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Open offices are overrated - YouTube
"Open offices have been around a surprisingly long time. But they're relatively misunderstood for their role in workplace culture. Where did open offices and cubicles come from, and are they really what we want?

This episode of Overrated explores the history, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman Miller, and other key figures in the office design movement. Our workplaces haven't always been this way — this is how we got here."
openoffices  offices  architecture  interiors  design  2017  productivity  interaction  openness  franklloydwright  hermanmiller  furniture 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The origin of the '80s aesthetic - YouTube
"Memphis Design movement dominated the '80s with their crazy patterns and vibrant colors. Many designers and architects from all around the world contributed to the movement in order to escape from the strict rules of modernism. Although their designs didn't end up in people's homes, they inspired many designers working in different mediums. After their first show in Milan in 1981, everything from fashion to music videos became influenced by their visual vocabulary."
1980s  memphisdesign  ettoresottsass  1981  glennadamson  georgesowdenpetershire  michaelgraves  design  furniture  architecture  graphicdesign  graphics  radicaldesign  radicalism  milan  mtv  1987 
august 2017 by robertogreco
How Will You Redesign Your School Over The Next Six Months?
"I was talking with architects from the AIA’s Committee for Architecture for Education last week, discussing — along with my superintendent — our school system philosophy of the intersection of space design, technology, and pedagogy. And at the end Karina Ruiz — a West Coast school designer — asked,
“But what if educators don’t have a building project right now?”

And I paused. We had been talking about our journey from opening up a few walls to building truly flexible spaces, from offering kids seating and writing choices to a move toward eliminating single-teacher classrooms, but our presentation was, indeed, geared toward building.

“Everybody always has a building project,” I finally said.

Because every school should be changing all the time. And should be changing with a purpose — moving from adult centered teaching spaces to child centered learning spaces — moving from static environments to flexible environments — moving from controlling design to inspiring design.

Every school needs a building project every year, because you don’t need contractors and bulldozers to change a school environment — you just need commitment.

So if you can’t do the expensive stuff — you can still do the effective stuff. So here are four things you can do to change your school’s space.

One: Give your kids the gift of daylight.

Walk into many classrooms and you’ll see the windowsills piled high with stuff — often adult stuff. You also may see shades or blinds pulled down.

Well, in order to maintain healthy attention kids need three things that are often in short supply in schools — fresh air, large muscle movement, and daylight. One of the easiest to fix, in many schools, is daylight.

Open those blinds and shades. If it’s not a lockdown or the sun blazing in full bore, open them and keep them open. Limit anything on the windows that obstructs the view — kids benefit from being able to see where they are on the earth.

Now clear off those windowsills. That’s not a storage spot — it’s a prime place for children. Make it easy to sit there, make it comfortable.

If you just do this in every classroom you will have rebuilt your school. Attention will go up, discipline problems will go down. Guaranteed.

Two: Get rid of teacher desks.

Or at least dramatically shrink the space teachers claim for themselves.

Listen — when I observe a classroom I really don’t look at the teacher, I watch kids, listen to kids, look for the variety of what kids are doing and how they are doing it — but — an opening ‘fail’ is walking into any classroom and seeing a teacher sitting at their teacher desk. Why would any teacher separate themselves from their students like that?

The teacher’s desk is an ugly remnant of a time when uninvolved teachers led ineffective classes, they really need to vanish. But if they cannot vanish completely, they need to become small spots used for effective one-on-one or one-on-two conversations. Storage can be in one modest-size cabinet against a wall.

If you want to increase learning space, you get rid of space used for — well, something else.

Walking a middle school a year ago with the principal we came across one classroom where the teacher had built — essentially — a tiny house, and a tiny house blocking student access to half of the room’s windows. Looking at the ceiling grid I noted that this teacher had carved out an 8x16–128 square foot living room. There was a presidential-size desk, a pseudo oriental rug, book cases, a coffee maker, and all kinds of personal images: 16% of the classroom space was walled off from kids.


That’s extreme but it’s not that unusual, and it needs to stop. Classrooms belong to children.

So get rid of teacher desks. Or at least shrink them and push them completely away from the windows. In every classroom.

Your school will see it’s learning space increase by 10%.

Three: Keep all of your classroom doors open.

Easy, right? No cost, no moving anything. But transformational.

The most obvious way to build transparency and openness into your educational environment is to open classroom doors and create the notion of ‘the commons.’ Opening doors will make your school noisier and more active. It will convert corridors from waste space to instructional space. It will allow kids who need a different kind of space to have it and yet — remain supervised.

Obviously it will do something else. The talk we gave to the architects was titled “Space that forces change — Change that forces space.” Opening doors will make your teachers change what they do. Noisier environments mean that teacher voice must change. You can’t really yell over it, you have to talk under it, and thus move away from mass instruction.

It does one more key thing — it reveals great teaching and encourages teachers who struggle to collaborate with those great teachers.

So make this an absolute rule: classroom doors stay open.

Four: Let kids sit where they want, if they want.

We have this saying, “a kid can’t walk into any classroom, kindergarten through 12th grade, and choose where, how, or if to sit — we aren’t teaching them to make decisions, which means we aren’t teaching them very much at all.”

This is important. The act of controlling seating, like the act of controlling toilet use, or food and drink, is an act which shatters the possibility of real trust between teachers and children. It’s an act which prevents children from learning how to define their own work environment (If you’d like — it’s an act that leads directly to failure in the first year of college.) It’s also an act which makes the classroom a fight, for you have created rules that work against child learning and a rule that makes no sense to kids.

So stop doing it. Eliminate the rule across the school. Focus on comfort and good choices instead of compliance. Use phrases like, “wouldn’t you be more comfortable standing up? [lying down? by the window? sitting in the hall?]” Or even, “is that space working for you?”

Another guarantee — the entire mood of your school will change.

There. Four ‘quick fixes.’ Quick but not easy. Instead of sledge hammers you’ll need full admin support and peer pressure. You’ll want to document and talk about the changes. You’ll need to see where the design needs tweaking. And most of all, you’ll need patience.

Rebuilding a school creates mess at first. Your kids will need time to learn new patterns — and learn how to make good choices. That’s why these are six month construction projects. Three months to plan and get consensus. Three more to make it work."
irasocol  2017  schools  education  change  adaptability  flexibility  schooldesign  sfsh  furniture  doors  desks  light  seating 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Anybody want to live rent-free in a house in a Japanese beach town for two years? | RocketNews24
[images throughout]

"Non-Japanese applicants also being accepted for unique housing program from interior goods brand Mujirushi.

It’s hard to find a much classier town in Japan than Kamakura. Located on the coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, the city is most famous for its Great Buddha statue, seen in countless travel and cultural guidebooks, but that’s only the most well-known of the many historically significant sites in temple– and shrine-studded Kamakura. The close proximity of the mountains and the sea make the town a great place for nature lovers, yet it’s still less than a half-hour by train from cosmopolitan Yokohama, and even Tokyo is under 45 minutes away.

But perhaps the greatest thing about Kamakura is that, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen by interior goods company Mujirushi Ryohin (also known as Muji), you could live there for free.

Mujirushi already sells a wide variety of houseware and appliances, and in recent years it’s dabbled in housing, with its Mado no Ie, or “Window House,” residences that make the use of natural light a major design theme. The company will soon be building a new Window House (similar to the one shown in the video below) in Kamakura, and is looking for someone to live in it.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yir1xX8djb4 ]

You’ll notice we didn’t say “someone to buy” or “someone to rent” it. That’s because the selected applicant will be living in the home for free for two years. You’ll still have to pay for your own utilities and groceries, but you won’t need to give Mujirushi a single yen for use of the house itself.

While the exact floorplan is yet to be finalized, many of the other details are already set. The wood-frame detached home will be two stories tall and have at least 80 square meters (861 square feet) of total floor space. It will be located roughly 15 minutes on foot from Kamakura Station, and include a garden and parking space. Oh, and of course it comes fully furnished with understatedly stylish Mujirushi-brand furniture and appliances.

In exchange for living rent-free, the home’s occupants will be asked to participate in photo shoots, presentations, and feedback programs regarding the project. Mujirushi offers its assurances, however, that the residents’ privacy will be respected, and that no hidden cameras or other monitoring devices of that ilk will be placed in the home.

Mujirushi is also being extremely inclusive regarding who can apply for the home. Families or singles are welcome to throw their hats in the ring, as are groups of friends wanting to live together and pet owners. The company has also stated that non-Japanese applicants are also welcome, although they will need to be proficient in the Japanese language.

Applications can be made here between now and August 31, with the successful candidates moving into their Kamakura home next March."
muji  homes  japan  2016  furniture  housing  mujirushi  kamakura  kanagawa 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Field Experiments
"Field Experiments is a nomadic design collective that explores traditional crafts by engaging in collaborative making with local craftspeople in diverse regions around the world. Underpinned by cross-cultural exchange, we produce projects, products and ideas across multiple formats including furniture, clothing, video works, publications, exhibitions, interiors, installation and printed materials."



"Field Experiments is Benjamin Harrison Bryant, Karim Charlebois-Zariffa and Paul Marcus Fuog. Under the collective Field Experiments they create their own exploratory work and are commissioned by others to create new projects and collaborative product ranges.

Field Experiments was established in 2013. Outcomes from FE: Indonesia have been shown at Ventura Lambrate (ITA), Sight Unseen OFFSITE (USA) and DesignEx (AUS) in 2014. Field Experiments gives presentations and conducts workshops to share learnings on exploratory modes for experimental research. Past presentations / workshops include: Semi-Permanent (NZ), Monash University Art Design and Architecture (AUS) Design As Activity (AUS)."
benjaminharrisonbryant  paulmarcusfuog  karimcharlebois-zariffa  design  indonesia  clothing  furniture  art  video  making  collaboratives  craft  crafts  cocreation 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Pragmatic Shopping — Medium
"I resented shopping until I got good at it. I got good at it by overthinking it. This is the story of how that happened and what I learned from it."
dianakimball  shopping  furniture  home  clothing  2016  howto  advice 
june 2016 by robertogreco
What do elephants and Eames chairs have in common?: Design Observer
"I would love to get more nominations for charismatic megafauna from any design field. What object appears in every design museum exhibition? What building image always illustrates an architect's career? Which graphic stands for all of Russian Constructivism, over and over again? And how, having identified these beasts, can we expand the pool of imagery in order to expand the parameters of discussion. How can we allow the public to see design as part of a complex environment rather than a string of greatest hits?"
2012  alexandralange  eames  rayeames  charleseames  design  furniture  history 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Here's Why Ikea Is Discontinuing Everyone's Favorite Shelf
"Expedit, we hardly knew ye. Ikea recently announced that the popular shelving system is not long for this world, and the internet responded with rage. But there's a really good reason for Ikea to get rid of Expedit. And in fact, it's not really going away at all.

Ikea says it's replacing Expedit with a new line of shelving, called Kallax, beginning in April. The furor over the decision has been swift—especially from vinyl collectors, amongst whom Expedit is something of a cult item. In fact, there's even a 20,000-person strong Facebook page devoted to saving the easily-stackable shelves.

But chew on this: Ikea uses a whopping one percent of the world's wood supply. That's 17.8 million cubic yards of wood. Much of that goes into making the veneer you find on many of Ikea's most popular products, including Expedit.

Now, let's look at Kallax. Ikea reports that the internal dimensions of the system are exactly the same as Expedit—so Kallax will still fit your vinyl collection just fine. So what's changing? The thickness of the wide outer edge that makes Expedit so distinctive. It seems like a minuscule change to us, but it's not. Sales numbers for Expedit aren't public, but we know that Ikea sells some 41 million similar Billy bookcases a year.

If Ikea can cut even a centimeter of wood on each of those products, it will save massively on material costs. It's also going to help them make good on their claim of sustainability. Right now, 25 percent of Ikea wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (though, as one commenter points out, the certification was recently thrown into question). Last year, they pledged to increase that number to 50 percent within five years. And when you're selling hundreds of millions of products a year, even the smallest savings count.

So this decision probably has nothing to do with design, and not much to do with stirring up excitement—though that doesn't hurt—either. It's just good business at a truly massive scale. So mourn for Expedit—but remember that it's being replaced by basically the same thing, and it's coming from a more sustainable company.

Still, it's sad to see Expedit proper go. As the proud owner of one unit, it's by far the most photogenic shelf I've ever owned (see below). Drop your own images in the comments—who knows, maybe Ikea will change its mind.

Update: Ikea has released images of Kallax, and it looks pretty damn nice. The company also comments that the surface will be more scratch-resistant and more child-friendly, thanks to a slight corner bevel. Crucially, Kallax is described as "a new name" for Expedit"
okea  kallax  expedit  wood  furniture  2014 
june 2016 by robertogreco
From park bench to lab bench - What kind of future are we designing? | Ruha Benjamin | TEDxBaltimore - YouTube
"From Park Bench to Lab Bench: What kind of future are we designing? - Ruha challenges biases inherent to modern scientific research.

Ruha is on the faculty at Princeton University. Her work examines the relationship between innovation & equity, science & citizenship, health & justice."
ruhabenjamin  design  equity  innovation  citizenship  civics  justice  socialjustice  society  2015  discrimination  hostility  benches  furniture  publicspace  privatization  urbanism  urban  discriminatorydesign  housing  publicsafety  education  policy  politics  loitering  homelessness  henriettalacks 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Scandi Crush Saga - Curbed
"Scandinavia’s focus on the home and family, assertions of democratic principles, and emphasis on traditional craftsmanship fit in well with consumerist ideals of the postwar period. Gordon, a staunch critic of the radical direction American modernism was taking, published a series of articles lashing out against the International Style—another name for the modernist architecture and design that emerged out of Europe in the 30s—which she referred to as "totalitarian," and those responsible for it as "dictators in matters of taste." Such sentiment played on Cold War era politics of the period."



"Today, Scandinavian design is once again riding a wave of success that many say stems from a wider fascination with Nordic countries. Kjetil Fallan, professor of design history at the University of Oslo, attributes the present popularity to the greater visibility of the Nordic lands during the period after the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

"When a lot of large stable economies like the U.S. were having major problems, they discovered small Nordic countries were hardly affected by it at all," said Fallan, barring Iceland, of course. He cites a renewed interest in what is commonly referred to as the Nordic model in governance and society, which is typically categorized by a strong welfare state and an emphasis on individual autonomy. Just in the past year, Sweden’s flirtation with six-hour workdays and Finland’s planned experiment with universal basic income have grabbed headlines, further piquing the world’s curiosity. Such publicity may have had trickledown effects on the design field. "There is a tendency," Fallan says, "to equate Scandinavian design as a reflection of Scandinavian society."

Nordic arts and culture, too, have become increasingly popular abroad. "I think it started with a mix of different furniture, interiors, food, music, and film," says Poul Madsen, co-founder of Normann Copenhagen, a Danish interior design brand. "Danes were announced as the happiest people in [the] world a couple of years ago and even Oprah was talking about it," he added. "Suddenly, everything we did in Scandinavia really echoed." Indeed, increased media coverage, the popularity of Danish TV in the UK, and Copenhagen’s cache of Michelin-starred eateries, like world favorite Noma, have been rolled into what Madsen describes as "one big mass of Nordic living."

Even 2009—a shaky year for consumerism in the West—was a success for the firm. Normann Copenhagen’s New Danish Modern furniture series designed and produced within Denmark included Jesper K. Thomsen’s molded beech wood Camping set, which was awarded the Good Design award by the Chicago Athaeneum later that year.

Since then, business has been booming. The company, which sells to 82 countries, has seen export markets up 45 to 50 percent per year for the past two years, although Madsen admits that their pieces are still most successful within Denmark."
design  furniture  architecture  history  materials  scandinavia  sweden  denmark  finland  norway  iceland  nordic  arnejacobsen  eeroarnio  alvaalto  pouladsen  normanncopenhagen  jesperthompsen  kristianbyrge  muuto  peterbonnén  kjetilfallan  nadialassen  olewanscher  hansbretton-meyer  iittala  kajfranck  artek  oliviaöberg  tappiowirkkala  mariannegoebl 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Rule of Three and other ideas
"and other handy thoughts: so many folks have asked me for a "quick start" set of rules for the design of 3rd Millennium learning spaces...
... this Rule of Three section and some of the other ideas here (see top of this page), have all been well received in conferences, seminars and most importantly adopted / shared with success by practitioners. These are proven, working ideas, so I thought it was time to park some of them on a web page:

***

rule of three - physical

I guess rule one is really that there is no absolutely right way to make learning better - schools are all different, their communities, contexts vary and as I have often observed on a windy day they become different places again. So you build your local recipe for great learning from the trusted and tested ingredients of others, adding a bit of local flair too. But this rule of three helps:

one: never more than three walls

two: no fewer than three points of focus

three: always able to accommodate at least three teachers, three activities (for the larger spaces three full "classes" too)

make no mistake - this is not a plea for those ghastly open plan spaces of the 1960s with their thermoplastic floors under high alumina concrete beams - with the consequent cacophony that deafened their teachers. Today's third millennium learning spaces are multi-faceted, agile (and thus easily re-configured by users as they use them), but allow all effective teaching and learning approaches, now and in the future, to be incorporated: collaborative work, mentoring, one-on-one, quiet reading, presentation, large group team taught groups... and more.

***

rule of three - pedagogic

one: ask three then me

A simple way to encourage peer support, especially in a larger mixed age, stage not age space, but it even works fine in a small 'traditional" closed single class classroom. Put simply the students should ask 3 of their peers before approaching the teacher for help. I've watched, amused in classes where a student approaches the teacher who simply holds up 3 fingers, with a quizzical expression and the student paused, turned and looked for help for her peers first. Works on so many levels...

two: three heads are better than one

Everyone engaging in team teaching reports that, once you get over the trust-wall of being confident that your colleagues will do their bit (see Superclasses) the experience of working with others, the professional gains, and the reduction in workloads are real and worthwhile. You really do learn rapidly from other teachers, the children's behaviour defaults to the expectations of the teacher in the room with the highest expectations, and so on. Remarkably schools especially report on the rapid progress of newly qualified teachers who move forward so quickly that people forget they are still NQTs. And older teachers at career end become rejuvenated by a heady mix of new ideas and of self esteem as they see that their "teaching craft" skills are valued and valuable.

three: three periods a day or fewer

Particularly in 2ndary schools a fragmented timetable of 5 or 6 lessons a day wastes so much time stopping and starting. Children arrive and spend, say, 3 minutes getting unpacked, briefed and started, then end 2 minutes before the "bell" and have 5 minutes travelling time between classes. On a 5 period day that is (3+2+5) x 5 = 50 minutes "lost" each day, 50 x 5 = 250 lost each week, which is effectively throwing away a day a week. Longer blocks, immersion can be solid blocks of a day of more, some schools even adopt a week, gets students truly engaged - and serves as a clear barrier to Dick Turpin teaching ("Stand and Deliver!") - which simply cannot be sustained for long blocks of time - thank goodness. This doesn't mean that the occasional "rapid fire" day (a bit like pedagogic Speed Dating!) can't be used to add variety. But longer blocks of time work better mainly.

***

rule of three - BYOD / UMOD

some schools adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), or more recently Use My Own Device (UMOD - somehow, bringing them wasn't enough!) initially adopted really comprehensive "acceptable use policies" - bulging folders of policy that were neither understood nor adhered too (see for example the "sacrificial phones" mention under "What young people say" in the 2011 Nominet funded Cloudlearn research project).

Today though (2015) schools around the world, from Scandinavia to Australasia, are simpifying all this by three simple rules.

one: phones out, on the desk, screen up

Not everyone has a "desk" anymore of course, but the point here is that a device hidden under a work surface is more likely to be a problem than one on the worksurface, screen up. This makes it quick and easy to use, where appropriate, and simple to monitor by teachers or peers.

two: if you bring it, be prepared to share sometimes

This is more complex that it looks. Obviously handing your phone or tablet over to just anyone isn't going to happen, but the expectation that friends, or project collaborators, might simply pick up "your" device and chat to Siri, Google for resources, or whatever, means that bullying, inappropriate texts / images, or general misdemeanours are always likely to be discovered. Transparency is your friend here, secrecy masks mischief - and the expectation of occasional sharing is transparency enough. It also helps students develop simply safety / security habits - like logging out of social media to prevent Frapping or similar.

three: if you bring it, the school might notice and respond positively

If you've brought your own device along, the least you might expect is that the school gives you useful things to do, that you could not otherwise do, or couldn't do so well, without that device.

This requires a bit of imagination all round! A simple example would be the many schools that now do outdoor maths project tasks using the devices GPS trace capability (the device is sealed in a box during the excercise) like the children below tasked with drawing a Christmas tree on the park next to their school: estimating skills, geometry, measurement, scale, collaboration.... and really jolly hard to do with a pencil!

[image of a GPS traced tree]

***

knowing the 3rd millennium ABCs

A

ambition: how good might your children be?

agility: how quickly can we reconfigure to catch the wave - at a moment, only over a year, or at best across a generation?

astonishment: we want people to be astonished by what these children, and teachers, might achieve - how do we showcase this? how do we respond to it ourselves?

B

brave: what are others doing, what tested ideas can we borrow, how can we feed our own ideas to others? Brave is not foolhardy or reckless!

breadth: learning reaches out to who? embraces what? what support do you give for your school's grandparents for example?

blockers: you will need help with beating the blockers - if you run at the front, you need resources that win arguments: what is the evidence that...? why doesn't everyone do this...? where can I see it in action...? why should I change, ever...? all this exists of course (see top of page for example), but you need to organise it and be ready with it. A direct example is this workshop manual we developed for the new science spaces at Perth's Wesley College in Australia.

C

collegiality: that sense of belonging, of us-ness, sense of family, sharing, co-exploring, research. Also a sense of us (the team working on this innovation) being learners too - and able to show that we are trying cool stuff too - you won't win hearts and minds by saying but not doing;

communication: how does a learning space / building communicate what happens within? and this is about symmetry: how does the school listen to what happens outside school? how do we share and exchange all this with others?

collaboration: we don't want to be told, but we want to do this with others. How do we share what we learn as we do it? Who do we share with? How do we learn from them?"
tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  edtech  technology  schooldesign  stephenheppell  via:sebastienmarion  pedagogy  howweteach  howwelearn  education  teaching  learning  schools  collaboration  byod  umod  sharing  ambition  agility  astonishment  bravery  breadth  blockers  collegiality  communication  simplicity  mobile  phones  desks  furniture  computers  laptops  etiquette  conviviality  scheduling  teams  interdependence  canon  sfsh 
march 2016 by robertogreco
crap futures — counter-constraints
"In recent posts, starting with ‘how the future happens’, we have been exploring the factors that keep us to established paths or limit the potential for preferable futures. But as we aim in this blog (and in life generally) to go beyond mere critique, the next batch of posts will outline the concept of counter-constraints.

Counter-constraints take the identified constraining factors and invert, work around, or ignore them entirely to propose fresh perspectives and possibilities. The resulting new ways of thinking about technological futures may be more inclusive, imaginative, socially-orientated, non-corporate, or they might simply facilitate a more meaningful relationship between science and society.

For example, open-source everything can be seen as a series of counter-constraints to restrictive infrastructure such as copyright laws, gated knowledge systems, and complex production lines. Back in the 1970s, Italian designer Enzo Mari sought to democratize furniture construction with autoprogettazione?, a DIY approach to ‘making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails’. Mari wrote:

In my job as designer, or rather as an intellectual who contradicts the actual state of things, I try within the network of commissions and projects to ‘smuggle in’ moments of research and ways of creating the stimulus to free oneself from ideological conditioning, standard norms, behaviour and taste.
The book is full of beautiful stuff - we’ve already made two ping-pong tables and a couple of chairs from his instructions. Taking Mari’s lead, it is possible for anyone - without sophisticated tools or machinery - to sidestep the usual trip to Ikea.

Well, almost anyone - you still need basic building skills. The Enzo Mari example also relates to another constraint we’ve discussed, that of education. We’ve used his book to teach students the kinds of skills that are becoming rarer these days thanks to over-digitalisation, the consequential focus on 3D printing and laser-cutting, and the rapid shift toward sealed-box design.

Time for coffee and toast. In our next post we’ll look at how to ‘counter-constrain’ progress dogma.

note: apologies to the Mari purists. We used screws rather than nails for dismantleability."
constraints  counter-constraints  enzomari  2016  diy  furniture  autoprogettazione  inversion  futures  future  design  crapfutures  democratization  1970s  science  society  technology  knowledgesystems  perspective  possibilty 
february 2016 by robertogreco
The FNP Book Shelf | All media content | DW.COM | 10.01.2015
"In the final episode of our series on German design classics we have an item that's become more or less what you could call an icon among bookshelves. The FNP shelving unit can be assembled in a matter of minutes - and you don't need even any tools to do the job. Its commercial success was the result of a timely meeting of minds - and euromaxx has the story."
via:tealtan  shelving  furniture  design  fnp 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Co-Creating Playable Street Furniture To Bring Play + Exercise To The Sidewalk. | Public Workshop
"Client Community Design Collaborative and Get Healthy Philly
Location Philadelphia
Year 2015

In the summer of 2015, working with our clients The Community Design Collaborative and Get Healthy Philly, through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we led a participatory design-build process exploring what happens when play and exercise spill beyond a playground, becoming part of the sidewalk, neighborhood and business corridor. Public Workshop co-designed and fabricated three different scales of prototype play structures with many hundreds of youth, community members, Collaborative volunteers, Get Healthy Philly staff and others. Developed around and in conjunction with our min-park and vacant lot playground project with People’s Emergency Center, these structures—a Fort-Gym, Switchback Bench and Balance Beams—were then installed along the Lancaster Avenue business corridor. The design of the Fort-Gym additionally morphed based off of feedback and use by local residents as well as during Design Philadelphia, when all three structures were temporarily moved to Smith Memorial Playground. The responsive design-build approach to the process meant that many hundreds of people were not only exposed to and felt ownership of this innovative project, but developed new building skills as a result. Indeed, throughout the process, play and design often spilled well beyond the mini-park and onto the sidewalk and street, occasionally slowing down traffic and causing spontaneous dance parties, games and community pull-up contests. The project was truly unique in the diversity of participants who contributed to and became stakeholders in the project–ranging from seven year olds and nearby business owners to drug dealers who made sure the benches were taken care of on the struggling business corridor. In January 2016, Get Healthy Philly, working with the Community Design Collaborative and Public Workshop, surveyed Philadelphia non-profits to find a home for the second Switchback Bench while also assessing demand for playful street furniture throughout the City. To date, over 40 organizations have applied to adopt the Bench, demonstrating a much larger need. Working with our clients and community partners, we will explore how the Switchback Bench might be expanded into a micro-industry under Tiny WPA‘s Building Hero Project. In this scenario Tiny WPA and Public Workshop staff will train and pay local Building Heroes to fabricate Switchback Benches, hopefully not only meeting apparent market demand but also allowing the team to bring play and exercise to the entirety of Lancaster Avenue by building and installing them throughout. We believe this will be an important prototype process and project leading to the development of a wide variety of different types of Building Hero fabricated street furniture that invite play and exercise."
publicworkshop  furniture  playgrounds  sidewalks  play  2015  alexgilliam  tinywpa  philadelphia 
february 2016 by robertogreco
BBC - Future - Secret city design tricks manipulate your behaviour
"Hidden in our streets and buildings are "unpleasant designs" that force us to make certain choices, discovers Frank Swain. Once you know what they are, it will transform how you see your city."
architecture  design  frankswain  cities  urban  urbanism  2013  homeless  inhospitable  benches  furniture  surfaces  skating  skateboarding  skateboards 
december 2015 by robertogreco
As Gun Sales Rise, Gun-Concealing Furniture Designs Proliferate - Core77
"People cannot agree on gun control laws in America, but one point is not in doubt: Gun sales are on the rise. Following mass shootings, of which we have plenty, firearm manufacturers and retailers confirm that sales increase.
Which begs the question: Is there an attendant increase in the sales of firearm-storing furniture? When we looked at the stuff last year, it certainly seemed to be booming, and these days it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
Absent the politics, the furniture itself is fascinating as it poses a unique storage design challenge: End users want the furniture to visually conceal their goods, yet they want lightning-quick access to it. This often means that end users are seeking to integrate gun storage into some very central pieces of furniture—like dining tables:

Or coffee tables:

Or buffets:

Or the couch:

Others feel the bed is the best place for them:

I desperately want to believe this is for storing documents or cash:

For still others, the bathroom (this has got to be a gag):

Or tucked away in dummy ceiling vents:

Or under the stairs:

Or behind mirrors:

Or behind art:

In short, it seems these designers have collectively sought out every square inch of dead space and turned it into usable storage.

A lot of these ideas can, of course, be adapted to hold non-firearm-related items. So whether you're pro- or anti-gun, perhaps some of these ideas will inspire you in designing your own storage-related pieces."
guns  us  furniture  2015 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Power Positions | Dirty Furniture
"When it comes to taking a seat at the table, not all sides are created equal. Architecture and design critic Alexandra Lange considers an underexplored mechanism of control.

From 1959 architect Philip Johnson would lunch at a corner table in the Grill Room, part of the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building he designed. Contemporaries Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Dreyfuss held court at the Oak Room in New York’s Plaza Hotel. How can Johnson’s decision to make his own Oak Room be interpreted as anything other than a power play? Here everyone had to sit, literally, at his table. Clients, colleagues, supplicants, artists: on his own turf, the architect trumped them all. And the table itself laid bare an unspoken hierarchy, depending on where you sat.

All tables do: choose a seat close to or far away from the seat of power and you reveal your sense of place. Take the seat you’ve been allocated and you find out where others place you. If you don’t like your position you can move, or, if an Arthurian knight, fight. It is more subtle, though, to change the rules of engagement by changing the shape of the board."



"The Boardroom Table"



"The Kitchen Table"



"The Schoolroom Table"



"In some offices, homes and schoolrooms, the table is now in decline. Meetings today might be held in break-out areas defined by soft furniture, stadium-style steps, or even foam mountains. With low-slung sofas and side tables, such landscaped interior spaces may come closer to Saarinen’s floor-level Katsura ideal, albeit without the elaborate manners and tatami mats. In today’s suburban kitchens, meanwhile, meals are as likely eaten at the counter or on the sofa as at a table. Family dinners have become nothing but a fetish for food writers. As schools embrace technology, communal writing surfaces become less necessary – the laptop is table, pen and pad in one. In each of these new scenarios some freedoms are gained, but chances for conversation are lost. The table gives and it takes away: it can harden hierarchies but also create the space for speech.

The idea of an architect as a fixed physical presence in a city seems quaint today; one imagines them instead in transit, on the phone, or on site. I hardly want architects to return to public life patronising from the corner table, but wouldn’t there be some benefit to watching their design work at work, to staking a claim for architecture’s importance to cities through their physical presence? The history of the table proves its versatility as a symbol for how people are connected to one another. Its disappearance suggests a retreat into individual architectures for eating, working, learning that can’t bode well for diplomats, housewives, students or business."
alexandralange  tables  power  hierarchy  education  harknesstables  harkness  harknessmethod  2015  architecture  furniture  relationships  teaching  learning  pedagogy  business  boardrooms  modernmen  kitchens  families  homes  offices  officedesign  schooldesign  kingarthur 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Rewrite the Library -
"Hi! We’re OWL, the Olin Workshop on the Library. Founded in Fall 2014, we’re a research and prototyping group at Olin College of Engineering seeking to realign our library’s resources with the needs and culture of the community.

We’re working this summer to make that happen. We’re using a design/build process, meaning we’re doing a lot of thinking, learning, prototyping, building, and iterating. We’ll be documenting our process along the way and maintaining an open source mentality.

We hope to transform the Olin Library into a more empowering resource and a vibrant cultural hub for the college."
libraries  classideas  lcproject  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  mobility  adaptability  furniture  workspaces  via:ablerism  2015  olincollege  design  makerspaces 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Designing for touch, reach and movement in post-war English primary and infant schools | Catherine Burke - Academia.edu
"
Clothes quickly pile up on the desks as children busily undress for the dance lesson. The first to change are soon by the door, ready to make their way to the hall, their bare feet wriggling impatiently in their shoes for the moment when they can kick them off and spring on to the hall floor. On the way along the corridor the bodies bustle and an animated walk threatens to break into running ... Once inside the hall, a line of shoes immediately appears under chairs lined up along the wall and swift bare feet dart and prance in lively stepping and jumping. Some rush across the space exhilarated by the feel of air against their faces, some pluck their feet off the floor in hops and leaps, and others swing wide their arms in unrestrained gesture which sweeps them high onto their toes, or pulls them into an off-balance suspension that dissolves into the slack of a downwards spiral. Soon the teacher calls for the classÕs attention and the lesson begins." (McKittrick, 1972: 11)."

Introduction

In his seminal work, About Looking, John Berger (1980) succeeded in opening up new avenues of critical discussion focused on visual texts and the impact of such on their makers and audiences. Ways of Seeing reminded us that seeing comes before words and that the infant looks and recognizes before it can speak (Berger, 2008 front cover). Seeing comes before speaking, but touching is a necessary part of understanding, while movement affords freedom and enables choice. As Raymond Tallis has eloquently established, the pointing finger is a fundamental sign of the human mind in the exercise of its powers of observation and discernment (Tallis, 2010). Together, the sense of touch, the facility of reach and the act of movement imply living fully. It has been long noted that the first sense experienced by infants in exploring the world is touch (Charlton Deas 1913-26 in Grosvenor & MacNab 2013). The sense of touch has been examined by scholars in relation to a range of perspectives involving teaching and learning including object lessons (Keene 2008) and tactile engagement in the context of visual impairment (Grosvenor & McNab 2013). Outside of schools, the sense of touch has been used as a lens to appreciate and explore the experience of learning in museums (Chatterjee 2008; Classen 2005; Pye 2008). The principal anatomical parts involved in touch - the fingers and the hand - have been subjected to critical and creative scrutiny within cross-disciplinary discussions about what it means to be human (Napier 1993; Tallis 2010). In a previously published article (Burke & Cunningham, 2011), I explored with Peter Cunningham the significance of hands as part of what might be called the choreography of the classroom. In that piece we noted how the relationship between the hand and cognitive function has been well established and recognized by teachers and others (Sennett 2008). We also noted how ‘critique of how children were encased in unsuitable or uncomfortable school furniture… (was) characteristic of progressive educational discourse during the first half of the 20th century’ (Burke and Cunningham, 2011: 538).

Few scholars have so far paid critical attention to the ways that designers of school buildings have incorporated into the design process notions of bodily movement. One exception is found in the work of Roy Kozlovsky who has examined how interpretations of movement in the primary school environment engaged post-war architects in England. Consideration of the significance of rhythmic movement shifted their metaphorical conceptualization of the eye of the pupil from a technical apparatus to an organic association as a living muscle ‘that requires its own cycle of concentration and relaxation’ (Kozlovsky, 2010: 707). In this paper, I will extend a focus on the sense of touch to embrace the attributes of reach and movement exposed by a close reading of Building Bulletins reporting on English primary school building design during the period 1949-72. The rationale for this is found in the discourses fueling the drivers of educational redesign in post-war education when ‘reach’ became associated with an idea of the child enabled to exercise powers of freedom and self-expression. I will demonstrate how the imagined exercise of touch, reach and movement evidences an understanding, shared among architects working for the Ministry of Education in the post-war government, of how the body of the school child mattered in the transformation of education towards the design of the modern school and the nurturing of the modern citizen (Stillman and Castle-Cleary, 1949). Through an analysis of the content of a series of Building Bulletins, published by the Ministry of Education (later Department of Education), I will show how, for architects, the imagined use, place and disposition of body parts in close (often touching) proximity to the material environment of school, informed their thinking and featured in their planning. Building Bulletins reported on the design of school buildings in general and on certain particular aspects, such as colour or furniture."



"Sensory contexts of touch, reach, and movement

So what, in conclusion, can we say about this scrutiny of the discourse around touch, reach and movement in the Building Bulletins published in the period 1949-72? First, the findings clearly demonstrate how close was the vocabulary of touch, motion and emotion shared by progressive educators and architects during these years. Feeling (touching) the material environment through an imaginary identification with a young child, was a strategy of design. The material — designed — environment of education was perceived as a key pedagogical force in an education which emphasized the role of the senses. This is well captured in the following statement by Alec Clegg, CEO for the West Riding of Yorkshire during these years (1945-74).
'Children learn mostly from that which is around them and from the use of the senses. These impressions so gained will depend a great deal on interests that will vary considerably. If children are interested they will listen more carefully, look more closely and touch more sensitively. With interest there is created the element of wonder, the most precious element of life' (Sir Alec Clegg, 1964).

Close observation of children's active engagement with the material environment they encountered through their skin, limbs and whole bodies was characteristic of educational and architectural discourses regarding the most appropriate contexts for teaching and learning at this time. Second, observable by its absence in the Building Bulletin's commentary on touch, reach and movement is the figure of the school-teacher, within a systematic approach to designing from the body of the child outwards. This sits easily with the progressive image of the school as discussed through visual evidence from iconic school environments in this period (Burke and Grosvenor, 2007). Finally, in examining the imagined settings for touch alongside notions of scale and reach in the context of the built environment, we are forced to address questions of comfort and discomfort, agency and non-agency. In this analysis, the sense of touch leaves its anchor of materiality and comes to appear essential to affording a sense of belonging, allied to a notion of rights to participate in an imagined democratic community."
catherineburke  1940s  1950s  1960s  1970s  schools  schooldesign  multisensory  education  children  learning  progressive  howwelearn  howwteach  teaching  pedagogy  environment  touch  reach  movement  motion  emotion  alecclegg  johnberger  furnitue  color  architecture  design  scale  bodies  body  furniture  christianschiller  materials  difference  accessibility 
june 2015 by robertogreco
christian sjöström develops link modular furniture system
"‘link’ intends to put the user in charge, simultaneously stimulating their creativity and decreasing throwaway mentality. it’s a playful, modular furniture system that is able to adapt, by need or choice, to any room or situation. designed by danish designer christian sjöström, ‘link’ was influenced by molecular structures and utilizes a similar system of freely linking components. users are able to sculpt, design, and build to the extent of their imaginations.

sjöström wanted to focus on making an easily comprehensible, functional piece of furniture. parts include three varying lengths of wood, each with a ball-joint on the end. the joint is used to connect any two lengths together, and aside from that, there’s no rules. a ‘link’ prototype was built using ash and ball-joints of 3D printed SLS material. "
furniture  modular  modularity  christiansjöström  wood  2015  design 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Residential Archaeology – MAS CONTEXT
"The cultural phenomenon of customization, the appropriation of things to make them personal, has been the focus of study for years. We can see it daily in the objects that we transform and recycle, between efficiency and aesthetics. If we extrapolate this idea to the discipline of architecture, it becomes even more interesting, albeit of varying intensity: from the wallpaper to the added floor level and through various degrees of appropriation in between.

The approach of Modern Architecture, such as the universal space from the early 20th Century, becoming even more common in the 1950s in houses by Craig Elwood or Richard Neutra among others, has been transformed nowadays into the idea of neutral space, empty, ready to be occupied.

There are also curious examples such as the Appliance House and the Put-Away Villa by the couple formed by Peter and Alison Smithson. In the first one, architecture and household goods are the same, taking to the limit the idea that we are only passing through the spaces. Ideas such as comfort are taken to the extreme in the growing amount of advertising of autos and appliances.

From the industrialized architecture of those spaces we had to extract the particular aesthetic related to the prefabrication process. It is time for architects and manufacturers to address the problem from the opposite end of the scale and make buildings that emanate living habitats and reflect the needs of those who inhabit the spaces.

In the second example, a few years later and almost in opposition, the warehouse house, where we all collect, resulting in the need for a deposit, which requires the occupation of a third of the house: the place for objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. Ultimately, it is the domestication of the spaces.

Let’s recall the performance “I Like America and America Likes Me” (1974) by Joseph Beuys. In it, Beuys is separated from his usual space in order to be placed in a single space along with a coyote, also separated from its natural habitat. Cohabitation and making the space human, space domesticated.

Finally we are generally talking about two things: first, how we get to the spaces and second, how we fill them and therefore, how we transform them.

We must pause and think, how do users (of different social class) personalize their spaces? What can we learn and understand from the materiality of life? Does this have anything to do with the materiality of the projects designed by architects and with any social commitment?

Le Corbusier, Mario Pani, Teodoro González de León, among others, have focused on the constructive materiality, in methods of self-construction or low-cost construction. But, what about the materiality of the everyday? What happens between the mere representation that the architect proposes and the everyday occupation by the resident?

Residential Archaeology consists, therefore, of:

1. Drawing in an archeological way three things: the space occupied by the architecture itself; the everyday life infrastructure, that is, furniture; and the elements that provide use to the furniture, those that humanize them.

2. Studying the impact in terms of occupancy, density and time. An archaeological GPS that subtly gets transformed by the passing of the hours and the collecting of objects, and sometimes their final destination. What we called earlier the objects-that-you-don’t-use-now-and-that-perhaps-won’t-be-used-anymore. How do they alter and reconfigure the space?

3. As a result, the project proposes the registration of these styles-modes-adjustments of life in an electronic file in order to observe their impact and make the design and use evident. Additionally, the project makes a 1:1 scale comparison of each unit: a rug-map, as if drawn by hand on the floor itself, recalling the images we have of when we did so as children on the street or sidewalk. It is, in the end, a recording as George Perec explains in Life A User’s Manual.

The project places the Unité d’habitation in Marseille, the Tlatelolco housing complex, the Mixcoac Towers, the CUPA and Unidad Esperanza under equal conditions, like it does with its authors: Le Corbusier, Mario Pani and Teodoro González de León. All are perhaps pieces of the same puzzle that builds and shows more faithfully what, perhaps, we should take more into account, how we domesticate the spaces.

Citing [furniture and interior designer] Clara Porset, “we could not impose the tenant to acquire the furniture that had been created specifically for his home, nor did we think about convincing him. Instead, we chose to instruct him about design in general, providing him with a culture of housing.”"
housing  architecture  archaeology  residentialarchaeology  tlatelolco  mixcoactowers  lecorbusier  mariopani  teodorogonzálezdeleón  space  everyday  infrastructure  furniture  juancarlostello  residential  cupa  mexicocity  mexico  marseille  france  customization  josephbeuys  humans  domestication  habitat  craigelwood  richardneutra  modernism  df  mexicodf 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Parsons :: Exhibitions and Events :: The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center :: Exhibitions :: Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
"Much of our common stock of knowledge -- from the inscriptions of early civilizations, the classic texts of the ancient world, the manuscripts of the Middle Ages, and the maps and scientific treatises of the Renaissance, to the tweets and open data sets of today -- now resides in The Cloud. That Cloud seems to have no boundaries, no place; it floats above us, bringing its intellectual riches to those of us who are connected to it, wherever we might be. Yet The Cloud isn’t nearly as ubiquitous as the weather. Its accessibility is limited by protocols and cables, and its “content” has to be shaped, formalized through various interfaces, in order for us to perceive and process it. While artists, designers, and researchers have acknowledged that The Cloud has an architecture -- from the routers generating wisps of wifi in our homes, to the massive data centers storing that “rain of data,” to the cables and satellites that function as the system’s plumbing -- we’ve paid little attention to the places where The Cloud meets our individual bodies. Furnishing the Cloud considers both how we have historically imagined the architectures and containers of our common stock of knowledge -- the universal library, the endless bookshelf, the collective brain, among other structural/architectural metaphors -- and proposes new infrastructures for storing, accessing, and processing The Cloud. What are our new ergonomics of reading and viewing and auditing digital content, and how can we design to support those postures and modes of perception? How might we Furnish the Cloud?

Related programs:

SENSORY INFRASTRUCTURES Roundtable Discussion
Friday, March 13, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
“Bark Room,” Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 W 13th Street, Ground Floor
Free and open to the public; no RSVP required

How do we perceive the presence of data? How do our bodies interface with information streams and the digital technologies that bring them to us? What aspects of “the cloud” are rendered sensible to us — not only visible, but also audible and tangible? Join the curators for “Furnishing the Cloud,” Kimberly Ackert, Orit Halpern, Shannon Mattern, and Brian McGrath, who will offer short provocations, exploring the exhibition’s themes from the perspectives of furniture and exhibition design, history, media studies, architecture, and urbanism.

http://furnishingthecloud.net

Presented by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, with funding from the Provost Office Research Cluster Grant and the School of Constructed Environments, Parsons the New School for Design. With additional support from Historical Studies, New School for Social Research, and the School of Media Studies, New School for Public Engagement.

Exhibition Designers: Kimberly Ackert, with assistance from Jordana Maisie Goot
Curators: Kimberly Ackert, Orit Halpern, Shannon Mattern, and Brian McGrath
Web Development:Daniel Udell
Curatorial Assistant: Nadia Christidi
Students from Kimberly Ackert's Furniture, Detail and Space course: Dhafar Al-Edani, Mariam Alshamali, Tanyaporn Anantrungroj, Derick Brown, Felipe Colin, Kristina Cowger, Jo Garst, Jennifer Hindelang, Jacqueline Leung, Pei Ying Lin, Valter Lindgren, Mochi Lui, Matilda Maansdotter, Emmanuela Martini, Simon Schulz, Whitney Shanks, Raquel Sonobe
Web Projects: Zachary Franciose, Laura Sanchez, Eishin Yoshida
Students from Orit Halpern’s Making Sense: Methods in the Study of Media, Attention, and Infrastructure course: Jeffery Berryhill, Nicholas Cavaioli, Raquel DeAnda, Joseph Goldsmith, Angelica Huggins, Ian Keith, Kate McEntee, Awis Nari Mranani, Erika Nyame-Nseke, Kevin Swann, Shea Sweeney, Daniel Udell, Michal Unterberg, Kyla Wasserman"

[via (with images): https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/574656819517394944
https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/574653891184345088 ]
kimberlyackert  orithalpern  shannonmattern  brianmcgrath  2015  design  cloud  data  furniture  architecture  media  mediastudies  urbanism  reading  howweread  digital  datacenters  storage  access 
march 2015 by robertogreco
furniture - T I L L Y   B L U E
"A bespoke range of travel inspired furniture that connects traditional woodworking ideals with conceptual design. Seeking to create a range that offers functionality and an innovative variation on space saving design, the furniture has been crafted to fold away to reference luggage. Inspiration is taken from the space we occupy: selecting markings, textures, colours and shapes from the landscapes we live in and applying them to surface pattern. Through this the collection evokes the idea of design that stimulates engagement and a sense of adventure in everyday life."
furniture  travel  portability  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  tillyblue  nomads 
december 2014 by robertogreco
THE FLOYD LEG
"The Floyd Leg was born from the idea of creating frameworks for people to make their own furniture. We're constantly thinking about the evolving idea of home, the spaces we inhabit and how this relates to the objects in our lives. Our furniture is simple to ship and uncomplicated for people to transport and adapt. The Floyd Leg is about people, who bring soul to our products—each with a unique point of view, style, and preference.

The Floyd Leg has shipped to over 30 countries, and in 2015 we will be launching a wider line of furniture and home goods."
furniture  tables  schooldesign  mobility 
september 2014 by robertogreco
ana jimenez turns masks of mexico into furniture pieces
"the vibrant nature of mexican characters influenced ana jimenez to construct ‘los enmascarados,’ five pieces of furniture reflecting the nation’s traditional masks. the costume accessories are familiarly used in the country to embrace the beliefs and behaviors embedded in traditional culture. thus, the elements of the decorations, their fundamental concepts, and what they stand for, were extracted and analyzed in order to transform them into furnishings. during this process, the pieces became humorous, exaggerated versions of themselves. ‘the intention was to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be mexican through the exploration of a craft that defines this. all of this in order to inspire the creation of a contemporary object, without using the mask craft or its technique in a literal way, but as the concept of what it means to a culture,’ says jimenez."
anajimenez  mexico  furniture  design  2014 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Workspace of: Makeshift Society in NYC | VSCO
"Makeshift Society provides multi-faceted workspaces in both San Francisco and New York City that are geared towards entrepreneurs, creatives, and freelancers. A little while back, we featured Makeshift Society’s San Francisco location on the Journal, which you can view here. Since then, they successfully funded a Kickstarter of $30,000 for seeding a New York coworking space, and just recently, they finished building out the gorgeous 4,000 square foot workspace, which is located in a hundred year old pencil factory in Brooklyn.

For the configuration of their New York workspace, Makeshift Society created an open, airy, and bright layout that utilizes the large warehouse windows and vaulted ceilings. There are plenty of cozy corners, quiet areas, and meeting rooms where members can discuss privately with clients and collaborators. A range of options for membership, from a single day pass up to a full-time, 5 day a week plan, allows for individuals to create a schedule suitable to their needs.

In celebration of the completion of their New York workspace, Makeshift Society is throwing an open house with refreshments, demos, and talks on Wednesday, June 4th from 9am - 6pm. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend the event, make sure to reserve a spot here as spaces are limited.

We were very excited to interview Makeshift Society regarding their beautiful and functional new space. Read on below to learn more about the differences between their New York and San Francisco spaces and the types of creatives they house. All of the wonderful images documenting their simple, inspiring, and warm workspace were taken by Noah Sahady and processed using VSCO Film 04."
makeschiftsociety  nyc  brooklyn  coworking  workplace  design  interiors  lcproject  openstudioproject  2014  via:nicolefenton  furniture  workspace  workspaces 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Pallet Project | STUDIOMAMA
"The Pallet Project started life For 10, TEN, X project at 100% Design 2008. The idea was to created a product that could be made for £10 or less.

The first pallet range was a pallet chair, a hanging light, a floor light and some stools. The first pallet chair was made out of two pallets and 50 screws. The floor lamp made out of 1 pallet, 15 screws, a bolt, some reused cable and a light fitting.

As part of the London Design Festival, 2009 Pallet Project was shown at jeweller Jacqueline Rabun's London showroom. As well as the chairs there were 6 new pieces, lights, cabinets, plant holders, chair and a chandelier. And special 'crafty' pallet stool was designed for a DIY supplement in the Guardian Weekend.

The Pallet Project grew to take on a life of it's own with people all over the world buying and downloading the instructions and making versions of pallet chairs for personal use as well as community and public projects.

The Pallet Furniture was shortlisted in the furniture category of the 2010 Brit Design awards at the Design Museum, London.

Instructions to make the chair, light and a stool are available from the Studiomama shop."
pallets  furniture  studiomama  wood  2008 
may 2014 by robertogreco
What I’m working on lately: Practices of the minimum viable utopia (long) | Speedbird
"In the fusion of each of these three archetypal processes, el Campo de Cebada, Godsbanen and Unto This Last, we can see the outlines of something truly radical and terribly exciting beginning to resolve. What can be made out, gleaming in the darkness, is a — partial, incomplete, necessarily insufficient, but hugely important — way of responding to the disappearance of meaningful jobs from our cities, as well as all the baleful second-order effects that attend that disappearance.

When apologists for the technology industry trumpet the decontextualized factoid that each “tech” job ostensibly creates five new service positions as a secondary effect, what they neglect to mention is that the lion’s share of those jobs will as a matter of course prove to be the kind of insecure, short-term, benefits-lacking, at-or-close-to-minimum-wage positions that typify the contemporary service sector. This sort of employment can’t come anywhere close to the (typically unionized) industrial-sector jobs of the twentieth century in their capacity to bind a community together, either in the income and benefits they produce by way of compensation, in the conception of self and competence they generate in those who hold them, or in the sense of solidarity with others similarly situated that they generally evoke.

At the same time, though, like many others, I too believe it would be foolish to artifically inflate employment by propping up declining smokestack industries with public-sector subsidies. Why, for example, continue to maintain Detroit’s automobile manufacturers on taxpayer-funded life support, when their approach to the world is so deeply retrograde, their product so very corrosive environmentally and socially, their behavior so irresponsible and their management so blitheringly, hamfistedly incompetent? That which is falling should also be pushed, surely. But that can’t ethically be done until something of comparable scale has been found to replace industrial manufacturing jobs as the generator of local economic vitality and the nexus of local community.

So where might meaningful, valued, value-generating employment be found — “employment” in the deepest sense of that word? I have two ways of answering that question:

- In the immediate term, I believe in the material and economic significance of digital fabrication technologies largely using free and open-source plans, deployed in small, clean, city-center workshops, under democratic community control. While these will never remotely be of a scale to replace all the vanished industrial jobs of the past, they offer us at least one favorable prospect those industrial jobs never could: the direct production of items immediately useful and valuable in one’s own life. Should such workshops be organized in such a way as to offer skills training (perhaps for laid-off service-sector workers, elders or at-risk youth), they present a genuinely potent economic and social proposition.

There are provisos. The Surly Urbanist correctly suggests that any positions created in such an endeavor need to be good jobs, i.e. not simply minimum-wage dronework, and my friend Rena Tom also notes that the skills training involved should be something more comprehensive than a simple set of instructions on how to run a CNC milling machine — that any such course of instruction would be most enduringly valuable if it amounted to an apprenticeship first in the manual and only later the numeric working of materials. I also want to be very clear that, per the kind of inclusive decision-making processes used at el Campo de Cebada, such a workshop would have to be something a community itself collectively thinks is worth experimenting with and investing in, not something inflicted upon it by guileless technoutopians from afar.

- In the fullness of time, I believe that the use of relatively high-technology techniques to accomplish not merely the local, autonomous production of everyday objects, furnitures and infrastructures, but their refit and repair, will come to be an economically salient activity in the global North. In this I see a congelation of several existing tendencies, logics or dynamics: the ideologically-driven retreat of the State from responsibility for stewardship of the everyday environment; the accelerating attrition and degradation of the West’s dated and undermaintained infrastructures, and their concomitant need for upgrade or replacement; increasing belief in the desirability of densifying urban infill; the rising awareness in the developed world of jugaad, gambiarra and other cultures of repair, reuse and improvisation; the emergence of fabricator-enabled adaptive upcycling; the circulation of a massive stock of recyclable componentry (in the form of obsolescent structures as well as landfill-bound but effectively nondegradable consumer items), coupled to the emergence of a favorable economics of materials recovery; broader experience with and understanding of networked, horizontal and leaderless organizational structures; the creation of a robust informational commons, including repositories of freely-downloadable specifications; and finally the clear capability of online platforms to facilitate development and sharing of the necessary knowledge, maintain some degree of standardization (or at least harmonization) of practice, suggest sites where citizen repair might constitute a useful intervention, and support processes of democratic decision-making."
utopia  2014  adamgreenfield  openstudioproject  pocketsofresistance  resistance  institutforx  godbanen  aarhus  madrid  spain  españa  elcampodecebada  untothislast  london  making  makerculture  economics  production  fabrication  democracy  labor  upcycling  collectivism  collaboration  repair  furniture  agency  denmark  davidharvey  postcapitalism  sharingeconomy  sharing  libraries  lcproject  community  communities  cooperatives  anilbawa-cavia  renatom  airbnb  couchsurfing  kintsugi  seams  minimumviableutopia  douglasmeehan  idealism  practicalism  jeremyrifkin  self-reliance  murraybookchin  jugaad  fabbing  gambiarra  fixing  maintenance  cv  repairing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
ANALOG MEMORY DESK - Kirsten Camara
"A desk to record all the small items you write down once, but intend to forget tomorrow.

I've come to realize that I'm somewhat obsessed with how we remember the past. This is the latest installment in that series and a more serious attempt at furniture making. There are a hundreds of little things that we don't try to remember every year or even every week. Does the sum of all these tiny parts produce a new narrative on our lives?

1,100 yards of paper will record the lists, the phones numbers you call once, the pixel size of that box on that website, the street name of that business, and the long division you try to remember.

Made out of hard maple, butcher paper and a glass panel."

[via: http://mmodulus.tumblr.com/post/79548996003/analog-memory-desk-una-mesa-para-recordar-todos ]
furniture  wood  memory  design  desks  paper  papernet 
march 2014 by robertogreco
indy johar founder of HUB westminster on co-working spaces
"designboom visited architect indy johar in london to learn more about his extensive study into socially driven sustainable urban organization. ‘the intersections of culture and technology have contributed to a mindset of ‘own less, use more‘, he explains, ‘and the concept of ‘ecosystems’ fits the contemporary landscape of work much better than the centralized model of decades past’.

‘we’re effectively going to see the corporate model become the uncorporate model,’ johar predicts, with large companies breaking down into separate but interwoven branches for their physical infrastructure, investment, and learning platforms. as a result, there is a pressing need to open up the office, moving away from divided departments and cubicles and towards what he describes as a ‘fluid mix’ wherein executives, startups, suppliers, and talent makers are all part of a larger ecosystem. as a result, there is a pressing need to open up the office, moving away from divided departments and cubicles and towards what he describes as a ‘fluid mix’ wherein executives, startups, suppliers, and talent makers are all part of a larger ecosystem."



"most HUBs are comprised of three types of environments: collaborative, semi-private, and private.all of them are conceptualized as blank canvases — while they provide basic furniture and necessities, the focus of the space is not on superfluous decoration but rather how people fill it and what they do with their time there. hubbers bring all kinds of personal objects and possessions to make their workspace, even in the sprawling open collaborative areas, feel uniquely theirs; and the HUBs feature creative touches inside and out, whether they’re built to resemble a giant red bus as in singapore or highlight their walls with colorful assemblages designating the HUB locations worldwide. microcosms of the work world in themselves — and thus a prevision of grander changes in society and culture — the HUBs are a perfect place to study human behaviour and watch out for the next trends in office furniture."



"the diversity of new needs means that office furniture manufacturers are also for the first time not restricted to international standards and regulations regarding the precise dimensions and production specifications of chairs and desks, permitting an expanded level of creativity and aesthetic vision. but the enduring effects of the new world of work will extend far beyond that. the design of office furniture and environments is equally shaped by changes within office culture and its increasing emphasis on collaboration and communication."

[video also here: https://vimeo.com/83300452 ]
indyjohar  coworking  2014  howwework  lcproject  openstudioproject  sharing  ownershap  hub  community  work  officespaces  offices  interiors  furniture  classroomdesign  design  architecture  organizations  officeculture  flexibility  ecosystems  place  thirdspaces  communitymanagement  uncorporate  infrastructure  platforms 
january 2014 by robertogreco
We Sit Together: Utopian Benches from the Shakers to the Separatists of Zoar :: Princeton Architectural Press
"Whether for protest, religious congress, companionship, eating, or comfort, sitting communally remains one of the most powerful and prevalent of human social activities. This simple act held special significance in numerous utopian communities that emerged in nineteenth-century America, and was given physical presence in the form of a variety of styles of wooden benches. Fascinated by these expressions of harmony and equality, renowned British artist Francis Cape sought out and made measured drawings of remaining examples.

We Sit Together presents twenty-five of Cape's beautifully reconstructed benches drawn from twenty utopian sects, active from 1732 to the present, ranging from well-known communities like the Shakers to more obscure groups like the Separatists of Zoar. Introduced by noted curator Richard Torchia, and featuring crisp photographs and lovingly handmade drawings of the benches, along with installation photographs by Aaron Igler, this rarely seen slice of Americana will appeal to the collector, woodworker, student of American history, or anyone who just likes to take a seat."

[See also: http://issuu.com/papress/docs/we_sit_together ]
shakers  furniture  franciscape  religion  protest  benches  wood  aaronigler  books 
november 2013 by robertogreco
OpenDesk - Open Source Furniture — Made Locally.
"View basket Open source furniture — made locally."

[via: https://twitter.com/zachklein/status/390551937176711168 ]

[See also: http://www.wikihouse.cc/ ]

[Note: I think both Sara Hendren and Nick Sowers have made some of these.]
opensource  furniture  diy  desks  design  openstudioproject  projectideas  classroomdesign  schooldesign  schools  classideas 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Glimpt
"We decided we wanted to help them develop a more modern series of furniture. After having visited several villages and different cooperatives in the Andes we finally settled on Yungay as the village where we would set to work. In Yungay there was a little cooperative that worked with furniture making. During our visits we were impressed by their very high standards of craftsmanship and above all by the skill of the people who carved pictures in wood.

So day after day of soup followed by fried guinea-pigs and washed down with Inca Cola finally lead to the production of a series of coffee tables called Prehistoric Aliens. Our main difficulty was not a shortage of good ideas but rather the language barrier. Neither of us spoke any Spanish but we were faced with a situation where this was the only possible language for communication. The first few weeks we had been helped by our American friend Nick, but after a while we had to manage by ourselves. After keen language practice on the computer every evening, and getting a lot of hands on experience every day in the workshops, we finally managed to make some Spanish sounding words and were rewarded with the nicknames Gordo and Chato (Chubby and Shorty) by our fellow workers."

[via: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672896/swedish-design-and-peruvian-craft-meet-as-prehistoric-aliens ]
design  craft  sweden  furniture  artisans  wood  woodworking  perú 
july 2013 by robertogreco
MoMA PS1: YAP: Holding Pattern by Interboro Partners
"The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 announce Interboro Partners of Brooklyn, NY, as the winner of the 12th annual Young Architects Program in New York.

Interboro Partners' Holding Pattern brings an eclectic collection of objects including benches, mirrors, ping-pong tables, and floodlights, all disposed under a very elegant and taut canopy of rope strung from MoMA PS1's wall to the parapet across the courtyard. Creating an unobstructed space, the design incorporates for the first time the entire space of MoMA PS1's courtyard under a single grand structure, while creating an environment focusing on the audience as much as the Warm Up performance. A key component of the theme is recycling; objects in the space will be donated to the community at the conclusion of the summer. The designers met with local businesses and organizations including a taxi cab company, senior and day care centers, high schools, settlement houses, the local YMCA, library, and a greenmarket to determine what components of their installation could be used by those organizations following the Warm Up summer music series. Incorporating objects that can subsequently be used by these organizations is a means of strengthening MoMA PS1's ties to the local Long Island City community."

Again: "objects in the space will be donated to the community at the conclusion of the summer."

[See also: http://www.interboropartners.net/2012/holding-pattern-at-moma-ps1/
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/interboro-partners-holding-pattern-for-moma-ps1-now-complete/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKbC8oLdtTo and
http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/01/12/checking-in-on-holding-pattern ]
moma  ps1  participatoryart  socialpracticeart  design  ncmideas  participation  furniture  interboropartners  art  audience  performance  recycling  community  architecture  openstudioproject 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Curiosity Cabinet - Commonplace Studio
"Curiosity Cabinet #1 is the first cabinet in a series that appropriates the structure of historical curiosity cabinets of the sixteenth century in a contemporary context. Throughout the Renaissance, objects representative of god (naturalia) and man (artificialia) were displayed in cabinets as an index of their proprietors’ world view. Since today we are no longer concerned with the dichotomy of nature and art, but with the duality of the material and the virtual, these cabinets brings together both physical and digital space in one archival system.

This cabinet intersperses sixteen drawers for physical objects, and sixteen boxes with embedded memory and RFID tags for saving and presenting digital information. To view the digital content, one must simply place a digital box near the computer."

[Other project of note by Jon Stam:
Cabinet of the (Material& Virtual) World: http://commonplace.nl/CABINET-OF-THE-MATERIAL-VIRTUAL-WORLD
An Imaginary Museum: http://commonplace.nl/AN-IMAGINARY-MUSEUM
Bioscope: http://commonplace.nl/Bioscope
Save as Mine: http://commonplace.nl/Save-As-Mine ]
furniture  jonstam  cabinets  cabinetofcuriosities  curiosities  digital  virtual  rfid  design  art  digitalphysical  photography  video  cameras  memory  memories  archives  storage 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Against Chairs | Jacobin
"Galen Cranz, a sociologist of architecture and perhaps the world’s preeminent chair scholar, has called ergonomics “confused and even silly.” For designers without a scientific background, it’s a clusterfuck.

But admirable efforts have been made, though with only limited success. A number of Scandinavian designers have designed ball chairs, kneeling chairs, and chairs that encourage sitting in several different positions. These are improvements but not total fixes. They also frequently don’t work properly at common table heights and their unconventional appearances make them unacceptable in most workplaces.

After decades of trying, perhaps it’s time to admit that there is no way to win.

If chairs are such a dumb idea, how did we get stuck with them? Why does our culture demand that we spend most of every day sitting on objects that hurt us? What the hell happened?

It should be no surprise to readers of Jacobin that the answer lies in class politics."
lifestyle  industrialdesign  colinmcswiggen  ergonomics  health  history  class  2012  design  furniture  chairs 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Setup / Rhys Newman
"A wall & a desk. I love studios & desks that reflect designers projects & priorities, & the connections & conflicts that may bring. I call them messy…Julian Bleecker calls them curated. A project should feel palpable in a studio, out & up, not just on screen… a huge wall where one can pin up, work on, layer, tear down, & build back up again is essential for me to work in a studio, & essential for good projects. If creativity is about connecting ideas & things that are not seemingly connected, a wall & curated desks can facilitate this creativity… we have those powered desks that allow you to stand or sit, or hove…"

"My preference would be to start with a small studio, with a great big wall, a large kitchen table, a small kitchen. Lots of light, a modelshop and protolab next door. Good creative people, no dickheads, lots of good conversation, laughter and music, and a good few bicycles by the door. A few big projects, lots of small personal projects that blur the boundaries."
furniture  creativity  openstudioproject  cafes  lcproject  design  walls  howwework  standingdesks  desks  2012  thesetup  rhysnewman  usesthis 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Art Workshops in Aspen Snowmass Colorado | Anderson Ranch Arts Center
"Anderson Ranch Arts Center Anderson Ranch celebrates artists, art-making, critical dialogue and community. We promote personal and professional development of artists of all levels of expertise through year-round workshops in ceramics, sculpture, photography, new media, painting and drawing, printmaking, woodworking, furniture design and more. Our artists residencies for emerging and established artists, summer internships, visiting artists and critics, community outreach, and public events offer a full spectrum of opportunities to creative people of all levels. The facilities feature fully-equipped art studios and galleries. Anderson Ranch programs and activities including art auctions and artist slide lectures, attract thousands of artists, art-lovers, students, faculty and patrons annually to this historic Rocky Mountain ranch dedicated to the fine arts."
furnituredesign  furniture  woodworking  drawing  painting  newmedia  photography  sculpture  ceramics  workshops  aspen  education  community  design  colorado  residencies  art 
august 2012 by robertogreco
WikiHouse / Open Source Construction Set
"WikiHouse is not a single, finished product, but an open community project, the aim of which is to make it possible for anyone to design for anyone else. There is no fixed design 'team' or 'studio', but a steadily growing community of designers from all disciplines who share in common the belief that developing freely available house design solutions which are affordable, sustainable, and adaptive to differing needs is a worthwhile aim.

Anyone who is interested in, or already working on, problems around this area is invited to become a collaborator on WikiHouse, regardless of what background they approach it from. There is already a growing community of followers, supporters, contributors, and developers who are working to improve on this early experiment…"

[via: http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/wikihouse-open-source-housing-/ via http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/young-architects-in-action-1-architecture-00/ ]

[Version map: http://www.architecture00.net/blog/?p=2436 ]

[video: https://wikihouse.wpengine.com/wikihouse-4-0/
https://vimeo.com/105855301 ]

[See also: https://www.opendesk.cc/ ]
lcproject  projectideas  glvo  wikihouse  yogeshtaylor  jonisteiner  ruphinachoe  beatricegalilee  austencook  stevefisher  tav  jamesarthur  nickierodiaconou  alastairparvin  architecture00  00:/  indyjohar  furniture  construction  housing  homes  crowdsourcing  3d  cnc  diy  design  architecture  opensource  classideas  modularity 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Videos of student projects from Jeffrey Schnapp's "Library Test Kitchen" course | Harvard Magazine
"Below, watch videos on several of the projects, including a Neo-Carrel sleeping chair created by Graduate School of Design student Vera Baranova; a WiFi cold spot; and Biblio, a “library friend” that scans books, tracks and shares research, and even makes bibliographic recommendations for further study (both projects created by Ben Brady, M.Arch ’12)."

[See also: http://harvardmagazine.com/2012/07/library-test-kitchen ]
jeffreyschnapp  prototyping  furniture  2012  library  libraries  harvard  metalab  librarytestkitchen 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Koloro Desk | a dollhouse workspace by Torafu Architects | Spoon & Tamago
"Torafu‘s latest work is the koloro desk and stool, a customizable workspace and, what is to be, the first in a series of products for decorative plywood manufacturer Ichiro. The desk, which resembles a dollhouse, also happens functions like one. It comes with windows in various locations that can be opened and closed to adjust the level of privacy. There are also spaces for lighting, potted plants, and even a windowsill that can be used for display or storage purposes.

It reminds me a bit of the work of Kawamura-Ganjavian, who’ve also come up with various solutions for maintaining privacy in open working environments. See Deskshell [http://www.studio-kg.com/deskshell/ ] or, for maximum privacy, Ostrich [http://www.studio-kg.com/ostrich/ ]."
2012  small  lighting  design  fun  privacy  classroom  classrooms  dollhouses  torafu  srg  furniture  desks 
march 2012 by robertogreco
You Want Smarter, More Collaborative Students? First, Fix The Tables | Co.Design: business + innovation + design
"Everyone lauds the benefits of collaboration, and yet students usually sit apart from one another, stuck behind their individual desks. The Dutch designers Rianne Makkink & Jurgen Bey have updated the classic trestle table into a flexible system that stretches to accommodate group projects.

One or two trestle desks can be combined with a larger tabletop to form an elongated work surface. The longest table can also be used as a vertical or horizontal easel, with the metal ridge used for joining the tables together doubling as a utensil holder. The extension pieces, made from high-pressure laminate, can be folded and stacked into a colourful display when not in use.

Brilliant--and just the thing to help foster early collaboration--but sadly not yet a reality."
schools  tables  trestles  studioclassroom  schooldesign  classroom  design  furniture  2012  via:carlasilver  classrooms 
january 2012 by robertogreco
"Sincerity, Honesty, Conviction, Affection, Imagination, and Humor": A Profile of Charles Eames, 1946 | Brain Pickings
"He never worried much (as many designers do) about ‘what the public wants,’ or ‘what the public will accept,’ because he had a profound belief in the public, and the conviction that if they didn’t want or wouldn’t accept the furniture which he was designing for their use, the fault lay in his designs, not in the public. He knew very well the absurdity of trying to design to an assumed public taste. It is important to realize that the furniture is an expression of this direct approach; each piece is composed as much of the personal ingredients of Charles Eames as of wood and metal. If you examine this furniture, you will find sincerity, honesty, conviction, affection, imagination, and humor. You will not grasp how this furniture came into being or what it really means unless you understand this also about Charles Eames."
1946  furniture  eliotnoyes  charleseames  eames  design  honesty  sincerity 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Collaborative Workspaces: Not All They're Cracked Up to Be - Design - The Atlantic Cities
"Being a part of group is awesome (go team!) but so is individual effort. The uncritical embrace of collaboration above all else can lead, as a social scientist at the SPUR panel remarked, to the reverse of what was intended: group-think, conformity, consensus for the sake of peace-making. Further, the suburban corporate campus, even when it attempts, as Facebook and Google are, to approximate urban environment, can often serve to exacerbate the type of self-reinforcing behaviors Bill Bishop explored a few years ago in his book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Forest City’s Alexa Arena, another participant in the SPUR panel, says that her company’s anthropological research while working on the more iterative workspace model seen in its 5M Project revealed that employees working in these environments found that their best ideas came not while in that bustling, lively office but more likely when they were in their own neighborhoods hanging…"
schooldesign  classroomdesign  2012  variety  adaptability  flexibility  work  attention  furniture  openstudioproject  openstudio  lcproject  tcsnmy  allornothing  unintendedconsequences  brainstorming  collaboration  susancain  extroverts  introverts  howwework  officedesign  architecture  design  workplace  workspace  allisonarieff  groupthink  solitude  productivity  workspaces 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter - Watch the Full Documentary Film | American Masters | PBS
"From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America’s most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. They are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum – offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, Charles and Ray have risen to iconic status in American culture. But their influence on significant events and movements in American life – from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age – has been less widely understood. Charles and Ray Eames are now profiled as part of American Masters."

"You sell your expertise, you have a limited repertoire. You sell your ignorance, it’s an unlimited repertoire. [Eames] was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject, and the journey of him not knowing to knowing was his work."
design  inspiration  pbs  film  furniture  architecture  glvo  california  history  2011  documentary  eames  expertise  ignorance  learning 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Cork Chair - a set on Flickr
"Some very good friends have been collecting their wine corks for 12 years. When they showed me a basket full I said, "Hey, I can make something outta those!" They told me they had quite a few more. Approximately 2700. So I set to work. Initially I had in mind a figurative sculpture but they were luke warm to that idea. So instead I gave them the choice between two different styles of chair. One was a modern looking chair and the other a classic French Club chair. I have had a thing for leather club chairs from the '40's. Here is the process. I first made a rough "fit" chair. This helped me set the proportions. Then I made the basis chair from plywood and a luan skin. Each cork is glued with gorilla glue and pinned in place."
srg  furniture  chairs  cork  corks  unconsumption  upcycling 
december 2011 by robertogreco
10 Things To Know About San Diego's Craft History | KPBS.org
""San Diego's Craft Revolution: From Post-War Modern To California Design" opens October 16th at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. Since the show includes almost 70 artists and spans roughly 30 years of little-documented local art history, it's a lot to process. To give you a head start, we've put together a list of 10 things to keep in mind before you head out to see this groundbreaking exhibit."
sandiego  mingei  art  exhibits  craft  design  furniture  2011  history  glvo  allamariewoolley  jacksonwoolley  nortonsimon  harrybertoia  abstractexpressionism  enamel  alliedcraftsmen  convair  ryan  pointloma  kaywhitcomb  juneschwarcz  rhodalopez  jameshubbell  malcolmleland  svetozarradakovich  alinefisch  monatrunkfield  helenshirk  wnedymaruyama  johndirks  bauhaus  sdsu  jewelry  lynnfayman  california  marthalongenecker  ceramics  modernism  folktraditions 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Occupy your classroom « Cooperative Catalyst
"If you would occupy your statehouse to keep your job, pay, and benefits, please also consider occupying your classroom.

Give your students at least a day a week to follow their passions.
Get rid of your furniture. Help kids borrow, bring, or build their own.
Get rid of your textbooks. Or redact them.
Ask kids to make sense of the world as it happens across media and technologies.
Build communities instead of reinforcing expectations.

It will be very scary, but not as scary as what others face. It will be very uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as remaining silent. It will cost us some, but without making some sacrifice we shouldn’t expect or ask our students to save us or our world."
chadsansing  education  occupywallstreet  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  community  media  technology  activism  textbooks  schooldesign  lcproject  learning  furniture  google20%  unstructuredtime 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Fixed gear habitats
"If you don’t have the luxury of a garage, finding adequate bike storage can be a bit of a challenge. Over the years my bikes have been moved from one location to another more often than displaced refugees. Some people give their bikes pride of place in their living rooms, while others tuck them away out of sight. This new project called SPIN by photographer Ben Roberts, showcases some of London’s unique fixed gear bikes in their own habitats."
interiors  bikes  biking  studios  glvo  furniture 
september 2011 by robertogreco
New Ways of Designing the Modern Workspace - NYTimes.com
"Adjustable desks, foldout benches & louvered shades have their place but…furniture is not the problem…But in the same way that bamboo floors, hybrid SUVs and eco-couture haven’t done much to curb carbon emissions, designing (& buying) more stuff for offices, no matter how sleek or sustainable it is, likely won’t help reset the culture of work.

Design itself is the problem because it is being used to solve the wrong ones…has to expand beyond noodling with the cubicle. I’m willing to bet that almost any office worker would happily swap Webcam lighting…for solutions to more pressing work issues like…burnout or fear of losing health coverage…

Two other factors often undervalued (and often ignored) in the workplace? Family and time…

We shouldn’t be rethinking the cubicle or corner office but rather rethinking all aspects of work…"
psychology  work  design  officedesign  allisonarieff  cubicles  classrooms  schooldesign  sustainability  productivity  life  families  parenting  time  workplace  workspace  nathanshedroff  furniture  homes  housing  babysitting  childcare  flexibility  coworking  efficiency  yiconglu  serbanionescu  jimdreilein  justinsmith  theminerandmajorproject  architecture  interiors  interiordesign  environmentaldesign  environment  broodwork  florianidenburg  jingliu  commonground  eames  froebel  kindergarten  andrewberardini  larrysummers  rachelbotsman  creativity  innovation  2011  autonomy  learning  workspaces  classroom  friedrichfroebel 
july 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: A physical place for virtual education
"…physical place is importan…beautiful…flexible…interactive. Kids should be free to come & go, but I'd like them to want to stay. Kids should have the tools they need there, & access to food & drink & other "comforts." & the faculty needs to be there too - not for supervision - but for interaction as students need & want.

…start w/ effective wireless capabilities in your "Physical Space for Virtual Learning," …4G comes in well…a Tool Crib of devices…lots of different kinds of seating. Tables and floor space for collaboration, and spaces - like music practice rooms - for solitude or quiet…furniture should all be movable, and probably whimsical in some ways…place for play…variety to the space, variety to the time, and variety in staff interaction…lighting varies…noise levels…vary…Don't pick "50 year" furniture.

Think of MeetUps linked to any possible subject of mutual interests. Hold Hack Days geared to music or games or teaching or anything. And invite the community in…"
schooldesign  tcsnmy  lcproject  learning  irasocol  2011  space  place  unschooling  deschooling  education  community  furniture  schools  teaching  meetups  meetingplace  play  hackdays  hackerspaces  variety  diversity 
july 2011 by robertogreco
49 Classics of Mid-Century Design We Need Your Help Identifying - Alexis Madrigal - Life - The Atlantic
"Collectors covet mid-century design for a reason: The clean lines and bright colors of the 1950s are beautiful. But there was more to the era's design considerations. The burst of creative energy that followed World War II spurred consumption by creating an endless array of new products, and when those were in short supply, new forms (and colors) for old products. The production of beauty was placed in the service of consumerism and anti-communism.

American Look showcases this design-industrial complex of ideas in beautiful Technicolor. Created in 1958 by the Jam Handy Organization, a large commercial filmmaking concern, with funding from Chevrolet, the 23-minute film surveys the landscape of late-50s aspirational life from interior dining sets to new work machines to speed boats. Taken together, the objects in the film paint a portrait of the variety of things that only American capitalism could deliver."
design  video  film  documentary  alexismadrigal  modernism  furniture  industrialdesign  2011  consumerism  us  mid-centurymodern 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Faux-Vintage Photo: Full Essay (Parts I, II and III) » Cyborgology
"I am working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media and have decided to take on theorizing the rise of faux-vintage photography (e.g., Hipstamatic, Instagram). From May 10-12, 2011, I posted a three part essay. This post combines all three together."

[See also (some of the tags reference): http://varnelis.net/blog/atemporality_the_iphone_camera_and_the_hipster ]
photography  twitter  instagram  hipstamatic  2011  nathanjurgenson  self-documentation  faux-vintage  hipsters  nostalgia  nostalgiaforthepresent  atemporality  networkculture  cameras  iphone  cameraphone  kazysvarnelis  timmaly  allegory  comment  postmodernism  modernism  furniture 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Designing and Building a New Desk - The Cheap Geek
"This lead me down a path of designing and building my own desk while tying to keep it under 150$. I initially drew up a design in Google sketchup, a great free 3D modeling application, and slowly began tweaking it. My initial design requirements consisted of a very thin top somewhere between 1"-2" supported by two sawhorses. I also needed the ability to get power and Ethernet to the machine without seeing any cabling. I settled on the following design."

[via: http://bettertastethansorry.com/2011/03/desk/ ]
desks  furniture  studio  design  diy  howto  wood  glvo 
april 2011 by robertogreco
When Pushed, This Table Crawls Like a Huge Spider [Video] | Co.Design
"Further proof that robots rule and humans drool, now even your dining room table has a mind of its own. Through a complex mechanism of cranks and linkages based on a 19th century walking platform by Russian mathemetician Pafnuty Chebyshev, Wouter Scheublin’s Walking Table, shown here, creeps and crawls and clomps around your kitchen like a monstrous, galumphing insect. Ask a precocious high-school shop class to visualize The Metamorphosis, and you’ll get something approximating this.

Mind you, you have to push the thing along. So it’s not like it’s free to spiral wildly out of control and go on some kind of monstrous-galumphing-insect rampage or whatever. But to judge by the videos, it doesn’t need tons of help. Lookie here:"
furniture  tables  mechanics  theojansen  walkingtables  furniturelust  design 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Industrial Liquidators :home
"Industrial Liquidators is a surplus retail and wholesale outlet. We also buy closeouts. We have retail stores for our  products as well as a warehouse opento the public to buy shelving, work benches and our larger equipment! We buy and sell items such as: Shelving, Industrial Surplus, electronics, test equipment,laboratory equipment, office equipment, machinery, components, government surplus, excess inventory...etc."
electronics  sandiego  shopping  glvo  projects  make  making  surplus  laboratories  tools  technology  tcsnmy  supplies  furniture  components  machinery 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Institute of Making
"The Institute of Making is a multidisciplinary research club for makers, and those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to clothes, furniture to cities."
via:preoccupations  making  make  diy  clothing  furniture  local  fabrication  glvo  uk  materials 
december 2010 by robertogreco
John Kestner : Supermechanical objects : Tableau physical email
"Remember when we made a connection by handing someone a photo? As our social circle spreads across a wider geographic area, we look for ways to share experiences. Technology has reconnected us to some extent, but we fiddle with too many cables and menus, and those individual connections get drowned out.

Tableau acts as a bridge between users of physical and digital media, taking the best parts of both. It's a nightstand that quietly drops photos it sees on its Twitter feed into its drawer, for the owner to discover. Images of things placed in the drawer are posted to its account as well.

Tableau is an anti-computer experience. A softly glowing knob that almost imperceptibly shifts color invites interaction without demanding it. The trappings of electronics are removed except for a vestigial cable knob for the paper tray. The nightstand drawer becomes a natural interface to a complex computing task, which now fits into the flow of life."
furniture  design  email  inspiration  twitter  papernet  printing  slow  post-digital 
december 2010 by robertogreco
MAS studio - Cut. Join. Play.
"01. Start with a flat, lifeless lot and some plywood of similar quality.
02. Select the size of the desired installation, from XS to XL, the possibilities are endless.
03. Cut plywood into simple geometric shapes according to the patterns provided.
04. Join the pieces together with a metal angle after matching up the edges with equal dimensions. As the volumes aggregate, a landscape begins to form.
05. Fill the volumes with grass, herbs, flowers, recycling containers, light - life!
06. When summer fades, don’t be disappointed. We’ll take the plants to a deserving home or community garden. We’ll make sure your recyclables move on to serve new purposes. And we’ll clean up and package up the boards to bring it all back to life next summer."
design  landscape  modular  architecture  masstudio  ikergil  gardening  plants  lcproject  plywood  glvo  furniture  architectureforhumanity 
november 2010 by robertogreco
AraucoPly Mueblería, Arauco | Plataforma Arquitectura
"Este mes Arauco nos presenta AraucoPly Mueblería, un tablero de terciado en el que se van alternando chapas de madera en forma perpendicular al sentido de las fibras con una excelente construcción interior, obteniendo un tablero de alta resistencia, cuya cuidada terminación lo hacen excelente para las aplicaciones en interiores, diseño y mueblería.

AraucoPly Mueblería es un tablero que casi no presenta nudos, y que tiene la ventaja de poder ser intervenido, pintado o barnizado fácilmente, lo que lo hace muy versátil."
wood  chile  design  furniture  plywood 
november 2010 by robertogreco
AraucoPly Mueblería, Arauco | Plataforma Arquitectura
"Este mes Arauco nos presenta AraucoPly Mueblería, un tablero de terciado en el que se van alternando chapas de madera en forma perpendicular al sentido de las fibras con una excelente construcción interior, obteniendo un tablero de alta resistencia, cuya cuidada terminación lo hacen excelente para las aplicaciones en interiores, diseño y mueblería.<br />
<br />
AraucoPly Mueblería es un tablero que casi no presenta nudos, y que tiene la ventaja de poder ser intervenido, pintado o barnizado fácilmente, lo que lo hace muy versátil."
wood  chile  design  furniture  plywood 
november 2010 by robertogreco
venomous porridge - Designer Massimo Vignelli’s desk, described in... [via: http://mrgan.tumblr.com/post/1291836000/vignelli-desk]
"Here’s what I don’t get. In an article beginning with the sentence “We snoop around other peoples’ desks because we think we will learn something — and hopefully something profound — about the kind of person who works there,” I would have expected at least a passing mention of what I think is the most revealing feature of this particular desk:<br />
<br />
It has three other chairs."<br />
<br />
[Referencing: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=15088]
massimovignelli  design  collaboration  howwework  missingthepoint  furniture  space  cv  glvo  simplicity  language  obfuscation 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Bike Shelf «
"While visiting many friends small apartments here in SF and more so in NY, I noticed that there is a void when it comes to elegant bike management. Bikes always get in the way – either in the hall, or leaning up against a bookshelf or something. So, I decided to design something to fix that problem. Until I think of a better name, I am calling it the Bike Shelf."
bikes  biking  design  furniture  wood  storage 
october 2010 by robertogreco
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