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Koncept Gravy LED Desk Lamp
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All last week we provided you with our team's recaps and experiences at the Dwell on Design event. We wrapped it all up yesterday with Annie's post about the Sander Architect's Green House. Today, I'd like to start back at the beginning and talk about what I discovered on my way to the event...
I had to pick up a friend at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and then head over to the convention center not too far away for the Dwell on Design event. Since L.A. traffic is always unpredictable, I arrived about thirty minutes early and was wondering where I would wait. I drove maybe 100 yards past Union Station and found a large, modern looking structure with the word "bakery" on it. Perfect.
Not only did I have the best powder-sugar almond crousant, but I made an incredible discovery. Homeboy Industries is a non-profit organization, founded by a Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, which helps former gang members and recently incarcerated youth rebuild their future and their life. It is the largest gang intervention program in the country.
It provides programs designed to meet multiple needs, such as counseling, tattoo removal and education. There are also four businesses that serve as job-training sites, such as the bakery where I stopped in that morning. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, besides the fact that it was packed, was the energy level... It was so positive and it was everywhere.
Through various charities and profits earned from the bakery and cafe (which just sold their first products to the Ralphs grocer chain), Father Greg Boyle provide and his organization are able to provide second chance opportunities, most importantly hope for change.
For more information you can visit their website.
Images: DB, KCET, Homeboy Industries
One of the many beautiful projects in this year's Dwell on Design Home Tours line up was Sander Architect's Green House pair. This set of townhouses on one single lot face each other over a drivable courtyard. They are very similar in appearance, yet not identical. Both buildings are wrapped in a skin of 1" x 2" aluminum edges that give it a very distinct appearance, but also act as a shade screen throughout the day.
This pair is what Whitney would call a Hybrid House. "This is a new type of house that we have developed, using a prefabricated metal frame, skin and roof. We have achieved unprecedented economies by using prefabricated building (warehouse) fabricators to manufacture the most expensive parts of the houses at a fraction of the normal costs. We have also achieved unprecedented scale."
The windows are wrapped in the same material used for bus graphics, which allows the home owners to see out, but no one to see in. What a brilliant idea! The custom pattern was designed to reflect the surrounding environment.
They photographed a tree and blew up the image so each building looks as though the the trees are reflecting in the windows. This organic element brings a lot of character to these ultra modern homes.
The front townhouse faces the street and features a quaint zen garden for a front yard. The concrete floors blend with the natural stone wall to create a very calm and peaceful area, filled with lots of natural sunlight. Simple organic wood furniture paired with these modern materials create a great balance in an industrial style space.
What a stunning kitchen! The dark oak Italian kitchen cabinetry contrasts perfectly with the concrete floors, while the two-story oxidized metal panels dominate the space.
The second floor living room features a glass railing and glass walkway which overlooks the kitchen. Modern glass dining tables are a great choice for an open plan. From above the dining table basically disappears.
The soft industrial aesthetic of this modern dining table (below) will help you get this look in your home.
Zuo Plume Clear Glass Modern Dining Table
The contemporary chandelier adds an elegant touch to the industrial space and brings the organic elements of nature indoors.
If you love the chandelier, but aren't one of those lucky enough have these gorgeously high ceilings, a shorter capiz shell pendant would work beautifully in your space.
Dolce Capiz Shell 25" Wide Pendant Chandelier
Many innovative green materials were used throughout this entire project, including passive heating and cooling, natural daylighting, shade screens, bamboo flooring, green cabinetry, and recycled glass countertops.
There were many amazing homes on the the Dwell Home Tour schedule and this is just one of them! I hope you had a chance to check them all out! But if not, there's always next year.....
Images: Sander Architects
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My experience at the 2012 Dwell on Design show at the Los Angeles Convention Center last weekend can be best summed up by a well-worn cliche: what a difference a year makes. Whereas last year's Dwell on Design Show seemed retrenched under the specter of the euro zone crisis (and completely out of step with its tagline "Go Big. Find Design."), the 2012 incarnation was 100% about thinking big.
Summarizing this year's event, Dwell Media President Michela O’Connor Abrams said, “Without exploration, there would be no innovation. This year at Dwell on Design, we’re exploring beyond the boundaries of expectation to get a first look at the people, products, and ideas that will redefine the very notion of modern.”
So what four things did I discover at Dwell on Design 2012?
1. Modernism is Alive and Well
If the exhibiting non-profits at the show are any indication, classic Modernism is very much the guiding light of Dwell.
I was delighted to discover Modcom, the Modern Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy. Through research, outreach, and action, this group works to preserve L.A.'s post-war architectural treasures.
Also in attendance were representatives of Palm Springs Modernism Week, the annual symposium of lectures, tours and exhibitions dedicated to Modernism's rich legacy in the Palm Springs area.
2. Outdoor Is In
The outdoor "deck" of the show was larger this year. Plants, prefabs, pods, pots and more graced every corner of the space.
The show boasted two retrofitted Airstream campers, further underscoring Modernism's firm hold on the Dwell aesthetic.
Even the very notion of "outdoor" was expanded. As part of the show's onstage series, Artillery magazine's review editor Carrie Paterson presented "The Road Less Traveled: How Miniature Forests Will Humanize Long-Term Space Missions," in which she detailed the history of agriculture in space exploration, and offered the bonzai tree as a possible human companion in long-term human missions to space.
3. Big Design Fits in Small Spaces
As expected, the latest in modular home design was on display at the event. All three participating designers utilized diminutive floorplans to the fullest, and I caught more than one attendee peering into cabinets, checking under beds, and above appliances in an attempt to visualize how they might downsize their lives into a small, elegant space.
The ecofabulous LivingHome was the event darling - it seemed like there was someone pouring juice, wine or champagne at almost every hour outside the space. At their $172 per square foot claim, the LivingHome is budget-fabulous.
Connect Homes and Sustain Design didn't rival the ecofabulous LivingHome fanfare, but their designs equally inspired. Sustain Design's caliMini prefab packs a high aesthetic into the footprint of a flatbed truck:
All in all, these homes felt a bit, well, mobile. I found it hard to resist the urge to knock on the walls to see how they held up, but seen in a broader context, these structures are quite a feat. Given only a few days of set up time, each of these designers erected and staged a livable home. Who am I to complain?
4. We Live in a Material World
My favorite part of the show was that which was perhaps least practical in the most direct sense: a number of sculptural installations were on view that explored the limits of material. As Cori mentioned in her recap of the show earlier this week, Oyler Wu's Screenplay installation utilized 45,000 feet of rope to create a textured wall.
Student Bruce Guan from the Interior Architecture Department at Woodbury University constructed a fabulous curtain from paper airplanes (pictured below and in detail at the top of this post).
Los Angeles based Timeline Wood showcased a line of distressed wood planks. These FSC certified, low VOC treated planks had the appearance of reclaimed wood. The owners, Shelby Keyser and Matt Stroud, perfected the "aging" techniques during stints as furniture restorers and artists.
As evidenced by the event as a whole, design's role in the building of a better future is more important than ever. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the motor court in front of the Convention Center, where Green Car Journal hosted a test drive program showcasing the latest in electric, hybrid and clean diesel cars. A year ago, the electric vehicles on display were concept cars. This time around however, I was able to test drive two production cars: the Coda and Ford Focus (available starting January 2013).
When it was time to head home however, I did the green cars one better: I jumped on my bicycle and rode home. Sure, nobody walks in L.A...but they do ride.
Images: Modcom, Sustain Design
I hope you all enjoyed my Dwell On Design recap yesterday... Stay tuned for more Dwell fun from Annie and Brent! But first, I just had to show you a little more from the home featured on the Dwell July/August cover, designed by Linda Taalman. I feel like a bit of a design geek showing off my autographed copy of the issue, which you can see in my recap post.
The A-frame mid-century home uses just enough mixed materials in a very simple way. The smart architecture paired with modern seating is enough for any design enthusiast to get excited.
Zuo Draper White Lounge Chair
The colorful walls are very uncomplicated, yet full of style. This image (below) is a great shot to illustrate the open floor plan and how the color of one wall coordinates so well with the other wall and together they reflect beautifully through the large window wall. The texture of these walls adds depth and interest. There's no need for a lot of artwork, furniture or accessories, the interior architecture owns all the personality in this home.
I just love this open kitchen full of windows and clean counter space. The linear light fixture is a great contrast to the round table and curvy chairs, but works brilliantly with the booth seating and linear kitchen design.
This Possini light fixture is a great way to get this look.
Possini Euro Parallel Chandelier
While at the event, I chatted with one of Taalman's partners and learned that much of what they do is research in off-site fabricated building technologies. Apparently, this mid-century home was just an extremely successful departure....
Images: Taalman Koch
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