Maya Lin, Pin River


Ms. Lin working on her piece “Pin River — Hudson.”   NYTimes


“After Hurricane Sandy, Maya Lin, the architect and artist, decided her new show at Pace Gallery would fix on Manhattan and its environment, on landscapes and waterways. Called “Here and There,” the show opened April 27 at Pace’s 57th Street gallery and runs through June 22.”  NY Times

I have followed the work of Maya Lin since learning of her winning project for the  Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.  Her process is self described as one that balances scientific data with the handmade, creating beautiful and thoughtful built expression. I am always intrigued and inspired by her process.

I caught a recent article in the NY Times about her new exhibit “Here and There,”. Our rapidly changing environment has informed and inspired Ms. Lin. “Among the show’s highlights are three of the “pin rivers” Ms. Lin has been making since 2006, part of a series that will eventually include all the major rivers and estuaries of the world. Using thousands of stainless-steel pins and the shadows they cast, she creates wall reliefs that suggest aerial contour maps. One traces the Hudson River and its major tributaries; another picks out some of the many streams that still meandered through Midtown Manhattan a century ago.The largest marks the boundaries of Sandy’s flood plain — a subject that, as Ms. Lin notes, is even harder to represent than an overbuilt urban stream.”

“A flood doesn’t exist except in our memory banks,” she said. “It’s a temporal event. It’s not the river and it’s not the land. It’s neither here nor there.”

To learn more visit

Image sourced at, Excerpts sourced at

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100% Recycled Countertops

Thinking about a kitchen remodel this spring? Keeping it Green is an important consideration when looking at cabinet and countertop options. Have you considered paper? Yes, Paper!

Richlite, has brought to the market a durable, hard surface material created from paper. Eco-friendly and beautiful, fibers can come from a variety of sources; virgin wood fibers, post consumer waste, recycled blue jeans, coffee chaff, burlap bags, banana peels, etc. Color is added during the paper making process instead of the paper saturating process to ensure consistent and solid color throughout. Stain, Scratch and Heat resistant, as well as durable and sustainable. I found it especially interesting, as extended overhangs can be created up to 24″ without additional support. A great material for an island overhang, or how about a dining table top?

Richlite r50 contains 50% post-consumer waste fibers from old corrugated cardboard.
Richlite r100 and Grays Harbor contain 100% post-consumer waste fibers and are FSC® Certified 100% Recycled. These materials have a great look, as the fibrous material has some subtle texture and depth, but also develops a patina over time, much like a beautiful stone would.  Sustainable, and beautiful.

Image and excerpts sourced at Richlite.

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Food Oasis

Urban Farming is on the rise, providing the resource to reimagine city blocks, and bring productive use to vacant properties. Community focused farming is a powerful tool to nourish communities, both with locally grown food as well as neighborhood focus. There is a feeling of connection to our food when working in the garden, an opportunity to feel the result of hard work and commitment and to connect with fellow members of our community in a meaningful way.

My own personal experience with my plots in our local community garden have been like nothing I could have imagined. The multigenerational friendships, and mentorships I have enjoyed have enriched my life, above and beyond the gifts of heirloom seeds, and coveted family bread recipes from my neighboring gardeners. I was pleased to learn that  ’Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood could become the backbone of the nation’s largest urban agriculture district: The city’s planning commission is moving to approve an ambitious land-use plan that would reclaim some of the area’s 11,000 vacant lots, spanning 13 square miles.’ The urban planning opportunities to benefit the community more broadly include ‘a 2.5-mile abandoned rail line which could be the district’s spine, with open lots and parks around its periphery serving as a marketplace for local produce and artisanal products. Locals have taken to calling it the “New Era Trail.”

For Englewood, as well as areas like it, this strong design platform has set the stage to ‘encourage a budding grassroots movement around urban agriculture by consolidating data, promoting education, and even encouraging light manufacturing.’ A big idea, not without challenge and opposition, but providing a platform for revitalization and community growth.

To learn more about the project visit The Burnham Plan Centennial.
Image and excerpts sourced at The Architects Newspaper,


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These beautiful light fixtures are created from waste. Hard to believe, isn’t it?  Whether working in recycled aluminum or cardboard, the simple forms created by Graypants, are functional works of art. What I love the most about these sculptural elements, is the play of light in a dark room, as a result of the transparency of the material. The cavities inherent in the cardboard construction allow for ‘light leaks’ which dance around the room, creating both direct and indirect light source. Brilliant.  The diagram Gray pants has created sharing their production process explains the closed loop philosophy. Made from discarded material, these fixtures are fully recyclable.

In their own words:  ”Graypants is a conceptual design studio. We responsibly create products, architecture, and other fun things around the world. Founded in 2008, graypants operates teams in Seattle and Amsterdam solving problems and collaborating with clients and retail partners worldwide. We strive to realize ideas that are thoughtful. Whether it be furniture, lighting, architecture or graphics, each of our projects has a story. Most importantly, we have fun doing it! We enjoy collaborating with all walks of life – that is where we find true inspiration.


Images and excerpts sourced at the designers website:  Graypants

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Christian DuCharme

Lafayette Espresso Bar + Market, is a place of great character. Take these fabulous light fixtures, hand made by artist Christian DuCharme. Christian designed these textural luminaries out of 300 “It’s Our Pleasure to Serve You’ coffee cups, above. This eco-designed lighting collection doesn’t stop at repurposed cups-there is also a plastic spoon edition as well as a lamp made entirely of coffee filters. Creative, innovative and Green, these objects are a focal point in the space and certainly a conversation piece. Each object is unique, and one of a kind.

Christian DuCharme is a designer from Zurich. He now works in Interior Design, and creates accessory pieces like these fabulous lamps. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I love the coffee themed product use for this installment. I wonder what Christian would design for a flower shop, or a corner grocery store?  The possibilities are endless.


Images found here.

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