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KARIM RASHID The designer we know and love, or love to hate? PAGE 192




swiss graphic designers go stateside: detektiv bureau

THE MODERN FARMHOUSE 7 447 0 25680 0



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Luminaire Presents: Cabrio Sectional Seating Design by Piero Lissoni

Luminaire Presents: Balancing Box Shelf Design by Front

CHICAGO SHOWROOM 301 West Superior Street Chicago, Illinois 312.664.9582 800.494.4358 CORAL GABLES SHOWROOM 2331 Ponce de Leon Blvd Coral Gables, Florida 305.448.7367 800.645.7250 LUMINAIRE LAB 3901 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, Florida 305.576.5788 866.579.1941







DIY or Die


Les Stroud, better known to TV audiences as Survivorman, is a one-man show, battling the wild without a safety net PAGE 182


138 Boston Architects Speak Seven of the city’s top architects tell us what they really think of their hometown

68 Inside my Sketchbook: +ADD Architect and artist Laura Gonzalez Fierro reveals her colorful works

148 Keep the Party Going Sadly, the holidays are over. Luckily, these designers keep things festive year round.

72 Notes from the Bureau A roundup of new design work that made us look twice

160 A Breath of Fresh Air Modern farmhouses guaranteed to make you want to live the simple life

78 A Burger Revolution Michael Shuman’s NYC burger joint, 4Food, puts the marketing plan in your hands

174 At Home in Hollywood A look inside Thor Bradwell and Lars Gradel’s ridiculously nice LA abode

80 Fun for Everyone Chicago-based Architecture is Fun is a serious firm with a lighthearted outlook

176 Karim Rashid Hate him? Love him? Karim who? The pop star of the design world speaks out.

84 The Marc Jacobs Experience We talk with the designers behind fashion icon Marc Jacobs’ retail locations

188 The Survival Project Can modern man survive the wild? Steven Brahms' photo essay attempts to find out

94 My Idol: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Martin Ebert of Studio Meda tells us how the famed German architect inspires him 98 The Language of Design Find out what it’s like to design artistic spaces for other creative types

INFORMER 14 16 24 27 29 30 33 34 36 38 46 55 58

Dream Machines Design for Dogs Redesign Waterproof Web Surfing Fill in the Blank Toys by Design The Statement Scarf Skate ‘N’ Paint Ask the Expert Studio Tour Design Dialogue Design Explained Design Icon

PLUS 08 10 12 192 193

Letter from the Editor Contributors Letters Comic Strip This Issue’s Best Albums 194 For Hire Photo of Les Stroud by Carl Heindl





Fun for Everyone Chicago firm Architecture is Fun brings happiness to children’s museums and exhibits Page 80

A Colorful Life Married designers Caterina Roiatti and Robert Traboscia invite us into their swanky SoHo loft Page 136

Top: Architecture is Fun, photo by Drew Reynolds; TRA Studio Loft, photo by Marili Forastieri



Karim Rashid Haters keep hatin’. Rashid keeps chugging along with his rose-colored view on life and design Page 176

An Inspiring Mind After the tragic loss of her business partner, interior designer Kristine Paige Kamenstein learned how to put her work into perspective Page 52

The Survival Project Steven Brahms’ quirky photo essay ponders how modern man would fare if faced with a night in the wild Page 188

Clockwise from top: Karim Rashid in his home, photo by Mark Mahaney; Kristine Paige Kamenstein from Jackson Paige Interior Design, photo by Aaron Farley; Photo from The Survival Project by Steven Brahms




Letters & Contributors

Publisher & editor-in-chief


Chris Force

Ellie Fehd


Senior Account Manager

Tarra Kieckhaefer


Kristin Lamprecht

account managers

Amy Clark

Associate editors

Kyle Gilkeson

Reina Patel

Kathryn Freeman Rathbone

Morgan Pulcipher

editoriAL INTERNs

Sarah Cason, Alyssa Mannion, Alyssa Meza, Molly Raskin -----

Jessica Rimpel Emily Schleier


Lindsey Eden Turner

Ashley Zorilla


Garrett Karol



Laura Amundson


Liisa Jordan

Alyssa Jongsma


Jason Abbruzzese, Jonathan Allen, Tonatiuh Ambrosetti, Farshid Assassi, Lauren Bamford, Josh Band, Aryn Beitz, Cody Benson, Robert Benson, Murrye Bernard, Philip Bier, Hallie Borden, Jeremy Brautman, Roberto Bruzadin, Zack Burris, Shaun Cammack, Jean-Philippe Caulliez, Dusdin Condren, Peter Cook, Cherie Cordellos, Jimmy Corhssen, Paul Crosby, Jerome D’Almeida, Noah Davis, Todd Diederich, Bilyana Dimitrova, Kristen Eichenmuller, Stirling Elmendorf, Aaron Farley, Felicia Feaster, Steven Fischer, Marili Forastieri, Paul Freeman, Zach Graham, Art Gray, Bill Green, Tim Griffith, Michael Grimm, Adam Hanson, Carl W. Heindl, Robin Hill, Geoffrey Hodgdon, Doug Human, Chris Hunter, Christos Joannides, Britt Julious, Mikiko Kikuyama, Stephen Killion, Brandon Klein, Hulya Kolabas, Jennifer Krogh, Marc Lamkin, Brian Libby, Michael Lowry, Eric Luc, Mark Luthringer, Mark Mahaney, Faryha Majumder, Saundra Marcel, Carl Martin, Kaitlyn McQuaid, Trevor Mein, Katie Mendelson, Gregory Miller, David Modica, Norma Lopez Molina, Kyle Monk, Adam Mørk, Scott Morrow, Nalina Moses, Peden Munk, Nacasa and Partners, Bethany Nauert, Bob O’Connor, Jimi Patterson, Georgia Perry, Philippe Petalas, Lisa Predko, Jay Reilly, Drew Reynolds, Christian Richters, Travis Roozée, Eric Roth, Jason Rubin, Victoria Sambunaris, Julienne Schaer, Andrew Schroedter, Josh Sears, Jenny Seyfried, Doug Snower, Matthew David Snyder, Lesley Stanley, David Sundberg, Katie Tandy, Jennifer Smith Tapp, Kaira Townsend, Nicola Twilley, Randy Van Duinen, Peter Vanderwarker, Carlos Andres Varela, Brooks Walker, Paul Warchol, J. Michael Welton, Liz Williams, Matthew Williams, Carlton Wolfe

Nicole Mazade Allison Weaver ----Marketing manager

Elise Schmitt ----controller

Andrea DeMarte Assistant to Controller

Mokena Trigueros -----


Nancy McDonald -----

Human resources

Greg Waechter

cover image: Karim Rashid in New York, photographed By Mark Mahaney

A one-year subscription to Design Bureau is US $48. Visit our website at or send a check or money order to: Design Bureau 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200 Chicago, IL 60601

P 312.386.7932 F 312.276.8085

Design Bureau (ISSN 2154-4441) is published bi-monthly by ALARM Press at 205 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 3200, Chicago, IL, 60601. Periodicals postage is PENDING at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Design Bureau at 205 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 3200, Chicago, IL, 60601 © 2011 Design Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. DESIGN BUREAU is a trademark of Design Bureau.

Chris Force photo by Noah Kalina


With a relentless drive, a shrewd marketing mind, and a possibly unrivaled ability to use design to connect consumer desires with boardroom demands on a massive scale, Karim Rashid commands the world of commercial industrial design. It is an industry with few household names, save for the covert “guy with black T-shirt” from Apple or the infomercial-like British dude from Dyson. Rashid’s works can be found in millions of homes across the world. His global influence has the ability to shape and color our everyday environments, from our offices to our kitchens. And, to my absolute bewilderment, Rashid continues to create objects suited for Hello Kitty. The majority of his work is appalling to my senses—the frivolous use of color, the absurd forms, the cheap textures. There are moments of subtle elegance to be found in his work, yet it’s often drowned in a sea of flamboyance. However, somehow, it works. Author Saundra Mercel discusses why on page 176. We also speak with another Canadian, survival expert and DIY champion Les Stroud, who once lived completely off the grid, with no metal or plastic tools, for an entire year in the Canadian wilderness. His expertise is not only with creative survival techniques but in producing his own TV show, Survivorman, which he directs, films, stars in, and even creates the soundtrack for (he’s an impressive blues harmonica player). Author so and so speaks with Stroud on page 182. From the austere to the ostentatious, we’ve presented another unexpected mix of design inspiration in this issue of Design Bureau. Tell me what you think. -----

Chris Force Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Š 2010 TREAT AND COMPANY, LLC. All rights reserved. Proprietary and confidential Collection of TREAT AND COMPANY, LLC. No portion of this Collection may be reproduced, copied, shared or duplicated in any manner.




Letters & Contributors


Lesley Stanley is a writer living and working in Chicago. In addition to covering design, she also writes fiction, primarily short stories. Stanley also enjoys volunteering at 826CHI, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in Chicago.

Aryn Beitz is a writer living and working in San Francisco. Beitz attributes her passion for art and design to her father, a Michigan-based architect who taught her how to appreciate design at an early age. When she’s not exploring big cities or moving to new places, you can find her outdoors, running or hiking with friends.

Design Bureau: The Intelligencer Carl William W. Heindl’s style of photography reflects his inner nature: spontaneous, borderless, and multidisciplinary. Heindl holds a degree in graphic design and is also an avid painter, writer, and musician. He prefers film photography and trusty classic cameras to digital bells and whistles. Heindl works and resides in Toronto, Canada.

Mark Mahaney, pictured here with his grandmother, lives in Brooklyn and works for clients like Dwell, Monocle, Time, The New York Times and Nike. He and his wife, Jess, have a baby on the way and have dreams of moving their growing family to Northern California, where they can get back to the land.

Design Bureau goes beyond print by engaging readers with The Intelligencer, a free bi-weekly e-newsletter.

BeyonD print. BeyonD Design. For your daily dose of everything design, subscribe at


Letters & Contributors

LETTERS TO DESIGN BUREAU January/February 2012


To celebrate our first year of existence, INSIDE we rolled THE MINDS out a special OF CREATIVE anniversary FANATICS issue, guestedited by some pretty great folks from a wide range of disciplines. You guys mostly loved it, but a few of you took issue with our, ahem, issue. And, as predicted, ladies loved them some Boondock Saint turned zombie killer, Norman Reedus. “Love Boondock Saints, love Walking Dead, love Norman Reedus. Had no idea he was an artist—holy cow. What can’t he do?! Hook a girl up and send him my digits, puh-lease.” (d.h., via email). “As a huge fan of the Stieg Larsson books, I was excited to see you guys cover Peter Mendelsund. Definitely one of the best graphic designers around today.” (t.e., via email). “No idea who April Daly is, but that photo essay is awesome.” (E.P., via email). “What’s going on with that cover? It feels nice, but it looks like you printed your cutting-room floor. Better luck next time!” (t.m., via email). PLUS / FRANK GEHRY’S FAIL: FIXING HIS SANTA MONICA MALL / ARCHITECTURAL RECORD HOUSE REBOOT /











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DB shout-outs from the Twitterverse Join the conversation at

SOUND BITES Reading through my first issue of @DesignBureauMag. I’m so digging @3stDesign’s passion projects. The Stop the Violence photos rock! @RoxanaCorral



This page: Reords sleeves I designed for the re-release of music by the sound artist Vivenza. Facing page: Various RotoRelief packages I designed and a page from my Sonata for Violin and Piano, a work I composed in 2000.

Anniversary Issue




So glad to see a magazine that features design AND architecture. Great design, quality paper too. A keeper. @TDominey





Saw the new issue of @DesignBureauMag— It’s great to have such a cool magazine in #Chicago, especially since they feature so many local people. @JessicaCalek Coffee and reading my first @DesignBureauMag. Feeling super inspired! @Molly_Taaffe @DesignBureauMag Liked the site and thought the mag wud be cool too. Found my new favorite app from ur site! @GifShopTV @MarkEHost

“Architecture doesn’t have to be so serious. I don’t want to live in a serious house. I want to live in a house that I enjoy living in.” Gernot bruckner, principal, brio 54 “A package deal,” PAGE 118

CORRECTION: In our story on Edmonds + Lee in the July/August 2011 issue (“Building Doctors”), we neglected to include a photo credit for Bruce Damonte. We regret the error.

For the record: Facts and information about what went on behind the scenes of this issue

Bathrobe The outfit that Karim Rashid was donning upon greeting writer Saundra Marcel at his apartment. Guess what color it was? (White. Duh.)

Jargon What annoys us about architects’ writing. If it’s a barn, say it’s a barn. Not an “H-bent frame consistent with Dutch settlers of that time.”

.2 SECONDS The amount of time it would take us to drop everything and move to the sticks if given one of the farmhouses featured in this issue.

ONE Number of former crack houses in this issue. Hey, sometimes you have to look past things like paint colors and hypodermic needles to really see the potential in a space.

Have a question or comment? We want to hear from you. Give us a shout at







Dream Machines Chris Hunter, editor of Bike EXIF, rounds up five of the world’s hottest custom motorcycles If you know your two-stroke from your four-stroke and the difference between a thumper and a boxer, chances are you know Bike EXIF, too. Run by ad agency creative director Chris Hunter, the website delivers the most delectable custom and classic motorcycles on a daily basis. In this collection of Bike EXIF’s greatest hits, you’ll find rides from the new wave of custom motorcycle building—the spiritual successors to the “ton up” (slang for hitting the 100-mph mark) Norton and Triumph café racers that buzzed around English seaside towns in the 1960s. Start your engines. a


THE BLACK FALCON The third in Falcon Motorcycles' Concept 10 series of bikes is the extraordinary Black Falcon, released in early 2011. At the heart of the machine is a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow engine, and the entire bike—apart from the engine, carbs, and tires—is fabricated from scratch. Under the guidance of LA-based builder Ian Barry, the Black Falcon took a five-man team a full year to complete.


CLASSIFIED MOTO YAMAHA XS650 Classified Moto is a new name on the custom scene, but the Richmond, Virginia-based company has already sent ripples through the motorcycling world. This machine is based on a 1982 Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special, but fitted with modified Suzuki RMZ450 dirt bike forks. Neat touches abound, like a custom battery tray with a voltmeter, mounted behind perforated metal sidecovers. When you look through the side covers at night, the voltmeter glows like an old guitar tube amp.




WRENCHMONKEES GORILLA PUNCH This Honda CB750 from Copenhagen rocked the custom motorcycle world when it appeared two years ago. It’s the antithesis of the chrome-laden, unwieldy chopper, owing more to the Japanese “brat style” of custom bike building. Gorilla Punch ended up as an exhibit at Kunst Industri Museet, the Danish Museum of Art & Design, and was then sold to a biker’s café in Dubai. It’s still the gold standard for contemporary custom motorcycle design.


OFFICINE ROSSOPURO MOTO GUZZI Filippo Barbacane specializes in updating classic Moto Guzzis. His 76 Special is built around a tuned motor running Le Mans 1000 pistons and a custom exhaust system. Only the frame remains stock; the all-new bodywork flaunts traditional Guzzi styling signatures, such as the creased tank and the v-shaped section under the new seat.


STREETMASTER BRIGHTON This café racer is named after the English seaside town, a favorite destination for Mods and Rockers. It’s a collaboration between Streetmaster and Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, and uses Streetmaster’s proprietary chassis. The reworked Triumph Bonneville motor now puts out 74 horsepower. Up front is a brand-new, old-style Grimeca drum brake, complementing shouldered aluminum rims and Dunlop TT100 tires. The aluminum fuel tank and wasp-like tail section have panels painted in Amaranth Red, a vintage Triumph color.

1) photo by Adam Ewing; 2) photo courtesy Falcon Motorcycles; 3) photo courtesy Wrenchmonkees; 4) photo courtesy Officine Rossopuro; 5) photo by David Edwards






Design for Dogs Just because men’s and women’s best friends are dogs and diamonds, it doesn’t mean they should go together. What your loyal companion needs is good, solid stuff that can take a beating (or a biting). Here are some basics guaranteed to make those other bitches jealous. PHOTO BY ZACK BURRIS

Doca Pet Wire & Dine $79-137

See Scout Sleep Bed $130-240

Planet Dog Bamboo Wood Chuck w/ Ball $24.95

Filson Tin Cloth Dog Bowl $30

Honest Pet Hemp Eco-Tugger $8-19

The Urban Animal Scientist Collars $32 www.theurbananimal

The Urban Animal Scientist Wash $25 www.theurbananimal





Design by the numbers

the art of Homeless Cop Jason Fennell’s colorful, madcap style is equal parts Kurt Cobain and Larry David

Industrial Design

28,670 The number of industrial designers employed in the United States

$58,230 The median wage for an industrial designer

You’ve taken your artwork and turned it into a show for Adult Swim. Has it been difficult to translate your paintings into moving, talking animations? It’s been easy because they are two totally different things, and while I paint like I draw, I am creating a whole new world of cartoons and characters that would never be anything like my paintings at all. Apples and oranges. Who are your artist/illustrator heroes? How do they influence your style? Jean-Michel Basquiat, Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane, Parra, Matt Leines, Skinner, Neckface, Richard Colman, Jim Houser. All of these people are amazing and inspirational, but I’d say I’m more influenced by listening to music while I work—and by people like Larry David and Hunter S. Thompson. Favorite animated show of all time? Easy! The Simpsons!

If you could paint a mural anywhere in the world, where and what would it be? I’d buy Kurt Cobain’s old house and paint one in the basement. I get the chills just thinking about it. When you’re not sleeping, eating, or drawing, what do you do? Listening to Nirvana, watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, various self-improvement projects. Describe the process of making a painting in five easy steps. 1. Plan out the entire painting 2. Draw the outline in pencil 3. Go over outline in acrylic paint (the black lines) 4. Layer lots of acrylic paint on it until it looks really nice 5. Carefully go over all black lines again, and make it extra crispy with lots of time and effort a

motor-vehicle manufacturing The top-paying industry for industrial designers

Greater Detroit The metropolitan area with the highest number of industrial designers

300 The projected number of US colleges, universities, and private institutions that offer degrees in industrial design

All data taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics






5 DESIGNERS / 5 QUESTIONS In the name of investigative journalism, we asked five of the industry’s coolest designers five hard-hitting questions. Here, five albumcover artists share their thoughts on musical weapons and desertisland soundtracks.

jesse ledoux


don & ryan Clark

Invisible Creature

Lawrence Azerrad LAD Design

Michael Tabie

Two Arms Inc.

Gaute Tenold Aase Grandpeople

If you could live inside any album cover, which one would it be?

Built to Spill’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. I’m guessing the views would be incredible.

Radiohead’s OK Computer. I can’t think of a better symbiotic relationship between music and its physical package. Stanley Donwood’s packaging was beyond words.

I frequently feel like I am living inside Green Day’s Dookie album cover, but really, I wish it could be Live Peace In Toronto 1969 by Plastic Ono Band.

Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. It’s the only way I could afford to live in Manhattan.

Roxy Music’s Country Life. I don’t want to sound sleazy, but who wouldn’t want to have those two girls as roommates? And the fresh pine scent from all those trees in the background would be nice.

A cassette tape, a vinyl record, or the first-generation iPod— which would be the best weapon to use in a street fight?

Definitely the LP. Take it. Snap it. The shards make an excellent shiv.

A vinyl record. When used correctly, I’m guessing it could take off a head or two. Have you ever broken one? That’s a dagger waiting to happen.

First-generation iPod, as those were really quite heavy and could do some damage if lobbed at the head just so.

Vinyl record, but it would have to be something fitting like Metallica’s Kill ’Em All or the Ramones limited-edition seveninch Buzzsaw.

My weapon of choice would be those really old gramophone records. Break that bad boy, and you’ve got a good set of sharp knifes.

You've got all the supplies in a firstgrader's desk and a 30-minute deadline. What does the album look like?

I'd attempt to make a popup-construction paper castle, but would probably have to fall back on a mess of glitter macaroni thrown together in the final five minutes.

Crayola Modernism.

Dinosaur playground with seahorses, in crayon on paper.

Let’s just say, it would be the best damn macaroni type you’ve ever seen.

Probably pretty good. I think I pretty much have the same supplies in my current desk. Maybe my selection of crayons was even better then than now.

Don’t get me started. I’d like to plead the Fifth on this one.

The singer of Blues Traveler.

Rod Stewart

That Hawaiian guy who always pops up on Pandora. Enough with the “Over the Rainbow” already.

Aerosmith’s toxic twins in the ’70s, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. They’d just get high, write a great song, and later thank me for introducing them to their new favorite drug.

Without question, The Jungle Book soundtrack. I listen to it at least once a week. It never gets old.

You've Got Mail. Two words: Harry Nilsson.

No contest. Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come.

Jurassic Park soundtrack. Who wouldn’t want to share an island with dinosaurs?

Top Gun. “Take My Breath Away” for those island evenings, and “Danger Zone” for hunting wild boars in the jungle.

Which musician's food would you Most like to poison?

We're gonna ask it: what album would you want with you on a desert island? Wait for has to be a movie soundtrack.

Albums designed by artists left to right: Elliott Smith’s Pretty (Ugly Before) 7”; Gyroscope’s Cohesion; Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Favez’s En Garde!; The New Wine’s Waves




Flavor Papers, Design Bureau March/April 2011 Photo by Noah Kalina





My View

One City One photographer five photos

Todd Diederich Chicago, IL Todd Diederich is a documentary photographer, mixedmedia artist, and poet. He attended Columbia College Chicago from 2000-2003, and in 2003 won the Jack Jaffe Award for Documentary Photography. Soon after, he cofounded the Athens Recess Center in Georgia, an artistic resource center for the community. His street-level style captures the energy and vibrancy of the people and neighborhoods of Chicago. a






Reflecting Telescope James Gregory published preliminary ideas for the reflecting telescope, the major telescope now used in astronomy research.

Prix de Rome





Under the reign of Louis the XIV, Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in France created the Prix de Rome scholarship for art students concentrated in painting and sculpting.

Theatre Royal Now owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Theatre Royal was constructed in 1663, making it England’s oldest standing theater.




• • II

ClockwiseII from left: Augusta Blvd & Washtenaw Ave; “The Earth Laughs In Flowers”; Lake St & Central Park Ave; 13th St & Kostner Ave; Western Ave & Division St •

the guinea O CAR LVS







Minted in 1663, the guinea served as Britain’s main form of currency, later to be replaced by the pound during the Great Recoinage of 1816.

Royal Academy of Fine Arts O CAR LVS




The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium is founded by painter David Teniers the Younger. Specializing in fine arts, architecture, and design, it still exists today as one of the oldest art schools in Europe.

William Bradford





A pioneer in the printing world is born. Born in England, Bradford emigrated to the US and became the official printer for the entire New York province.











A peek inside the world's BEST Boutiques

Saturdays Surf NYC

Location: SoHo, New York City Year Founded: 2009 Sells: Surfing equipment, beachwear, books, grooming supplies, fine art, and a mean cup of Joe Website:

Coffee, art, and, yes, surfing collide in the most unlikely of places It was supposed to be a surf shop. New York’s unique architecture clearly had other plans. “When we walked into the space for the first time,” says owner Josh Rosen, “I noticed the beautiful curve of the wall. It felt like a diner from the ’50s. I felt like it would be perfect for a coffee bar.” Convincing his former coworker Morgan Collett and friend/art director Colin Tunstall to help create Manhattan’s first highend surf shop and café didn’t take much effort. Now, what used to be a neglected storefront in a back alley is an eclectic den for surfers, Photos courtesy Saturdays Surf NYC

espresso fiends, and generally chilled-out vibes. Patrons can also haggle over oneof-a-kind art—yes, it’s a gallery too. Saturdays holds several exhibitions a year, and recently showcased collections by famed photographers Randall Mesdon and Trujillo/Paumier. Rosen best sums up Saturdays and its mission: “Great coffee is always a treat, and sipping it in the backyard of Saturdays is a treat we offer to people every day.”—Sarah cason a


Between huge commercial stores, Saturdays finds its home in a cobblestoned alleyway

2. Inside, surf apparel, including distressed tees and Saturdays-brand boardshorts, is displayed on well-worn wooden tables and shelves 3. Saturdays’ boards look as good on your wall as they do on the water—good thing, considering NYC’s questionable waves 4. The shaded backyard area is a welcome refuge from the bustle of the nearby busiest street in Manhattan




Open Objects There’s no right answer when it comes to designer Jonathan Muecke’s peculiar work “I was not interested in the object; I was interested in the object beside the object.” Fittingly cryptic words from a designer whose work occupies a space of distinct unreality. Jonathan Muecke, born in Wyoming and now based in Minneapolis, just completed his first solo exhibition at Volume Gallery in Chicago. Entitled Open Objects, the show featured eight one-off creations that manage to look familiar and foreign at the same time. Unlike design that serves a distinct purpose, Muecke prefers to create objects with potential. “This is the place that the work is most able,” Muecke says. “I do not like the measure to be design. I like the measure to be open and ongoing.” a photos by Travis Roozée

Above: Jonathan Muecke in his studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Work from Open Objects and other covered works in progress






Creative Team:

Worthington’s Ales a Stalwart English Brew gets the dignified look it deserves

Landor Associates (London)

Reason for redesign:

Since the ale industry is showing signs of growth, Molson Coors wanted to reinvigorate its popular family of UK brews that’s been around since 1744.

Focusing on the heritage of the brand, with its familiar shield and sword iconography, Landor wanted to "celebrate the characters behind the brand; from barley farmers and brewers to the ale drinkers."


A wonky shield and a sword that looked like a stage prop failed to speak to the regal characteristics of the brand. Plus, the repeated logo in the T of the wordmark just looked like it was trying a little too hard to be clever.


The redesign extended to the entire family of ales, packaging, glassware, font, and visual-identity system. The high-contrast color palette works wonders, and the new label has a sense of balance and strength. “Ales of Character,” indeed.

Readers Respond:

What do you think of the new Worthington's design? Tell us at letters@

UPGRADE: CARD GAMES You’re familiar with the family-friendly version, now meet its foul-mouthed cousin Apples to Apples is a modern classic, no doubt. Endless combinations, ridiculously easy to learn, and fun for all ages. Yet, occasionally the wholesome fun is interrupted by a juvenile use of the Hellen Keller card. Everybody loves it. Now imagine the same game, where every card is a virtual trump card, and a sense of decorum is discouraged. Cards Against Humanity is that game. Packaged in a stark black case with white Helvetica lettering, CAH, for short, is truly a “party game for horrible people.” $25,

Worthington’s,; Landor,






The Emerald City is a verdant metropolis begging to be explored. So gear up, hop on a bike, and get out there. photo by doug human

Showers Pass Portland Jacket $200

Rapha Jeans $205

London Undercover Black Mini Folded Umbrella ÂŁ25

Cascade Designs Urban Backpack $129

Zojirushi Tuff Mug $20-30 Outlier/Feit Supermarines $260





Our favorite New how-to


2. For the shameless self-promoter:

3. For the contemporary-art historian:

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 Glenn Adamson & Jane Pavitt Abrams

Sagmeister: Another Book about Promotion and Sales Material Stefan Sagmeister & Chantal Prod'Hom Abrams

The History of the Saatchi Gallery Edward Booth-Clibborn Abrams

The title says it all. The influential graphic designer shares some of his best commissioned work for the likes of Levi’s and Talking Heads, among many others.

Featuring 30 designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture shows you how to use simple techniques to make stunning designer furniture from scratch.

Christopher Stuart

The progressive, controversial Saatchi Gallery has been a springboard for artists like Damien Hirst and Ron Mueck. Bonus: wild and crazy guy Steve Martin wrote a piece for this retrospective. All the projects can be easily assembled using common materials to be found at the local DIY store. Along with designs for seating and storage, the book also features projects for making your own bed, wardrobe, lighting and garden furniture. Each project features hand-drawn diagrams with short, easy-tofollow instructions on how to build the piece.

An industrial designer and artist based in Indianapolis, Christopher Stuart was formerly Senior Industrial Designer at Thomson Consumer Electronics.

Whether building from scratch or customising existing designs, DIY Furniture allows you to create unique designer pieces at a fraction of the normal cost. Brief biographies of all the featured designers are included at the end of the book.

chrisTOPhEr sTUArT

Covering cultural touchstones from Bladerunner to Karl Lagerfeld, this essential reference to postmodernism coincides with an exhibition at the V&A in London.

diy furniture A step-by-step guide

A step-by-step guide

1. For the postmodern polymath:

diy furniture


ue n iq om 30 uC t S f r je erp r o e S ig n S d ke r a m

chrisTOPhEr sTUArT

We like slick, pricey furniture as much as the next person, but in reality, our dreams of Eames are often replaced by ideas from Ikea. That’s why we’re excited about the the new book from Christopher Stuart of multidisciplinary design firm, Luur. DIY Furniture features step-by-step instructions for everything from tables and chairs to shelves and lights. See you at the hardware store!




$24.95, Laurence King


nicola twilley

Nicola Twilley is author of the blog Edible Geography, former food editor at Good magazine, and a freelance writer with work published in The Atlantic, Wired UK, and more. She is also co-director of Future Plural and co-founder of the Foodprint Project.

Geoff Manaugh

David Gissen

Carolyn Steel

Anders Halverson

Nicholas de Monchaux

The BLDGBLOG Book Full disclosure: Geoff is my husband. Still, his writing shows how much fun you can have when exploring things that interest you. It is a mix of asides, digressions, and conversations about everything from weather control to urban gaming.

Subnature: Architecture’s Other Environments A history of unintentional, overlooked, yet equally human-created aspects of the urban environment: dankness, puddles, exhaust, and pigeons. Gissen's socio-natural landscape exploration is revelatory.

The Hungry City This is the book that originally convinced me that the intersection between design and food was both fascinating and underexplored. Steel, an architect by training, explores the relationship between food and cities.

An Entirely Synthetic Fish This does for fish what Michael Pollan did for corn: it shows that the rainbow trout is both biological instantiation and evolving allegory for our complex relationship with nature, our misguided interventions, and their unintended consequences.

Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo The design process behind the first spacesuit. It’s the kind of book you’ll find yourself passing along endless little tidbits from, including how the Mercury mission spacesuits were army green, and sprayed silver at the last minute to look cool.





waterproof web surfing When the humdrum of this modern life begins to wear on you, retreat to the great outdoors, but don’t leave all of your tech gear at home. These water-resistant gadgets will protect your MP3 player, charge your iPhone/iPad, and help with lesser-priority activities like wilderness survival. This way, you can enjoy the serenity of nature with real and Angry Birds alike. photo by zack burris

GRAce eco Extreme mp3 player case/speaker $50

Joby gorillatorch switchback It’s a lantern, headlamp, and tripod all wrapped into one waterproof package $60 Joos Orange Solar Charger Charges all manner of gadgets. Boasts two hours of talk time with just one hour of sun exposure. $149

Suunto core sahara yellow $269




design jobs around the world

Global Census


Victoria Salvadores

Chelsea Hing




Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Melbourne, Australia




Design Director

Architect & Designer

Creative Director, Chelsea Hing Design Consultants

S. Moblifard

Sergey Makhno

Firoozeh Khorrami



Kiev, Ukraine

Los Angeles, California



Interior Designer & Architect

Interior Designer






Design from the heart

Be true to yourself and your style; it is individuality that makes all the difference




Kiev National University of Engineering and Architecture

BA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design

Degree in interior design, building technology & management

INCOME per project

INCOME per project

Around $50/square meter




It’s a Twister restaurant, Azur office, Pipe House

KP&A offices, Los Angeles

The beauty of interior design is in how it enhances the lifestyle of humanity

There is no good or bad, nor nice or ugly in design. there is a space and people who use it, and infinite possibilities

INCOME per project


$20-100,000/project NOTABLE PROJECTS

University of Buenos Aires Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo

Idaman Villas, Ambang Botanic, Damansara Heights

INCOME per project

Design is a wonderful way to help people enjoy their lives more. That’s ultimately where the satisfaction comes from. Well, that and getting paid to dream in Technicolor


Orozco House in Banfield, Bidinost House in Adrogué, both Buenos Aires

Arts Degree from Monash University and Diploma of Design from RMIT INCOME per project

$5-30,000/project NOTABLE PROJECTS

Bank St Terrace, Urban Burger, East Brunswick Terrace




FILL IN THE BLANK: CARDON WEBB Cardon Webb’s handiwork can be found plastered on utility poles around New York City and sitting on shelves in bookstores everywhere. We gave the Random House graphic designer six prompts, and he did the rest.

1. I design because... I have to. A hobby, a vice, an outlet, a source of income, a source of frustration, a source of elation. I design because I love variety, to be as creative, ambiguous, literal, sloppy, or Swiss as I want. 2. One of my favorite places is... the Brooklyn flea market. 3. To be creative, you have to... have a stepping-stone. I rarely, if ever, sit down at the computer to design without some reference, research, or sketch.

4. My personal style is... shape-shifting. I grew up skateboarding, playing in bands, and writing on walls. I would like to think these influences are subtly apparent in my work. 5.  I can’t believe… I get paid to read and make things all day. 6. Tomorrow I... will be getting up around eight or eight thirty, then tiptoe around my dark bedroom trying to get ready and gather what I will need for the day without waking our baby boy who is currently sleeping in our room with us.—alyssa meza







Felt Mistress stitch kitsch creations by a monster-making sewing maven

Jeremy Brautman writes about the intersection of design and pop culture. Prices vary, inquire for commissions.

Clockwise from top left: “Mad Hatter” for Go Ask Alice group show; Plush politicians in collaboration with Jonathan Edwards for fake election campaign; “Dwight” and “Elspeth” for Start London Fashion Week window; “Hipsters,” a collaboration with Jon Burgerman for My American Summer

Working as Felt Mistress, Louise Evans turns felt into fashion—only, her models happen to be monsters. Feel free to call them soft sculptures or “stitch kitsch,” but just don’t mention the G word. “Glue!? That is a fourletter word to me!” Evans exclaims. “Why would I glue when sewing is so enjoyable?” What began as a fun hobby 15 years ago has earned Evans an international reputation. Her one-off bespoke creatures have found fans in designers of all kinds. “Every character has a back story,” Evans says. “I have to know them to know what type of clothes they’d wear. You can tell a lot about people by what they wear.” Working with character designer Pete Fowler, she’s made puppets for a music video by Clinic and an Internet TV show called The Stuffs. Felt Mistress

creations have recently appeared in a Kyoko Amano fashion show in Osaka, and in the store windows of Selfridges department store in London. The handmade, tactile quality of Evans’ work appealed to Jakob Westman, of Swedish ad agency Kärnhuset, who selected Evans and her partner and frequent collaborator, Jonathan Edwards, for a Swedish milk campaign. “There’s been a healthy interest in crafts and textures in graphic design over the last few years,” says Kärnhuset of the project. Evans is simply happy to continue sending her felt friends around the world. “When I’m producing a piece, it’s not just about having something at the end, but the enjoyment of filling your day doing something you love and practicing your craft.” a




on the rise Steven Haulenbeek Unorthodox objects from a selfproclaimed design wizard who’s intent on blowing your mind Name: Steven Haulenbeek Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan Occupation: Object designer / Wizard Background: A lifelong artist, Haulenbeek creates understated furniture, lighting pieces, and one-off conceptdriven objects. His experimental design process means that what starts as a lighting or furniture piece might, ultimately, transform into an accessory or nonfunctional object. He’s also part of the Object Design League, working on event-based experimental design, and The Mighty Bearcats trio, a Chicago-based art/design collective. Resumé Builder: Haulenbeek’s many humdrum jobs—grocery-bag boy, retail associate, bathroom jackhammer-er, and wearing a Kiwi bird costume for $40—have shaped his hunger for success. During his former gig as a furniture and lighting designer for Holly Hunt, Haulenbeek developed a new collection of contemporary furnishings. “I’ve learned that my job is not to give them what they want,” Haulenbeek says, “but to show them what is possible.” Recent Projects: Alumifoam—plates sculpted from Styrofoam and cast in aluminum. A set of “MacGuyver-style” lighting fixtures called Ramus Lamps made from humble materials from Home Depot. Lightology in Chicago carries them. A set of cast-bronze and cast-glass tabletop accessories. —Kristen Eichenmuller / photo by JONATHAN ALLEN






eye for Fashion False eyelashes with a twist Designer lashes from Paperself use intricate Chinese paper-cutting techniques to craft delicate falsies in two sizes: smaller corner sets that give off a perpetual wink, and elaborate full sets for when you really need to get noticed. The lashes are cut into various Chinese symbols (11 shapes in total), including horses, peonies, and peacocks, each of which is believed to bring luck to those who wear them. Now, batting your eyelashes will really be worth the effort. a

For more information and pricing, visit





The Statement Scarf Wrap it, tie it, wear it like a cape—anything goes—just be sure to give your scarf the spotlight by pairing it with other understated pieces. photo by Doug Human

Charlotte Linton Tiger Rug Scarf £270

Age of Reason Anarchy Jack Bold £95

Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre Chambre Cocktail, price upon request

Milleneufcentquatrevingtquatre Chambre Rideau price upon request





SkatE ’N‘ Paint Your pool looking a little plain? Just take this tricked-out board for a spin.

It’s a cop’s worst nightmare: no, not getting assigned to Segway patrol—a skateboard with a can of spray paint attached. Hoping to bring his two lifelong passions together, British street artist D*Face, a.k.a. Dean Stockton, masterminded the freaky instrument of mayhem. “I thought about how I could document or record the paths of the skaters,” Stockton says. He was inspired in part by long-exposure light-trail photos and a TV commercial for a kids’ scooter with chalk attached. The tricky part was getting the contraption to be both low profile and durable, so as to take a

beating without interfering with the skaters’ maneuvers. The paint can is controlled by a remote system that applies variable amounts of pressure to the nozzle on the underside of the board. After a year of fine-tuning, it was ready to rock. With the pool as a concave canvas, the riders became the paintbrushes. “It had a real quality,” Stockton says. “It looked like a crazy spirograph, or a woundup ball of string.” a Artist and concept: D*Face Photography: MRZ Skaters: Steve Alba, Ozzie Ausband, Kevin Burke, Dave Ruel, Tristan Rennie



The Art of the Skatepark Designer, teacher, and skater Buck Jackson sheds some light on constructing a classic concrete playground What does a background in architecture bring to designing skateparks? Is it a necessity? It’s not necessary to have a background in architecture per say, but it definitely helps. There are several DIY parks that are hugely successful. These parks happen largely without the aid of technical drawings or an engineer’s specs, but those doing the “making” have enough muscle memory logged away to work in this manner, with what I assume is a great deal of iteration in the moment. So issues like cost analysis, user consensus, and completion date are probably vague, but it’s just you and a bunch of friends working together, so who cares? Why is it still so hard to get new skateparks built in urban areas? What’s being done to remedy that? Although statistics show the number of skateboarding injuries is well under all traditional sports, liability issues are still a factor. Another reason is misconduct or “an-

tisocial behavior,” as they call it in the UK. These “crimes” are typically not created by kids in the skate community, which does not house all who may ride a skateboard. Part of this fear is due to the tired “bad boy image” and “extreme” marketing strategies. Speaking entirely objectively, what's the best skatepark in the world? Much of what makes a park successful are its users. For instance, Del Mar Skate Ranch (a park built in San Diego in 1978 and demolished in 1987) was revered by many at that time to be “the best,” all the while knowing it wasn’t the best-built park…and I think that’s due to the energy of its users and their sense of community. What’s your best skateboard trick? Backside ollie to 5-0 on a curb feels the best. a

Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body Iain Borden $37.95 Written almost a decade ago, Iain Borden’s groundbreaking examination of the relationship between skater and architecture is no less relevant today. Borden makes a case for the modern skateboarder as an urban critic who sees and interacts with built structures and spatial relationships in new ways. Even if you’ve never stepped foot on a board, you just might find some inspiration in the ballsy, devil-may-care attitude that permeates the endlessly innovative skate culture.

Buck Jackson teaches courses in furniture and digital design at 3rd Ward and CCNY and places most of his studio focus on designing skateparks and furniture. He lives in Long Island City, NY with a partner and their son.






ASK THE EXPERT Style in straight from the South—Atlanta designer Liz Williams answers our readers’ most puzzling home design queries. photos by erica george dines A Georgia peach whose favorite color is orange? Classic! The same can be said for Williams’ aesthetic, which bucks trendiness in favor of timelessness. After working with Atlantan interior icon Carter Kay for five years, Williams founded her eponymous interior-design firm in 1998. Her work fuses traditional and contemporary elements in an unmistakably rustic Southern palette. You can find her dazzling interiors in a wealth of design mags, including Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, Decor, Decorating, Beautiful Kitchens, and Cottage Style, and this one, right now!

Q: I've seen a million pictures of houses with hardwood floors painted white. Is this really a viable option for my home, or is it something that only looks good in glossy magazines? K.H., Cleveland

A: I love a white painted floor and how it adds a light and airy feeling to a room! Definitely consult a professional to make sure the floor has been properly sanded, the correct type of paint is used, the topcoat is applied appropriately, and exact cleaning instructions are given. As far as the durability of white painted floors, expect for there to be some wear and tear over time. I usually recommend using a satin or flat finish for the topcoat so that the floors can be easily touched up when needed. Also, for more high-traffic areas, I would advise using an area rug. You may have to take a leap of faith, but the end results can be amazing!

Have a question that only an expert can answer? Email us:

Interior Design Special!

Q: I recently moved into a new loft apartment, and while I tend to prefer modern furniture designs with a clean aesthetic, I also don’t want my place to feel too cold and unwelcoming. How can I mix in some more traditional design pieces with some of my simple, modern wares? J.L., Chicago

A: The art of the mix! You could bring an antique rug that has a great geometric quality to go with your clean-lined look, as this will also add warmth to the space. And adding an antique or two to a mostly modern room can certainly make it more unique. To ensure the pieces blend with your slick style, stick to time periods that offer a more streamlined look—think Biedermeier, not rococo! The juxtaposition of traditional art and contemporary furnishings will also add a lot of visual interest to your room. (The opposite will also be true when you add contemporary art to a traditional setting). Sometimes, it is just trial and error that result in a winning combination, so try different things in your space, and you’ll know when you have that perfect combination.

Style File: Williams’ 5 Must-Have Items for Designing a Home A Classic Gourd Lamp In either bold colors or a soft neutral. A gourd lamp gives a room an updated feel, even though it is a classic shape. Check out Christopher Spitzmiller Lamps. www. A Fabulous Rug A fabulous rug is the foundation of a room. Check out an antique Oushak from Sullivan Fine Rugs. Original Contemporary Art Mixing well with antiques, contemporary art makes a great impact on a room. Huff-Harrington Fine Art, A Punch of Color Whether in a pillow, throw, or even a coffee table, smaller doses of color offer more “bang” than a whole room of color. Pieces Inc, An Architectural Piece Could be an old column or door or even a fragment. Adds a sense of age and meshes will with original artwork. Architectural Accents,






From the building’s exterior cedar box to the handcrafted walnut desks and credenzas inside, the wood décor gives the modern space warmth and continuity. “We wanted their brand to be apparent to the clients, both where they enter and from the exterior,” says Matt Kreilich, design principal at Julie Snow Architects. “So there was a blending of the architecture and the brand into one.”


After the fire, Knock’s temporary office space was housed inside a warehouse that was essentially a windowless box. Working there, Hall realized the importance of natural light to productivity. So in their new space, Kreilich and team designed half of the building’s façade with windows. What was once a decaying 1960s office building is now a modern space with so much natural light, they hardly need to turn on the lights during the day.


The large kitchen has a 15-foot-long highboy table for the staff that always lunches together, family-style.


Hall doesn’t believe in the Mad Men mentality of keeping creative and business people on opposite ends of the room, so all departments sit side by side at long desks in a large, open workspace. Private offices with interior facing glass windows allow people to have meetings while staying a part of the work environment.


A peek inside the world's BEST CREATIVE SPACES

Knock and Treat One unlucky Friday the 13th, Lili Hall got a phone call with bad news: there had been a fire in the warehouse space that housed her advertising agency, Knock, Inc. No one was hurt, but everything was destroyed. Such a setback is never good for a young, thriving company with 50 employees, but Hall had the firm back up and running in a temporary space by the following Monday.

allow for a collaborative environment, where nobody has their own private office—not even Hall (she shares with her Knock partner, Todd Paulson). A large kitchen counter serves as a lunchroom, meeting spot, and party area, and other amenities include a patio, gym, and a library. “We were really trying to think about the well-being of our staff and what they might need,” Hall says.

Now, Minneapolis-based Knock and its sister printing firm, Treat, are both thriving in a new joint office space, located in the developing neighborhood of Harrison. Designed by architect Julie Snow, the building was specially outfitted to meet the needs of the close-knit Knock team. Open workspaces

Snow’s design involves many wood accents, which represent the brand, and Hall’s superstitious belief in knocking on wood to avoid bad luck (thus the name of the firm). Hopefully this thoughtful design detail will thwart any future Friday the 13th catastrophes. a

Photos by Paul Crosby, except for 4 and 5 by Carl Martin

—Alyssa Meza















A peek inside the world's BEST CREATIVE SPACES

Crack-House Overhaul “It was disgusting. I would not step foot in there because it was so gross.” Gregory de Peña is talking about the first time he saw his office, which existed as a crack house before he and his colleagues transformed it. “The bathrooms—there was no way I was touching those bathrooms. God knows what’s happened in there.” The lease on de Peña’s office space was cut short right around the time he purchased a new plot of land, and he needed to find a new space fast. So rather than tear down the abandoned crack house, de Peña decided to transform it into a modern office space for

his fledgling design firm, Opera. “Our thought is that we’re problem solvers,” he says of his decision. The transformation from crack den to work space opened de Peña’s eyes to architectural opportunities that he hadn’t previously considered. “It changed my philosophy of how I feel about existing buildings and historic buildings,” he says. So what’s it like to work in a converted crack den? “The view from the property is amazing,” de Peña says. “It’s an uninterrupted skyline view of downtown San Diego and the San Diego bay.” A view worth saving. a —georgia perry / photos by jay reilly


Gregory de Peña stands inside the doorway to his redesigned office digs.


A view of the exterior at twilight.


Computers line the tables at Opera


De Peña and his crew gutted the whole interior, including the veritable carpet of used needles. They installed a new kitchen and bathroom to further clean up the space.


They sandblasted until the layers of paint and years of grime were removed, leaving behind beautiful concrete blocks.


Lights, Please

A key step in the transition from dingy to deluxe is having the proper lighting. De Peña turned to San Diego’s Tazz Lighting to illuminate the space. Tazz president Martin Epstein found his work with Opera to be an inspiring experience. “Gregory never takes anything for granted,” Epstein says. “He is a perfectionist for detail.”













OUT OF THE DARK, INTO THE ARC Rusty street signs be damned! Give your bike some TLC with a VIP parking space

Bike Arc Half Arc

Between potholes and parked cars clogging up bike lanes, the average urban cyclist can encounter some pretty hairy stuff. Enter Bike Arc, a bike-parking system that gives cyclists and their steeds some much-deserved courtesy. Unlike traditional structures that force cyclists to lean their bikes against each other and risk damage, the Bike Arc lifts and separates. “The typical bike rack does not support a value for the bike, respect the user, or respect the wonderful bike transportation itself,” says Joseph Bellomo, founder of Bellomo Architects and the Bike Arc system. Bike Arc also provides a safe haven for cyclists and pedestrians from rain, and discourages thieves thanks to its illuminated roof. Not only is biking an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, but Bike Arc products are also carbonconscious. The racks are crafted from recycled resin sheets and small quantities of steel, so the experience is sustainable from start to finish. In addition to the individual Rac Arc and the 60-bike-capacity Tube Arc, Bellomo has adapted the form for use in small-scale housing, advertising, and even car parking— electric only, of course.—hallie borden

Photos by Stirling Elmendorf

Bike Arc Umbrella

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Monstrous Prototypes Sculptural installations light up France’s weird side Frenchman Marc Fornes is the founder and principal of The Very Many, a research forum and design studio based in New York. Unlike traditional architectural firms, The Very Many engages the architectural field through “explicit and encoded protocols” that work to bridge the fabrication of codes to create, as Fornes describes, “strange art monsters.” The Very Many recently completed the construction and installation of the Pavilion at the Frac Centre, a venue in Orleans, France for contemporary art and architecture. With

more than 150,000 holes drilled, 570 single components, four weeks of pre-assembly, and standing at 1,875 square feet, the structure is one of the studio’s largest works. Despite the size, Fornes insists that the works are still grounded in the geometrical codes that are the foundation of each structure.

The Frac installation’s Components:

“We try to get larger and to bring the codes and computations back to the themes of architecture,” Fornes says. “We describe context and form into a single work of art.”

- 75,000 white aluminum rivets

—britt julious

- 1,875-square-foot surface area - 155,780 holes (CNC drilled) - 9,325 texts (CNC engraved) - 6,367 stripes (CNC cut) - 570 single components (CNC cut) - 145 sheets 4x8 (2/2.5 hours machining) - 40 modules pre-assembled - 4 weeks pre-assembly

Plastik Banana That’s plastik with a k, mind you. And no, it’s not a fruit company. This Salt Lake City-based company did all of the fabrication for The Very Many’s futuristic French installation. With advanced digital fabrication software and 3-D modeling, the company turned Fornes’ ideas into a reality.

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By J. Michael Welton Illustration by garrett karol


architects and artisans

Vacation with the Stars You don’t have to be a millionare to stay in some of the world’s finest properties

I was on the phone the other day with Washington DC architect and minimalist master Hugh Newell Jacobsen when he told me about the time that he traveled to Paris as a young man just to knock on the door of Le Corbusier. Their conversation was brief: “Who’s your teacher?” Corbusier asked him. “Lou Kahn,” Jacobsen said.“Who’s he?” Le Corbusier deadpanned. Corbusier died in 1965, and it’s a shame we can’t have that kind of conversation with him today. But thanks to an outfit called Boutique Homes, we can stay in his Marseilles apartments, or in any number of other starchitect-designed homes and small hotels around the world. Launched in 2010 by Veronique Lievre and Heinz Legler, Boutique Homes has figured out a way to rent us a room in Tom Kundig’s Rolling Huts in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Schwartz House in Wisconsin, and many other aesthetically pleasing hot spots. The designer house and hotel rental service is aimed at people with a strong sense of design who seek the comforts of home. “More and more people like to stay in a [place] where they feel like they’re part of the country they’re visiting,” Lievre says. “It’s a more personal type of vacation. And the rooms don’t all look the same.” While it’s true that we might not be able to talk to the designers, we can still understand what they were trying to tell us visually. Some of the properties, like the Verana hotel in Mexico, belong to Lievre and Legler. Others belong to friends. All, however, rise to their own level of taste. “Big hotels can be impersonal, and anonymous,” Lievre says. “We scoured the Internet for rental properties that reflected our personal aesthetic. It could be a cabin in the woods, but it must have an interior that’s nice, clean, and modern.” Modern, and designed by one of the greats. a

“More and more people like to stay in a [place] where they feel like they’re part of the country they’re visiting,” —Veronique Lievre, Boutique Homes

$150 – $500 per night. For more information, visit For more by J. Michael Welton, visit



By Kristin Lamprecht Illustration by Zach Graham


design entrepreneurs getting it done

Riding a bamboo bike to success a business-savvy bike designer shows us it takes more than just a good-looking product to be profitable

We’ve done our fair share of custom-bike stories. So it was with some hesitation that I entertained the idea of featuring Jacob Castillo and his Colorado-based bamboo-bike company, Panda Bikes. Although Castillo’s creations are beautiful, there was going to have to be a little something extra to really pique my interest. Then he began to unfurl his vast knowledge base, with five degrees in business, economics, and agricultural business (and literature and foreign language, too). As we chatted, it became clear that bikes just happened to be the product that he was building, selling, and marketing. While he is interested in design and biking, it’s really the love of entrepreneurship and bringing his product to the marketplace that drives, er, cycles, him forward. You have business degrees, not design degrees. What made you want to pour your energies into manufacturing ecoconscious bicycles? We started as business students with a love for bicycles, and [through school] we learned the financial understanding of cash flow. That’s hard, even for a lot of business people, making sure you have money you need when you need it. Having that awareness and knowledge helps us. A lot of craftsmen and designers fumble on the business side. So how did you come up with bicycle designs and the idea to use bamboo? Not having a background in traditional bike building, we weren’t limited in our visions. We would come up with ideas and sketch them out over beers. Because we had an engineer, we could talk about functionality versus cool design. It’s one thing on paper and another thing when you have to go to the welding shop. Do you have any advice for other design entrepreneurs?

Having that awareness and knowledge of cash flow helps us. A lot of craftsmen and designers fumble on the business side. Find a way to stay true to yourself and your creative expression, and, at the same time, meet the interest and demands of your customers and clients. You really have to

understand what they are looking for and build it into your business model. Build in your ethos and culture into the company early. a

Visit for more details on Jacob Castillo’s creations





By Steven Fischer Illustration by Adam Hanson


Image, Style, DesigN

Global Blah! The 3 Bs of Global Brands: Bland, Boring, & Blah And why product originality might be a thing of the past In 1976, my uncle traveled to Switzerland while he was stationed in London for work. I was a child, living in suburban Chicago, and Switzerland seemed like a faraway, exotic world to me. The mountains, the technology, the lifestyle were all just figments of my imagination. When he returned, he brought a present for me—an authentic Swiss Army knife. The soughtafter survival tool from the land of high mountains made me the envy of all of my friends. I felt great pride to own such an exclusive item from a foreign land. Fast-forward 35 years to 2011, when a friend of mine took a similar trip to Switzerland. He was traveling to the Alps for vacation and asked me what I wanted him to bring back—some Swiss cheese or chocolate? A signature cuckoo clock? Perhaps a new Swiss pocketknife? I soon realized there weren’t many uniquely Swiss products that I couldn’t find locally. Toblerone was available in the candy aisle at my grocery store, and cheese in the fine-foods section. Cuckoo clocks could be found on a specialty website, and pocketknives were available at any upscale watch or department store. Although it’s the thought that counts with any gift, I politely suggested that given current exchange rates, my friend would be better off purchasing one of these Swiss items for a cheaper price at home. The sense of ownership I felt from receiving my uncle’s gift was far different from my friend’s offer of the same present three decades later. Thanks to today’s interconnected global marketplace, all it takes is the right amount of time, money, and Internet access, and you can find nearly any product around the world, no matter how “unique” it is to that culture. Want some authentic Buffalo wing sauce from Buffalo, New York? Order it online, and you’ll have it in 3-5 days. Dying to purchase another necklace from that obscure boutique you found while traveling in Europe? Check their website, and you’ll find that it’s actually carried in 20 stores stateside.

The fact is, most global brands are suffering from the 3 Bs: boring, blah, and bland. An item that once used to bring with it a sense of elite ownership is now commonplace. The hunt and the thrill of finding products specific to one environment has fallen by the wayside with today’s “need it now” mentality. It is easy to see how we got into this situation: a local brand does well, gets gobbled up by a large multinational corporation, multinational corporation expands distribution globally, stock goes up, and it searches for new acquisition targets. The result is the consumer who once enjoyed searching for a special product available only in a specific locale is now bored with everything readily available at his or her fingertips. But not every successful consumer retailer has fallen prey to the 3 Bs. Upscale department store Selfridges in London still makes it an experience to come to their Oxford street location by offering designs from local

Steven Fischer is Lecturer of Image, Style & Design at Northwestern University and leader of StyleSalon Chicago. Visit for more details on Fischer’s lectures

talent—but only in store. They also incite interest (and sometimes controversy) with their dramatic window dressings, including a depiction of Alexander McQueen hanging from the gallows only months after his suicide. Though macabre, consumers seek Selfridges out as a destination, and the store has ensured that whether people are coming to shop or to see its window display, it’s an experience that keeps the store from falling prey to the 3 Bs. As the world becomes smaller and Internet connections get faster, consumers are going to be even more hungry for unique products that provide them with a sense of wonder and proud ownership. And if merchants can resist the urge to expand so much that they become ubiquitous, then they’ll maintain that panache that makes their merchandise special. Which means, perhaps on my next overseas travels, I can bring my godson a local gift that he’ll remember and treasure for the next 35 years, just as I do with my pocketknife. a





Apartment origami In the living room, a dining table folds out of the wall like a murphy bed. Rather than off-the-shelf technology, the table is custom-designed by Pulltab in collaboration with Dada Wood Working Studio. When the table folds out, it reveals a fabric by Hella Jongerius. She’s also got that quirky sense: simple things that have slightly shifted,” Handley says. “And the owner really loved that: something opening to reveal itself. It changes its personality.”

Pulltab design turned a tiny NYC apartment into a virtual swiss army knife of square-footage economy by brian libby Photos by Mikiko Kikuyama EAST VILLAGE RESIDENCE PHOTOS by Bilyana Dimitrova

Jonathan Handley and Melissa Baker not only design architectural spaces with their firm, Pulltab Design, but they design the furniture to fit the space, too. For one apartment in New York, Handley and Baker had

to get creative, custom-outfitting the small 650-square-foot space with imaginative, money-saving solutions. “The clients had a very tight budget,” Handley says, “but they were interested in doing something they hadn’t seen before.” To maximize space, the Pulltab team created a special dining table that pulled down from a wall in the living room, as well as a spacious credenza attached to the wall that doubles as electronics storage. Even the bathroom has a fold-out shelf, which makes it available when they need it and easily hidden when they don’t. “That’s what design is; it’s space. But then within that, are all of these things that we do inside it,” Handley says. “We want the space to fold into itself.” a

The floors are American black walnut. “It was a big investment for them,” Handley says. “Instead of about eight dollars a square foot, it’s more like $11. That means a few thousand dollars.” To keep the budget in check, Handley and Baker try to compensate with cuts elsewhere, like with budget tile in the bathroom.“There’s a hierarchy in every project that we do. Some things are heroes and some recede back into a supporting role. The best projects always have that. It’s keeping the vision, but balancing it.”

The built-in credenza for the TV shows Handley and Baker’s complementary skills. “I have an interest in fasteners, and in planes folding and fasteners. Melissa loves wood and will often use it in a slightly more pronounced way.” Crossman designed the credenza, and furniture maker Steven Ito built the unit.


wood working studio

The designers created a pull-out shelf on the side of the vanity that can hold items like contact lenses or toothbrushes, and folds out of sight, subtly masking an electrical outlet. Matching the vanity, the shelf is made of Corian, a non-porous acrylic material by Dupont able to repel water and often used in countertops.

The kitchen counter is where the clients eat most of their meals when not hosting company. They removed a wall to place the unit between the kitchen and the living area. “We had to reroute the water-supply line and rearrange the cabinetry, but when we took that wall down, it transformed the space,” Handley says. The counter also doubles as a desk, with a computer screen tucked into one corner.

General Contracting Custom Cabinetry Interior Design t: 917-226-0012 f: 718-463-6746

EAST VILLAGE RESIDENCE In another New York space, Pulltab turned a small downstairs room into a workspace and guest bedroom, all with a custom folding wall system.





Advice from an Interior Designer

An Inspiring Mind Kristine Paige Kamenstein has had a career filled with highs and lows, including the devastating loss of her business partner. Here, she shares why it’s important to be serious about your work, and what it’s really all about. Interior design is about pushing comfort zones and making something unique for each client. I try not to get too tied up into any one style of design. I want to be openminded, listen, and infuse what’s being said with what I think will work artistically and spatially. Keep a good perspective on things. My business partner, Sasha Jackson Premoli, passed away from cancer in 2006. Not only did it impact me as a person, but it made me look at my career differently; to still take things seriously with my goals and aspirations, but not to get overwhelmed, and to take things lightly. I’m doing interior design, not brain surgery, so if there’s a problem, almost anything can be fixed—it’s not the end of the world. There’s a bigger world beyond the city in which you live. There isn’t a ton of architectural history here in Los Angeles, but I love looking at old buildings and detailing

from periods of time that don’t necessarily exist here. So I travel about six times per year within the United States, Europe, and South America, and I keep files of different places that have inspired me, whether it be a restaurant, boutique, or museum. Never compromise yourself. I don’t just mean artistically; you should never take a job when your instincts are telling you not to. Interior design has a unique procession; it’s not like you sell something and the client goes away. In this job, you’re always meeting with clients, dealing with them financially and with their family dynamic— so many different facets. You need to choose projects wisely.

Photos 1 and 2 by Peden Munk, 3, 4, and 5 by Christos Joannides

Interview by Lesley Stanley Portrait by Aaron Farley

Above: Kristine Paige Kamenstein

At a Glance Kristine Paige Kamenstein, Jackson Paige Interiors 1





2000: Cofounds Jackson Paige Interiors, Inc. with business partner and friend, Sasha Jackson Premoli. 2002: Completes design of the Bel Air Estate project, a two-year renovation. 2003: Completes design of the Doheny Plaza, an 18-story condominium building in West Hollywood. 2005: Designs the main floor powder room and gallery of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Green House.” 2006: Cofounder Sasha Jackson Premoli passes away from cancer; a portion of business proceeds are now donated to cervical cancer research and prevention.

2007: Completes major remodels of residences in the Hollywood Hills, Brentwood, and Corona Del Mar, California, and New York City. 2010: Completes major remodels of Pacific Palisades and Holmby Hills residences. 2011: Begins work on two new construction projects in Pacific Palisades, along with renovations in Beverly Hills and Hancock Park, California. 2011: Participates in the Good Shepherd Shelter Remodeling Project in downtown Los Angeles, along with 29 other LA-based designers.

Never compromise yourself. Never take a job when your instincts are telling you not to.




New designers need patience. Besides being organized, one of the most important characteristics new designers should have is patience. You have to understand that a project is one of the biggest undertakings a client is going through, whether they’re renovating or building a house. It’s stressful, and our job is to take away as much stress as possible and make sure they know they’re in good hands. Design takes time (and a little sweat). There are a lot of design shows on TV that spread false information; ones that say you can design in a day—you really can’t. Anything of a high quality takes time, and isn’t as glamorous as it looks. You can’t be afraid to move things and get a little dirty to make sure a room looks perfect. Find a way to unwind. I wish I could turn off the business side at six o’ clock when I go home, but designs are constantly popping into my head. I never stop. But when I see the smiles of my four-year-old twins, it takes away all the problems of the day. They help me relax. a

Left to right: images by Christos Joannides and Peden Munk






The Zamboni Ice Resurfacer

1. SHAVING A blade shaves a thin layer from the surface of the ice

2. COLLECTING After a horizontal screw (auger) gathers the shavings, a vertical screw propels them into the snow tank

3. WASHING Water is fed from a wash-water tank to the "conditioner" which rinses the ice, Dirty water collected in front of a squeegee is vacuumed, filtered, and returned to the tank

4. RESURFACING Warm, clean water from the ice-making tank is delivered to the ice through a pipe and spread evenly by a towel located behind the conditioner

Zamboni drivers always be looking cool

If you’ve ever seen one in action, then you’ve probably pondered the Zamboni paradox: how does a machine so large magically restore craggy ice to a slip-smooth surface? In actuality, the process isn’t too complicated. It certainly beats the old-fashioned, broom-based method of smoothing ice known as curling. Zamboni test-drives each new machine to a rink located a few miles from its factory— just pray you don’t get stuck behind one (top speed: 9.7 mph). The machines’ paint jobs and decal options are completely customizable. And assuming you haven’t “iced it out” it with cheap chrome rims and a champagne cooler / snow tank conversion, your used ice resurfacer can command a six-figure price tag upon resale. Never has something so heinously boxy produced such utterly smooth results. a

Bonus Icebreaker: Like Frisbee and Kleenex, Zamboni is a trademarked term that wormed its way into common parlance. If you want to be technically correct—but also sound like a total goober—use the term “ice resurfacer.”

Snow tank with ice shavings

Ice-making tank with clean water

This little brush is probably just for looks, in all honesty

Wash-water tank with filtered water for cleaning

This multifunctional beast contains the blade, the horizontal and vertical screws, the water conditioner, and the squeegee.


Use it


n.: from the French tem for “pocket.” In architecture, the literal gaps between walls that can be viewed in drawn plan. If you need to eloquently describe the purpose for spatial carving, apply poché as an adjective, as in, “The pochéd wall niches streamline storage and display space in the room.”

Lose it

fluidity n.: the ability of a substance to flow. Popular adjective rendered meaningless by architects in phrases like, “The building’s fluidity infuses the space with an inherent organization.” Sure, graphic designs and print layouts can be fluid, but space is supposed to be concrete.






Advice from an Architect

10 Things Young Architects need to know to succeed


1. Think outside of the project at hand. With every project, there is a point when you have no idea what to do and where to go next. When that happens to me, it means that I haven’t thought about the project entirely. My next step is to gather as much information as possible and relate it to problem solving. 2. Have absolute passion. No amount of money or loans will make you successful if you don’t have passion. It’s a calling, not a job. 3. Every project is on a tight budget. That’s the nature of the beast. 4. The simpler, the better. If you try to take too many risks in one confined space, then you’re going to get in too far over your head. Eliminating is more important than adding.

5. Everything becomes a lot easier with experience. Every project is about learning; what works, what doesn’t, and what will produce the best result for the client. 6. Step away from the computer, and pick up a pencil. There’s no such thing as a happy accident when working with a computer in the preliminary steps. Sketching by hand allows your subconscious to run free and create. Daydreaming is one of the most fabulous expressions of design. 7. Young architects need to get their hands dirty. Interact with the physical world and manipulate materials. The simplicity of having to touch and own the decision of where to cut the cardboard will be more beneficial than working on the computer.



Avoid arrogance and pretension. Prepare yourself to do serious work, and don’t worry about being a star. 8. Traveling opens your mind. It allows you to see how different people solved problems, and shows that there are multiple solutions for the same design problems.

Left: Pepper Drive residence, photo by Norma Lopez Molina. Right ,top to bottom: Douglass Street residence, photo by Norma Lopez Molina; Los Gatos residence, photo by Mark Luthringer

9. Always be curious. Do not rest on your laurels. It’s very easy to remain complacent when you’re successful in the design world, and it’s hard to grow when you taste success early. But being curious about what’s around you will help you grow as an architect, and

will not only help in the creative process, but will be reflective in your work. 10. Avoid arrogance and pretension. For young designers still in school, the design professions are full of bullies, but bullying always covers up insecurity. Prepare yourself to do serious work, and don’t worry about being a star. And don’t forget, some professors have no idea what they are doing. a






Design Icon: the ATm Retrieving cash from a stand-alone unit is an everyday occurrence. But remember when it wasn’t? We talk to ATM innovator Stanley Felderman about the rise of the money machines.

The early ’70s heralded in a whole cultural paradigm shift, so it’s no surprise that designers began to conceptualize a new and improved banking process. “The way people did banking was a relic of the past,” says Stanley Felderman, one of the ATM’s original innovators. “We knew the future would be about teller-less machines.” Thus, Felderman started to design what he calls “banking pods,” machines that, as he puts it, “looked a lot like R2-D2.” “My initial idea was to use systems of air tubes connected to these

pods so that you could access your bank remotely. Obviously, that got nixed,” he adds with a chuckle. However far-fetched Felderman’s initial designs were, companies interested in new banking machines took notice. The Burroughs Corporation, a forerunner in the computer industry, had already been at work on a similar ATM concept with safe manufacturers Diebolt and Mosler. The team came across Felderman’s ideas, and in 1973 contracted him as the ATM’s official industrial designer.

These drawings depict a new design concept for an early ATM, which planned to show up in the “bank of the future.” Burroughs Clearing House newsletter, April 1975.

250 Columbus Ave. #200 San Francisco, CA 94133 415.391.0186 TEAM PLAYERS Jesse Bagley, head of IOS Interior Office Solutions, often works with Felderman Keatinge on projects, and says he appreciates the lack of office hierarchy in their team. “FKA is a very flat organization with projects actively handled by Nancy and Stanley. The remaining team members act in a support role of the principals. It is refreshing to work with a firm that knows exactly what their design intent is and is committed to ensuring products match the intent. Clean, functional, colorful, and exciting—they truly have a unique design style.”

INNOVATIVE FURNITURE SOLUTIONS IDEATION LAB (CUSTOM) ARCHITECTURAL INTERIORS Congratulations to Felderman Keatinge + Associates for its outstanding achievements. IOS is honored to have collaborated on many successful projects and looks forward to the future.

Felderman’s original drawings incorporated plastics and iconic shapes in order to make the ATM a more approachable machine. Even though these ideas were toned down in the final product, most of Felderman’s suggestions went into production. As he says, “today’s ATMs haven’t changed much.” But Felderman believes they may soon become objects of the past. “Phones will replace them—and maybe even cash—altogether,” he says. If you can’t really fathom a world where your only source of money can be literally flushed down the toilet, support your local ATM. Speaking of which, do you know where the nearest one is? —Kathryn Freeman Rathbone Stanley Felderman and his wife Nancy Keatinge run architecture and design firm Felderman Keatinge + Associates in Los Angeles. FKA's work includes MTV Networks’ West Coast headquarters and the Disney Sound Studios.

Orange County 949.724.9444 17800 Mitchell North Irvine, CA 92614

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Design Thinking


ARTIST SPOTLIGHT DETEkTIV Bureau Bureaus of the design world, unite! Young Swiss designers gear up to visit the States after winning a four-month residency in Chicago


Above: Leipzig/Luzern, an exhibition about young graphic design, which Detektiv Bureau organized together with friends from Leipzig, showcasing fresh work from the two cities. It took place in an empty shop in Lucerne November 6–14, 2010. Curation: Pascal Storz, Jakob Kirch, Florian Lamm, Felix and Mathis Pfäffli

Why did you form Detektiv Bureau? We found out very quickly that we had a really good energy, the four of us together. We really missed a meeting point for young artand politics-interested people in Lucerne. We tried to fill this gap by organizing lectures, exhibitions, and events to bring people together and to bring the discourse to a public state. It was this DIY kind of thing. What are you currently showing in your space? At the moment, we are preparing an exhibition for the Cultural Department of Lucerne. They have a collection of about 2,000 works, and gave us a white card to do whatever we want. We accepted to do this because we are curious what kind of art is collected by a public institution.

To follow Detektiv Bureau’s work in both Lucerne and Chicago, visit their blog at

What are your primary goals as a design collective? One goal is to stay in a certain state of activity — the collective is a good way not to stand still. There is always someone bringing up a new idea that disturbs you and brings up new possibilities and solutions. What has been your most successful project so far? The Detektiv Bureau as an institution itself is our greatest success. We managed to build something out of nothing. We got a lot of support and good feedback from people coming to the exhibitions and events. And now we even have a little financial support from the town, and also won this four-month residency in Chicago! a

Design Thinking

Top row: Excerpts from the book Tangente - Inter- und transdisziplinäre Praxis in Kunst und Design for which Nadine Gerber was asked to do the illustrations. The subject of the book is transdisciplinarity in art and design.

Middle row: Posters for several events at Südpol, a multipurpose cultural center in Kriens, Switzerland. All posters are 42 x 30 cm, and printed using the Risograph technique, a kind of small-scale silk-screen printing.

Tangente - Inter- und transdisziplinäre Praxis in Kunst und Design Ursula Bachman und Marie-Louise Nigg Publicationseries Organ: Ausgabe 5 2010, 152 Pages Graphic Design: C2F, Luzern ISBN 978-3-906413-79-2

Left to right: Oy, Black Cracker: Daniel Peter, Mathis Pfäffli Nadine Gerber Notwist: Mathis Pfäffli Japanik: Daniel Peter Das Racist: Felix Pfäffli Chevreuil: Felix Pfäffli


Bottom row: Posters for exhibitions at the Detektiv Bureau gallery space. Left to right: Poster by Mathis Pfäffli for an exhibition about space. Three-color Risograph, A3. Poster for an exhibition of Nadine Gerber in collaboration with Daniel Peter. Risograph, A3 . Poster by Daniel Peter for an exhibition of works by Roland Lämmli. Six-color Risograph, A3. Poster by Mathis Pfäffli for an open lecture where artists read from their favourite books. Risograph, A3 .




Design Thinking


bureau expert: Todd Kuhlman A look into Kuhlman’s crystal ball reveals a future of sustainable homes lining every block Architect Todd Kuhlmann believes that homes need to be built sustainably from the bottom up. That’s why he's launched his own firm, Methodology 360, to ensure his revelation becomes a reality. Here, he discusses how his green vision can be done affordably and easily. Why should people buy green? In addition to the beneficial impact on the environment, there’s an identity created with living green. If you’re a Prius owner who lives by the ethos of reduce, reuse, recycle, but you are not able live that way in your home, that’s less than satisfactory. We offer homes that allow people to fulfill their desire of being responsible, environmental members of their community. Tell us about one of your signature projects that implements these green design techniques. The State Street Structures in downtown Carlsbad, California represent our vision of an affordable, sustainable, live/work building constructed in a vibrant urban infill setting. It’s the flagship project that represents what I do and why I do it. We take a practically designed two-story home, group several of them together, and then stack them. We do offsite fabrication, which translates to lower labor costs, reduced time, and a lower overall cost to the consumer. This allows us to provide green roofs, solar power, and other green building features at a reduced cost. Then, you just walk in, sign a lease, and live the sustainable lifestyle you’ve always wanted. What makes your approach to design different than that other environmentally focused architects and designers? My approach is about the practicality of a space and rethinking how to put the pieces of a building together. It’s designing the building and delivering it as a whole, but for less than your neighbor’s house cost. What about you—do you live in a sustainable home? Not yet, but I have a specialized space I crafted for myself in the Carlsbad project. It has a dual-height architectural office on the first floor with a partial loft for Methodology 360. Directly above it is a three-bedroom

home for my family. There’s a green roof terrace with trees and shrubs and benches, so I can enjoy the California sunlight and the energy of life in the urban environment. If I want to go to a San Diego Padres game, I can jump on the train that’s a few blocks away without worrying about traffic or parking. It’s perfect. a

Interview by Sarah Cason Portrait by Kyle Monk

Design Thinking



If Kuhlman’s onto the next wave of architecture, then there’s an ocean of innovation in the future. Here’s what he thinks our communities will look like 500 years from now. Hint: it’s not unlike the Death Star.

What can we expect the average neighborhood to look like? We’re going to live in a series of virtual buildings or assemblages with things you see in science-fiction movies. Entire civilizations will be housed in a consolidated, self-sustaining environment. Everything from food and water to defense protection and recreation will be encapsulated in these worlds. Who’s doing the designing? A government or our global community will be putting together the resources needed to save our souls by building an escape planet. It’s going to be magnificent. How are we going to get around? We’re going to travel on the molecular level with teleporters. We won’t have cars or trucks or trains or buses. We’ll be able to move freely through the space-time continuum.

What kind of materials will we use? We’ll be able to manipulate physics without breaking the rules. We’ll be able to produce our own floors to walk on. I think we’ll have computer-generated floors that have been manipulated into load-resisting structures. You’ll be able to charge ions to form into a brick or a plate or something, and you’ll be able to program its electricity so you can step up and form your own stairs. So, without any natural resources… We’ll have the technology to create the materials that architecture is built upon. There won’t be any earthly materials available, so we’ll have to create oxygen, water, and fuel out of nothing, just ions and atoms. We’ll be able to form them into anything we want them to be. Of course, we’ll need investors. methodology360 is a vertically integrated architectural design firm making modern architecture, sustainability and affordable green living available to everyone and fulfilling the promise of a sustainable future. Architecture for today, bringing the hybrid generation to life.

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8/22/11 10:58 AM



Design Thinking


bureau expert: Duo Dickinson Architect George “Duo” Dickinson puts the practice on blast and explains why he thinks the system is broken

By Catherine Tandy portrait by jimi patterson

Top: Gustafson residence; Above: Duo Dickinson Right: Sidorenko residence

Architect George “Duo” Dickinson is a economics, the needs of the client. We’re force to be reckoned with, and he knows it. dilettantes in black wearing nice eyeglasses From his razor-sharp tongue expounding who go to art openings. “The oracle that will on the danger of architects becoming “irrel- define how you live.” evant” in today’s society, to being licensed to practice in 10 states, he has positioned Your latest book is Staying Put: Remodel himself as an ambitious aesthetic aficionado Your House to Get the Home You Want. Does who straddles style and substance with rare this book attempt to meet the needs of an architectural aplomb. But will that help him economy that is suffering, or is it a way to save architecture? shift the paradigm of desire—that sometimes the grass is greener (or could be) right here? What are the significant shifts in self-percep- I cannot tell you how many times in the past tion and design-perception you’ve witnessed three years, people have said, “We’re going to within the field? die here. We can’t move, and we realized we It’s a gigantically broken system. The most don’t want to.” However, I had zero success amazing, damning thing is that there have with this concept in early 2000. People been more than 300,000 people who’ve thought, “I can sell this at a profit when I’m gotten professional degrees and about 80,000 done.” There was no motivation economicalwho actually practice. We have a training-to- ly, environmentally. But it’s crazy to remove practioning ratio of basically 4 to 1. Law has something that’s viable to make something 2 to 1. that you just happen to like. “I’m the king of the world. I can do what I want.” When Something is wrong. What we are selling is houses become a commodity, they cease to not being bought. We don’t have the relevance be something that people hold dear. This to create the demand. There is a perception works against the usefulness of architects in that we’re out of touch, not concerned with our culture. a

“There's a perception that [architects] are out of touch, not concerned with economics, with the needs of the client. We're dilettantes in black wearing nice eyeglasses who go to art openings.”—DUO DICKINSON

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Design Thinking


bureau expert MAURICIO VILLA-VASQUEZ, SOW DESIGN By taking on projects in both his native Colombia and his current home in Florida, Villa-Vasquez is uniquely positioned to bridge the intercontinental divide Mauricio Villa-Vasquez is busier than ever. The Colombian-born architect recently abandoned his career designing commercial spaces in the healthcare, aviation, and hospitality industries to follow his passion for thoughtful, more creative design. With this in mind, he founded Sow Design Studio with partners José Lobo and Igor Reyes. Here, he discuss the economy, egos, and entrepreneurial gambles. You work both locally and internationally. How are the projects different? In South America, people are taught in modern language; South Florida, on the contrary, is very traditional. It’s very steeped in Mediterranean Revival and developers are hesitant to change. How did your education and time spent in Colombia influence your aesthetic? In Colombia and South America in general, people are taught in a very modern language. Everything is very current and people are very educated about contemporary architecture. In South America, they also use local labor, local materials—it’s very responsible. More so than the States? Well, in South America, the economy doesn’t allow you to use endless fashionable new materials. So in a way, my education was always very clear about the fact that things need to be contemporary but also utilize materials that are local in context. You previously designed spaces for the healthcare and hospitality industries—how different is the work you are doing now? When you design a hospital, the most important thing is the efficiency with which doctors and nurses can get to their patients. It was about how the emergency room and surgical areas worked—not at all about the individual rooms. For hotels, it was the exact opposite. If the rooms were not impressive, the hotel would die. Now, we are able to brainstorm. a by Jenny Seyfried Above left to right: Design principal Mauricio Villa-Vasquez and marketing principal José Leonel Lobo

Interior Design I Architecture I Urbanism


From top: Tigertail residence in Coconut Grove, front and back, Kokoriko restaurant in Miami, Sugar Mama's bakeshop



Design Thinking


INSIDE MY SKETCHBOOK +ADD Architect and artist Laura Gonzalez Fierro of +ADD explains how watercolor creations inspire her glass-and-steel skyscrapers

BY alyssa meza portrait BY matthew williams

At the intersection of fine art and architecture is Laura Gonzalez Fierro. The founder and principal of New York firm +ADD, Fierro says her watercolor works are at the root of her architectural design process. Her colorful sketch work is initially what led her to this career at an early age. “In 12th grade, I decided to take this class called architectural drawing. [There], it hit me that technical drawings could be very beautiful. That was the moment when I decided to go into architecture.”

random ideas for and from NYC “I like writing in English because it’s like a detachment. Things I do in Spanish are very intimate and personal.” Also pictured: Photocopie Machine Studies: Maquette and sketches in a photocopy machine

Even though complex computer design programs dominate the field, Fierro still believes in the romance of the craft. “I think schools should keep sketching and manual techniques very present in the curriculum.” She acknowledges that working by hand might be intimidating to young designers, but insists it’s a worthwhile practice. “It is hard to sit down and take the time to sketch, but it’s like a muscle. You have to train it and keep trying.”

Fierro admits that she still sees her sketches as an ever-evolving part of her own work. She posts the sketches on +ADD’s website as a “When you see the sketches, they are all difway to show the artistic side of her personality. ferent, but somehow a single thread weaves Some of her drawings have evolved into built through them. Through the years you see a difprojects, while others are just a part of the cre- ference, but some things don’t change. That’s ative process. “I don’t really draw exactly as I the intriguing part. I’m very curious to see see. It’s more the echo that is left in my mind.” what my sketches will look like in 20 years.” a

Design Thinking





Design Thinking

From sketch book to street corner Fiero shows us how her hand-drawn designs transform into built projects

“It's hard to sit down and take the time to sketch, but it's like a muscle. You have to train it and keep trying.” —LAURA GONZALEZ FIERRO, +ADD

KOREA URBIA Location: Seoul, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea On a walk through Xochimilco, an area in Mexico City etched with winding canals and trees, Fierro was struck by the flora, a breath of fresh air amongst the chaos of the city. Inspired, she decided to sketch. Years later, she returned to those sketches for a residential-design competition in South Korea. “The urbanization is based on this intermingled concept of vegetation and architecture,” Fierro says. “The background of green waves is directly based on the sketches of Selva 01 and Selva 02. I wanted to create a residential compound that would involve a green path intermingled into the residences in a very natural way, where all the paths were surrounded and shaped by the local trees.”

Hecho en Dumbo Location: New York Instead of using staid symbols like sombreros and maracas in the restaurant, Fierro wanted to recreate the dynamic vibe of today’s Mexico City. “The Mexican elements are there but in a fresh and different way,” Fierro says. “We chose a cobalt blue hexagon, which alludes to the vibrant and colorful Mexican spirit, but instead of mixing it with a whole variety of colors to create an ornamental motif, we decided to go with a more abstract version and intensify the cobalt blue. There is a new reading of what Mexico City is: a dynamic city full of striving artists, chefs, architects, designers, photographers, and more that are looking for fresh and novel ideas using their history. It is a place located in NYC but with a Mexico City vibe—a perfect marriage of both identities.” Photos of Hecho en Dumbo by Philippe Petalas. All others by Laura Gonzalez Fierro.

Carrico Residence Inspiration for Carrico residence, taken by Fierro on a trip to Normandy, France. Carrico residence photos by Philippe Petalas


212.643.7090 Sagewood Construction transforms upscale residential, hospitality, and commercial properties throughout the New York Metropolitan area into distinctive spaces with their own unique presence.



Notes from the Bureau

Notes from the Bureau New Design projects

Rocksalt restaurant

A Seafront Salvation In the small harbor of Folkestone, England, Rocksalt restaurant introduces a fresh approach to dining through thoughtful design

Hollaway paid acute attention to implicit details, but “the temptation was to do something overpowering,” he admits.

“Our greatest success was doing what we set out to do at the start: to make a restaurant that n paper, Rocksalt restaurant appears completely out of context. re-engages with the sea and with As a fine-dining hot spot housed the town, while also making in a strikingly elegant building, it architecture that can stand out would seem more suited to London than a and create a destination.” decayed ferry-port town. Yet the restau-


rant anchors Folkestone’s regeneration, which is remaking the town into a seaside destination.

Behind Rocksalt’s elegant architecture is Guy Hollaway, principal of Guy Hollaway Architects. “We won the competition because we really pulled out all the stops,” says Hollaway. “The building is very contemporary in resolve but [also] very understanding about context and place. It reconnects Folkestone to the sea, and because it was the first piece of the jigsaw, it was very important that its design hit the ground running.”


DESIGNING A KITCHEN Gareth Sefton knows his way around a kitchen. After all, he designs them. Boasting a roster that includes clients like upscale One & Only resorts and Mandarin Oriental hotels, Sefton brought his mad design skills to Rocksalt using the cuisine to guide his design. “It was designed with large weighting toward fish and seafood,” he says. Sefton worked with the chef and co-owner of Rocksalt to create a kitchen that is not only functional, but beautiful, as well.

“But the building is ultimately about understanding place, so the ‘wow’ factor had to come from the view and surroundings.” The restaurant itself angles over the harbor and looks toward France across the English Channel. Outside, sandblasted black-timber cladding blends the structure in with its adjacent buildings, while inside, floor-to-ceiling picture windows provide panoramic sea views. A curved ceiling not only accentuates this view but also ties into the curve of the building, which, Hollaway says, “reminds you of the curve of a fish belly.” The architect finished the fine-dining space, located on the ground floor, in rich greens and browns as a subtle nod to the colors of the sea floor. Upstairs, lighter blues, grays, and whites connect the bar and terrace to the natural colors of the sky. Minimal artwork adorns the interior because, explains Hollaway, “it would take away from the experience of how the atmosphere changes.” Even the lighting fixtures are subtly detailed. “The lighting elements remind you of lobster pots, but they don’t look like lobster pots—they’re just understated enough.” Ultimately, Hollaway feels most proud that he adhered to his original vision for Rocksalt’s design. “Our greatest success was doing what we set out to do at the start: to make a restaurant that re-engages with the sea and with the town, while also making architecture that can stand out and create a destination,” he says. “This is the first restaurant I’ve done of this nature, and I would absolutely do it again in the future.” With many projects still to be built in the masterplan, Hollaway may just fulfill his wish with another restaurant at Folkestone. a By kathryn freeman rathbone PHOTOS BY Paul Freeman

Designing for College Steinberg Architects is out to modernize the architecture associated with education—one classroom at a time


an a wall teach you calculus? Could a sconce recite Byron? Unless this is a Disney film, probably not; but according to Italian educational innovator Loris Malaguzzi, physical space can be as powerful an educator as an actual teacher. He calls the environment the “third teacher,” after adults and peers.

Notes from the Bureau


Fox Technology Center

Green Features at Fox Since Steinberg’s firm is committed to sustainability, the Fox Technology center is finished with green design features throughout. Natural light streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows lights the circulation spaces. Rainwater collected on the grounds and roof of the building is naturally filtered and seeps into the group water.

“Our transparent society and Facebook generation are out there to see and be seen, and our campus design recognizes this and tries to open themselves, reaching out to the students.” a By alyssa meza PHOTOS BY TIM GRIFFITH

KEEPIN’ IT REAL Devcon Construction is quite familiar with Steinberg Architects. They've worked with the firm multiple times, including on the Bellarmine College Preparatory Humanities Building and Academic Building in San Jose. Andy Schatzman of Devcon says it’s all due in part to a healthy relationship. “We had a very good working relationship with Steinberg Architects for both projects.”

More than 70 years after his revolutionary educational theory, the design of the West Valley College Fox Technology Center in Saratoga, California recalls the spirit and lessons of Malaguzzi’s third teacher. Designed by Rob Steinberg of Steinberg Architects, the building mixes social and learning spaces by incorporating courtyards and study corridors for informal learning, as well as traditional classrooms decked out with the latest technology. For all its modern touches, the firm had the challenge of fitting the new structure in with the dark browns and unwelcoming nature of older campus buildings. Instead of mimicking that behind-the-times style, they drew inspiration from the campus’ oak trees. “Our basic philosophy is that buildings on a campus should work with the scale and palette of the place, but be truly original in design that is reflective of our times,” says Steinberg, principal at his namesake firm.

Seasons Senior Living Community

Seasons Senior Living Nardi Associates was tasked with building a safe haven for senior citizens in the Los Angeles ghetto. Was the design a success?


Additionally, the commissioning group, Linc Housing Corporation, also wanted Seasons to be sustainable, with a goal of gold or platinum LEED certification. But it wasn’t that simple. The site was to be split between the city of Compton and the county of LA, forcing the architect to negotiate and satisfy the requirements of two governmental organizations. “We were affected by modifications from both jurisdictions, so it was quite a challenge to harmonize those without losing the project’s integrity,” Nardi says. Keeping costs low while creating a sustainable environment was also an issue, not to mention the fact that Compton is the crime capital of California. “It’s been getting better, but when you say ‘Compton’ in Southern California, everybody knows what you are talking about.”

“The site is self-contained enough that it provides safety to the users without turning the project into a prison-like design .”—NORBERTO NARDI

he concept was simple: design A third challenge was building an aesand build an affordable housing thetically appealing complex that provided complex to serve senior citizens easy access for developmentally disabled with developmental disabilities residents, while still complying with ADA and a limited-income, as well as other standards. And above all other concerns, seniors caring for those with special Seasons needed to be a place where people needs. “People with all kinds of physical would want to live. “The architecture or mental limitations were going to be needed to be festive,” Nardi says. “I wanted occupying this space,” says Norberto Nardi, it to be happy.” principal at Nardi Associates, LLP. “So our design needed to be very clear, very Nardi started solving problems almost as well organized, allowing people to orient soon as he began concepting the design. themselves throughout the project without “We wanted to establish a very clear layout barriers.” without being simplistic or too predictable,”




Notes from the Bureau

he says. “Hopefully the layout would be a little surprising, but it would also keep a sense of orientation—a connection and flow from place to place.”

Early Light Academy

Season’s site plan focuses on simple and logical movement from building to building, with a courtyard design and limited access points to improve safety. “The site design incorporated what we call ‘defensible architecture,’ which means it is selfcontained enough that it provides safety to the users without turning the project into a prison-like design,” Nardi says. The focus on a sustainable design is also noticeable. White roofs reduce the absorption of the California sun, while drought resistant plants from around the region dot the premises, and energy modeling helps dictate future design decisions. And details like an outdoor courtyard and the avoidance of double-loaded corridors create a pleasant living environment, which in turn leads to tenants filling Seasons. “The use of the colors, the presence of light, the different sounds of the place; all of these details result in a happy environment,” Nardi says. So, does Nardi think the development is a success? “Absolutely. You know how I know that I succeeded? Because people are moving in. People are coming to the place.” a By NOAH DAVIS PHOTO BY faryha majumder

Atlas Architects Two Salt Lake City Architects reinvent elementary school design with smart, sustainable (and sometimes silly) style


hether your memories of school days are happy or hellacious, almost all of us had to soldier through the aesthetics of institutional design: cinderblock walls, linoleum floors, and a tone-deaf approach to how design impacts daily life.

Atlas Architects principals Jesse Hulse and Jason Foster, and landscape architect Peter Beeton, have completed two Utah charter school projects using novel tactics to reinvent schoolhouse design: the Early Light Academy in South Jordan, Utah features a fallow field that Beeton transformed into a maze for the children to play in during recess. The firm also used Lego-like colored glass windows of varying sizes to animate

Weilenmann School of Discovery

the building’s façade. And at Park City’s Weilenmann School of Discovery, a dual purpose “cafetasium” features large glass garage doors that open to the outside for easy outdoors access.

“The real clients you’re working for are these kids. If you get a kid who really likes the place that they’re in, they’re going to want to go to “The real clients you’re working for are these school.”—JASON FOSTER, ATLAS kids,” Foster says. “If you get a kid who really likes the place that they’re in, they’re going to want to go to school.”

Here, they give us their thoughts on the good, bad, and ugly design of elementary educational facilities. What were the hallmarks of bad design you remember from your school days? Hulse: I remember schools in the ’70s that had low ceilings due to energy codes and very few windows—dark, foreboding classrooms. Foster: Acres of lawn that really had no

purpose. Or if it wasn’t a large sea of lawn, it was a large sea of asphalt. Do you think the emphasis on design in these charter schools signals a shift of priorities in how Americans see education? Hulse: I think the opportunity to look at school design from a fresh approach goes hand in hand with the charter-school movement of more local control and individual expression in schools.

One of the great things about children is they don’t really have any inhibitions about space. Have there been any instances where students have interacted in a way you didn’t anticipate? Hulse: We like to use Interface carpet tiles because they are so sustainably minded, and we like to mix the colors up in a random palette. And I saw one student using them as sort of a game, kind of hopping from one color to the next. FOSTER: On the Weilenmann school, we did kind of an unusual window arrangement. I was walking along the back of the school where this puzzle of windows runs along. And it was totally amazing to me to see how kids really gravitated to them. They were embracing this element that we tried to introduce that’s a little bit whimsical. a By FELICIA FEASTER PHOTO of early light academy BY cody benson / photos of weilenmann school of discovery courtesy atlas architects


Foodservice design consultants specialising in commercial kitchen and food and beverage design

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Notes from the Bureau

Philips Imagination Canvas at Mercy Hospital

Planning for the Future

something brand new, but this project took it in reverse.

More than your average design firm, Atlanta’s Thrive can turn “ding-dong” into “cha-ching”


“[At Blue Cross/Blue Shield], we hung out in a lot of cubicles. We e’ve all been there: you’re so had employees open up their fears consumed by little projects about the organization.”—JONATHAN with finite timelines that you

can’t possibly consider what comes next. The big picture? Forget it; there are deadlines to meet. Atlanta-based design and consulting firm Thrive understands your dilemma. It works with businesses that have, by necessity or otherwise, had to focus more and more on short-term results. “Innovation often requires longerterm thinking,” Thrive principal Jonathan Dalton says. “I think in many ways the design industry has stepped into that void.”

Thrive combined its expertise in industrial design and entrepreneurial strategy in drastically different projects for Home Depot and Blue Cross / Blue Shield. The home-improvement chain asked Thrive to help jumpstart sales of its doorbells and chimes. “They had like 20-odd different engines and different noises,” Dalton says. “They thought they could throw technology at it. We took a step back.” Thrive reduced the line to one engine and three sounds. They then researched popular American architectural styles and decided on a few basics—arts and crafts, Victorian, Spanish colonial, and modern—for the choice of cover. Designers are often tapped to create

open up their fears about the organization.” The findings, paired with ethnographic research, was synthesized into six basic employee personas to help BC/BS management adjust the software and implementation accordingly.

Thrive eschews traditional top-down managerial culture in favor of mentorship and autonomy, with a staff possessing diverse DALTON, PRINCIPAL, THRIVE educational and professional backgrounds. “We have an architect who wanted to become an industrial designer. We have For Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the chalformer corporate people who wanted to lenge was a painful transition to a new IT work more in design,” Dalton says. “I think system. “People had been using the same that breeds a lot of cross-fertilization and tool every day from nine to five for 15 a rich diversity of viewpoints that we can years,” Dalton explains. Thrive worked to bring to bear on a problem.” Sounds like bridge the rift between upper management, the type of innovative people you’d want on who instituted the change, and employees board to solve your next conundrum. a who had to deal with it. “We hung out in a lot of cubicles,” Dalton says. “We had them By brian libby

Above: Four employee personas from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield IT system software




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Design Thinking

a burger revolution Bespoke burgers have become a new way to market a forwardthinking fast-food joint

by jenny seyfried photos by David Sundberg / Esto

Above: Michael Shuman’s innovative new NYC burger joint, 4Food. Each design element of the flagship restaurant in New York was selected for its adaptability, with future expansion in mind. “Future sites could be mid-block, L-shaped, corner, mezzanine, or wide-shallow,” Shuman says, “so having 10-12 branded characteristics was important. Every 4food will have the concrete, the natural hardwood, the open kitchen and the dynamic menu board, but the features will change with the site’s footprint.” And that’s something Shuman’s modern and flexible design leaves room for.

What if, instead of just “having it your way,” you could make, market, and profit from your own burger creation at an upscale fast-food joint? That’s what’s happening inside New York City’s 4Food. Architect and co-managing partner Michael Shuman is the one puting the power into the hands of the consumers. Using what is called a “Build-Board,” customers can dream up their own burger (pick any combo—there are 140 million possibilities), name it, brand it, and promote it online. Then, every time someone orders it, the burger genius that dreamed up the combination receives a royalty. “It’s been interesting to see how people use the ‘Board’ to express themselves in very creative, humorous, political ways,”

Shuman says. “We’ve had burgers named ‘Libyan Democracy,’ ‘Bed Intruder,’ and the ‘Winning Burger,’ after Charlie Sheen.” Outside of 4food, Shuman focuses on his passion for designing public spaces and serves as the principal architect at MASdesign, which he founded. The company works primarily with nonprofit and arts-centric organizations. “It’s fulfilling to not just design and build things, but to develop, promote and embody the programs,” Shuman says. Shuman and his business partner Adam Kindon refer to 4food as “pro-social,” referencing its sustainability. The restaurant’s seating is constructed from regenerated pine and features exterior aluminum

Design Thinking


“We’ve had burgers named ‘Libyan Democracy,’ ‘Bed Intruder,’ and the ‘Winning Burger,’ after Charlie Sheen.”—MICHAEL SHUMAN

Sandro Darsin, principal at Sun Dragon Industries, worked on 4Food as the general contractor. Shuman “is bent on innovating and creating an exciting environment,” Darsin says, “while always struggling for simple solutions and the use of basic materials and sustainable methods.” Darsin was happy to have the chance to contribute. “That the actual physical quality of the space and its finishes may in fact strengthen those ideas would be the greatest achievement I aspired to.”

louvers that mitigate direct sunlight and reduce energy costs. They even turn food waste and packaging into compost. But the energy bill isn’t the only thing being reduced. “We don’t spend anything on traditional marketing,” Shuman says. The crowd-sourcing Build-Board has proved a game changer. “Our customers become our marketers, and we use the money saved on making the product better,” Shuman says. Following the tsunami in Japan, 4food gave a week’s proceeds to Japanese relief and Shuman was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only did numerous customers ask that their “Build Board” royalties for the week be donated to Japan, “but they were asking to continue that model and choose organizations to donate to permanently.” Just goes to show that, given the choice, customers are willing to both chow down and give back. a




Design Thinking

FUn for everyone According to the duo at Architecture is Fun, you’re never too old to play. They’ve just managed to make it their day job, too.

Rainbow-painted wire curtains welcome boast master’s degrees from lauded universiguests to a room littered with swaths of col- ties and have won numerous awards from the orful fabrics and mini dollhouse-like repli- American Institute of Architects. They’ve cas of jungle gyms and playgrounds. Large been commissioned to design several largephotos of happy children adorn the walls of scale museums around the country, includthe space, hanging just above bookshelves ing the DuPage Children’s Museum, Young filled with coloring books and textbooks. Pic- at Art Children’s Museum in Florida, and the turing a warm, welcoming elementary school Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. For their classroom? Think again. project research, they hold what they call “envisioning sessions,” where they consult Welcome to the office of Architecture is Fun, with the young patrons to determine what where playtime and designing for children is they most desire design-wise. The clients serious business. gather a group of children or young adults from the community, and the Exleys can Since designing the Chicago Children’s glean ideas for their design in an informal Museum in 1995, Peter and Sharon Exley, setting. “You have to give them something the co-founding husband-and-wife duo, have to react to,” Sharon says, “so you can sort of focused their architectural practice on kid- judge and gauge those reactions. We start centric educational projects. “I think there’s out talking about polka dots and circles, and a sense of humor in our work,” Peter says of then we learn what they enjoy and read about, their quirky specialty. “We approach things and before you know it, you’re having a great with wit and a sense of interactivity, because conversation.” But, she adds, “There’s always if adults don’t like our projects, they don’t one teenager who doesn’t talk and at the end take their children back.” Sharon agrees hands you a notebook that is just covered that although it’s untraditional, this clien- with ideas. You have to listen in a lot of diftele suits them best. “We never woke up and ferent ways.” thought, ‘We just want to design children’s museums.’ We thought, ‘We have an exper- Every interior, landscape, and building structise.’ It’s not age-specific.” ture that Architecture Is Fun has created is done under the philosophy of “educative Despite their playful demeanor, the Exleys design.” Peter explains: “Design that has a do take their work seriously. Both designers responsibility to provide an environment

By sarah cason Portrait by DREW REYNOLDS

Right: Peter and Sharon Exley of Architecture is Fun

Design Thinking





Design Thinking

for education that is fundamentally educated in itself. It’s doing a space that is more than primary color palettes and Lego blocks.” Adds Sharon, “We let the children be the conductors. We let them decide.” However, their ideas on how children should learn and play go beyond the four walls of a museum. According to Peter, “Play ought to be an integral part of everybody’s lives, not just a domain of childhood. So our approach is maintaining some of the joys and forms of those experiences.” a

Pritzker Children’s Zoo

The Exleys created a jungle-like indoor playground for the Lincoln Park Children’s Zoo. “Children don’t pay attention to the natural world, so we wanted to highlight their awareness that they’re a part of it,” Peter says. Incorporating playful elements along the outdoor paths that wind around cages, they utilized every part of their design expertise to create a wonder-filled habitat for kids. “The visitors can go high up in a canopy climber, where you can slither like a snake or fly like a bird,” he says. With talking tubes, animal pelts, and viewing windows at the top of the climber, children can now spend the whole day immersed in nature.

Photos by Doug Snower

“Play ought to be an integral part of everybody’s lives, not just a domain of childhood...our approach is maintaining some of the joys and forms of those experiences.”—PETER EXLEY

Design Thinking

Exploration Station

“The number one request in a children’s museum is seating. We want it to be so captivating that the whole family plays together,” says Sharon. This community museum in Bourbonnais, IL is full of exploratory exhibits and homages to the agricultural context of central Illinois landscape. One way they promoted their desire for familial bonding is in the windows- situated high up on the walls, they were specifically designed to make kids ask their parents for a lift up to the view. Available for exploration is space equipment, farming traditions and a make-believe dentist area where a certified dentist visits monthly to teach children about proper dental care.

From simple to complex project builds, Morley has turned the imaginative designs of Peter Exley and architectureisfun into reality.


Evanston Library Teen Loft AND FPL TEEN VORTEX

In Peter’s opinion, “teenagers are the most underserved segment of our population.” When the Evanston Library approached Architecture Is Fun to help them get more teens to the libarary, they counted on the Exleys to create an outlet specifically for the 18 and under crowd.

Brainstorming sessions were held with the teen advisory board to find out exactly how they wanted to define their space, which resulted in details like an iPodcharging chair, media center and a stage with spotlights. Now, teens practice for school plays, hold open mikes, or just hang out in an area that used to hold forgotten stacks of books. Adults, don’t even think about trying to crash the party: it’s off limits for anyone past high school age, and is only open after school hours.

Simple and inviting: At the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw, Mich., Morley worked with Peter and his team to engineer and fabricate his bright and playful vision throughout the facility. The entrance piece we built set the tone for the entire museum.

Creating the complex: To fabricate Peter’s vision for the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, Ill., Morley engineered, fabricated and installed a complex series of cables and brackets to support custom stainless steel “trees,” “floating” panels and accessories.

About Morley: Morley leverages its flexibility, creativity and outstanding work ethic to create exhibits and displays that are consistent with the intent of designers and architects like architectureisfun, while offering outstanding value to project owners. For more information, visit:




Design Thinking

The Marc Jacobs Experience How Jaklitsch/Gardner created an unmatched retail presence for one of the world’s top fashion designers

By Katie Mendelson Portrait by eric luc

Just after Stephan Jaklitsch and Mark Gardner completed a residential project for Robert Duffy, Marc Jacobs’ business partner, Duffy immediately requested their presence in San Francisco for a new assignment. What job could inspire such urgency? Marc Jacobs’ collection store. With Jacobs’ existing Soho store in mind, the New York-based designers were drawn to the concept of an open storefront that maximized pedestrian interaction. Inside, the single large room features white plaster walls, black-stained flooring, and custom-built stainless steel rolling racks. “Our work—and Jacobs’ brand—is about doing things with a certain level of quality and detail,” Jaklitsch

Marc Jacobs’ Aoyama Tokyo photo courtesy Nacasa and Partners

says. “Yes, you can do an H&M knockoff, whether it be a piece of clothing or a rolling rack, but it’s not going to be the same thing.” Jaklitsch/Gardner has since completed 10 Marc Jacobs retail shops around the world, from Georgia to Japan. Each store requires location and cultural requirements to be considered. When designing the Tokyo store, Jaklitsch used a building feature called the kosakubutsu. Only two floors of the building are inhabitable, so the third level, the kosakubutsu, is crafted from perforated aluminum panels and LED-illuminated tensile fabric. In true Marc Jacobs form, it acts as a quiet but forceful presence in the neighborhood. “It essentially becomes a billboard. It’s

Design Thinking


“It is a truly in-the-know brand—very subtle.” —Stephan Jaklitsch

Marc Jacobs Tokyo 2010 Located in Tokyo’s Aoyama shopping district, this flagship was subject to some strict local codes. Only two of the three floors are used for sales, but the building towers above the street with its lantern-like “kosakubutsu,” used to conceal rooftop equipment.

LIGHTING MAKES THE SPACE Lighting can change a room. When done right, it creates atmosphere and enhances the layout and architecture. Kacper Dolatowski, from Axon Design Inc. created the lighting concept and custom fixtures like a second floor glass chandelier for the Marc Jacobs Tokyo store. “The main challenge was to create lighting with great sense of connection to the building and its interior. It’s really all about the emotions one may experience when shopping there… A sense of luxury. Lighting is like a cufflink to the suit,” Dolatowski says.




Design Thinking

Marc Jacobs Los Angeles 2005 Located at Melrose Place and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, this triangular location is situated across the street from two other MJ stores. The space plays with perceptions of interior and exterior; windows are blocked by curtains, mirrors line the walls, and shelves are illuminated and set back.

Marc Jacobs Paris 2006 Jaklitsch/Gardner had to fit this storefront into insert a bay in the landmark Palais-Royal. Behind the updated façade is a simultaneously modern and historic vault-like interior.

a hollow structure which is really meant to advertise the presence of the building…it becomes a lantern, a beacon.” Proven in the retail world, Jaklitsch/Gardner will tackle an entirely different beast next: product design. The first object in their oeuvre will be the Terrain Vase, a small vessel crafted from biodegradable plastic and inspired by the natural landscape. The vase is the firm’s first project with design juggernaut MoMA. With any luck (and clearly a lot of talent), a little of that Marc Jacobs longterm-relationship magic is sure to rub off. a Marc Jacob Paris photos by Jean-Philippe Caulliez; Marc Jacobs LA photos by Paul Warchol




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Design Thinking

The making of a perfume LAB

Building vibrations cause fluctuations in the scales, potentially throwing off a mixture. The structure of the lab had to be supported independently.

Inside the fragrance facilities of a European firm German fragrance firm Drom had a special request for its new Manhattan storefront: make it scent free. “The challenge is that you shouldn’t smell anything when you walk into a fragrance bar or laboratory,” says Janko Rasic firm partner Timothy Rasic. “You don’t want the scents to commingle, as multiple clients might be sampling [at the same time] and you wouldn’t want any particular scent to distract from the others.”

building was a major selling point for the space, the surrounding cobblestone streets meant that the structure of the lab itself had to be supported independently. “The vibrations in the building caused by trucks and busses passing by would cause fluctuations in the scales,” Timothy says. “The amounts in the formulas are so small that the tiniest error would throw off the whole mixture.”

And, to deal with that pesky little problem of The instructions for Timothy and his team, different perfumers’ scents interacting, the including his father and co-partner Janko firm devised a sophisticated HVAC system, Rasic, were clear: design an interactive where each station has an exhaust fan and a space that allows some of the mystery behind switch that evacuates the current scent. This scent making—typically a very secretive and pricey buildout might have been a deterrent guarded process—to be revealed. “We wanted for other clients, but not Drom. the perfumers to be in the front and center of our office and not tucked away in some ivory “Drom became our best advocate,” Timothy tower, and Tim made it work,” says Robert says. “When we tried to cut out a lot of the Stapf, vice president of Drom. design to lower the budget, they told us, ‘We need to keep everything. It’s all part of the The architects selected a landmark building infrastructure—the look and the aesthetics in Tribeca, replete with a subterranean level, are important to us because they are really as the perfect location. Though the historic what tells the story of what we do.’” a

BY Katie Mendelson PHOTOS BY Paul Warchol

Look inside the perfume lab where the mysterious science of scent-making is exposed

Design Thinking


A complex HVAC system removes any lingering smells at each station. You should only be able to smell the sample in front of you, not overlapping scents.

Inside, perfumers sit behind an extended, serpentine-shaped bar

IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY Like Janko Rasic Architects, construction management company Nucor Construction Corporation is a family business. Of working with the father/son duo, Joseph J. Pollaci of NCC says, “It is great. We have the same dynamic at NCC, so we understand where they are coming from and how they operate.” Even more so than working with relatives, Pollaci had a preexisting knowledge of how to safeguard the data center and backup generators of Mizuho Securities. “NCC has a lot of experience working with financial institutions,” Pollaci says, “and we are keenly aware of the necessary security detail.”




Design Thinking

CRYSTAL-CLEAR ARCHITECTURE Dutch bank Nykredit takes building transparency from literal to phenomenal by Kathryn freeman rathbone photos by Adam Mørk

In a building known as the Crystal, architecture firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen puts Danish bank Nykredit’s views on full display. The financial firm asked SHL to design a new glass structure to mesh with its sister building, the Cloud, a glass box positioned on the city’s harbor edge. “Transparency is one of Nykredit’s core values,” says Schmidt Hammer Lassen partner Kim Holst Jensen. “In addition, openness, simplicity, and visibility are important design parameters.” Though a low brick structure would have better blended into city’s existing architecture, the cube was a more accurate refelction of Nykredit itself. The new rhombic glass-and-steel structure allows for maximum flexibility in the office areas, because no pillars are needed. The layout offers each employee maximized views, both inside the office and out. Transferring the structure’s load to its external walls also allowed SHL to carve a plaza through the building’s base, transforming the building into a light, asymmetrical form and the site into a public pass-through. This feature is Jensen’s favorite. “I am very fond of where the building detaches from the ground and floats above the plaza, interacting with the surrounding buildings. Here, the boundaries move. The building floats. It creates new views and a new experience of the interaction between building and city. It sets the space in motion,” he says. Through its clever treatment of form and materiality, the Crystal lets not only light but also people stream through its wide-open architecture. a

Design Thinking

Nykredit's new building, dubbed The Crystal


The Cloud, a sister office building on the harbor, designed by SHL five years before The Crystal




Design Thinking

“The building floats. It creates new views and a new experience of the interaction between building and city. It sets the space in motion.“— kim holst jensen, partner, schmidt hammer lassen

BEHIND THE GLASS WALL Copenhagen company HS Hansen was responsible for bringing SHL's vision to life. The firm erected the glass curtain wall in the Crystal and Cloud buildings, and it didn't come without some serious challenges. Jorgen Svendsen-Tune of HS Hansen cites a lightness in the glass facade and “demanding geometry” as big issues. The team didn't fret, though. “Through the process we had positive, openminded discussions with SHL,” Jorgen says. HS Hansen was able to complete the façade within 30 days, which Svendsen-Tune recalls as a “challenge that we were proud to meet.”

When design and speed is key When world famous architects like Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen are designing new buildings, one of their key concerns is the design of the faรงades. At an early stage of the design phase of the project Crystal and Cloud in Copenhagen, HSHansen a/s was invited to participate in the innovation process with our designers and engineers to bring our more than 100 years of experience with our facade system, Hansen UnitAl, where the core is prefabrication of facade modules with glass, windows, doors, cladding, sunscreens, etc. into the project so it could meet the high demands from Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen regarding quality, technique, sustainability and transparency. Because of the prefabricated modules, the projects faรงades were closed in 29 days instead of 120 days, which would have been the result with conventional faรงades.



Design Thinking

My Idol

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE s a teenager growing up in Berlin in the ’80s, Martin Ebert idolized Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Even 25 years later, he still remembers the first time he saw an exhibit of his work. “I remember looking at a large-scale photograph of the Farnsworth House against the backdrop of the Indian summer and being almost overwhelmed by the clarity of the structure, its lightness, and the relationship between building and landscape,” he says. “Other contemporary architecture seemed trivial in comparison.”


Above and opposite page: BBC Scotland, photos by Peter Cook

German architect Martin Ebert finds inspiration from the modernist pioneer by NOAH DAVIS

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Des Moines Public Library, photos by Farshid Assassi Opposite page: Ernsting Service Center in Coesfield, Germany, photo by Christian Richters

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“I remember looking at a large-scale photograph of the Farnsworth House and being almost overwhelmed...Other contemporary architecture seemed trivial in comparison.” —MARTIN EBERT, STUDIO MEDA

The Farnsworth House near Plano, Illinois, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1951

But it was van der Rohe’s structures in Chicago—a city where Ebert twice studied under the legendary architect’s protégés—that crystallized his worldview. “The clarity and simplicity, but also the sheer power that some of those Chicago buildings have, made a very lasting impression on me,” Ebert says. He cites van der Rohe’s post office—“What a beautiful civic building in contrast to its rather mundane function”—as well as the architect’s Crown Hall and 860-800 Lake Shore Drive as particularly inspirational. Ebert now runs his own firm, Studio Meda, and the Miesian influence has manifested itself throughout his career. The Ernsting Service Center in Coesfield, Germany is a prime example. The building, which he completed during his time at Berlin firm David Chipperfield Architects, explores the relationship of frame and envelope, structure and skin. It is 90-percent glass, but its

defining feature is a series of deep concrete balconies. “There is a shadow gap,” Ebert says. “On one hand, the structure is very heavy, but on the other, it’s almost floating above this grassland.” His work on the Des Moines Public Library in Iowa refines this concept further. “The building is a more contemporary take on the headquarters of the ’50s and ’60s, but it’s about the very simple structure and the very clear idea of how the skin wraps around it,” Ebert says. The copper tint of the library shines in the sun, setting it off from the surrounding brick buildings and fields of landscaped green grass. Fittingly, Studio Meda’s website proudly features a van der Rohe quote: “We want to stand with both feet firmly on the ground, yet push our heads high up in the sky.” A bit of poetic inspiration ready to be discovered by another architecture-obsessed teenager. a




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The Language of Design What’s It like designing artistic spaces for fellow creatives? We asked three different firms with hands-on experience. By ARYN BEITZ

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DESIGN BUREAU 99 AIGA:365/27 by Design 360; Photo by Jennifer Krogh



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or Jill Ayers, the joy of designing for fellow designers comes from having creative freedom. Her firm, Design 360, was hired to design AIGA:365/27, an annual exhibition in New York City. “We had the freedom to tell a story in a less traditional way,” Ayers says. The exhibit’s aim was to transport its visitors to a laboratory-like setting. “There were specific elements, such as the periodic chart, that delved deeper into the creative process behind design and the people who make it happen. [The exhibit] could be appreciated by the general public, but also speak more specifically to the creative user on a deeper lever.”

Ayers and 360 aren’t alone in their affinity to do projects for creative colleagues. Annie Chu, principal at Los Angeles-based Chu + Gooding Architects., points to an implicit

kinship that guides the process. “A common language occurs because of the shared understanding of the importance of the place of art in society,” she says. Chu + Gooding was commissioned to design the Architecture of Rudolf Schindler exhibit at the MoCA, and decided to focus on Schindler’s penchant for experimentation. The firm recreated a small beach shelter designed by Schindler, encouraging visitors to experience his work in full scale. For Chu, the exhibit reinforced the power of collaborative design and its impact on the public. “We get to imagine how our spaces helped in both art production and art consumption,” she says. Margi Nothard, design principal and founding partner of Glavovic Studio, had a similar experience designing the Girls’ Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Club is a foundation, gallery, and studio that champions women’s continued on page 104

THE SIGNAGE SAYS IT ALL Xibitz created the signage for the Dow Jones newsroom and wanted to create an aesthetic that acknowledged the past but looked forward to the future. “In order to pay homage to Dow Jones’ rich history,’ says account executive Chuck Plockmeyer, “the designers wanted to take into account the look and feel of used typeset plates but integrated in a very clean way. We utilized Blued Steel patinated zinc and etching to achieve the modern look but with the feel of the printing process from days gone by.”

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“[For the AIGA exhibit], we had the freedom to tell a story in a less traditional could speak more specifically to the creative user on a deeper level.” —JILL AYERS, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, DESIGN 360 This page and opposite: AIGA:365/27 by Design 360; Photos by Jennifer Krogh

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Above: Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Photos by David Modica


Barry Schwartz Photography

Horizon General Contractors, helping Chu + Gooding Architects realize their client’s vision. Our respect for the architect’s and the client’s vision, combined with our skillful attention to detail, assures that even the most complex project will be executed exactly as conceived.

LIKE A PRO “Annie Chu represents what a builder needs in a professional,” says David Feder, director of business development at LA-based Horizon General Contractors. Horizon has worked with Chu + Gooding on multiple projects, including an addition to the English House in Beverly Hills. According to Feder, it’s Chu + Gooding’s outside-the-box mindset that sets it apart from the competition and makes for some truly striking work. Plus, “Annie’s 'bedside manner’ with the clients is the best I’ve experienced,” he says.

“It is difficult to create an age-free, class-free and highly accessible experience that honors the work and activities the space is built for... [it's a] balancing game.” —ANNIE CHU, PRINCIPAL, CHU + GOODING ARCHITECTS

Please contact Dan Andrews at 310-393-3329, or email us at



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contributions to contemporary art. “The architecture needed to rise to a new level—to be able to be a vision for a new foundation— that would represent a position in the community,” Nothard says. “I understood it could be more than just a building, and this made it more challenging, but also more inspiring and motivating.”

Above: ArtsPark Visual Arts Pavilion Left: Children’s area and shade structures Opposite page: Aerial view of Millennium Springs Sculpture; Children’s dynamic element; Millennium Springs Sculpture looking west; photos by Robin Hill

As the maxim goes, if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one. Thus, creating universally engaging environments and memorable experiences is “a balancing game,” according to Chu. “It is difficult to create an age-free, class-free and highly accessible experience that honors the work and activities the space is built for.” But despite the potential pitfalls, it’s clear that these designers are intrigued by the opportunity to work alongside their peers in an effort to foster art and design for future generations. “I have felt grateful to have these clients over the years,” Nothard says. “In all cases, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that they are looked after and represented well.” a

glavovic studio

architecture + urban design + art



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YOU DO WHAT?! Six designers pursuing their passion outside of architecture

ANDREAS CHARALAMBOUS Charalambous’ Project: Zen Modern

PrINCIPAL, FORMA DESIGN Passion: Creating Art “While growing up on Cyprus, I began painting with watercolors to capture the landscape around me. I applied for architecture school at Cornell with only paintings in my portfolio, but that was enough to get a scholarship. While in school, I combined my interests by taking classes in painting and photography. My latest works, Mediterranean Color Fields, are created with acrylics, pastels, and oil. Zen Modern photos by Geoffrey Hodgdon

They are very abstract and saturated in colors that reflect the blue of the water and ochre of the hay or wheat fields of this landscape. I create artwork on commission for clients if they happen to notice my work hanging in my office or home, which is set up like a gallery. The art then fits right in with the architectural design. The feeling of the space guides us to select the right piece in scale, theme, and color.”—As told to Murrye BernarD / portrait by Carlton Wolfe

Charalambous’ DC-based Forma Design transformed a penthouse duplex in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. The client had been transferred to Korea for work, and upon her return to the States, she decided to bring a little Zen home with her. Charalambous translated this Asian inspiration into a modern and relaxing environment. LED mood lighting in the chef’s kitchen and master bedroom allow the client to customize the spaces to fit her mood. In the master bath, he concealed an infrared sauna, which had become an integral part of the client’s lifestyle in Korea. Though the apartment is only 1,500 square feet, it feels much larger thanks to the removal of a few walls, as two small bedrooms were combined into a light-filled studio/office.—MB

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RICHARD MASSA PrESIDENT, RICHARD MASSA ARCHITECTS Passion: Viewing Ancient Designs “The Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has always fascinated me. It feels as though I’ve been transported to Egypt somehow, though it’s a modern building in the middle of the city. It speaks to that sixth sense, an emotional component that I try to incorporate into my designs. I don’t believe in imposing a

style because I believe it has to be organic. Like the Temple and its new setting, my work often features a mix of new and old. Life is not lived in one moment, but rather throughout decades. It’s nice to draw from more than one period of time.”—As TOLD TO Murrye Bernard

MASSA's PROJECT: Hayes Apartment The New York-based architect designed the conversion of three one-bedroom Chelsea apartments into a single apartment for Massa’s friends. The resulting three-bedroom, three-bath apartment also features a spacious den and combination living/ dining room. “I love the challenge of figuring out how to make something work; looking at spaces and completely rethinking how they’re used,” Massa explains. He enjoyed shopping with the couple to select artwork and furniture for the space, both of whom share his love of Paris. Indeed, the bold print in the living room is pure vintage Paris.—MB

JEFFREY DAVIS PrESIDENT, JDAVIS ARCHITECTS Passion: Exploring New Cities “I like to experience cities with a strong historic character. One of my favorite cities is Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered one of the great examples of ‘walkable urbanism.’ Though there is no particular monument that serves as a tourist attraction, people simply love to walk through Charleston. Other cities that I find inspiring are San Francisco, Portland, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Seattle. I could spend days walking around NYC.” —As told to Murrye BernarD

Davis’ Project: West Village Durham, North Carolina is the former tobacco manufacturing capital of the United States, and home to the Liggett & Myers company and its campus of six brick warehouses built in the early 1900s. The Raleigh-based firm of JDavis Architects designed the redevelopment of these buildings into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood. West Village now incorporates loft apartments, office and retail space, as well as restaurants, parking, and an Amtrak station. These programmatic components wrap a landscaped courtyard, which is actually a green roof with bioretention gardens and vegetative filtration systems.—MB

Top left: The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo courtesy Brooks Walker/The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Top right: Hayes residence living room and stairwell. Photos by Richard Massa. Bottom right: West Village photos by Marc Lamkin




Design Thinking

You Do What?!

designers pursuing their passion outside of architecture

TIM HURBURGH DIRECTOR, H2o ARCHITECTS Passion: Real Tennis “The longest standing interest and passion I have that has intersected with my architectural career in unexpected ways is playing real tennis, or court tennis, as it is called in the United States. It is played the way the game ways played before contemporary ‘lawn’ tennis was invented, within enclosed courtyards. Because you needed a building with essentially concrete floors and concrete or masonry walls that didn’t crack, some of the techniques that builders and architects developed for the construction of courts were revolutionary. One of the Swinburne photos by Trevor Mein

most fascinating courts is in New York on the upper level of the prestigious Racquet and Tennis Club, designed by the famous firm McKim, Mead, and White. I have been fortunate to win several amateur world championships. It all sounds rather privileged and elitist and arcane—it is certainly a sport that is open to commentary— but it’s good fun, it’s accessible, and has kept me fit while providing the opportunity to visit other countries.”—AS TOLD TO Murrye Bernard / Portrait by Lauren Bamford

H2o's PROJECT: Swinburne University of Technology Advanced Technologies Centre The Melbourne, Australia firm designed a high-tech educational and research facility for nanotechnology and neurology studies. The building’s precast concrete façade features a matrix of circular openings that vary depending on programmatic function; some are open to the elements, while others contain operable glazing. The structure is divided into four sections, organized around a cruciform of glazed arcades. Two of the components, which contain classrooms, offices, and labs are low-rise to address the historic scale of Burwood Road. And two accompanying towers accommodate teaching and research functions.—MB

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Design Thinking

You Do What?!

designers pursuing their passion outside of architecture



president, phil kean designs


Passion: Marathon Running

Passion: The Ocean

“A friend of mine had just finished a marathon and said, ‘If I can do it, you can do it.’ So I ran one. And it was terrible. I did everything wrong, but I finished. But my second and third attempts went a little better, and before I knew it, I had run marathons in 10 different states. It became an item on my bucket list: to run marathons in all 50 states. Now I have 30 under my belt, with 20 left to go. I typically get up at 5 am to train, and I run between 40 and 50 miles per week. I often train with a local running group. There is always someone who runs at your pace, and talking makes the time pass faster. I also use the time to design in my head. In some cases, while running, I’ve worked through the entire concept of a house.”—As TOLD TO Murrye Bernard

Kean’s Project: NEMO Phil Kean, based in Winter Park, Florida, designs dream homes for his clients. With a fondness for blending indoor and outdoor spaces, Kean drew inspiration from the residential architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Rudolph, and Richard Neutra. He reinterpreted their ideas on modern living by pairing natural materials with energy-saving technologies, creating the concept of “New Modern.” “When I do modern architecture, it’s all about the scale and proportions of the spaces that make it work,” Kean says. “People [understand] that you can design contemporary without it being cold.”—MB

“Walking along the dunes of North Carolina with my son and our fishing rods, it is hard to not be drawn into the mystery of the water. The anticipation of the day and the reveal of the ocean over the horizon is always a stimulating experience. I work in much the same environment as I fish: isolated, relaxed, and quietly lost in my own thoughts. I find freedom in these surroundings. Like a boat on the water, I try to develop a harmony between the formal design of a space and the inherent discovery of interacting with that space. Each client has a unique story, and my job is to develop that story within the living space. I try to balance the formal sequence of a living space and the sense of discovery, which allows the architecture to feel ‘lived in.’”—As told to STEPHEN KILLION

WORKING WITH KEAN “There is a process involved in getting a client to a working kitchen that suits their personality and lifestyle,” says Diane Mulligan of Busby Cabinets in Alachua, Florida. Along with Mulligan, Kean attends cabinet meetings to ensure that every last detail of the home coincides with the overall design aesthetic that he works to make a reality. Using only premium Rainforest Alliance Certified hardwoods and plywoods that meet the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, Mulligan has noticed a shift in the cabinetry that new homebuilders desire most. “As busy as everyone’s lives are becoming, the more simple and understated clients want their homes to be. They want function, airy space, great light, and comfort, but with much less fuss. Cabinetry must embrace this mood with elegant details and simpler lines.”

Left: photo of Nemo by Michael Lowry. Right: photos courtesy Josh Allison

Dilworth Garage Allison felt a strong connection to the Dilworth Garage Studio project, which he developed as both his office space and a guesthouse. As an extension of his home’s existing garage, the project is an ode to Josh’s interest in woodworking and evokes the natural warmth of wood and the efficient use of space from where he finds inspiration. —SK

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Designing for Suburbia


SHAPE SHIFTERS What good is a house if you can’t feel relaxed in it? Square Three blends modern style with total comforts of home

What is a pair of young parents to do, when faced with the choice between building a modern home and a family-friendly home? In the San Francisco area, they call Square Three, a design company that bases its strategy around merging the two ideas. “I will see a house that’s super cool-looking from a design standpoint, with one piece of furniture in a room and concrete walls or floors, and then you stop to think, what would it be like living in that setting?,” says Tom Carrubba, partner at Square Three. “It seems like a very ‘adult’ space. Most of our clients are families and they want a space that’s kid friendly, as well.”

primary goal for them,” Hesse says. “In our opinion, living in a space that’s concrete and steel and glass is likely not the most comfortable space to be in.” To fill the need for modern design while keeping in accordance with a family’s comfort, Square Three often makes small twists on traditional design elements.

“Take a gable roof, for example,” Carrubba says. “Those have been around for years and if you ask a little kid to draw a house, that’s the roof they will draw. So we use the gable roof and just detail it differently: we’ll simplify the barge board and fascia trim, use hidden rain gutters and inconspicuous eave venting, Carrubba and his partner, Carl Hesse, pri- and avoid excessive trim work.” marily design single-family homes where they place an emphasis on warmth and liv- Carrubba, 42, and Hesse, 49, attribute the ability while still doing their part to revamp reasoning behind the current housing trend and modernize the traditional style of sub- to America’s interest in greener lifestyles, as urban homes. “I think there are other archi- well as the rise of the Millennials—the next tects and clients that are not as sensitive to generation of homeowners with a modernthat, and cutting-edge modern design is a ized sense of suburbia. “Most of our clients

Georgia Perry is a freelance writer and fact-checker based on Portland, Oregon.

BY GEORGIA PERRY Photos by Cherie Cordellos

Above: Chestnut residence

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Designing for Suburbia


Inside the Fulton residence

are younger than us now, and they work for Google and Yahoo!, and they want to bring that sense of design home,” Hesse says. “They’re very interested in something nontraditional but it needs to be a pleasant and warm environment to live in.” Now, it seems like they can have the best of both worlds. a

REDBERRY RESIDENCE If Ray Basso of Heartwood Window & Door finds working with Square Three to be a challenge, he has no problem meeting it head-on. “From the very beginning of most projects, I work closely with Square Three to facilitate their design with the capabilities of Loewen windows,” Basso says. “They are always pushing the limits of Loewen’s abilities, and because of this push to be grand and unique, I believe Loewen windows has become a better manufacturer.” This mutual drive to construct the best house possible has elevated each of Heartwood and Square Three's projects to the front of Basso’s mind. Says Basso of their collaborations: “Every one is memorable.”

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Designing for Suburbia


Bruckner notes that House 4 is 51-percent more energy-efficient than the average new home, a serendipitous byproduct of the forward-thinking design. “I didn’t want the energy efficiency to undermine the design. It’s a trade-off.”

House 4 has only one entry point, allowing for greater security.

Photos courtesy Brio54

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a package deal Don't worry about spending extra cash to decorate House 4—the architects have already done it

By Jason abbruzzese

BIG ENERGY Robert Matto of RPM Energy Solutions helped Bruckner to make Houses 4 an energy efficient abode. He says insulation and air sealing were paramount to reducing energy consumption by more than 50 percent. He also used cost-effective materials, which helped to keep the budget low. Matto says he enjoyed his experience working with Bruckner on House 4. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with someone who understands building science.”

Architect Gernot Bruckner has a new vision for modern homes, and it includes everything. His House 4 pre-fab structure has included everything a new homeowner could possibly need—furniture, cabinets, even fixtures—into the sticker price, starting at $457,000. “I just felt that the [traditional] design completely restricts the functionality of the house—the quality of space, the quality of life,” Bruckner says. “[House 4] is a different way of enjoying a more sophisticated type of product without going over the top.” Bruckner, a native of Austria and principal of his firm, Brio 54, says the 2,171-squarefoot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath structure is the collision of form and function, with an eye on affordability. “[House 4] is not embellished,” he says. “It is very clean, simple, and casual, and yet there is a certain sophistication to it. People are really very intrigued by it.”

People are intrigued because House 4 features black-and-white-striped siding and sits atop stilts, a decision due to its location near the shoreline. Though it won’t likely blend with the neighbor’s house, Bruckner doesn’t mind. “Architecture doesn’t have to be so serious,” he says. “I don’t want to live in a serious house. I want to live in a house that I enjoy living in.” And he did live in House 4 for a year to make sure everything—from the building and materials to the handpicked furniture—made for a modern, livable home. “It’s not consumer-oriented living,” Bruckner says. “You don’t need much stuff. You can move into this house with a minimal amount of things and it will still look good.” Furniture, good looks and a fun personality? Quite a bargain for the package price. a




Design Thinking

Designing for Suburbia


Pre-Fabulous Two Icelandic architects minimize waste and maximize materials with their modernized pre-fab homes

Iceland is a country filled with lush landscapes, volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls. But being an island nation means resources are scarce, something native Icelanders Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson are cognizant of in their architecture practice. “We want our work to represent how we choose to live in this world: maximize materials, minimize waste,” Thorsteinsson says. “We find value in unique materials and find ways to use, reuse and re-reuse.”

still built the traditional way. It does not make sense. Manufacturing homes is long overdue. The future is in the prefabricated homes.”

With their Santa Monica-based firm, Minarc, the husband-and-wife team has taken this idea of minimizing waste as a statement of purpose. By drawing inspiration from the beauty of its homeland, the firm has made a name for itself by exposing clients to their culture of efficiency. “Everything around us is manufactured, from your pen to your car,” Thorsteinsson says. “Nevertheless, homes are

As minimalists, both Ingjaldsdóttir and Thorsteinsson focus on “designing multifunctional spaces that eliminate unnecessary layering.” “We like to use things in the most organic form,” Thorsteinsson says. Through its systematic approach to home production, Minarc has been able to streamline the manufacturing process and be even more efficient at minimizing waste. a

by stephen killion Portrait by brandon klein PHOTOS BY ART GRAY

Minarc’s solution to the global demand for affordable, sustainable housing is something called Mnm.MOD. The Mnm.MOD system is creates unique solutions for each client by offering a library of sustainable options for them to select from. These pieces and parts are then shipped to a factory for assembly, just like automobiles.

Above: Ingjalsdottir and Thorsteinsson in their backyard. Clothes by Helga Solrun Opposite page: MnmMOD house

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Design Thinking

Designing for Suburbia


The orientation of the Horwitz Residence maximizes solar potential and natural ventilation and light. A heated patio with fireplace, and interior/ exterior courtyards maximize usable space.

“We want our work to represent how we choose to live in this world: maximize materials, minimize waste.” —TRYGGVI THORSTEINSSON, MINARC

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Superior Interiors Vance's redesign of theBrooklyn brownstone's faรงade was initially guided by a 1930s tax photo


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Warmed-Up Modern The discovery of an old tax document guided the restoration of this Brooklyn Heights gem By Murrye Bernard PHOTOS BY mikiko kikuyama

Brooklyn Heights is beloved for its shady streets lined with historic brownstones and townhouses. One brownstone in particular was designed by architect William Tubby in 1881 using the Flemish Revival style, visible via its elaborate brick façade gable. But as with many of the neighborhood’s architectural highlights, renovations over the years changed the structure, and eventually the 8,000-square-foot home was split into multiple units, destroying its original character. Thankfully, architect Joseph Vance, principal of his namesake firm and brownstone specialist, was brought in to restore the site to its original brilliance. Through diligent research, Vance discovered hand-colored drawings by Tubby as well as a 1938 tax-lot photo of the home’s exterior— piece that guided the restoration. The tax-lot photo was the result of a law in New York City during the late 1930s, which required photo documentation of every structure in the five boroughs for tax purposes. The prints have been stored in the Municipal Archives, which is where Vance went to find the only existing photo of the home for reference. Using this picture, Vance restored several features of the façade, including the stair-step detail on each side of the prominent gable, the lintels and sills of the windows, and the brownstone block pattern at the base. He was also able to accurately recreate the original cast-iron fence along the front stairs and sidewalk. The owners’ willingness to invest in the restoration of the façade allowed Vance to gain approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to create strikingly modern fea-




Design Thinking

Superior Interiors


WORKING WITH JOSEPH VANCE In collaborating with Joseph on the interior design, Janet Liles of Janet Liles Interior Design found an opportunity to apply her personal taste. “We worked together to showcase the traditional and modern aspects of the space,” she says. “I favor the entire gray color palette, punctuated with bold colors.” She notes that industrialstyle and green materials are becoming more popular in the Brooklyn area, an aspect that Joe works to showcase in his projects. “Joe’s superb attention to detail and thoughtful planning helped make this project a success.”

Windows to the World Peter Warren and his company, Skyline Windows, has partnered with Joseph Vance on a number of projects, and he notes that windows can be especially challenging in renovations. “As in most renovations involving window replacement, installation details along with the design and function can be a challenge to the overall scheme of the project,” he says. "Often, new profiles need to be created to meet the needs of the design or the New York Landmarks Commission." Fortunately, Warren and Vance were able to overcome the obstacles with a collaborative effort and a knowledgeable staff.

tures in the interior. Vance believes that “old sleek new garden level. “I didn’t want it to be should be old and new should be new” when a stark contrast,” Vance says of the design. it comes to such renovations. “It’s impor- “I call it ‘warmed-up modernism’—modern tant to strike a balance that respects the old sensibilities and detailing with nice materials with a rich patina.” house,” Vance says. The parlor floor exudes period glamour, with intricate molding, pocket doors, and parquet flooring. The second and third floors, which house the bedrooms, feature similar detailing. However, the stairwell between the parlor to the garden floor, with its cleanly articulated wall-panel system, transitions to a decidedly more 21st century space with a new kitchen, informal dining room, and den. The walls are painted muted gray tones, contrasting the light wood-plank floors. Millwork conceals storage, mechanical equipment, and a new elevator, allowing Vance to open the space and let natural light flood this formerly dark level—a main priority for homeowners. As a result, they spend much of their time on the

Vance took a similar approach in transforming the attic beneath the home’s steeply pitched roof with dormer windows. A modern stair with a glass railing leads to the fourth floor, which serves as a multipurpose family area. Though the space is pared down and minimal, original features include an exposed brick wall painted gray and cedar beams that provide texture. Vance inserted a loft, or “modern treehouse,” to accommodate guests. He also cut a terrace into the roof ’s slope to let in light and capture stunning views of lower Manhattan. It’s no surprise that these levels are the most popular with the homeowners’ teenage daughters and their friends. a


CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS 347 Fifth Avenue, suite 709, New York, NY 10016





Janet Liles Interior Design 323 State Street Brooklyn, NY 11217 718.490.4999 Brooklyn Heights Townhouse Photography by Joseph De Leo

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Cliff Family Robinson A modern log cabin designed to accommodate the needs of a family of five

Architect Matthew Collins took into consideration the whole family while designing a 3,000-square-foot cabin on Coeur D’Alene Lake in Black Rock Bay, Idaho. An older couple approached Collins and his team at Uptic Sudios with the vision of retiring on a lake, but they still wanted to have plenty of space for their tightknit family. So Collins spent five years designing the specialized space for a family of five, taking into consideration each person’s needs. Here, he discusses the challenges in building on a cliff, bringing his clients’ dreams to life, and keeping it all in the family. What did you envision for the home’s design? It was our goal to create a log-cabin feel, but modernized. And we not only had to take into account the space itself, but also all of the people who would be living there. One of the brothers in the family is a chef,

so we kept that in mind when designing the kitchen. There are a lot of kids in the family, so the bedrooms are more like bunk-rooms. The grandparents have their own separate space, too. We made sure to create a common room just off the kitchen, to bring everyone together.

By Molly Raskin PHOTOS BY Shaun Cammack

What was the most important aspect of this project? For the client, the view was most important. For us, it’s keeping the clients’ vision while overcoming the obstacles of the land. What were some of the challenges you experienced? Filtering what everyone wants and desires to make a common thread. Finding the commonalities was key and finding how we can make it work for everyone. We weren’t building a castle, so we had to create that compound-like feel with limited footage.

Above: An exterior view of the cliff-dwelling Lake Coeur D’Alene house; Right: Stone and wood finishes bedeck the interior

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What were the land obstacles that made it challenging? The cabin is built on a cliff, and the land itself was filled with water. We couldn’t even poke a stick through the ground without it filling up with water. We decided to build the base level out of concrete, which helped with heating the space, as well. In a case like this, how do you enact your own ideas and meet the needs of the client? I always work on the story before the design; I put myself in the client’s shoes in order to create the final product. I always work with the goal of getting their dreams into a tangible form. For the Lake Coeur Project, it was all about family and bringing together the differences of each family member, to live comfortably under one roof. a

“It was all about family and bringing together the differences of each family member, to live comfortably under one roof.”—Matthew Collins, Uptic Studios

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Bride’s Row Redesign How one designer updated a brownstone without destroying its historic charm By Sarah Cason Photos by Hulya Kolabas

In 1850, New York City merchant Henry A. Walton was looking for a way to avoid the pangs of empty-nest syndrome after his five daughters left to begin new lives with their husbands. His solution? Build five identical attached homes—and one for him around the corner. The carbon-copy string of brownstones in Brooklyn Heights was nicknamed “Bride’s Row” and became a local architectural landmark thanks to its intricate Italianate design. Fast-forward 58 years, when a couple purchased one of the preserved Bride’s Row brownstones. The art-enthusiast couple— she a gallery owner and he an art installer— had modernization on their minds, but due to the historic background of the home, they wanted to make sure to respect the integrity of the space. Architect and interior designer Lorraine Bonaventura was brought in for the job, thanks to her experience with residential renovation and her familiarity with the neighborhood (she’s a Brooklyn Heights resident herself ). “They were really interested in keeping the historic feel, but putting in a very up-to-date structure within it,” Bonaventura says. Although preservation was their intention, much of the home’s original materials were beyond repair. “We had to remove all the old brownstone, repair the underlying brick, and then use the same mix of brownstone material so that the color matched all of the other homes,” Bonaventura says. Inside, the architect worked closely with the homeowners to decide which features to update and which

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needed to be altered to fit their modern lifestyle. A complete overhaul of the electrical and plumbing systems and construction of new interior walls were just some of the many structural changes needed to bring this home into the 21st Century. Bonaventura had to essentially reconstruct a house without shifting the layout as per the residents’ and preservation committee’s desires. Would Walton recognize the Bride’s Row house if he were to walk through it today? Probably, since Bonaventura kept the layout the same. “I kept the functions of the floors the same as their original purpose: the kitchen is where the kitchen was originally. The dining room is where the dining room was.” She also updated the fireplaces and flooring, which conjured up a particular headache working within the tight spatial limits: “It was like a little jeweler’s box—everything had to fit down to an eighth of an inch.” a Photos by Hulya Kolabas; Exterior photo of 22-30 Orange Street by Julienne Schaer

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a colorful life A brightly hued abode perfectly suits this artistic and architectural couple

The husband-and-wife team runs architecture firm TRA Studio—he a designer and painter, she an architect. Their enviable New York loft is the result of two decades of incremental remodeling projects, which accommodated professional and personal changes, and most importantly, made room for their five-year-old son, Massimo.

possible because we share the same aesthetic.” That aesthetic includes the notion that a space-conscious floor plan is fundamental. Three tall windows overlooking West Broadway carry daylight deep inside the 24-footwide, 80-foot-deep space. The wide-open layout, contemporary kitchen, and mid-century furnishings, including iconic pieces by Harry Bertoia, Marcel Breuer, George Nelson and Alvar Aalto, give the place a bright, contemporary energy. The older architectural elements, like the working fireplace, exposed brick walls, wood ceiling joists, and striped black-and-white bathroom tiles designed by Enzo Mari, give the place a sense of history.

Roiatti and Traboscia’s loft is a seamless fusion of life and work, and the couple attributes its distinctive style to 20 years of collaboration. Traboscia agrees: “It’s only

Everywhere there are pieces from the couple’s stunning collection of vintage glassware from Venice, Roiatti’s hometown. And the paintings are by Traboscia himself,

Step into the SoHo loft of Caterina Roiatti and Robert Traboscia and it instantly feels like home. “Whenever we have people over for dinner,” Traboscia says, “they have drinks, settle down afterwards, and don’t want to leave.”


Above: Roiatti and Traboscia in the TRA Studio office

Design Thinking


The couple designed the goldencolored spruce dining table and display shelves from rafters salvaged from the demolition site of another project in SoHo.




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ALL IN THE DETAILS Millwork, molding, and trim expert Luis A. Barreto helped TRA design its NYC studio. He’s a big fan of Traboscia and Roiatti’s forward-thinking firm. “Each design is one-ofa-kind," Barreto says. “Their attention to detail is like no one I've ever dealt with.” Coming from someone who makes a living on details, you know Barreto’s praise is legit.


Traboscia recounts how they discovered the long, brown Knoll living area sofa at a used furniture shop, and how a friend spotted the accompanying sofa, a low leather one designed by Massimo Vignelli, at another store.

In the master bedroom there’s a stunning, floral-patterned rug that Roaitta, who grew up in Venice, selected as a child, at the convent in Roccatica, Italy where it was woven.

who paints with a focus and precision that’s present in TRA’s design work as well. The TRA office, which is just a short walk downtown in Tribeca, has many similar design elements. Right now, the firm is completing master plans for large apartment remodels, multi-unit residential projects, the renovation of an art school, and a new restaurant at a Midtown hotel. Both precise and eclectic, modern and warm, it’s clear that Roiatti and Traboscia’s style has been honed to perfection after years together on the job and at home. a

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01 Paul Lukez 02 Stani Iordanova of Peter Rose + Partners 03 Jeffrey Ornstein of J/Brice 04 John Tittman of Albert, Righter & Tittman 05 Jacob Albert of Albert, Righter & Tittman 06 Brad Nederhoff of Verner Johnson 07 Vince Pan of Analogue Studios

Not pictured: Butz & Klug

Boston Architects Speak BY jason m. rubin Photo by Bob O'Connor

Beantown-based architects share why they love designing in theIr hometown

FARM VILLA Vermont Albert, Righter and Tittman

“We love the old things we see around us, but we want to be inspired by them rather than beholden to them. Our approach is to combine aesthetics and science, as well as the past and the present, in the same way we seek to blend the natural and the man-made. We want our houses to be of the place, that look like they’ve always been there, but fresh and alive.” —Jacob Albert, albert, Righter & Tittman

Designing with a Conscience The experts at Icor Associates, a New Jersey-based engineering consulting firm, teamed with Peter Rose on the Kripalu project and the East House. “Peter is very passionate in achieving the best possible building with maximum energy efficiency,” says Icor principal Igor Bienstock. “[His] understanding and respect to MEP trades helps to build better buildings.”

Farm Villa adapts high-style Neoclassical language to wood construction in an American rural setting. A sleek white kitchen and natural wood floors add warmth and modernity to the simplified ornament of the interior. Photos by Robert Benson Photography.

Kripalu Residence Stockbridge Peter Rose + Partners

“Boston has a lot of historic buildings, obviously. But for a long time there was a sense that newer buildings ought to look historic, so as to blend in. I think that was a mistake, and in recent years architects have had more freedom to do things that are new. Hopefully, people will come to see that the beloved, iconic look of ‘old Boston’ can accommodate a broader range of images and ideas, as European cities do.” —Peter Rose, Peter Rose & Partners Other residential work by peter rose: “East House was in many ways the most challenging residential construction project we have ever participated in,” says Gary Maynard of Holmes Hole Builders. He partnered with Rose on the project. The design juxtaposed materials like cast-in-place concrete with sophisticated windows, doors and woodwork, which demanded the team execute it to perfection. “There is no extraneous trim to ameliorate discrepancies, no finishes to hide imperfections, no ornament to distract the eye. Exacting layout, precise geometry and consistent reveals were the order of the day for all wood, stone and tile work.” But in the end, their pursuit of excellence helped to make the project a success.

“With Harvard and MIT nearby it’s very rich in resources, both human and informational. Work that I do in France, Turkey, or Cambodia is inevitably informed by the collaborative research I’m able to do here with engineers and scientists.” — Peter Rose, Peter Rose & Partners

Awarded LEED Silver




188 West Brookline St Boston, Parlor

118 WEST NEWTON STREET Boston Butz & Klug

“Twenty years ago—even 10 years ago—the period of postwar modernism that was unsympathetic to history, and much of the city, had created a degree of mistrust of anything that didn't mimic 19th Century architecture. This is no longer the case; modernism has a much broader definition now…good design is valued over any kind of period preference.” — Jeffrey Klug, Butz & Klug

Payne Bouchier Fine Builders Payne Bouchier Fine Builders

Steve Payne of Payne Bouchier Fine Builders found working on on a Newton Road residence with Steve Payne of Payne Bouchier Fine Builders found working a Newton Road residence Butz + Klug challenging in a good “Not only“Not do Butz + Klug us to dous things with Butzto+ be Klug to be challenging inway. a good way. only do Butzask + Klug ask to dowe things haven’t done before, but they usask to do they haven’t done before.” Out of Out theirofown we haven’t done before, butask they usthings to do things they haven’t done before.” their wood shop, made kitchen cabinets, vanities,vanities, and unique assemblies own woodPayne shop,Bouchier Payne Bouchier made kitchen cabinets, and pocket unique door pocket door whose top edges seamlessly reach to the height giving an illusion of disappearing assemblies whose top edges seamlessly reachoftothe thewall, height of the wall, giving an illusion of intodisappearing the ceiling. Although sometimes thesesometimes requests were to maneuver, Payne found that into the ceiling. Although thesedifficult requests were difficult to maneuver, he could find motivation in the excitement that both the clients and the architects brought Payne found that he could find motivation in the excitement that both the clients and theto the site. “The central thingtothat the house wasthe that the design is exquisite architects brought themade site. “The centralcome thingtogether that made house come together wasand thethat clients from earlyand on and never lost sightitoffrom thatearly during the realized design isit exquisite the clients realized onthe andproject.” never lost sight of that during the project.”

Photos by Eric Roth

Design Thinking


Architectural Openings Steve Kearns, owner of custom window and door company Architectural Openings, knows that not every architect will give windows and doors the attention they might need. ‘“Jeff Klug is extremely sensitive to and clever with the use of light, so fenestration design is key to a Butz + Klug projects overall success,” Kearn says. Seeing as how 100 percent of AO’s windows and doors are custommade, they have to be willing and able to adapt to the needs of each residence’s unique style. “Butz + Klug tests our ingenuity to create new designs while holding fast to our extremely high standards of craftsmanship, durability, and weather-tightness. We enjoy the collaboration and the creative push.”

188 WEST BROOKLINE Boston Butz & Klug

Timberwolf David Berry from Timberwolf Inc. Architectural Builders was the contractor who worked on the Brookline and 57 Folly Point Rd. homes. He says that working with Butz + Klug is a “constant challenge, they raise the bar on a regular basis and somehow draw you into the challenge of producing, creating amazing projects.”

Caption here Photos by Eric Roth




Design Thinking

“More important than where our office is, is where our brains are. We view our projects from a multinational perspective, bringing in ideas from everything we’ve done and seen through our work and our travels. Currently we have about six or seven nationalities represented in our office. To some extent that’s intentional, but it also points out the diversity of architects and architectural students that Boston attracts.” — Paul Lukez, Paul Lukez Architecture

Iron Bear Forge With a background in blacksmithing and industrial design, Roger Chudzik of Iron Bear Forge gladly took on the challenge creating the stairway and railings of the Truro residence. “Because of the design and the way the stairwell is built, the entire stairway is filled with light,”Chudzik says. It wasn’t an easy task, though. “It was a challenge to make the stairs appear very light while still maintaining the structural integrity and adhering to building codes.” When any real difficulties came up, Chudzik found that he could collaborate with Lukez to think of a solution. “Working on other peoples’ designs is interesting because you get to see how other people think and solve problems. Working with an architect like Paul is an educational exercise and a really great stretch.”

Alpers/Janetta Dover Paul Lukez Architecture

Photos by Peter Vanderwarker

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“I tend not to see a building as an object, but rather as a transformational part of the landscape in which it is set. And that’s why I think Boston is a great example of a living city, one where the past and the present coexist. The city’s identity is ultimately a composite of layers of time as represented by buildings of different vintages standing next to each other.” —Paul Lukez, Paul Lukez Architecture




These three firms are based in Boston, but with projects all over the US, they’re showing the rest of us their hometown clout.


Second Skin project Los Angeles

“There have been a lot of very interesting new buildings erected in Boston over a short span of time, such as the renovation of Harvard’s Fogg Museum by Renzo Piano, and the Gardner Museum extension. The ICA is pretty daring for Boston, and though MIT’s Stata Center tends to get mixed reviews, it at least has spawned conversations about architecture, which is a good thing. I think of myself as a polyglot. I like to blend different perspectives and disciplines, such as graphic design, industrial design, fine art, and art history. In graduate school, by necessity, you have diverse interests and experiences. But as you grow in your career, architects tend to specialize in one area. I don’t want to limit my focus.”


Helmsley Hotel New York

“I think Boston will always have a European aesthetic, whether in its traditional or contemporary integrations.


Tampa Bay History Center Tampa Bay

“Design trends have had an early start here, especially in the top universities. I particularly enjoy seeing new examples of student and faculty work on display. There are always interesting free lectures on architecture and the arts. In my time here, I have seen Postmodernism come and go, star architects rise and fall, the green-building movement grow, socially conscious architecture take hold, along with many other trends. While some people view museums as somewhat elitist, they have a very important social and educational role to play in our culture. I am confident that many youth visit museums and come away inspired to become scientists, artists, historians, or possibly even architects.” Clockwise from left: Second skin photo courtesy of Analogue studio; Helmsley Hotel photos by Jerome d'Almeida: Tampa Bay History Center photo by Randy Van Duinen

Bostonians are clever, not gregarious. Sophisticated, but not showy. Academic, but not pedantic. Conservative, but not old-fashioned. A spirit engulfs Boston which is very different than any other US city. With Georges Bank supporting one of the finest fisheries in the world, first-class dining establishments are always packed and act as a center for socializing in Boston circles. Also a music center, with the vibrancy of a lot of fresh energy from the universities, adds a creative soundtrack to the lifestyle.” View of front terraces, Cafe and Lobby


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keep the party going!





MARC WILSON occupation: event designer location: new york

Life-sized Moooi horse lamps and dramatic lighting set the mood for a stylish event.

Corporate Event Designed by Marc Wilson Portrait by Dusdin Condren Photos provided by Marc Wilson

Marc Wilson knows what it takes to make a great party—he’s got more than 13 years of experience creating unique environments for fashion boutique openings, celebrity birthday parties, and everything in between. His forward thinking floral design and modern sensibility make him a master of setting the mood. What makes a “Marc Wilson”-style event? Because of my background in textiles, there is always a tactile element to our events. I love using high-quality materials. When guests are seated at one of our tables, we don’t want them to ever be bored. We want them to always catch something that they didn’t see before. How do you design each environment to be experiential for the partygoer? We are making an effort to stay current with our young clients by using technology. When we create events, we are creating temporary environments—a moment and an experience. That’s key for us. Any event design don’ts? Maybe it is my Midwest upbringing, but I try to never produce an event that is over-the-top. —JENNIFER SMITH TAPP






“I enjoy seeing and tasting classic Latin inspired dishes being presented in playful ways,” says Lai of the cuisine at The Pan American. She names gazpacho served in martini glasses and ceviche arranged on colorful glass dishes as favorites.


welly lai occupation: interior and architectural designer location: new york

“I’m passionate about cuisine, and I like to cook too,” declares interior designer Welly Lai. She thinks her Taiwanese heritage makes her a natural for designing a restaurant. “We are crazy about food. Our way of saying hello is, ‘Have you eaten yet?’ ” Lai has designed Mexican, Spanish, and Asian restaurants uptown and downtown, and on the East and West Sides with her company, Welly Lai Design. Her latest project is a restaurant called The Pan American in Nolita. True to its name, the restaurant’s menu takes inspiration from cuisines all across the Americas: monkfish tacos, poblanos stuffed with Swiss chard, yuca fries, and Canadian bacon. Lai has translated the culinary mash-up of styles into the restaurant’s architecture and décor, which she says is inspired by the warm, casual atmosphere of a beach shack. “I wanted to make something that’s modern but that still has soul in it.” Lai’s unexpected design solutions make the biggest impression, like the bold, bubble-textured wall behind the banquettes at the dining area. Composed of papier-mâché panels, the wall evokes a variety of interpretations, from egg cartons to braille letters to strips of dot candy. Lai herself finds it “futuristic.” —NALINA MOSES

The Pan American Designed by Welly Lai Portrait by Dusdin Condren Photos by Dylan Lappin




MATTHEW ROBBINS occupation: event designer location: new york

Tunnel Dinner Designed by Matthew Robbins Portrait by Dusdin Condren Photos by Roberto Bruzadin

Robbins set a long table for 150 inside a tunnel running through a mountain. He draped the tunnel entrance to create an even more dramatic effect. Robbins says he wanted the decor to feel “mysterious and romantic.”

Matthew Robbins is as comfortable designing a rustic barn wedding as he is a swanky magazine event. As long has he has the right elements in place, his eclectic vision pulls together any party. What elements make for a successful nightlife event? The mood needs to encourage romance, and a sense of escape for the guests. Good lighting is absolutely essential. Nothing should feel too directional or harsh, and there can never be enough candlelight…on tables, lining walkways, in restrooms, everywhere. How does your background in visual art inspire your design aesthetic? In art school, students learn how to use visual cues, a set of defined rules and a respect for beauty and balance. You develop a very good sense for editing and bringing a vision to life in the most effective and efficient way.

creatively in charge Jimmy Vali of Vali Entertainment has no problem letting Robbins take the reins on their event collaborations. “I like when Matthew has control of his events and has total creative freedom. The bigger, the better when guests can be engulfed in his design and our music.” Even with all that flexibility, Vali has noticed that the events are understated but still eclectic. “He has such a grasp of what works for a space and how to tie all the elements together: design, music, food, atmosphere. It’s all correct.”

A TOPPER FOR ALL OCCASSIONS Even when a party’s outdoors, it’s important to have a roof over your head. For this, Robbins turns to Sperry Tents. “He is a big fan of the fact that our sailcloth canopies do not require liners or cover-up decorations,” says marketing director Jen Sperry. “[It] allows him to focus creative energy on tabletop and other décor.”

What are the essential design elements necessary to creating a killer party? The three key ingredients are color, form, and texture. I often use color to pull together the overall look of an event. Form refers to the design employed to make a specific look or feel come together—furniture, architecture of the space. I think of texture as the last and final ingredient to finish off a space: textiles, flowers, and lighting. Do you have a favorite venue? For a venue to be on my list of favorites, it needs to have integrity and authenticity. But my aesthetic is eclectic and varied, so I’m comfortable working in a rustic barn or a very high-end, contemporary space. —JENNIFER SMITH TAPP






THE aviary occupation: exclusive gastropub-meets-bar fusion location: chicago

Chicagoans could barely contain themselves once they heard the news. Chef Grant Achatz, the creative genius behind Alinea, was ready for his next venture, and it would be cocktails. But not just any type of cocktail. His drinks would marry gastronomy, art, design, and science, all inside one glass—or ice egg or porthole, depending on what your order is. Executive chef Craig Schoettler dissects the experience that is The Aviary.

The Rooibos, a variation on a hot toddy heated via Bunsen burneresque contraption

How does your experience as a chef at Alinea translate into designing drinks at The Aviary? The way I look at it is that everything can be an ingredient. The flavor profile of this would work perfect with this. It’s keeping the idea of synergy between the ingredients in the cocktail in the same family. How important is the design of the cocktail as opposed to taste of it? Everything, no matter how fancy they look, is still a cocktail. It has to work, it has to taste good, the flavors have to blend together, so they’re all rooted in a normal drink. We’re not inventing new ways of making alcohol palatable, there’s just a lot more makeup on. But it doesn’t matter how cool it looks, because if it tastes bad, it’s not cool anymore. The flavor is by far more important than the aesthetic design. Are the glassware and serving items specifically tailored to these cocktails? Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail does a lot of Alinea’s service pieces, the menu formats and logos, all of the stainless steel service pieces you see. Anything that has to do with the identity of the place, it’s him. He’s the kind of guy who says, “I want this to do this and appear this way and have this function. Go.” He visualizes, then we’ll do a 3-D diagram on his computer and mark up a prototype with whatever we have around the place. It’s pretty remarkable how it works. How was the transition from working with food to drinks? Creating a drink is no different than creating food. You put ingredients together that have to work. Alcohol is the curveball. It doesn’t work with everything. It wants to fight because it sticks out and is apparent and it’s not only a flavor, but a sensation, and you feel a certain way after it. When you eat too much, you get full. When you drink too much, bad things can happen. —KRISTIN LAMPRECHT

Executive chef Craig Schoettler

The Blueberry, an aptly titled fruit infused cocktail served in a custom-created porthole by Martin Kastner

The Aviary Drinks designed by Craig Schoettler Photos by Kaitlyn McQuaid




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H&F is part of Linton Hopkins’ foodie empire, the multi James Beard-nominated Atlanta chef who also owns gastropub Holeman & Finch, Restaurant Eugene, and H&F Bread Company.

H&F Bottleshop takes the cocktail craze of curated sips to the next level. Barkeep Andy Minchow and a cast of the city’s best liquor alchemists offer customers a bespoke cocktail treatment, whether that means helping curate a patron’s home bar or sharing insider tips for crafting the perfect Manhattan. The history-steeped atmosphere at H&F comes courtesy of design conscious chef Linton Hopkins, his wife Gina, their savvy crew of barkeeps, and principal Dan Maas, whose seven-yearold architecture/design firm Ai3 has created some of Atlanta’s most iconic restaurant spaces. But don’t expect to find the fluorescence, linoleum, and vaguely seedy ambiance of your typical liquor store. “I don’t need to see a pallet of Maker’s Mark. I know what it looks like,” Minchow says. The shop boasts gas-lit chandeliers, a stamped tin ceiling, pine Nightingale floors, and floor-to-ceiling apothecary-style oak shelves that display glassware, mixers, bar tools, wine, and spirits. “We looked at a lot of turn-of-the-century doctor’s offices” says Maas of H&F’s pharmaceutical atmosphere. That allusion is not just affection, either. The roots of the contemporary cocktail lie in the early medicinal properties of mixed potions containing alcohol and herbal ingredients. But H&F isn’t completely lost in the 19th Century. A selection of vinyl and a turntable, plus Apple monitors at the reception desk and iPods for taking the orders of harried holiday shoppers keep the shop from feeling precious or trapped in amber. —FELICIA FEASTER


occupation: liquor store

“The idea is to stay tight and in close quarters so that you’re forcing interaction. There is a social interaction of tight spaces, like when you go to New York.”

A GROUP EFFORT Structor Group has become such good partners with Ai3 that the construction firm even built their offices. Although Structor primarily works on educational and health care facilities, its work with Ai3 has brought them some unusual projects, including a burger boutique and H&F Bottleshop. President of Structor Jeff Stratton attributes their many joint ventures to a good working rapport. "Ideas and means and methods are shared to produce first class results."

H&F Bottle shop location: atlanta

As customers enter the space, a reception desk/bar with a marble top beckons. The barkeeps on duty routinely walk out from behind the bar to greet customers and help them make their selections.

H&F Bottleshop Atlanta, Georgia Designed by Ai3 Owned by Linton Hopkins, Gina Hopkins, Greg Best Regan Smith, Andy Minchow Photos by Gregory Miller




studio collective occupation: designers location: los angeles

If you’re looking for a good place to party, you could seek advice from Studio Collective. The Santa Monica-based group, helmed by designers Leslie Kale, Christian Schulz, and Adam Goldstein, is behind LA hot spots like the Hyde Lounge at the Staples Center and the Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Part of their creation process involves making a look book and a mood board of material samples and vivid imagery. “This clarifies it for us in terms of who the project is for or is about,” Schulz says. “I don’t think design is the only thing.” This helped the team create an intimate ambience inside the Bazaar in the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, where they installed dimly lit, ornate chandeliers. To set the warm mood inside Public Kitchen and Bar, they used rich leather seating and framed photographs hung salon-style on the walls. “We try to create places that have a lasting impact,” Schulz says. But just because they’ve worked on a slew of hip nightspots, it doesn’t mean that’s all they want to do. “We don’t just want to be the ‘restaurant guys’ or the ‘hotel guys,’” Goldstein says. “We believe in the philosophy of good design is good design.” — BRITT JULIOUS

The Spare Room Designed by Studio Collective Portrait and interior photos by Jimmy Corhssen






event creative occupation: event designers location: chicago

Left to right: Kelly Wagner, Senior Event Designer; Phil Cooper, Director Creative and Production; Melissa Kirby, Experiential Event Designer




Museum of Contemporary Art artEdge Benefit Chicago, IL Designed by Event Creative Portrait by Lisa Predko Photos by Josh Sears

Columbia College Media Production Center Gala

The Event Creative team designs custom concepts no matter the occasion, whether wedding, opening, or corporate event. Their creative team goes to work concepting unique decor plans to create experiential events.

Chicago, IL Designed by Event Creative Portrait by Lisa Predko Photos by Josh Sears

Chicago-based Event Creative lives and breathes innovative event design, working out of their elaborate 40,000-square-foot warehouse filled with décor wonders. It's no wonder that people often rent out their workspace to host their own unique event. Do you think partygoers understand the work that goes into designing events? We've been growing, which is an indication that people are recognizing that event design has become just as important as interior design. It’s not just a trend, it’s become a necessity that’s here to stay. Do you make or buy the décor items used to design an event? We only purchase things for a job if it’s something we can’t make. However, we do enjoy thrifting for furniture—finding good frames and reupholstering them. When I am out looking, though, it’s more for ideas, as opposed to actual things. We try to take the normal and turn it into the unexpected. Speaking of designing events, what are the go-to materials in your tool box? Foam core, which we like to recycle after each job. Chloroplast, another recycled material that is basically a corrugated plastic. Duratrans, which are backlit films. Oasis, for the arrangements that come from the floral department. And paint and spray paint for our spray booth are the most commonly used materials.” —KAIRA TOWNSEND




Warm oranges, yellows, and reds bring to life a fancy picnic in Prospect Park.

Picnic House, Prospect Park THE VISIONARY

SORAYA Jollon occupation: event designer location: brooklyn

How do you conceptualize the perfect event atmosphere? Once I’ve heard my client’s vision for the event, I usually concentrate on a few descriptive words or phrases that become the cornerstone of the design. Some examples are “a midsummer night’s dream that takes place in the fall,” “early 20th Century industrial with a blush of romance,” and “hand-picked but not homespun.” As we put together the party elements— floor plan, menu, music, event flow, invitations—I check back often to see that each element is expressing the phrase. It’s a way to keep everything integral without straying into matchymatchy territory. Is there anything similar about planning a wedding and a nightlife event? A wedding ceremony is in its own category and should be the perfect mix of joy and gravitas. The party following it, however, should have all the elements of any great nightlife event: delicious food, plentiful drink, music that propels the action, and a moment when even the most jaded guests are swept up by the energy of it all. Planning a wedding should take all of these factors into consideration, as you would for a blowout party. Fill in the blank for us. Great parties always: ...have an interesting mix of guests that actually want to be there, a bit of serendipity, and leave guests wishing it had lasted a little longer. —KRISTIN LAMPRECHT

GET CREATIVE! The team at Hatch Creative Studio has worked with Jollon on a number of weddings and events, including one themed after the movie, The Royal Tennenbaums. “The photo booth was designed to look like the royal living room and the guests could dress up and take photos in this set. Super fun!,” says Barbara Salzman of Hatch. The team at Hatch creates unique events by spending time getting to know their clients from a personal perspective. They often task their clients with filling out zany questionnaires, which gives them the ability to interpret the clients’ natural style.

Designed by Soraya Jollon Photos by Carlos Andres Varela

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A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Feel the country bre eze with these modern takes on farmhouses and barns




Ten Broeck Cottage architect: Messana O'Rorke location: The Hamptons, New York

The sparse living conditions of the early settlers and the simple clean lines of their architectural style inspied the Ten Broeck Cottage. The project was to take a muchneglected 18th century homestead and develop a modern house within the existing frame, and extend it to provide additional accommodations. The homeowners placed no restrictions on the design except to respect the form the original Dutch House. Hand hewn timbers compose the basic frame and form of the house, while wide board flooring and a preserved wattle and daub wall in the field stone basement remained intact from the original house. The home's updated new addition features the kitchen, guest bedroom, shower room, exercise room, sauna, and steam room. —KL

Views inside and outside of the Ten Broeck Cottage. Photos by Michael Grimm.



A fully modern, stainless steel kitchen contrasts with wood finishes





Equestrian Facilities by White Horse Barn architect: McClellan Architects

Designing barns and riding arenas is best done through the eyes of the client. In this case, the client is a horse. “There are a lot of things you don’t realize can be a problem,” says Regan McClellan, principal of Seattle-based firm McClellan Architects and owner of White Horse Barns. To ensure safety for horse and rider, McClellan and his associates consider all possible visual and audible factors that may spook the animals, from sunlight patterns on riding grounds to the sound of sliding snow on a rooftop. “It’s that kind of thinking about what’s going to bother a horse that will ultimately make them feel secure.”

“We like to think we're restoring the American landscape one horse barn and arena at a time.”—REGAN MCCLELLAN, ARCHITECT AND OWNER OF WHITE HORSE BARNS

Riding arenas, which reach heights of 40 feet and span 100 feet wide, are primarily constructed of steel trusses.

Photos by Regan McClellan

An above-barn apartment provides horse enthusiasts with living quarters after long days of training in the arena. The second–story space includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen, but can be customized based on individual needs. “Everyone wants custom-built one way or another,” McClellan says. “We’re always modifying everything we design.”—LS




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Goodman House photos by Victoria Sambunaris


Goodman House architect: Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. location: Pine Plains, NY sq ft: 4,500

New York firm Preston Scott Cohen built this lightfilled barn house around a pre-existing Dutch frame. It was transported and re-erected inside the shell. The clients' love for untouched, antiquated timber is evident throughout, and is combined with their desire for an open, window-filled interior. Their request to keep the space open did not allow for a second mezzanine level inside the house, which is what typically stabilizes barn structures from within. So the architects created a steel frame


surrounding the barn to strengthen it. A very noticeable curtain wall wraps the steel frame and is heavily dotted with irregularly distributed windows. The finished product is a home that is a series of contradictions: compartmentalized and open spaces, small and large windows, refined and rustic structural components, nostalgic yet modern. All together, they combine to create a warm and variable environment for living and entertaining. —KL





“If [the structures] felt like they had always been here, it would have been a failure. It was never intended to imitate a farm.”—WILLIAM GREEN, PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT

Farmhouse is located at a high point of the Taconic mountain range in Eastern New York, near Vermont’s state line.

Farmhouse architect: William Green & Associates location: Washington County, New York

Naula Workshop Though both design furniture and are famous in their own rights, there is no butting heads or diva behavior in the relationship between Green and Angel Naula, the founder of Naula Workshop. “I think Bill’s traditional sensibility paired with my modern penchant in the design process creates a beautiful and balanced aesthetic in our work. Our collaborative approach is almost always seamless—the typical inevitability of finding a snag in the process is like trying to find an empty cab on New Year’s Eve in Times Square—it’s rare to say the least.”

William Green’s upstate New York property sits on 120 acres and is home to 13 structures, including a large barn/ gallery, office, wood shop, garden shed, boathouse, and tiki bar. The original house, which dates back to the 1850s, is fully renovated with the addition of a wrap-around porch. The result, Green says, considers all aspects of design, from the alignment of rooflines to open spaces and structure function. “The intention of the design was to allow each structure to have a specific function, and that has worked well,” he says. Even after 11 years of designing and construction, Green says his vision still isn’t complete; he plans to add a chapel and livestock barn next year. “I have no immediate intent to make [the property] into a colony, but it’s crossed my mind as long as it maintains its honesty and workability as a venue,” Green says. “It’s not a vacation house; it’s functioning as a ‘working’ structure, whether it be to make things or be in pursuit of creative endeavors. In that respect, it’s a living, breathing venture.”—LS

Farmhouse photos by Bill Green



Long Barn architect: Nicolas Tye location: Bedfordshire, England

Long Barn certainly lives up to its moniker, measuring at about 131 feet long and nearly 20 feet wide. The original structure dates back to 1870 and was used primarily as a place to store grain, but architect Nicolas Tye transformed the space into a warm yet modern abode. The firm kept the existing building intact and slid into place a fully updated interior. The British architect placed a big emphasis on using all-natural and safe materials that are nontoxic, claiming that the lacquers used are even safe enough to drink without harming oneself. While it's not likely someone will test it out, it all harkens back to Tye's theory of “Life Architecture,” a trademarked term he coined to explain his architectural approach: taking the health of the homeowner into consideration to create “high quality residential work.” —KL

Long Barn photos by Philip Bier





The owners of the former Swiss cattle barn live 120 kilometers away, and use the home on weekends and extended vacations



Shelter in the Swiss Alps architect: Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architects location: Herens district, Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Perched like an outcropping of rock from a Swiss mountainside 1,850 meters above sea level, a former cattle barn has found new life as a one-bedroom retreat. “The owners wanted a sort of a hideaway cottage,” says Dany Roukoz, spokesperson for the firm. “They asked for the simplest design possible. They didn’t want any decoration, and especially no picturesque ambiance.” They asked for it and they got it. Roukoz’s firm completely dismantled the barn, salvaging its original larch beams, granite, and shale from the roof and foundation. The architects then carefully reassembled its parts into a first-floor living room, bath, kitchen, and a second-floor bedroom. Redesign of the 1850s structure was never an issue. “The preservation of the outside aspect was fundamental, and the inside had to respond to the clients needs in terms of comfort,” says Roukoz. “It was all about the sensations one is affected by when confronted to an extreme lifestyle and to extreme elements such as snow, cold, rain, altitude, sun, and so forth.” For Roukoz, it was all a memorable experience. “The most exciting part was definitely the context, especially the silence and serenity that surrounded it.” —JMW Photos by Tonatiuh Ambrosetti





“The composition, color, and form is unexpected, and you get a set of results that are counterintuitive yet compatible.”—TIMOTHY ALT, PRINCIPAL DESIGNER

The detached cube-shaped garage is purposely dark in color to juxtapose with the cedar and lighter shades of the house so that it visually recedes into the trees

Mayo Woodlands Village House No. 1 architect: Altus Architecture + Design location: Rochester, Minnesota

The Mayo family is descended from the founders of the world-famous Mayo Clinic, and are the owners of the Mayo Woodlands housing development. The family decided to develop a 220-acre housing development project because they sensed the need for additional housing options in an expanding community. The Village House No. 1 is the first prototype for the community. Principal architect Timothy Alt’s design is inspired by the flat, open meadow and rolling woodlands surrounding it. “It’s always struck me that there is this quality of place I can’t describe. It’s the sense of place making, as opposed to object making, that stems from the integration of house to landscape.” —LS

Photos by ALTUS Architecture + Design


made in brooklyn |






Inside My House

AT HOME IN HOLLYWOOD What do you get when you blend a metallic color palette with LA art-deco architecture and a rooftop infinity pool? A place where Glee stars and the new Spiderman like to hang. Inside the enviable loft of Thor Bradwell and Lars Gradel. by SARAH CASON photos by bethany nauert


have been drawing since I could pick up a pencil,” Lars Gradel says. The interior designer has worked for numerous firms throughout his career, doing everything from project management to design renderings, but he admits that his trickiest project has been designing the perfect LA loft for himself and his partner, Thor Bradwell. “Thor was definitely my toughest client,” he laughs. “He was hard to convince until it all came together.”

It was somewhat of a process, though, Gradel says, noting that one piece set the tone for his overall aesthetic. “The original inspiration for our loft was a gold standing mirror in our entryway. It was the first thing I purchased, and it inspired the whole concept,” he says. Keeping the color palette metallic, with more gold, bronzes, and silvers throughout the interior, Gradel has worked to achieve a theme that he calls “Urban Safari.” “The architecture of our building is very stylized. It’s Zig Zag Modern and art deco, built in 1929 by the Parkinsons,” Gradel says, noting the father and son design duo also created LA’s historic City Hall. “It has a history and energy that you don’t get in other places in Los Angeles.” With a three-month deadline before the move-in date, Gradel went to work designing large custom pieces, like the bed, sofa, and dining table in his space. Many of the other pieces were selected from local design shops, and he even threw in a few items from Ikea. “I really love vintage shopping,” he says of his personal taste, “and collecting little things when we travel.” With Bradwell’s high-powered position as a Hollywood agent, the couple frequently entertains friends, family, and celebrity clients in their home, and their enviable rooftop pool has served as the backdrop for at least one People magazine photo shoot. “Our home is used for work and entertaining every week. I love to share this place with loved ones.”

A look inside Thor Bradwell and Lars Gradel's LA condo

Though he had a time crunch on his hands, his advice for others looking to design their own home is to avoid that predicament altogether. “Take your time. Start slow. Find the right pieces that look great, function, and are comfortable. What good is a chair if you can’t sit in it?” a


He is the most well-known industrial designer of our generation. So everybody loves him, right?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx By Saundra Marcel photos by mark mahaney





“Once you get famous, you’re a target,” says Karim Rashid. t’s true, and it’s happened to many famous faces that have achieved celebrity status. Once you become beloved for something, it’s not long before you become hated, too. (Just ask Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.) On blogs and in comment fields, Rashid’s most vocal critics lurk, loud and allowably incognito, levying their cruel attacks. “There’s a lot of people who are really critical, and especially now with the Internet where you can be anonymous, people have said some really awful things. There are websites that lay into me to no end.” But don’t cry for him just yet. As a mega star of the industrial design world, Rashid has had many majorly successful hits on his hands: the “Garbo” trash can for Umbra, teardrop-shaped soap dispensers for Method, and that oh-so-cute plastic water bottle called Bobble. His work has won him hoards of fans that flock to big-box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target to buy his mass-produced plastic objects. The media also loves him, with nearly 200 interviews and press appearances last year alone. His work has won countless awards and he has been inducted into the annals of design history by museums, authors, and academia. TIME magazine even named him “The Most Famous Industrial Designer in All of the Americas.” And true to his celebrity status, he’s even being groomed for mainstream television, with two pilots and an attempt at a reality show under his belt. So why do so many people hate Karim Rashid? “That’s the other side of the coin,” he says matterof-factly. “Although, I guess you could argue that it’s flattering that so many people care so much to hate me so much.”


Rashid writes off this crowd of critics as students and fellow product-makers who are jealous—happy to hate on his success, but secretly wishing for their own. “I hate to say this, but these designers would just love to have a ‘hit record,’ most of them.” And he makes no apology for his celebrity. In fact, he would be bigger if the public had a palate for it. “I love fame. I love it. But you know I’m really very small, I’m just a peon in the world of fame. Product designers will never get as famous as musicians or fashion designers; it’s just a different level of exposure.” Rashid—who is also a DJ in his spare time— admits to his own bit of jealousy in the world of “likes” in social media. “It amazes me when a musician comes out with a new hit record and right away has millions of fans. I’ve been on Facebook for five years and I only have 20,000.” It’s not personal. For Rashid, being liked and being a household name is strategic. The businesses that he makes products for bank not only on his ability to produce a winning design, but also on his celebrity persona—the proof is on his resumé and in the companies’ net worths. Rashid helped put the Toronto-based housewares company Umbra on the map with his 1996 bestseller, “Garbo.” In just two years, more than a million plastic garbage cans were sold, each less than $20 a piece. A smaller “Garbino” version of the can soon followed, along with 17 different color variations, a Vogue cover, a New York Times feature, and eventually a permanent home in the Museum of Modern Art. He delivered design gold again when the San Franciscobased company Method opened its doors in 2001 and Rashid was brought on to design their first soap dispenser bottle. Within four years, Method was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. And that was six years ago. Today it doesn’t take two or four years for his work to get noticed. If Rashid is connected to a project, the products are shortlisted to the front page, consumers properly consume, and households purge their old plastic products to be replaced with shiny new ones. But whether loved or hated, there’s no disputing that Rashid has changed what our world looks like. “He reinvented things. He broke typologies,” says author Phil Patton, who has studied Rashid’s work and contributed to the book Blobjects and Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design. “Just take a look at two of your most common desktop items: a tape dispenser and a stapler. These are tools that haven’t changed form in 30 years, and no one even thought to redesign them. Then Rashid comes along and changes them. And not only that, but we accept it. This guy isn’t making elite things—he’s not the opera singer of design. He’s making everyday things—he’s the pop star of design.” For big-box shoppers, this is a reason to love Rashid, because he’s making things for you. But for the upper crust





of design society, he would be shunned for the same cause. Rashid’s best work can be bought with a tenspot, not at auction with a paddle. Many of his design industry colleagues just plain have respect for Rashid, due to his workload and creative vision. Steven Skov Holt is co-author of the Blobjects book, and he also coined the word while editor of I.D. magazine during the 1980s. “He is a gifted shaper of form and an enthusiastic, if not downright athletic, proponent for the use of color and creative possibility. He is both a promoter of design’s potential and a promoter of his own talents—as he well deserves to be,” Skov Holt says. “Rashid has been amazingly productive, at an equally amazing level of quality, over an extended period of time.” Except that most critics would disagree with Skov Holt on the point of quality. Certainly he is among the most notable in the category of “blobject,” making beautiful, curvaceous, organic-feeling forms that are inspired by science fiction. But other designers, like Ross Lovegrove and Alvar Aalto had been making similarly shaped items

Rashid’s contribution to a disposable plastic consumer culture—purchase, consume, and pitch when done—hasn’t helped his standing with critics, who are honing in on this in their attacks. It’s not like Rashid is purposefully making things for people to throw away, it’s just that they’re so darn inexpensive to begin with; his objects are not exactly heirloom material. It’s just way too easy to pitch the purple plastic trash can when you decide to redecorate. And with today's economy, being fickle like this has fallen out of fashion. “People are just tired of plastic shit on their desks, now we just want to recycle it all,” Patton says. “But let’s look at the history and not be totally judgmental. These objects spoke to the digital age that we were entering, with soft shapes reflecting new computer software as much as they were hard in their plastic molding. So ‘softness’ is an appropriate expression, metaphorically. Today we tend to see molded plastic as extremely wasteful, but it’s also a technology to break free.” Rashid is aware of the perceived wastefulness of his material of choice, but he is unable to insert himself in the increasingly popular “green” space. “For me, it’s innate in everything that I do. The fact that it became all of a sudden so fashionable, there’s irony in that. People immediately assume that I cannot possibly be thinking ecologically.” Rashid is something of an expert in the burgeoning field of bioplastics, made from natural, biological sources like starches and corns instead of synthetic bad-guys like polypropylene and polyethylene. Bioplastics are tastier treats for the microorganisms that live in landfills, and their decomposition rates can be measured in years rather than centuries. Though these eco-friendly plastics are slightly more expensive to produce, Rashid had been pushing his manufacturers to go this route long before it became the trendy thing to do. He actually harbors a bit of resentment against designers who are making what he calls “craft projects.” A single chair made out of 20 used tires, he proclaims, is not making a difference. Make a couple million biodegradable chairs that are affordable for everyone, Rashid says, and you are getting somewhere.

“I am perfectly the manufacturer's designer— the M.D., you could say. I am the doctor of design.” for years before Rashid, and their things were much finer, made from metal and glass. Rashid’s products are a far cry from the sophisticated and more expensively produced pieces of his forebears. Rashid, of course, is a plastic man, a material chosen for cost and manufacturing. When asked if he’s offended by the term “manufacturer’s designer,” the implication being that his products are, well, cheap, he is actually thrilled by it. “I’ve never heard that before but I like it, beautiful,” Rashid says. “You know, the thing about design—that we so quickly forget—is that it is for industry. It is for manufacturing. Something happened with the incarnation of postmodernism in the late 1970s when we bifurcated—design went into another direction and it suddenly became all about being cool, or avant-garde, or poetic, or making art furniture; basically the one-off. And here industry was still plugging away and making tens of thousands of products every day. I am very sensitive to this. So yes, I am perfectly the manufacturer’s designer—the M.D. you could say. I am the doctor of design.”

And although he claims that the plastic criticisms and strong reactions to his work don’t bother him, it may not be entirely true. For one, he admitted to printing out a stack of blog posts from a notable design website and joked about publishing an “I Hate Karim” book with them. Secondly, an inquiry about a critique by the late conceptual artist Tobias Wong was answered a bit too succinctly to not have stung just a little. Wong, a fellow Museum of

Karim’s “Ikons” During the 1980s, while making tools for Black & Decker in Toronto, Rashid was told “no,” when asked if he could attach his name to his work. To them, he was probably just a young, overly zealous employee who was a bit big for his britches. But Rashid went ahead and signed those drills anyways, secretly embedding rounded symbols of his own creation into the molded parts. A “subversive signature” is what he first called it, so that years later he might find one of these things at a tag sale or in a basement and know for sure it was his. Today, he calls these marks “ikons.” There are 54 in total. He has branded his body with them, and they are present in nearly everything he does. The days of secret signatures are long behind him.


Modern Art inductee, cut Rashid’s monograph, I Want to Change the World, into the shape of a gun, reportedly as a commentary on his design being pretentious and out of touch with the times. “At first, I was really insulted. I didn’t understand the reference of the gun—if you knew me you would know that I’m so against violence,” Rashid says. “I saw my book as a gun, and I was like ‘Oh my god, what is he trying to tell me?’ Anyways. We don’t need to talk about Tobias.”

Karim’s “brand” It was 2000 when Rashid purged his closet and proudly went white. (He had a black glam-rock phase prior to this). For more than a decade now, he has been living in and living as a human manifestation of his own design. The products he creates, the home he lives in, the artwork he makes and collects, the clothes he wears, and even the tattoos inked into his skin are all reinforcing each other as something of a Karim Rashid über-brand. At this point, it would be shocking to ever see him outside of his self-made caricature.

Rashid’s book was published in 2001, right around the same time in our history when the connotations of world-changing would change dramatically. “When I said I wanted to change the world, I know it sounded like an arrogant statement, and I was criticized for it,” he says. “At that time, I was doing a lot of traveling for work, and I found myself in physical conditions that were poorly designed: the airplane I was in, the taxi cab, the lighting in restaurants, and on and on. There’s no question to me that if we want to make a better world, we have to design it.” But Rashid was talking about design within the context of global business and consumerism. His book was professing a blithe vision of a colorful future where all of the ad hoc objects in the world would be replaced with ones of his

own happy-go-lucky design. By this definition of world changing, Rashid is doing it—one garbage can, soap dispenser, and water bottle at a time.


A look inside Rashid's crazy, candy colored NYC apartment

So, why do so many people love to hate Karim Rashid? Well, any number of reasons. The anonymous critics that angrily hammer away at their keyboards mocking his Japanese game-show aesthetic might have reached their limit for his inexpensive plastics. Or maybe they are reacting to his unapologetic love of the spotlight, or to his proclivity for bold statements. Perhaps it’s because of his unfortunately timed tome. But, plastic and pink jabs aside, it’s hard not to acknowledge the fact that he is a highly successful designer and an impressive businessman to boot. He is a global name, and his design touch, combined with his recognizable pink “Karim” autograph, seems to have the power to hurtle mass-manufactured objects to product rockstar-dom. Love him or hate him, Rashid is the perpetual showman who isn’t going to let naysayers get him down. And despite the negativity that comes his way, he maintains his perky view of the world through near-literal rose-colored glasses. The only difference? His are blue. a





Survivorman Les Stroud shows the other so-called survivalists how it’s done, DIY-style By Andrew Schroedter PHOTOS by Carl W. Heindl and Laura Bombier







n 2001, 40-year-old adventurer Les Stroud took a few cameras into the Canadian wilderness to film himself roughing it for a week on minimal food and water. The then-unknown survivalist wrote, videotaped, and starred in what was to become his own show, Survivorman. He found the location, hauled his own supplies, set up the camera, did a take, and then repeated the last two steps until he compiled enough footage for an hour-long show. Stroud’s style was DIY through and through. There was no crew or director. He did it himself, or he didn’t survive.

Since his debut, other extreme travelers have come onto the scene, dividing most of the adventuresome audience between Stroud’s practical survival style and that of young English buck Bear Grylls, with his action-packed, Indiana Jones-esque escapades. “What these other guys do isn’t really survival,” he says.

As he’s gotten more established, Stroud now works with a slick post-production staff, though he still hosts and shoots the program by himself in the wilderness. And although he could afford to work with a top director, he still prefers to make his own show because he wants to capture a real survival experience—as opposed to the other Johnny-come-latelys. Yet Stroud maintains he isn’t concerned about anyone else. After all, no one else has the Stroud got the idea to film himself in the wilderness DIY philosophy that his show embodies. Bring a camera, after watching the reality show Survivor. He realized shoot it, and just make sure your battery doesn’t freeze. that the show had little to do with actual survival “If that happens, there’s no show,” he says. Still, when techniques and more to do with making dramatic tele- pressed, he underscores his point by quoting a seemingly vision. So he decided to film his show alone to prove strange source: singer Barry Manilow. what it takes to be a real survivalist. There were no breaks or off-camera tents, nobody to offer a Snick- “You know what he said? If you’re going to write music or ers if he really needed it. Stroud did everything by cut an album, don’t listen to the radio. Write your music, himself because he had to. Because that’s what real your album. Make it real. Make it your own… That’s the path to creative freedom and expression.” a survival is—DIY or die.

Photos by Carl W. Heindl


When asked about his strategy for surviving Siberia’s subzero temperatures, Stroud rattles off a quick list. “Big ass fires, good clothing, and monitoring your sweating. You know my famous saying? ‘You sweat, you die.’”







1 6

7 4

3 5

Survival By the Book Les Stroud has been to the edge of the world and back. The survivalist has braved humid jungles, survived scorching deserts, and freezing arctic lands. His adventures led him to write Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival. The book, released in early 2011, taught readers how to safely cross a snow-covered crevasse and escape quicksand. Because you never know what might happen when you walk out the door in the morning.


This spring, Stroud has a new book coming out—an adventure/travel cookbook. Stroud was tight-lipped about the yet-untitled tome, though he did disclose two recipes. The scorpion dish is a winner, he says, as is one for witchetty grub, a large larvae found in Australia. When cooked right, Stroud says the white, worm-like creature “tastes like a crispy spring roll with Thai peanut sauce.” Yum.

Photos by Laura Bombier



1. Sri Lanka



2. The Arctic

3. Cook Islands

4. Namibia


6. Papua New Guinea

2. The Arctic




The Flip Side of Roughing It:

THE SURVIVAL PROJECT On the opposite of end of the spectrum from Les Stroud is Steven Brahms. The photographer found himself fascinated by contemporary man's relationship with nature and the outdoors. He conducted a series of experiments in the outdoors and documented them in a photo essay entitled The Survival Project. Below is a portion of his artist’s statement. “We are living in a time of great innovation and technological progress, yet simultaneously there are large gaps in our innate and experiential understanding. We exist in a world where at the click of a button food is delivered to our doorstep, yet many of us would not last a night in the wild. There is a lack of experience and interaction with the natural world in our contemporary culture.


This project began as a way to investigate my curiosity with nature. Living in New York City, one tends to lose a sense of connection with the natural environment. I looked to my ‘backyard’and sought the hidden pockets and extremes of my surroundings, all the while uncovering the characters surviving within them. Each image in this guide demonstrates and reveals a skill or technique to be used in survival. The characters are drawn from my perceptions of people on the fringes of society; those who, like myself, are consumed and driven to action by their own curiosities, paranoias, and dreams. These people are both my test subjects and my collaborators. In making these portraits, still lives, and found scenes, I soon became aware that the work was much more than the physical objects found within the frame. The work depicts a state of mind, and in turn shows how imagination can be a tool we can use to recapture our forgotten, innate knowledge. The images ultimately become physical accounts of interior journeys, artifacts of time that trigger and transform our collective unconscious.” —STEVEN BRAHMS, 2011




This page clockwise from top left: Improvised Winter Jacket, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2010. Improvised Fish Hook, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2009. Improvised PFD, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2010. Improvised Fish Hook, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2009. Opposite page top to bottom: Teepee, 20 x 24 inches, C-Print, 2009. Bug-Net, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2010.

Improvised Winter Jacket

Improvised Fish Hook

Improvised Fish Hook

Improvised PFD





Improvised Pipe

Deadfall Trap


This page clockwise from top left: Deadfall Trap, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2009. Improvised Pipe, 20 x 24 inches, C-Print, 2010. Signaling, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2009. Camouflage, 24 x 30 inches, C-Print, 2009.


Opposite page: Improvised Sunglasses, 8 x 10 inches, C-Print, 2009



Improvised Sunglasses





This issue’s best Albums

Presented by





MIKE PATTON Music from the Film and Inspired by the Book The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi) (Ipecac) Still known first and foremost as a multitalented vocal anomaly, Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantômas) has amassed more and more compositional credits in recent years—including the schizophrenic alt-metal soundtrack to Crank 2 and the genre-hopping theme-and-variation of A Perfect Place. For the Italian film The Solitude of Prime Numbers, however, Patton now has drawn on a much more traditional film aesthetic. Minimalism carries this material, whether melodic, moody, or dissonant. Accents and flourishes are found throughout, but often as strict atmosphere, building a feel of giallo-esque horror. A track such as “Radius of Convergence”—one of the few with drums—is a rarity, offering a pounding crescendo. Notably, outside of the first track, vocals are almost completely absent. That’s not a surprise given their secondary roles on Patton’s other scores, but it’s an indication of a full-blown transition to being a composer first and a singer second. [SM] /01








Animals as Leaders


Reworked/Remixed (In My Room)

Weightless (Prosthetic)

Live from the Grove (Parallel Thought Ltd.)

Danish production guru Anders Trentemøller built his name in the mid-2000s as a dancefloor DJ with extensive remixes and studio credits. In 2010, however, he went “live” and released a sophomore album of chilling organic orchestrations, complemented by electronics but driven by tremolo-swollen guitar riffs. With Reworked/Remixed, a new double-album release, listeners can hear both of these sides of Trentemøller. These 22 tracks include his remixes of other established artists (UNKLE, Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand, Mew, Efterklang), remixes of Trentemøller material by others, and self-remixes and instrumental outtakes. By its nature, it’s a little more oriented for the dance crowd, but Reworked/Remixed remains a compelling cross-section of—and introduction to—Trentemøller’s catalog. [SM] /02

Begun as a solo project that highlighted guitarist Tosin Abasi’s unmistakable shredding, Animals as Leaders released its debut album in 2009, emitting progressive-metal instrumentals with tasteful ambient, electronic, and jazz undertones. Now a trio, Animals as Leaders has returned with Weightless, its first recording as an official band. The album features more hyperprolific finger-tapping on eight-string guitars, the instrument of choice for Abasi’s meticulously crafted material. Electronica intros and bridges play a large role, but Weightless—ironically—often is very, very heavy, more so than its predecessor, trudging into sludge territory for spells. Despite the insane technicality, there’s always an emphasis on melody and head-banging rhythms, but the music—endorsed by shred virtuoso Steve Vai—is just as suitable for those with short attention spans. [SM & JB] /03

Surfacing in 2011 with a pair of shadowy EPs, 3:33 is a yet-unmasked project that deals in brooding, instrumental hip hop. Tactile yet amorphous—and at times ominous—the music is set apart by a rawness of texture. For this proper full-length debut—the group’s third release in seven months—much of the source material is a collection of “field/wood” recordings taken from outside the Bohemian Grove. This adds another layer of mystery and foreboding to the 3:33 sound, given the history of the setting—a mysterious, cult-like campground for the Bohemian Club, which has hosted famous guests such as Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon for paganesque rituals. The plodding and pulsating results are a disturbing success, backed again by headnodding boom-bap beats. [SM & KG] /04




Ghost Town (Polyvinyl)

Empros (Sargent House)

Real Late (Manimal)

Mike Kinsella has spent the better part of two decades playing in a bevy of Illinois-based indie-rock bands. Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Owls, American Football—each has shown a different side of Kinsella’s abilities. But Owen, his now decade-running solo project, has been the most multifaceted, and Ghost Town is more proof. The album, as usual, is rooted in Kinsella’s delicate vocals and multi-instrumental prowess, but the timbres are as assorted as ever. Overdubbed acoustic and electric guitars, strings, piano, marimba, and glockenspiel complement the crux of each song, resulting in another heavily layered and highly melodic batch of tunes. Though Ghost Town won’t catch you off guard, its unassuming depth might surprise you. [SM] /05

In 2009, instrumental-rock trio Russian Circles released Geneva, an album that both introduced the worming bass lines of Brian Cook (of These Arms are Snakes) and showcased the band’s balance of metallic fury and melodic beauty. Complementary strings and horns also dotted the sonic landscape, creating a superlative post-metal opus. Empros cuts away the complementary pieces of Geneva, instead focusing on the trio’s interplay. Cook has further ingrained himself in the Russian Circles sound, allowing the galloping rhythm section just as frequently to play the lead as Mike Sullivan’s effects-heavy, overdubbed guitars. And the usual ear for dynamics is present once more, building moments of tension and release to go with the killer riffs. [SM] /06

Led by multi-instrumentalist Michael Quinn, Los Angeles-based Corridor is a quirky one-man pop experiment, crossing streams with classical and world sounds. But Quinn, who released a self-titled debut as Corridor in 2009, also cites influences such as industrial/folk art-rockers Swans, medieval English folk, and Django Reinhardt, creating one massive—but cohesive—confluence of styles. Corridor’s blend of electronic looping and acoustic plucking is often dark and emotive, with an almost grunge/metal heaviness. Real Late also is populated by thumping tribal percussion and distortion on the verge of squealing, avant-garde hysteria. Even when venturing into dirge-ful, down-tempo territory, a jazz-like sense of melodic phrasing pulls it all back together. [KG] /07

Scott Morrow is the music editor at ALARM Press and author of This Week’s Best Albums, an eclectic weekly series presenting exceptional music. Visit for more. [SM] Scott Morrow, [JB] Jenn Beening, [KG] Kyle Gilkeson




For Hire




Design Talent

On the This Midwestern graphic designer just wants toFresh have fun and make you feel Market good. We couldn’t even get him to make a list of things that he dislikes. Ugh!




Design Talent Fresh On the Market







How did you pick design and illustration as your areas of expertise? I enjoy collaboration and communication. With design, DESIGN TALENT FRESH you are able ON to work with others to communicate an idea THE MARKET or concept to the public. Perfectly branding a company or cleverly executing an editorial illustration is super satisfying DESIGN TALENT FRESH to me. DESIGN TALENT FRESH ON THE MARKET




How would you describe your aesthetic? As cheesy as it sounds, soul is one word that I keep going back to to describe my work. I don’t want to be edgy or experimental or too cutesy. The goal of my work is to draw you in and make you feel good. How would you describe your style in 3 words or less? Clean and clever. Is there a particular style of design or object that you absolutely despise? The only work I despise is work with no thought behind it. Do some sketches and brainstorming; it’s obvious when you don’t! What’s the best thing you learned in design school? The best thing I learned in design school is that competition will drive you but will also tear you down. Put jealousy to the side and cheer your peers on. Why should somebody hire you? You should hire me because I will always push myself and have fun in the process. It’s good to have fun, ya know? a

Darrin’s Top-10 Places for Inspiration... A bike ride, playing fetch with a dog, your girlfriend's diary, '90s sitcoms, watching a bad live improv show, planting flowers, people-watching, listening to iTunes on shuffle, hula-hooping, not staring at a blank piece of paper Darrin’s Top-10 Drinks to Have While Designing… Horchata, White Russian, stale 7-Eleven Exclusive Blend Coffee, kale smoothie, chocolate milk, Old Style, ginger and Jameson, Capri Sun, ice water, Vernors Ginger Ale

RESUME SNAPSHOT: Darrin Higgins EDUCATION Lansing Community College Associate degree in Design & Communications Aug. 2006-June 2009 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Visual Communication Aug. 2010 -current

Work Experience Macs Bar, Design/Promotions Feb. 2007-Jan. 2010 Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan, Communications Design Assistant Sep. 2007-Mar. 2010

Interested in being featured in For Hire? Email us at

Skills - Highly skilled in Adobe Creative Suite - Working knowledge of CSS, HTML - Client interaction - Screen-printing - Illustration - Business management/promotion

Wanna hire Darrin? Check out his website:


M. GRACE DESIGNS, INC. 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza 15th floor Design Center P.O. Box 3412 Chicago, IL 60654 p: 312-842-0800 f: 312-842-4399 c: 773-456-0480

Design Bureau Issue 9  

January/February 2012

Design Bureau Issue 9  

January/February 2012