Sara Dierck is a design researcher, writer, photographer and artist who enjoys creating meaningful connections between products, environments and people.
A rainy start to the Brooklyn Home Tour—the closing event of City Modern—didn't deter those who turned out for a peek into five unique homes in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Boerum Hill. After maps and passes were secured at Module R on Atlantic Avenue, each attendee discovered homes filled with innovative design solutions, unique re-imaginings of space, and wonderful uses of textures, colors and materials.
City Modern—Dwell and New York Magazine's collaborative week-long collection of talks, studio and home tours showcasing New York architecture and design—began Monday evening with the opening of Design Through the Ages. Four interior designers: Nate Berkus, Francis D'Haene, Thom Filicia, and Ghislaine Vinas each explore a distinct era of time. The designers hand-picked pieces from showrooms at the New York Design Center, who also hosts the exhibition.
The Leaf, a thin and lightweight chair designed by Folditure, will soon be joined by a table counterpart: the Cricket. An aluminum folding table, designed by architect Alexander Gendell, the Cricket uses a complex system of hinges and moving parts to quickly transform a room when that unexpected guest arrives for dinner. Gendell hopes his line of furniture alters the perception of how we organize and move around our living spaces, enabling our environment to become as adaptable and accommodating as a folding chair.
Instagram has created a vibrant social platform for sharing images and simply allowing millions of people to create photographs that are often more visually appealing than those typically made with a standard point-and-shoot or phone camera. A new service, Coastermatic, lets you take these previously ephemeral images and turn them into stone coasters, in sets of four.
Manhattan has 32 miles of accessible waterfront, and traditionally these spaces have acted as gateways for the comings and goings of its inhabitants. The river portals have largely brought food and other goods in while the resulting end product of trash is sent off the island. One of these waste management points used to be the West 135th Street marine transfer station, along the Hudson River in Harlem.
Recent development projects in New York City have celebrated the link to the Hudson and East Rivers, providing new parks and better access to relax and play by the water. Yet few of these projects address the challenges of the city's current system of importing food and exporting waste. A biennial design ideas competition put forward by the American Institute for Architects New York Chapter's Emerging New York Architect (ENYA) program builds on this potential. "While there's been a lot of improvement along the waterfront, certainly along Hudson River, this site is one that's a missing link," AIA President Joseph Aliotta said.
Open to emerging professionals and students with less than ten years of experience, 98 entries from 16 countries addressed the opportunities provided by the decommissioned building. An accompanying exhibition at the Center for Architecture, "The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections," provides visitors with a variety of information to explore, from proposal models and images to a library filled with books on the importance of the waterfront.