Design Blocks

Archive for May 2011

{Mattel’s architect Barbie via Design Milk}

So recently Mattel teamed up with the American Institute of Architects, (AIA) to create architect Barbie. The purpose of this doll is to encourage girls to go into the field of architecture as it is reported that only 17% of AIA’s members are female. Looking at her do you think she embodies an architect? I came across this interesting article on GOOD discussing her in great detail that has some insightful thoughts, I encourage you all to read it!


I had to share this log chop bench created by designers David Long and Antoine Morris, of the design studio The Practice of Everyday Design that I found on Design Buzz. It is amazing how inspiring and modern nature can be!

{Images via Design Buzz}

Do you like to DIY? I personallylove to read blogs and see peoples amazing DIY projects. I came across this one yesterday on Little Green Notebook that I thought you would all enjoy. A reader sent in pictures of her dining room chairs that she DIY’ed based on Brunchswig & Fils snow leopard  “Les Touches” fabric.  The first image is the actual fabric image:

Now reader Emily’s chairs recovered in white vinyl and then she used marker to recreate the look.

{images via Little Green Notebook}

Overall I think this is a very clever idea and she did a great job recreating the look for a small budget. What do you think, is it something you would do? What ideas can you come up with for your own home?  Click here to see more images of the transformation and to check out Little Green Notebook’s blog.

I am very excited to share this post with all of you as I am always looking for tips to help you guys improve your technical skills. This post illustrates how you can use a software  tool such as Google SketchUp to build the base for a perspective and then use hand drawing and rendering techniques to enhance it and bring it to life. The reason I call SketchUp a tool is because it is important to remember that we do not design in SketchUp. We must first have our ideas or “concept” and then we use SketchUp or other programs to bring them to life. The images below were created by Mark Moeller, AIA, LEED AP and Design Principal at JSA, Inc.

Retail Lobby Rendering by Mark Moeller

Mr. Moeller’s “trick” is to draw on both sides of the mylar as he works. Below are a list of steps he uses to create his renderings.

  1. The concept is defined in SketchUp, then hand-rendering is created, based on the sketchUp model.
  2. The SketchUp model gives perfect perspective, and allows you to choose your view.
  3. He then lays mylar over a printed out SketchUp model and inks the outlines.
  4. Then he flips the mylar over and colors the backside with prismacolor professional markers. Rendering on the backside preserves the crispness of the lines on the front.
  5. Then, returning to the front side, he adds some texture and highlights with colored pencils (the chair upholstery on the casual dining rendering).
  6. The finished rendering then scanned into the computer as a jpeg, and dropped onto a document and re-sized as needed for full color printing.

I personally think Mr. Moeller’s renderings are beautiful and I hope you can learn from his tips! Click here to view JSA, inc site and learn more about their firm and projects.

Roof Top Patio and Casual Dining Renderings  by Mark Moeller

{Images provided by JSA, Inc.}

I thought this would be a great slide show for anyone that is interested in hospitality design. It is important to remember as designers that we are trying to create environments that take people away from their everyday environments but still feel comfortable. Casa Sugar recently assembled a slide show of 15 hotels with great interior design. Click here to view the pictures and then at each picture click the links to each hotel to see more!

{The Barbie Suite at the Palms Hotel – Image via Casa Sugar}

That is exactly what the famed narrowest house in New York City is currently listed at on the market. At only 9 1/2 feet wide and 3 stories tall that equals out to some pricey square footage. Could you live in this narrow of a house? Click here to see more pictures and learn about some of its previous famous owners.

{Images via Casa Sugar}

I was doing my daily blow crawl and I came across this unique hotel post on B-Splendid that I had to share with you. It is called the V8 Hotel and it is based around antique cars. All of the beds and rooms are based around a vintage car! Click here to check out the V8 hotel website and look below for a video that was created by the hotel detailing the design.

{Images via B-Splendid}