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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Salad...

from chicken shit.

Say you were given $5 to build a shelter for two that you and a friend had to spend the night in in the middle of February. What would you come up with? Here are four creative options designed and constructed by University of Virginia architecture students. Set up in a professor’s backyard with volunteers from each design team gamely spending the night in their creations, one uses supermarket shopping bags, another plastic bottles, another cast off wood and a fourth, which resembles a storm cellar with it’s slanted door, stacks of telephone books.

From a purely visual sense, I loved the bottle one because the multicolored bottle caps created an interesting design. I pitied the occupants of the carrier bag one, which was lashed to a tree with plastic bag “ropes.” Mother Nature did smile on everyone with unusually mild temperatures, but the wind was fierce and I could imagine how noisy and insecure it would be surrounded by rattling plastic bags. The wood one, though a tight little capsule looked like it could become airborne in a strong enough wind, like a mattress on the roof of a car. Using the Three Little Pigs as a guide, I'd have to go with the telephone book one for my chosen shelter, which given the weight of those things, you know isn't going anywhere. Just pray it doesn't rain.

Funnily enough, yesterday I read about a group of women who crochet plastic carry bags, which they cut into strips and call plarn (plastic yarn) into sleeping mats for the homeless. Each mat is very labor intensive taking about a month to make and requires 500-700 bags. According to them, Kroger bags are the best.

Check out Dawn’s demo:


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two More

Here it is the glorious Klismos chair. Someday I will have one. (If not an entire set!) If you ever happen to find yourself on the Côte d’Azur, you must plan a visit to the Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu sur Mer. (The villa's website is listed in "Artnosh Picks.")

A Belle Epoque fantasy of an ancient Greek villa, it was built by Théodore Reinach, a French archeologist. It is simply extraordinary and full of all sorts of Klismos furniture. Going there, you feel like you've been given a window back into antiquity—a perfect stage set for a Mary Renault yarn.

Though I like the version pictured here best, Klismos chairs come in many variations of shape and materials. I’ve seen some vintage metal versions that, though not cheap were less costly than a mint wood one and I may settle for one of those so long as they have the right graceful curve of legs and back and a trompe l’oeil version of the original woven leather seats.

For no particular reason except that I think it is a thing of beauty I am including a lamp designed by Carlo Mollino. What a bravura shade and such simplicity and grace in the slender adjustable arm and almost jaunty, quadrifoil base. On a lighter note, Pierre Chareau designed a lamp he dubbed "La Religieuse" (nun in English). The name could also apply to this one, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Sally Field's head gear in The Flying you know what.