Hey All! Where have you been whiling away your break time on the web this week? I can’t stop with the Street Art Utopia. Each one delights more than the last. However this week, this leaning tower of a concrete post made me smile the most:
I love it when a public works building gets turned into some sort of kick-butt residence, and water towers always seem to be the coolest ones; maybe because of their big old curves, uncommon in most residential architecture. This tour over at FreshHome takes us through a Belgian water tower converted by BAHM Design Studio.
I enjoyed seeing the kitchens that Dwell magazine dubbed their coolest ones from their archives. I love some of the ones like you see below, I imagined Unhappy Hipster captions for others. Either way, it’s a fun slideshow!
This guy, Andrew, the latest addition through the revolving door that is Jeff Lewis’s team on Flipping Out, cracked me up. Apparently he has a trust fund that only kicks in when he has a full time job, so he is a nervous wreck he’ll lose the most ridiculous job on earth. Jeff always sheds an employee or three each season, so the poor guy should be nervous.
Finally, I swear, Passive-Aggressive Notes is still one of the most genius sites I’ve read. What better passive-aggressive way is there to get back at a crazy note-leaver than to submit it to the site? This one about the deck blew my mind; it brings up the very serious issue of deck envy. If I received it, I think I’d have to move knowing I lived close to such a nut job.
Oh lord, is saying “bomb” on the internet anything like it is at the airport? I hope not! So inspired by, of all things, the Design Public newsletter’s mention of Debra Folz Designs’s pieces, I set off on a journey to find some cool knit bombs.
What is knit bombing? It’s also called yarn bombing and crochet bombing, and it involves urban guerillas armed with knitting needles, who wrap objects like trees, stop signs, fences, parking meters, park benches and other street and park furniture in (usually) very bright-colored yarn. This phenomenon has been gaining in popularity and spreading from city to city all around the world for several years now.
Fun mixes of patterns and colors enliven these mundane objects, making us take a second and third glance at ordinary things we usually pass by without noticing every day. It’s a more textured and temporary form of graffiti.
I swiped all of these images from Pinterest, which can make it difficult to track down original sources, so if you know any of them, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll fill them in! I do know that if there is a good knit bomb image out there, it’s likely been celebrated on and perhaps originally designed by Knitta. Knitta, founded by Magda Sayeg, is in great part responsible for this international craze.
While we haven’t heard of any of these brave guerillas with the mad granny skills have not yet been arrested, their work is not always legal. In the case of this stop sign flower, they could not survive traffic laws. This project by knitting guy welcomed spring but according to his last post the city was going to have to remove them:
Finally, here is a knit bomb worthy of Comic-con, a charming litle R2D2 bollard:
This is such a fun trend to follow. Let us know if you’ve knit bombed anything.
A bit over a year ago, I graduated from the Furniture Design program at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate NY. This program had a huge influence on the way I approach my business. It focuses very heavily on design, prototypes, finished objects and craftsmanship. All of my work starts out with my hands physically making the first product … even if it eventually gets subbed out a larger manufacturer.
Your background includes furniture making as well as exhibition design and displays. How did that experience lead you to the design of your plant pod? The product shots look like mini-exhibitions to me!
Hahaha, yes, yes that is very intentional. While in school I worked with a local art gallery. After seeing how perfect (and white) the walls had to be to display the work, I realized that I wanted my work to be clearly represented in its purest form. I respect seeing products in their environments – it allows people to see the product’s potential in their own homes. But I also have faith in the beauty of an object standing alone.
As for making my way to this design, In school I designed a lot of objects that were very laborious; objects that would have to be sold to a certain class of citizens. Switching the approach to designing a product that could reach other classes, I wanted to come up with something that was small for the ease of shipment and used cheap materials. Something that could take advantage of new, efficiency-driven technologies. Also, to design something that would fit into homes of various styles. These factors just led me to create the Plant Pods … and I think I satisfied all of the above-mentioned factors.
Domenic Fiorello Plant Pod, made from White Oak; has keyhole hangers with screws and template for ease of installation
Where do you look for inspiration?
I look to fine art a lot. I am a huge fan of Sol LeWitt and Mark Rothko. I’m not going to try to define mid-century fine art, but these guys, in my mind, draw from using simple forms and compositions, but through subtlety, there is always a surreal “wow” effect.
Subtlety is very important in my work. I also look to mid-century Scandinavian design as well. I’m in awe every time I see a collection of Hans Wegner chairs.
Wegner dining chairs; image from Vintage & Modern
Do you get creative blocks? How do you un-block?
My creative blocks always tend to happen while in the drawing phase of a design. I will start making models, anything to get my hands involved. It becomes a different way of thinking. Seeing an idea in 3 dimensions really opens the doors as well. Another thing I do is call up a few other designer/maker friends. We’ll get together drink a beer and just start talking about ideas. 3 heads are always better than one.
What else are you working on?
This is a new piece I recently finished, the KF table. The KF Table is a result of my studies in the visual texture of fabric. In recent years my work has been influenced by layering two-dimensional patterns over three-dimensional forms. To further push this idea I was curious to see if I could achieve a fabric-like look. Ultimately, the goal was not to mimic herringbone fabric, but to play off the qualities of the fabric.
This piece is more of an experimentation of pattern study than a product that will hit the market. I soon hope to push the textural idea into something more producible though.
We can’t wait to see what else Domenic comes up with; for now, we’ll enjoy the beautiful Plant Pod perches he’s created for our succulents. Order one for yourself here.
… So right now … Art Trucks!
I’m rather in awe that this hit my radar via Town & Country, which I started to receive for free for no reason. While I’m more of a Garden & Gun kinda gal, the issue with Gretchen Mol on the covers was quite wonderful, and I especially love the way they shot her at the newly-renovated Lautner Hotel in Desert Springs California.
I digress. Art trucks are genius. I mean, I just hit a neighborhood festival last weekend where all of these artists have to schlep their lovely wares for miles only to have to set up a tent on a sweltering day and set everything up on a hot day. Why not use a decommissioned short bus, an airstream, an RV or an old Wonder Bread truck?
That’s exactly was artists Matthew Chase-Daniels and Jerry Wellman have done in their home town of Santa Fe. Here’s how they describe their endeavor:
Housed in the back of a custom retrofitted 1970 aluminum stepvan, Axle Contemporary is an art gallery on wheels. We host installations, performance, and thematic group exhibitions of works on paper, including photography, drawing, painting, and limited edition prints. Our mobility allows us to visit both typical art venues and unusual ones, such as high schools, festivals, workshops, empty lots, and city streets.
This is one of the most fun ideas I’ve heard in awhile. I love the thought that it could pull up to a school like the old Bookmobile and let kids see an art show; it’s certainly easier than bussing them all to the museum and getting those pesky permission slips signed. Anywhere a Fry Guy truck could pull up, some culture could be added without creating competition. I wonder what other kinds of trucks we should be coming up with? Maybe we need a roving Design Public Airstream outfitted with killer furniture and accessories we could tempt you with? What would you put in a truck and take to the mall parking lots and street festivals? Let us know in the comments section!
Images swiped from Axle Contemporary