30 March 2009

Photo of the week

Venice Beach California. A beautiful, artsy, California seaside spot with way too many people, cars, homeless folks, and unfortunately, not enough (clean) bathrooms. But it does have a cool area for legal tagging/graffiti, permit required of course.

25 March 2009

The big turn off

It's that time again... Earth Hour 2009 this Saturday the 28th! It's a wonderful thing isn't it? Yes... but here's my grumble. Why just yearly? Why not monthly or weekly even? I know the yearly thing is suppose to get us all thinking, spread the word, then make us take the needed steps in our every day lives that will help the planet. But heck, why not every week? Just a thought...

Oh, and that lovely Vote Earth poster you ask? That would be courtesy of the great LA-based street artist Shepard Fairey, of the iconic President Obama Hope poster fame. Currently, the ICA in Boston is hosting his first major exhibition. Damn, makes me wish I was living back in Beantown!

23 March 2009


A few years ago (although I've just found it recently), architects in The Netherlands figured out a brilliant way to make use of an 800-year-old church, after it's congregation had dimished to near nonexistence. The old Dominican church in Maastricht was refurbished and turned into one of the most extraordinary, minimalist and modern spaces by Dutch architects Merkx + Girod.

The Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen has became one of the best places to peruse great literature, whose architecture now seamlessly blends old and new. As a book lover and one who could spend hours on any given day meandering the aisles of Borders, visiting a bookstore like this would be a dream... amazing literature and architecture under one roof? This gives a whole new meaning to going to church!

Merkx + Girod also won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007 for their breathtaking work on the Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen.

22 March 2009

Letters and numbers and signs, oh yeah!

Who knew! In one of the most extraordinary cities in Europe is a museum that has been rescuing and preserving typographic elements from all over Berlin and beyond. The Buchstabenmuseum (German for Museum of Letters) opened in May of 2005. Core77 online has a fantastic gallery of photos; http://www.core77.com/gallery/photos_search.asp?context_id=1&album_id=80.

Unfortunately, the museum website itself is not as exciting as the gallery photos (and it's only in German), but since I'm downright fascinated with typography, letters and signage, I needed to share this utterly cool museum concept! http://www.buchstabenmuseum.de/

What the *#&! is social design?

As a follow up to the last post on Social Design, here is a write up on Core77 on Social Design from the MFA students of the Academy of Art University in SF http://www.core77.com/blog/education/what_the_is_social_design_12875.asp and the exhibition that is now taking place until the end of March http://www.thesoftspot.org/exhibition.html.

If I make it to SF in the next nine days (which I highly doubt), you'll find me there.

19 March 2009

Good design... it means more than you may think

I'm crazy about good design (ooo... surprise right?). But, I'm even crazier about design that does good, otherwise known as 'Social Design', the new buzz word. See http://www.design21sdn.com/ and http://www.ideo.com/thinking/focus/social-impact/ for examples. Recently, I came across a new book by David Berman, Do Good Design. I put it on my wish list and can't wait to sink my teeth into every page when the time comes!

I don't think we all realize how impactful design is to our lives each and every day... this being said by a designer even! There are times I have to step back when I see something interesting or pick something up that's well designed and ask, how did the designer arrive at this? What questions did they ask to make it the most successful design it could be? And did they consider the social impact, the environment and the 'lifecycle' of the product (how the product is printed, distributed, used and recovered).

The time has really passed, but from here on out, we as designers have a responsibility to ask these questions, every time we begin our creative process. Design CAN change the world, but only if we do it together. In doing so, I believe the lives of others, around the globe, can and will be changed for the better.

Photo of the week

I could not have said it better myself. Support your local watering hole!

18 March 2009

The time has come...

So, here I am. I'm here!
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