Designer Jennifer Siegal’s own house is a modest 1920s Spanish bungalow on the leeward side of busy Lincoln Boulevard in Venice, California, that looks nothing like what she makes at her day job. A little bit homely, a little bit avant-garde, it’s a place to try out ideas, test products, and show off to potential clients and give them a feel for how she might make their own new house work. If they don’t grok Siegal’s crunchy-granola-meets-industrial vibe, then maybe they should just move on.
Though it was released in 2006, lately I've been appreciating David Weeks' Sing Sing Dinner Plate. Purportedly a copy of the actual food-trays used at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, this orange melamine, TV-dinner-sized food-holder is both jaunty and institutional—which, to a parent's ear, sounds eminently kid-friendly.
For fans of good design, great writing, and smart cultural objects, consider the Bük. Billed as "one provocative essay, short story, portfolio of pictures, collection of poems, or other surprising entertainment," individual Büks cost $1.49, the same as a new game for your iPhone (but better for your brain).
The feel-good story: The first six houses funded by Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation have been completed in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. They include homes designed by New Orleans architectural firms Billes Architecture and Concordia; plus KieranTimberlake of Philadelphia, and a couple of prefabs by Los Angeles-based Graft. Soon to come are the balance of Pitt's all-star lineup, including Adjaye Associates, Morphosis, MVRDV, Pugh + Scarpa, and Shigeru Ban.