Blog Moved

Hey folks – I’ve moved my blog to right here. I have my own web space and domain, and I’m working on building up my site, so I moved things over. :)

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Ashes to Ashes

Forgive me if this post comes off as a slight bit morbid.

Given my obsession with things that are green (not just the color), I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the idea of something I found called “Bio Urn”. Personally, it terrifies me, thinking about growing size of not just the population, but also of cemeteries, and the acceleration of technology for preserving bodies. What are we going to do with all of the bodies we will inevitably have to deal with in the coming decades? And how do we maintain things like cemetaries? Are we constantly going to run over them with lawn mowers, to preserve them? Does this mean one day we’ll be clear cutting forests for cemeteries?

Luckily, it is not a reality in the case of Bio Urns. In fact, this product is quite the opposite. These attractive cannisters are made of biodegradable plant materials, and are designed for a loved one’s ashes, along with a seed, to be planted… transforming ashes (and presumably tears and heart ache) into gorgeous, vibrant and energetic forests; circle of life much?

I for one, have never really preferred the thought of either being buried or cremated. Both seem crude, and I don’t enjoy the thought of loved ones carrying my ashes around in tins, to display on a shelf somewhere. But the thought of providing the nourishment for plant matter satisfies me beyond all other options, and makes me feel far more comfortable about being cremated (though this is a whole other issue in terms of emissions). Not to mention, it makes me feel good to think I’ll be giving back to humanity – in the form of oxygen and all the rest, after I pass.

I also think I prefer the mental image of protected forests, over manicured cemeteries, in my childrens’ future. I can bet people would be more willing to fight for a forest if their loved ones had been planted in it. Maybe future generations would be more grateful and appreciative of such life; or life in general.

Check out Bio Urns

Homework = Meditation?

I have spent unimaginable amounts of time sitting in stiff, hard, non-adjustable and downright stupid chairs, especially at the computer while I’m working on homework or projects. I constantly find myself re-adjusting my position. I try tucking feet under legs, crossing, criss-crossing, tying and resting, just to make myself comfortable. Okay, so maybe not tying, but there’s potential for it to happen, if I’m uncomfortable enough!

I saw one of these chairs when I was at the Vancouver Yoga Conference and Show in November, and was instantly amazed. The longer I sit in uncomfortable chairs, the more I so. badly. want one. Check this out and tell me this doesn’t look glorious:

Completely adjustable and customizable. And look – it’s made for people like me, who like to tuck legs in under ourselves while we’re sitting! Yes, I’m an interior design student and I am subjected to chairs worth thousands of dollars, and yes they are beyond comfortable compared to the hard wooden dining chair I’m sitting in today. But the fact is, they’re designed for “the optimal sitter”. The person who sits face forward, hands on a desk, and their legs are out in front of them, both feet on the floor, knees together. Well that’s great. For people who sit that way. My beautiful Herman Miller chair at work, while undoubtedly more comfortable by comparison, still is not optimal for the positions I crave when I’m stuck in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day.

Needless to say, I desperately want one of these! I’m going to have to save my pennies. It might not happen until I can bite a good chunk out of my student loans after graduation. Really though, compared to the high-end chairs I’m familiar with in designing commercial office spaces, $1,800 isn’t that bad. Maybe I could opt for their four-payment payment plan of $450 and make it happen sooner? Not likely, but I can dream… about doing the two things I love most simultaneously: design AND yoga!

Check out Sukhasana Chairs and “Sit Consciously”.

Fallen Tree Bathtub

I’ve recently become aware of a wooden bathtub phenomenon. I hope it doesn’t often result in slivers in the behind, because good golly miss molly are they ever luxurious looking! Exhibit A:

Above is the “Japanese Ufuro” tub by designer Matteo Thun of the Italian based company Rapsel It is made entirely of larch wood. I am continuously awed by how versatile and beautiful wood is, and I find this tub to be no exception.

I found the following on ArchiExpo, and it’s made of Canadian Cedar (I bet it smells divine when you start filling it with warm water). It’s completely natural, contains no colorants or varnishes and is sealed with vegetable oil.

And then there’s my favorite; the “fallen tree” bathtubs used in the Mio Buenos Aires luxury hotel. I just can’t help myself from falling head over heels for reclaimed wood. Each one of the tubs is carved out by artist Mario Dasso. They look like petrified wood, and these ones by far, look the most comfortable to cuddle into:

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Art piece? Functional product? Room feature? Practical use of natural materials? Gorgeous? All of the above!! Not to mention the hotel itself is unbelievable. They have live walls. If they didn’t steal my heart with reclaimed wood, they definitely stole it with live/plant walls. (Okay, and those stairs… what are those, like… brushed, solid stainless steel stairs?! Oh my goodness.)

For those of you further interested, I found a video on YouTube about how these tubs are created. They are literally HAND crafted. I can’t imagine how expensive they are. The video is here

As for the interior design of the hotel, it was done by Beasley & Henley Interior Design

Field of Lights

Sorry for the disappearing act – I finished up my school semester and then spent the holidays out of the country with my boyfriend and his fam jam. I’m back in the home town for a couple days, then off to Vancouver for a four month work term. So bear with me, and I’ll get back to this regularly once I have a normal schedule again!

I have to share this with you. I saw it on Treehugger a few days ago and was amazed. So this is kind of a re-share.

An exhibition of sorts, this stunning installation was designed to capture the concept of rainfall in a desert. I think it’s utterly brilliant, and I desperately wish I could visit it. Unfortunately for me, it’s in England at The Holburne Museum

Created by artist Bruce Munro, the display consists of 5,220 acrylic stems that reach up into a frosted globes, lit via colored fibre optic cables.

I simply adore the idea of biomimicry, and while this maybe doesn’t have much going for it in terms of functionality ( one of the things I appreciate about biomimicry in design), I love where the inspiration came from, and I can’t help but adore the magic this installation exudes.

Field of Light… is an alien installation in the midst of nature. And like dry desert seeds lying in wait for the rain, the sculpture’s fibre optic stems lie dormant until darkness falls, and then under a blazing blanket of stars they flower with gentle rhythms of light.

Bruce Munro

Unbelievable. Things like this, make me believe. Happy holidays to all!

(Photos are copyright Mark Pickthall.)

Ana Montiel

I’m in love with an artist. This happens often… there are a lot of artists I love, but not all of them are this kind of wonderful artist.

As one of my friends would say: adorbs! (Aka: adorable!) Her work is used for all kinds of packaging and marketing materials. But honestly, most of her stuff I would put up on my walls. In more way than one…

Holy moly I wish I could just cram all the images from her website into this blog post because it’s impressively difficult to pick and choose my favorites! I love the colors, I love the patterns, I love the brush quality and penmanship. I love it all! I can’t wait until the day when I can afford to hang beautiful art on my walls.

Please visit this marvelous woman’s website and admire her work on my behalf. I will resume my day dreaming (about how I can incorporate her wallpaper designs with some Ann Sacks tiles in my next project – yum!).

Noodle No. 9

I was flipping through a couple Frame magazines today, looking for some inspiration for massing of my retail displays (yep, still working that out), and I came across a photo of this wonderfully beautiful ceiling. Oh. My. I lost it. Right there on the floor in the middle of the library. I’m in awe. Check this out:

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Right?! I can’t tell you how often I think to myself about how disappointed I am that the level of craft involved in so many of our interior and architectural gestures is discounted these days. The lack of quality is severe. I see old buildings, and the care and attention that has been invested in the ornamentation of every single feature… it blows my mind. Sometimes I curse minimalism, because I often feel like it’s the reason for lost sincerity and detail. Then I find things like this.

Right down to the shadows cast on tables, and how perfectly the ceiling has been lit (with LEDs!)… you know this was so tactfully considered. Utterly brilliant. I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love!

The challenge was to break the preconceived ideas that make up the elements of an interior, by governing the space into “one coordinated element” through the creation of a seamless border.

Architecture News

All I have to say in closing, is that I’m jealous they got to design a restaurant in a space with no supporting columns whatsoever. Goodness knows the ones in my current restaurant project are driving me mad.

This is the Beijing Noodle No. 9 restaurant in Las Vegas, designed by Design Spirits. I want to go.