Tuesday, November 19, 2013

starting over

This week a professor assigned a writing exercise: one to two sentences that "distill your career and life experience and create a succinct statement about yourself as an innovator." It seemed like an overwhelming requires, but soon after I started brainstorming, my sentences became clear.

Striving to create change is only half the equation. If purposeful change is the desired outcome, it must be intentionally designed.

I am a designer. I am an activist. I strive to create stronger communities, safer communities, more beautiful communities. Solely ending existing injustices will not create this change, I must envision, articulate and build it. Something to remember during these late nights of work. We all must design it, together. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

read more: the duty of design

"It is enough for good design to be things we cherish because they are beautiful, well made, or a pleasure to use, but it seems to me that our daily lives are dominated by barely competent and sometimes downright sinister works of industrial design, and I do not understand why designers don’t spend more time chasing down these opportunities.

The whole infrastructure of security and surveillance that dominates our experience of the city today (to take just one example) has gone untouched by the field of product design in any meaningful way. These are works of design that take justice and trust as their topic, and they make it pretty clear how those in power think of us as citizens."
Kieran Long, On the Civic Duty of Product Design for Dezeen 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My office on Glitter Guide

Yesterday I had the honor of having my office featured on Glitter Guide alongside several of my Rue colleagues and other amazing business women. While still very much a work in progress I love my little office and was excited to share. Plus amazing photographer and friend Anna Marks shot my space and made it look amazing. 

We only got to share one image on Glitter Guide so my other favorites are below the jump. Then head over to Glitter Guide to read my tips for staying organized.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

gravity and grace

A friend sent me a link to the art work of El Anatsui after she saw his work at the Brooklyn Museum. El Anatsui " converts found materials into a new type of media that lies between sculpture and painting, combining aesthetic traditions from his birth country, Ghana; his home in Nsukka, Nigeria; and the global history of abstraction." His show, Gravity and Grace, at the Brooklyn Museum has "over 30 works in metal and wood that transform appropriated objects into site-specific sculptures." 

Monday, July 22, 2013

new collection launched

Recently I shot my newest collection of jewelry with the help of three amazingly talented women- Kelli Ryder, my teammate at Rue and a talented stylist, Anna Marks, an wonderful photographer, and Sarah Long of Sarah's Ambitions, shown here as my stunning model.

I'm thankful that they got a great reception at the Rue office and our Editor-in-Chief chose to give a sneak peek of the still-in-development lookbook on Rue Daily. I've saved my favorite images for Rue so hurry over and check it out.

Then get your summer shopping done online on my online shop or BRIKA.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

read more: richard rogers on an architect's duty

"In my generation the idea was you'd build for the future... The idea is that we have a responsibility to society. That gives us a role as architects not just to the client but also to the passer-by and society as a whole."
- From Denzeen

Friday, May 31, 2013


A while I ago I assisted a friend, Karen, on the creation of a music video for her band, Futurebrite. We filmed in one of the few towns in the Bay Area that allows fireworks (even sparklers are banned in most places, shocking to this girl from the South.) My job mainly consisted on lighting sparklers and trying to avoid littering. Nonetheless, it was fun to dabble in a new creative medium and seeing the finished project is very exciting.

If you are loving this video, you can vote for Futurebrite on The Deli music blog to be San Francisco Artist of the Month. Voting ends July 2.

Monday, May 6, 2013

read more: africa's new cities

"Africa is bracing itself for the arrival of the New Cities. That’s the term being used by urban scholars to describe the continent’s next urban phenomenon: Comprehensively planned, independent, relatively self-contained communities, usually built from scratch, and large enough to provide within their borders housing, public facilities, socio-cultural opportunities and employment for their residents...

Based on the assumption of a shared longing for new urban spaces, these cities come with promises of impressive amenities and functioning systems that will enable the urban lifestyle most Western cities provide. And they’re branding themselves accordingly – they’re sometimes called Eco-Cities or Smart Cities — and boast that they will be more connected, global and sustainable than traditional cities.
What is worrying is that there is little recognition of place, economy, context and even poverty in these cities. This begs several questions. To whom do these cities belong? Who is planning them? Are they inclusive cities, or simply profit-driven businesses?"
- Jane Lumumba, Why Africa Should Be Wary of It's 'New Cities' 

read more: re-regulation and government adaptation

"New businesses and the entrepreneurs that create them are intrinsically adaptive, responsive to change and driven by market realities. If they don’t possess these traits they fail." 
- Charles Luzar, What The Government Can Learn from Crowdfunders

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

rue pop up shop on brika

For the past few months I've been selling percent jewelry on the amazing online shopping site, BRIKA.  The two founders, Jen and Kena, carefully select each artisan on the site so I'm honored to be included. This week, I'm twice as excited because Rue Magazine is hosting a Pop Up Shop on BRIKA. (My jewelry is included, check out the top center!) I love that these two parts of my life have come together, and I even got to interview Jen and Kena for Rue Daily. I love what they have to say about taking a big leap to pursue their passion and A Well Crafted Life.

Hurry over to BRIKA, there is a ton more to see but the shop is only up until April 22!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

read more: resilient architecture

"To build resilient communities and avoid the devastation of the next Hurricane Sandy, designers should look southward. If architects valued prevention instead of permanence, buildings could guide cities and reduce vulnerability rather than increasing risks. Such a values reorientation could radically improve our cities and our lives. The fundamental thing the global south teaches us is that a revaluation of architecture is not only imperative but also already happening far away from the epicenter of wealth."
- Michael Murphy, GOOD

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

read more: design ethics

"Design should have an opinion about service to humans. Design should have an opinion about it’s ethic. If you buy the premise that there is no “not design”, but just poor design and good design as I do, then I suggest that design cannot be totally benign either. It has an ethic and that ethic is either toward good or toward harm."
- Matthew Smith, Medium

Monday, April 8, 2013

read more: why our own neighborhoods needs us as much

"Recognize that you are an expert in your own community. Think about the research and ramp-up time and cultural assimilation needed to understand a community outside of your own. Whether elsewhere in the United States or halfway across the world. 

A lot of this ramp-up isn't necessary when you stay local. Working locally offers a way out of a vicious cycle of guilt, feeling hindered, and inaction. It offers escape hatches leading to a more sustainable situation for yourself, meaning you can get out of the mentality of thinking you need to quit your job and move to Africa to do something good."
- Julie Kim, GOOD

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

read more: form follows... distribution method

"You can buy a Coke pretty much anywhere on Earth. Thanks to a vast network of local suppliers, Coca-Cola has almost completely solved distribution, getting its product into every nook and cranny where commerce reaches. There are places in the world where it’s easier to get a Coke than clean water. In the 1980s, Berry was an aid worker in Zambia, and when he looked at Coke’s success, he saw an opportunity."
- Tim Maly, Wired 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

official website launch

I've been slowly announcing it via social media, email, and other means but today I'm announcing it here. I'm a freelancer!

What? You already knew that? Of course you did. But now I have an official website that you can send to your friends. Please do. I'm accepting clients.

The rest of the website is even more exciting looking, so go on, check it out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

hacking at social change

[Graphic design by Hannes Beer]

Lately I've been thinking a lot about design thinking and user-centered (and human-centered) design. In particular, I've been thinking about how it can be used across fields, not just by designers. Two nights ago, the phrase "Design Thinking for Hackers" came into my head and I couldn't quite shake it.

I know next-to-nothing about hacking. Living in the Bay Area, I'm fairly familiar with the concept and its lean, quick-and-dirty, just-see-what-works model is all the rage here. But I don't code and have worked very hard to keep my design work the physical world. It turns out I'm not the only one thinking about design thinking can help those hackers who busily spend their free weekends trying to save nonprofits and open governments. According to Jake Porway's recent piece in the Harvard Business Review blog:

"For all of these upsides, however, hackathons are not ideal for solving big problems like reducing poverty, reforming politics, or improving education and, when they're used to interpret data for social impact, they can be downright dangerous...You need to have a clear problem definition, include people who understand the data not just data analysis, and be deeply sensitive with the data you're analyzing. Any data scientist worth their salary will tell you that you should start with a question, NOT the data."

So how can hackers avoid hacking up our future? Porway doesn't get right out and say it, but, through design thinking. Through, as Porway does highlight, getting people in the room who understand where the data comes from and asking the right questions. To often, the tech world celebrates grinding away in isolation, which works for creating beautiful objects and interfaces but will consistently fail at solving social problems. Social problems can only be solved by those who understand them. Hackers are comfortable iterating and asking, 'does it work?' Let's get them comfortable asking, 'who does it need to work for?' and 'why?' first. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

read more: design 'what we do'

The answer is to design ‘what we do’ rather than to simply design ‘things’. We must design the everyday items of our lives, landscapes, our streets, our buildings, our services and institutions in a way that will foster behaviours that will continue to sustain us.
- Liam Hinshelwood in GOOD.is

Monday, February 25, 2013

zaha hadid bratislava city center

Let me say, I love Zaha Hadid. I would love to own one of her working sketches. I love the forms she creates and the way she pushes the boundaries of architecture. Most of all, I love her attitude. (Her quote, "Would they still call me a diva if I was a guy?" speaks volumes about architecture, a profession made up of divas. Almost all of them men.)

What I'm not sure I'm in love with is her work for Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Sure, it is captivating to admire, particularly in rendered form. But there is nothing human scale about it and the materiality reads as quite harsh to me, despite the ample green space. I think it is great as a museum space, and possibly as a working space, it just doesn't feel like the heart of a city to me. Scheduled to be completed in 2013, I hope the reality of the people living and working in those circular towers brings life to the amorphous space.

Images via Designboom. From Zaha Hadid Architects.   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

read more: design literally change the world

"Design can help by making it easier to live up to our aspirations: by making stairs a more accessible and enticing option than escalators, for example, or creating open spaces where people want to gather instead of being trapped in their cubicles. By shaping the objects, interactions, and environments we live around and within, design literally changes the world."
Ingrid Fetell, quoted in an wonderful, longer piece by Erin Loechner , Design for Mankind

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BRIKA spotlight

I don't think I can stop smiling. I'm absolutely in love with everything about my 14 day only sale on the amazing BRIKA. Each piece I did for them is one of my favorite pieces ever. I love the way they photographed my jewelry and their layout for my Makers page.

BRIKA is members only, so make a user name and find me and other amazing makers. Plus, today, February 6 only get free shipping on orders over $40 with the code BEMINE. Shop percent jewelry on BRIKA here!

Monday, February 4, 2013

creativity explored

On Thursday I attended a wonderful art auction benefiting Creativity Explored sponsored by Serena and Lily. I had first heard of Creativity Explored through work at CB2 and so was excited to support.

Creativity Explored is a San Francisco based nonprofit studio and gallery whose purpose is "to provide people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to express themselves through the creation of art. Additionally, we provide studio artists the opportunity to earn income from the sale of their artwork and to pursue a livelihood as a visual artist to the fullest extent possible." 

While I did not win the piece I bid on, it was a lovely night supporting a wonderful organization. Original art from Creativity Explored artists can be purchased at the Creativity Explored gallery, on their website, and from Serena and Lily. You can also purchase textiles with prints of Creativity Explored work at CB2 which are all currently 10% off*.

*Disclaimer: While I do work at CB2, all views here are my own. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

read more: placemaking

"Involving the intended users of a public space in that process helps the resulting design to be responsive to the community’s needs—including the inherent need of all communities for people to connect with each other. Any organization can pave a plaza, but it’s not a place until people are using it."
- Brendan Crain for Project for Public Spaces, in response to Jim Russell's blog post

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the big reveal: rue daily

I've been dying to share this news and technical difficulties made me wait even longer, so I am bursting to stay, Rue Magazine has gone Daily. While we'll still publish a full length magazine regularly (8 issues per year) we'll also have daily content each week day. I'm very excited to be writing more and to be creating more of a dialogue with the Rue community.

Above are a few images from already published stories. (We've stocked up on good ones to get started!) We'll be sharing the same great content as the magazine- interiors and styling, fashion, and DIY plus food, interviews with designers and tastemakers and more!

Visit us at Rue Daily!

tumblights 1/29

Oy, a whole day behind in everything this week but now it's time to relax and enjoy some tumblights. This week's post were all about the elements, there are even some "earth" ones up on the tumblr. Enjoy!

1. Sea Chair tackles ocean pollution, over fishing, and job creation via  Design For Mankind
2. Pair of floating dice leave their path on the sea up to chance via designboom
3. An inflatable solar powered lantern via designboom
4. Solar energy charging station for electric bicycles and personal devices via designboom

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I can't quite say just what yet, but looking forward to sharing some big Rue Magazine news on Monday!

Monday, January 21, 2013

reflecting on the past four years

As today is both Martin Luther King, Jr Day and the second inauguration of President Obama, I find myself in a reflective mood. The past four years have been ones of huge personal change for me, much of it related to the political landscape. Four years ago I was still in college, starting my second semester of senior year. I was lucky enough to attend the inauguration, missing the first day of my design studio to do so. This blog did not exist and I could never have predicted what would lead me to where I am today.

While nationally this day is of great significance, in my world today is the perfect occasion to end the holiday lull on this blog. I'm looking forward to sharing much more design for social change in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

read more: building a space for calm

Currently, questions about design at psychiatric care facilities are viewed through the prism of security. How many guard and isolation rooms are needed? Where should we put locked doors and alarms? But architecture can — and should — play a much larger role in patient safety and care.
One prominent goal of facility design, for example, should be to reduce stress, which often leads to aggression. 

For patients, the stress of mental illness itself can be intensified by the trauma of being confined for weeks in a locked ward. A care facility that’s also noisy, lacks privacy and hinders communication between staff and patients is sure to increase that trauma. Likewise, architectural designs that minimize noise and crowding, enhance patients’ coping and sense of control, and offer calming distractions can reduce trauma. 

Thanks to decades of study on the design of apartments, prisons, cardiac intensive care units and offices, environmental psychologists now have a clear understanding of the architectural features that can achieve the latter — and few of these elements, if incorporated into a hospital design from the outset, significantly raise the cost of construction.