Happy birthday E. Fay Jones!

Euine Fay Jones, (January 31, 1921 – August 31, 2004) was an American architect and designer and a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. After seeing a movie about Wright and and his Johnson Wax Building, Jones embarked on a career which would combine "drawing and building." Jones enrolled in the University of Arkansas in order to study architecture through the university's engineering program.

In his lifetime, 129 of his 218 design projects were brought to life; 84 of his designs were built in his native Arkansas. Jones' most famous buildings are the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas, and the Pinecote Pavilion at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi.

Photo by Al Drap, courtesy of Fay Jones Papers, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville

Published in Today's Birthday


When Tobias Dahl , a bricklayer, returned to his hometown of Dalarna, Sweden, he was unattached and looking to do some Walden-esque quiet contemplation in a modest log cabin. His plans were somewhat sidetracked, however, when soon after settling in, he met Emma Netterberg, an artist who shared his love of simple design. The two began to renovate the cabin with the intention to sell it, but the finished product was such a labor of love that the new couple couldn't give it up. From the outside, their carefully renovated home is an unassuming cabin. On the inside, modern design has been thoughtfully incorporated into a space with centuries of history.

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Sculptor Jaehyo Lee is a keen manipulator of resources. Lee works as easily with leaves and branches as he does with iron nails. He has created otherworldly works in stone that recall the extraterrestrial vision of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Published in Front Page Stories
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 21:28

The Bunkie: A Non-Haunted Cabin in the Woods


I only watched about fifteen minutes of Cabin in the Woods, but I understood that the general idea is to ruin everyone's vacation fantasies about spending a quiet weekend at a hunting lodge. Let's not let that happen. Enter the Bunkie, a collaboration between design firm 608 Design and BLDG Workshop which has produced this multi-purpose cabin that can be whatever you want. The Bunkie is pre-fabricated and the pieces fit together like a puzzle. Everything is built in the factory, and then shipped onsite. The final product includes two queen-sized Murphy-beds, and small dining table and chairs which are detachable.You could think of it as the closest thing to The Room of Requirement you'll get as a non-wizard, or the biggest IKEA project of your life. 

Published in Best of the Web
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 15:29

Predictions of Populuxe: Design for Dreaming


It's always interesting to see how people in the 1950s (and other eras) imagined our future would be. But out of all the predictors and foretellers, you know it would be advertisers who'd get the closest. This now prominent film "Design for Dreaming" was a 1956 advert for General Motors. Their visions of our cars, kitchens and highways is fantastical but scarily true. Watch the short film below.

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The whimsical Cloud House from Australian firm McBride Charles Ryan combines a sharp eye for design with the kind of childhood dreams about the far-off land of "what my life will look like when I'm all grown up" that filled wide-ruled journals with sprawling cursive and some pretty serious colored-pencil projects. The Cloud House is the real life reincarnation of a creative sanctuary, and it is designed to show the history of the site, with clues as to each era of architecture it has undergone. From Edwardian to ethereal, the cloud house vibrantly incorporates the past with the present, and invites you to set up camp within its dreamy walls.

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Two hours outside the bustling city of Beijing, the Liyuan Library offers solitude and a place for mindfulness in a beautiful setting. Designed by Li Xiaodong Atelier, the structure looks not unlike a peaceful temple dedicated to spiritual discovery. In the small village of Hauirou, the library's exterior is modestly clad with locally sourced wood, so that the structure blends well with the rest of the village. Inside, level changes and careful planning make the most of a humble space, with lots of natural lighting to guide the pursuit of knowledge.

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If you're looking for a neat and painless way to introduce your kids (or lifelong city-dwelling friend who isn't positive that trees or flowers are real) to the animal kingdom, I suggest the transition from dinosaur pajamas and Jurassic Park marathons to the dinosaur's nearest modern relative: the bird. Even if you're not a big nature enthusiast yourself, birds are a good jumping off point because you don't really have to hang out with them so much as establish that you are not a cat who is going to eat them. "NeighBirds" (tiny groan) by Utoopic is an elegant modular birdhouse that promotes a close-knit bird community, if you so choose. The houses are easy to install almost anywhere, including branches, hooks, and walls, which means it's easy to do your part for the post-dinosaur dinosaur.

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The committee for cyclist safety is louder than ever these days, with more and more designers finding ways for us to ride bikes without dying. You better be hauling furniture or moving house to drive a car and not be judged by your eco-friends, because we are running out of excuses not to take our bicycles out to conquer small distances and daily commutes. A firm in Portland, Oregon has invented the Orp Smart Horn, which fights cars with its shrill noises of awareness and a beacon light brighter than the stars.

Published in Best of the Web

Fine artist Eric Standley creates paper stain glass windows by layering together hundreds of colored papers and laser cutting them. He begins each project with a drawing that helps him develop the intricate patterns and placement needed to create the effect. By aligning positive and negative spaces, Standley creates the impression of pieces suspended atop one another. The resulting pieces are full of detail and depth, with grandeur that recalls ancient cathedrals.

Published in Best of the Web