Thursday, December 24, 2009

HOot, HOot, HOot!

In the days before finals (fueled by lots of black tea and dark chocolate with espresso beans), I accidentally spent hours making cards and envelopes to mail to the peeps for whom I give a hoot (whose addresses I have):

Merry Christmas!

With initials in the lightbulb :)

Made a series of deep blue and gold envelopes out of reversed UO bags. Thrif-ty!:

Things got a bit cut off by an unforgiving scanner. Hope you lucky Bs like those cards!

Maybe when Lillian and I get it together, we'll finally post it on Etsy. Is it foolish to think that people would pay for this? More importantly, will we end up on Regretsy?!?!


Now that the semester is over, time for summer internship and study abroad applications... in China! Fly out on Christmas Day. I'm excited to spend lots of time on planes - I do my best thinking with recycled air and dry contacts :)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Aw man. Apparently I can't read without getting hungry.

"We used to steal watermelons from Mr. Brown who owned this beautiful watermelon patch down near Wilsonia. We'd thump the melons to find out if they were ripe, choose the best ones, pull out the heart - the sweetest part - eat it and waste the rest. Mr. Brown had threatened to shoot Wesley, Clee, and me many times for stealing his crops, and he came out in the field one day with a loaded shotgun and caught us stealing watermelons. I don't know how we escaped. Watermelon vines are so low to the ground that you have to be as small as a doodlebug to get under them. Never try to hide your head under a watermelon vine with buckshot flying around your ass."

- Dizzy Gillespie, To Be or Not to Bop

This is very funny to me at 5AM.

a familiar face

Burden, by Samantha Hahn

Still complaining... but only for another 38 hours! I'm so excited to go home to SF to spend time with my family, have a ton of tapioca with sweet babies, squeeze Ella's cheeks, stock up on hoops, finish summer craft projects, and go to the Motherland!

Check out artist Samantha Hahn for her ink and watercolor drawings. Kind of funny how she incorporated a Louis chair, the Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair, the Eames Molded Plastic Armchair, the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair, the Thomas Pedersen Stingray Rocking Chair, and one more that I can't identify. Is it Ikea? Oh man this kills me.

...Back to this paper. Coincidentally, it's on the public policy of euthanasia. I am feeling excellent.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have this thing: I force myself to use a word of the day for the day on which a paper is due. And since I work better under pressure (read: am always rushing to squeeze out another page 30 minutes to the deadline), I am usually quite glad for any word to grace a blank page.

But sometimes, the words of the day are made up by poets for sing-song works:

namby-pamby \nam-bee-PAM-bee\ (adjective)
1. lacking in character or substance : insipid
2. weak, indecisive

Oh noes. And yet, I still did it:
Advocates of expansive Supreme Court powers object to Burns' idea of judicial review as "the power of judicial emasculation of legislation," citing its use as an institutional protection against namby-pamby state and federal legislatures.

Apparently, I am really good at bullying myself.

do it yoself: holiday ornament as kiddie necklace

Fairy Slipper Ornament, Anthro, 11.20

Fairy Slipper Ornament, Anthro, 11.20

Saithe Ornament, Anthro, 12.60

Brush Pony Ornament, Anthro, 9.80

Or make your own felted cuties? String or ribbon one or several into a chunky necklace for your nearest and dearest little chubster/kid?

Is that a silly idea? I'm sitting in the library, taking an Anthro/tea break from this take home exam. What is it called when you know what you should be saying but can't muster the strength or don't feel to urge to just type it out? - Mental. Constipation.

Rose Tree

Out of paper and satin! Oh dang, Martha!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Other Worlds: Making Sense of Other Worldly Museum Architecture

Thinking more about that Proust quote:

In contrast to the historicist, monolithic, and temple-like museums that established the museum as an essential cultural institution and dominated urban landscapes (think the Met, parts of the Louvre), the last several decades have witnessed a dramatic shift towards innovative and often other worldly museum architecture. While many of these structures may appear to be entirely ground-breaking – alien, even – case studies of three seemingly other worldly art museums of our time demonstrate that such structures necessarily refer to nature, site, and surroundings.

Frederic C. Hamilton Building, Denver Art Museum, opened 2006, Daniel Libeskind

The Frederic C. Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum was finished in 2006 to reveal a metallic, building with multiple pointed projections. Its lead architect, Daniel Libeskind (who designed the new Contemporary Jewish Museum in SF) says in interview that he was inspired by an aerial view of the "craggy cliffs and complex geometries" of the Rocky Mountains. He asserts that the building is “closely rooted…with the spirit Denver” and emphasizes the importance of a “plurality of experiences” in such a cultural institution that must refer to its site and surroundings. Yet another reference to the city of Denver as home of the largest titanium-producing company, the exterior is covered with plates of titanium. The jagged structure and impenetrable metal walls suggest that the Denver Art Museum is signifying a shift away from the traditional and chaste temple-style of museum architecture and towards a style that seems to jealously guard its treasures within its walls by material rather than intimidating, historicist columns. In The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa, Michael Kimmelman writes that “a vivid memory can play a mysterious role in the imagination out of proportion to its significance, like a smell or some notes of music of a breeze that triggers the recollection of a pleasant trip or a childhood game or a lost relative. It stays there, waiting.” In the same way, the Hamilton building incorporates familiar components of Denver’s geography and economy in a radically unconventional way.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, opened 1997, Frank Gehry

Just as the Hamilton Building was constructed in reference to the natural landscape of Denver’s surroundings, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was designed by Frank Gehry in the likeness of a ship and in reference to its watery site. The titanium panels fit to forms that seem to contour swiftly but randomly, catching sunlight at various angles. They are shaped this way in order to resemble fish scales and bend like the body of a fish or an undulating tide. As to the Hamilton Building, the hull of a ship and the curved form of a fish’s body are all familiar images, but have been translated in an entirely novel way to appear other worldly.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, opened 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright
(Solomon Guggenheim, Hilla Rebay, and FLW admiring the design)

The first building of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, located in New York City, is a radical departure from its contemporary designs in the 1950s as well as the predominantly rectilinear architecture of Manhattan and most skyscrapers. Possibly the most alien-looking of the three case studies, “starchitect” Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark building recalls several more familiar structures: a reverse beehive, a fat cactus, a white ribbon wound around a cylindrical base. Wright is known for his regard for nature, which "furnished the materials for architectural motifs out of which the architectural forms as we know them have been developed" (In the Cause of Architecture). While there have been many controversies as to the efficacy of Wright’s design choices (artists such as Kandinsky and critics were adamantly opposed to the winding and uneven spiral pathway to the viewing of art and unusual angles through which light streamed via the skylight), there is no denying that such a seemingly unworldly structure successfully carries connotations of more familiar objects.

These three museum buildings communicate to visitors memories and feelings that are simultaneously natural and alien. Due to this dichotomy of traditional with radical, art museums continue to remain relevant to contemporary culture precisely because they manipulate the familiar and occupy a state of wonder.

Can't believe I just wasted an hour doing this/babbling rather than the thirty-some pages of essay/pain I have yet to write. Bad bad bad...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For those who read SAR with Hathwell:

Bullfight III, Picasso

"She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht, and you missed none of it with that wool jersey."
- Ernest Hemingway. The Sun
Also Rises, p. 30.

Possibly the sexiest comparison ever. The other day, I used the hull-of-the-ship simile to describe a building's facade. MMMMM have to read SAR again! Plane ride to China, plane ride to China!

Also, really want some green trousers now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Poor B

Mmm happy Saturday!

Catching up on news this morning: it makes me so sad that Berkeley missed out on what would have been Toyo Ito's first building in the States. THE conceptual architect and interesting take on public vs private life in his designs.

From the NYTimes: "Last month the University of California abandoned plans for a new 140,000-square-foot Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The project, designed by the high-profile Japanese architect Toyo Ito, was intended to replace a smaller existing building that does not meet seismic standards, but also to do much more: with its towering windows, huge interior spaces and curvaceous steel exterior, it was destined to become 'an icon for the entire Bay Area,' Berkeley’s chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau, said in 2008."

Oh noes! Missing out on this:

Photo: Toyo Ito & Associates, via NYTimes

So smooth. Makes me want to drink milk out of a carton.

Poor B. From an Emily persective, Berkeley is already wonderful for 4th Street design shops/Paper Source and Anthro next to each other, a hugemongoes Discount Fabrics, and food+friends, but ohg this would have been so wonderful!

Some of Toyo Ito's designs:

TOD's Omotesando Building in Tokyo, 2004

Mm! The pattern is meant to be a reinterpretation of the elm trees that line this street. Both Tod's and the Mikimoto Building below are confined to the small and absurdly expensive plots of land in Tokyo and therefore maintain the typical rectangular shape, but stand out because of the texture created by the structure. In other words, insane in the membrane!

When can I go to Tokyo?!

Mikimoto Ginza 2, Tokyo

Sendai Mediatheque, Sendai, 2001

Sendai Mediatheque is an example of Toyo Ito's "simulated" city buildings. As a multi-purpose cultural space, it includes an art gallery, library, audio-visual library, cafe, and film studio. The floors are supported by a system of occupiable steel tubular lattice structures. An expression of lightness and Ito's design aim of stripping away anything that reminds us of gravity.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Hyde Park, London, 2002

One of the buildings for which Ito won the Royal Gold Medal in 2006, one of architecture's most prestigious awards.

Grin Grin Park, Fukuoka, 2005

Interesting inversion of architecture and landscape: landscape covers architecture rather than buildings shooting out of the ground.
But really, I just like it just because it looks like a hobbit hole. Home sweet home!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's late, I'm exhausted and my mind is easily impressionable.
Am I an idealistic teen?:

"By art alone we are able to get outside ourselves, to know what another sees of this universe which for him is not ours, the landscapes of which would remain as unknown to us as those of the moon... instead of seeing one world, our own, we see it multiplied and as many original artists as there are, so many worlds are at our disposal, differing more widely from each other than those which roll round the infinite and which... send us their unique rays many centuries after the hearth from which they emanate is extinguished."
-Marcel Proust. In Search of Lost Time, Vol. VII: The Past Recaptured. 1927

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living Art, Part 3: Woolly Pocket Living Walls

Photos: Woolly Pocket Living Walls

Pockets made from recycled plastic bottles aw! Their website is so adorable - nay "cart," yay "shopping pocket!" Too cute to handle! But too many photos of naked girls - message of urban Garden of Eden?

In any case, as a way of merging outside with inside, how beautiful would it be to have a cascading vertical garden made of these Woolly Pockets instead of a headboard! Only if this bedroom had enough natural light.
As in replacing the yellow canvas/series of prints below with lush, possibly edible greenery:

Photos: Domino before it died

Related posts: Living Art, Part 2: Succulents + Vertical Gardens; Living Art, Part 1: Pooktre.

Excitable Emily

I have had the most pleasant day! Woke up to completely powder-snowed Smith College. Early morning class with favorite Gov professor. Dollar peppermint latte at Elbow Room. Came home to snuggle with babies in Superbed. Read Dwell mmm.

Having spent the majority of the semester complaining about how I miss home/SF, I couldn't help but notice the more than usual amount of references to San Francisco in the December/January issue of Dwell. Feature of Bi-Rite and its accompanying farm (mm ginger ice cream). The Autonomobile by SF-based designers Mike and Maaike. Some mention of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are more. These are not complete sentences. Too excitable at mention of home!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I reposteded. What do they mean by "flexible love?" Pansexual chair?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

gourd vases

Squash is the best. Martha agrees.

Friday, November 27, 2009


My closed-wallet vow has not done so well. Also went to JAM Paper and Envelope on 5th Ave. today and got fantastic envelopes! Send me your addresses, suckas - I needz to write letters and make you cards!

Both styles were 25 for $3. Pretty decent, I thought.

And map envelopes! Can't wait to do this with old guides and atlases!

My cousin Lillian (who just updated fatso pictures!!) advises that I should have waited for the never-ending cute stationary in China. I couldn't resist though - too charmingly old-timey to handle. , sweet blogger babies!

I've done a horrible thing

I was walking around outside Saks waiting for my uncle to get off of work, (e)milling around and through the hordes (absolute hordes of people, my god), and eating my dry, smokey and overpriced pretzel.

Some French douchebag backed into me and my lump of coal/dough fell to the floor. I picked it up and started looking for a trash can. Why there are no trash cans in Rockefeller Center, I have no idea, but I saw a trash can-height pile of colorful trash-looking things and tossed it in.

It was a baby carriage. Thank buddha it was devoid of Baby, just shopping bags and squishy toys. I would like to apologize to all the baby mamas and nannies who read this blog. Baba's too I guess.

SF, any day

I have hurts-so-good blisters from walking from Midtown to Uptown to Downtown and back to Midtown this morning. Went to ABC Home, teary eyes blinked amorously at everything, then to Fishs Eddy across the street. Got the cups, of course!

It's impossible to highlight everything in that space, but two similar pendant lamps from ABC Home:

Beat Lights, Tom Dixon

Drum set. Not a particularly original design, but isn't this series of pendant lights beautiful for the hand-beaten brass interiors juxtaposed with matte black patinated exterior? Not liking the tall shades too much, but mm! for the wide, flat shades.

The Beat Lights in the Shoreditch House, a private members' club in East London. Oooh!:

And a similarly black and gold pendant lamp in a simpler silhouette:

GE Pendant Light, Kartell, designed by Ferruccio Laviani, £120

It's kind of cheap luxe while not actually being a cheap buy. I suppose this is a defining characteristic of a good deal of modern/designer furniture. Design Within Reach, anyone? A very limited use of the the word "reach."

A less expensive alternative might be Ikea's Kulla pendant lamp, which is steel rather than plastic (for which Kartell is known). Maybe you could gold foil or decoupage the interior?

So I've been sitting in the Rose Reading Room of the NYPL for a while. Beaux-Arts, incredible, tall windows and gorgeous, but all this ornamentation really is too distracting. An art history professor claims that every girl has an Art Nouveau phase - loving long, sinuous lines and depictions of flora/fauna. If this is true, I think I'm over it. Likewise with this Beaux-Arts building - I've hardly swooned for historicism in architecture all day (but did so for the very modern wide Tom Dixon Beat Light). What is wrong with me

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto

I've really enjoyed hanging out with my uncle's family (not to mention the best non-turducken turkey I've ever had) and walking around this city. Love the logical grid, Flatiron Building, and probable excess of museums, but every assertion of Manhattan-ness that I see, I counteract with growing nostalgia for SF. In other words, NYC faces a huge burden of proof for a very very biased person - I would choose San Francisco, any day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All my Christmas gifts will be handmade

After getting into NYC, I realized how empty my bank account must be. I think I need a job that is not doing the Smith Phonathon anymore.

Not sure if I should even spend money on museum admissions!!!!!!!!!!!!
So my plans while here: sit in the library on 5th Ave. and 42nd St. writing papers... wait for my uncle to get off of work... take the subway back to Brooklyn.

Definitely not spending any money. Unless Fishs Eddy has cute cups on sale. Which - I just checked online - they certainly do. Dammit.

Anchor & Rope glass, Fishs Eddy, 2.75

Bird in Tree Cup, Fishs Eddy, 3.98

Saturday, November 21, 2009

feeling a bit decrepit

L’Hospice/The Nursing Home. Gilles Barbier. 2002

Know what I mean?

via ArtInfo of "Medicine and Art" at the Mori Art Museum
Gilles Barbier: Documentsdartistes. L'Hospice/The Nursing Home. Gallerie Vallois.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Smith College Campus Center

"Imagined as an en-route passage through the campus, the building is defined by interconnecting paths that challenge the boundary between inside and outside. These paths converge into a long, curved, skylit gallery that forms the core of the design. Spaces along the gallery house exhibition areas, performance spaces, dining facilities, lounges, mailrooms and a bookstore. A series of outdoor terraces connect the building’s communal spaces with the surrounding campus grounds."
- Weiss/Manfredi Architects

Photo: Bilyana Dimitrova via Yossawat

Photo: Bilyana Dimitrova via Yossawat

Photo: Weiss/Manfredi

I mention this because Eric Mabius from Ugly Betty was there for a photo shoot with The Boston Globe. Peeps who saw this happening said that they stuck to the Red Room and the balcony above it that houses the grand piano. Not surprising - the room is always warm and completely penetrated with so much natural light! Fireplace in the center of the room - so toasty! Nap-prone Emilys should not be doing reading here.
Our mahd-ohw should have a shave, yes?

Heh heh hehhh yup that is exactly how I sit in those rocking chairs.

Eric Mabius photos: Cheryl Senter for The Boston Globe

Slash + stilts

Headed to New York for Thanksgiving Break! I can see that most of my time will be spent on papers, but I am definitely going to check out the Slash: Paper Under the Knife exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design.

The Story of Art, by Georgia Russell, 2006

by Andreas Kocks

Eddy, by Mia Pearlman, 2008

Peaceable Kingdown, by Lane Twitchell, 2007

A Space Odyssey, by Ferry Staverman, 2008

Really makes me want to make something with my own X-Acto.

Also at MAD is the Fade-Out Chair by Nendo (of the Cabbage Chair!) It's clear acrylic painted over with trompe l'oeil wood grain such that the pattern fades away to create a floating impression. Too startling to be functional? How depressing - "I have no foundation."

Reminds me of one of Le Corbusier's Five Points. Pilotis: stilts of reinforced concrete that served to elevate the living space, create more space underneath the building and encourage ventilation.

In his Villa Savoye, 1927-8:

And Unite d'Habitation:, 1946-52:

I wish I could be in SF for the upcoming breaks. No Thanksgiving...two days in December...China (SHOES!) But still... :(

Slash photos: Wallpaper