A Case of the “As Soon As”

The exam went… um… fine. I am sure I did well, but I still HATE having to just throw something together. There’s time-management and then theres just plain sloppy. I can’t even tell you how many times the project management triangle philosophy runs through my mind- I saw it in a movie once (I wish I could remember what it was!) and it has totally stuck with me.

Now that I’m finished, I’ve been staying up way too late following through on things I promised people I would help them out with as soon as I finished this semester. I was running around until after 10 pm last night trying to source flooring samples for a friend’s condo (he’s fixing it up to sell), and tonight I have been fighting with the square footages and trying to figure out where the transitions should go (he’s been given solid hard wood left-overs and it seems a shame not to use them, but the challenge is not letting them look too patch-work-ish (the general rule of thumb is that you should not use more than 3 different flooring type in one home… I’m not even done school and already I’m breaking the rules- I think I figured out a pretty great way to do 4 and not make it feel disjointed.

I have been rethinking this blog thing. Now that pinterest has changed, every image I embedded from that site (but linked it to it’s source) is now an ugly broken link.

Not pretty.

Not impressed.

The other side of it is that showing products/companies (like I did with Propellor lighting) is entirely different than showing things from someone’s portfolio (art, photography, design). So, now that i’m getting a bit more of a hang for this design blog, I’m tightening up and figuring out how to go about it properly- which probably means less of a tumblr approach. I can’t say what that will look like, but things are ever-changing and ever-growing.

Anyways, moving on,

Yesterday I assisted our graphic designer/photographer/media relations head and one of the designers to do a shoot on one of the finished homes. Let’s just say, yesterday was a great day. Came out pretty inspired.

Another thing that’s inspiring me is this bookshelf from Restoration Hardware. I find open shelving so hard to work with because it tends to make a space look cluttered. The screens on this 19th C Notary Bookcase are the perfect middle ground. They hide and display.

That table is also amazing!

Ok. I’ve gotta research lettering. I have some banners to make for a friend’s high school reunion.

Good Night.

Image from Restoration Hardware

Just About There.

Today I am finishing up my last manual drafting assignment ever! That’s cause for some celebration.

It’s not so say that I won’t have to hand draft future projects, but it is to say that I won’t have to do up entire presentation-style vignettes and be marked solely on the precision of my drafting ability (I’ll be marked on my design, space planning, dimensioning etc.).

The only thing standing between me and a break from my set squares, lead pointer and scale is a drafting final. Gulp. Please send some good thoughts my way between 1pm and 4pm tomorrow PLEAAAAAASE!

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Propellor.

A major bonus to working as a design assistant/apprentice is that I get a better view of what’s out there beyond Ikea and Home Outfitters for furniture and waaaaaaaaay beyond Home Depot for finishing materials.

I’ve been trying to source a light fixture for our new conference room, and I came across Propellor and got those warm tinglies.

Propellor is an independent, Vancouver based multi-disciplinary design studio. We thrive on the challenge of creating useful, beautiful and ecologically minded objects and experiences…

Their core values stack up the same as my own:

Collaboration:

Three heads are better than one – working together takes us places creatively that we wouldn’t think of going alone.

Sustainability:

We work at being good citizens. In our community and in the world at large we take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. We work to reduce our impact at every level of our practice… Evolving as people, as designers and as a company involves continually questioning our choices, learning new lessons and working to take every new step in the right direction.

Loves:

The smell of horses, bon-vivants, podcasts, bicycles of all kinds, wool, whiskey, meals with friends, spring in Vancouver, sleeping under the stars, deep conversation, talking trash, making bread, the rainforest, mushrooms, manifestos, shit disturbers, mom & pops, remote Canadian surf spots, the patina of use, fall in Vancouver, birds of all kinds (especially ravens), vibrant public spaces, investigative journalists, creeks, streams, rivers, thrift stores, sore muscles, tidal pools, documentaries, the tundra, drifting in a canoe, intimate music venues, gnarly old buildings, permaculture, pillow talk, sea otters (who doesn’t), loooong baths, downpours, problem solving, human-powered devices, summer in Vancouver

the patina of use… that is so damn romantic I can’t even handle it. Are you as in love as I am?

Propellor gets me excited. Not only is their site so jaw-droppingly inspiring to look at, but there is such an intimacy to their work/belief-system. I have ranted in past posts about how much I disagree with the competitive, back-stabbing and superiority that can happen in this industry. I love to see local companies who don’t adhere to the norm.

This is just a fraction of what they’ve done, but these light designs speak to my little industrial-loving heart.

Mycologic

Oyster, shitake, morel – our love of mushrooms compelled us to investigate how they grow. The Mycologic light takes it’s abstracted form from the branching characteristics of the mushroom’s root systems.

Calvino

The Calvino series of pendant lights pay homage to novelist Italo Calvino. As in his great utopic book Invisible Cities, our Calvino light suggests an idealized floating city, warmly lit at night.

Galiano

Comprised of two iconic West Coast woods, the Galiano light takes it’s name from our favorite island off the coast of Vancouver. The Galiano’s shade is made from Douglas Fir finished with natural oil and beeswax while the hanging Arbutus branch serves as the pull switch.

Kilter

Kilter emerges from the process of taking something old and making it new, transforming something forgotten into something of use.

Now what are you still doing here? Go to the Propellor site and see the mountain of awesomeness that they’ve been building!

All images from Propellor

Darling, Let’s Be Reckless

The product description of this four poster swing table (even the lamp hangs from it!) begins with the quote:

‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.’ George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

I just became a huge fan of Duffy London. While part of me takes design very seriously (I do believe we have to put thought into the built environment that we spend so much of our lives in), I also think that people shouldn’t be afraid to have fun and think outside the box. I would love to have this table in my house and see how awkward some of my guests get sitting on a swing. Adulthood is a somewhat terrible thing isn’t it? Somewhere along the line, many of us begin to take ourselves way too seriously.

The design of this dining set is not only imaginative, but it  is also very, dare I say, practical. Four legs instead of 36, plus some no light fixture attached to the ceiling. The design is rather brilliant, and the lines are clean.

Plus, as they’ve pointed out, it makes vacuuming a breeze.

Image via Duffy London

hyp·o·crite

/ˈhipəˌkrit/
 
Noun

A person who indulges in hypocrisy

I indulge.

 

A 6.5 year pescatarian who likes animal skulls. I think I convince myself that they died naturally after living a very long and happy life.

 

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A Curved Corridor.

Great design gives great experiences. It enriches life and inspires. It puts people in better moods. It can energize or bring peace. It has the potential to have huge influence on how we experience a space/place. When we come across great design, we carry it with us. It makes its mark (Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi!!!).

Great design pays attention to the details.

The difference between a hallway and a corridor (corridor sounds far superior). This is often greatly overlooked because people don’t spend time here like they do a living room, but passageways set a tone. They move a person from one space to the next, and while you don’t sit in them, you pass through them constantly. Imagine this curved corridor with the herringbone brick floor, arched windows and glass pendants in your home, how would you feel walking through it day to day?

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Mood Board: Set Sail.

I’ve wanted an anchor tattoo for quite some time (don’t worry mom, I won’t), and I have such a fondness for ropes (and the millions of knots). While we were in Fiji (an extended stop over on our way to New Zealand), we met a family who quit their jobs, sold their house in Alberta and moved down to Florida where they took sailing courses and then bought a boat and took off to live on the sea. We met them two years deep. Their boys spent the days “at sea” doing homeschool, and when they found a spot to drop anchor, they learned culture, history and made new friends all over the world. And boy, did these kids know how to play. I often wonder what growing up surrounded by technology might do to imagination. Parts of me feel sad when I see little kids staring at a screen rather than elbow-deep in paints, playdough and bits of paper.

One morning I watched these boys (both under the age of 10) beg for empty liquor bottles from the bartender. They filled them with sand, and then they took rope and tied one to each end of a stick. They took turns “spotting” each other as they bench pressed their newly created barbell.

How awesome is that?

A sailing trip is definitely on the bucket list (even if only for a few days). Being West coast girl means that I feel such a deep connection with the ocean. To tuck in and wake up surrounded by blue water is the best kind of dream.

In my design theory class last fall, my teacher was talking about places that she finds inspiration (she’s worked for some very big commercial design firms). One of them really stuck with me: cars. She pointed out the functionality that was fit into such a small space, the ergonomics and space planning (how everything is organized very intuitively), the lines and the finishes. It totally got me thinking, and that’s when I noticed boats. The concepts that can be built around the image of a beautiful boat are breath-taking. The finishes, colours and clean lines really inspire.

 

 

 

Image Sources:1.2.3.4.5.6

And I Thought a Break Was Coming.

Last 10 days of this semester. Currently in the “fall asleep when the birds are waking up” part of my week (weekends are when I do the bulk of my homework). I have two projects left, and I have been counting down the days to when I only have to work and don’t have homework deadlines looming.

I have mentioned that my internship is going well. The team at the office seems to feel that I am a good fit. Last week, I sat down with the owner and, to put it bluntly, he thinks it’s time for me to start transitioning from intern/design assistant to design lead.

Gulp.

He says that these past two months have given him, and the project managers, time to observe me. He is well-aware that I am not finished my school program, but he said that he sees the things in me that cannot be taught (intuition, creativity, organization etc.), and he believes that the company is well equipped to teach me the stuff I need to know before I start taking my own clients.

We stepped off the plane from NZ over a year ago. I signed up for design courses and have been running off my feet ever since (I’ve been in school 11 out of 12 months). I thought I would take the next couple months to just work at the design office during the day, and do a few shifts at the restaurant in the evenings. Instead, I am officially shifting from assistant to apprentice. It is highly likely that I am going to put in 80+ hours to get my first two levels of AutoCad during the first two weeks of July (enjoy that sun for me, because I’ll be hidden away in a computer lab).

Everything happens for a reason. Who would have thought that my working in a restaurant would introduce me to a local designer (who then mentioned to her boss that there was a design student looking for volunteer opportunities for the summer)? And it’s not just that- Becky (the designer) and I are on such a similar page that it blows my mind.

Hard work (I have “punched the clock” at 4am too many times to count), sacrifice (work, school, repeat), passion (it’s why I can stay up til 4am… uncaffeinated) have been met with opportunity- the recipe for an explosion. I say over and over and over again, I am meant to do this. 

So, it seems there is no slowing down. The education to take me from dreamer to designer is full throttle. Last year is was just school. This year, it is school (I’m going to finish my program in the next year or so), apprenticeship and a hell of a lot of swimming in that deep end.

Image Sources: 1.2.3.4.

Good Pipes.

Looking at this photo, it seems a shame that we hide all our pipes behind the wall. I have a major love for metallic and industrial interiors, so clearly I’m biased, but this faucet system kills it for me.

Image via