Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It's Coming And It's Gnarley

Clinton Jacks works as a cook in a Waffle House restaurant near the South Carolina coast. “One night back in the year 2000,” he recollects, “I saw Danger Mouse come in here. Cee-Lo was with him. And they had this other dude with them, dressed up like H.R. Pufnstuf. Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo ate big meals, but H.R. Pufnstuf only wanted hash browns. Then they left, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, but H.R. Pufnstuf stayed around for hours. He must’ve had twenty cups of coffee. I went in the bathroom, and when I came out, he was gone. But he left a $500 tip on the table. And he left a little note that said,‘Compliments to the chef. Gnarls Barkley.’

Friday, March 17, 2006

Working for a Living . . .

PRADE was launched over a year ago as a way to gather the design items I found interesting and comment on them when I had anything remotely intelligent or insightful to say about them. It was my first venture into the blog world, and overall I think it has been successful. PRADE has received visitors from around the world (even if some of them got here by misspelling some illicit search terms), and I've been fortunate to trade words and ideas with some of the best in the business.

Unfortunately, the vacation is over. I just started a new position that is going to take up a considerable amount of my waking hours, and the nature of the work eliminates blogging on the job as an option.

So PRADE is changing formats, and will instead become a weekly blog (or semi-weekly). I'll do my best to keep the content interesting, fresh, and relevant even though it won't be published as frequently. I hope you'll stick with PRADE, and drop in from time to time to see what has caught this untrained but discriminating design eye.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Project Bamboo

Kengo Kuma's 2002 Great (Bamboo) Wall house was part of an effort to construct a series of houses by Asian architects along the Great Wall of China.

What immediately stands out is Kuma's fantastic use of resources to tie the house to its natural surroundings. Kuma's house is constructed of bamboo walls that allow light and air to penetrate the house's skin. Inhabitat sums up the design concept brilliantly . . .

"Kuma varied the spacing and thickness of the bamboo canes creating the walls of the house, each defining a different level of fluidity from one space to the next. Dappled light penetrates between the thin stalks, as though the house were literally built from the forests of Asia."

I love how his tribute to the Great Wall essentially aspires to make its walls transparent, in a sense reacting to the bold, divisive appearance of the Great Wall itself. And his use of bamboo both makes a statement about using natural, renewable resources and looks great amidst the surrounding forest.

This is my first exposure to Kuma's work, but after checking out his firm's site I was impressed by all of his work. His modern reinventions of traditional Japanese forms are interesting and unique, and never fail to be pleasing to the eye as well (which is not always true about most modern architecture!) I might just have to pick this up, and declare Kuma one of my new favorite architects.

Images from Materia Magazine.

Via Inhabitat.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Farewell to Flowers

Manhattan's landmark flower district, located on 28th st between 7th and 6th Ave since the 1890's, is being closed down.

Businesses along the most famous row of flower shops in the world were served eviction notices last week to make way for new highrise apartment developments and a hotel. While suggestions have been put forth to jointly relocate the group of independent shops to other NY locations, no collective agreement has been reached.

So it appears that one of the most iconic and organic New York spaces will soon be no more. In lieu of sending flowers, just be sure to support the independently owned businesses we have left.

You can find more details at MUG.

Via Tropolism.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

PRADE's March Magazine Rack

Two new gems just dropped at the magazine stand.

First off is the premiere issues of Lemon. Full disclosure, I know one of the new magazine's editorial staff. So I also know how excited he is about this issue, so if you are out and about at Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, or Borders, I suggest picking one up. Described as "pop culture with a twist," the debut magazine includes features on Aesop Rock, Bill Murray, JT LeRoy, artist Jeff Koons, and more. Lemon is brought to you by the team behind the high-concept Gum magazine, so expect some cutting edge publication ish.

Also out now is the latest issue of Trifling Mental, the e-zine from Georgetown grads Thomas Williams and Josh Yaffa. Picture a magazine written by Handsome Boy Modeling school and you have a good idea of what TM is all about. These fellas love waxing philosophical and writing about music or brunch spots with as many Kafka references as they can. When I asked what the heat was in the new issue, I was told "the fresh new interview (and online mix) with G-Stone recording artist and superproducer, Stereotyp, and his Berlin-based crew with the
silly-hot name, Al-Haca." So peep the refined game of the Mental Masters over here.