September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

We have become a society of mass consumption. The EPA estimates that each American produces 1,130 pounds of waste per year. How many Americans are there?

That’s quite a bit of trash. So, along with our effort to be more conservative about what we use and pitch, and to recycle as much as we can, the reuse of materials can be a great way to reduce our footprint. Years ago, I had a fantasy about making playground sculptures, and equipment, out of used tires, as these nemeses to environmentalism are becoming a growing problem. With no way to get this idea to an effective audience, I abandoned the idea.

Enter Jason Regenes. He takes what would otherwise be heading for the landfill, consumer product packaging styrofoam, and transforms it into amazing sculptures. His work, often hung from the ceiling and illuminated, speaks to both earlier modern artist like Louis Nevelson and our current battles with finding uses for materials that do not decompose. One of the key reasons that these pieces work is their scale. A lesson I learned while getting my MFA was that almost anything interesting, multiplied to get a real volume, leads to an aesthetic, presence and meaning that are all amplified.


More Before, and Afters

September 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Like everyone, I love a bigger design project. I feel I offer my best value when I am involved with a project from the beginning and can see the project all the way through. This offers the client the best opportunity for maximizing the effect of the space and offers the most conceptual and aesthetic coherence.

Here is a taste of a home I renovated near Ashland and Foster. This project involved converting a 2-flat into a single family. I not only did all of the design and layout but also acted as GC.

We are going to be reshooting this home for the new Paul Schulman Design website but, since people have been asking for more images here on the blog, here’s another taste.

p.s. Love this chandelier — very reasonable, found it at Z Gallerie.  It’s called the Calais Chandelier.

Now for Something Completely Different

September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ever see something that blew your mind? Here’s one of those for me. I have no idea how I learned about this small New Jersey architecture firm called MadLab, but this fixture is unbelievable!

Off the Shelf

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Man, I’ve been out of it. Too many nights feeding Lucy, often tripping on toys on my way to her mid-night snack.

Some years ago, I got a bee in my bonnet about designing a shelving system. It was a complete accident. I saw something that became an inspiration and the thinking has been simmering ever since. Definitely not ready to show as the designs are not totally flushed out at this point, but I thought it might be interesting to share my research.

Here are some  shelving systems that I have been looking at. They range in price, design and quality, to be sure. The pictures link to the websites of the designers or sellers. Hope you find something you like. And keep these in mind when I unveil my take.

Some Boxes are More Equal

September 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am sick and tired of architecture that is no more interesting than my son’s stacking of boxes. (He’ll be 3 in November.) I love modern design, don’t get me wrong, but, please, I need some detail to keep my interest.

Much like the interiors I design, I think the nuances and details are crucial, especially when the aesthetic is modern. Without ornamentation, the subtleties do all the talking.

That’s why I fell in love with this residential project done by a Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan for his firm Studio MK27. This project, House 53, is an amazing building. Its  facade folds so that it’s two monolithic planes, which define the home’s street presence, fold up and open to open the home to the outside world.

Super cool

Weighing In

September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

A few years back, while in Montreal visiting my aunt and uncle, we stopped into an art gallery that they were considering using to host an engagement party for my cousin. After a quick spin around the joint, I parked on a sofa and started flipping through some artist portfolios that were on the coffee table. It’s rare that I see something that grabs me so aggressively, but that day it happened. The work was from a group of artists that go by “HVW8”, Heavyweight. Now I must confess, I love graffiti, so when I saw their work, my head almost exploded. I loved it. They sew together iconic cultural portraits with a urban edge. As compelling as it gets. I will always be grateful to my mother-in-law for having them paint a Mies Van Der Rohe piece for us at our wedding. It’s the centerpiece of our living room.

Here’s their story.

I Know Why These Birdhouses Sing

September 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

My mother was amazing. We lost her a couple of years ago and she is sorely missed. We are, on the other hand, lucky to have had her for so long. We are also lucky that she left us some really great stuff. Not least of which is a collection of birdhouses that she made for us, Ali and me, for our engagement party. My mother was the kind of person who loved to entertain and would spend weeks working through a menu and weeks creating centerpieces and coordinating napkins rings and tablecloths. My brothers can attest, that is no exaggeration.

When Lucy, our second, was born, I was able to find a great home for the birdhouses. I bought some inexpensive metal shelving brackets from Home Depot, and painted them to match the color field on the wall and mounted the birdhouses on the brackets. The walls in her room were each painted in the style of Josef Albers, with receding squares. One lesson I learned in grad school, by way of art history classes as well as my studio studies, is that things that aren’t interesting become more so when there are a large number of them. Wasn’t an issue with the birdhouse, just informed my thinking about how to use and display them.

Where Am I?

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