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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Auction for Artists for Humanity at DWR Boston

Next Tuesday, December 4, DWR on Tremont Street will be hosting an auction to benefit Artists for Humanity, a Boston-based non-profit.

"DWR Boston is excited to introduce Artists for Humanity's latest venture, a 'green' furniture line using junk mail to create tabletops and wall art. As part of the project, the Boston Studio challenged the participating teens to incorporate re-claimed DWR catalogs into their design. Artists for Humanity (AFH) partners these talented inner city kids with design professional mentors and encourages them to conceptualize, create and market individually assigned projects. The Studio is taking part in its first ever AFH design challenge and auction. The results will be unveiled during this inspiring event. Select pieces will be auctioned the same night, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Artists For Humanity."

RSVP to boston@dwr.com by November 30.

Design Within Reach
519 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

modernpreservation for 133 Federal St

Last year, I told you about a proposed skyscraper that would be taller than the Hancock tower. I knew that Steve Belkin, the only person to submit a proposal for the site, would incorporate the adjacent office building, 133 Federal Street, that he owns into the project.

What I didn't know was that Belkin's adjacent building is the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, built in 1960 by Paul Rudolph, one of America's foremost Brutalist architects. As things stand now, Belkin has been given the right to tear down the BCBS building as soon as early next year.

Jason Hart of CUBE design + research has created an interesting proposal to preserve the BCBS building while allowing for the new tower to be built. He has created modernpreservation, a flash movie showing his ideas. I particularly like the idea of preserving the exterior of the building and melding it into the facade of the tower.

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Dabbieri Blog Contest

Last month, Dabbieri's Sonciary Honnol teased us by saying she was going to have a contest on her blog, but that we'd have to wait for it.

Now, the wait is over! Just go to the contest page and enter your email address to win. It's as simple as that.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lowell Friends of Photography

Joe Varnum has been my friend since I first moved to Massachusetts over 20 years ago. After serving in the Navy and working in technology, he recognized his creative side and went back to school; he is currently in the Graphic Design/Photography program and UMass Lowell.

The Lowell Friends of Photography are a "group of students, alumni, and faculty at UMass Lowell who share a common respect for the photographic arts." They have created a 2008 calendar of the group's photos, and one of Joe's photographs, "Home", is there for July. Congratulation, Joe!

Crafts at the Castle

This weekend, skip past the mass-produced nonsense and get your loved ones some truly unique gifts.

Crafts at the Castle 2007, now in its 22nd year, will bring "150 of the top craftspeople and designers in the country for this annual major cultural event in Boston." Meet the artists and see (and buy!) their handmade clothing, jewelry, art and more.

Not only will you find great, unique gifts, but you will also be helping charity: 100% of the ticket proceeds goes to "Family Service of Greater Boston, boasting over 170 years of serving families and communities in Greater Boston... 100% of the ticket proceeds directly benefit programs for children, youth, and families struggling with emotional, psychological, and economic effects of poverty, abuse and neglect."

Local designer Linda Garriott will be showing off her custom rugs at booth #216 - be sure to say hi when you're there.

Crafts at the Castle 2007
Opening reception Thursday 11/29 5:30-9:00
Friday 11/30 - Sunday 12/02
Hynes Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ooba...we'll miss you

High end modern baby furniture manufacturers are quite common these days. However, it's still not everyday that you come across products that look great and are well made. Ooba changed that. This Chicago based company started by Scott Wilson struck a cord with their Nest Collection 2 years ago. The line was featured in design publications and even picked up by Design Within Reach as part of their now defunct DWR Jax collection.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Ooba will soon be closing its doors. My suggestion, go out and snatch one of these cribs up before they're all gone. Because let's face it, there's a lot of horrible nursery furniture out there.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Long Time, No Post

Wow, 10 days and no new posts. Sorry for the silence, but between school, working a crazy amount of hours, and our new WiFi account with Brookline Wireless (New England's first border to border WiFi internet service) not liking my 4+ year old PowerBook, posting has had to take a back seat. Stay tuned though, as I have many new and interesting things I will be sharing with you over the next few days. Cheers!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

CSS and NE Design HoF

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to get into two great events in the city.

First, at Arclinea, was the launch party for Color Space Style, a new guide for interior design. I got there early and stayed only a few minutes, but I had the chance to meet Mimi Love, one of the authors.

I picked up a copy of Color Space Style at the party. It's very compact, yet very thorough; I showed it to one of my professors, a licensed architect, and he was impressed by how much was in it. It's available on Amazon for less than I paid for it; I recommend it for architects, interior designers, or anyone interested in the field.

I stayed at the party for only a few minutes, because I had a ticket to the New England Design Hall of Fame awards induction and gala at the State Room.

Talk about packed! A sold out crowd of architects, designers, students and other industry people gathered together for a cocktail/networking party. That was followed by dinner and the awards ceremony.

The ten inductees - Richard Bertman; Lee Bierly and Christopher Drake (left); Celeste Cooper; Jeremiah Eck; Richard FitzGerald; Graham Gund; William Hodgins (above right); James Volney Righter (above left); and, Charles Spada - were quite gracious, of course, when they went up to accept their award. Let's hope I'm as gracious when I'm inducted into the Hall of Fame in 30 or so years!

A big thanks to Katie Damman, Marketing Director for New England Home, who was kind enough to send me a few photos from the night.

Friday, November 09, 2007

We Have a Winner!

First off, thank you to everyone that entered the DesignBoston giveaway of an AppleTV from Tech Superpowers. Without entries, picking a winner wouldn't be much fun!

Enough of the chit-chat, you say. Let's see who the winner is. Without further ado, a big congratulations goes out to Tina McCarthy!

Congratulations, Tina!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


A new interior design book (available now on Amazon) by local designers Chris Grimley (who runs Etcetera Media) and Mimi Love (a principal at Utile), colorspacestyle "is an indespensible guide for interior designers, students of interior design, and anyone undertaking an interior design project." I qualify as part of that list, so I'm interested in checking this book out.

The first confirmed launch event for the book will be at Arclinea tonight. Unfortunately, no times were posted for the event. If you know when to show up, leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chevy Malibu: The Car You Can't Ignore

Back in September, I had a chance to discuss sustainability with some GM reps and sit in the new Chevy Malibu Hybrid. Acknowledging the last generation was too tame, Chevy has dubbed the new Malibu's ad campaign "The Car You Can't Ignore". I was quite pleased to see that because, well, it's true. For a car that starts in the high teens, it's quite impressive, from its design, to power, to fit-and-finish.

One More Day!

You only have one day left - until midnight tomorrow - to enter the DesignBoston giveaway for an Apple TV from Tech Superpowers!

Be sure to get your entries in, and good luck!

Karen J Jones

Karen J Jones's paintings are being featured this month at Urban Living Studio.

Trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Jones uses both pastels and acrylics to "create a serenity and solitude so difficult to find in today's rapidly changing world.

'Pastels give me the soft, slightly out-of-focus look that I'm so attracted to and acrylics have a brilliance and vibrancy in color that looks and feels like oils.'"

A wine and cheese reception will be held in her honor on Thursday, November 8, from 6-8pm.

Urban Living Studio
58 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116

Jill Dryer: Trees of the Architects

Last May, I featured the work of Jill Dryer, a Chicago-based illustrator and graphic designer. Just in time for the holidays, Jill has introduced her "Trees of the Architects" card series.

Featuring some of the biggest names in Modern and Post-Modern architecture, the cards take a playful twist on the Christmas tree.

Etcetera Media

Chris Grimley and Kelly Smith, a husband/wife team that are "collectively architects, interior, graphic, furniture, urban and textile designers," have recently started their own product design company, etcetera media.

Previously operating via an Etsy store selling one-off clothing, bags, and home goods, they know have their own website and online store. They also have a showroom in the South End that is available by appointment.

Their 6-pocket Wine Rack, is made from naturally renewable materials, holds (you guessed it) up to six bottles, and collapses flat when not in use.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Real Green Monster

My friend Nathalie emailed me an interesting article from Architectural Record: The Red Sox are making Fenway Park greener.

The Red Sox are planning to add photovoltaic panels and make additional green improvements with advice from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Although there is not yet a standardized way of greening a stadium, the Sox join a host of other ball clubs pursuing LEED-inspired, or LEED-aspiring projects including the Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, and New York Mets.

I'm happy to see that many teams are finding ways to reduce energy and water use, reduce CO2 emissions, and implementing green lawn care for the fields. But other teams are going green by building new stadiums; the energy consumed building a new stadium virtually nullifies the improvements put in place. Keeping Fenway Park is probably the most environmentally friendly move the Red Sox can make.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Don't forget to enter the DesignBoston/Tech Superpowers contest for an Apple TV!

Good luck!

Wayne Strattman: “Buck Roger’s Fantasies”

The opening reception of sculptor Wayne Strattman's “Buck Roger’s Fantasies”, a collection of illuminated, sci-fi themed sculpture, is being displayed at SOWA Gallery in the South End throughout November.

I want a ray gun!

SOWA Gallery
450 Harrison Ave #224
Boston MA 02118