Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 - The measure of a life

I am 19,358 days old today. Or 464,592 hours. Or 27,875,520 minutes. Or 1,672, 531,200 seconds or thereabouts. Just thought you'd like to know. This calculation is based on the Gregorian Calendar created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. In case you were wondering. Have a great day but don't get too caught up in the numbers. There are better things to do with your time. m

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2009 - Snow and a lamp

Early Saturday, first day of Spring—snow. Very appropriate, in Wisconsin that it. But it's the kind of snow I like, only on the grass, gone fast. I'll take it.

I'm kind of fascinated by the trend toward creating functional items out of wood. Combined with new technologies it seems wood might be able to do some new and amazing things. And of course it's renewable. It's interesting, now that we have global warming and dwindling wood resources staring us in the face that we're suddenly figuring so many more ways to use this renewable resource that's been around for millions of years. The radio I posted a few weeks ago is a great example.

I got the following photos from a e-newsletter called designboom which featured a new series of lamps from Asaf Weinbroom. The lamp designs focus on unifying concepts, mechanism, joinery and new technologies using wood as the main material. The lamps have a mass produced aesthetic and the one-of-a-kind warmth that comes from a handmade product. The shades are created using a unique lamination technology producing a very strong cone made from thin layers of veneer. I'm sure there's more great designs to come. Have a great week and bon voyage Katie and Dave. Hope you have a great trip. m

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010 - What do yo think?

Here's a new lamp idea. Let me know what you think. I created this image based on old bowling post cards and then put it through a Photoshop filter. I think it looks pretty good. m

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010 - Cool wood radio

I wandered into one of my favorite stores in Madison, Century House—one that has actually displayed my lamps from time to time—and saw this amazing little radio made of wood. When do you see that? At first I thought it was some kind of cool toy, the details were so simple, the wood so smooth and rounded. But it's an actual radio with the most current mp3 playing compatible electronics. The design is very simple but every detail is a treat to the eyes and you can't help but want to touch and feel the smooth beautiful wood. A smooth rounded wood peg through a metal loop holds the back panel on. I don't know why but this may be one of my favorite details. It's obviously manufactured but at the same time hand made. There are even small wooden ends on the connector cables. As a designer and fan of industrial design I was smitten. Of course having no money in this lovely era of frugality means smitten is what I will remain.

So I did some searching on the net and was surprised to see that it's all over the place including stores like Anthropologie. Here's the scoop; there are 3 radios in the product line; small, medium and large. They range in price from $200-$300. Designed by Singgih Kartono for Magno. Each tree used to create these radios had one replanted in its place, as Antropologie touts "making each song played sound just a bit sweeter." Don't you love marketing? The wood is not coated with anything but oil and needs maintaining. Yes, a product you actually have to care for. Not an easy proposition for most of us.

The product was also made as an attempt to improve the Indonesian economy, creating jobs for local woodworkers making wooden commodities needing relatively low skills. This falls into a new category called "New Craft." New Craft attempts to utilize existing systems and technology with the most important factor being to use well managed human resources. To learn more about the designers vision for producing this sustainable product check the Magno Website.

I also want to send out a big Happy Birthday to my mom and my good friend JoAnn who had a great art opening last night at the Commonweath gallery space as well as a fab party afterwards. Loved it. Have a good week. m