That was Stephen Boyd’s response to the Herman Miller Education Solutions team’s question for college students: “Where Do You Learn Best?” Boyd was the first place winner of our first video contest encouraging students to capture on camera what makes an ideal location for learning. The contest was targeted toward full-time students attending 2-or 4-year U.S. colleges or universities.
Contest entries were accepted from January 22 through March 26, 2010. Representatives from the Herman Miller Education Solutions team selected three finalists who best represented creativity, originality, and appropriateness to the theme. Prizes were in the form of Visa gift cards: $2500 for first place; $1500 for second place; and $1000 for third place.
“ “It’s just a fact of life: most people just hate waking up. For the majority of us getting up each morning isn’t easy, depending on the amount of sleep that you have gotten. But this new alarm promises to make life slightly easier, thanks to its voice-controlled features and lighting-oriented wake up technology which may ease the stress of facing a new day.
One of the best alarm clocks that is available is the Philips Wake-Up Light. Instead of relying on annoying sounds, it uses light, which triggers a hormonal response in our bodies, which in turn wakes us up. However, the only problem is its price.
A feature that is really neat on this Moshi Alarm Clock is that you control it with your voice. In essence, you can tell it to shut up in the mornings and it will go quiet. While this might not be the best idea for people who talk in their sleep, it will work well for most of us, who just want a bit more time in bed.
This alarm clock lets you do quite a bunch of things with your voice, from programming the alarm, the time, the radio presets, and a few other things. It’s available for $70 over at the Moshi store.
Eames Demetrios chaired a talk with local designers last week as part of ICFF at ABC Carpet & Home. It was the perfect opportunity to road test the news Eames Molded Plastic Chairs. As you can see everyone was sitting pretty! Eames spoke about scale referring to the Power of Ten film his grandparents produced and the 10/10/10 celebration this year. October will certainly be an interesting month. I intend to catch up with Eames and get more details on the celebration. Look out for more info here.
Illustrator Jordan Awan sent these pics of his sleek black cat named Nei-nei Noguchi. I want to see more so I’ve asked Jordan to send us some shots of his studio. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and McSweeney’s (to name a few) – you can check it out here. And below – an illo by Jordan of Nei-nei reclining on an Eames chair.
Who would have thought it could be true, but it is, treeless paper has hit the market and it’s a great green addition to the eco-conscious home office. MoMa started using treeless paper and cardboard in their packaging back in 2007 and now we’re seeing it creep into the home. Currently manufacturing treeless paper uses sugar cane, bamboo, elephant dung and hemp. Each of these can be harvested specifically for paper manufacturing. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. That’s more than 2 pounds each day. Wow! Currently 4 billion trees are cut down each year to meet the world’s demand for paper.
While treeless paper can certainly make a dent you won’t be walking into your local office supply store to purchase it just yet. However, demand will eventually drive supply. Until that time, shopping online is your best bet. Aaron Schiff of Ecopaper.com says their sugar cane office paper sales are second to the banana paper, which is used for invitations. “For the office, sugar cane paper is almost identical to regular paper and has 80 per cent tree-free content.” Schiff, who sees the paper industry slowly becoming greener, is confident that sugar cane paper will be a popular brand for Ecopaper in the coming years.
As treeless paper is currently emerging on the market, I’d love to hear your questions or experiences with this product.
What do you get when you get when you tell students at Pratt Institute to immerse themselves in another culture and create products that demonstrate they understood what the experience was all about? Well, you get boxes that turn into chairs, ceramic wallets, kinetic toys—and a whole lot more.
It’s all part of a partnership with Herman Miller whereby industrial design students were charged with coming up with a theme, then executing their ideas in a competition. The prize? A booth at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). The students’ theme “Empathy for Culture” and the resulting creations won them a place at the show.
Herman Miller lent some of its people, namely Fabienne Munch, Gary Smith, and Tim McLoughlin, to provide guidance to the students throughout the creative process.
“Empathy for culture is beyond feeling for others,” said Fabienne, Director of Ideation for Herman Miller. “It appeals to a peculiar understanding of a culture’s own dialectics: what’s visible, what’s invisible or taken for granted; what’s felt, what’s cognitive; what’s conscious, what’s unconscious; what’s symbolic, what’s ephemeral?”
“They helped us to not only focus on our concepts, but also made us realize that our ideas were valid as designers,” Sara McBeen, a graduate student at Pratt, said about the guidance provided by Herman Miller. “Each of us found our own way to stay true and honest to the messages we were trying to communicate with our pieces. These kinds of opportunities are invaluable in shaping where we will go from here.”
McBeen’s project, the Aata table, “reflects the coming together, socializing, and sharing so strongly exhibited in Middle Eastern culture,” which she chose to investigate after traveling there and “appreciating their generosity, goodness, and hospitality.”
1. This Ain’t No Disco An amazing site if you’re looking for office inspiration. They focus on creative agencies and while we probably wont be putting a slide into my home office anytime soon there’s enough other good stuff here to keep the home office worker happy. Where to start: Leo Burnett offices in Sydney – check out that view of the Harbor Bridge!
2. Trendir Modern House Design OK, I know this isn’t the most beautiful site out there. I guess the Google ads are a necessary evil. But editor and interior designer Lillian Pikus has a good eye for content and you’ll find a lot great houses here. Where to start: Peter Frazier’s amazing little home office.
3. OK DO It’s so nice to come across a site with a new (and beautiful) design. OK DO is a socially-minded design think tank run by designer/writer Anni Puolakka and designer/researcher Jenna Sutela. It’s hard to describe – you just need to go there! Where to start: The home office of Berlin-based architect Markus Miessen.
4. Contemporist A go-to spot for architects and designers, the site was started in 2007 by Erin and Dave (I’ve emailed to find out their mysterious last names). They highlight new product and contemporary architecture. Where to start: A gorgeous shelf system by Ontwerpduo.
5. Cooper Hewitt Design Blog This slightly nerdy blog (you have to remember that Cooper Hewitt is part of the Smithsonian) is totally engaging. Great clean images and fascinating stories that take the world of design and place it firmly in a greater context of politics and the environment. Where to start: The post on Eames‘ ‘Power of Ten’ film.
UK-based interior designer Charlotte Jackson sent me this pic of Mabel. She looks like she’s studying the Pantone colors. “I work from home with Mabel who likes to sit on my keyboard, in front of my mac, on drawings or anything that I need to work! She is sat here on my MacBook.”
Today the third coat of high-gloss Benjamin Moore “Poppy” paint goes up on the bookcase. (The gray on the face is primer.) With each coat, the color changes ever so slightly—the first coat looked like a gorgeous Brandywine heirloom tomato. With the second, we swung back to more of a coral. Between each coat, our painter, Jeff Lee, sands down the paint so that it looks smooth as glass. I’m hoping the third and final application will live up to the color’s name: poppy.
[Heather's garage transformation is almost complete. She got ahead of us while I was in New York for ICFF. So next week we should get close to seeing the completed office! Cerentha]
Check out the article in Fast Company by Ariel Schwartz on how Generation Y is driving changes in our worklives. According to Schwartz Gen Y is pushing for more sustainable offices and they also are demanding more flexible work lives including more options to work from home. The article springs from a fascinating report by Johnson Controls that explores what is needed to capture and keep younger workers.