….





















Images courtesy of Interior Design Magazine


Office Playgrounds…


Okay, so I have been conspicuously absent the last week…I probably should have warned everyone I was on vacation.  And in light of my week of playing hooky I returned to work yesterday to shop drawings and LEED submittals; FYI LEED online is a laborious pain in the keester and I will soon be posting about a glorious new possibility that has the potential to replace LEED, or so Architectural Record says.  And we all know that what happens in Architectural Record stays in Architectural Record.  I digress.

But because offices lack that “je ne sais quoi” that embodies the vacation spirit, I am proposing that more offices should offer naptimes and playgrounds.  Google and Facebook have it right.  An adult sized jungle gym never hurt anyone and seriously, if you are reading this blog right now at 11:17am EST in the United States then productivity and billable time are not your main concerns in life either.  So, below is an installation NET by Numen/For Use (creators Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljkovic) that was created for the Belgian gallery Z33 and I propose that every firm has this installed in the breakroom.  It is exercise, fun and ridiculousness all rolled into one web.  Bring your Spiderman costume and have a great time.








Images courtesy of ForUse, Z33 and Dezeen


Speaking of stacks of books…


After seeing the creative wall display from Elding Oscarson that upcycles used magazines, I was excited to see a similar installation at the  Children’s Book Museum in the Hague designed by Platvorm, Amsterdam and Grob Enzo.  It has such a clever and fantastic use of books integrated into the interactive exhibit that draws kids into a world of creative energy and fantastic storytelling.  This is a really cool space for people of any age, but a wonderfully delightful imaginarium for kids.  The exhibition is nicknamed, “Papiria,” and it emphasizes the magic of word and image through spectacular design.  During their voyage of discovery through Papiria, visiting children create their own digital story figure and then write a story, draw a picture, compose a poem or let their imagination go in the accompanying workshop. The interactive exposition is an experience in itself. The use of multimedia and various art disciplines bring the classic medium of the book into today’s day and age. The exposition has 12 interactive games, 18 short audiovisual productions about making a story, 30 design stations where children can create their own story figure, 111 original illustrations by 68 different illustrators, more than 150 sound fragments and some 50,000 books on the shelves.

For anyone who loves to read, this is a wonderland.  So take a moment of way cooler billable time and wonder through the fantasy yourself and reminisce about your favorite childhood tale…






















Images courtesy of Platvorm

The Swedes have done it again!!!


Okay, now that we all have a grip on my bizarre fetish for Swedish/Norwegian architects, please enjoy the awesome project below.  Swedish architects, Elding Oscarson, recycled the growing periodical collection of the interior design clients, advertising firm Oktavilla, and used magazines to create an inspirational wall and part of their office interior redesign.  By stacking the magazines and binding them in blocks, they constructed a wall that is sturdy, colorful and eye-catching.  Interestingly enough, it also creates a fantastic sound barrier between the offices and conference spaces.   Enjoy and happy Monday!








Images courtesy of Elding Oscarson

Slowpoke Cafe…

I will admit before I even start this post, that I am a Starbucks kind of person.  Yes, I buy into all the consumerism and I like to have my little paper cup with the sleeve that says “Starbucks” on it with the funny little green mermaid that I am told has something to do with actual literature, Moby Dick.  Maybe it’s because I am a big city person and where I am from in Washington DC, the self-importance quotient of everyone on the metro is unbelievably high and for some reason is fueled by holding brand name coffee products.  I will make a caveat here, however, that I am not rich enough to hold a Dean and Deluca cup of coffee, I am an architect after all, those people take towncars to work and do not ride the metro or sit in traffic.  So I enjoy getting my coffee order and with that tall cup of piping hot crack, my self-importance factor goes up just a little and I take my place in the line of other important coffee drinkers whose identities are defined in their cup of joe.

I will occasionally take in a local cafe, I have a favorite in particular that I frequent when I am not mainlining my drug of choice from Starbucks.  These cafes are always so artsy and trendy, which appeals to my mildly artistic architectural side – making me think I could play in an indie band or paint something also if I just put my mind to it, but I am weary of them because I worry they may not get my drink perfectly on queue.  There is nothing worse than dropping $3.50 on an overpriced and over ingredient-ed drink only to have it taste bad and lack the chutzpah to have them do it over.  I digress.

All of this is to intro a really cool cafe in Melbourne, Australia which was renovated and redesigned using reclaimed and recycled materials and timber from flea markets, furniture makers and flooring manufacturers.  Starbucks it’s not, but Slowpoke Espresso gets my vote any day and since I am a complete sucker for anything designed out of wood I wanted to share this cozy cafe with you all.  It was redesigned and renovated by Sasufi, French-born and Melbourne based graphic designer & visual artist Anne-Sophie Poirier. After graduating as an architect in 2006 and working in one of Australia’s top architectural firm, Anne-Sophie soon realised her passion was also for design and visual art. In 2009, she started freelancing for various clients in Australia, France and the UK. She now offers a wide range of services, from interior design to web design, product packaging and photography and she was the mastermind behind this cool piece of reclamation.  So grab yourself a cup of joe and enjoy browsing these awesome pics.

Images courtesy of Sasufi

ICFF Eye Candy…The Flux Chair

Furniture lover I am; here is a cool chair, the Flux Chair by Flux Furniture, that was spotlighted this year at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.  Enjoy the eye candy!

Images and video courtesy of Flux Chairs and Y Living

Stress Release for Architects

Architects have a lot of stress, this goes without saying.  Long days, frustrating consultants, the inevitable wasteland of our creativity, etc, etc.  But, we all need a way to get stress out.  Some of us simply get sucked into our jobs and implode, working longer hours and demanding ridiculous schedules of other people, “what, you didn’t get my email to make that change to the sketch-up model last night at 10:30?  But we need to have it this morning, that’s why I emailed you…”  Don’t pretend you don’t know that person and if it’s you, you’ve got to get a life.

Other people attempt to be more creative in their off time and try to reclaim what was lost of their former artistic and esoteric selves.  If you have started diversifying your wardrobe and wearing color for instance, you have lost that spark and are much too stressed out…you need a break.  Still others go the other direction and throw themselves into the esoteric, attending conferences and entering conceptual design competitions and touting why Zaha and UNstudio are the wave of the design future and why are we all stuck designing marginal and normalized architecture?  You know this person too because typically when they speak, you can’t understand a word they say and you are briefly taken back into your college conceptual studios where 3ds Max and Rhino renderings sufficed for actual project presentation, no drawings needed.  This person can also be identified because it is likely that they are, of course, wearing black and their jeans have become uncomfortably tight (read: skinny fit) as have their shirts and they are wearing thick rimmed glasses and too much gel in the hair.  I am all for style, but when you have no time to workout then tight fitting styles are not for you…

To deal with this need for stress release, I am presenting you with a new option courtesy of The Practice of Everyday Design and designers David Long and Antoine Morris.  Their Log Chop Bench is the antidote to everyone’s need to break something.  They designed the Log Chop Bench for the Mercer Union’s 2011 Steller Living Contemporary Art and Design Auction.  Basically, this awesome bench installation was created off of no drawings (collective squeal of delight!) and created by letting a lumberjack hew the living daylights out of a tree trunk and then a motorcycle saddler maker hand stitched the seats.  It is sweet, see the pics below, you won’t regret it.

So, the next time you feel the need to blow some steam, I suggest you get an ax and go to work on a tree log and hopefully, if you are as good of architects as these guys, you will have an awesome furniture installation to show for your stress when you are done…enjoy!

Images courtesy of The Practice of Everyday Design

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