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Tag Archives: organic

Holes open up a home to the outside world, making it seem extra enchanting. In a forested area of Japan where there’s plenty of rain, architect Kotaro Ide of ARTechnic decided to design with elliptically-shaped concrete forms rather than cladding the house with more traditional (and fragile) wood. Then he cut holes into the concrete to liberate the space.

Given the organic, seamless flow of the Japanese vacation home all windows and doors had to be custom designed.  The result: a sumptuous, all-embracing environment, one that’s now been published all over the world.

Just when you thought you couldn’t take any more concrete slab towers or steel-and-glass cliches along comes the O-14 Tower by Reiser + Umemoto Architects.  The 21-storey skyscraper rises like a latticework tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The perforated “superliquid” concrete skin measures only 15 inches thick, a remarkable achievement in high-performance, seemingly elastic concrete.  Given that most skyscrapers in North America are uninventive lookalikes, this is the kind of architectural daring worth applauding.  I’ve written about Reiser + Umemoto before.  Maybe somebody in Canada will commission them to design something intelligent and gutsy soon. S.V.P.

What the O-14 tower is to clothing design…Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. clothing line (named for her 2004 solo album Love, Angel, Music, Baby,) has been around for six years but her latest coat design rips apart conventional thinking about covering up.  For L.A.M.B.’s long, winter coat the wave of olive colour is heightened by hundreds of peek holes in the lower half.  It makes walking on the snow extra flirty.

 Punctured with openings, this chair (1952) was among the very first to depart radically from thick, brutishly heavy chairs to offer a lightweight sculpture to arrange yourself in.  Designed by Harry Bertoia in steel wire to be as much about sitting as it is about changeability of sculpture.  Something to curl into and watch the world go by.  

  

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One evening walking downtown Rio de Janeiro with the after-work crowd, I found these bubble shoes in the Melissa store.  Every year, Melissa commissions architects such as Zaha Hadid to design a line of shoes.  These ones are by the Italian architect Gaetano Pesce, famous for his organic, bubble-inspired architecture and furniture.  They’re made of recycled plastic and smell like bubble gum.  They’re my new amphibian friends.  You can pop out bubbles to customize the shoes to your foot.  I haven’t take out any bubbles yet.  They fit me like a glove, or friendly reptile.  I love them !  Sorry, they’re not available in North America.