“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand

Patterned matchboxes designed by Saul Bass.
A packed house gathered at Herbst Theater on January 22 to hear speakers deliver talks on design and sustainability at the 2011 Compostmodern conference.
Black and white kitchen cabinets painted with a triangular pattern add a whimsical touch to this funky kitchen.
This northern Wisconsin summer home includes a seven-foot-tall entry screen made from raw heirloom cedar.
This "local prefab" home on the Isle of Skye is made mostly from materials sourced in northern Scotland. The timber-framed model, meant to evoke the simple agrarian barns of the area, can be constructed on-site in as little as a day and is designed for affordability.
Hess peeks out from his lofted mezzanine studio, where he creates "heirloom-type wooden surfboards, designed to be used, and passed on."
The Abner Toolbox takes a necessary household accessory and makes it into a work of art. The box is crafted entirely in teak, including the comb joints that hold the box together. Named after his grandfather—who taught Aaron woodworking as a child—the Abner toolbox includes a bottom tool compartment, inset tray, and a self-contained lid. This heirloom-quality toolbox is an elegant and thoughtful design that can be used for holding tools, storing art supplies, or even jewelry.
When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were “simple-simple, replaceable materials,” says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and “the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease.” Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather. They visit the house once a month, usually for a week at a time, with Vinnie and Stella, their rescue Bernese Mountain dogs. Their two adult children occasionally join them. The couple hopes to one day retire here.
Saul Bass (American, 1920–1996). Exodus, 1961. Offset lithograph. Printed by National Screen Service Corporation (USA). 104 x 68.5 cm (40 15/16 x 26 15/16 in.). Gift of Sara and Marc Benda, 2010-21-16. Photo by Matt Flynn.
Bestor also pointed out the Rudolf Schindler-designed Bubeshko Apartments on Griffith Park Boulevard, which were recently renovated by the local DSH Architects.
Model 1 Preamplifer by Saul Marantz, 1954
Japanese showers are usually set low down so the bather can sit on a stool and scrub, then pour cedar buckets of hot water over their heads for a refreshing rinse. This homeowner in Venice, California mounted a handheld shower head on the wall for added flexibility. The drain is under the removable cedar floor slats, keeping the room design uncluttered. Wood tubs are cleaned with a simple rinse and last for decades, as the antiseptic properties of cedar guard against mold and rot.

This ofuro was designed by Santiago Ortiz and fabricated by Bartok Design.
Tanya, Chris, Jackson, and Zeke spend much of their day outside.
Because the house is narrow and long (16 by 68 feet), the design team decided to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally. Two retractable motor-driven 

canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains.
Choosing a kitchen or bathroom countertop can be nerve-wracking, and we understand why—they can be one of the most expensive aspects of a renovation, with the added responsibility of impacting the aesthetics of a space. Read on as we work our way through the pros and cons of seven of the most common countertop materials.
The concrete wall mimics the slope of the hill outside as a reference to early Maori structures that were dug into the land. The simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The ceramic works on the built-in seat at right are by Raewyn Atkinson and Robyn Lewis.
On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, author Chris Brown and his dog Katsu head to the river; the path was once a dumping ground on top of a long-defunct underground oil pipeline. The green roof was conceptualized by John Hart Asher of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
“Before, the house turned its back on the landscape,” said Parish. “This renovation and addition really animates the garden.” Sliding glass doors match those of the living room beyond the deck, and both can be completely open to the yard.