Thursday, March 29, 2012

goldie blox launch

Not too long ago I wrote a post about a new project that had inspired me. I'm excited to say, that project is now publically launched! Check out more at A cross-post of my original post will go up on Friday but each day this week there is a new post from a member of the founding team. We're busy exchanging multiple emails a day, about to start product testing and always, always coming up with ways to make our ideas better. Sign up on the Goldie Blox website to stay updated!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

colorblocked jeans diy

[Oh hello. You like my puppy, you say?]

These were an old pair of jeans purchased at the Working Man's Store in my mother's hometown that were comfortable though not particularly flattering. Levi 501s, straight leg. I wanted to jazz them up and these colorblock pants from Honestly WTF have been in the back of my head for ages. I chose to paint the outside green 12" up my leg and upped the color by painting not just the outside but a coordinating interior color that I can roll up or leave hidden.

Monday, March 26, 2012

99% invisible on universal design

I've been meaning to write a post on 99% Invisible. Every episode of the design and architecture themed podcast is excellent, but when the latest started with a clip of a walk-and-talk from West Wing I knew it was time to share. 99% Invisible used the clip as a segue to talk about the way we talk when moving through space and the different spacial challenges faced by the deaf community when walking and communicating. The only thing the episode missed was a shout out to Joey Lucas, the deaf character who could walk and talk with the best of them. (The best forever being Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman.) 

Robert Sirvage is a deaf designer, researcher, and instructor at Gallaudet, and in collaboration with Hansel Bauman — who is not deaf – and a group of staff, students and architects, they’ve developed a project calledDeafSpace. Reporter Tom Dreisbach took a tour through the new building at Gallaudet that is incorporating the innovations of DeafSpace to create an environment more pleasing to everyone, both hearing and deaf. 

[Plans for a residence hall by by LTL Architects / Quinn Evans Architects]

The show had many insightful moments and somehow I learned more about designing for the hearing-impaired than I had in my four years of design school. Mind you, I loved my program but I can't remember specifically discussing the issue (though I'm having flashbacks to diagrams of the structure of the inner ear.) More than designing around the lack of hearing, Sirvage and Bauman designed to reduce the eyestrain that accompanies replacing auditory clues with visual ones. Blue walls help provide the greatest contrast to a wide variety of skin-tones. An attempt to round walls to increase sightlines lead to increased collisions, so glass corners were suggested instead. Diffuse lighting. 

While I joked that the West Wing clip prompted this post, it was more accurately a short quote at the end. "Fundamentally this is about universal design, designing for the widest range of people possible with a variety of abilities because not only is it more inclusive, it's demonstrably better design, regardless of need." 

As designers, by studying a wide variety of specific population's needs, we are able to best design for the widest group at all times. 

the cream: wedding registry tips

[Images are by Birds of a Feather via 100 Layer Cake.]

I feel the need to preface this post with a disclaimer. These tips do not apply to my life at the moment. These tips were developed not for personal use but for The Cream, a fabulous wedding professionals event earlier this month in LA. If you are planning a wedding- yours or someone else's- check out The Cream. These photos are dreamy enough even if are not wedding inclined to provide inspiration for your next party, redecorating your home, or the perfect present for a friend.

[Images are by Birds of a Feather via 100 Layer Cake.]

With the help of Disregarden Vintage Furniture Rental and Rebeca Buenk Styling, Rue partnered with Heath Ceramics to present a wedding registry styled to look like the gifts have just arrived in the newlywed's home. As a takeaway for the brides at The Cream to assist in creating their own dream registry, I compiled a set of tips which I am excited to share with all of you!

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice from their registry experience, since I have none. Ladies who have registered, are there other tips you'd give? And all of us can dream about our top homeware items!

Images are by Birds of a Feather via 100 Layer Cake. Check out 100 Layer Cake for more awesome images of The Cream. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

tumblights 3/25

Last weekend, this weekend and next instead of seeing friends and being social, I am completely consumed by college basketball. I do not have a television, but luckily Partner-in-Crime shares my obsession and purchased ESPN March Madness access online and we have been streaming games nonstop. Yesterday I was crafting in front of the television computer monitor we call a tv, and most of my blog reading lately has been accompanied by cheering in the background. Don't worry, I still have a great collection of design stories for you. Enjoy.

Typography Shaped Entirely By Human Hands via The Creators Project

Photorealistic paintings- ‘Under the unminding sky’ by Gregory Thielker via The Fox is Black

Images of ink in water- A Due Colore via Honestly WTF

one year in my life: an infographic journal from merel brouns via Design For Mankind

Photographs found after the 3.11 Earthquake in Japan via LOST & FOUND PROJECT

Thursday, March 22, 2012

fun in the workplace

[LEGO office]

[BGT Partners]
These two totally different office spaces have been hanging out in my browser for the past week or so. Each time I look at them, I'm struck by how fun each workplace is. The styles are different, but each has a sense of whimsy. BGT, a marketing firm, has an office with no corners. LEGO, a company that needs no introduction, has an office that seriously encourages play.

[Lego's giant slide]
In addition, both designs heavily rely on collaborative space over cubicles or separate offices. Flexible offices are growing in popularity as companies realize the importance of collaboration, particularly in fields like marketing and development. Privacy and quiet workspaces are very important, but cubicles do not necessarily provide those goals. Instead, companies are placing more value in shared spaces that build teams and collaboration.

[BGT Partners]
But these spaces aren't completely different- BGT has a "creative corner with LEGO bricks!" 

Both originally found via Design Milk here and here. All images from Design Milk. Lego office in Denmark was designed by Rosan Bosch and Rune Fjord . BGT Partners office in Miami was designed by ADD Inc Miami

Thursday, March 15, 2012

jewelry workshop update

Very excited to reveal more details on the jewelry workshop I will be leading at Sticky Art Lab on March 31 from 4-6pm. It's for all ages, 6 and up (6-12 with an adult.) I'll be teaching a variety of skills but the focus on YOU creating a unique piece of jewelry using a combination of new and reclaimed materials.

Bring your favorite necklace that broke, jewelry from your grandmother and random baubles you never wear and remake them into something totally unique and just your style! In this workshop, you will learn to craft your own beautiful necklace out of repurposed jewels and materials. Additional bits and beads, along with the technical tools to create jewelry, will be provided. Things to bring: beads, charms, old necklaces, favorite bits of seaglass, chain (broken is okay!) and whatever other shiny objects catch your eye. You will learn the skills of beading but more importantly the possibilities of repurposing jewelry into new creations. 

It's a steal at only $15! Don't miss out! Reserve your spot by emailing or call 510.981.1148. Sticky Art Lab is located at 1682 University Ave in Berkeley. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

design is in the... big picture

[Image from The Society Pages]

I recently started working on a very exciting, unfortunately top secret, project with an amazing company called Goldie Blox. While I cannot get into specifics, it tackles several issues very close to my heart. Goldie Blox's mission is to encourage young girls to be engineers through designing a way show girls their potential.

Young girls today are told that they can be anything that they want. This is the message I grew up with,  the message that inspired me to work hard and pursue my dreams. It is an incredibly positive thing, and one that should be a given.  The problem is that while girls are told they can be anything they want to be, we are not always inspiring girls to look at the broad array of things that they could be. This is particularly troubling in comparison to the things that boys know they can be and the things that boys already have role models in place to admire.

How does this relate to design? The messages that girls receive are typically subtle and unintentional. Even when the decision was intentional, the resulting message was unintentional. For instance, think of the books you were assigned in school. Many of those books had male protagonists. Teachers know that girls are able- perhaps through conditioning- to relate to male characters, while young boys have difficulty relating to female characters. As a result, girls read stories in which the male characters achieve much more than the female characters. Design is a process of recognizing a problem and working to create solutions. We can design products, stories, and educational systems that change the message that girls receive. That adapt to the differences in development and learning styles in young children without dividing. Or defaulting to pink and purple.

What excites me most about Goldie Blox, other than its massive big mission, is the consciousness of the founders to the role of design in the process- from the details up to the big picture. I get to play a teeny part and am so excited to watch this project grow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

learning sf: sticky art lab

[Storefront on University Avenue]
Despite being three blocks from my house, I first learned of Sticky Art Lab from an email about their upcoming holiday craft fair. Upon walking into the small art space, I fell in love. Sticky Art Lab is meant as a space for children and families to come create art together, whether in organized workshops with a specific project or in open lab time when they have the freedom to create, well, pretty much anything they can imagine. 

Frequently featured in 501 Families as a top activity for families, Sticky Art Lab also hosts workshops aimed at adults and has a gift shop in the front, so everyone can enjoy this space. I sat down with Rachel Knudsen and Angel Huntington-Ortega to learn more. Plus you can check Sticky Art Lab out in person this Saturday and Sunday at their Open House from 11am-4pm. 

[Sticky Gift Shop feature local artists]
How did the idea for Sticky Art start?
Rachel: I was working at a small children’s magazine, Skipping Stones, as a co-editor. Children were sending piles or artwork and articles and we’d spend hours looking and doing minimal editing and then sending the magazine back out to readers. I thought more people need to be doing this, sharing themselves and their art. I had this idea of that magazine but in a place, a place where people were just creating and doing and being together and doing it. Maybe it was 14 years ago. But there was travel, and having children, and life-- but that seed was there and anything I did seemed to grow that idea and finally it had to happen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

recipe: beets two ways

[Red stained fingers from the beets]

If you saw my recent Instagram photo of dinner ideas, you may be surprised by the photo above. I do have some big plans for later this week and as a result, I wanted to get my veggies in early. I have two recipes that make the most of fresh fruits and vegetables before spring is officially here. The first is an adaptation of Bon Appétit's Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad while the other is more a cooking technique than formal recipe. I couldn't stand to throw out the lovely greens that came attached to the beets. Turns out they taste almost identical to swiss chard! The stalk does leach a little red, though. 

Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad
For this salad, I most followed the prepareation according to the recipe, but changed the proportions. I felt the recommended amount of several ingredients, most notably the beets, is not nearly enough for two people, much less the 4-6 it is suppose to serve. My grocery only had mini golden beets so I used all red beets but mix it up if you can. I also changed the final step to serve the salad in a bowl instead of plated.

5 medium red beets, tops trimmed
medium golden beets, tops trimmed
3 blood oranges
medium navel oranges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/3 cup)
Good-quality extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed, or walnut oil (for drizzling)
Coarse sea salt,  freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

Cut beets from leaves, set leaves aside for second recipe. Wash beets and wrap in foil, leaving some water on the beets. Bake at 400 for an hour. 

Juice two of the blood oranges. Add the juice of the blood oranges, lemon and lime to a bowl. Slice the other oranges, cutting away the white pitch and/or peel and use as wedges*. Add to the bowl. Once beets are done roasting, peel. Add the beets, fennel, and onion to the bowl of oranges. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Stir. Allow to sit for a few minutes then serve.  To store leftovers, transfer to covered container with only minimal dressing. 

*Mixing slices and wedges adds interesting textures to the salad and are visually fun. Slice the beets in a combination of wedges and slices as well. 

Sautéed Beet Greens 
leftover beet greens from 10 beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

Cut the leafy greens away from the thick stalks and roughly chop. Wash and dry. 

[You only need to remove the thickest part of the stalk]

Heat oil in large saute pan and add red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add greens. Add one or two tablespoons water and cover, stirring occasionally. 

[Cover the greens to get them to wilt]

Cook for about 8 minutes, to desired texture. I like to leave them just wilted but you can cook them longer if you prefer. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

new rue, featuring yours truly

The new issue of RUE came out this week and I have not one but two(!) copy lines. It's crazy to think that I started my internship less than a week before last issue came out. I'm having a blast seeing the behind the scenes for how this incredible magazine is put together. It certainty is not easy, but Anne, Crystal, Bri, and Cassandra pour so much love into RUE and it's visible on every page.

My articles can be found starting on page 38 and page 96 but don't just read mine! I love Desert Horizon shopping guide (peach and navy!) and the boating photoshoot. Which inspire you?