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September 2, 2010

I finally got my hands on a copy of contributing editor Marc Kristal's lush new book, Re:Crafted: Interpretations of Craft in Contemporary Architecture and Interiors, which was published by the Monacelli Press this past spring. The twenty-five projects he profiles are eclectic—an over-the-top villa for a Chinese industrialist; a graphic 'outdoor room' in a San Francisco backyard; a glacier-inspired arts complex in Oslo—but they all share a modern, expanded (and sometimes exploded) sense of 'craft,' and they've all been built in the past decade.

Kristal acknowledges that the notion of 'craft' is rather hard to pin down: "It may seem easily discernible. But the more you see—the more you realize how many forms it takes, and how imaginatively it can be interpreted—the more resistant craft becomes to easy explanation," he says. This book is his attempt to "encourage a more flexible understanding of the craft influence and how it can be used to enrich the whole of the built environment."

As Kristal writes in the book's introduction: "People are drawn to handcrafted objects because the human touch invests them with individuality, personality, narrative, and authenticity. In ways both obvious and unexpected, craft can infuse the larger worl
As Kristal writes in the book's introduction: "People are drawn to handcrafted objects because the human touch invests them with individuality, personality, narrative, and authenticity. In ways both obvious and unexpected, craft can infuse the larger worlds we inhabit with those same, very welcome, qualities."
1 / 10
At the Ini Ani Coffee Shop in New York, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, a 'lid wall'—lined with 479 plaster casts of takeout coffee lids—leads to the front counter. The project was built in three months for $40,000. Photo courtesy of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis.
At the Ini Ani Coffee Shop in New York, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, a 'lid wall'—lined with 479 plaster casts of takeout coffee lids—leads to the front counter. The project was built in three months for $40,000. Photo courtesy of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis.
2 / 10
Hotel Seeko’o, located in Bordeaux, France, has an origami-like facade made of white Corian, designed by the local firm Atelier D’Architecture King Kong. Photo by Arthur Péquin.
Hotel Seeko’o, located in Bordeaux, France, has an origami-like facade made of white Corian, designed by the local firm Atelier D’Architecture King Kong. Photo by Arthur Péquin.
3 / 10
The Mobile Chaplet in Fargo, North Dakota, was designed by Moorhead & Moorhead as a modern-day version of the horse-drawn covered wagon. Photo courtesy of Moorhead & Moorhead.
The Mobile Chaplet in Fargo, North Dakota, was designed by Moorhead & Moorhead as a modern-day version of the horse-drawn covered wagon. Photo courtesy of Moorhead & Moorhead.
4 / 10
In lieu of a traditional backyard, Faulders Studio in San Francisco invented the Deformscape: an 'outdoor room' that's also an optical illusion: it looks like it dips around the tree but is actually a flat surface ideal for entertaining. Photo by Digited
In lieu of a traditional backyard, Faulders Studio in San Francisco invented the Deformscape: an 'outdoor room' that's also an optical illusion: it looks like it dips around the tree but is actually a flat surface ideal for entertaining. Photo by Digited Image Co.
Courtesy of 
digiTED Image 2009
5 / 10
The screens that carve up this open-plan loft in New York are made from laser-cut medium-density fiberboard, created by Architecture Research Office. Photo by Paul Warchol Photography.
The screens that carve up this open-plan loft in New York are made from laser-cut medium-density fiberboard, created by Architecture Research Office. Photo by Paul Warchol Photography.
6 / 10
"Through simplification, inflation, and a sprinkling of the surreal," this country retreat, designed by Preston Scott Cohen, "upends conventional expressions of 'home,'" writes Kristal. Photo by Vicky Sambunaris/Courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.
"Through simplification, inflation, and a sprinkling of the surreal," this country retreat, designed by Preston Scott Cohen, "upends conventional expressions of 'home,'" writes Kristal. Photo by Vicky Sambunaris/Courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.
7 / 10
Of the entry door lock on his 'Hot Rod House,' architect Tom Kundig says: "I was working on the door and thinking, 'That's cool, the way it works—why not put it on backward so you can see it move?'" Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.
Of the entry door lock on his 'Hot Rod House,' architect Tom Kundig says: "I was working on the door and thinking, 'That's cool, the way it works—why not put it on backward so you can see it move?'" Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.
Courtesy of 
© 2006 Benjamin Benschneider All Rights Reserved
8 / 10
Created for a mathematician with a passion for music, the Integral House in Toronto, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, was conceived both as a place to live and also as a venue for musical performances. Photo by Edward Burtynsky.
Created for a mathematician with a passion for music, the Integral House in Toronto, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, was conceived both as a place to live and also as a venue for musical performances. Photo by Edward Burtynsky.
9 / 10
In their Villa for an Industrialist in Shenzhen, China, architects Peter Lynch and Ahlaiya Yung opted for curving walls finished in green and white high-relief slip-cast ceramic tiles. Photo by Chen Yan (VA-PHOTO).
In their Villa for an Industrialist in Shenzhen, China, architects Peter Lynch and Ahlaiya Yung opted for curving walls finished in green and white high-relief slip-cast ceramic tiles. Photo by Chen Yan (VA-PHOTO).
10 / 10
As Kristal writes in the book's introduction: "People are drawn to handcrafted objects because the human touch invests them with individuality, personality, narrative, and authenticity. In ways both obvious and unexpected, craft can infuse the larger worl
As Kristal writes in the book's introduction: "People are drawn to handcrafted objects because the human touch invests them with individuality, personality, narrative, and authenticity. In ways both obvious and unexpected, craft can infuse the larger worlds we inhabit with those same, very welcome, qualities."

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