/ March 2005
/ March 2005, vol. 24
Welcome to the February / March 2005 newsletter from Design
Forward. I would like to apologize for not publishing the
newsletter last month. I was traveling in Spain. The newsletter
is back on schedule and will be published once a month.
Thanks for understanding. Please take some time to enjoy
this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "Precision is not reality."
- Henri Mattisse
Lisa Van Veen
A Different Way to Build
The following article was written by Tim Peppin:
For a month last summer I worked under a carpenter on
a large housing project. There were four floors in the
house I was working on, each at a different stage of
development. The lowest floor had hardly been touched
at all; it was a confusing gauntlet of wood jacks, studs,
pillars and crossbeams. The second floor was another
network of wood, but the plywood floors were now covered
in two-inch-thick sheets of concrete; the third was
filled with immense piles of paints, primers, and grouts,
stacks of drywall 50 sheets thick, fibreglass tubs and
fibreglass insulation. The fourth floor was almost finished.
Hundreds of sheets of chemically treated drywall had
been hung, hundreds of litres of toxic and impermeable
paint had been applied, and dense pillows of glass had
been inserted into all of the wood-framed walls.
The building's exterior was made of a thick skin of
plywood, covered over with plastics and fabricated stone
panels. Tarred and chemically treated shingles covered
its roof and littered the ground. Two dumpsters 20 feet
long and eight feet high were filled with waste in mere
days, emptied, and then refilled. The contractors were
irritable and obsessed with speed. Waste and inefficiency
abounded. I was appalled.
Still more appalling was the realization that all
of our buildings are made in this manner, including
our own homes. We satisfy the need for long-lasting
materials and a comfortable environment not through
good design and intelligent configuration, but by treating
products with toxic preservatives and sealants, by burning
large amounts of fossil fuels to regulate the interiors
of our buildings, and by using prefabricated materials
that encourage waste. In our search for strong and uniform
building materials, we have taken to cutting down vast
expanses of old-growth forest and using products which
are extremely energy intensive to create and which will
not naturally decompose for thousands of years.
Article © Tim Peppin. Picture ©Ted
In honor of my trip to Barcelona, I wanted to showcase
on of the architects who influenced my life and my designs.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is considered on the founders
of modern architecture. He was commissioned to create
an exhibition space for the King and Queen of Spain
for the 1929 World Exposition at Barcelona. This building
only stood for one year, but was reconstructed in 1959
in Barcelona. One of the most famous features of this
structure was the chairs he designed. The Barcelona
Chair is one of the most recognized chair designs.
"The Barcelona pavilion...was without practical purpose.
No functional programme determined or even influenced
its appearance. No part of its interior was taken up
by exhibits: the building itself was the object on view
and the 'exhibition' was an architectural space such
as had never been seen." - Martin Pawley, introduction
and notes, Yukio Futagawa, photographs. Mies van der
Article & Picture © Lisa Van Veen
Birthday Design Forward
Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday,
Design Forward. Happy birthday to you.
March 1st marks Design Forward's 3rd year in business.
We want to thank everyone who has helps us come this
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