Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Back in March I started conceptualizing a beauty shoot for my good friend Kat Sterrett. She is a make-up artist who donates a generous amount of time to Polina’s and my shoots and in return we stage beauty shoots for her that allow her to dictate the make-up and show off her range. For this shoot the concept was “landscapes.” The models have very different looks and complexions and I wanted to emphasize this with very different color and textural stories.
Three days before the shoot, we lost our hair stylist. Not wanting to scrap the shoot since coordinating schedules is the hardest part of any shoot, I quickly came up with an idea that allowed us to cope with the loss. I located 4 different helmets and styled the looks using old clothes from my attic and my roller derby gear. Kat’s approach to the make-up was to highlight single elements on the face in a way that complimented the styling. On set we loosely referred to the looks as Tank Girl, Easy Rider, Speed Racer and James Bond. These names and a quick glance in the mirror was all the direction we gave the models; the rest was up to them. There was never more than one model on set at a time so no model witnessed the other being photographed. I was fascinated to see how each girl chose to embody their character and work (or not work) with their huge accessory.
Kudos to Polina for agreeing to work with my crazy idea and for agreeing to shoot through the clear visor on our Bond chick. It wouldn’t have been the same had we kept it flipped up! And thank you to our lovely and tolerant models Kiley, Jenna and Yana.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I wanted to use this project to showcase some of the spacial issues and solutions that a designer may focus on as much as the homeowner will focus on the location of the refrigerator. Well, that and Polina’s photos are so stunning that I felt they deserved to be showcased in the zine as well as the portfolio.
This is the Keller kitchen as it once was. While a perfectly fine kitchen, the cabinets and floor are too close in color creating a four-sided visual enclosure to an already petite room. With a new finish palette, we want to push the walls out by anchoring the floor and lightening the vertical surfaces. The current lighting plan is only lighting the floor and counter and not the ceiling thus creating a dark plane pushing down on the space. Tracing this dark ceiling with puny crown molding is giving the ceiling more visual weight than it deserves. The accent lighting is too close in color to the cabinetry to be of any interest and too small for such a large void between the counter and the ceiling. The island has a built in eating surface as well as a recessed working surface. This effect cuts the island in half and creates an attention-drawing disruption. This wouldn’t be bad if the counters of the island were worthy of being the focal point of the kitchen but they draw your eye to the messiest part of any kitchen; the sink. Wendy selected a great backsplash tile. It is trying to make this contemporary kitchen less contemporary but the injection of color is drawing attention to the wall cabinet that seems to have been full of helium when it was installed. OK. So here is what we did:
1. We designed a new island worthy of a second glance. The edge profile of this 40”x100” Calcutta Gold marble island top has been beefed-up to a chunky 2 ½” to avoid appearing visually flimsy.
2. Islands are special and deserve their own identity so we designed a base that stands out from the kitchen cabinets both in styling and color.
3. Barstools and counter stools are always on the go so make sure they are prepared to travel across your new floor. These McGuire stools have a firmly attached, clear plastic foot that can be dragged without scuffing. When stool meets floor the harder material will always win. Wendy gets a gold star for selecting a stool with a base wider than the seat. This means it will be less likely to tip when her little ones scale the sides. Not to mention that scooped walnut seat is stunning!
5. I tend to refer to the range as the “captain’s chair” of the kitchen. Asymmetry and symmetry can be effective tools when punctuating a design element. While there is nothing symmetrical in this design, we opted to force symmetry at the range to make it distinct from the rest of the kitchen. To push it’s identity even further, we made the adjacent drawer-faces from stainless steel and exaggerated the length of the hood emphasizing the span of the work zone.
7. The ceiling is the supporting cast of any room and has a great influence over everything below it. Originally, I suggested painting it a barely-blue color but the Kellers were not at all receptive and now that I see the effect the chandeliers have on the ceiling, I’m glad we didn’t. The ceiling is only illuminated in the middle, allowing the edges to appear darker than the trim. I wanted to tint the ceiling color to make the crown appear bright and showcase its nuances. As a general rule, consider your ceiling the 5th wall but when holding up a paint chip to see what it will look like, hold it over your head. On the ceiling it is always up to 2 full shades darker!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
A few weeks back I was copied on an email response to Konrad Marshall (Indy Star arts reporter) from Wil Marquez:
Come te sientes amigo! Many thanks for asking me, your homework can stop here. I will offer these 5 uniquely different, but special individuals. These 5 are to me the most intriguing individuals I know and whose dialog is fit for a conversation on design at any level. They all are doing interesting work at some level and can inform your article with guts and substance. Good luck! let me know if you need their information, they should be easy to find. They are in no particular order
1. Brian McCutheon - Artist/Fabricator
2. Nikki Sutton - Interior Design with LEVEL
3. Jason Barisano - Architect A2SO4
4. Ana de Brea - Professor of Architecture, Ball State University
5. Cory Robinson - Professor at Heron/ Furniture Designer
Three weeks later, this story launched in the Star.
Will, thank you for the kind words. I am not sure what I did to land on this list but I'll take it! And thank you Konrad for featuring my work along such dedicated artisans. To learn more about Wil check out this interview.
I wanted to post this story for a couple reasons. One, for blatant self promotion. Two, because Chris Foster of Fosterweld did not get credit for the fabrication of the coffee table. And three, because I mention in the article that the table's design was inspired by two pieces of furniture in the room, neither of which were pictured. So I snapped one with my trusty iphone.:
This project is a loft renovation that I did in Mill No. 9 and has just wrapped up in the last week. The owners, Rob and Carol Lukemeyer are two of the most dynamic people you could ever hope to befriend. Ms. Osherov and I will be shooting their space later in the month. Stay tuned! Thanks Rob and Carol for allowing the Star to photograph your space just one day after your vacation!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Photo snagged from the IMA website.
Under the direction of Anne Laker the theater has been chock-full of interesting film showings, digital art screenings and guest lectures. This Thursday Jeff Carter, senior designer for Target, will be discussing “the retail giant’s democratic design-for-all philosophy and collaborations with designers such as Michael Graves and Isaac Mizrahi.” In the U.S. the top two big box retailers are Wal-mart and Target. While Wal-mart has continually boasted low pricing, Target has always tried to balance celebrating product design with product affordability. It wasn’t until Target started to feature Michael Graves’ housewares that I really took notice of their design awareness. Fourteen years later you can enter just about any department in Target and see a “star” name. I never expected to read: Alexander McQueen for Target. I have high hopes that Thursday’s presentation will be a unique insight into a company that has single handedly brought design awareness to the suburbs. If you are not an IMA member yet, (and why not?!?) hurry and join so you can enjoy this and future presentations at half the price. “The Target Aesthetic” is June 4th at 7:00pm. Ticket prices are $7 Public / $4 Members / $5 Students. Get there a few minutes early to grab a drink and mingle in the lobby. Kudos to Anne for breathing life into this great venue!
And this is why you should know this designer:
See you Thursday!!!
Friday, May 15, 2009
When I attended the European Design Exhibit and Symposium at the IMA, some of the presenters were asked to discuss product sustainability and the price of ’designer’ goods in Europe. A typical direction that the responses traveled was toward the belief that in Europe things are designed to last forever and therefore need only be purchased once and kept forever. What I took away from the symposium is that if something is well designed it will be cherished forever, that my designs, materials, and spaces need to be just as desirable in 2009 as in 2029.
Now fast forward to last night and this guy (I know what you're thinking) says:
Karim Rashid. *Examples of his work can be seen at the bottom of this post.
“If the average shelf life of a high-tech object is less than eleven months, why on Earth does anything have to be built to be permanent? It should all be 100% disposable. You know, I think my laptop should be made of cardboard, or my mobile phone could be a piece of cardboard, or it could just be made out of something like sugarcane or bioplastic.”
In the Indianapolis Star I made comment that European design principals do not translate to us as consumers. In Indiana, I feel we buy based on trends and fashion. We swap out all of our kitchen appliances because the ones we have aren’t stainless. We buy a new TV because the one we have won’t mount on the wall. We buy new jeans because the pair we’re wearing have boring pockets. And when we shop to replace those things, price tends to influence our choices because we know this isn’t the last time we will be buying this item.
To bring this topic back to my field, it should be pointed out that people are opting to reside in their homes for relatively brief amounts of time. Decades ago people died in the same home in which they raised their children. Today, individuals can expect to live in an apartment, a starter home, their family home, and an empty nester home. Business sizes fluctuate and their space requirements change accordingly. A company can start in the basement of a house, then fill a downtown office complex, and then perhaps become a completely mobile organization. So why would a client buy solid cherry casework that will not only outlast their stay but outlast the trend that influenced me to design them? What happens to that casework when they move or remodel? Why are they looking for sturdy furniture that will last years?
So here I am, marinating all of the elements of product consumption; need, cost, appearance (form), function and longevity. While cost and appearance vary wildly (usually in tandem), need, function and longevity seem to always be elements of a product that can’t be compromised. But why? Why does my vacuum cleaner come with a 10-year warranty? Do I really expect to have it that long? Well, maybe, I rarely clean. Why is it that I have a closet full of beautiful well-made coats yet every fall I am seduced to buying another one?
Could consumers embrace the idea of temporary products? What if there was a clothing line that would eventually break down in water or could be added to a compost pile? Would you feel comfortable buying something if you knew it was intended to fall apart or degrade at a speed of fashion instead of tradition? You know you will have a new phone in a year or two. Why would you be hesitant to buy one that could dissolve?
So here I am trying to re-define my definition of quality in regard to product design as it relates to interior design. What is a quality product/design? Is it something that promises to last as long as you do or something that knows you well enough to know that your relationship won’t last that long?
* As promised, here are some of Karim Rashid's designs. Christian owns the Alessi watch and it is a gem!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
To see more of these images, visit my website. Thank you to our very cold model, Amy Hopper; our makeup artist, Beth Jerrels; clothing designer Bernie Martin of Catou Couture and of course Vladamir Osherov.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The following are some progress images. While the mural is miles from what was intended, it is still an impressive install and provides ExactTarget a little street cred.
To see more pictures from this project visit my website, they are listed under the INTERIOR DESIGN tab.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Kipp prepares for the opening
Monday, March 9, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
The coloring wasn’t quite gold, brighter than bronze but duller than brass. It was really cool and vintage looking but the composition felt totally modern. Turns out it was made by this cool jewelry company, Alkemie. Their pieces are forged from reclaimed metals. They can be purchased from econsciousmarket . These are a couple of my favorites… hint, hint Christian.
When you are done buying a new necklace, check out Areaware.
What a great place to go for birthday gifts! This melted army man bowl is almost as hot as the retainer necklace which is almost as cute as the moustache mirror.
Friday, January 23, 2009
What a fine looking period the 60's were. And for the record, I believe this was the best era of men's fashion ever. If you are slim, there is no excuse to not own a great two button, fitted suit. If Madmen doesn't convince you, pop in your copy of North By Northwest and Cary will school you on how great a well dressed man can look!
If you could replace your wardrobe with that of a television or movie character, who would you choose?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Last night was a tough loss for our Sirens. While they managed to dominate during the first half of the first period, Pittsburg eventually figured out the Siren’s strategy, adjusted their game play and swiftly put up a painful point spread. With a solid lead at the end of the first period, the Steel City girls just kept racking up points in a big way. It was obvious that Naptown was not going to win this one. However, when I looked around there was not a empty patch in the crowd. If I were at a Colts or Pacers game people would be filing out early to get a head start on the traffic.
I don’t know what spell our girls have cast on the city, but 3 years later they are just as enchanted. And rightfully so, roller derby is one exciting sport! Maybe it is the fact that these girls do everything for free; they run the business of the league, organize practices, schedule and compete in the bouts and even clean up the pavilion for no pay. In fact, roller girls pay to play! I have always been told that a person is likely to succeed if they are doing something they are truly passionate about. There is something intoxicating about a person with passion and these girls have it. With 5 minutes left in last night’s bout, you could see so much heart on that track. Maybe that is why the fans stay. As long as the girls are fighting, the crowd will have their back.
These images were taken at the bout by our amazing photographers Marc Lebryk and Tom Klubens:
As a retired roller girl I stay involved with the league as a member of the creative committee and a referee. I hope to share some of the behind the scenes work that goes into making this league so amazing but for now I just wanted to introduce you to your Naptown Roller Girls.
*This is for Polina: