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Design on the Web

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Around the Web This Week

Becky

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Hey all! Has this been the world’s longest week or what? I am so excited that it’s finally Friday! There haven’t been many minutes to spare for web surfing (do people still say that, or is it totally 1995?), but we’ve been having fun playing around with our formerly semi-dormant Pinterest account.

1. Pinteresting. If I dive into Jonathan Boivin’s pins, I may never get another post written, so I’m just dipping in a toe. If your eyes need to rest on a lot of cool stuff, check out his Architecture Board. I love a house perched in the woods, especially photographed in snow. Thanks for leading us to the Delta Shelter by Olson Kundig Architects Jonathan!

2. More ethereal architecture. Jonathan’s pins led me over to Gis Van Vaerenbergh’s site, which led me to this amazing project, Reading Between the Lines. A vernacular church reimagined in the landscape, rendered in concrete and steel:

photo by Filip Dujardin

3. Art Basel and shoes. Alright, going in a vastly different direction, I was catching up on a little Neiman Marcus blog action and came across these handpainted Charlotte Olympia Lichtenstein-inspired shoes. In honor of all the Art Basel festivities, Ms. Olympia will be in the Bal Harbour Neiman’s store December 4, hand-painting her Dolly platform pump in the shoe salon. There’s some private event buying and pre-ordering involved. While I wouldn’t dare teeter around on such a platform, I’d put them in a lucite box and admire them:

image via NMDaily

Speaking of Art Basel, I’m in love with this piece, from Spain’s galería elba benítez:

image from Art Basel via galería elba benítez

4. Christmas tunes. What else is going on this week besides trying to avoid bad holiday music? My favorite Christmas song will always be Joan Jett’s version of Little Drummer Boy, with Christmas In Hollis by Run-DMC running a close second, which can be found on the first A Very Special Christmas album with the awesome cover art by the late Keith Haring.

For an entire album that makes for some nice tree-trimming background music, you really can’t go wrong with A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

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Friday, September 7th, 2012

Around the Web This Week

Becky

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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.

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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

What Will Be the Next Guerrilla Movement?

Becky

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Writing about knit bombers the other day got me thinking about the quality-of-life improving guerrillas we have out there today. How did it begin? First there was Sun Tzu and his book that vengeful, calculating or just plain macho dudes in movies like to quote, The Art of War. He advocated the use of guerrilla tactics:

Unfortunately between Sun Tzu’s time and the present, most references to guerrilla tactics are in relation to violence and war. Thankfully, some passionate people have found more positive uses for guerrilla tactics today. Here’s a look at a few:

image from Socal Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening. The first time I heard about a new style of urban guerrillas, it was guerrilla gardeners. When the movement started gaining momentum about 7 years ago, these garden warriors did their dirty work under the dark of night, sometimes donning vests that made them look like municipal workers. Now the movement has become so widespread that these guerrillas are pretty comfortable filling yucky abandoned urban patches with flora in the middle of the day.

Next there were knit bombers, which we covered last week.

image/idea/carrying out of idea by John Locke

In the past year, we have had guerrilla … librarians? If the word guerrilla conjures up Sandinistas, this sounds like an oxymoron. However, these book sharers are lending out books everywhere from New York City phone booths to right next to their own mailboxes in the suburbs. This project may make those who are glued to their smartphones look up and engage with an actual book. It’s also a great use of phone booths, which are well on their way to becoming non-functioning ugly urban sculptures, thanks to the aforementioned smartphones.

If you’re interested in your own little library, you can learn more and order one at LittleFreeLibrary.com.

Now, for my question – what do you think the next guerrilla movement will be? Are you heading one up? Noticed one growing? Let us know in the Comments Section!

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Homeowners’ Association: Yea or Nay?

Becky

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So, I think this is a love it or hate it kind of thing. I’m talkin’ ’bout homeowner’s associations. Seems like it could be a blues song. Or perhaps a blessing? Depends on your opinion, and lord knows, when it comes to H.O.A.s, it’s all a matter of something for everyone. One thing I’ll say, just like at every communal apartment pool, there’s always a Nazi within diving distance, micro-managing how many friends people have brought and who may have slipped some vodka into their lemonade.

I got thinking about this subject thanks to one of my very favorite websites in the whole wide world, Passive-Aggressive Notes:

This made me laugh so hard that I’d think about painting my fence like this even if there was no Bob! I also love that you can see the photog in the rearview mirror!

I started poking around and found that Gawker has assembled an awesomely horrific collection of Homeowners’ Association nightmare stories. They include fines imposed for hanging a very “divisive” Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace sign, servicemen having their homes taken away while they are off fighting wars, being told they are not allowed to be greener and hang their clothes on a clothesline or (shudder) install solar panels, insisting that everyone buy and install the same mailbox, and banning subversive activities like playing outside or putting up a frog statue.

Do you live with an HOA? How do you feel about it? Have you ever had any run-ins with a president with a bad case of OCD who is drunk on power? Or do you prefer the uniform aesthetics the organization promotes? Tell us about it in the comments section!

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Tocky and Clocky Hit the Big Time

Becky

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Well, the crazy clever alarm clocks by Nanda Home landed on the front page of The New York Times Home section today. If you’re like Whitney on A Different World and need to hire Dwayne Wayne and Ron’s SHAKE ME WAKE ME morning business to get you out of bed (I miss that show), Tocky and brother Clocky will literally drive you so nuts you have to get up.  Here’s what writer Farhod Monjoo had to say after reviewing several aggressive alarm clocks:

The most straightforward gadget I tested was Clocky. Invented in 2005 by an M.I.T. graduate student, Gauri Nanda, Clocky is an alarm clock on wheels. When it’s the hour to rise, the $39 timepiece emits a cute bubbly animal sound, rolls off your night stand and trundles around your bedroom in the manner of a headless chicken. This behavior is quite adorable when you test the clock during the day. First thing in the morning, it’s not so endearing.


Tocky, Clocky’s bubble-shape successor, has the same problem. It’s better looking than Clocky, and it can play MP3s in addition to sounding alarms. But at $60 [note, we sell them for $58], Tocky is more expensive than Clocky, and just as infuriating. In fact, that’s the point — your rage at springing out of bed to catch the blasted clock is supposed to invigorate you. But is that the best way to start the day? I’m sure that the cliché that couples aren’t supposed to go to bed angry applies to waking, too.

While the author isn’t so sure waking up annoyed and enraged at one’s clock, he acknowledges their effectiveness! And seriously, unless you’re Cinderella with a bunch of birds and mice getting you ready in the morning while you chirp out a happy song, who doesn’t wake up annoyed and enraged at having to get up early?  The point is that you’re up, right?

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