For this installment of the Week in Review, the Dwell team found inspiration in the far reaches of the Web—from attachable pants-protectors for cyclists to tile designs from the London Underground—as well as close to home in the slideshows from our new May 2009 issue, which hit the stands and the pixels of Dwell.com this week.
While my Spanish language skills are pitiful, I still enjoy scanning the photos (and occasionally running the text through the Google Translate machine) from Arquitectura Arkinetia, a blog based in Argentina and Spain. One post that caught my eye this week is this restaurant in Parque de la Florida in the Basque region of Spain. The interiors aren't particularly remarkable but I love the way the three sections of the building sit in a line among the trees, with simple vertical wood framing and glass giving the place a low-profile that doesn't detract from the park. (Image above)
Design Assembly has a great series of photos of tile designs in London's Victoria Line stations. The route—introduced in the late 1960s—was designed to have a consistent look across all platforms, and these installations livened up the otherwise muted hues of the color scheme. I lived in London for a few years, and while the light blue line wasn't part of my regular commute, I can't believe I never noticed these before. They're bloody brilliant! Makes me wonder how much I'm missing every morning on BART. [Via Design*Sponge]
I know this is supposed to be where we direct your attention around the web, and while I could have pointed you here or here, I would simply like to point you to the Terunobu Fujimori slideshow on our own site. Fujimori's Too High Teahouse had made the blog rounds a few years back, but I never knew about the rigor behind his historian-architect approach to fusing modernism with a neolithic aesthetic until I picked up this wonderful monograph at William Stout Books while returning to the office from lunch one day. Somehow the stars aligned and soon enough Fujimori was on board with our May issue, and a writer friend of ours was headed to Japan to meet up with him. Kudos to Jaime Gross for doing such a great job with the story, and Adam Friedberg for the photography.
Aaron: Extra Leg
As a frequent cyclist, and one not wholly enamored of calf-hugging skinny jeans, I find myself all too often with grease stains on the back of my pants. Though I roll the legs to keep from brushing the gears, the cuffs themselves invariably bear the telltale black streaks. Though I don't mind the stains on the inside of my pants, I'd still rather not have them at all. This week I came across the Extra Leg, a concoction of the denim dons at A.P.C. The denim cuff all but disappears on dark jeans and reminds me of the sleeve protectors typesetters used to wear. Of course the other way around grease leg is to fit your wheels with a chain guard, like the Dutch bicycles David Colman rhapsodized about in yesterday's New York Times Style section. Stylish though they may be, the Dutch clunkers are entirely unfit for my rambles around hilly San Francisco, whereas the Extra Leg appears to be just what I need.
My favorite office that I've ever worked in was the newsroom at The Buffalo News, where I was a reporting intern one summer during university. It was a huge room filled with desks and chairs, and from my computer in the Features department at one end of the room, I could see all the way to the other side—a good hundred feet—to the editors typing away in the Business section. I loved the absence of cubicle walls and the floating voices that always gave you one side of an interview (you'd read the other side of the conversation in the next day's paper). It was, as I recently learned from this great article in Wired by Cliff Kuang about the evolution of office design, a Burolandschaft-style working space. Dwell's office is more Action Office. My heart goes out to those in the Cube Farm.
With this coming weekend's forecast for summer weather, I found myself dreaming of garden parties, and the ongoing fantasy of finding just the right outdoor furniture to suit my vision. I remembered the folks at Lievore Altherr Molina studio from my tour of Barcelona last summer, and they've got a sassy new line ready to introduce in Milan next week. Check out the lovely Leaf lounge chair, from their newest series for Arper, and all of their beautiful work at their website. (Be patient for the pages to load—it's worth it!)