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Seedlings illustration by Malin Rosenqvist

Modern Sharecropping

For every well-tended backyard garden there’s another gone to seed, and for every happy horticulturalist noodling with the begonias out front there’s a cooped-up apartment dweller anxious to work outdoors. A movement is afoot, however, to unite landless gardeners with available plots of land, and it promises to both make better use of urban space and bring people together over a basket of shared vegetables or flowers.
March 15, 2011
Pests illustration by Malin Rosenqvist

Pest Practices

For decades home gardeners have turned to an arsenal of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers to keep their lawns, ornamentals, and veggies looking perfect. Unfortunately, this type of garden control has a dangerous impact on the ecosystem.
March 15, 2011
Potting illustration by Malin Rosenqvist

Going to Pot

Container gardening is often the only option for apartment dwellers longing for some greenery in their lives and soil under their fingernails. If you have limited space, grow something that you can really get a kick out of—like mint for mojitos—but bear in mind that when growing in containers, sunlight, drainage, and soil nutrients are your primary concerns.
March 15, 2011
myplayground

BIG & Parkour in "My Playground"

I just came across the trailer for My Playground, a most unusual documentary about architecture by director Kaspar Astrup Schröder. In it the Danish parkour crew Team JiYo sprints and vaults its way around the world, paying special attention to BIG's Mountain Dwellings, an alpine apartment block in the buzzing Ørestad neighborhood of Copenhagen. (Congrats to BIG for their just-announced win of the E2 International Timber Competition in Finland!) This is glossy parkour indeed, practiced on spiffy buildings by well-scrubbed Danes, so little of the gritty Frenchness of the sport's origins is in evidence. But as with BIG's super-hero honcho Bjarke Ingels (who gets in on the action) the vibe of the film is exuberant, celebratory. All told it's one hell of a cool watch, and it looks like you can buy the 50 minute full-length DVD for a cool $20. Via Architects and Artisans.
March 15, 2011
Immaterial World Cover Crop

Marc Kristal on Immaterial World

One of my favorite writers in Dwell is our contributing editor Marc Kristal. His latest story for us—the centerpiece of the issue, if you ask me—is a mad dash around New York City finding high design in all five boroughs. When he's not searching his coat pockets for his Metrocard, Kristal works penning books in addition to magazine stories. I had a chat with him about his latest, Immaterial World: Transparency in Architecture out later this month from Monacelli Press.
March 15, 2011
Black chalkboard pegboard by Margaret Oomen

DIY Black Chalkboard Pegboard by Margaret Oomen

Sometimes the pursuit of a simple accessory can result in a surprising upshot. Margaret Oomen was well into the process of reappropriating a portion of her dining room for use as a creative studio, but six months of searching for the perfect vintage pegboard turned up no solid leads. Oomen, a family doctor and crafty blogger based north of Toronto, had conceded to purchase a new one when ingenuity struck in the aisles of Home Depot.
March 14, 2011
glass house thumb

A New View on the Glass House

We've all seen images of the Glass House, the iconic architectural landmark that Philip Johnson built in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1949. Breaking from the traditional view on the property, photographer James Welling spent three years photographing the Glass House, using digital cameras set on a tripod and holding a variety of filters in front of the lens to a chieve a colorful, almost psychedelic effect. As Welling described it in an interview with Artforum, the use of filters enabled his project to become "a laboratory for ideas about transparency, reflectivity and color." Here's a peek at some images from the new book, due out from Damiani on April 30th. All images courtesy of David Zwirner, New York.  
March 14, 2011
A classic, the Tolomeo lamp.

The Electrician-Free Sconce

A few months into living in a new apartment, it's become clear that I'm one lamp shy of a fully-lit living room. It's perfectly fine in there, but I often wish that I could turn everything just a tick brighter without turning on the ghastly overhead light. And though I've considered another table lamp, or an arcing floor lamp, suddenly a sconce or two that don't require any wiring are looking more and more appealing. Here are the two that I've got my eye on. Best yet, neither will break the bank.
March 14, 2011
ff 031111

Friday Finds 3.11.11

Devastating news this Friday as a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan triggering tsunamis and swells across the Pacific. In this edition of Friday Finds, we share some photographs of the wild waters of the ocean along with a healthy dose of our design finds.
March 11, 2011
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