October 20, 2011
Besides her work as private chef for various celebrity clients and running her catering company that focuses on sustainable, local ingredients, Staci Valentine and her firm Staci Valentine Design, specialize in creating, styling and photographing food-related imagery. Currently, she is also working on a novel approach to producing cooking videos. Here Staci shares her ideal work space – the kitchen and backyard of her home in Los Angeles.
Balance, Design, Technology
October 19, 2011
This week’s Playlist comes to us by way of Amsterdam, where art director Ben Lambers and styling director Tatjana Quax run Studio Aandacht, a “studio for commercial culture.” Turn up your speakers for a quick listen to what’s playing through Ben’s sound system on any given day in their bold, colorful workspace.
What do you listen to while you work? Radio 4 (classical music in Holland), iTunes, and Radio Diemen (local pirate radio).
October 18, 2011
The Wall Street Journal‘s Sarah Max just did a piece on the rise of mobile workers and the challenge of staying connected. One company runs its annual meeting completely online with a employees doing everything you’d normally do at an annual meeting - from schmoozing over a muffin to raising a hand to comment – online. “The CUNA Mutual team is outfitted with webcams and Cisco’s WebEx, a software program that allows users to see as many as six other people at a time on their computer screen, share desktops and ‘raise their hands’ to speak.”
Working from Los Angeles for Herman Miller – who are based in Michigan – I often phone in for meetings. And as Max points out in her article, you don’t always feel as tight a part of the team as the people in the room. But there are simple solutions. Often it’s as easy as turning up the volume on the phone so you can hear all the participants a little better. And visits to head office a few times a year are essential for building connections with the people you work with directly. One thing Max didn’t mention was the power of email. A quick note sent to someone after a meeting just recapping can really help reconnect to a project.
We’d love to hear how you stay connected? What works for you?
October 18, 2011
EamesDesigns.com was recently launched by the Eames Office and we’ll have an interview soon with editor Daniel Ostroff. The site is encyclopedic in its reach, covering all things Ray and Charles Eames from their furniture and films to their toys and building designs. Ostroff started the Eames Spotting section after noting how much of their furniture finds it way into current media through film, television, print and advertising.
In this new series we’ll track Ostroff’s journey spotting Eames design…everywhere. And If you come across anything please feel free to send it in. Just leave a note for us in the comment section.
“I connect Eames designs to this picture in at least two ways,” says Daniel Ostroff. “First, the man is sitting in a chair from the Eames Aluminum Group, while working, drinking coffee, and walking his dog. This fits with how Charles and Ray Eames thought about their designs, in that they hoped that any one of their designs could serve many purposes. For example, the Eames Aluminum Group was originally called “The Indoor Outdoor Group,” because the Eames idea was a chair that could be used indoors or out. And another Eames connection is to the tag line, “Make it happen.” Charles and Ray frequently admonished those around them that ‘ideas are cheap.’ It’s important to not just have an idea, but to ‘make it happen.’”
October 17, 2011
Brooklyn-based Roll & Hill produces contemporary lighting and was founded by designer Jason Miller in January of last year. While the company may be young Miller’s work hit the big time back in 2003 with his Superordinate Antler Lamps. These now ubiquitous lights launched Miller’s career and paved the way for Roll & Hill with its stable of designers that include Lindsey Adelman, Partners & Spade and Rich, Brilliant and Willing. Here we take a tour of Miller’s workspaces.Yes, there is more than one.
1. How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I live currently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. From 2001 to 2008 I lived and worked in a loft apartment. At the end of 2008, my business had taken over the entire loft. I was living in my 100 square foot bedroom in the back. It was time to separate work and home, so I moved into an apartment in Greenpoint. I still work out of the same loft.
2. Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I would say my aesthetic is contemporary, with a American slant.
3. How do you keep your work space organized? It is a constant battle. I have come to realize that I am a bit anal.
4. When you set up your home office what did you have to keep in mind? Were there any particular obstacles to overcome? Yes, there was one huge obstacle! There is no place for a home office in my apartment. I live with my girlfriend and our daughter in an apartment that we thought we’d be in for just a few months. Over a year later we are still here. All of our stuff is in storage. My work space at home is on a sectional couch from West Elm (no comment) that was here when we moved in. I work with my feet up, computer on my lap and surrounded by my daughter stuffed animals.
5. Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet right now? A desk!
6. What desk accessory can’t you do without? I like to keep my work area pretty minimal. On my desk at work is usually assorted papers and my computer. The one accessory I need to have is a calculator. I know there is one on my computer and even one on my phone, but I like having a cheap solar powered calculator next to me.
7. What would you change about your work space? I would love to have more privacy. That is the major drawback about working on the couch. My daughter loves to play with the keys on my computer. It makes it hard to work when she’s holding down the the “delete” key.
8. What inspires you? Other people doing great things.
Check out Elle Decor for a slideshow of Roll & Hill’s designs.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
October 13, 2011
Where we’ve been this week…
1. Metropolis magazine for their multimedia section. Check out the photo essay by Michael Wolf titled Transparent City - makes me glad to work from home!
2. Domus for their amazing website – go straight to the architecture section for some wonderful residential and commercial projects.
3. New York Times for their interview with the authors of the new Unhappy Hipsters book It’s Lonely in the Modern World.
October 13, 2011
As with green PCs, there isn’t much information available about the how environmentally friendly your current laptop is, but with a bit of digging, you can find out a lot about your next one. While going green is great, you also have to think about how long you’ll be able to use your next laptop. If you can keep it an extra year, you’ll not only save money but also keep the environment cleaner by consuming less. Below is the Asus Bamboo laptop.
1. Lenovo ThinkPad L420: Lenovo states that the ThinkPad L420 is their greenest laptop yet, and that’s a bold statement from the PC laptop giant, as their ThinkPad X301 was very eco-friendly. The L-series laptops are made from 30% post-consumer recycled content. The green-ness also affects your bottom line, as this laptop is supposed to save you 40% on operating costs alone. It has an LED-backlit display and power manager. It includes energy certifications from ENERGY STAR and attains the EPEAT Gold standard. The packaging is recyclable and there’s 20% less of it to go to waste.
2. Acer TravelMate TimelineX: Acer does its bit by displaying information about the eco-friendliness of their laptops very visibly. The TravelMate TimelineX meets EPEAT Silver, RoHS, WEEE, and ENERGY STAR standards to protect the environment.
October 13, 2011
Stonorov Workshop is a design and building collaborative between husband and wife team Tolya and Otto Stonorov. I first came across their work on the pages of Dwell magazine. They had renovated a 100-year old, 400 square foot shack in Oakland, California (above). It was 2006 and they had both just left their jobs at small architectural firms to go out on their own. When I contacted them to see if I could revisit the house for Lifework I found they had moved to Alaska and embarked on a whole new building project. Here they discuss the move, designing a live/work space and how they established their studio.
You established the Stonorov Workshop in 2006. What led you and your husband Otto to that point? Going back a long ways, we both grew up around the same, Philadeplphia-based, family architectural heritage: our respective grandfathers worked on large social planning and design issues together; and our parents, independently, work(ed) in the fields of development and building. We met when we were 3 and 4, narrowly missed each other for a little over 20 years, and re-met again a year prior to attending graduate school together.
Balance, Design, Technology
October 12, 2011
What does Copenhagen-based stylist, blogger and designer Sofie Brünner listen to as she sips her first cup of coffee in the morning (besides the sound of her favorite jazz pianist playing next door)? Find out in this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? Actually, I love listening to someone talk while working! That means I listen to a lot of radio and podcasts and collect all sorts of weird and wonderful information on music, political issues, and comedy. However, I also like listening to music, which is usually within the jazz, soul, or easy-listening rock/pop genre. There’s nothing like putting on an Ella Fitzgerald album while sitting down with the first cup of coffee of the day. I also happen to be lucky enough to have a boyfriend who’s a jazz pianist, who happens to practice just next door to me. That means I’m not always allowed to listen to music (headphones distract me), so I sit and listen to him practice the same tune over and over again.
How do you listen? I’m not very proud to say that I’m not that high-tech. That means I play music off my computer… or if I feel a bit more motivated, I put on a vinyl on my old vinyl decks. There’s something special and real about the scratchy sound of and old Joni Mitchell vinyl.
October 11, 2011
These are the next generation scanners. Faster, better and cheaper. Some of them are using a new kind of technology that we think it will take over in the nest couple of years. Read on to find out what it is.
Lexmark Genesis This scanner doesn’t rely on a slow moving cathode lamp, but instead, it works with a 10 megapixel camera, that will rip a 300 dpi image in few seconds and after it’s done, it will send it to your computer via its built in WiFi. And guess what? the Lexmark Genesis also works as a printer, churning 33 pages per minute and 4″x6′s” in only 26 seconds.
NeatDesk Scanner This automatic document feeder will help you declutter your desk with very easy to use one button scan/archive. You can scan up to 10 receipts, business cards and documents at once or your choice of one big 50 page document. We love that, when scanning business cards, it will automatically populate your address books.
Doxie Document Scanner This one wins on the portability race. It’s so simple to use that even a cave man could do it. We love that it makes sharing your photos and images super easy. It scans directly to the cloud, sending your images directly to Flickr, iPhoto, Picasa and even Tumblr and much more. The price point of $149 makes this, a very affordable alternative to the bigger ones.
By Joel Pirela.
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.