Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 13, 2010
This time last year, Miami-based British interior stylist Abby Kellett launched Gretel, an online boutique devoted to modern, effortlessly charming home accessories. Gretel had its first (and very successful) temporary store during Art Basel and Design Miami in 2009, and is now planning another pop-up this December—location TBD. (Abby, may we suggest lovely New York City? We hear it’s BEAUTIFUL around the holidays.) Take a glance at how music inspires her workday.
What do you listen to while you work? Music that lifts my mood and keeps me energized….between Gretel and my two-year-old daughter Beatrice, I don’t get as much sleep as I used to! I have to admit that my taste in music isn’t sophisticated or deep. I just like what I like and it’s often sung by someone who’s (at least) ten years younger than me.
How do you listen? On my iPhone, on my computer, or via satellite radio in my car.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? One main influence is British radio, which I listen to a lot on my computer and in my car (on satellite radio). It’s just a really good way to keep connected and feel at home here in Miami. BBC Radio 1and 6 Music play a great selection and variety of music. Friends and travels are also an influence of course; I’ve been listening to Brazilian music ever since a trip there several years ago.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I think the light-hearted music that I listen to says a lot about me and Gretel. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and really hope that people just enjoy what they see on our website. We keep Gretel’s ever-changing selection of products as fresh as possible and unveil new “windows’” each season. So maybe we’re the Madonna-wannabe of the design-world. Except that my British accent is real and we’re not planning on being controversial any time soon.
Forget You, Cee Lo Green
Dynamite, Taio Cruz
Bulletproof, La Roux
Beija Eu, Marisa Monte
Hung Up, Madonna
Take Your Mama, Scissor Sisters
Let The Sun Shine, Labrinth
Fireflies, Owl City
Love The Way You Lie, Eminem and Rihanna
Islands, The xx
Photos: Claudia Uribe Touri
October 13, 2010
The Eames Office and Core77 with the support of Herman Miller have launched a design competition to commemorate the Powers of Ten Day (10/10/10). We’re asking designers to make a short “response video” to the Eames’s Powers of Ten film. For more information on how to enter check out Core77′s post on the competition. It’s an exciting opportunity for designers to become part of the Eames narrative and we’re really looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!
October 12, 2010
The Manhattan townhouse renovated by Ghislaine Viñas that we covered last week will throw open its doors on Sunday (October 17) as part of the Tribeca Loft Tour. Profits from the tour go to Friends of Duane Park. Via NY Curbed.
October 12, 2010
Last week our new SAYL chairs made their public debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Designed by Yves Béhar for Herman Miller, this chair has been in the works for the past few years. You can read the full report on Discover, our sister blog. Look out for my report after the launch here in Los Angeles on Thursday night.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 12, 2010
Has anyone else been following the GAP logo debacle? After relaunching their logo just last week GAP has have reverted back to the original blue box. According to Ben Parr at Mashable social media played a big role in the speedy turn around. “Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback,” the company said on its Facebook Page. “We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowdsourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.”
Twitter and Facebook played a big role but it was also blogs like Scott Hansen’s ISO50 with their GAP logo redesign contest that helped turn things around (a contest entry above by Stephen Jowett). I asked Scott if we could take a tour of his home workspace and learn more about what goes into creating such a successful site.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I’ve worked from home for around 10 years with a couple brief interruptions. I split my work into four sections, graphic design, music, the online shop, and the blog. I started out doing visual work (ISO50) and music (Tycho) and both sort of grew out of each other. For instance, I would design the covers and show posters for my music releases. To support myself I started a shop to sell the prints and music. Eventually I created the ISO50 blog as sort of a forum to share my influences and the things that inspire me. Over the past few years I’ve brought on more contributors to broaden the scope of the posts which now includes subjects that are more interactive, like the Gap logo redesign contest. (Alex Cornell, below, is one such contributor and it was Cornell who came up with the contest idea. He is travelling right now but sent an email through last week – “This Gap contest sure has been crazy! I get about one email every 30 seconds with a new submission — I can’t keep up!”)
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I’d say everything definitely has a sort of tactile cast to it. I want things to feel real, a little aged, even when they’re displayed on the screen (which is how most people experience graphic design these days).
How do you keep your office organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? I am not a very organized person in either the physical or digital domains so there’s not much I can say on the subject. I try to keeps a lot of shelves and drawers handy so at least the mess is out of sight. On the computer side I do use a program called Hazel which automatically cleans up designated areas of your drive; that helps a lot.
When you were setting up your home office what did you keep in mind? The problem with the multidisciplinary aspects of my work is that the space is dictated by the function that requires the most equipment. If I was just doing design I could have a super clean workspace but music requires quite a bit of equipment that needs to be conveniently located. I’ve had to make compromises in the way my workspace is set up to suit it’s dual purpose as both music and design studio. My main concerns are lack of clutter and ease of access, but these are often hindered by the needs of the music studio. I play a lot of live shows as Tycho so I also consider the stage to be part of my workspace, or at least and extension of it. In this environment there are many more variables and considerations that have to be made. First and most importantly, everything has to be portable and easy to setup and break down. There are also more considerations for ease of movement and instantaneous access. I’d say I spend more time thinking about this space than my home workspace, because when you’re up there everything has to work and has to work quickly without a second thought.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you wish you had? Of course, that list would never end. I love furniture, particularly furniture of the functional variety. But as a self-employed artist I have to be pragmatic about my application of resources so I limit expenditure to what’s absolutely necessary. The two extravagant pieces I do have are the Embody and Setu chairs. Given how much time I spend sitting at a desk, I have to make health a top priority. All that said, I lust after anything by George Nelson or Dieter Rams.
What is a desk accessory you can’t do without? I’m assuming this doesn’t include input devices because an ergonomic mouse and keyboard are at the top of that list. If we’re talking strictly extraneous, I’d say my articulating monitor arm. I just got it about a year ago and don’t know how I ever lived without it.
What would you change about your own workspace? Make it not be in a basement. I love light and fresh air, two things I don’t get enough of down here. But in a city that’s about the only place you can make this much noise.
What do you most love about your space? That it’s right under my house.
What inspires you? Leaving home, getting outside of my everyday space and my own head. Whenever I travel for an extended period I see it as a sort of self-imposed exile from my obsessions. To walk away and return with a fresh head is the best thing a person living life fully immersed in their work can do for themselves.
October 12, 2010
“If you’ve got many files on your computer, you’ll need to organize them in some fashion, otherwise it will be complete chaos, especially when it comes time to find something. I mainly use a Windows 7 desktop and it’s really important to find files quickly, without resorting to a Windows Search. Here are some tips.
I use a hierarchical system that works over a multitude of hard drives, thanks to the Document Libraries of Windows 7. Document Libraries allow you to associate a folder, like Photos, with different locations, like D:\photos and F:\photos, making them easier to access. For example, you could store your data over a number of drives, but access them in an easy fashion, thanks to this system.
To start out with, I name my drives in sequence. So the C:\ drive will be ‘xxx1′. The D:\ drive will be ‘xxx2, and so on. Then, I have major categories, like Documents, Pictures, Music, Video. As the need arises, I create sub-folder within this system. For example, I’ll put all of the photos that I take into a folder named My Photos, which is in the Pictures Document Library. This is easy to do in Windows 7. You just need to add another location to the folder in your Start Menu. Each series of photos go inside a folder. You get the idea.
I’ll do the same for TV shows and movies. If I have many episodes of the same show, I’ll create a folder for it. Music is separated into different genres. This makes it easy to select what to listen to. I tend to use Windows Media Player to play my tunes. I’ve used other software, but WMP is fine for almost anything.
By using this system, or a system like this, you can easily spot duplicate files and address this if it arises. This also means that I rarely search for a file, because I just know exactly where to go to find it. I display files in alphabetical order or the date when they were last modified in my work-related folders or photo folders. It makes it easy to see on what you were working on most recently.
What file organizing system do you use on your computers?
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
Balance, Design, Products
October 11, 2010
As promised here is the interview with Andrew Holder – the final artist behind the painted Eames rockers. The Design for You competition continues with three more weeks until entries are closed. You can read more about the prizes here.
How long have you worked in your current studio? And where is it? I moved from Pasadena to Eagle Rock about five months ago. It is only about six miles away from my the old place but somehow it feels more “LA” to me. I work from home so my studio consists of a spare bedroom and a garage which I have yet to take advantage of. Eventually (hopefully soon) I plan on doing all of my printing and painting out of the garage but since moving here I have mostly been doing work for clients so there hasn’t really been a need to set it up.
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? My style tends to be very graphic. Geometric and organic shapes combined with a lot of different textures. Partly due to the fact that a lot of my work is screen-printed. Aesthetically, it’s kind of hard to say since I jump around a lot but it definitely has a nostalgic or retro quality to it. I have heard my work be described as future folk before but I am not entirely sure what that means.
As an artist how do you keep your space organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? Shelves, lots of shelves and drawers. Basically anywhere I can hide things. Having a garage is great, I no longer have printers and power tools looming over my head waiting to attack with the next earthquake.
What would you change about your workspace if you could? The windows, though they are great and provide good lighting, swing inward and make it difficult to put furniture anywhere. My desk and shelving are where they are because they have to be. The mid wall light fixtures don’t help the situation either.
What do you most love about your space? The old beat up wood floors and, contrary to my previous response, the lighting.
Tell me about the experience of painting the Eames chair? How much prep did you have to do? What inspired the final design? Well, since I had to finish the piece within a short amount of time I arrived knowing what I was going to do with a mock up in hand. Admittedly, I was a little freaked out about being filmed but it turned out to be a great experience and I really enjoyed it. It was good to put faces to names of people whose work I knew and admired. The design I came up with based on the tag line of “for a better world around you”. I knew I wanted it to be simple and have something to do with nature so I came up with the bird/peacock design. It seemed to work well with the form of the chair.
What inspires you? Everything. People, places, events etc. I try to get out of the studio, experience new things and break routine as much as possible. Sitting within four walls all day can be quite mind numbing.
October 8, 2010
Around the web this week…
1. Elle Decor As you probably know I’ve rekindled my passion for interiors this week and as a result have spent probably far too much time on Elle Decor’s content-rich site. Where to start: Jason Wu’s new office is pretty cool. It’s not a home office but still lots of inspiration to be found there.
2. Forbes Blogs OK, so if you need to balance your foray into the world of interiors with a little reality check this is a great place to start. Take a break from what you are working on and check out what the journos at Forbes are reading. This ‘umbrella’ blog offers a one stop shop for all Forbes’ news blogs in a nicely designed format. Where to start: The great piece on GAP’s disastrous new logo.
3. Intelligent Life A quarterly lifestyle and culture magazine from The Economist where you’ll find a piece on baking a Shepherd’s Pie rubbing shoulders with a story on Minimalism. Where to start: An excellent piece on artist Louise Bourgeois, who died in May of this year. You get a great insight into this extraordinary woman plus a peek at her home and workspace.
4. Lonny Blog Now back to pretty. Lonny is an online lifestyle/interiors magazine but also a blog. And the blog I find more fun than the mag. The magazine seems somehow rather static when faced with the dynamism of the blog. Where to start: In case you haven’t noticed Curbed is running a competition where they’ve asked magazines to decorate a doll’s house – very clever way to get a ton of free press. Lonny was invited and they’ve done a nice behind-the-scenes post on their entry.
5. Phaidon Agenda The book publisher has a sleek blog-like news site that keeps you updated not just on their publicaitons but interesting happenings in the world of design and architecture. Where to start: Andrea Klettner’s post on an architectural tour of New York with a twist.
October 7, 2010
1. Chalkboard Weekly Calendar decal, $65 Stay up to date with a unique calendar that works like a traditional chalkboard but attaches to the wall as a modern, less-messy decal. Get it: Scribble on Everything
2. Worldwide Skyline, €75 Decorate your workspace in a flash with an inspiring wall graphic from Barcelona-based designers Ana Mir and Emili Padros. Get it: Domestic
3. SPACETIME wall decals, $48 Get four bold designs by four artists in one pack of removable, re-stickable decals. Get it: Poketo
4. Power Up vinyl decal, $6.50 Small details can make a large impact. Get it: Circleline Studio
5. Koi, $90 Add some zen with a smart alternative to paint and wallpaper (and, of course, to live fish) from Ilan Dei. Get it: Blik
Images linked to their sources within the numbered text