Monday, April 27, 2009

Steam Power

One of my latest inspirations has been the Steampunk movement, an aesthetic combining Victorian sensibility with modern innovations.  I find myself drawn to the amazing jewelry being created, most often out of found objects, deconstructed watch parts, mechanical detritus and antique bric-a-brac. 

But lately, I've been running across all kinds of other delightful consumer accessories incorporating the Steampunk aesthetic.  Check out this fabulously tounge-in-cheek iPod skin:

And I thought this was just brilliant: a portable USB drive, with antique brass gears and wheels, which is, I'm sure, how people transported data in days of yore.  The predecessor to our modern, streamlined external hard drives.  This just makes me smile:

But the favorite object I've found so far has to be this absolutely breathtaking computer mod, by Steampunk engineer Jake von Slatt.  I doubt the computer itself is kerosene-powered, but the monitor is encased in an ornate brass frame, and the each of the keys on the keyboard has been lovingly replaced with antique typewriter keys.  I just imagine how much more productive i could be with a computer like this:

Besides the fact that antiquated scientific ephemera is a particular soft spot of mine, I just find this kind of creativity so inspiring.  The world as we'd like it to be is most often not the one we were born into.  I find it so invigorating to see people who think beyond the aesthetic boundaries they inherited and feel free to re-construct their worlds as they see fit.  

I'm off to design my day, I hope you do the same!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alicia Bock

Have you ever noticed how some photographers' or artists' aesthetic seems to evolve in a parallel trajectory as your own? 

When I first fell for Alicia Bock's photography, it was during a period where many of her photos dealt with dreamy pastoral subjects. 

More recently, I was thrilled to discover that she has widened her lens to include some more subject matter near and dear to my heart, such as cityscapes, as well as still-lifes which manage to capture the magical qualities of everyday objects. Below are just a few of my favorites. Check out Alicia Bock's etsy store to find more inspiration...


New Soul

I've been working on home projects all weekend (namely wallpapering my cupboards) and for some reason this Yael Naim video seemed to sum up my mood. I guess sometimes we all just need to break down (or at least re-decorate) the walls around us.



Saturday, April 18, 2009


"Design will often make the difference between a place that simply exists and a place that can thrive for many years to come-- which is the most sustainable result of all."

--Richard Rogers

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Living Wall

Obviously green technologies are everywhere these days and for good reason. One of my favorite new trends is the appearance of living walls. Abroad, Parisian botanist Patrick Blanc has been popularizing this new art form through his work on the CaixaForum Museum, which has attracted tourist from around the world to view the wall shown below which houses over 15,000 plants.

Patrick Blanc's verticle garden at Marches des Halles.

Oulu Bar and Eco Lounge in Brooklyn

Thus I was excited to see a smaller version of the living wall on apartment therapy today (see the two examples above). Crafted by the always delightful Flora Grub, this smaller option provides a vertical garden which could fit in nearly any setting. And if you haven’t checked out Flora Grub Gardens yet hop in your car or alternate form of transportation and check it out today. You won't regret it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Systematic Landscaping

After my attempt to visit the California Academy of Sciences today was thwarted (once again) by impenetrable throngs of schoolchildren on Spring Break, I took my consolation in a stroll around the west end of the Academy, to enjoy artist Maya Lin's permanent installation, 'Where the Land Meets the Sea'.  Fabricated out of stainless steel wire, the suspended sculpture is a representation of the underwater topography that spans from Angel Island to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I must admit, I hadn't thought about Lin's work too much since seeing her captivating show last winter at the DeYoung.  But my ill-fated attempt to visit the Cal Academy was the perfect reminder of just how much I adore her work.  Her pieces are kinetic, yet at the same time gracefully still.   And I am blown away by how she manages to combine the mathematical and the organic, using data sets taken from the natural world as her inspiration, and creating mathematical models which are anything but dry and technical-- they seem to dance with the distilled energy of the natural forces they represent.

So I suppose not all was lost today.  I'm off to enjoy my waning weekend, so I'll leave you with a few more compelling pieces of Lin's.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Daily Door


While most of you are familiar with my door obsession I do have another guilty pleasure: stairs. Apparently, I'm not alone in my stair fascination - the first two images are from one of my new favorite sites