Maybe it's the Scottish blood in my veins, or the fact I just raced through all four Edinburgh-based Jackson Brodie mysteries, but Scotland is happening for me at the moment. And everyone loves a dose of Brutalism, no? Which is why I'm so fascinated by the Scottish Brutalism Project, a research website, complete with map, organized by the University of Strathclyde Department of Architecture (whose own building is on the list). For real-time updates, you can even follow the project on Twitter: @scotbrut.
At Dwell, we often discuss the important of utilizing all of the rooms in the house (no "living room" that could more aptly be referred to as the "mausoleum"). Naturally, this witty essay by David Sedaris on acquiring a guest room and entertaining guests made us chuckle.A snippet from the first paragraph: "Follow me," I now say. The room I lead our visitors to has not been hastily rearranged to accommodate them. It does not double as an office or a weaving nook but exists for only one purpose. I have furnished it with a bed rather than a fold-out sofa, and against one wall, just as in a hotel, I’ve placed a luggage rack. The best feature, though, is the private bathroom." Image credit: Illustration by Nishant Choksi
LAVA Lemonade, a collaborative project with Ola Mirecka and textile designer Natalia Maghdoori, is designed as a space that revolves around childhood dreams. The LAVA Lemonade experience invites individuals to sip and slurp lemonade from handmade cups, sit on unique stools bent in whimsical drawing-like compositions, and meet new friends in an uncontrolled setting. Photos: Wai Ming Ng
I have a tote for the beach and only the beach. I keep the kids' beach toys and hats in it knowing that they have sand all over them even BEFORE we reach the beach, because who's going to take all that stuff out of the bag only to dump out sand in the house? (Not to mention the sand that ends up in the car). Quirky has designed a tote bag with a secret flap that will release the sand at the bottom of your bag. The inner lining is made of mesh, so all your goods like shells, quarters, and sand crabs won't escape. Created by Charlie Dougiello and Spike Mendelsohn (yes, of Top Chef fame), Shake is also available in kids backpacks, men's totes, and even a clutch.
If you are an animal lover like I am, make sure to take a look at The Animal Print Shop. The Print Shop is an online art gallery and store created by Sharon Montrose and her husband. It features Sharon's playful yet sophisticated fine art photographs of animals. The images are simple and beautiful, and you will be sure to find your favorite animal somewhere in the series.
An incredible blog dedicated to the serious study of ancient Maya hieroglyphics by professor Dr. David Stuart of The University of Texas at Austin. Within this site is a wealth of links, images, and background information on the ongoing study of the Maya culture.
Maurice L. Freedman (who was the district camoufleur for the 4th district of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation) donated plans and photos of Dazzle camouflage—also known as razzle dazzle or dazzle painting, a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I—to the Rhode Island Institute of Design's special collections. There are 455 plans and 20 photos in the collection, of which they have 50 in an online gallery. There is an interesting article about the Dazzle Camouflage's influence on contemporary art and design on The Creators Project and another gallery of photos on The Public Domain Review."Regardless of its roots, dazzle camouflage is arguably one of the most strikingly aesthetic tools of war ever employed. Shapes and stripes decorated along the outer surfaces of merchant and war vessels were intended to confuse enemy submarines of a "dazzle ship’s" exact nautical position. Beautiful, stunning, and, in practice, terrifying, it was a rare occurrence where art was the technology and war became a medium."
I recently discovered Gretel, a lovely online shop started by a British interior stylist in 2009. It's got a great mix of functional and decorative objects for the home—plus a section dedicated to gifts organized by price, from "Under $50" to "$200 and Up"—very helpful for birthday presents and, with Father's Day coming up, design-saavy dads.
Riding MUNI can sometimes be a pleasant and uneventful experience––but it usually isn't. For the times when someone is sharing their body odor or choice of music with the rest of the bus, there is Muni Diaries: a place for people to vent (and sometimes celebrate) their experiences on San Francisco's public transit system.