In 2007 I designed and fabricated this apparatus for my friends Erik and Jessica at Phantom Limb Co. to remotely open and close doors on a marionette stage for their performance, Dear Mme at BAM. By connecting the hinge pins to gears, I was able to use a hand cranked bicycle chain mechanism to control the hinges from underneath and behind the stage. I just put up some photos on a project page here, but need to put the video here until I figure some more stuff out with this site.
I’m really proud of this table I just did for Dolce Vita. I had drawn it as a super simple, single piece welded brass frame. But I went and double checked the freight elevator and stairwell in the Puck building and knew there was no way in hell it was going to get up to its new home. It had to be made in pieces. Oh but where to put the seams?!?!? Hide them in the corners or bury them in plain sight? I came up with this little cube detail for the middle of each side with reveals around it and used it as a coupling that slides into the four corner elements and holds it all together. I was nervous that it would look fussy and silly. I don’t think it does. I’m psyched. Looks good. Check it out.
I’ve seen this for years but it never really registered until a few weks ago when I was rebuilding a section of floor (see photo below)– Durock brand cement board has a marking that repeats randomly across it’s surface. It’s that “7″ shaped line all over the sheet in the photo above. And it looks to me like that gesture is a scratch from the machinery the sheets move on and across in manufacturing. It’s a rough gesture but it’s identical everywhere it appears so it appeals to me as this very mechanical artifact– almost a little map– of the material’s creation.
I haven’t posted for a while cuz I’ve been in the Bronx building a job and haven’t seen my desk in a month. But watch for upcoming photos of the job in September and know for now that it’s entailed a lot of carpentry and where there’s carpentry there’s need for shims and where there’s need for shims, well, anything goes. So Rosenzweig, thank you for all your beautiful lumber, but we used those yardsticks you gave us as shims, so uh, can we get some more? tx.
…to be continued…
My wife and son and I were very honored to receive the kind editorial and photo team from the Japanese lifestyle and culture magazine Brutus in our home last month. And we are happy to be included in the May 2011 issue’s feature spread, “In Brooklyn Style”. Available on newstands!! There are some interesting homes featured along with ours showing the post-deconstructionist, reclaimed and renowned crafty-quilty-hodge-podge that is Brooklyn these days. Shout out to Jeff Staple for recommending us for the issue, and big thanks to Brutus writers/contributing editors David Imber and Mika Yoshida for their care and consideration. This was in the works for a while and we weren’t sure if it would fall through given recent events in Japan, but as they say, the show must go on…. Photographer Naho Kubota’s shots are excellent and I’d love to get a set to use here on the site. Click on the pics above and below for larger views. It’s feels good to get some design attention for a project that’s been ongoing for 11 years now. (wow!) There’s a link to the magazine online here, but I gather it will change after the 15h of May.
My research assistant is super cute.
Henry’s basket as set aside for him to find upon waking Easter morning. I wonder if it will be the first time a child wakes to find shoes in among all the candy, fake grass and fluffy stuff. KR thought of that one and I thought it was a wonderful idea. I’d like to have a pair of Natives myself. Happy Easter all. May your dreams escape and live forever.
A friend sent me a post from swissmiss about a new storage system from Spain called Brick Box. He sent it to me because he saw in it strong similarities to my own Spacecases that we used in his store. No one is suggesting any foul play, just someone else’s approach to a common design problem– how do you make a furniture grade system of boxes that are easy to carry for short term mobility and stack reliably and attractively for long term storage and display? It’s really not a big deal— it’s a five sided box of whatever dimension you choose, with or without moving parts like doors on the sixth side. The real challenge is in elegantly addressing the ability of the boxes to interlock when stacked for safety and stability without excess hardware and “stuff” tacked on. I have seen a number of approaches to this problem. I don’t think any of them including mine has really solved the problem to my standards. Brick Box is close. They have also addressed another critical issue, shipping. How do you address product scalability from a cost perpective when the bulk of shipping a box is the empty space inside. Sinclair Spacecases are extremely durable, but the cabinet grade fabrication techniques do not allow for consumer assembly. So in short, no flat packing = high shipping cost. Brick Boxes pack flat, but at the expense of what I deem unseemly hardware, i.e. screws, and the potential for user assembly error and what I call the Ikea syndrome: you can put it together, put it down and use it, but if you ever so much as try to move it an inch, it will collapse. (Which may explain why Ikea themselves abandoned a similar concept as suggested in the swissmiss comment thread.) So much for the sustainable footprint of flat packing when it’s not really modular. Granted, I have never held or used Brick Boxes, but I am skeptical. Plus, I feel like the little feet that they attached to each box to create the interlock is an inelegant after thought, just kind of stuck on there without being a real part of the product’s designed form. Still, I congratulate them on a solution to a problem I have spent a lot of time thinking about and sketching myself. And I congratulate them further on their ambition and branded approach. Godspeed!
Friend and colleague Ed Morris of Canary Project has a piece in Metropolis online calling for more sustainable practices in the publishing industry and giving some examples and suggestions. The above image is from the back of Green Patriot Posters, a collection of posters promoting awareness and action on climate change that he and Dmitri Siegel published last year (and to which I contributed some work). The Green Patriot book was itself a strong effort to print more sustainably as its back cover indicates. Ed is a great voice for environmental awareness and I hope the powers that be in the paper publishing industry are listening. With costs for digital production means down and costs for traditional printing rising, it’s their game to lose.