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Regina-Andrew Arc21" Metal Wall Sconce
“Love the polished finish on this light. The swing-arm style is perfect for the bedside.”
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Over the last three decades, a growing number of public "percent for art" programs have transformed commercial design projects into city cultural stewardship projects. How?
The concept is simple: for major commercial design projects (capital improvement projects and new developments), an increasing number of major cities require funders to earmark a set percentage of the overall budget for the purchase and installation of public art. Effectively, property developers become the arts benefactors and beautifiers of the cities within which they build.
While not all public art pieces are universally a hit, most would argue they certainly intrigue. Pictured above is Cradle, a 2010 installation by Ball-Nogues Studio for the Santa Monica Place shopping mall in Santa Monica, California.
One of the earliest adopters of the percent for art concept, Chicago began asking developers to earmark 1.33% of project costs back in 1978. Weighing in at 100 tons, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (nicknamed "The Bean") is a favorite in Millennium Park.
The "Percent for Art" idea traces back domestically to the early 1960s and then chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Michael von Moschziskerhe. As von Moschziskerhe explained to TIME magazine in 1962, "I said to the other four members that maybe we could let it be known that we would look with favor on bidders who offered to spend 1% of construction costs on frescoes, murals, bas-reliefs, mosaics, stained-glass windows, and fountains with statuary in or around them...Psychologists and efficiency experts now find that beauty increases productivity. It necessarily follows that true functionalism in man-made edifices must include artistic expression."
Visitors to Los Angeles will recognize the "pylons" at LAX. This kinetic installation of multi-color lights by Paul Tzanetopoulos is the result of the city's 1% for art program.
The distinctive pylon look can be adapted to the home with torchiere floor lamps.
Possini Euro Design Hybrid Torchiere Accent Light Floor Lamp
Public art can be seen as a talking point, an eyesore, or a design centerpiece, as with Eclipse, a 40 foot high, 12-sided dodecahedron by artist Charles O. Perry located in the atrium Hyatt Regency in San Francisco's Embarcadero. I love the string lights hanging from the ceiling in the background. They remind me of the droplets on some of my favorite crystal chandeliers.
In the case of some public art, it can be so formally driven that it verges on looking functional. Can you tell which of the below is sculpture and which is a chandelier?
(Hint: One is the Bowling Ball Curtain sculpture by Eung Ho Park; the other is the Possini Euro Floating Bubble 6-Light Round Ceiling Fixture)
Public art infuses public spaces with color and interesting forms which inevitably become the common social and cultural bonds of a city.
Images: Ball-Nogues Studio, Art Observed, Daily News, Hyatt Regency, DM Contemporary
Interior Designer Rachel Horn and her husband Justin Kreizel combined their skills to renovate this 1969 Airstream. They are now ready for the great outdoors, but more importantly, they can spend their time camping in luxury.
The interior is just as functional as it is beautiful. The built-in daybed is wrapped in glamorous fabrics and Moroccan accents, making it almost too beautiful to sleep in. The geometric mirrored coffee tables add a touch of glamour to the space.
This table (below) will help you bring modern lines and a little glam into your own home.
Zuo Tyrell Stainless Steel and Black Glass Coffee Table
Although this wasn't the typical 10,000 square foot project Horn was used to designing, she didn't treat it any differently and carefully considered all the details.
Mixing modern home decor with Moorish, Turkish or Persian details creates something Horn decribes as "Luxe Nomadic".
This modern kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, a cappuccino maker, water filter, and all the amenities typically found in a luxurious home kitchen. Horn and her husband have everything they need to be comfortable while camping.
Modern wall light fixtures are great for casting a nice glow onto counters and surfaces below, perfect for cooking those late night meals. Directional wall lights are great for kitchens without upper cabinets. This light (below) would also work perfectly in this type of setting.
Satin Nickel 8" High LED Spotlight Wall Sconce
The bedroom is separated from the rest of the space with Moorish arches and curtains, tied back for easy access. The headboards mimic the arches of the overall structure and are covered in elegant fabrics. After a long day hiking in the rough outdoors, who wouldn't want to jump into these comfortable beds?
For those of you who shy away from the rough outdoors and don't typically like the idea of camping.... Maybe it's time you give "glamping" a try!
Images: Rachel Horn
High style on the high seas is not just a fiction one finds in Bond movies. The following rundown of the best in modern yacht interiors suggests that good design sense need not be shore bound.
When looking for a custom boat interiors pro, Art collector Dakis Joannou commissioned famed artist Jeff Koons and interior designer Ivana Porfiri to outfit Guilty (pictured above and below), a colorful 35 meter yacht that is a floating homage to contemporary art and design.
Clear chairs maintain an uncluttered aesthetic - perfect for the limited space of a yacht. Get a similar look with clear outdoor dining chairs. This set by Zuo Modern (below) are perfect for the job.
Set of 4 Zuo Allsorts Transparent Outdoor Dining Chairs
The Antigone 80 meter yacht (below) is a sleek concept yacht by Pama Design. In looking for a style that would integrate well with the surroundings, the designers turned to an aesthetic perhaps most suited to the flat expanse of the sea: the classic Modernist look.
Use floor lamps and modern seating to replicate the signature style.
Possini Euro White Marble Base Arc Floor Lamp
There are those, of course, who prefer to never leave shore at all. This boathouse in Ontario, Canada (below) is a stunning reason to forgo time on the water entirely.
Designed by GH3 Architects, this is an efficient model. The house is sited on a granite slab, an ideal thermal mass for the solar radiation that passively heats the space. Louvers, ventilation and the lake-front location keep things cool in Summer. With a space like this, keeping your land legs beneath you just might be the best idea of all.
Images: Hok Life, Tuvie, Home Designing, Contemporist
When we study eco-friendly architecture and landscape, it's not often that we come across a landscaped structure. Architect Andrew Maynard designed "Hill House" in Melbourne, Australia to be the exception. This once single structure residence has been turned into, not only a much larger home, but a study on combining architecture and building.
Melbourne is predominantly flat. This could be why Melbourne’s architecture is ambitious. There's no landscape to confine structure design, therefore buildings are free to become landscape.
The design goal was for a family of five to have a long-term residence, which could meet the requirements of three small children and their transformation into young adulthood. Above is the evolution of design toward that goal, starting with the just original building (white).
Fundamental issues offered Maynard a starting point and he noticed that the original structure faced North which relegated the backyard, where the family spent much of their time, to shadow throughout the year. This was not ideal.
The proposal was to build a new structure on the rear boundary, which was once the back yard.
The new structure now faces the sun and the pure cantilevered box above acts as the passive solar eave, cutting out summer sun, while letting winter sun flood in.
Upon entry, you can see (below) how the structure effects the interior, creating a lowered dining area. The change in floor level creates a bench seat for the Maynard designed "Zero Waste Table".
Despite structural efforts outside, there are ways for any interior to circulate aire and keep cool in the summer. There are some great modern ceiling fans the accomplish this without detracting from the decor. This fan below is our suggestion for achieving Maynard's design aesthetic.
Turbina Oil-Rubbed Bronze Ceiling Fan
Much of the color in Maynard's design comes from the landscape outside, but he had a little fun with the dining room. Multi-colored modern dining chairs is a great way to add personality to a minimally designed space. We suggest this red Eames-style dining chair.
Zuo Spire Red Dining Chair
Wouldn't it be fun to have a well designed attractive home that is also your playground? Apparently, Maynard is the go-to architect for innovative, fun and smart design. "Environmental issues and responsible, intelligent solutions are trademarks of his work, utilising clever concepts for a dynamic output. Clients come to Maynard when they’re seeking a unique and challenging solution..." Alaana Fitzpatrick, DQ magazine.
Images: Maynard Architects
People often complain that Los Angeles is so spread out and impersonal. Arguably, it might be and there is no denying it. However, there are certain events that occur throughout the city in an effort to distance itself from such an apathetic reputation. Rather than condemning the vastness of our overpopulated city, we should embrace its variety.
The Downtown Art Walk is a free, self-guided public community event bringing together art lovers and community friends. It takes place on the second Thursday of every month. Activities occur mostly in and around the galleries located on Spring and Main streets between 2nd and 9th streets. However, there are several art related events and openings, activities, and special programming that take place all over downtown.
The small groups that form and the conversation that occurs outside each gallery, restaurant or bar, discussing a range of art and artists, is enough to make a large city seem small.
Road Trip / Watercolor, ink, gouache on paper
The art depicted above and below are from Ching Ching Cheng, a Taiwanese born, Los Angeles based artist who works mostly in sculptural mixed media and paintings. If you like what you see, you can find her work in the DAC Gallery, located on Main Street.
Tenement / Gouache, pen on paper
Invisible / Watercolor, ink, pencil on paper
Cell / Watercolor, ink, acrylic on paper
As Brent discussed recently in his post Commercial Design - Earmarking Public Art, art makes an impact not only on city urban planning and development, but it also makes a positive impact on the inhabitants of that city. Whether they're arriving at the airport and taking in the beauty of structural art or conversing with friends outside a gallery just before entering a local pub for more conversation over a drink....
Images: LAist, Ching Ching Cheng
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