Wednesday, November 28, 2012

read more: crowdsourcing local development

"The history of modern financial investment has been the story of people and their money moving farther apart into abstraction, to the point where most of us don't know where our investments (if we have any) have gone. But shorten the distance between those two points, and things start to change. Put your money into a building you can see in your neighborhood, and suddenly you might care more about the quality of the tenant, or the energy efficiency of the design, or the aesthetics of the architecture."
- The Real Estate Deal that Could Change the Future of Everything, Atlantic Cities

Monday, November 26, 2012

tumblights 11/26

I had a lot of projects due to day (all of which will be shared soon) and thought tumblights weren't going to happen today. But here it is, just in time, a celebration of the power of citrus.

Clockwise from top left:

Enjoy these? Find more daily at And even more stunning images on my pintrest

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

design like you give a damn

[Tshirt. From Selfless Tee]
 Last week was packed. There was exciting news (Partner-in-Crime passed his grad school 'qual' and is now an official doctoral candidate.) There were parties (pre-launch party for the wonderful curated shop.) But mostly there were conferences. I attended both Greenbuild and Architecture for Humanity's Design Like You Give a Damn conference.

I struggled to think of how to share all the amazing stories and projects I learned about at DLYGAD and was thrilled to find out the presentations are all online. Check them out here. The conference was quite packed so I only saw two of the four panels- on EcoDesign and Security, along with the keynotes. Sadly, the amazing open mic talks are not included. For six hours, participants gave a 7 minute talk on a project they had completed. I spent the first two hours of the conference mesmerized and could have listened all day if not for the panels that occurred at the same time.

When I arrived, I was surprised at how far many participants had traveled. By the end, I understood why. Though just a one day conference, it was worth traveling to be there. Every participant and speaker deeply cared about design for good. Hope to see you all there next year. Until then, I'll be watching these videos when I need some inspiration.

Monday, November 19, 2012

tumblights 11/19

This week's tumblights visually are very connected in color palette but with very different materials- photography, plastic and wood. Something about them is very spring like, which counters the dreary weather that has me making chicken soup and lounging in bed. I'm hoping to be 100% for Thanksgiving, which will be split between friends and Partner-in-Crime's family. What are your plans?


Enjoy these? Find more daily at And even more stunning images on my pintrest

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plaid Friday

I love the supportive craft community here in the Bay Area. I've learned so much about starting a business, finding shops, and following your passion from the amazing artisans and artists in the East Bay Arts Collective (as well as SF Etsy.)

Here's your chance to get in on that awesome-ness. I'll be offering 20% discount on Friday with the code PLAIDFRIDAY and that same code will get you fabulous discounts at the following EBAC shops. Thank you all for your support.

Participating Shops:

*30% OFF*
Girl on Bike - Nature inspired jewelry made from bicycle innertubes

*25% OFF*
Tangleweeds - rustic, elegant hand-crafted brass and steel jewelry

*20% OFF*
Mangosteen - Handcrafted silver jewelry

Impressedbynature - handmade pressed flower jewelry

Percent - handcrafted jewelry from vintage, natural and re-purposed materials.  <<<<<--- hello="hello" i="i" nbsp="nbsp" oh="oh" there="there">

*10% OFF*
Fresh Edamami - Origami art pieces & accessories

Andrea I Jewelry -

The Mice Art - Art, prints, & photogragraphy inspired by nature

Monday, November 12, 2012

tumblights 11/12

This week's tumblights are worth clicking through to the original source. Each is an interesting story of either a environmental intervention or new ideas about energy use and creation. From Cayteano Ferrer's invisible street art to retro-looking drinking glasses that collect solar energy and can charge your smartphone, this week's tumblights are more than just pretty pictures. 

Clockwise from top left:
3. Energy Trumps Cards identify environmental properties of materials via Inhabitat 

Enjoy these? Find more daily at And even more stunning images on my pintrest.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

read more: making public transit safer

"An unwelcoming physical environment and unpredictable schedules are the greatest fears for female transit riders. While budgetary shortfalls might be to blame for the lack of safety innovations, Loukaitou-Sideris says there are low-cost solutions. Sometimes it's as simple as relocating the bus stop. "You can put the stop half a block away, but by a business that's open late and that has pedestrian traffic," Loukaitou-Sideris, she suggests, adding that many women reported walking farther to a different stop that was better lit or had more people around."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

read more: election day special

While nervously awaiting the results of this year's Presidential election, various Senate and House races plus the 15+ propositions I got the opportunity to vote for here in California, I'm exploring the New York Times election coverage. They consulted designer Todd Oldham to talk ballot design. There's a great video, too. 

"Most of us don’t think about ballot design until we’re in the voting booth and asking ourselves which oval to fill in or which box to check so that our candidates actually get our support....The confusion is understandable. In American elections, ballots are rarely designed by professional designers. And not surprisingly, form follows dysfunction."
- Ballot Design with Todd Oldham, The New York Times

Monday, November 5, 2012

tumblights: 11/5

Clockwise from top left:

Enjoy these? Find more daily at And even more stunning images on my pintrest.  

learning sf: laurel from public bikes

[Paula Scher for Public Bike's Public Works project]

In today’s learning sf, I sat down with Laurel Collins wholeft the world of industrial automation to first join the team at TchoChocolate before starting her current gig at Public Bikes. Public Bikes is adesign-focused bike company bringing bikes to the masses. They are about tolaunch their most affordable- and approachable- bike yet. I sat down withLaurel in a café across from their Valencia Street pop up shop, one of threePublic Bikes shops in the Bay Area, to talk biking and San Francisco.

Be sure to check out some upcoming events at Public Bikes atthe end of the interview!

Did you bike before taking a job at Public Bikes?
I’m generally athletic. I played soccer in college and aftermy soccer career, I started doing triathlons, because once an athlete, alwaysan athlete. I needed something to train for. So I was biking for the triathlons.I was not a casual biker. For me, bikes and cities did not come together. Itdidn’t occur to me, especially with a small child. Working with Public hasopened my eyes to a completely different world. Even with a child, you caninvolve bikes in your life to a much greater degree that I ever thoughpossible.

So if it wasn’t biking, what drew you to Public Bikes?
There was a philosophical match for me with the company. I’mpassionate about urban spaces and my own personal environment, having it be pleasingand rich and functional. San Francisco, for me, personifies everything I wouldlike in a city. It is functional, you can bring up a family here, there areparks, there’s color, different neighborhoods. It’s eclectic.  It’s just a great place to work andlive, so for me adding bikes to that whole mix a no-brainer.

Now I’m hyper aware of all the passion around biking thereis here. It’s one reason we’re on Valencia Street; it’s the center of the bikecommuting community.

How does design play a role at Public Bikes?
Our products are oriented around design and lifestyle. Ourcustomers are women who maybe haven’t biked in 5 years and they want to go downto the market with their functional, beautiful basket and put all their fruitsand vegetables in it, and go to work and tool around town and look good doingit. We’re not a super high tech bike-y type of company.

Those people are going to find those bikes, so what’sreally great is you are expanding the market for people like me who get here orto other cities and realize how much more convenient biking can be. Design hasplayed such a role in the company… founder of DWR
The accessibility of the bikes is part of the design of thebikes and the company. It is interesting to me that so few bike companies thathave anything quite like public bikes. They are sort of a nod to the past- theold French mixte, the Dutch step-through. I think people are getting back tothe time, when things were simpler and more carefree. When I look at the brandas an outsider, it’s fun. It’s playful. It’s almost like being a kid again.Back to the pure enjoyment of riding a bike, I get see that everyday [whenpeople go on test rides.] It’s probably the best thing about my job.

We don’t want to be any way exclusive. We want to beinclusive- we just want people on bikes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

read more: after sandy

Much has already been written about Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. Here are a few pieces covering design, community building, and adapting to a changing world.

Airbnb may not have read my reflections but they, along with several other companies, have been responsive according to Fast Company. Citizens are banding together to assist the overwelmed disaster relief teams in FastCo Exist. My former boss wrote about preparing for climate change in The Nation and Next American City covered what this means for designers.

"Airbnb is to waive its fees on all properties in the areas devastated by Sandy, after one of its homeowners offered up her rooms for free to victims of the disaster. The offer stands until November 7 and covers New York, the Hamptons, Providence, New Haven, and Atlantic City. It also urged its hosts to lower prices."
- Andy Dugdale for Fast Company

"We’re not from the Red Cross, FEMA, New York Cares, the public housing police or any other city agency. We’ve never met before and we aren’t affiliated with any one organization, school, or group. We come from all corners of the city: Elmhurst, Crown Heights, Cobble Hill, and even downtown neighborhoods like Chelsea and the West Village, where the power’s still out. Each of us showed up this morning for the first time, after we saw a notice on a website, got an email, or saw a Tweet that volunteers were needed at 46 Hester Street on the Lower East Side, where a local Asian community organization called CAAAV has become the hub for an almost completely self-organized aid effort."

- Anya Kamenetz, FastCo Exist

"What can we do? Three major options: (1) abandon our coastal cities and retreat inland, (2) stay put and try to adapt to the menacing new conditions or (3) stop burning planet-warming fossil fuels as fast as possible."
- Mike Tidwell, The Nation

"For architects, designers and planners, this means stepping up. We need to redesign and rebuild our infrastructure, and we need to do it sooner rather than later. Sandy gave many of us a few days out of the office. Now it’s time to get back to work for a shared future." 
Eric Corey Freed, Next American City