ALVARO SIZA: Iberian minimalism

Designer Feature vol. 5 I love the work of Siza. His projects arise as natural reactions to the physical, cultural, and, I could almost say, spiritual environment which they inhabit. He masterfully blends *vernacular architecture with minimalism to create poetic references to place while exploring issues of form and space. When I think of Siza’s work I always imagine these large spans of white-washed walls or these intricate plans where every turn and edge has been thought out. That’s part of his genius – being able to work from the largest scale of the site plan to the minute details of…

EDWARD WESTON: Clouds, Trees, Water

Artist Feature, vol. 6   Though Weston is mostly known for his still lifes of inanimate objects such as peppers and cabbage leaves, his landscapes explored the same subject of form that guided most of his work. Here, in Clouds, Trees, Water Weston captured the flora and scenery at Point Lobos,CA and the desert landscape of Oceano,CA. If you look closely through his images you’ll note why Edward was a part of the f/64 group (which included legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams). His images often employed the use of deep depth of field allowing for all planes of the images…

The Case Study Houses

In post-war Southern California the residential housing boom inspired a group of prominent architects sponsored by Arts and Architecture Magazine to tackle what they saw as the current issues in the typical American home. Each architect was to deal with one of these problems and resolve it in the best way they saw fit using materials and methods that would be readily available and easily duplicated. The program that was to be known as the Case Study Houses ran from 1945 up until 1966. The group of architects included many of the big names of Mid-Century Modern design. These included…

GIO PONTI: The 20th Century’s Renaissance Man

Designer Feature, vol. 4 When you think renaissance man in the world of design Gio Ponti is your guy. This man was a painter, an industrial and furniture designer, an architect and the editor and founder of the quintessential Domus (1928) and Stile magazines. Born and raised in Milan, Ponti was an advent propagandist for the love of architecture and design which he wrote of in his 1957 collection of essays Amate l’Architettura (published in english as In Praise of Architecture). Ponti utilized Domus to openly explore diverse topics of his concern and express his personal views all the while maintaining a…

1ST DIBS ON VINTAGE FINDS

1ST DIBS is a website that consolidates the listings of the best antique dealers all around the States. I don’t mean just the Baroque or Neo-classical pieces that come straight to mind when hearing “antiques”. Though 1st dibs does carry beautiful pre-20th Century designs, I’m mostly excited by the Art Deco, Hollywood Glam, and Mid century – Modern finds. Each object on 1st dibs is a design relic – they’re the real deal. I love to browse through the listings simply to observe the beauty of the details and finishes of each piece. This has brought me better familiarization with…

HOLGA, WHO?

TOY CAMERAS IN THE 21ST CENTURY Toy cameras, as they are lovingly referred, were first discovered by North Americans in the 1960’s. Originally fabricated in China, these inexpensive cameras contain the most rudimentary elements necessary for photography resulting in images full of distortions. So why are they still being produced and why are people like me interested in them? In this day and age of ever-escalating Megapixels low-tech cameras, such as the Holga and the Diana, are utilized specifically for the unpredictable kinks inherent in these cameras. Camera technologies continue to become more complex with every passing moment . It…

CARLO SCARPA

Designer Feature vol. 3 (Venice 1906 – 1978 Japan) Carlo Scarpa is the architect that made me want to be an interior designer. The Italian master draws me in (every time) with his use of materials and a truly meticulous attention to detail. Every corner, every connection is resolved with the utmost sensibility. This of course means Scarpa did not leave behind an encyclopedia of projects. The ones he did however, are true jewels. In his work he would blend brass with limestone and stucco and brick. He would play with precedents of geometry such as circular Chinese openings in garden walls and corbeled pyramids…