Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Weathered Palette

 These are a few photos from a recent expedition around Leelanau County, in northern Michigan. It's sort of funny to see this part of the country in mid-March, because it is neither the sunkissed summer season when harassed Detroiters flock northward by the thousands, nor the picturesque white Christmas season. It's the way a resort town looks in the sort of in-between times. It's like catching a glimpse of the fairgrounds after all the tents have been taken down, the horses have gone home, and all that's left of the ferris wheel is a twisted shard of iron. There's a sort of forlorn beauty in this abandonment, which isn't really loneliness but a kind of hibernating expectation. The photograph at the top is actually the Leland township jail - kind of what would happen if Edward Hopper designed Martha Stewart's incarceration. The second photo is the Lake Michigan shoreline - usually dotted with parasols and kids playing frisbee, but looking in this shot like the North Sea.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conceptual Design Assignment

I'd like to change direction and stimulate dialogue on a conceptual piece by one of our firm's interns. The design assignment was to create a lampshade out of a fixed square footage of watercolor paper. I think this piece is particularly interesting because it marks a departure from the style our firm generally works in - our pieces are usually driven by functionality or historical reference, whereas this piece is a deliberate evocation of the natural world. The designer was interested in exploring light and its diffusion, and took as a starting point a childhood experience in which he had clambered through shards of ice strewn by a passing ice-breaker on Lake Michigan. Like ice, the material used is transparent enough that a certain degree of light is able to shine through. However, its most interesting effect is the way in which it scatters light from its reflective surfaces into fascinating patterns on the wall and ceiling.

We'd love to hear feedback on this concept! Please feel free to comment below.