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Artist Nick Albertson takes an intimate look at texture in this Work in Progress series, in which household items are carefully arranged into textural patterns. Under the artist's careful guidance, ordinary objects like rubber bands and paper clips become a study in composition and depth. Albertson is currently an MFA candidate in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and his first solo show will be at Aspect Ratio Projects in Chicago in early 2014.

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Friday, 22 February 2013 20:26

Twist and Shake: The Babele Silhouette Lamp

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Just what we all needed - a lamp that can be disassembled and then put back together. This Babele Lamp, created by Manifattura Italiana Design, has nothing to do with either babbling, bubbles or the Tower of Babel. It was designed in the vein of a silhouette, and can be pulled apart like building blocks to shine light in various directions. It lets you control the amount of light, where its coming from and what it looks like. A great idea, until its time to replace the very unique light bulb, then good luck trying to explain what you need to your local hardware guy.

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My idea of a high tech home is essentially Steve Zissou's submarine from The Life Aquatic, but I'm rather averse to spending more than 60 seconds underwater. It's just not my element of choice. For those of us who need to live aboveground, here's a list of high tech gadgets and appliances you can add to your home. It may or may not turn into a robot, but at least you'll be incredibly comfortable and well-cared while you live inside.

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Forget what you thought you knew about climate control, and meet the Shadowbox house. Designed by Olson Kundig Architects, this shape-shifting home is made to adapt to the surrounding environment. Like a kinetic sculpture, the entire structure morphs to accomodate its inhabitants, with an elongating porch, and retractable walls and roofs. The goal of the house, according to its architects, is to "purposely confuses the traditional boundaries between a built structure and its surroundings."

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Located in Amsterdam, the Rieteiland House is located on the island of IJburg, and comes with panoramic views of the park and IJ Lake. Designed by Hans van Heeswijk Architects, the boxy abode is specially designed to conserve energy, and comes with solar collectors and solar energy storage. Facing the street, automatic panels slide to reveal windows, while the waterfront side is equipped completely with glass and sliding doors.

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Designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects for a young couple and their child, this spacious structure in Chiba is the house that the alphabet built. The sparse but sunny House H is built with a series of "Y" beams, which provide the bare-bones interior with a sense of closeness. The coolest part of the design though, is that there are six levels of floorboards in the house. The unusual divisions allow for high ceilings in central parts of the home, along with cozy nooks throughout.

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Designed by Ramon Esteve for Vondom, this sleek and geometrically pleasing daybed is part lounger, part individual bandshell, for an updated version of the The Birth of Venus. The partially enclosed structure not only protects the sunbather from harsh, direct sunlight, but comes with a sound system, so that a luxurious afternoon nap in the sun can include an outdoor concert.

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The new football stadium of FC Bate in Belarus is designed to meet the international standards of the Union of European Football Associations. Currently under construction by Ljubljana-based architect firm OFIS, the stadium will seat 13,000 and is somewhat reminiscent of China's Bird's Nest, designed for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:41

Franken-furniture, Alive With Repurpose

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The following items may look like machines from a Tim Burton movie, but they are actually cleverly repurposed pieces of furniture that have been allowed to evolve past their original use. If you're a fan of DIY projects, you might be able to wrangle yourself an oven lounge (below). Why have a garage sale when you can build your own chimera-inspired furniture?

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013 21:37

A Studio in South Yarra Fit for A King

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Designed by LSA Architects, this bright space in Melbourne, Australia, was built with the desire to showcase a strong connection between the interior and exterior of the home. Multiple courtyards, balconies, and generous windows allow light to flood through the structure, and solar panels have been installed to reduce energy usage.

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