S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S® W h e r e C o l o r a n d C r e a t i v i t y C o n v e r g e V o l u m e 5 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 8
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How fresh colors, rediscovered materials and generational change are inspiring new interior spaces.
Colorful Glass With Dale Chihuly
Innovative Technology in Exterior Coatings
Editorial Advisor: Tresa Makowski Executive Editor: Bryan Iwamoto Editorial Director: Dobby Gibson Editor:
STIR Advisory Board Emily Blitzer Paul Segal Associates New York, NY
Executive Art Director: Sandy Girard Senior Designer: Cate Hubbard Senior Editor: Mara Hess Production Director: Pam Mundstock Production Artist: Karen Wolcenski Project Manager: Melanie Murphy Client Services: Lynda Whittle
Ann Newton Spooner, IDS national president Ann Newton Spooner Interior Design Charlotte, NC
STIR® magazine (ISSN 1937-2027) is published by Hanley Wood, LLC, on behalf of The SherwinWilliams Company, for interior designers and architects. We welcome your questions and comments. Please direct correspondence to: Sherwin-Williams STIR Magazine Hanley Wood 430 1st Ave. N., Suite 550 Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: (612) 338-8300 Fax: (612) 338-7044 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: Click on Contact Us at swstir.com
Kathleen Neama The S/L/A/M Collaborative Glastonbury, CT
Karin Schluer, Allied ASID, LEED certified Karin & Company Long Valley, NJ Leslie Shankman-Cohn, ASID Eclectic Interiors Memphis, TN Zara Stender, CID, IDS, Allied ASID, CMG vice-chair ZaraDesigns Reno, NV Kristine Stoller, NCIDQ certified KSID, LLC Sharon, MA Abby Suckle, AIA, FAIA, LEED certified Abby Suckle Architects New York, NY Denise Walton, ASID, NCIDQ certified Denise J Walton Design Scottsdale, AZ
Printed in the United States, © 2008 Sherwin-Williams, Vol. 5. Issue 1, 2008
Order Sherwin-Williams color samples online at sherwin-williams.com.
COLOR ME DIFFERENT
’ve always been inspired by the way color can single-handedly make the mundane magical again. Think of how “going red” can reinvigorate the career of a struggling movie starlet, how a sliced purple radish can transform a plain salad into something a little exotic, or how the iPod’s surprise use of pastel metallics inspired millions of kids to tug desperately at their parents’ sleeves and say, “Now I want that one.”
Color is the most powerful and universal form of what marketers call “packaging.” There’s no quicker way to recharge the appeal of something — whether it’s a sports car or a living room — than by changing its color. As winter’s grays give way to the greens of spring, we thought this would be an appropriate time to create a special issue of STIR magazine focused on color and renewal. In what ways does color help designers, architects and their clients rediscover and renew old materials, old spaces — even old ideas? Turn the pages of this issue, and you’ll learn how an “off-the-wall” palette helped a 19th-century factory in Pittsburgh find new life; how the color green helped a Seattle-based artist redefine the possibilities of an ancient medium; and how baby boomers are using color, among other tools, to re-imagine their living spaces in retirement. At Sherwin-Williams, we’re as relentlessly curious about color’s transformative powers as you are. Happy reading. Sincerely,
For product or compliance questions, call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194. For local service and advice, please see your SherwinWilliams Architectural Account Executive or your local store. Sheri Thompson Director, Color Marketing and Design The Sherwin-Williams Company
The trademarks and copyrights of Sherwin-Williams appearing in STIR are protected. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
C O N T E N T S
S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S®
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Vo l u m e 5 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 8
CURRENTS OF COLOR
PHOTOGRAPH OF CHIHULY GLASS FORMS BY TERESA NOURI RISHEL
A Seattle-based artist rediscovers the design possibilities of terrazzo.
THE REINVENTION BOOM In retirement, baby boomers are redefining their living spaces in ways that continue their generation’s commitment to self-expression.
SECOND STAGE Color helps to transform a 19th-century Pittsburgh cork factory into a sophisticated urban loft.
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT
This pioneering glass artist continues to explore the boundaries of color while working with art’s most fragile medium.
Technology innovations have expanded your exterior painting options, from color to performance to scheduling.
20 FINAL TOUCH
American Lung Association employees and volunteers can breathe easier thanks to a recent donation of low-VOC paint from Sherwin-Williams.
An Indiana-based commercial interior design firm learns sustainable building practices while working with its most challenging client: itself.
Find out why baby blue eyes aren’t exactly what they appear to be.
Palette COLOR N EWS AN D SOLUTIONS FROM SH ERWI N-WI LLIAMS
THESE COLORS DO RUN
A compelling color palette and great design
may be more art than science, but this limited-edition sneaker from Reebok challenges that conventional thinking. Designed by John Maeda, a world-renowned designer and mathematician at MIT Media Lab, the Reebok Timetanium wears its design formula on its sleeve — or, more
Reebok Timetanium by John Maeda
precisely, its insole. The sneaker’s graphics were created by Maeda using the algorithms that adorn its lining. There were only 100 pairs of the Timetanium manufactured — and they sold out instantly.
Get Color News Delivered to Your Computer Year-Round Sherwin-Williams® STIR® eExtra, STIR magazine’s color e-newsletter, is delivered six times a year. Just like STIR magazine, STIR eExtra delivers color research, paint technology and design developments you won’t want to miss. To subscribe, complete and mail the business reply card in this magazine. Or visit the STIR magazine Web site, swstir.com, which also keeps color news and resources at your fingertips.
ILLUSTRATION BY MATT FOSTER
American Lung Association employees and volunteers can breathe easier thanks to a recent donation of low-VOC paint from Sherwin-Williams. Our homes are supposed to protect us, which makes mounting evidence of the impact of construction materials on indoor air quality disconcerting. For the past decade, through its Health House® initiative, the American Lung Association (ALA) has been at the forefront of a movement teaching builders and homeowners how to create beautiful homes that are also healthy to live in. Recently, Sherwin-Williams partnered with ALA Minnesota (ALAMN) to apply Health House principles to a remodel of ALAMN’s own St. Paul headquarters. Sherwin-Williams donated 175 gallons of Harmony,® a no-VOC (volatile organic compound) latex paint, to the 70,000-square-foot project. “It’s about practicing what we preach and walking the walk,” says Robert Moffitt, director of communications for ALAMN. “We really needed to do this remodel the right way, and the products we used in our space were central to that mission of creating a healthy place to work.” In addition to no-VOC paint, there are smart engineering features in the building such as an air ventilator located in the mechanical room that pumps fresh air into the building five times an hour, compared to the once-a-day standard in most other buildings. The air pressure in the building is regulated as well. When one of ALAMN’s 25 full-time employees or 1,000 weekly volunteers or visitors opens the front doors, the air blows out, not in. In addition to having practical benefits, the remodel has helped the ALAMN reinforce its Health House message: Clean indoor air isn’t just for people with allergies and asthma — it’s for everyone.
Health House Components The American Lung Association lists these components, among others, as essential to a Health House home: • Carefully selected and reviewed interior finishes • Foundation waterproofing and moisture control • High-efficiency air filtration • Whole-house ventilation • Humidity control
CURRENTS of color
An artful and award-winning terrazzo floor illustrates an ancient medium’s new design possibilities.
ost of us associate terrazzo floors with the formal, monochromatic designs typically found in courthouses and stately historic homes. Not Linda Beaumont, a Seattlearea artist known for her experimental use of traditional materials. “I think of terrazzo as a form of painting. And I like to paint outside the lines,” she says. Terrazzo, a mosaic flooring constructed by embedding small pieces of marble and stone in mortar and then grinding and polishing it, is a masonry style that dates back to the ancient Romans. But it’s undergoing a reinvention, thanks to innovators like Beaumont. The artist was commissioned to create a terrazzo design for a 350-foot-long concourse on the ground floor of the recently renovated City Hall in Bellevue, Wash. Inspired by the discovery that an underground river flowed nearby, Beaumont designed “Current”: a shimmering, 14,000-square-foot mosaic composed of intricate silver lines, stones, beads and luminescent mother-ofpearl abalone chips.
Color choices Beaumont needed a color scheme that would suit the scale of the project, the hallway’s variations in light intensity and pre-existing materials. The artist decided on green as the base palette. “The Northwest is all about green,” she says. “And ‘Current’ is a metaphor for a river. It’s a public space about possibility. What I really wanted to bring to it was a shimmering, transformative quality. I would never choose one color to define the floor, but rather a relationship of many colors that slide past each other, animating the space.” Beaumont describes “Current” as a narrative of color. “At the far end of the concourse where there is very little light, I used a deep jade color and dark brown,” she says. “It’s a ‘slower’ space. Then, as you walk down the length of the concourse, the floor widens; my idea was that this was the shallow part of the river. There are even beds of silver fish eggs near the conference room. You almost can’t see them; from a distance, they just look like pools of light. Under the bridge, in the middle of the concourse, where pedestrian traffic is heavy, there are the wild rapids, the richest part of the floor. The linework is wild and twisting, and I used a lot of color and glitter glass. I had gold and green glitter glass chips made especially for the floor. The iridescent glass is
very reflective, especially in dark colors of epoxy, and it shimmers blue and purple and dark green.” The variable color scheme reflects the experience of moving through space. “The thing about working with a floor is that as you walk through, it comes around you in different ways at any given moment,” Beaumont says. “The light shifts constantly, so the color changes as well.” For “Current,” General Contractor David Franceschina of General Terrazzo used a special two-part thermo-setting epoxy terrazzo matrix (Thin Set Epoxy Terrazzo System #1100) made by General Polymers, a division of Sherwin-Williams. “Epoxy terrazzo has become the norm instead of traditional cement,” explains Franceschina. “It’s simpler and quicker to deal with, and is relatively lightweight, which helps when you’re installing in modern buildings.” And epoxy terrazzo, he says, “offers a vast color palette as opposed to traditional cement, which allows us only earth tones. One of the reasons terrazzo has really been rediscovered over the last 20 years is this new epoxy terrazzo.” Today’s flexible new materials freed Beaumont to fully explore her aesthetic: “I like to push everything to be fluid. I’m interested in keeping things moving,” she says. “Current” won Job of the Year from the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association. But the artist is after a more lasting impact: “I really do believe that spaces can change the way we feel and even the way we think,” Beaumont says. “When I was a child, I saw those mosaic floors in Greece and Rome and thought, ‘Wow! It’s as though the earth is being carpeted.’ Having that energy underfoot is a beautiful way to feed energy into a public space.” ■ Charlotte Stoudt writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times.
TAKE A VIRTUAL WALK
To see video of this project, as well as find more information on materials and maintenance from General Polymers, visit STIR online at swstir.com.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SPIKE MAFFORD PHOTOGRAPHY
B y C H A R LOT T E STO U DT
WHY USE TERRAZZO? • It’s luxurious. Terrazzo creates timelessness and opulence that give any space a unique sense of event. “You’re creating from raw material,” says David Franceschina, a general contractor with General Terrazzo. “Terrazzo is a handmade product, a piece of art.” • It’s cost-effective. Originally invented by Roman builders as a low-cost flooring material, terrazzo is a highly durable floor treatment. “Maintenance is very inexpensive,” says Linda Beaumont, a Seattle-based artist who works with terrazzo. “And it looks better with age.” • It’s green. Terrazzo requires only water and neutral liquid cleaner for maintenance. “It’s a sustainable product,” says Franceschina. “And there’s recycled content—old marble and glass. Those elements are very intriguing to architects and building owners.”
Baby boomers, still as independent-minded as ever, are re-imagining their living spaces — and influencing design while they’re at it.
B y A N D R EA G RA Z Z I N I WA LST R O M
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID ELLIS
hen Una Elias decided to remodel her Connecticut vacation home, she called architect and interior designer Abby Suckle, who had also helped her remodel her New York City apartment. Like many clients, Elias bombarded Suckle with pictures. But Elias wasn’t just offering inspiration; she was asserting her style. All she needed from Suckle was a little advice on her color choices. “I spent two hours with her on the Connecticut design,” says Suckle. “I didn’t have to do much.” It’s not that Elias doubts Suckle’s expertise. She’s just acting her age. At 42, Elias is on the tail end of the baby-boom generation of people born between 1946 and 1964. Like Elias, many have time and money to invest in newly empty nests, retirement dream houses and second homes. And when it comes to planning their mid- and late-life dwellings, baby boomers — the leading edge of whom came of age during the free-expression years of the mid-20th century — are “as independent-minded as they were in the ’60s,” says New York-based Dorothy Kalins, founding editor of Saveur and Metropolitan Home magazines. Kalins, a boomer herself, says her generation doesn’t follow established conventions. While their parents might have handed over the reins (and the checkbook) to designers for the latest look, “We realized that one style or another was not going to define us. What was important was that we could do any style that we wanted,” she says.
Sally Leider, a watershed teacher and life coach, found design inspiration in her Tibetan rug.
for Making Boomer Clients Happy Baby boomers can be fiercely independent, but there are still ways design professionals can effectively help.
Let them take the lead. No one knows what boomers want better than they do.
Design for the ages. Provide suggestions on universal design and convenient features that boomers might otherwise miss (or avoid).
Think “last remodel.” Keep in mind that boomers will probably need to live with their choices for decades to come — and the older they are the less likely it is they’ll remodel again.
Don’t think “old.” Think “vital, active, engaged and aware.”
Make memories. Incorporate travel and personal pieces into a strong design foundation, but beware of sentimentality or nostalgia.
Now that the peak of the independent-minded boomers are turning 50, they’re creating a new model of adulthood, with a middle stage focused on renewal, according to American Demographics. Modern maturity, in the boomer playbook, is not about fading into retirement but rather an opportunity for reinvention. With their children grown and their time and resources their own, boomers are pursuing their personal passions, whether that means trekking to Tanzania or painting their dining room deep purple.
Desire to be different The style choices of America’s 78 million boomers are wide and varied. Lisa Peck of Pisa Design in Minneapolis says the most consistent design thread among her boomer clients is a demand to be different and authentic, mixing personal pieces into a unique design scheme. She has one boomer client couple, for example, whose entire home is musically themed to match their shared passion for guitars. Eclectic pieces, including travel treasures, are in high demand. Even if they don’t purchase them while on a trip, worldly boomers want guests to know where their furnishings come from, says designer Ann Newton Spooner of Charlotte, N.C. When Sally Leider, a boomer teacher and life coach who works with other boomer clients, selected a Tibetan rug for her Minnesota home, she became so interested in the rug’s origins that she sought out a workshop on Tibetan rug history. “Not keeping up with the Joneses is how boomers are keeping up with the Joneses,” says Peck. In spite of their idiosyncratic leanings, there are signs of boomer trends. Peck sees a lot of style-defining color. Serene neutrals are welcome, as are energetic (and retro) orange and lime green. And shades of red and yellow are boomer favorites that cross state and style lines, says Spooner, a color specialist. While her boomer clients sometimes show their age by incorporating heirloom pieces with updated classical pieces, their color choices remain youthfully exuberant. “Red is very strong, as is yellow.” (Back in Manhattan, Elias’ sleek apartment features a three-roomlong yellow wall.) Kalins has a theory as to where at least part of the color trend comes from. “Red makes technology more friendly” for
Eclectic pieces, including travel treasures, are in high demand. Even if they don’t purchase them while on a trip, worldly boomers want guests to know where their furnishings come from. boomers, who are learning that an iPod is not an apartment for one. “Refrigerators are red, coffee makers are red,” she notes. Nostalgia may play a part, too. “Painting a wall red was something we did in the ’60s.” Spooner has a less glamorous explanation: Boomers don’t see colors the same as they did when they were younger. Bolder colors are easier to see through no-line bifocals. Though some are loath to admit it, aging factors into boomer design selections.
Eternal optimists A study commissioned by Hanley Wood, a media and information company for the housing and construction industry, found that only one in 10 boomers professed to being worried about life after 60. Perhaps hearkening back to idealistic earlier years, most said they are going to take aging “in stride.” (Hanley Wood publishes STIR magazine on behalf of Sherwin-Williams.) “This generation wants upscale living with less complication,” says Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood. “They want their homes to be manageable, temperate, affordable, flexible and accessible.” That’s accessible as in — shhhh — wheelchair-friendly wide doorways, easyto-operate faucets and lowered toilet seats that go easy on arthritic hips. Mid-50s baby boomers Mark and Kathy Shook are planning ahead. The couple recently remodeled the main living spaces of their Arizona home and plan to update their upper-level sleeping and bathing areas soon. On the to-do list are a no-step, doorless shower for safe entry. “And a spa tub will soothe the aches and pains” of aging bones, says Kathy. Some boomers don’t have a choice. Universal design accommodations are now code on residential remodeling and new construction in New York. Regardless of the reason, boomers “want finishes in their homes that are easily maintained, like tile flooring and smooth surfaces on countertops,” says designer Denise Walton of Scottsdale, Ariz. The Shooks, who are Walton’s clients, installed travertine marble floors and granite countertops, demonstrating yet another boomer trait: a preference for high-quality materials. “They want to have time to
For boomers, eclectic is in. Travel often inspires design choices, such as this traditional African mask from the Gauteng Province.
relax and not be repairing and replacing things,” says Walton. “They want to do it right and not have to do it again.” Not surprisingly, one-floor homes, including airy downtown lofts, make for carefree and stylish living where convenient access to grocery stores, restaurants, theaters and coffee shops is a bonus. The savviest businesses are locating in neighborhoods attractive to the massive boomer population.
Room for the grandkids Minneapolis architect Bruce Knutson fits many boomer trends. He is among the 60 percent of boomers who say they will downsize. “We went from 5,000 to 1,380 square feet and set up our home like a downtown loft,” he says. “The kitchen is in the center,” for ease of entertaining — a priority for boomers who finally have the time to linger. Although social interaction is a high priority for boomers, a large majority have a “me-centric” vision with little interest in catering to their kids’ or aging parents’ needs, though many happily make exceptions for grandchildren. Knutson, for example, dedicated the entire lower level of his home to his four grandkids. An impervious floor, a chalkboard, toy storage, and a pool just outside the door keep the little ones close. Knutson says his grandchildren never want to leave. And like most boomers, Knutson wants to “age in place” at his home. So do the Shooks, who plan to live out their years in the foothills of the Phoenix mountains.
Place is key for many boomers, according to Leider. That includes herself. “I grew up in a setting where there were a lot of beautiful views of the river and landscape,” she says. In addition to her work as a life coach, Leider is a watershed-protection educator and advocate who has returned to her roots on the St. Croix River. She says that the place boomers settle, whether it represents a return to roots or a new perspective, can be critical in identifying self. For Leider, a mood — a sense of sanctuary after busy years in the workforce — tops any particular design feature. And her home on the river evokes a desire for outdoor living and environmentally conscious values — boomer ideals germinated during those impressionable “flower power” years. Wherever and however they choose to live, baby boomers are intent on renewing their spaces to reflect their own renewed outlooks on life. Elias said in the past she was more concerned about what people thought. She’s getting beyond that — and her home reflects a typical boomer’s quest for authenticity. “You walk into my house, and you say: ‘This is Una,’” says Elias. Whatever their style, boomers and their dwellings represent a massive market that design professionals can’t afford to neglect. ■ Andrea Grazzini Walstrom is a Minnesota-based freelance writer who specializes in architecture and design.
Although social interaction is a high priority for boomers, a large majority have a “me-centric” vision ... though many happily make exceptions for grandchildren.
SECOND stage An ‘off-the-wall’ palette brings new life to an urban Pittsburgh loft.
By KIMI EISELE
Every major city has its old industrial area. Downtown Pittsburgh has the Strip District, which through the centuries was home to iron and steel mills, foundries, and a cork-cutting factory — built in 1860, then rebuilt in 1901 after a massive fire. After the company closed its doors in 1974, the building sat vacant for years. But its prime location overlooking the Allegheny River made it an attractive candidate for urban renewal. The old brick building, designed by well-known, turn-of-the-century architect Frederick Osterling, is now the Cork Factory, a trendy urban loft development.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ED MASSERY
S t i r 11
Ann Mullaney, an attorney and baby boomer who works out of an office in the area, was an early believer in the Strip District’s potential. In 1991, she and her husband bought a building only a block away from the Cork Factory, in anticipation of new development on the river. They own and operate an Irish pub there. “I like the urban lifestyle,” says Mullaney, who became a leader in the effort to bring life back to the Strip. As president of Neighbors in the Strip, an association of merchants and residents working to preserve and rejuvenate the area, moving into the Cork Factory herself was both a personal dream and a demonstration of her commitment to the area. “The development of the Cork Factory was really critical for the neighborhood and for the extension of revitalization of downtown Pittsburgh,” she says. To make her ninth-floor loft her home, she turned to interior designer Barb Terrick. At first, Terrick had trouble with the “rubble.” That’s what she called parts of the original interior space left intact by the architects when they renovated the factory into lofts. “I call it rubble because that’s exactly what it looks like — cement floors, plaster on the ceiling, stain marks, pipes, plumbing all exposed,” she says. Although the exposed elements were appealing for their historical reference and industrial charm, they presented a design challenge. “The rubble is interesting, but it can be cold,” Terrick says. “It had to be softened up.”
divided by a series of 8-foot walls, creating an effect of many layered surfaces. “To do it all in one color would have been so boring and wouldn’t have made the place come alive,”Terrick says. She used bright greens and purples on the walls, along with a deep rust hue called Copper Bangle (SW 1350) matched from an older Sherwin-Williams palette using the SherColorTM color matching system. “It’s just a warm color,” Terrick says. “You walk in and immediately want to sit down and put your feet up. That’s the effect it has.” (Copper Bangle is no longer included in the Sherwin-Williams color palette, but Terrick had kept a sample, and her local Sherwin-Williams store created a custom mix for her based on the original color formula.) Terrick chose Sherwin-Williams Duration Home® in matte and satin finishes, a washable and mar-resistant low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. “It’s easy to work with,” she says. “It’s a good weight, durable but not too heavy. The painters liked it, too.” While many clients might have balked at the unusual palette, Terrick says her client was open to anything. Mullaney says she trusted Terrick’s instincts. “People who do this kind of work see things that you just don’t see. They have the vision,” she says. “We’ve had many guests over, and the first thing they notice is the colors. They blend and balance. It’s a very open space, so you can see all the colors at once. But somehow they all work.” ■
A colorful solution
Kimi Eisele is a Tucson, Ariz.-based writer who just completed her first novel.
So that is what Terrick did: with color. Fourteen Sherwin-Williams colors, to be precise: a unique palette that included chartreuse, purple, blue and copper. “I chose off-the-wall colors, but I was confident they would all work,” Terrick says. “You can’t put run-of-the-mill colors in this loft.” Originally a wide open space with 14-foot ceilings, the loft was
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR
Walk through the Cork Factory at STIR online at swstir.com. Click on Resources under STIR Library.
PALETTE Stillwater (SW 6223)
Radicchio (SW 1560)
Copper Bangle (SW 1350) (This color is no longer part of the Sherwin-Williams color palette but can be custom-mixed at your local Sherwin-Williams store.)
Bold Brick (SW 6327)
Tupelo Tree (SW 6417) Mediterranean (SW 7617) Sassy Green (SW 6416) Hearts of Palm (SW 6415)
Dromedary (SW 7694) Dapper Tan (SW 6144) Smoky Topaz (SW 6117) Light Coffee (SW 1321) Bolero (SW 7600) Fine Wine (SW 6307)
Designer Barb Terrick’s vibrant color scheme started with a key ingredient: confidence.
BRINGING THE ALLEGHENY INSIDE When Barb Terrick designed the interior of this loft apartment in
“With all the glass and the river as a backdrop, I wanted you to feel
the newly renovated Cork Factory, she wanted to make the most of
like you were floating,” she says.
its spectacular site.
She also chose furniture and fabrics that complemented that floating
Located on the ninth floor of the building known as “the Tower,” the loft
feeling — a boomerang-shaped glass table, glass pedestals for lamps
has many large windows and a sweeping view of the Allegheny River.
and an area rug that reflected the various colors in the room.
Terrick looked for colors that would bring the palette from the city
“You really do feel like you’re in touch with the river when you walk
and river into the apartment.
in there,” Terrick says.
S t i r 13
C O L O R
S P Y
Pioneering glass artist Dale Chihuly remains captivated by the unique colors and character of his fragile medium. B y K I M PA L M E R
Dale Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the American Studio Glass movement, transforming its premise from a single artist working alone to a team collaborating on massive, multipart installations. Yet Chihuly’s work remains distinctively his own, a color-drenched celebration of organic forms.
STIR: What do you find so fascinating about glass? DC: The transparency. Very few materials have that: plastic, ice and glass. Light coming through glass is so magical. The Chartres Cathederal in France has very famous windows, and [even from a great distance] you can see a 1-inch square of ruby red glass. It’s that powerful.
STIR: What’s your process when making color choices? DC: I don’t have a process. I just have a feeling: “Let’s make this one blue.” It just comes naturally. There’s not a color I haven’t worked with, and in every degree, from very transparent to opaque. The colors come in rods from Germany, and we have 1,000 colors altogether. We refer to them as numbers, like “15 blue.” STIR: How does your medium affect your use of color? DC: If you blow a certain way, the glass goes more opaque or translucent. Blue and yellow don’t always make green. Glass is less predictable because colors heat at different temperatures. Blues and blacks get hot faster than reds and yellows. If a hot color is next to a cool color, it will blow out softer. When you reheat it, it can get all bumpy. You just have to be careful and take it slowly. STIR: You pioneered the use of collaborative teams to create large installations. What’s the biggest color challenge of working collaboratively on big pieces? DC: Different people on the teams do different things. I always have
STIR: How has your use of color evolved during your life as an artist? DC: I happen to be doing a lot of work in black now, with the foundation all black and colors put on the surface. I’m not sure what started it. I hadn’t done it before; it’s a dramatic difference from my earlier work. STIR: You developed a polymer material that you call Polyvitro. What is it, and what motivated you to create it? DC: It’s a type of plastic. Sometimes I want to do a piece that’s too heavy for glass. Polyvitro weighs half as much as glass and it’s more durable. You can’t break it. If I’m doing a piece for outside, I can cast parts larger than I can with glass. STIR: What colors do you surround yourself with at home? DC: I like green a lot. My kitchen is all enameled custard yellow. My studio doesn’t have much color, in the glass-blowing shop. Where I draw and paint, I have outdoor carpet — blue — because I use a lot of water when I draw, and it’s messy. STIR: What impact has technology had on glass-blowing? DC: Very little. All the tools are the same as they were 2,000 years ago. The furnaces are almost the same, although the kneeling ovens are now computerized, so they’re very accurate. It’s one craft that’s changed very little. ■
SEE VIDEO OF CHIHULY’S WORK
Visit STIR online at swstir.com and click on Resources under STIR Library.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TERESA NOURI RISHEL
STIR: You earned a degree in interior design, then switched to sculpture and glass-blowing. What inspired you to change course? DC: I had been working with glass for a couple of years on my own. One day, I was working with melted stained glass and I blew on it and got a bubble, which was unusual. I got so excited about it that it signaled to me that’s what I wanted to do.
other people blow for me since I lost the sight of my left eye in a car accident. Sometimes I have just a colorist who works on an entire piece. Color goes on blown glass at many different times, and different people blow the glass differently.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAN COOK
“Blue and yellow don’t always make green. Glass is less predictable because colors heat at different temperatures. Blues and blacks get hot faster than reds and yellows.” —DALE CHIHULY
S t i r 15
G O I N G
G R E E N
Red light, GREEN light
A commercial interior design firm introduces sustainable building practices to a just-emerging market, coloring its walls — and the horizon — a hopeful shade of green.
reen building projects present special challenges, and that can be especially true in places where environmentally sound building practices are still in an early stage. Just ask Jill Mendoza, president of Indianapolis-based commercial interior design firm i.d.o. incorporated — Innovative Design Offerings. In Indiana, green building has been slow to catch on for both political and practical reasons. “Electricity in the state is among the cheapest in the country,” notes Mendoza. “Plus, one of the largest incinerators in the Midwest is in Indianapolis, which takes the pressure off landfills.” Further hampering demand for green building is the state’s lack of incentives to motivate developers. Only six projects statewide have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Neighboring Illinois, by contrast,
claims at least 202 certified projects, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, the organization behind the LEED rating system for sustainability in structural design, building and operation. In fact, until recently, i.d.o. hadn’t received a single request for green project work from its corporate, health-care, hospitality and educational accounts. Mendoza decided the firm couldn’t afford
Color may be a visual medium but, in green building, its specification depends first upon the sense of smell. to wait to begin its learning curve. So, from the corner office stepped a willing, trailblazer client: Mendoza herself.
TranSglass vases by Artecnica
Learning on the job “We were following green building for our own professional development and wanted to learn what it would take and to test our particular market’s readiness,” she says. Purchasing a 5,000-square-foot single-story office building to use as their laboratory, Mendoza assigned i.d.o. project associate Donna Metallic the task of dividing staffers into teams responsible for LEED certification, public spaces, private spaces, lighting and finish materials, with the latter two teams taking the lead on color. Color may be a visual medium but, in green building, its specification depends first
upon the sense of smell. LEED certification standards for indoor air quality mandate that paints and coatings contain lowemitting materials for the benefit of those applying the finishes and occupying the space. Working with Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive Shaun Williams, i.d.o. went for the lowest of the low, choosing Harmony® from the company’s selection of GreenSure® lines because of its
no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) formulation and deep tinting base. “Five to 10 years back, there were mostly pastels available in our low-VOC products,” says Williams. “Today, all of our colors can be made in the low-VOC formulations, so there’s the option of bright, vivid shades that invigorate spaces like i.d.o.’s.” And the designers there knew it. “The color conversations went on for months!” says Metallic. All 12 i.d.o. associates had input. “The younger associates wanted brighter colors. For a while, the palette became very blue. Then they had to pull me back because I had a lot more green,” she recounts. Two directions emerged: a warm, “safer” palette featuring chocolate browns and golds, and the winner, a cooler wash of sky blue, apple green and sienna.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN WRIGHT, MEDIA WRIGHT INC.; TRANSGLASS VASES COURTESY OF RE:MODERN, AVAILABLE AT RE-MODERN.COM
By KITTY SHEA
The palette at i.d.o. reflects a careful compromise among passionate design associates.
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PALETTE ENTRY SW 0008 Cajun Red (wall behind art) SW 6240 Windy Blue (wall) SW 6133 Muslin (wall) SW 6716 Dancing Green SW 6504 Sky High (ceiling) OPEN OFFICES SW6240 Windy Blue (wall) SW 6133 Muslin (wall) SW 6716 Dancing Green (wall) RESOURCE LIBRARY SW 6240 Windy Blue (exterior conference room wall) SW 6133 Muslin (interior conference room wall) SW 6504 Sky High (ceiling) KITCHEN SW 6242 Bracing Blue SW 6716 Dancing Green
CYCLING & RECYCLING Among the categories for which LEED awards credits toward certification is “Alternative Transportation, Bicycle Storage and Changing Rooms.” Secure bike parking and shower facilities make it possible for i.d.o. employees to pedal to and from work, saving on fuel. The firm also scored for “Recycled Content” by specifying products that had past lives as something different, including: • Herman Miller Aeron desk chairs containing 62 percent recycled content, including recycled pop bottles. • Bentley Prince Street carpet that uses mineral residuals from the global paper recycling industry in its backing. • Herman Miller Resolve System workstations using recycled steel as well as reclaimed wood (primarily sawdust) generated by other wood process operations. • TranSglass vases designed by Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje through Artecnica, made from recycled wine and beer bottles. To keep the recycling circle going, i.d.o. provides bins for recyclable paper, glass and plastic at each workstation and in PHOTOGRAPH OF ARON CHAIR COURTESY OF HERMAN MILLER, INC.
the community kitchen area.
Aeron® chair by Herman Miller, Inc.
The clear, crisp colors infuse the space and its inhabitants with energy and inspiration, an outcome they anticipated but didn’t formulate. “As designers, we’re aware of the psychological aspects of color, but those were the icing on the cake, not the driving force behind our selections,” says Metallic. The designers also inherited elements from which they had to work backwards. More than two-thirds of the furniture and furnishings in the new building came from their old offices — including such signature eye-poppers as perky green conference-room chairs — earning i.d.o. LEED credits under the category “Resource Reuse.” A brand-identity process undertaken in 2001 and its resulting color scheme similarly exerted influence. And new picks, such as brown-toned cork flooring, whose installation won a LEED nod under “Rapidly Renewable Materials,” played right into basic color-wheel theory: opposites attract. Opposites attract, indeed: “Even our most conservative clients like the space,” says Metallic.
“When people walk in, they can’t quite put their finger on what makes the space feel like it does,” says Mendoza. “It’s the color, combined with the fact that we’re pushing 30 percent more fresh air through the system, we’re emitting more natural light with colors reflecting that light, and we’ve used natural products so there aren’t fumes in the air. Integrating all those elements, you’re in a more natural environment.” Inroads are being made outside i.d.o.’s color-revved walls. A year later, the firm has one green client project on the board and a handful of RFPs outstanding. “It’s still a trickle, but green building is starting to filter into our community,” says Mendoza. “I’d like to think we were catalysts in that.” ■ Kitty Shea is a Minnesota-based freelance writer who specializes in interior design.
MORE ON RECYCLING MATERIALS
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C O L O R
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Superior exteriors Technology innovations expand painting options — so you can schedule and choose colors with confidence.
ew is no longer a “don’t” when it comes to exterior painting. And even if there’s rain in the weather forecast, painting jobs don’t have to be postponed when you rely on Resilience,® SherwinWilliams’ new exterior paint formulated with its exclusive MoistureGuard™ technology. With Resilience, newly painted exteriors develop resistance to moisture twice as quickly, in just two hours, rather than the four-hour minimum most exterior latex paints require. “It’s a technology breakthrough that allows you to schedule painters with assurance, no matter what the forecast,” says Steve Revnew, director of marketing, product development, for Sherwin-Williams’ Architectural Coatings. And no matter what the climate, Resilience is a great-quality choice with excellent hide and durability unmatched by the competition. And, painters will appreciate its easy application.” Resilience also has a low (50 grams per liter) VOC, so it meets the most stringent of environmental requirements. When the ultimate in durability is the most important factor in an exterior painting project, professionals can rely on Sherwin-Williams
EXTERIOR COATINGS AT A GLANCE NEW
Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior The ultimate in durability with one coat on repaints and two coats on new work.
Sherwin-Williams Sherwin-Williams Sherwin-Williams Resilience A100 SuperPaint Exterior Latex Excellent hide Trusted and durability, plus revolutionary moisture resistance.
Superior performance with improved hiding and application and lower VOCs.
performance at a great value with improved hiding and application and lower VOCs.
Duration® Exterior Coating formulated with PermaLast,® a state-of-the-art acrylic co-polymer technology. This technology maximizes “film build” — the thickness of the paint layer applied — which is 70 percent higher with Duration compared with other top-line exterior paints. Higher film build ensures a more durable, flexible layer of protection that won’t peel or blister. And only Duration promises one-coat coverage on repaints, a significant benefit for tight schedules. The Sherwin-Williams exterior lineup also includes SuperPaint Exterior Latex, which has been enhanced for improved application and hiding, and lower VOCs. Duration, Resilience and SuperPaint all contain the exclusive VinylSafe™ color technology, which allows you to use darker hues on vinyl siding and cellular PVC substrates. In the past, homeowners were limited to the same or a lighter color paint, because dark colors would absorb heat and damage the plastic vinyl. With VinylSafe technology, darker hues resist heat, opening up a rainbow of color choices. Sherwin-Williams’ A-100® exterior formula has also been enhanced for better hiding, application and lower VOCs. And both SuperPaint and A-100 exterior paints offer Advanced Resin Technology, which delivers superior adhesion and color retention, resisting frost in cold conditions as well as mildew, fading, peeling and blistering in hot and humid conditions. Plus, all of the Sherwin-Williams exterior products (except for a high-gloss sheen) can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps to extend the exterior painting season. If you have questions about which coating might be best for your particular application, please consult with your Sherwin-Williams representative or a local store. ■
Visit STIR online at swstir.com and click on Resources under STIR Library to learn more about these products and their benefits.
ILLUSTRATION BY MATT FOSTER
B y K I M PA L M E R
F I N A L
T O U C H
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Those bewitching baby blues aren’t what they appear to be. Only three pigments are present in the human eye: brown, yellow and gray. Those pigments combine in different ways to create the range of eye colors that we see. Eyes that look blue contain a bit of yellow and little to no brown, while eyes that look green have a lot of yellow and some brown. And if brown eyes seem sincere, perhaps it’s because they’re the only eye color that isn’t masquerading as another. The sometimes-shifting eye color known as hazel is actually a multicolored eye: often a brown ring around a lighter, blue- or green-appearing center. Green eyes are actually quite rare, present in only 2 percent of the human population. Perhaps that’s why green was the eye color associated with the deities of Chinese and Greek mythology. ■
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paint on comfort.
SW 7608 | ADRIFT from the
We know you’re not just specifying a color, you’re specifying a mood. And whether you want to make your space relaxing or invigorating or somewhere in between, we have the hues to help. So choose Sherwin-Williams COLOR™ and take comfort in knowing that your room will feel exactly the way you intended. To order large size color samples and fan decks, go to sherwin-williams.com or contact your local Architectural or Designer Account Executive. sherwin-williams.com ©2007 The Sherwin-Williams Company
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