27 posts categorized "Design"

Brightly colored, patterned knitwear

Yokedogs Bringing an old design back to life: Staffordshire ceramic dogs (popular in the 19th century) updated with "sweater detail" by British designer Donna Wilson / New York Times Home Section Feb. 4, 2010

This is the day of the dogs venturing out into the snow-white blizzard in colorful, stylish hand-painted Fair Isle-style yoke sweaters.

Whose circumference is nowhere

Bruno's circle drawings / Design As Art

"If the square is bound up with man and his works, with architecture, harmonious structures, writing and so on, the circle is related to the divine. The circle has always represented and still represents eternity, with no beginning and no end. An ancient text says that God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

The circle is an essentially unstable, dynamic figure. From it arise all rotating things, and all vain efforts to produce perpetual motion."

~ from Design As Art by Bruno Munari


More of Bruno's wonderful chairs / from Design As Art by Bruno Munari / the Munari Principle: lucidity, leanness, exactitude and humor

“I had three chairs in my house:
one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Chairs and chairishness

And when we are there we need some place to sit down / Bruno's chair sketches

"So there we are. Chairs must be made for indoors and out, for the drawing-room, the office, the waiting-room at the doctor's or at the railway station, for playing cards in, for taking tea in the garden, for lunch, for the seaside, for holidays in the mountains (a vast range), very low with a very high back, very high with no back at all (for the bar), for boutiques, for buses, for churches, for camping."

~ From DESIGN AS ART by Bruno Munari

Practice seeing


Look how light changes the color and tone of the liquid in these bottles — they are all exactly the same, but the sunlight makes them look completely different / Tennessee / Jan. 2007

“Practice seeing the little things.
Gather glimpses of colors, shapes, tones, and shifts you usually ignore.”

~ Rob Brezsney, from his book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings

What is, or is not, ephemeral


Design with food / Washington, DC / May 2007

“In an age in which permanence requires being uploaded, digitized and exiled to microfiche, things that are considered ephemeral take on added significance. Of course, the very question of what is, or is not, ephemeral is itself something of an oxymoron: technically speaking, if you save something, how can it be ephemeral? Clearly, an abbreviated life adds to an object's essential allure, and it is probable that this very fragility reminds us, in no small way, of our own mortality. Something meant to inhabit this world briefly — a ticket stub, a butterfly wing, a cookie — will inevitably decompose before we know it. Does an intervention to extend its life render us heroic, or just mildly delusional? Making design out of something ephemeral raises this proposition to an entirely new level: on the one hand, you could easily liken such behavior to, say, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And on the other?

Welcome to the world of foodistry: design with food.”

~ Jessica Helfand (Reflections on the Ephemeral World, Part Two: Food)

Patterns of welcome


Entrance Court on Forsyth Park / Savannah, GA / August 2006

Many older buildings have beautiful and intricate tile work in their entrances or vestibules (derived from the Latin vestibulum, i.e., “entrance court”). Colors and patterns and tiles laid at angles. It always feels so welcoming — like they've been expecting you and prepared something wonderful. Entrances make me think of “beginnings” — new jobs, houses, babies — and how we celebrate them with parties, gifts, flowers, champagne. I like to think that being welcomed into a building by a beautiful entrance is a bit like being offered a glass of champagne.

Shuttered porches


Back of the Andrew Low House on Lafayette Square (laid out in 1837) / Savannah, GA / August 2006

What a great design -- shuttered porches that stretch across the entire back side of the house allow air to circulate but keep out the blazing sun (the front has cast iron balconies to catch the breezes).

Backyard garden


What did we do before we had wonderful, sweet Grape tomatoes? / New Jersey / July 2007

Design is the fundamental creative activity with which we direct our lives, and collectively, the earth’s transformation from its original, natural state into our human-made world.

~ Michael Shannon