Architect, writer and publisher Robert Kahn talks about balancing a busy architecture practice, a publishing house he runs with his wife and his family life. Kahn set up his own practice in 1986 when he left James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates in London. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and has received numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Kahn is also the creator and editor of the City Secretsseries. His wife, Fiona Duff Kahn, is the managing editor of Fang Duff Kahn Publishers, which they founded together in 2009. They live in New York with their daughter, Kiki Fang Duff Kahn. Read more
The first day of autumn may have been September 23, but for many of us, the first time you really start realizing that we’re indeed in the midst of a new season is when daylight saving time finally makes its appearance. Celebrate the fact that we’re all still adjusting to that one extra hour with this special-edition mix featuring tunes from some of our 2012 fall Playlisters.
Here we continue our series looking at designers who have worked with Magis and Mattiazi. French designer and brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec tick both boxes with their Steelwood chair, stool and table for Magis and their beautiful sculptural Osso chair for Mattiazzi.
The brothers are also part of the excellent Phaidon video interview series which I have included below. In this short clip they talk about their designs, their responsibilities and the poetic quality of a well-made object. We also get a great peek into their Paris-based workspace where the interview was shot.
Designer Yves Behar spoke at last month’s CUSP conference. The talk was a long one so I’ve just pulled out the 3 minutes he spent on the SAYL chair. Especially pertinent to this “green” week are his comments on “eco-dematerialization” (try saying that fast three times!) Behar coined that term to describe the process of paring back a design to its most essential elements – stripping it back so it used as little material as possible. The result for SAYL is an elegant, affordable home office chair that is lightweight (it only weighs 37 pounds) and 93 percent recyclable. We think Gabe Wing would approve.
For more from Yves on SAYL check out this week’s post over on Discover.
1. Four – as in four-legged friends. It takes a lot to get me to linger on a pet’s site so this wonderfully designed doggy destination was a surprise. Check out their post on Kuntzel+Deygas who painted the Eames chair below.
2. Designer Alvin Aronson‘s site for this cool prototype of a perfectly white digital clock.
3. Design Milk for their post on this pencil holder from Giha Woo.
4. Swissmiss for her post on Instagram – an obsession I share. It’s a lithe little bit of social media perfect for capturing just about everything and now it looks like the pics can be accessed more easily, making it an even better work tool.
5. Cool Hunting for the story on all-natural cleaning porducts. Perfect for getting that desktop sparkling.
6. Wallpaper magazine for their lovely “Letter from Japan” architecture update. Below – House in Seya, Kanagawa, by Suppose Design Office.
8. Dwell’s excellent “Small Spaces” series (the house below is the most recent addition to the series).
9. A Brief Message for Hugh Graham’s short essay on design – “We have the opportunity and the responsibility to create a world where each object and experience is filled with value, where living with less but better is both joyful and meaningful.” We couldn’t agree more.
10. Field Notes new red notebooks. I use these little notebooks in the car and always have one on hand in my purse. Nicely designed, small and light weight.
It’s getting cold outside and we’ve been discovering some interesting cold weather tech accessories, like touch screen winter gloves by MUJI. Another new product has also caught our eye is Nest – a very pretty thermostat that has garnered a lot of attention in the press. A thermostat is a great way to keep your energy consumption down – always a tricky balancing act when you work from home.
Lloyd Alter has taken a rather circutious route to his current job as design editor of Treehugger (which has just undergone a wonderful redesign). He is trained as an architect, worked as a real estate developer, became disillusioned with that process and began promoting green prefab housing in 2001. He was one of the first bloggers to write about modern prefab. The home above is an award winning modular design that Alter was key in commissioning (you can read more about it here). He joined Treehugger in 2004 and today covers issues around land use, urban planning, design and architecture. Where does this busy man work? When I skyped recently with Lloyd I got a peek at his office. Here it is in a bit more detail.
“OK here it is, I cleaned it up and cannot believe I left a beer bottle on the counter…Oh well, it is craft beer. I have a Herman Miller Executive Series desk that I use as a side table, because I really work at my old drafting table, set level as a standing desk. At 42″ it is just a bit narrow for my Macbook and 24 inch monitor, along with Joey Roth’s ceramic speakers (below left). On the side is my beloved 1968 Contempra phone in bright orange, designed by John Tyson and a Canadian classic (below right). On the shelf to the side is part of my camera collection; I tried to sell my six polaroids on eBay and couldn’t get fifty bucks. The Nelson perch chair in front is really for show; when I have to sit I use the hard metal drafting chair to the right, it is more comfortable.
Next time: no beer, and some wire management work.”
New York-based architect Deborah Berke shares her busy life for this week’s Q+A. Berke is a professor of architectural design at Yale University and author and co-editor of several books, including The Architecture of the Everyday. The work of her award winning firm – Deborah Berke & Partners Architects – has appeared in numerous publications as diverse as Vogue, The Wall Street Journal and Remodelista. Today Berke gives us a look at her residential projects and a peek into her work space.
This week’s green theme on Lifework wouldn’t be complete without a nod to our favorite environmental lifestyle expert, Danny Seo. His new book Upcycling has inspired our creative sides, his eco-friendly Danny Seo home collection (found nationally at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods) is currently inspiring our every day, and now his Playlist is inspiring a much-needed dance break between work projects. Take a listen.
What do you listen to while you work? It depends. If I’m working away on something that’s totally work-related (we’re talking lengthy emails, reviewing contracts, doing selects from photo shoots) it needs to be dead quiet. But if I’m writing my syndicated column Do Just One Thing or the manuscript for a new book, I have to have music on. It drains out any distractions and lets me focus on the creative writing at hand.
Making Your Own (Waste Free) Lunch: Sure, the economy has more people “brown bagging” their lunch, and many of the more eco-conscious among us may remember to bring reusable containers. But the fact is that working away from home means we are always tempted to eat out. And eating out—at lunchtimes in particular—often means extra waste and limited green choices. At home, I even get to eat the leftovers from last night—which means less food waste too.