a compilation of products, furniture, jewelry, architecture and artists that float our boat. FURTHER EXAMINATION:
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// archive for October 2007

Etsy halloween

Happy halloween, folks…Here are some of my favorite picks from Etsy…Clockwise from the top: The Line Up by Brian Gubicza, Dead Fish Friendly Owl by Matt Cipov, and Octopus with Ghost Costume and Rabbit Dead by Mandy Lamb. Hope you all have some great costumes out there!

Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson is a British illustrator with some fantastic illustrations. I love the pieces that use the negative space of the page in the illustration itself, and her limited use of watercolor is gorgeous. See a large body of her work on Coroflot, and read her blog here. You can purchase her work from her etsy store.

Contraforma

Contraforma is a collaboration between several talented, young European designers and architects. They have done a lot of great work, but my favorite collection thus far is the MW cabinetry series by Nauris Kalinauskas. The combination of precise, laser-cut metal with reclaimed wood planks is lovely. The cabinets can be stacked or placed next to one another to create different furniture configurations. The metal frame, while a modern material that is fabricated via modern processes, alludes to a classic, wooden furniture profile.

Taking A Position

An expert from “Taking A Position”, from the blog of Lebbeus Woods.

Architects are not born theorists, that is true. Most of the world’s best architects never wrote a line about their work, let alone proposed a theory–they didn’t have to. There were busy critics and professors who followed their works with great attention. Innovative architects were lucky to have their Mumfords, Gideons, and Tafuris, and, more rarely, their Foucaults, Deleuzes and Derridas. The theories that the theoreticians spun around their works enabled a wide discourse to develop, elevating architecture to a form of knowledge, lifting it out of the venal chatter of the marketplace. Sadly, those critics and professors have died, leaving a conceptual—and critical—void.

Many of us pored over theory books in school and attempted to extract every sliver of meaning that we could and integrate it into our studio projects, whether successfully or not. Having graduated from school and growing into a ‘professional’ environment, the struggle I find is finding the space for theory in practice. Managing a project means accommodating the needs of the clients, the funders, the contractors, the engineers, the users, the dept. of buildings, the dept. of education, etc. The list goes on and on.

Theory is most certainly at the end of that list. But how can we find the space for theory? Who will pay for it? Many probably would criticize Woods’ position as one of privilege and ignorance (his work is mainly theoretical and unbuilt) to the realities of the pursuit of building architecture. Who is right? Architecture does not exist within a vacuum, there are rules to abide by and parties to appease. Does this remove the purity and the joy from the work?

As with any creative process that exists within the world of commerce, there is the perception of the commercial destroying the purity of the work. However, as Woods notes, the great architects are the ones who recognize their position, navigate the commercial and ultimately build what they desire to build. Ultimately, we as architects have the power to mandate theory as an integral component of practice.

For those who say that theory is lost, it is not due to the lack of the vocal critics applauding the intricacies and influence of the work. Theory is lost by the architects who believe they are merely building buildings and not constructing ideas. I applaud all those who struggle to pursue the latter.

——

If you have thoughts of how this relates to your profession, please comment and begin a dialogue.

image: AIGA design archives

Patrice Lehocky

This isn’t typically my style (I like smaller pendants), but there is something very appealing about these necklaces by Patrice Lehocky. Each is made from recycled goods. The necklace on the left is made from a reclaimed piece of green, textured glass, and the necklace on the right is made from dish shards. Beautiful work!

Pardon My Hindi

I love this print from Pardon My Hindi, called Henna Cross. The hands are reminiscent of traditional henna designs, and I like how when the two colorways cross, the overlap looks like hands in prayer. Designed by Chiraag Bhakta, the print is 16″ x 22″ and is hand screened on archival paper. Only 50 prints were made, so get it quick (I just bought mine)!

Via Unworn Studio.

plusminuszero

plusminuszero is a Japanese company headed by designer Naoto Fukasawa. The website description of the company really sums up the work:

It means neither plus nor minus;
it is necessity and sufficiency;
it is something you have never seen but somehow feel at home with;
it is a shape that is very normal yet fascinating;
It is the moment you realize, for the first time, that this is exactly what you have wanted.

The objects above are from plusminuszero’s new collection: Coffee and Tea Maker, Toaster, Sliced Bread Dish, and Humidifier Ver.3.

Katja Bremkamp

Katja Bremkamp makes some lovely cutlery. Each piece is minimal, with the slightest manipulations indicating the function of each piece. I’m a little skeptical about the functionality of the silverware (could I actually eat with that spoon and knife?), but I love how each piece is more or less bent metal.

Coe and Waito

Coe and Waito have a new line of porcelain bottles out, inspired by treasures dug out of the ground as children. The bottles are complete with platinum decals of the insects, dirt and leaves dug up with them. Hello, beautiful!

Afroditi Krassa

There’s not a lot of text (read: none!) on Afroditi Krassa’s website, which leaves me to my own devices and wanting more information. Her products are sassy and beautiful. I would love to hang one of her “Bright Lights” (top) in my living room…

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