Living on Cloud 9

Contemporary architecture never ceases to amaze me. It seems like the simplest ideas can often be some of the most remarkable. Take, for instance, this “Cloud House” by McBride Charles Ryan in Australia.

Using the iconic shape of a cloud, these architects built a playful addition to an Edwardian house that provides a bridge from traditional home life into living life on cloud 9. Cue instant whimsy.

[via ArchDaily]

Design is Human

In 2002, IDEO’s David Kelley presented his idea of human-centered design at the annual TED conference.  Fast forward to 2012 and Bernard McCoy’s Modern Atlanta (MA) takes that philosophy and explodes it across design genres with talks, films, and exhibitions exploring the future of human connectivity through material.  MA’s Design is Human Week begins on June 1 in Atlanta featuring 7 days of corporeal discovery in engineering, architecture, new media, interior design and food (yes, food).

MA brings heavyweights to the Peach State from around the globe, to exchange ideas in motion.  From Paris, Studio Boissard uses the High Museum as backdrop for a conversation on the influence of Pierre Chareau and Jean Prouve in the evolution of architecture.  Boissard was formerly a member of the team behind design powerhouse Philippe Starck before building his own well-know architecture firm.

Other participants throughout the week include Yale School of Architecture, one of the most prestigious institutions for design in the world, New Haven’s Plan B Architecture, John Cantrell, interior designer for international commercial design firm HOK and local phenom Michael Habachy.

Bill Lowe Gallery is pleased to add to the melange with the opening exhibition for Korean artist Cha Jong Rye, whose meticulous manipulation of wood is visually stunning and exemplifies the quality of precision and calculation inherent in great design.



The week closes with a lecture by Marc Clemenceau Bailly of Gage/Clemenceau Architects who famously collaborated with Lady Gaga on a temporary installation for Fashion Week 2011 that “fused ideas from both fashion and architecture into a new type of physical environment.”


Design is Human Week is an unparalleled coalescence of design talent intended to ignite expanded thinking and global consciousness.  MA is not missing a beat, striking all the right notes to cultivate new relationships between design and our experience with it in everyday life.   MA changes the game.

The English Baroque Reborn: Easton Neston

Easton Neston was originally built in 1702 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who also had his hand in projects such as Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Hawksmoor’s design can be classified as English Baroque with his grand portico entrance on the façade as well as giant order columns that suggest a level of grandeur and weightiness. It must also be noted that Hawksmoor included signature lugs or “ears” on the corner of the windows which add a sense of illusion and drama. The dramatic details and sheer craftsmanship of work have kept art historians and enthusiasts alike returning to Easton Neston. While many properties of this stature stay within family lines or are placed in the hands of the National Trust, others are auctioned off through major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies.

In 2005, Leon Max of Max Studio purchased Easton Neston from Sotheby’s after a majority of the home’s interiors were auctioned off at the same sale. This left a need to restore the interiors to it’s English Baroque roots.

Max found the perfect duo to take on this grand manor. He chose Ptolemy Dean who had just been inducted as Westminster Abbey’s Surveyor of Fabrics. For the interiors, Max appropriately selected Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who grew up in Blenheim Palace. Since Easton Neston is comprised of 36 rooms and 32,000 square feet, the team had their work cut out for them. Not only did the entire house need new interiors, but the inner workings of the home dated back to the 1920’s. Through a long process of replicating 18th century designs, buying furniture off site and selecting art that would compliment the space, this exquisite team was able to successfully bring Easton Neston back to life.

I guarantee that Leon Max will be having numerous parties with this dream backdrop! Enjoy a video campaign from Max Studio Spring 2012, filmed onsite at Easton Neston.

A Different Kind of Office Space

When you think of an office, the typical things that come to mind are desks, computers, chairs, et cetera. Perhaps even some artwork, if you’re lucky. However, if you work in the Eegoo Offices in Beijing, China… things are a little different. Like many other contemporary buildings popping up in places like China, Iceland and so on, Eegoo’s design takes some major cues from giants like Gaudi and Frank Gehry. Undulating lines that cut through “normal building dimensions” look less like man-made and more like heaven-sent.


Designed by Dao de Li of dEEP architects, Eegoo’s office has a cellular structure reminiscent of a spiderweb or beehive, suggesting a network that is elegantly interwoven and striving for growth. This design shatters the construct of the cubicle and embraces the idea that a physical space can be as fluid and organic as the ingenuity happening within it.


What kind of work would you do if this was your office?