Other Stuff

Grand Rapids: From 'Furniture City' to 'Beer City'

Grand Rapids: From 'Furniture City' to 'Beer City'

Grand Rapids was known as “Furniture City” for more than a century, and though much of that industry has now moved down to North Carolina, office furniture giants such as Steelcase, Haworth, and Herman Miller still have major operations in the area.

Readers of USA Today have voted Grand Rapids as “Best Beer Town,” beating out such better known craft competitors as Ashville, N.C.; Portland, Ore., and Denver. And in nationwide polls run by the Great American Beer Festival, the city has won the title of Beer City USA two years in a row.

The dozens of microbreweries and brewpubs here run the gamut from big, gleaming fortresses to hole-in-the-wall joints.

Via post-gazette.com >

WATCH: Six furniture designers play a game of musical chairs for fashion brand COS

WATCH: Six furniture designers play a game of musical chairs for fashion brand COS

Here’s a cute, fun way to combine fashion and furniture. COS, the H&M-owned minimalist retailer—and favorite to design-minded clotheshorses—invited six furniture designers to play a game of musical chairs in celebration of the holiday season and its accompanying party collection.

The short film by Amsterdam-based duo Lernert & Sander features Canadian designer Philippe Malouin, Seungji Mun, founder of Seoul and Copenhagen-based studio Mun, Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, German product designer Tino Seubert, British furniture designer Lucy Kurrein, and Mette Hay, co-founder of Danish design house HAY, each with a chair that they’ve designed.

The Best Gifts For Architects (And Architecture Nerds)

The Best Gifts For Architects (And Architecture Nerds)

Architects are a fussy sort—a symptom of a job that involves minute tolerances, heady theory, and a culture that often takes things way too seriously. So shopping for an architect can be especially daunting. We've rounded up a handful of objects for the architect or architecture fan on your shopping list, from affordable stocking stuffers to fantasy gifts.

Via fastcodesign.com >

The presidential desk: A brief history

The presidential desk: A brief history

In art and in news media, there hasn’t been a president, real or pretend, who hasn’t been seen sitting behind the Resolute Desk—an 1880 gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes—looking stern or pensive or accomplished, depending, of course, on the moment. But the idea that the president has a desk and that desk is the president’s desk, though, is a relatively new one: Plenty of nineteenth-century Commanders in Chief brought furniture from elsewhere, while others oversaw White House redecorations that included custom furniture, which itself would be modified by later administrations.

The Resolute, too, was altered by a president, but it has become so ingrained in the national consciousness as the Place Where the President Sits that it is virtually impossible to imagine a future U.S. head of state making changes to its structure or appearance—and equally impossible to imagine one choosing to sit anywhere else.

Via curbed.com >

VIDEO: Why Buy a New Chair When You Can Tweak an Old One?

VIDEO: Why Buy a New Chair When You Can Tweak an Old One?

I needed a new desk chair–my old one was a bit...uncomfortable. I don't like buying new chairs because there are already enough of them in the world. Sometimes it's a matter of tweaking an object that already exists to make it fit your needs. My main goal was to make a comfortable chair. Car seats are exactly that, and there are plenty of them around...everywhere. But car seats are not desk chairs. They need some some tweaks—add a simple frame, some wheels and you have a buddy for life.

Via core77.com >

3 Reasons Why Competitive Advantage is Dead

3 Reasons Why Competitive Advantage is Dead

It might be time to re-write the textbook--competitive advantage is on the way out.

As anyone who attended business school learned, competitive advantage is measured by the extent a company produces more products than competitors in its industry, such as if a software company makes more money than another software company. But according to Rita McGrath, a professor at the Columbia Business School, competitive advantage as we know it doesn't exist anymore. It's all part of the future of work and the changing face of where and how business operate.

There are a lot of factors that contributed to this change, but here are three of the biggest players.

Via inc.com >

Girls Garage

Girls Garage

Close your eyes and imagine that you are attending a shop class and were being taught how to weld. Welding is a mechanical, hands on, knowledge based activity. You need to pay close and careful attention to your teacher as they describe the methods used while welding. After the teacher skillfully shows you how to complete a perfect stringer bead weld, and all of the safety measures you need to take, they hand you the welder. It’s your turn and so the teacher asks you to try.

Open your eyes. Who was your teacher? Was the person whom you imagined a woman? How about a 9 year old girl? The answer is most likely, “no”, which is precisely why our good friend Emily Pilloton founded Girls Garage – to break gender gaps and bust through stereotypes that girls don’t ‘make’ or ‘build’.

Read the blog post on oneworkplace.com >

Forget Blueprints—For The Young Architects Of Tomorrow, It's All About "Minecraft"

Forget Blueprints—For The Young Architects Of Tomorrow, It's All About "Minecraft"

Six-year-old Olive Sáenz has been "obsessed" with Minecraft for about a year, says her mother, Andrea Sáenz. "She spends hours building stuff, blowing stuff up, and building stuff again. She’s been pretty amazing at self-teaching."

But until this past summer, the video game was a solo experience for Olive, who is just now learning to read. Because she wasn’t able to communicate with other players she instead spent hours watching Stampy Cat’s popular YouTube videos, which serve as a Minecraft "how to" for beginners, and putting her own spin on challenges like constructing a roller coaster.

Read the article on fastcompany.com >

‘A chair is only finished when someone sits in it’ and other things we learned from Now I Sit Me Down

‘A chair is only finished when someone sits in it’ and other things we learned from Now I Sit Me Down

A contemplative – and relaxing – look at one of the most underappreciated parts of daily life, the eminent architecture and design writer Witold Rybczynski focuses on the humble (and sometimes not-so-humble) chair in his latest book. Here are your takeaways.

Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair – A Natural History
By Witold Rybczynski
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
256 pp; $28.99

Read more on nationalpost.com >

In Stata Center phone booths, "light-therapy" aims to brighten moods

In Stata Center phone booths, "light-therapy" aims to brighten moods

It may be sweltering for most of July and August, with long lingering days, but when winter comes, with its shortness of sunlight, MIT will be ready. 

In fall 2015, Ariel Anders, a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), applied for and received a MindHandHeart Innovation Fund grant to install light-therapy lamps in accessible areas at MIT as a way to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs at a certain time each year, usually in the fall or winter.

Read the article on news.mit.edu >

Forever young: Kinder Modern and Gallery Diet explore children's design

Forever young: Kinder Modern and Gallery Diet explore children's design

Small people need small chairs. Children’s furniture and design has always been an area of interest for the greats, as well as their storied or private clients; but the world of diminutive design isn’t just taking adult-size thinking and shrinking it down.

'Great child design is inspired by the needs of children; there is [a] way in which children use their bodies with furniture that adults do not even think of,' says Lora Appleton of Kinder Modern. The expertly curated gallery of 20th and 21st century children’s design has paired up with Miami’s Gallery Diet for 'Wrap Your Arms Around Me', a new exhibition running until 1 September. Children are 'physically smaller than us, playful but also in need of parameters or guidance', Appleton explains. 'The show is specifically a reference to this duality.'

Read the article on wallpaper.com >