Latest Articles in Design

QA ka me ki chi project

Young at Any Age

Japanese designer Mikiko Endo lets her wild imagination go to work—–so we can play.
July 24, 2011
Heathrow Bag by WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie

Heathrow Bag by Want

Seems like there's always a new entry in the pool of men's portage, but rare is the bag that manages to hold all your gear, keep a slim profile, and stand up to a bruising in the overhead compartment all without resorting some some garish shoulder strap or six shades of ballistic nylon. Enter the commuter's dream, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie's Heathrow bag. As the name suggests, this is an ideal carry-on, and for the last months I've put it to the test. Here's my take.
July 20, 2011
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Hollywood Renovation: Week 11

When you have a small footprint and you need more space, sometimes the only place to go is up. Our downstairs space is only 750 square feet and accommodates both living and working, so space is at a premium. We wanted to maintain our office space as a compressed six-foot-wide zone along the 38-foot-long north wall, and add storage space for samples, models, binders, coats, and bags. Hanging shelving or artwork in a space with only wood and brick walls presents a challenge, too, since we want to minimize change to the historical structure and to retain the openness of the space. So we decided to add a long minimal shelf along the brick wall and a series of simple pegs on the wood wall.   In this exclusive series for, Linda Taalman of Taalman Koch Architecture tracks the hands-on renovation of her and her partner's live-work space in Hollywood, California. Week 11: Installing vertical storage.
July 17, 2011
Dwell Reports house Party

The Toddlers of Dwell Review 5 Modern Playhouses

All it takes to play is a healthy imagination, 
but a modern playhouse adds to the fun.
July 15, 2011
All photos courtesy of <a href="">Kontent Partners</a>.

Building the Maxon House: Week 19

One of the cool side effects of hiring a fantastic architecture firm is you get the expertise of not only the architect and project manager but the collective wisdom of the entire group. Olson Kundig has a special culture and part of that is the tradition of their Thursday Night Crits. Every Thursday at 5:00pm the office gets together to put the collective genius of the office to work on a particular project. As they explain on their website, "Over food and drink, a project is presented and discussed. The free flow of ideas consistently makes our projects better, and opens up lively discussions." As our project transitioned from the schematic to design development phase, the office opened up their doors to me and the crew of the documentary to listen in on the critique of our project, Maxon House. This was the first opportunity for most of the firm to hear about our project and it was intriguing to hear the various ideas from everyone on ways to take the existing design and in many places make small tweaks or revisions to improve the end product. And, who can resist free beer and pizza!?   In our latest Backstory series, Seattleite Lou Maxon recounts the thrills and trials of ditching the suburbs, buying property, and designing and building a modern house with Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects. Week 19: Maxon House Critique.
July 13, 2011
The Design Work of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

Origin Stories

Newly published monograph The Design 
Work of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby 
offers the inside account behind the British 
duo’s expansive portfolio.
July 12, 2011
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A BoConcept Makeover

When we moved into an Edwardian apartment in San Francisco's Mission District four years ago, we trucked in our furniture, set the pieces where we thought they made sense, and haven't changed much since then. So when BoConcept reached out to tell me about a new service they were offering—in-home design consultations—I jumped on the chance to gain some new perspective on my living space. One afternoon Caroline Krogh-Jensen, owner of two San Francisco stores, and Christopher Stanley, senior design consultant, met me in my apartment to discuss my style, desires for my living space, and to take a slew of measurements. Then they went off to their studio to concoct two fantasy proposals: what they'd do with my living room and adjacent parlor/dining room with an imaginary $12,000 (they called this option "Keeping it Real") and also what they'd do with $23,000 ("The Works"). This was a floor-to-ceiling overhaul, including rugs, light fixtures, and all furniture—working around an existing fireplace and large painting. The full experience costs $150—which is actually a credit toward a future BoConcept purchase. Here's what the team came up with.
July 11, 2011
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Building the Maxon House: Week 18

In our latest Backstory series, Seattleite Lou Maxon recounts the thrills and trials of ditching the suburbs, buying property, and designing and building a modern house with Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects. Week 18: Meet the Contractor.   Having completed the schematic phase of our future residence, our next step was to price out the schematic set and select one of the three contractors Tom Kundig proposed (he'd worked with all three before). During our review process, we used the following determining factors: 1) Price. Obviously this is a huge consideration. Tom Kundig was deliberate in advising us that the lowest or highest prices also come with their own pluses and minuses. It’s important to ask things including: Does this price include applicable sales tax? What is included and not included? Is this a capped price or are there percentage variations on cost overruns? 2) Fit. Just as we interviewed architects and design/builders at the beginning of this process, it's essential that you find a contractor you can get along with, collaborate with, and feel comfortable pushing back on. 3) References. We not only talked to owners who worked with our selected contractor, but we visited their spaces, both completed and in-progress.
July 6, 2011
DOD Pics AfH Booth

Best DOD Shots

When you spill lakes of digital ink and snap loads of pictures documenting your own event (tired of Dwell on Design yet, gentle readers?) you can easily lose perspective of what the folk you're trying to court will go for. Luckily some of you took photos of your own at Dwell on Design, and I've been delighted to see them. So here are three groups of photos of Dwell on Design that you probably haven't seen, and that we are so happy were taken. They range from a party we threw for presenting sponsor LG at Ford and Ching to a wonderfully concerted look at Architecture for Humanity's additions to our show. Have a look.
July 4, 2011