December 30, 2011
We’ve been running our Ideal Live/Work Space for almost a year and it’s been fascinating to see what sort of spaces people wished they worked in. Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your ideal space. Is it in a cabin in the woods? A room in your home dedicated just to work? Or are you inspired by Tadao Ando’s library, pictured above, like Nikita Pashenkov and Elise Co?
Philosopher Alain de Botton‘s desk at Heathrow.
Writer and illustrator Dallas Clayton‘s home office can fly to space and tackle the ocean.
While Unplggd editor Gregory Han wished for a spot among the trees. He chose Peter Daniel Frazier’s The Cube (above).
December 1, 2011
Amanda Walter, founder and CEO of Walter Communications, spent 15 years inside professional service companies, before starting her own firm. She served as Director of Media Relations for AECOM, the industry’s largest architecture and engineering design firm. Before joining AECOM’s corporate communications department, Amanda was Communications Director for the renowned design and planning firm EDAW, Inc. With Barbara Faga, Amanda co-wrote Designing Public Consensus. Her new book, Social Media in Action: A Comprehensive Guide for Architecture, Engineering, Planning, and Environmental Consulting Firms, is published by ZweigWhite. Here she shares an aspect of navigating her own firm, and how developing the space for her life makes it all work.
November 28, 2011
Joel Pirela is a graphic and industrial designer, the founder of Blue Ant Studio and a regular contributor to Design Milk and Apartment Therapy. Here he shares his ideal live work space – one completely free of cables and clutter.
Everything is its place and a place for everything.
Being creative, my desk is not your typical mess. In fact, some may say is kind of OCD-ish. I can’t stand clutter or being un-organized. My mind works better when I have lots empty space around me and only have the stuff I need for the project deadly accessible. After I’m done with the project, or even if the project is not completed but I’m done for the day, I would put everything away and start from a blank canvas the next morning. That will give me different angle on the process of creation.
In my current set up, I have made some compromises, but If it was up to me, my ideal workspace would be one with plenty of sunlight, empty spaces, almost spartan with glass surrounding me everywhere; that way I could enjoy the outdoors with it’s incredible views.
Computer with a dual monitor set up with everything wireless (I hate cables) and it would be extra nice if I had a section of my working space that I could use for a very small shop; as I like to tweak, disassemble and create stuff all the time.
A great wireless sound system where music play non stop and even a TV playing in the background on mute. I love to work around white noise and visuals. I can’t work when everything is too quiet.
Balance, Design, Technology
October 27, 2011
This week we ask Helen Rice and Josh Nissenboim, founders of digital agency Fuzzco to come up with their perfect live/work space. Their current one in Charleston, SC is pretty cool (above and below) so I was interested to see what these two would come up with. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
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.
September 16, 2011
Zoe Melo has worn many hats in her life: she’s been an international model; she has worked as a product developer; she’s a mother; she’s Brazilian but has also lived in New York, Portugal and now Los Angeles. A few years ago, she brought the various aspects of her life together in her design consultancy firm, zoemelo.com, which she founded with her partner Peter Scherrer, a graphic designer, out of their home in Culver City. The two then launched a product design firm and showroom called TOUCH that collaborates with emerging international designers and artisans and is specifically focused on social and sustainable design. Most TOUCH products are handmade or made in limited editions; in this design studio relationships and quality of life come first. The studio provides a structure for TOUCH designers, helping give them a global reach as well as educating the world that good design and sustainability go hand in hand.
We began TOUCH from our home, but after a year or so, the business grew and the space felt too small. We found our new studio, this terrific open ceiling space with room for our studio and a showroom for the amazing products we feature.
Above: TOUCH LA showroom
My desk there is usually full of objects, prototypes, samples, new materials, a travel journal and catalogs. I like to have objects around me, they are my inspiration and I constantly change them. I call it a curator’s mind revealed.
Above: Melo and American intern Jessica Hudson at the studio in Brazil.
Right now I am setting up our new studio in Brazil. It is a fantastic experience opening a new market and developing new projects and products with communities. I have reached my dream by combining travel and work, and have this mobility of using technology to coordinate various projects in different places at the same time. This is very satisfying work for me; to learn a lot about different cultures and places, while helping people to have a better living condition.
Above: A meeting with designer makers at Aglomerado da Serra Slum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
I now travel to many countries to develop products in artisan communities and to organize exhibitions during design fairs and events. Since I am on the road for work constantly, I can say that my “office” goes with me wherever I am working. So I work from hotel rooms, airplanes, friends’ houses, cafes. In fact, after we created our office in a cloud, things became much simpler. Truthfully, wherever I am connected to the internet feels like an office.
Above: At designer Domingos Tótora’s studio in Maria da Fe, MG – Brazil. This encapsulates Melo’s ideal live/work space – a studio open to nature.
An ideal work/live space for me is the combination of having a studio, showroom, home and nature. It is a place that feels like I can produce much more without much of the stress of the big cities.
But when I am on the road, a library at a hotel is my favorite. The Unique hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil is a very inspiring social space; the bookshelf, the Campana Brothers beautiful pouf, and the Gaetano Pesce chairs make it a perfect place for a design talk.
Above: Melo meets with designers at Unique hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil – another ideal work space.
Maybe the best of all worlds would be a mobile office space, where I could travel around showing our projects and exhibiting our products and living deeply within the talents of the world’s creative peoples.
August 18, 2011
We first worked with Aeolab when Broodwork presented a short film of theirs at the Trajector Art Fair in conjunction with Art Brussels last April. We also love the OUIP! and Sony ODO - both designed with children in mind, plus their many other technology-based solutions for modern problems. Aeolab is a partnership between husband and wife Nikita Pashenkov and Elise Co. Their consultancy integrates technology and design to work on many types of projects from hardware and software to graphics and research. Their multi-pronged approach, in which they tackle a wide variety of problems and work with different groups depending on the scope of the project, is reflective of what we see in similar partnerships that cross boundaries to visualize new ways of working. Here they reflect on their ideal live/work studio, which needs to include both their son Felix and space for inspiration.
Some notes for the fairy-godmother who is planning to conjure up our dream studio* for us. We like a clean, minimal and zen space with lots of natural light but we are pack rats who like to leave things out (e.g. we don’t put things away), and we have many things in progress in parallel which need space for the following:
- A place for our son Felix (2.5 years old) to start apprenticeship via crayon and cars
- Place for innumerable gadgets, pieces of gadgets, materials and objects
- A past-projects archive and storage for lots of books
- 4 permanently-allocated computers, with another 3 in various rotation with no glare on computer screens
- Space for 1 etching press, 1 small cnc mill, 2 sewing machines, dedicated space for thousands of tiny electronic components and, lastly, a dedicated space to use a blowtorch.
*Please fit this into 450 square feet.
Some places that inspire us:
Above: Brancusi’s studio, tool area. A dedicated place for every tool. If only cables could make such a composition.
Above: Eames House. Our current fabrication lair has a buckled floor, sloped roof, and crooked walls, so rectilinearity is a dream.
Above: Brodsky and Utkin Turtle House etching. An encapsulated jumble of assorted spaces, with the bonus of being portable.
Above: STORA+NYGATAN: Eclectic, tidy, and we have a lot of paper prototypes to turn into lamps.
Above: Library in the Ryotaro Shiba Museum, Tadao Ando. This is the kind of storage we need.
August 9, 2011
Rebecca first heard of Lullatone when her daughter was an infant and she was looking for soft ambient music… Lullatone soon became a household favorite. Lullatone’s founders, husband and wife Seymour and Tomida, have released 9 albums, made music for films, commercials, apps, museums and much more for clients including Target, Adobe, Toyota, NHK, and MOMA. They also host a weekly children’s TV show that airs in central Japan every Saturday morning. Their ideal live/work space? They are living in it. Here is a small glimpse into their simple house and studio, nestled in the north of Nagoya, Japan.
Our whole home is 1200 square feet. 200 of it is dedicated to the studio room, but the lines tend to get blurred a little. For example, right now, the recording room has some coloring book pages on the floor from our son Niko coloring in here while I am mixing our new record. And, sometimes we use the other rooms for recording a little. And we’ve used the stairs and hallway before as a kind of echo chamber to add a real at-home kind of sound to some tracks.
June 7, 2011
“I started my design firm, Jeremy Levine Design around the same time that my wife, Robin, launched her company, eco-me, from the living room of our first house.
Neither of us intended to work out of the house, but the pros of convenience outweighed the cons of domestic distractions. It worked well for the first year. It was a pleasure not to commute to an office. But as our businesses grew, we also outgrew our home offices set up. Suddenly the cons outweighed the pros. My wifeʼs company moved into a large commercial space in Pasadena and I hunted for an office space.
June 2, 2011
Michael Rotondi, the former director and co-founder of SCI-Arc (Southern California School of Architecture), is the founder of RoTo Architecture. The BROODWORK: It’s About Time exhibition is honored to share 100 of Rotondi’s personal notebooks. His notebooking is the stuff of legend, an integral tool to his practice. RoTo’s mission has been to trace a continuity from past to present, while integrating a teacher-practitioner’s field of trans-disciplinary interests, within and beyond architecture. Here Michael speaks about his own continuous way of working and living and the ideal places where he can do both.
My ideal workspace is wherever I am when a thought or an image comes to mind and I can sit with my sketchbook. I have always carried a notebook with me, for at least thirty years.
This hand to paper, mediated by my fountain pen or RoTo pencils, switches on my mind and focuses my attention. As I draw or write, all of my senses become more acute—apprehending everything around me more clearly and precisely.
A paradox, but true.
Above: It’s All One Thing, installation of 100 Rotondi notebooks at BROODWORK: It’s About Time
If I am looking at something, someone is speaking, or my mind’s eye has conjured an image, I begin to diagram and write what I see and hear. Thoughts and ideas merge into visual thinking.
Above: Rotondi working with Ven. Lama Chodak Gyatso Nubpa
My hand moves at the speed of an evolving idea as it appears on paper. Writing and sketching is a form of uploading rather than down loading.
I work in this way, most often, at home, at RoTo (my office).
And at SCI-arc, and at Miracle Manor Retreat in the desert, which April Greiman and I own.
But I also work on the road (especially on a plane), which is my quiet time.