Inspiring Rooms from Our Interior Design Issue

Dining room with IKEA geometric rug and pendant lights

A graphic dining room in a French apartment is decorated in black and white. The table is from French retailer AM.PM., the pendants are by Him + Her, and the shelves are by Tomado Holland. An Ikea rug echoes the geometric motif found throughout the apartment.


To Manage Stormwater Sustainably, Understand Your Site (8 photos)

The key to creating a truly resilient and sustainable stormwater management plan for your home landscape is to understand your site. Look at how water works in your landscape and how it fits into the big picture. Identify existing issues and opportunities for improvement, and respond to your site’s...


DIY: Secrets of Successful Upcycling (8 photos)

Upcycling is the process of changing an existing item to create a new one, but chances are, you already knew that. It has become a bit of a phenomenon, with people jumping at the chance to create something special for their homes. With so many people sharing their tips and tricks online, and with step-by-step...


la SHED architecture renovates maison de gaspé in montreal

acknowledging that a full restoration would be impossible to implement, the design team chose to create a contemporary façade that seamlessly integrates with the surrounding urban fabric.

The post la SHED architecture renovates maison de gaspé in montreal appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


۲۱ Tips for Organizing Your Stuff (20 photos)

While decluttering should always be the first priority when getting your home in order, there comes a time when you need solutions for what to do with the stuff that’s left. When your home is organized well, finding what...


Tech-Saavy Luxury Bus Rolls into San Francisco

Photo: Leap

San Francisco commuters usually have plenty of complaints with BART, whether its the overcrowding, the dated trains, or the fear that disease is imminent. In what could help or hurt the situation, the latest in luxury buses, Leap, launched yesterday with what appears to be a particular penchant for tech-minded Bay Area residents.

Leap runs during rush hour in the morning and evening during weekdays, and riders must board using their smartphone as a ticket (non-smartphone users are told they can print one out). Though the bus route currently only travels between Lombard St. and downtown with minimal stops to ensure swift delivery, a one-way ticket will cost you $6 ($5 if you buy in bulk).

The luxury bus also introduces two aspects that heretofore were unthinkable in transit etiquette — eating and getting to know your neighbors. Using the Leap app, riders can request food or drink and promptly be served by a Leap worker. Similarly, using the app, riders can get to know fellow commuters by creepily reading their Leap profiles from their phones.

The tech-minded design for the convenience of tech-minded Bay Area residents, equipped to take “the hassle out of getting to work,” brings to mind the either lauded or loathed Silicon Valley bus shuttles carting employees to and from offices such as Google and Facebook from the Bay Area. The difference, of course, is the $6 ticket, and while it may do to unclog some of the crowded BART trains, it could also exacerbate the disparity between Leap riders and normal bus riders if and when Leap interrupts their commute.


Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne

1:1 Collection by Silva Lovasovà as part of the Vous avez dit Bizarre exhibit. ۹th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne co-curator Benjamin Loyauté leaves this ephemeral theme open for interpretation as many up-and-coming to established designers debut their latest social, technological and craft-led innovations during the month-long event.

Newsmaker: Richard Driehaus

The Driehaus Prize founder talks bad architecture, foiling Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial, and the "Hershey's Kiss" Lucas Museum.

A Pile of Scrap Cardboard Inspired Frank Gehry's Iconic Collection

Frank Gehry Easy Edges Wiggle Side Chair

Despite its popularity, Gehry halted production of the Wiggle Side chair only two years after the collection launched. Production on the Easy Edges collection resumed in 1986, when Vitra reissued four central pieces.

Image courtesy of Alex Ronan.

Throughout the sixties, furniture designers played around with cardboard, but the lightweight and durable nature of plastic was hard to top. Explorations of cardboard were waning, when, in the early seventies, Frank Gehry released the Easy Edges collection.  

The starting point was a pile of corrugated cardboard Gehry saw on the street outside of his office. “I began to play with it, to glue it together, and to cut it into shapes with a hand saw and a pocket knife,” he later said. While other designers had been using single pieces of cardboard reinforced with folds, slots, or tabs, Gehry’s innovations resulted in a sturdy, long-lasting material. Glued together, the alternating strips of corrugated cardboard offered new possibilities for cardboard furniture.

When Easy Edges launched in 1972, the collection garnered immediate attention. The centerpiece was the Wiggle Side Chair. Its twisted lines with a previously inconceivable construction technique signified a striking departure from the cardboard furniture designed in the preceding years.

Overnight, Gehry became a sensation. But, instead of enjoying his success, Gehry shut himself up for weeks. The high price point of the Easy Edges collection wasn’t in line with his beliefs in affordable furniture. He was concerned that his furniture designs would overshadow his work as an architect. Despite their critical reception, Gehry stopped production in 1974.


SF Is Getting Musical Walls, “Data Lanterns” and Street Furniture Made of Mushrooms

Chimewall is a musical instrument designed for the dynamics of the street.

Next month, the 250,000 daily travelers along Market Street — San Francisco’s three-mile-long central artery — will discover some new attractions along their commutes. Near the Embarcadero, a metal wall six feet tall and eight feet long will chime when touched or tapped. In the Financial District, “Data Lanterns” will draw on transit and other public data feeds to glow in response to arriving trains. A little further down the street, near the city’s Civic Center, billowing sheets of fabric will evoke a more tactile version of fog, while a street theater with seats made of compacted mushrooms will be composted after use.

These are just four of the fifty finalists in the Market Street Prototyping Festival, a novel effort to engage local designers, artists, and residents of surrounding neighborhoods in the remaking of thirty-six blocks of Market Street ahead of its planned reconstruction in 2018. For three days in April, the public will play-test their projects, offering feedback that will be used to select concepts to include in the final design.

The festival is also a prototype in its own right for a Bay Area strain of tactical urbanism that neither originates purely from above (a la the stealth makeover of Times Square in New York) or below (e.g. painting your own bike lanes), but tries to occupy middle ground. In this iteration of tactical urbanism, city planners commission ideas from citizens, iterate their designs with the help of community and professional partners, and incorporate their creations into official plans. The festival’s backers hope the process can become a model for other cities.

The festival is in turn an offshoot of the Better Market Street Project, the $400 million overhaul of the city’s busiest, widest, and arguably grandest thoroughfare. Last year — after three years of planning and public hearings — city officials decided their conceptual designs were missing something. “It lacks the diversity of the neighborhoods it passed through, so how could it feel more like home?” says Neil Hrushowy, who manages the City Design Group in the city of San Francisco’s Planning Department and is the lead urban designer for the Better Market Street project. “How can we make Market Street a more inviting place at night? How do you bring seating back — we had these beautiful black granite benches removes in the 1990s, at who knows how much cost — and how do you play?”

To answer these questions, Hrushowy’s group partnered with San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (which sponsors this column) to produce the festival, which runs from April 9-11. Beginning last spring, the organizers solicited ideas that would improve the street’s public spaces and encourage community engagement — beyond that, teams were free to submit anything they like. In October, they selected fifty finalists, each of which received $2,000 to prototype their design.

Fogplane is one of the winning prototypes that will come alive on Market Street.

The winning teams were then assigned to five “design captains” tasked with overseeing the installations along their respective stretches of the festival’s two-mile route — Autodesk, Gensler, the Exploratorium, the Studio for Urban Projects, and the California College of the Arts. A design charrette in January offered an opportunity for design captains to dispense advice and constructive criticism to their charges while signaling the start of a sprint to the finish in time for the April deadline.

So what should flâneurs expect while strolling along Market Street next month? A “ProtoHouse” by mobile micro-housing evangelist Tim McCormick; the ghosts of San Francisco’s arroyos, the long-buried creeks that once ran through the city after heavy rains; and safety nets for the caterpillars that will one day metamorphose into Western Tiger Swallowtail butterflies, to name just a few.

ProtoHouse is an interactive space for rethinking housing models.

Others tipped as potential breakout hits include Future Cities Lab’s “Data Lanterns,” a series of glowing poles mounted on a bench signaling approaching trains and other urban conditions. “Instead of data visualization,” the lab writes on its blog, “we believe data physicalization can generate spatial and public benefits, improving the city by tapping into the constant stream of data it produces.”

“ChimeSF” is a metal wall as musical instrument, meant to transform passerby into an impromptu band. Meanwhile, “MeetWall” uses sensors and spinning tiles to suddenly reveal strangers through a seemingly solid barrier. A quick glance of all fifty finalists slots each of these seemingly divergent ideas into several noticeable trends: musical instruments as street furniture; data visualization (or physicalization); bio-mimicry; performance, and outdoor sports.

Meetwall by the design team, AMLGM

Whether any of these meets with widespread acclaim is almost beside the point. Hrushowy is more concerned what he calls “a new relationship between public design and the public,” scaling up tactical urbanism exercises such as parklets and letting them inform long-term planning. To that end, Gehl Studio (a collaborator on this column) will lead an evaluation of the festival, counting, interviewing, and observing people as they engage with the event, and looking at the new relationships forged between public, private, and nonprofit collaborators. Working with city officials, Gehl will investigate how lessons learned from this weekend event can be applied to medium and long-term investments not only along Market Street, but also in other places and in conjunction with other efforts throughout San Francisco.

“How do you get government out of the way and let people tell us what their neighborhoods should be like?” Hrushowy asks rhetorically. “This is just a much bigger manifestation of that process.”


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Architect Mahmood Fallahian

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