Missing Magazines

It's been another hectic week with school, and unfortunately, it looks like my weekend will be about the same. Although, plans to see Biutiful tonight with friends is motivating me to be productive today. Saturday mornings are my luxury, though. It has become ritual to lounge around in my pj's until a little too late, drink lots of coffee, and pour over some online inspiration. I miss the days of magazines though. I think now that Margaret Russell has gone over to Architectural Digest, it might be worth another look (I've read online the revamped mag is pretty good). Although, my morning's school project will probably fill the void - I am going to make "sensory boards" - the old way, too, by photocopying odds and ends and pinning them up, not designing a board in InDesign. The prospect of it makes me feel a little nostalgic for my Design360 days. But, I'm hoping like those boards, it inspires some thesis direction - because I feel a little lost right now.

My other quick note is that I've realized it's not the cold that bugs me here (it has actually not been that bad minus a little snow one night this week). It is the fact I don't get to see the sun as often as I should - you know, to get enough Vitamin D. Yesterday the sun peaked out for a while in the morning and it felt wonderful. Here's hoping a few more sun-drenched days are on their way, like this one below.

Image via At Home At Home.


Collecting Stories

This week has been crazy busy as we have a 50% Design Development presentation Monday for CBDS. Even though that's been taking up a lot of my physical time, my mind keeps wandering back to thesis. (As it should be, the 80% draft document is due shortly after spring break is over!) I sent out an unofficial survey to friends, classmates, and family asking about spaces that have made either a positive or negative impression on them. I do not want to publish any of the results yet, as I don't want to influence what others may still write, but I am really enjoying compiling the responses. Definitely varied but rich with detail and personal narrative. I feel with each response I read, I am invited to connect with the writer a little bit more. Thanks to all who have responded so far; I can't wait to read more.

Photo courtesy of Eric Warner (I'm hoping he doesn't mind).


Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing all my friends and family lots of love and happiness. May cupid's arrow find your hearts today.

Image via Design*Sponge


Designing through Metaphor

Yesterday's CBDS feedback completely opened our eyes to new possibilities with our building. It's incredible what the shifting of a few blocks of wood can do to push something in an entirely different direction. One of the comments we got was to look at Steven Holl's MIT dorm for its use of subtractive form. And, of course when I went to his website, I was sucked in to the amazingness which is Steven Holl for an entirely different reason. As I was looking through his master plan for MIT and the dormitory photographs, I read one of the press clippings that commented on how Holl tends to develop mythical or metaphorical reference that guides him through the design process. I certainly was seduced by his metaphor of a sponge (porosity) connecting campus housing:

And also for the dorm itself as a series of lungs that allow light and air to pass through the building:

All images from Steven Holl Architects.



Research is just beginning, but I love how the wold all comes together and makes sense. As in, everything happens for a reason? In 2007 I was in San Francisco for a long weekend for work, and I went to the SFMOMA and saw Olafur Elliasson's first U.S. exhibit. It left a big impression on me, and now that I'm beginning to research perception and multi-sensory experiences, his work perfectly demonstrates the experiential qualities I'm hoping to evoke. Kind of vague in this post, but I'm super excited to see where this takes me. Now I just have to start my abstract...

Image of Olafur Eliasson's TheWeather Project (2003) at the Tate Modern in London.


A Cozy Saturday Morning

I woke up to my new neighbor Mike calling to invite me over for homemade banana-cornmeal pancakes. Not a bad way to start off the weekend. It's oddly cold yet raining here in DC today, so I settled in to a nice pair of sweats, have been perusing the blog world this morning over a pot of coffee, and am successfully ignoring the mountain of books I have sitting next to me. Thesis research awaits, I guess...

I stumbled upon Aaron Straup Cope's 20x200 images this morning, and what can I say, but love! He (at Stamen Design) has been working on an experimental map project. The prettymaps is code-named “Isola” after the Finnish textile designer Maija Isola - how appropriate for me to find something with a Finnish tie. Below is an image of Los Angeles, while NYC, Paris and San Francisco are also available from 20x200. And his interactive website is found here.

Guess I better start cracking open those books. Enjoy your weekend everyone!


I couldn't resist

Even without a special Valentine, I still think this is just adorable:

Found via Design*Sponge


Wintry Mix

If I can't beat the winter blues, I may as well enjoy them... Amazing collection of Iceland imagery from photographer Kevin Cooley:



You know it's going to be a long week when you're ready for the weekend and it's only Tuesday. I just want to curl up in this bed, pull the drapes around me and sleep through the storm that looks fast approaching. Or maybe I should do a quick dance to the snow gods to get classes canceled?

Image from Marie Claire Maison