Bucky Restoration

Hailed as “one of the greatest minds of our times”, R. Buckminster Fuller was renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems. For more than five decades, he developed pioneering solutions that reflected his commitment to the potential of innovative design to create technology that does “more with less” and thereby improves human lives. Developing design solutions rooted in technology, in 1961 Fuller filed the patents for an autonomous dwelling machine he called the “Fly’s Eye Dome.” It was envisioned as a fully functional, air deployable, off-the-grid shelter. Though never fully realized in his lifetime, Fuller created three prototypes – a 12, 24 and 50 foot dome.

The architectural historian and modern architecture preservationist Robert Rubin has purchased the largest of Buckminster Fuller’s “Fly’s Eye” domes from the Buckminster Fuller Institute. The dome is currently being restored and will be displayed, for the first time in more than 30 years, at the Festival International d’art in Toulouse, France, from May 24 to June 23.
Although imagined over 50 years ago, the design of the Fly’s Eye Dome is still relevant, if not radical even today. An inspiration for independent thinking and beauty redefined.

Image and excerpts sourced at Buckminster Fuller Institute. Sourced at Architects Newspaper.

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Roman and Williams

With a prestigious NYC project list including The Ace Hotel, renovation of the Royalton Hotel and Standard Hotel, I thought it time to look into the private realm of the Architecture firm of Roman and Williams. As expected, the firms office self titled “The Center for the Study of Good Things”, is good indeed. Built in 2004, the 4,000 sf  space is an eclectic mix, reflecting their design sensibilities, which aim to create “tension between spontaneity and rigor, refinement and rebellion, high and low, and past and future.” I love the refined industrial feel. Simplicity and clarity, paired with the warmth offered in weathered material. Inherent in these found objets are their dings and scuffs, which convey the story of their journey.  The result is comfortable and inviting. If you look closely, the color palette is restrained and neutral. Wood, metal, and black painted accents create a no frills environment full of character. What a wonderful place to come to explore creativity everyday.

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The Cardboard Bike

I watched a beautiful documentary film short, which lead me through the process of discovery in the development of a Cardboard Bike. Now, I’ve heard of bikes made of steel, titanium, and even wood, but cardboard?  Meet Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni. As with all good design, he began with a question. “Can you make an affordable and practical bicycle out of cardboard?” I admit, I love a problem where the solution demands we reject what we think we know, and pushes us to challenge the expected. Can cardboard behave structurally? Will it stand up to repeated use? Is it lightweight? Durable?  When Izahr was told his idea was ‘impossible’, he didn’t give up. He designed several prototypes, resulting in some startling discoveries. ‘Gafni eventually found that by using the principals of Japanese origami, he could increase the weight-bearing capabilities of the cardboard by almost three times.’ He worked through many material challenges, patiently, one at a time. The end result is a bike, made of cardboard, which is strong, durable, and lightweight. A creative design process, founded in discovery and trial and error. Congratulations Mr. Gafni. Say, can get one in orange please?

watch the documentary film here.

Excerpts sourced at huffingtonpost.com
Image source

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Rattan gone MOD

Traditionally, Rattan has been used as an appropriate solution for a sunroom or enclosed porch. These modern interpretations transcend the typical and expected. I can imagine these beauties in my living room, eating area or a sunny reading spot. Even better, these maintenance free pieces can be used inside or out. A welcome addition to the garden. Given their interesting form, these sculptural elements can be appreciated from every angle, and certainly can hold their own as a focal point in a space. Unique, textural, and modern.

Images sourced at Muubs.com

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Tonfisk Design

Tonfisk Design is a Finnish design group with an eye for modern and innovative design solutions. Each product is developed to solve a functional problem, beautifully. ’All Tonfisk’s ceramics are produced by hand at Tonfisk’s own factory in Turku to ensure good quality, the possibility to innovate and the well being of those who make a Tonfisk product.’ The Warm Collection offers a coffee and tea set. I am impressed by the sleek, minimal design aesthetic, but even more so with its practical and sustainable design solutions. The wood sleeve keeps the hot crafe elevated, so there is no need for a coaster. It also functions as a barrier, providing insulation to the vessel within, and to your hand as you hold it. The all natural cork stopper provides insulation and heat retention as well. The Newton cream and sugar set is another great example of Tonfisk’s inspired product design. The sugar bowl remains horizontal while pouring, and can easily be removed for filling the creamer and cleaning. All of these design elements aside, these dispensers and collectors are elegant additions to any table top. Enjoy.

Images and excerpts sourced at Tonfisk.

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