To be or not to be…traditional that is. Gilding herself ponders this every Christmas. There is a sore state of longing when traditions are not followed. Those same traditions that have always brought warmth to your heart; a feeling of being wrapped up in an invisible blanket of balance and good things. But it is also true that some traditions, though they are warm and cozy to you, are just down-right stressful to the others in your life. Truth be told, traditions come with a sense of perfectionism, for if they weren’t bound in perfection would they be a tradition? For a perfectionist, such as Gilding herself is, such stress is a motivator; a sign of the great successor, and for the narcissist in her, any failure at completing a tradition in any less than perfect form is just fine too because she is sure no one else could have accomplished it better for else they would have done it themselves. But that doesn’t eliviate the sense of those around her that traditions mean one huge opportunity to not live up to the tradition of yore and all that it has been in the past. So where does one draw the line on when a tradition is worth keeping and when one is not? Gilding herself came to the decision last Christmas that a tradition should feel good, should come with that feeling of warm blankets and soft hugs. And if the feeling can’t be shared by all then all that is left is for you to adhere to the tradition of feel-goodedness and be forgiving in letting the others off the hook.
But all of that is a whole lot of rambling for a ponderance that in and of itself is worthy of self reflection. The ponderance of this post is, is a tradition still a tradition if its not the same. Gilding thinks so. Traditions are an essence of things, a ritual of acts meant to observe and bring us closer to our generations of past. But none of that says that the generations of today can’t observe it…uniquely. So Gilding proposes this, because frankly they’re too damn cool not to be explored.
Take the Christmas Tree. Though the tradition has its roots in Pagan ritual, simply focusing on the tradition in its Christian roots you’ll find that Martin Luther is credited with being so inspired by the heavens in the night sky one night that he brought in a fir tree, attaching lighted candles to its branches. From its Pagan past, the fir tree symbolized fire, an ancient symbol for the spirit. To further associate its divine design, the tree points upwards, pointing towards the heavens. Evergreens, another commonly used tree, represented the eternal life, its green color being one of the only constant plants to remain alive and vibrant even through the harsh winters.
But who says a tree has to be just a tree. And here’s where that play on tradition comes in. Perhaps this Christmas is the Christmas to be Seussed with a very Whovillian tree. So its strange, and pictured here arching over a fireplace, the tree is designed for doorways and other archways, but its beautiful construction, and with the minds of the creative Gilded Lilies reading this blog, this tree is truly meant for the grand homage to Dr. Seuss that it is worthy of and beyond. And certainly shouldn’t be tucked away as little more than a fancy doorway ornament. Nobody puts baby in a doorway, nobody.
But, Hey, if you have to just to make room for this Upside-Down tree, then baby will understand. Ok, for the religious this tree may just seem wrong, even sacriligious, but according to the Christams Archives, “In the 7th century a monk from Crediton, Devonshire, went to Germany to teach the Word of God. He did many good works there, and spent much time in Thuringia, an area which was to become the cradle of the Christmas Decoration Industry. Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God’s Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.”
Brain having a bit of trouble comprehending the spatial demands of the Upside-Down tree in your home? It stands 7 feet tall and just a little bit wider at the top than a normal tree. Still, for the worry-warts at heart, this upside-down tree is cut in half to hang perfectly in a corner. Now there’s more room for more presents. And please, feel free to compensate for the extra room with presents, with many many more adressed to your dear ole’ Gilding. Just don’t forget to mail them to her afterwards. Seriously, you think she could afford to drive over to see all of you. That’s just silly. And afterall, wouldn’t want to start any new traditions or anything.
Last, but certanily not least, let’s not forget good old Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. This poor stragler is in the hearts of every child who’s ever seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. Truly a loveable, pathetic little thing, this tree is small enough to accompany you even at work and is exactly like the one from the classic cartoon, right down to its single ornament and criss-cross wooden stand.
Link: Christmas Tree Arch | Upside-Down Christmas Tree | Upside-Down Corner Christmas Tree | Charlie Brown Pathetic Christmas Tree
What perfect tiny trees…Seriously tiny. Standing two-and-a-half feet tall, the trees are made of 100% sustainably harvested American Maple. Each tree has seven pieces that easily slot together (Yay, Gilding loves Kinex-like projects — about as much as she loves set-it-and-forget-it…well, everything) and come apart with no hardware. Best yet, the trees are an affordable $35 and even cheaper if you purchase all four designs in a bundle pack.
So who are the
creative little minds
behind these Tiny
XMas trees? Because We Can is a design-build studio, located in Oakland, CA, and though primarily composed of husband and wife team Jeffrey McGrew and Jillian Northrup, consists of a studio mash-up of designers, artists, creatives, fabricators, and builders who help design the project, manage its construction, and build (in all or in parts) it. BWC specializes in creating space, environment, building, piece, product, or custom fabrication that is unique yet affordable, interesting, and productive. Meaning, you can leave things up to these creative geniuses and partake of their creations for an affordable price, or you can custom order anything — or so they boast — and they will make it in-house or pull together the creative folks necessary to build it. From their portfolio, it looks entirely possible that they really could build you whatever you want. Check out their ESP conference table for Comic Debris and this entirely too cool Spooky Puppet Theater made for Backbone Entertainment.
Link: Because We Can
Gilding the Lily reader, Steen, will have to be thanked for this one. Gilding has been rather neglectful of this blog for a little while now; time just has not been on her side and Life won’t get the fuck off her back, the obnoxious little monkey! So thank you to all those readers who have faithfully thought of Gilding when she has been so absent. Now on to the fabulous!
Designed by London architect Julian Hakes, if you take a moments look at it, you’ll see exactly what it is–and it is brilliant!
Called Mojito, the design is a shoe–minus a footplate. The single piece wraps around the wearer’s foot and uses the natural design of the bridge of the foot to complete the balance of the shoe. The foot’s built-in strength from its form allowed Hakes to deconstruct the common shoe into its essential parts, support for the heel and ball of the foot. You can read the artist’s account of how she came to design the shoe on dezeen.
While the shoe is not in production yet, Hakes is currently in talks with specialist shoe fabricators for the initial prototypes. [Via: <a href= "http://www.dezeen.com/2009/09/23/mojito-shoe-by-julian-hakes/#more-41637" target= "_blank"dezeen]
Hmm…so, supposedly inspired by deep sea dwelling creatures (you know, those kind that lure prey with a dangling light over their head), Gilding has to say, she sees it, but…honestly, it looks more like a scorpion. In any case, the Light Up comes from the Netherlandic design house ontwerpers. Anyhoo, there’s not much to say on the chair, specs can be seen here, but it is a neat aesthetic anyway. Though the chair touts being ergonomic, Gilding is more specifically drawn to the enormous light hanging above the recliner. Striking, isn’t it.
These pieces are so nicely earthy and organic. From Studio Robert Stadler, the Tephra Formations project derives its name from the Greek word tephra, meaning “ash”, and connotates a sense of deadly elegance, dainty and voluminous, crushing and airy. Given to the wild nature of volcanos, Tephra can be made in all sizes and shapes to mimick this unpredictable nature.
Tephra is upholstered in black leather with tufted details, much like that of a Chesterfield sofa, lending a feeling of proper elegance to a form that is otherwise organic and unpredictable. [Via Yanko Design]
Forget all the other sex chairs that Gilding has shown you — all one, no two, of the them — because this chair trumps them — at least in the “that’s so dirty” category. No matter how you look at it, there is no mistaking that this chair is meant for hardcore romping — not to be mistaken with a modern curvy-linear chaise that just happens to be a chair for the dirty mambo.
Commissioned by Edward VII of Britain in 1890, this “Two’s company, three’s a sex throne” creation was designed for orgiastic indulgence. Named fauteuil d’amour, or the “armchair of love,” Edward VII used the chair when he visited the brothel of Le Chabanais, one of the great bordellos of Paris. This chair, however, which can be seen in Prague, is actaully a replica of the original. In a fit of post-war Puritanism, the bordellos were shut down, the ladies and their gentleman “punters” scattered, and the chair? The chair was bought in auction in 1946 by an industrialist. It was then resold at Drouot, another Parisian auction house. In 1996 the chair was auctioned for a final time and thus still resides with its owner, one Herve Poulain.
And when journalist Sean Thomas asked Poulain if the chair was still in use he replied…”Naturellement.”
Atta Boy, Poulain!
Have you missed your Gilded Mistress? It has been a while since she has made a post of merit. She’s had quite a bit on her mind and even more to stuff it with on her plate.
And with that, there is ever so much she could share, but why speak of stress when she can dote on this?
We do all remember Gilding’s love affair with birdcages. For these Gilding would not only willingly but adoringly allow Mr. Gilding to hook up an external set of speakers to that monstrosity of a television that lives in our living room.
The Music Cage is a wireless speaker system from Japanese company Nendo. Not only do you get great stereo sound, you get classy, elegant, and cleverly disguised speakers that won’t make you cringe when you look at them. Comes in your choice of black or white and can be suspended from the ceiling or placed on a shelf. Other features: they have the ability to stream music via a Wi-Fi network, computer, or Blutooth enabled mobile phone. [Via Home Tone and dezeen]
Gilding is dreaming of a home office setup — well, at least one that suits her needs and want and doesn’t break her budget. Is that so much to ask! So how about some inspiration:
Yep, that’s a flat screen monitor in the center vanity mirror. How hot is that!
Gilding once told her Dad, she didn’t want a tree house unless it was made out of a tree. Guess what, she never got a tree house. But there is just something so magical about literally being inside of a tree.
These installations by artist Patrick Dougherty bring all those whimsical dreams back.
Spinoffs, Decordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusettes, 1990. Ph: George Vasquez.
Crossing Over, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1996. Ph: Dennis Cowley.
Trailheads, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, 2005.
Ph: Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art.
Around the Corner, University of Southern Indiana, New Harmony Gallery, New Harmony, IN, 2003. Ph: Doyle Dean.
Call of the Wild, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA, 2002. Ph: Duncan Price.
The Summer Palace, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2009. Ph: Rob Cardillo.
With his skills in carpentry and a love of nature, Dougherty began studying primitive techniques of building. From there he began to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. His first work, MapleBodyWrap, built in 1982, was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artist’s Exhibition. By the following year, he had his first one person show. Since then he has build over 150 works throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. The above works are just a sampling — Gilding’s favorites, so to speak. Trust when she says, it was hard to narrow it down to these. More of his works can be seen on Patrick Dougherty’s site.
This Jenga puzzle of a building is the proposed design of John Beckmann and his firm, Axis Mundi, for the much-discussed 53 W. 53rd site for the New York City’s Museum of Modern Art planned expansion. The building’s design is an homage to the works of art that will be housed in the new building, its concept a way of outward expression as well as a method for organizing the tall building as a sort of “Vertical Neighborhood.” As inhabitat explains Vertical Neighborhoods, imagine taking a row of several city blocks, rip them off their foundation, turn them on their sides, stack, and voila.
Unlike the traditional school of thought of a stand alone museum, Axis Mundi’s MoMA Vertical Neighborhood mixes and mingles museum space, offices, brownstones, apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, shops, green spaces, and clubs. In essence a person could live on one floor, which just happens sit above a gallery of priceless works of art, and in the morning, walk the open air corridors and vista bridges to another floor or few to their office, and that even make their way to, say, the third floor to buy groceries to take home — all without ever having to leave the building.
But unlike similar designs — designs such as this are popular in Japan and exist in Manhattan — and their otherwise conventionally industrial, slick design meant to reflect uniformity and cohesion, Axis Mundi’s design reflects the cultural diversity of the city and its inhabitants.
Because of the jenga block-like construction, calld “Smart Blocks,” a myriad of configurations are possible. Meaning single units can exist next to duplexes while holding up triplexes. The units can shift in and out. And each block can be constructed with its own unique surface texture — think floor to ceiling windows spanning three floors in one, next to a single floor unit in wood slatting, underneath a duplex with a concrete veneer, parallel to a living vertical garden.
Just for the environmentally concious who are pulling out their hair and screeching “the end of water is near…
The “Phyto-Purification Bathroom,” designed by Jun Yasumoto, uses a natural filtering principle, called phyto-purification, for recycling waste water, and thereby reducing the amount of water used while showering. Serving as a mini eco-system, the shower filters and recycles the water used and purifies it via its neat little cleaning system in the wash-basin for re-use.
Surrounded by lemnas and water hyacinths ans reeds and rushes planted next to eachother, the plants offer privacy, are watered in as much as they aid in the filtration process by pulling larger particles and heavy metals from the water. The filtration system is completed by passing through a carbon filter that gathers the remaining micro-particles and returns to you clean, fresh water.
Sounds neat. Looks nice and green and lush. But Gildingcan’t seem to remove the image from her mind that one day soon you’ll have to use a machete to chop your way clear through the reeds and brush just to make an opening to get into your shower. Call the Florida in her, but this is just a little too close to trecking the everglades in her own bathroom for her comfort.
[Via The Design Blog]
Talk about going organic. Sensonian Arquitectos took nature as an inspiration as a literal — done before by many architects, but this design nevertheless is worthy of mention. Patterned after a shell, the Spiral Shell House is constructed from a durable combination of steel wire and a special super-thick concrete, making it able to withstand earthquakes and is incredibly low-maintenance structurally.
The odd forms of the exterior continue to wrap and connect within the interior creating spacial and architectural features. The organic nature of the home is further continued within the interior with winding stone paths set amid plant life in an organic pattern, which as much directs foot traffic among interior structures like furniture as it does surrounding it in an oasis of green lushness.
They’re meant for the garden, for the monumental garden of the Art Library Utrecht, Netherlands, but frankly, these pieces would look gorgeous any damn where.
Used as a garden-studio for ‘artists-in-residence’, the greenhouse and garden are known as Lusthof Utrecht (Pleasure Garden Utrecht) and are designed by Jurgen Bey — one of Gilding favorite studio houses.
Featured in Spring 2009, the Green Cabinet, by design studio Lotte van Laatum, is a modern arbour inspired by an examplebook written in 1670 called “Den Nederlandsten Hovenier”. The book described all the elements essential to a pleasure garden along with different examples of traditional trellis work, architectonic objects, all built from wooden slats.
The Kweekbak (Breeding Box) is the children’s follow up of the greenhouse project. The goal of the project was to introduce the work of a designer to primaryschool children (31 children ages 9 to 10 years old), and in a two week project, they would work together in the development of these 8 “Vases of Marot”; the 17th century French/Dutch architect who was famous for his vase designs. Traditionally these vases belong ontop of a cabinet, but these children built vases function as independent flower pots. [Source]
In the world of interior design, we have seen a dominating trend of layering — layering pattern, color, texture, shape, and so on and so forth — on top of every imaginable surface. If not a bombardment of layers, then a simplistic echo of its noisy brethren with the presence of damn near nothing — a blank canvas devoid of color and plastered in smooth monochromatic colors, lines, and shapes.
Surrealien, a German design house, found this method of layering on our walls to be a method of ignoring architectural preconditions. Though wallpapers have come into their own as a decorative fashion and not necessarily a faux pas, they are still treated in the same manner — slap it on, do your best to make sure all the seams and patterns line up, and then pile on top all those pictures, borders, and whos-it-magoos of decoration.
Surrealien’s wallpapers now blur those lines that border architectural wallstructure and apllied interior decoration. But don’t think of this wallpaper as a mural — its not a design that’s made to piece around architecture so it is seemingly fluid; that appearance of a complete picture simply skipping a spot and continuing in the next. Rather, the wallpaper is adapted to the particular infrastructure of a room so that the paper’s design literally moves around the architectural detail; like being pushed by some previously unknown about force-field.
All the necessary information about the rooms infrastructure — doors, light swtiches, every hole or discontinuance, even the intended placement of hanging baubles like pictures, paintings, and aforementioned whos-it-magoos — are turned into a technical plan. A schematic grid is then applied and all those defined parts are turned into objects with their own force-fields that interact with the wall paper patterns. Depending on the shape, size, and position of those influencing wall elements, the program generates exact warping functions.
This is totally trippy and exactly what Gilding wants the rooms in her home to look like when she grows up to be an eccentric artist, complete with one brooding daughter who loathes her mother in that love-hate-mostly love…hate- sort of way and commits acts of sexual debauchery at a young and shameful age in groups larger than the whole of her parents friend base, and a son that wears black, sleeps in a cave of a room, quotes philosophers with names too long to be pronounced and ideas too large to be comprehended in anything more than a debased, primal, animalistic understanding but loves his parents with that they-gave-me-birth-and-are-kinda-cute sorta way. Yeah, Gilding has nuclear family dreams in the most colorful of ways.
These installations of gilded home dreams come from Toronto artist, Alex McLeod. McLeod’s digital worlds of large balloon-like clouds and uninhbited landscapes in 3D renderings combines slick and glossy bulbous forms that can look like voluminous smoke stacks or creamy cumulus nimbus clouds, like barren trees stripped of life save their candy coated color or thick and woody and supporting some other equally poppy and graphic woodland animal. There’s even reedy grass stalks. Overall, they inspire dreams of a childrens world with a hint of something ominous seething below the hard candy cover.