Yesterday was officially the longest day in the UK so there is no denying it summer is here. This is the time of year when I get the chance to relax and do some reading but at the moment, my room being decorated I am bunking in my sisters room and I find it impossible to read in there. It just doesn’t work somehow. It got me thinking, if I could design a reading spot what would it look like?
Here are some other designers ideas…
House On The Flight Of Birds, Portugal by Bernardo Rodrigues features this beautiful little window seat. Great for kids but I just hope they also included an adult sized version!
I love architectural details such as that above but for those looking to add a reading nook to their home how about some of these pieces of furniture below.
This bookcase with built in seat is called Cave and features an ergonomically shaped seat with reading light above. Again I think this is a great idea for kids but I can’t actually imagine using it myself.
This is more like something I can imagine using, less claustrophobic and higher off the ground, this angular design by Guy Eddington is great. Something that could fit in with your furniture without being obtrusive. For me a place to read should be quiet, discreet and this ticks those boxes.
Discreet is certainly not how you could describe this seat, with built in shelving by Etsy. I do like its form but for me it conflicts with the nature of its use. A more subtle version, less neon, more natural would be fantastic!
I am loving this little stool by Nju Studios. Inspired by a bunch of students using a stack of the designers magazines to prop open a door the designer was prompted to use the proportions and weight of magazines to create a functional piece of furniture.
When I saw it, I thought how perfect it would be in a student house. A place full of books, that often requires extra seating. It is ironic that it was students that inadvertently sparked this idea in the first place.
Having just packed up my student room after the end of another year, I seem to have added another box of books. Not only would this seat be perfect for its primary uses but would also make the books it stores easy to transport, a feature great for students who often live a split life between home and a university house.
Now where can I get my hands on one?
Images via Core77
Do you have a a series of blogs that you check daily? I certainly do and at the moment Spoon and Tamago is one of my favourites. The strap line of the site is ‘art, somewhere in between New York and Tokyo’ but what is included in the site ranges from technology, product design, fashion, art and architecture.
I find that often when I visit blogs I get a sense of déjà vu, much of the material I will have seen on other blogs but that isn’t the case with this site. I almost always find something new and exciting.
Below are a few links to some of my recent favourite articles. Enjoy!
Jun Igarashi | The Construction of a State (Tea House 2006)
The REK bookcase below was designed to incorporate the needs of readers with any number of books, well apart from those lucky enough to have an entire library! The design allows the shelves to slide over each other horizontally, opening up the unit to providing different quantities of space for the books.
The unit is by the Architect Reinier de Jong and has such a clever simplicity to its concept and function. The product makes me wonder if the same kind of technique could be used architecturally. A building or pavilion, that can almost lock down when unused and then mechanically open itself out, appropriate to its required function.
The Japanese firm Nendo unveiled two new pieces for the Salone del Mobile, Milan. I particularly like the table they created, the piece is made of acrylic and comes in black and white. The dark and light options were created to provide differing optical effects.
Exploring the transparent and the opaque was the aim of the design team. “The two tables have specific and different optical effects: at first glance the black table is wood, but a closer look reveals its transparency, while the clear table is the transparent at first glance, and only later reveals its wooden form.” (Nendo)
More information is available on the Nendo website or the Spoon & Tamago blog.
In a continuing look at interesting street furniture I came across this bench by Stephen Shaheen. The Bench exhibited at the Sloan Fine Art Gallery, New York is made up of discarded metrocards wrapped around a steel frame.
There is an irony in that the bench, itself a place of rest is made up of something that is used to travel. Each of the 5,000 metrocards was collected by the artist in under a week with the help of Craigslist. “There is something very personal about handling so many small belongings that were once riding around in peoples’ pockets. There are untold stories in that inconspicuous flimsy plastic,” (Shaheen).
I love the concept of the bench. In my preblog days I did a study on site specific art and this would have fitted in perfectly! The object is so suited to New York, it holds the stories of the people, most probably mundane, the journey to and from work but there will be some that contain a far more interesting tale. I can see this idea being replicated in other cities, with other artists sculptural concepts and new sets of local stories.
More information can be found on Inhabitat NYC.
Since looking at free running I have been considering other forms of sporting activities that could occur in a public space. Skateboarders and BMX riders instantly came to mind.
The Bench below has been specifically designed to prevent skate boarding. Although the bench is beautiful I cant help but dislike the idea that its purpose is to prevent something that can bring joy to so many. The bench is called the Zipper Bench and is by WXY Architecture + Urban Design.The bench in the image below does the exact opposite of that above. Its purpose is to aid grinding. Its form is simple, elegant and purposeful.
In my study of Architecture a key idea that was often engaged was that of an ‘active frontage’. The idea was to create a self policing space by surrounding a space with functions or activities. By surrounding the bench below with activities the use of the bench in the middle should be limited to non-threatening pursuits. Groups of kids hanging around and vandalising the area should be reduced. Instead people are given a space to gather and have fun with the urban sports they enjoy, but as they are surrounded by other people going about their everyday lives they should be less inclined to misbehave.
The bench above is from a range of ‘Skateable Furniture’ by Tom Hawes. Hawes himself states “The design of public spaces needs to respond to the uses of it by the public. If young people are using these spaces for positive activities like skateboarding, then the design of these spaces needs to evolve alongside these new uses, not discourage and criminalize, alienating and socially excluding the youth.”