Author Archive

Lactona M-Series: Dutch-American + First Toothbrush on the Moon

May 31, 2011

Lactona M31 + M39

Ever since electric toothbrushes became the norm beside upscale sinks in the US, I thought there had to be a manual version that worked as well. I’ve been known to spend entire days touring pharmacies, studying products, ingredients, and packaging. During many of my lengthy visits to CVS and Duane Reade, I began to notice that the rows of toothbrushes in these aisles not only looked more like sneakers than toothbrushes, but very few, if any, were accepted by the ADA. So began my quest for manual toothbrushes accepted by the ADA.



Old Tricks in the Design Capital: The Sidewalk-Catwalk

July 16, 2010

Donna Karan's Mannequin sans hat and backpack

There’s a new tribe marching down Broadway in the Fashion District, and no, it’s not Lady Gaga and her dance troupe. It’s a line of Ralph Pucci-designed mannequins strutting their weatherproof wares (wears) between Times and Herald Squares. What is the reason for this stoic entourage? Well, like the fiberglass pigs, horses, and cows that cropped up around the US in previous decades, these hard-bodied silhouettes have been installed to build awareness and support for the fashion industry in New York City.

So, are they doing this job well?


3x3x3 Purity in Pre-fab

November 28, 2009

Paco Cube in the Forest

Paco cube marries the benefits of modular housing with the less-is-more lifestyle. Schmata Architecture Office’s perfect white box is adaptable to any environment and, with its included kitchen, toilet, shower, and built-in desk, it is a kit ready for most any activity. The white epoxy interior is ideal for a mini art exhibition in the forest and the propped-open hinged roof provides an excellent setting for an afternoon snooze in the hammock.

Check out what Cool Hunting had to say about the Paco Vacation Home.

H+…A House with Benefits

September 23, 2009
Bioscleave House

Bioscleave House

Want to live longer, maybe even forever? Artists, poets, and architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins along with their Transhumanist colleagues believe a rough and challenging terrain inside the home is key to making this possible. According to their philosophy, living in a colorful and mountainous home like the Bioscleave House (aka Lifespan Expanding Villa) in East Hampton, NY, disturbs inhabitants’ equilibriums enough to power their immune systems and fight the effects of aging (aka death).

Hybrid Life

August 3, 2009

A couple weeks ago my boyfriend’s Land Rover limped its way back to Cincinnati, casting serious solemnity over his car-driving soul. It was time to buy a new car, but what could possibly replace the English-made manliness of a hunter green 2001 Land Rover Discovery II? A BMW or Lexus SUV? A Saab station wagon?

What’s this? Cash for Clunkers? Okay – maybe it’s time to consider an American automobile. So, we’re off to the Ford dealership to check out the models! With an average of 14 miles to the gallon, the Land Rover definitely qualifies for the highest rebate.


George Washington: Designer

June 23, 2009
Sixteen-Sided Barn @ Mount Vernon

Sixteen-Sided Barn @ Mount Vernon, replica completed in 1996

We all know General George Washington as the first President of the United States and the first Commander-in-Chief. Some might even know of his interests in agriculture. But who knew he was a designer?

Last Sunday afternoon I visited the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens along the Potomac, outside of Washington, DC and it was more impressive from a design standpoint than I expected. And for me the mansion wasn’t the high point; rather it was the Sixteen-Sided barn.

OBJECTS IN COLOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Bleu, Bialy, + Rouge

May 6, 2009


Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy is not only his cinematographic tour de force, but is also a collection of well-choreographed objects. The mélange of objects that star in the film build bridges of memory through color and shape and place. Because of the blur of blue, white, and red that appear throughout, this essay employs a series of circular charts derived from the cataloguing of all of the objects that appear in the films.


The People’s Car: Nano from Tata

March 24, 2009

Learn from this, Big Three! These funny, non-offensive, and already familiar four-letter words describe the new eco-car. In this case eco- stands for economy as well as ecology, as this car costs only $2,200 and gets 47 miles to the gallon. A perfect fit for the budget and the climate. Just keep in mind, with a 2-cylinder engine, the Nano from India reaches a top speed of 65 mph. No drag racing here, just affordability and responsibility. I wonder if any of these principles will find their way into the Land Rover line that was sold by Ford to Tata in 2007.

via Mark Frauenfelder at Boing Boing

The Number 7 Lights Up

March 23, 2009

img_0594The new indicator lights on the NYC Subway’s 7 Train are a godsend. Previously the 7 Train, which runs local and express on weekdays, often had an identity crisis. The only signage difference was the purple shape surrounding the number 7 (local was a purple circle and express, a purple diamond), but they were never correct.


The LM Project: Crossing the Cable-Stay Bridge

March 22, 2009

On Halloween of 2008, Steven Holl Architects unanimously won the international design competition titled The LM Project for their design connecting two civic and business buildings with a public walkway 65 feet above the harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark. This monumental design is reported to be profitable, elegant, civic-minded, and ecological, all wrapped into two piers connected by an angular bridge. It looks like Holl’s obsession with porosity is moving toward a delicate handshake. Meanwhile, Copenhagen will gain what was sought: an iconic landmark and new urban spaces on the tips of the Langelinie and Marmormolen Piers.