Posts tagged ‘DIY’

Vanessa Chew, milk crates, furniture from waste, and more.

In honor of our 125th post (woohoo!), I thought I’d give you a little insight into how people discover this blog. Though search engines are by no means our biggest drivers of traffic, the search engine terms with which people end up finding us are pretty interesting and rather enlightening:

“vanessa chew” elemental form (Thanks, Vanessa and fans!) is in the lead: see Out of place and happening now (in Manhattan).

milk crates and crates, with a variety of words attached to them, also account for a solid chunk of finds: see Reconsidering the milk crate.

Searches like furniture from waste, how to make furniture from waste, “how to” “cardboard bookshelf” diy, and product new ideas for furniture from waste have definitely motivated us to write more posts like: Why not… make some furniture?, Furniture of waste., and  The art of (actual) waste.

July 18′s daily design idea is we want to know what ideas, problems, and solutions you’re searching for. Leave a comment or email us if there’s something you want help finding.

Learn more about images above at elemental-form.com, madedesign.ca, and charleskaisin.com.
Thanks to Bret Thorn for the idea for this post.

July 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

Expanding the bicycle form.

Recently, one invention and one growing trend have caught my attention when it comes to the classic bicycle form:

via Core77 (July 8, 2010):

“I’m not sure about UK slang, but in America if I tell you “I’m gonna wrap my bike around a pole” that means I’m gonna crash it. But Kevin Scott, an industrial design student at the UK’s De Montfort University, means it in a different way.

“Scott has designed a bicycle that the user wraps around a pole literally. A ratcheting mechanism transforms two parts of the bike’s frame from stiff to bendable, and once wrapped, a single bike lock can be passed through both tires and the frame, which Scott hopes will decrease the bike theft rampant in London and so many other of the world’s cities.”


photo by Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features

Then there’s this double decker aka “Mile High” thing happening everywhere, especially Brooklyn. Not sure I’d ever want to ride one, but I definitely appreciate the DIY approach.


photo by Flickr user Jibby!

July 16′s daily design idea is familiar forms are often the best for experimentation.

July 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm 1 comment

The writing, portraits, landscapes, and artifacts on the wall.

Drawing a blank on how to decorate your walls? Here’s some inspiration: try mixing-and-matching different art and artifacts.


Interior by Dan Davis Design; photo of Williamsburg restaurant nha toi by Yelp user Dureen T


Salon-style curating still exists in fine art as well, including in the current exhibit Benches and Binoculars at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

For a fun video about hanging plates on your wall (including several great images of existing plate walls), watch this short video from design*sponge. For even more eclectic wall decor, check out these Bohemian Wall Collections from Down & Out Chic.

July 6′s daily design idea is thoughtful juxtapositions of diverse items can be engaging, delightfully curious, and just plain fun.

July 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Why not… make some furniture?

Hopefully my recent posts on furniture have made you think about how you could create some pieces yourself, so here are some more inspirations for you to peruse (as if newspaper benches, Panda bear chairs, and milk crate chandeliers weren’t enough):


Pawel Grunert‘s SIE43 chair


Annie the shopping trolley chair; Balloona Side Table; a Cartonniste bookshelf

You should also check out this fantastic how-to article in Popular Mechanics, which breaks down how one girl used an old bike to make a snazzy, spinning coffee table. If you’re slightly hesitant to go for it alone and happen to be New York-based, you could also take a class called How to Make Crappy Stuff Awesome at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. And then maybe one day you too will be selling gorgeous tables for over 3,000 pounds.

May 5’s daily design idea is try using your junk to furnish your home. After all, good-looking recycled furniture doesn’t only have to be made for Milan Design Week.

May 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm 2 comments

Reconsidering the milk crate.

It’s been a while since milk crates were used solely for transporting milk. They’re common enough in contemporary home furnishing and storage to be sold at the Container Store in a variety of colors. Cratemen are a famous kind of street art. There’s even a blog dedicated to the diversified “milkcrate lifestyle,” which sometimes includes posts about innovative milk crate furniture.


Chandelier featured in Apartment Therapy

Starting June 11, you’ll be able to see another beautiful example of milk crates in action at FIGMENT NYC on Governors Island. The Living Pavilion, pictured below, was the winner of FIGMENT’s first ever City of Dreams Pavilion competition.


Living Pavilion by Ann Ha and Behrang Behin

April 21’s daily design idea is re-think milk crates as a design material.

April 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm 2 comments

Physical pixels.

I’ve been riding a wave of street art love since seeing Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop (which opened on the 16th in New York City and California, and drops in several more US cities over the next few weeks). Pixelated street art, similar to the early work of Invader, has become especially interesting to me since it both honors and rejects digital. This art is non-digital in form, yet it remains decidedly removed from the worlds of mosaic or pointillist painting. I’d also argue that the viewer needs to have been exposed to digital art to get the intended joy and/or feelings of nostalgia out of these pieces.

Patrick Jean of Onemoreprod recently made a really impressive short movie called PIXELS, where 8-bit video game-like creatures take over New York City. Jason Eppink has spurred on an amazing “unauthorized on-going video art performance collaboration” with his creation of the DIY Pixelator, which transforms the MTA’s public video ads into something a little less literal.  Then there’s always the more classic approach to street art:


taken by Annamarie Tendler in the East Village

April 16’s daily design idea is imagine that your world is pixelated, and design something based on that imagery.

April 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm 4 comments


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