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01 Mar 21:36

A Colorful Tel Aviv Apartment by the Sea

by Caroline Williamson

A Colorful Tel Aviv Apartment by the Sea

In a 1933 building in Tel Aviv, this apartment comes alive with both color and artwork that’s the result of a complete renovation by Tsipi Yavets Chen of myTema Studio. The apartment spans the entire floor of the building and with its seaside location, the goal was to open it up and maximize the natural light and take advantage of Mediterranean views.

Inspired by “international style”, the interior has an overall clean and modern feel with high floating filings that allow air and light to pass through. They incorporated local materials which elevate the works of the Israeli modern art on display throughout, which are from Inga Gallery. They took a sample of the original 1930s floor and matched it for the new green terrazzo floor.

The interior is separated into two wings offering more privacy and additional views.

Some of the furnishings were collected over time, including the lighting and the Heywood Wakefield pieces from the 50s. New pieces were customs built to match the vintage pieces that were already owned.

Photos by Shai Epstein.

01 Mar 21:09

Traditional Churches Become Modern Homes

by Caroline Williamson

Sometimes church congregations move on, perhaps because the building itself is falling apart or it becomes too small. Either way, those unique structures show up vacant from time to time. For some living in a church may be a bit taboo, but for others, they welcome the challenge. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 projects where old church buildings are transformed into jaw-dropping modern homes. Take a look.

Traditional Churches Become Modern Homes

A Victorian-style church in London was converted by Gianna Camilotti Interiors into a modern home while keeping its historic charm. The outside may remain a traditional red brick, but the interior features white walls and floors, along with arched windows and wooden beams.

Located in Harrlo, The Netherlands, this home was once the Dutch Reformed Evangelism Building before being transformed by Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Dobbelsteen architecten. The new design includes a bedroom and bathroom loft with modern features and furnishings paired with many of the original details, including the wood roof and the arched stained glass windows.

Photo by Jim Tschetter

An old church in Chicago, Illinois was handed over to Linc Thelen Design and Scrafano Architects to be converted into a modern home for a family with three young children. The 25-foot ceilings, white surfaces, and wood floors make the space feel grand without being overwhelming or overdone.

Photo courtesy of DOS Architects

Dating back to 1853, London’s Westbourne Grove Church was renovated by DOS Architects, who took on the top two floors turning them into a light-filled, open plan loft. The walls and floors might be white, but the furniture and furnishings are anything but.

Photo © Cornbread Works

Zecc Architecten transformed this old Catholic church in Utrecht, The Netherlands into a single family home while managing to work with its original character. Church benches were reintroduced in the dining area as seating and the stained glass illuminates the mostly-white interior with colors and history.

Photo by Axiom Photography

An Anglican church in Melbourne dating back to 1892 was converted by Bagnato Architects to include a modern addition and interior renovation. Spread over multiple levels, the home features a variety of natural materials, like reclaimed wood, limestone, marble, and granite, giving the inside a warm and cozy feel.

Photo by Chris Humphreys

Chapel on the Hill is a project that turned a Methodist Chapel near Middleton-In-Teasdale, England into a boutique property that anyone can rent out on Airbnb. Evolution Design kept its dramatic 19th century exterior while turning the inside into a luxurious cottage that can host seven people.

Photo © René de Wit

Ruud Visser Architecten designed House In A Church within an old wooden church from 1930 that rests along the river De Rotte in Rotterdam. The massive interior could fit an average of six family houses inside so they chose to build the house as a separate entity inside the church, leaving space to see the transition between the two.

Photo courtesy of LABLstudio

Cobble Hill Chez Church is a conversion designed by LABLstudio. The multi-level apartment now features modern furnishings and clean lines but it still respects the church’s architectural elements.

Photo © Dominique Uldry

Located in Bern, Switzerland, the 1924 Luke Chapel went from rundown to two new modern homes by Morscher Architekten. To prevent covering the large church windows and to avoid adding support posts, the top apartment is suspended within a concrete box above. The box’s facade was the perfect place to display artwork.

01 Mar 21:07

Colorful Stationery You Just Can’t Resist

by Nanette Wong

Colorful Stationery You Just Can’t Resist

Whether you’re four or forty, kikki.K’s Study In Style Collection has something that you’ll definitely want to use. Though I’m not normally someone who’s into so many bright colors, something about the Study in Style Collection calls out to me. Maybe it’s the playful patterns, or the tongue-in-cheek sayings on the packaging—either way, I can’t resist it.

The collection consists of both colorful stationery and organization solutions. With a wide range of products from binders to notepads to planners to pencils, anyone will be equipped for the new year. It also includes their “super stylish” Glass Water Bottle or Lunch Box in “Cute”. They also have a pencil case and mini organizer to hold all your supplies, as well as notebooks and sticky notes to jot down important information.

You can purchase the pieces here.

01 Mar 21:02

LOVE is a Yves Béhar Designed Smartphone Turntable

by Gregory Han

LOVE is a Yves Béhar Designed Smartphone Turntable

The Yves Béhar designed LOVE smartphone turntable is something old, new again, a portable audio device designed to bridge the strong resurgence of vinyl with app-operated accessibility, all the while promising “the intimacy of vinyl with modern-day convenience”.

The sleek device resembles an elongated mouse, handsomely decked out in a combination of glossy black with a copper base detailing; this one-piece device operates as a large rotating tone arm that sits atop records of any size placed onto its base, reading the grooves like a traditional turntable stylus, scanning the record to ascertain song information and the number of tracks. Output is handled all without any integrated speaker in sight. Instead, LOVE connects to a smartphone or tablet app using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, where users are offered output, playback controls options, and album art. There’s also the weird yet cool option to pick a track for playback by pressing down gently onto the LOVE itself: want to listen to track 2, press twice, skip over to the 5th song on side A, press down five times.

LOVE is powered by lithium battery and recharged via USB cable; different record size playback is chosen with a switch on the bottom of the player, alongside wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Portable turntables in a similar vein have long been around before the LOVE, including our favorite collectible, the 1983 Sony Portable Linear Tracking Turntable. And even though the LOVE is quite unusual, it still has a long way to go when compared to the turntable oddities of yesteryear.

Those interested in getting some LOVE into their life should keep eyes on the product’s Early Launch Notification happening this week. The LOVE turntable will be available for $299 for the first 500 backers, including a “Free for Life” LOVE app account with unlimited access to a wide range of premium features.

20 Feb 18:41

Lilli Waters and Jake Cole

by The Design Files

Melbourne Home

Lilli Waters and Jake Cole

Lucy Feagins

Today we visit the home of photographic artist Lilli Waters and her husband Jake Cole, a musician, in Pascoe Vale in Melbourne’s North.

The house-proud couple have been living in their much loved two bedroom art deco house for around 18 months. Together, they’ve created a warm, eclectic, multi-layered home which speaks to their many passions – art and photography, music, food, friends and pets!




View from lounge into the dining room of Lilli and Jake’s Pascoe Vale home. The vintage poppy painting is cherished as it was salvaged from an op shop and repaired, pictured with rug from IKEA, and macramé plant hangers from Etsy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Charlie (the cat) loves the vintage velvet couch, which was a hand-me-down from a past share house. The coffee table was made by Kim Moir and the bookshelf once belonged to Lilli’s grandmother. Prints by Lilli, yellow cushion from op shop, with orange cushion from Pop & Scott. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Detail of Lilli and Jake’s home, featuring vintage mirror from The Junk Co, hand-carved wooden sculpture from an op shop, and candles from IKEA. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The dining table was made by Lilli’s uncle Kim Moir, while the succulent pot is from Anchor Ceramics and rug from IKEA. The large, Iceland landscape photograph was shot by Lilli on film, and the cactus print is by friend Sarah Hendy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The chair and bookshelf in this cosy nook had belonged to Lilli’s grandmother and the ‘Car on Fire’ painting is by Sarah Hendy. Rugs from Ishka, white pot by Pop & Scott, with thrifted pots and bowls. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A rug from Ishka behind vintage pots and bowls foraged from op shops and garage sales.  Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The painting of Jacob by friend Wynona Miller, gifted by Lilli as for their wedding is one of her most loved possessions. Also in the room, hanging rug from Ishka, rug from IKEA, and vintage print, pots and bowls from assorted op shops and garage sales. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Pot and stool by Pop & Scott in front of framed print from Lilli’s ‘Discolour’d ~ Floral Games’ photographic series. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Vintage side tables from The Junk Co and lamps handed down from Lilli’s grandmother are featured in the master bedroom. Framed print from Lilli’s ‘Pistil ~ Floral Seduction’ series, linen by I Love Linen, mud-cloth throw from Pan After, green cushion by Pop & Scott, yellow cushion from op shop, and vintage macrame plant hanger from Etsy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Framed prints from the Lilli’s ‘Anja’ photographic series above Hans Hayson mid-century sideboard from Gumtree, with pots from Mr Kitly and other assorted nurseries. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The kitchen features an Australian landscape painting from a garage sale and 1950’s Formica table and chairs from Gumtree. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Lilli and her husband Jake at home in their kitchen. The assorted vintage retro tins, jars, and bottles are from garage sales and op shops, while the iron teapot was a wedding gift. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Pascoe Vale home of photographic artist Lilli Waters and her husband Jake Cole, a musician, is full of character and creative energy.  Here, amongst a jungle of luscious indoor plants and a seriously impressive collection of op-shop treasure, Lilli’s haunting photographic artworks adorn the walls, alongside artworks and handcrafted objects by creative family and friends. Lilli also has a home studio here, whilst Jake’s ever-expanding guitar and amp collection slowly commands more floorspace!

‘The deal was when we moved in, that I got the second bedroom as my studio, and poor Jake got the linen cupboard for his giant collection of guitar pedals’ Lilli explains. ‘He loves that cupboard, it’s like his man den, or in his case, man cupboard’.

The pair previously lived in nearby Brunswick West, and were initially a little nervous about venturing into a new suburb. ‘We looked at so many houses in the area, and this one was the only one we loved’ recalls Lilli. ‘I remember after a weekend of house inspections, feeling so depressed at the falling apart shacks we had seen, we sent an email to the real estate on a Sunday basically begging for them to accept us, and they did!’. The pair wasted no time in making their new surroundings feel like home, establishing a veggie garden, and decorating with a varied mix of furniture, textiles and art.

‘We are renting, but we love spending time on making our home a beautiful and warm place to come home to, where we can grow things in our garden, create & make music.’

‘You will probably be able to tell that I am quite the collector, and a bit of an op-shop nut’ Lilli confesses. ‘I’ve been collecting old stuff for about 15 years now, which is strange, because my parents were both op-shop home reno addicts and I used to hate op shops when I was a kid, I’d sit in the Kingswood bored out of my brain, but I guess it washed off!’

Lilli and Jake are also big collectors of local artwork, and have amassed a huge collection of paintings and photographs by talented family and friends. Amongst these are artworks by Lilli’s sister Camille Moir Smith of Carpenter’s Daughter, her mother Mali Moir’s botanical paintings, as well as paintings and prints by Bobby Clarke, Sarah Hendy & Lisa Sorgini to name a few. Alongside these much loved pieces are a few restored artworks too, including a sad poppy painting that was torn and left abandoned in a secondhand hand shop, but which Lilli rescued and had restored. ‘It’s as good as new!’ Lilli says! ‘I love finding old things and giving them life again… it reminds me of how something abandoned and broken can always be fixed and loved again.’

Lilli and Jake love coming home to their house, and feel it is a a space which really nurtures both of their creative spirits. ‘I’m very much drawn to the organic feel of this house’ Lilli muses. ‘It has such a warm feeling, and makes you feel safe and at home as soon as you walk in the door’.

Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


20 Feb 18:39

Emma Coulter · Trace Patterns

by The Design Files


Emma Coulter · Trace Patterns

by Elle Murrell

When we last featured Emma Coulter, in 2011, she was an emerging artist launching her ‘make or break’ exhibition: shedding skin. She’s come a long way since then, having secured gallery representation, undertaken a Masters of Contemporary Art at the VCA, and exhibited extensively over the past 5 years.

Today we take a look at trace patterns, Emma’s latest exhibition of painting, scupture and installation. This show, exploring the use of architectural space and pattern, is on now at Palmer Art Projects in Sydney.

Emma Coulter‘s exhibition trace patterns is now showing at Palmer Art Projects. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

UK-born, Melbourne-based artist Emma Coulter at Palmer Art Projects gallery, Sydney. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

A painting by Emma on display. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

A detail of a site-specific work from Emma’s exhibition. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

‘Borrowing processes from architectural thought, my practice utilises acts of painting to transform, construct and alter envi­ronments, objects and surfaces,’ explains Emma. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Emma sees her work ‘negotiating between the formal and the kitsch, and the concrete and the ephemeral’.  Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Detail of gallery installation by Emma. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

The medium or the message? For Emma Coulter, it’s an easy choice. ‘What is most important to me are the conceptual ideas that I’m exploring, rather than how these ideas manifest physically,’ says the UK-born Melbourne-based artist. While colour and pattern are recognisably key to Emma’s current exhibition trace patterns, she also highlights themes of reflection, architecture, and intervention as being intertwined at its crux.

trace patterns was developed over the past 18 months, and has coincided with Emma’s Master of Contemporary Art study at The Victorian College of the Arts, as well as a period of investing more time in her practice. ‘I think my work has come into a space, where I am engaging with all parts of my brain,’ says Emma, who works from her studio in Kyneton. ‘I’ve taken the time to research my subject matter and ideas more thoroughly, as well as obtain critical input from others, and as a result I think my practice has grown.’

Encompassing painting, sculpture and spatial practice, the new body of work investigates colour as an idea, and even a language, beyond the use of paint and brush strokes. Emma’s pieces are intended to transform, construct and alter environments. In doing so she seeks to challenge boundaries, both physical and otherwise, as well as navigate between extremes of ‘the high and the low, history and currency, and the intellectual and the ornamental’.

Although Emma’s output is rigorously considered, it’s not intended to be exclusive. ‘Through my persistent use of colour I hope to provide a ‘meeting place’, an accessible space where those with knowledge about art can intellectualise, but also as an antithesis, those without this knowledge can have an experiential interaction with my work,’ she explains. Emma has dreams to one day create a large scale public art commission, where more and more people may have a chance to contemplate colour in a new light!

trace patterns by Emma Coulter
February 8 to March 4
Palmer Art Projects
Sydney, NSW

To see more of Emma Coulter’s work, visit her website here.

From the artist’s current Sydney exhibition. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

20 Feb 18:39

TDF Collect · A Brightness Falls by Adriana Picker

by The Design Files


TDF Collect · A Brightness Falls by Adriana Picker

by Lucy Feagins, Editor

Today we’re excited to announce our first TDF Collect art exhibition for 2017, opening in two weeks time in our Collingwood gallery!

This month we are thrilled to be hosting ‘A Brightness Falls’, the first exhibition of paintings on canvas by Sydney artist and illustrator Adriana Picker. In addition to showing 14 new paintings, Adriana will also be creating a stunning large scale mural in our gallery for this show!

The show opens on Saturday March 4, with drinks from 2.00pm that day – we hope you’ll join us!

Sydney illustrator Adriana Picker, whose exhibition ‘A Brightness Falls’ opens at TDF Collect on March 4th – view all works available here. Pictured: Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

‘The large scale of the works allowed me to focus on the texture of the foliage,’ tells Adriana. Detail of Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

The show marks a resurgence of colour for Adriana, and a move away from the detailed, ink illustrations of her previous work. Pictured left to right: Banana Palm, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm, and Canna Lily, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. View all works available here. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

‘The colour palette is unashamedly feminine and vibrant,’ says Adriana. Pictured left to right: Perilla, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm, and Pelargonium 1, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. View all works available here.  Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Artwork Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm on display in Adriana’s studio. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

‘A Brightness Falls’ is the first solo exhibition of original paintings for the artist. Pictured: Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm.Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

A completed work in Adriana’s studio. Pictured: Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. View all works available here.  Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Adriana painted the works in Sydney and her family’s farm in the Hunter Valley, as she has been preparing to emigrate to New York City. Pictured: Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

We first discovered Sydney artist and illustrator Adriana Picker back in 2014. Instantly smitten by her meticulously detailed line work and botanical subject matter, we’ve keenly followed her career for the past three years.

Adriana doesn’t waste a moment. Since completing her studies at COFA (now known as UNSW Art & Design), she has built a seriously impressive portfolio of illustration work for clients including Absolut Vodka, Mambo, Real Living Magazine and Gourmet Traveller. She has also worked as a Costume illustrator on feature films including Australia and The Great Gatsby, where her illustrations were shown at the 2014 Academy Awards, when Costume Designer Catherine Martin won an Oscar – AMAZING!

More recently, Adriana has also created two immensely popular illustrated colouring books, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ and ‘Where the Wildflowers Grow’, published by Hardie Grant in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Though Adriana has exhibited extensively in Sydney, we’re THRILLED to bring her work to Melbourne for the very first time. ‘A Brightness Falls’ is her first exhibition of paintings on canvas, and presents a new-found celebration of colour for Adriana, whose previous work has tended toward a more monochrome palette.

‘I wanted to explore lush, vibrant and joyously colourful plants for this show’ says the artist. ‘The large scale of these works has allowed me to focus on the texture of the foliage… This is what I am increasingly interested in exploring in my work; texture and pattern.’

A Brightness Falls is a celebration of Adriana’s life-long passion for nature and the botanical form. Often-overlooked species which Adriana affectionately refers to as ‘Nana plants’ – Nasturtiums, Pelargoniums and Bromeliads – are rediscovered in a bold, contemporary context.

All the works in Adriana’s upcoming show are now pictured on the TDF Collect website.  We are accepting pre-sales for the show from today – all enquiries please email– thankyou!

A Brightness Falls by Adriana Picker
Open from 4th to 9th March 2017
TDF Collect
14 Little Oxford St
Collingwood, VIC

Opening Saturday 4th March, 10.00am – 5.00pm with opening drinks from 2.00pm onwards!

This exhibition is generously sponsored by DuluxCervezas AlhambraCapi, and The Drinks List!

Pictured from top to bottom: Banana Leaf, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm,  Passionfruit, mixed media on canvas, 60cm x 60cm, and Caladium, mixed media on canvas, 90cm x 90cm. Pre-sales for this exhibition are open from today – enquiries email Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

20 Feb 18:17

Paul Ketz’s Marshmallow Stool

by Caroline Williamson

Paul Ketz’s Marshmallow Stool

If you’ve ever longed to sit on a cloud, this marshmallow-like stool, from Istanbul-based German designer Paul Ketz, might be your best bet. Its cushy, non-toxic polyurethane foam seat is a soft perch that looks good enough to eat, leading to its name, Marshmallow.

Its soft seat is made without a mold, expanding around the steel wire frame that supports it. As is the nature of polyurethane foam, it expands as it wants resulting in each piece being deliciously one-of-a-kind.

Want Marshmallow in your life? They’re available via kinder MODERN in four colorways: Sugarpink (blue/pink), Licorice (black/grey), Mint (white/green), and Tennislove (chrome/yellow).







Photos by Matthias Ketz.

20 Feb 18:17

Jasper Morrison’s Ambient Installation at VitraHaus

by Caroline Williamson

Jasper Morrison’s Ambient Installation at VitraHaus

VitraHaus enlisted British designer Jasper Morrison to transform the Level I of their headquarters in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Spanning 150 square meters, the space he envisioned is part studio, part salon, and part office, designed for a fictional dweller.

For the installation, Morrison selected items he’s designed in muted colors, while electing to go bold with other people’s designs, resulting in a cozy, yet visually dynamic space.

From Jasper Morrison:

This is the apartment of Allard Pierson, an abstract artist who doesn’t exhibit his sculptures because nobody’s interested in abstract art anymore, so he lives at home with them and occasionally invites people to dinner, to show them his new work.

All of the products used can be purchased via Vitra.

The dining area features pieces made using natural materials and earthy colors to create an understated space.

Photos by Lorenz Cugini, Zurich.

20 Feb 18:07

Blank Space 2017 Fairy Tales Competition Winners

by Vy Tran

I really like those first set of paintings.

Blank Space 2017 Fairy Tales Competition Winners

It’s official, the winners for the 4th annual Blank Space 2017 Fairy Tales Competition are in! This is a contest where designers, artists, and creatives from all walks of life are asked to design their own unique architectural fairy tale world.

For this year’s competition, three prize winners, an AIAS winner, and 10 honorable mentions were chosen from an esteemed jury that included: John Maeda of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers; Dan Wood of WORKac, Chase W. Rynd, Hon. ASLA – National Building Museum Executive Director; G. Martin Moeller, Jr., National Building Museum Senior Vice President and Curator; Michel Rojkind of Rojkind Arquitectos; Antti Nousjoki of ALA; Sarah Balmond of Balmond Studio; Marion Weiss of Weiss/Manfredi; Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture; Jing Liu of SO-IL; Alan Maskin of Olson Kundig; Minsuk Cho of Mass Studies; Michael Van Valkenburgh of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Robert Hammond of The High Line; Gro Bonesmo of Space Group; Stefano Boeri of Stefano Boeri Architetti; Sarah Wahlgren, AIAS National President; Rachel Law, AIAS National Vice President; Alexander Walter, Editor in Chief of Bustler; David Basulto, Founder of Archdaily; Becky Quintal, Executive Editor of Archdaily; and Matthew Hoffman and Francesca Giuliani, the Blank Space Founders.

First place was awarded to Mykhailo Ponomarenko, a Ukrainian trained architect who created monumental landscapes with classical painting techniques for his entry “Last Day.”

From the artist:

Landscapes have always inspired me to put something weird, unreal and out of human scale into them. Something not feasible and not practical that contrasts with the natural surroundings, but also exists at the same scale. These satirical interventions lead to new ideas and feelings about nature – they make the viewer more aware about the environment and our harmful impact on it. We are flat surface creatures. Sometimes I feel that we crave it so much that the planet is going to be turned into pavement so cars can go anywhere, and our industries could continue expanding. The “Saturn Rings” in my proposal represent these flat surface desires but in a more poetic, optimistic, and friendly manner.

Second place goes to Terrence Hector for his entry “City Walkers” or “The Possibility of a Forgotten Domestication and Biological Industry,” which illustrates sentient architectural beings that humans harness for their energy.

Third place was awarded to Ariane Merle d’Aubigné & Jean Maleyrat for their entry “Up Above,” where refugees resort to small shanties built on thin stilts way up in the clouds to escape their oppressive life down on earth.

Last but not least, the AIAS Prize for the highest scoring entry from an AIAS member goes to Maria Syed & Adriana Davis for their entry “Playing House,” a story about the destructive power of split-personality.

The Jury also awarded 10 honorable mentions to: Minh Tran, Alan Ma, & Yi Ning Lui: Xinran Ma; Jun Li, Joris Komen, Yuxing Chen & Yina Dong; Carly Dean & Richard Nelson-Chow; Aidan Doyle & Sarah Wan (Wandoy Studio); Dakis Panayiotou; Julien Nolin; Michael Quach; Janice Kim & Carol Shih; Chong Yan Chuah, Nathan Su & Bethany Edgoose.

See more on the Black Space Project website.

20 Feb 17:52

Portego’s 2017 Geometric Rug Collections

by Caroline Williamson

Portego’s 2017 Geometric Rug Collections

Italian design brand Portego just launched their latest collections at this year’s Ambiente in Frankfurt, Germany. Both collections were designed by Seraina Lareida with bold graphic patterns and strong color palettes, all that pay homage to Venetian architecture. The rugs are handcrafted in Italy from New Zealand wool using various techniques that result in distinct textures.


Oci, which is Venetian for ‘eyes,’ references all of the windows that adorn the facades in Venice. Each rug is made up of three colors and designs and when placed side-by-side, the three, differently-shaped rugs form a window-like design that lines up to create a new geometric composition.









Sottovolto, along with its twin Sottoportico below, also reference Venetian architecture, but this time the infamous Venetian porticos. The abstract patterns are formed with geometric shapes which reference the light and color that the city’s buildings usually reflect.









20 Feb 17:17

Filo Modular LED Light Bulb Lets Your Plug In Features

by Gregory Han

Filo Modular LED Light Bulb Lets Your Plug In Features

The newest LED light bulbs offer in the ballpark of a 20 year lifespan. Even subtracting the the possibility that number will only grow as LED and OLED technology matures, that means we may need to change a light bulb only four times in the span of an average lifetime! TEAGUE Labs forecasts this extended long lifespan offers a rare opportunity in the realm of technology today: a stable platform to build modular accessories around.

TEAGUE Labs’ Filo concept is a connected light bulb that works with existing standard sockets, a platform designed around individual modules popped in to extend the functionalities of a typical bulb. Once a module is inserted, the bulb can double as a voice-activated digital assistant, baby monitor, microphone, audio speaker, or security system. The designers envision a day when changing the bulb becomes a thing of the past, but switching in/out functionalities specific to rooms become the norm.

The bulbs shape and array permits users to switch from spot to full room coverage. The bulb also outputs full spectrum light for more circadian rhythm friendly options through the day and evening.

And of course there is going to be an app for it.

More about TEAGUE Labs Filo bulb concept over at Medium.

19 Feb 22:28

Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III Wins N.B.A.’s Slam-Dunk Contest

Houston’s Eric Gordon won the 3-point contest, and the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis triumphed in the skills challenge.
15 Feb 20:00

A "Nostalgia Meets Now" 495 Square Foot Home — House Tour

by Liz Calka

Name: Irwin Gueco
Location: The General Scott — Washington, DC
Size: 495 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 6 years / Owned 2 years

"Your home should tell your story," says Irwin. And everywhere you look in his home there is a good story, providing insight into Irwin's personality. Filled to the brim with carefully selected mementos, artwork and furniture, his home feels like a lovingly curated museum. Which is fitting, because he spends his days at a museum.


15 Feb 18:32

trending: gray days.

by victoria

Want to paint lower cabinets in the basement and in the basement bathroom grey with brass hardware.

modern kitchen with gray cabinets. / sfgirlbybay

i can’t help but notice gray these days — and not just the stormy skies. it’s been raining a lot in L.A. lately, but what i’m talking about is all the gray kitchens i’ve seen popping up on pinterest. it’s a really pretty look and very easy on the eyes. paired with posh carerra marble countertops and bright white walls, gray gives a range of kitchen styles a fresh, modern look. from traditional to country, even if you just add a coat of gray paint it’s a great kitchen update — add new brass, black or even leather pulls and great new lighting fixtures and you’ve got a whole new look, without breaking the budget.

gray cabinets with marble countertops. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinets with white tile backsplash. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinets with white tile backsplash and black pendant lights. / sfgirlbybaywood open shelving and gray kitchen cabinets. / sfgirlbybaygray lower kitchen cabinets and drawers. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinetry. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinetry inspiration. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinets. / sfgirlbybaycopper pots and gray kitchen cabinets. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen island and cabinets. / sfgirlbybay gray kitchen cabinets with leather pulls. / sfgirlbybaygray kitchen cabinets with metallic pulls. / sfgirlbybay

• photo credits in order of appearance: remodelista; ballingslov; three birds renovations; three birds renovations; honestly wtf; maybemay; biografen; greige design; entrance makleri; a cup of jo; decorpad; planete deco; becki owens.

14 Feb 19:54

Designer Verner Panton's Home is Every Bit as Wild as You'd Expect

by Nancy Mitchell
(Image credit: Decor Aid)

We celebrate Valentine's Day a little differently around here. You see, the day of love, to us, is a chance to profess our adoration of furniture, designers, and basically anything that goes in the home. So this week, we're sharing our passion for a handful of our favorite heralded furniture designers and the homes they outfitted and loved for themselves. Come along, people all over the design world, and hop aboard this love train.

In my search for photos from the homes of beloved furniture designers, I was delighted to run across these images of the home of Verner Panton, which are no less wild than you would expect from the creator of the living tower (though best known for his gravity-defying curved Panton chair). Bold colors, strange shapes, and unusual textures abound. It's a full-on assault on the senses, in the very best possible way.


14 Feb 19:54

Hulu is Now Streaming All 7 Seasons of 'Golden Girls'

by Tara Bellucci

Cancel your plans and invite your besties over for some cheesecake: as of today, Hulu has all 180 episodes of "The Golden Girls" available to stream.


14 Feb 19:31

Emoluments Clause Litigation

by Doug Masson

The New York Times has an article on planned litigation to seek injunctive relief against the Trump administration over the Emoluments Clause. (h/t Indiana Law Blog). The Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution says:

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

An emolument is a profit or gain. The argument is that foreign powers are going to funnel money through Trump’s business holdings in order to curry favor with him. The Founders were aware that foreign powers would try to buy influence with office holders and this provision is an attempt to stop that.

One argument that caught my eye is that, because Trump’s businesses are corporate entities, profits received by them aren’t attributable to him:

Andy Grewal, a University of Iowa law school professor, argued in an academic paper published last week that a payment to a hotel owned by the Trump family, like the Trump International Hotel in Washington, would not violate the Emoluments Clause because the money is paid to a corporate entity and not to Mr. Trump directly.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a case on the Emoluments Clause, so I’m nowhere close to an expert. My guess is that the toughest challenge, and the one it would likely fail, has to do with standing. Who has the right to enforce the clause. The judiciary is likely to try to avoid a head-on collision with the executive and might well say that this is up to Congress to enforce. But, like I said, I could be wrong.

On the other hand, I’d vigorously challenge the notion that the corporate form insulates the President from receiving gifts by proxy through his corporations. Hobby Lobby said that the owners of closely held corporations can assert religious objections to laws that impact the corporations — despite the fact that corporations can’t have religious beliefs. I would argue that, if the corporate form does not prevent religious beliefs from passing through to the corporation, then foreign influence via gifts to a closely held corporation can pass through to an office holder such as Trump.

If the plaintiffs passed the motion to dismiss stage and were found to have standing, they could presumably have a lot of fun with discovery, trying to dig up the various ways in which Trump has wide-ranging conflicts of interest that previous office-holders did not.

14 Feb 19:29

HB 1470 – Legislative Access to Local Government Data

by Doug Masson

HB 1470 was introduced by Rep. Ober and seems to have been significantly amended in committee by Rep. Mahan. As amended, it contains provisions which, as I read them, require local government units (and pretty much any other state or local governmental entity) to, upon request, provide whatever government information the Legislative Services Agency requests at the expense of the governmental entity receiving the request. And it has to be provided in a format and within the time frame set by LSA. Specifically, LSA can demand government information from: the state, a state agency, a political subdivision, an agency of a political subdivision, a state educational institution, a separate body corporate and politic, and any other entity established by Indiana that performs a governmental function. Governmental information to which LSA is entitled is defined as “recorded information, regardless of the form or the media on which the information is recorded.”

Indiana General Assembly gathers information

Idea: Try not to give litigation strategy about suing the State to the State.

I used to work for LSA, and I’m a huge fan of their work. But I’m not a fan of this provision of HB 1470. First of all, if the legislature wants the records, it should pay for them. This should at least make them judicious about what they ask for. If it’s all free to you, it’s pretty easy to just ask for the kitchen sink.

Secondly, (and bear in mind I have a huge bias here) —  but, if I’ve made strategic recommendations to my County government client, I’m not inclined to have that information disclosed to LSA. County government and state government are separate entities. Sometimes, we can be adverse entities. If the County sues the State, can LSA demand my memos to the County about the lawsuit? Can LSA demand the public defender or prosecutor’s thoughts about pending cases? This legislation does not seem to permit local government or state officials to withhold privileged information — rather, it simply requires LSA to “maintain the confidentiality of that information as required by federal law, Indiana law, or both.”

Unless I’m missing something that limits LSA’s ability to demand confidential information (attorney work-product being near and dear to my heart), this strikes me as pretty significant overreach.

The bill also has some generally laudable looking measures that are designed to streamline and make data more easily shared among state agencies, with local government, and with the public.

13 Feb 20:51

Against the Caterpillar Coat

by Josephine Livingstone

In New York, the snow is here and so are the coats. By “coats” I don’t mean “coats” traditionally conceived. I mean the strange coats. The coats that are quilted into fleshy segments like caterpillars, the coats that come down past the knee. The coats like close-cut sleeping bags that must be creeping across town every night and enveloping the body of every second woman while she’s sleeping. It is the only explanation.

To clarify, I’m talking about these coats:

I’m pretty sure that America is the only place people wear these (although I could imagine German women in them, too). There’s something so very specific about wearing clothing that is both highly engineered and totally unnecessary. Such “functional” clothing does not really fulfill any function at all. Women who wear them are the spiritual relations of the men in Boston who wear hiking boots and waterproof trousers and body-warmers to take the T between their apartment and their laboratory. Ironically, these coats make their wearers look bound at the knees, like they couldn’t take a large step over a puddle of snowmelt if called upon.

Let’s call them caterpillar coats, these coats that rustle against you from head to toe on all sides on the subway. Caterpillar coats are often insanely expensive, but not as insanely expensive as their equally strange cousin, the Canada Goose jacket. The CG jacket looks like a regular parka, except it costs somewhere in the region of one thousand dollars. According to a colleague of mine, the rich Yale sorority girls who wear these jackets—they’d descend en masse upon Science Hill in identikit black robes—were known as Dementors.

It’s not anger that I feel when I see one of these flexible coffins, just bafflement and a little despair. I do not see what is wrong with the coats we used to wear. A wool coat, if you want something long. An old-school puffer jacket, if you want something down-filled. When I was a kid and my brother an adolescent, he had this glorious knock-off Tommy Hilfiger puffer jacket in bright colors that looked like it had flown directly from America to our dull British hallway coatrack.

These elongated caterpillar coats insult their ancestors. They take the shape of a traditional wool coat in a feminine cut and combine it with the hi-tech material of a down jacket. In some ways this makes sense: Why not jam together ideas into a new thing?

Because it is hideous, I counter. Other hybrid articles of clothing include the sneaker-dress shoe:

The formal yoga pant:

And the fashion gilet:

Innovation is a good thing. So is not caring what other people think! But the caterpillar coat (and the other hybrids above) represents the symbolic opposite of avant garde inventiveness. They combine a disrespect for the old rules of dressing with an amazingly bourgeois sensibility. Everybody else is wearing these things, so I shall, too. I will take my credit card directly to the counter at Nordstrom or wherever, ignoring all the other coats that are for sale, pleading for me to notice them.

There are plenty of wearers for whom this hideousness doesn’t matter. Little kids can wear whatever they want. So can anybody who works outdoors or otherwise has some legitimate practical reason for wanting down spread across the maximum surface area of the body. Old ladies—do your thing. I’m not going to begrudge a parent for making any decision at all.

My friends’ reactions to my coat opinions vary. After I tweeted some thoughts, my friend Hannah replied that she thinks the sleeping bag coat is “lovable and admirable,” since it “shows us our mutual frailty and the vanity of worldly things.” My friend Emily has a little kid. She observed, “If you live long enough, one of them just comes and wraps itself around you. You relax into it, feeling sad but relieved.” Her tweet made the caterpillar coat sound like death’s comforting embrace. I imagined the coat slowly zipping up over the face, carrying its wearer off into her grave.

This is personal, of course. Like all maddening phenomena, my hatred for the caterpillar coat makes me worry that in fact I am concealing a repressed lust. What if I secretly wanted to give up, to let this coat creep through my bedroom door at night and wrap itself around my arms and legs? Indeed, many years ago, I briefly wondered if I could wear Ugg boots. They are so comfortable, everybody says.

But no. I have thought long and hard about this. There are lines and everybody has to draw them for themselves. Boundaries, if you will. I draw one here, with no resentment against those who have different lines, but with a firm will and clear conscience. Until the day I’m forced to ski, a day which will never come, hybrid functional clothing has no place in my heart or cupboard. Perhaps you’ll join me in finding uses for useful things, and no use for the useless. Quilting is not the only fabric: You are more free than that.

13 Feb 18:33

The Anti-Anti-Trump Right

by Peter Beinart

Several weeks into the Trump presidency, one can divide the reaction among conservative commentators into three categories.

At one extreme sit those conservatives who championed Trump during the campaign, and still do: Breitbart, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, among others. Their base is talk radio. They pride themselves on speaking for those plainspoken, dirt-under-the-fingernails conservatives who loathe not only Hillary Clinton, but Paul Ryan. Their chief enemies are globalism and multiculturalism, which they believe infect both parties, and are destroying America from without and within. Their ideological forefathers are Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace and Pat Buchanan, who claimed that America’s cosmopolitan, deracinated ruling elite had betrayed the white Christians to whom the country truly belonged.

At the other extreme sit conservatives like my Atlantic colleague David Frum, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies Professor Eliot Cohen, and New York Times columnist David Brooks, who warned against Trump during the campaign, and believe he is now vindicating their fears.

For them, conservatism is about prudence, inherited wisdom, and a government that first does no harm; they see none of those virtues in Trump. They see themselves as the inheritors of a rich conservative intellectual tradition; Trump’s ignorance embarrasses them. And they believe America should stand for ideals that transcend race, religion and geography; they fear white Christian identity politics in their bones. They are, to my mind, highly admirable. But they don’t have much of a base. They can denounce Trump because they work for institutions that don’t primarily cater to his supporters.

In between are the conservatives who will tip the balance. Unlike Breitbart and company, they generally opposed Trump during the campaign. Unlike Brooks and company, they serve a conservative audience that now overwhelmingly backs him. More than Sean Hannity, they care about the principles that Trump threatens: free trade, America’s alliances overseas, an independent judiciary, a free press and a basic respect for the truth. But they work for conservative publications and networks. Their business model is opposing the left. And that means opposing the people who oppose Trump.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page falls into this category, which is part of the reason it is now in such turmoil. So does Glenn Beck, who loathes Trump but works in talk radio. And so does National Review.  

National Review is the most illustrative. During the campaign, it called Trump “a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.” But now Trump is a Republican president, popular with most conservatives, and under liberal attack. So National Review has developed a technique that could be called anti-anti-Trump. It goes like this.

Step number one: Accuse Trump’s opponents of hyperbole. Democrats, declared John Fund on February 5, are in a “rush to portray Donald Trump as some kind of ‘fascist in chief.’” Liberals, argued Jonathan Tobin on February 6, believe “Trump’s intemperate language about a judge is an unprecedented step down the slippery slope to dictatorship.” Liberal Jews, claimed Nachama Soloveichik that same day, “are falling over one another to label President Trump the latest incarnation of Jew-haters from Pharaoh to Haman to Hitler.” (Full disclosure: I’m one of the liberal Jews she cites, though I’m unaware of ever having made such an analogy).

Step number two: Briefly acknowledge Trump’s flaws while insisting they’re being massively exaggerated. On December 16, David Harsanyi declared that, “While I’m no fan of Trump, Democrats have been demanding that I panic over every Cabinet pick, every statement, and every event. It’s not normal.” On February 5, Fund acknowledged that, “Donald Trump has a knack for alienating many voters and saying stupid things. But his biggest asset may be that his over-the-top adversaries are even better at painting themselves in negative terms.” On February 6, Tobin insisted that, “whatever one may think of Trump’s [executive] orders — which were sloppily drawn and clumsily implemented but arguably well within the scope of presidential powers as authorized by relevant legislation — the claims that Trump’s intemperate language about a judge is an unprecedented step down the slippery slope to dictatorship don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

The problem with these formulations should be clear. Some liberal criticism of Trump may indeed be melodramatic. But liberals don’t wield much power in Washington right now. Conservatives do. The key question facing National Review, therefore, is not whether Trump’s actions are as bad as the most extreme lefties say they are. The key question is whether Trump’s actions warrant conservative opposition. Do they make America safer? Do they harm innocent people? Do they reflect an appreciation for the separation of powers? Are they influenced by Trump’s personal financial concerns? Are the statements Trump and his advisors make on their behalf truthful?

The articles cited above make these questions appear secondary. Sure, Trump may have botched something, they acknowledge hurriedly, before turning to what really matters: The left’s overwrought response. In this way, National Review minimizes Trump’s misdeeds without appearing to defend them.

To be fair, National Review has devoted entire columns to criticizing Trump, sometimes harshly, since he became president. But such criticisms only make the magazine’s attacks on liberals for their criticisms more incoherent. Among National Review’s favorite phrases these days is “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” It refers to Democrats who describe Trump as mentally unstable, a pathological liar or a would-be dictator. But National Review once described Trump in those terms itself. A year ago, in its issue entitled, “Against Trump,” the magazine called him a “huckster” whose populism contained “strong-man overtones.”

Its contributors declared him a “charlatan,” a “con man,” someone exhibiting “emotional immaturity bordering on personality disorder” and an “American Mussolini.”

Since taking office, Trump has attacked federal judges, insulted foreign leaders, berated the press, lied endlessly, drawn a moral equivalence between the United States and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, sown chaos at America’s airports, led European leaders to rethink the trans-Atlantic alliance, and used the presidency to enrich himself. Where exactly does National Review see the evidence of emotional, intellectual and moral growth?

It’s not deranged to worry that Trump may undermine liberal democracy. It’s deranged to think that leftist hyperbole constitutes the greater threat. Unfortunately, that form of Trump Derangement Syndrome is alive and well at National Review. And it helps explain why Republicans across Washington are enabling Trump’s assault on the institutions designed to restrain his power and uphold the rule of law.

It is inconvenient for National Review that the individual in government who now most threatens the principles it holds dear is not a liberal, but a president that most conservatives support. But evading that reality doesn’t make it any less true.

10 Feb 19:22

Artwork by Hélène Delmaire

by Grace Bonney

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Watching millions of people across the globe gather to march for women’s rights was incredibly inspiring to me for a wide range of reasons. There were so many wonderful moments of unity and understanding, but there were also moments of conflict, differences of opinion and spaces where real discussions needed to happen about how women communicate with and about each other. It got me thinking a lot about women in fine art — the way we’re depicted and the way we depict ourselves. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to female-identified painters lately and how they choose to depict women in their work. French artist Hélène Delmaire caught my eye last week because her work raises so many questions, at least in my eyes, about the way women are painted and what is revealed or kept covered.

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Hélène’s work has such a great sense of texture and color and uses bold, abstract swaths of paint to sometimes cover the figures’ eyes or faces. Her work makes me think about beauty, sexism and the ways in which women are censored or expected to be, act or talk a certain way. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the color palettes she works in are stunning. I found myself going back to her Instagram feed over and over again to indulge in the rich pinks, purples and greens she uses. You can check out more of Hélène Delmaire’s work online here at her website or here on her Instagram feed (which updates more frequently than her main website). I’d love to hear your take on her work and what it says to you. xo, grace


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08 Feb 17:51

A Home for Pattern and Play in Indianapolis, IN

by Lauren Chorpening

A Home for Pattern and Play in Indianapolis, IN

Sometimes it’s easy for me to see beautiful homes online and assume that those spaces belong to people without longing, grief or sadness. The photos are perfect and thus, their lives must be too. Objectively, I know that’s not true of my own life and other lives of the D*S team — that a pretty home doesn’t equal an easy life — but sometimes, it feels true, doesn’t it? If you were to just look at the photos of Natalie and Dan Seitz’s home, you might be tempted by the bright colors, fun patterns and lovely artwork to think that the last four years of their lives were fairly commonplace for an emergency room physician (Dan) and a social worker (Natalie) in middle America. But life is just settling down and getting “normal” for the first time as a family of five.

After getting married and living in a 2-bedroom apartment in Midtown Indianapolis, IN, Natalie and Dan started the international adoption process. They were matched with twin baby boys from a country in Central Africa and were told Theo and Elliot would be in their home within the year — but shortly after, adoptions from the boys’ birth country were put on hold indefinitely. The baby boys grew into toddlers and then kids without ever having met Natalie and Dan in person. During this time, Natalie and Dan were contacted to adopt a newborn domestically. “We brought Milo home in February 2015. We moved to our current home in November 2015. We were here a few months when we were told that at long last, Theo and Elliot were approved to come to the United States and into our home… three-and-a-half years after we started the process,” Natalie shares. “They landed in Chicago in March 2016. It was one of the best days ever. We grew from a family of two to a family of five in 13 months!”

When it was still just the two of them, they started looking for a house in the Midtown neighborhood of Indianapolis. The neighborhood had been changing drastically as rundown houses were being purchased and rehabilitated by development companies. A single-story house that the Seitz family had driven by several times was being turned into a 2-story home with completely new curb appeal. When they toured it, the inside was just as much of an improvement. “We saw it twice — once while still very much in progress and once when complete. We put an offer in immediately and bought our house before Dan officially had a job. As spiritual people, we had a strong and hopefully-not-too-foolish belief that God would provide. He did,” Natalie says. “Many of the homes in our area are either fully renovated like ours or in need of a lot of repairs. Most of the fully renovated homes were well outside of what we could afford. Though as dreamers, we loved the idea of renovating a house with good bones on a great lot, we knew as new parents to three kids we wouldn’t have the time. We wanted something already set up well, so we could devote ourselves to helping our little men feel secure and comfortable.”

Natalie and Dan and their three sons have turned what Natalie describes as “a little bit cookie-cutter” into a home full of life and interest. Natalie has decorated their space with color in furniture, rugs, art and textiles. Their home boasts a mix of bold colors and patterns while maintaining a modern and clutter-free feel. “We have been striving to minimize excess since before Milo joined our family. All the items that kids require can get to be chaotic, so we’ve pared down our own things a lot,” Natalie says. “We are big believers that fewer things can create a happier life. We’ve seen it affect our moods and the moods of our kids, too. We wanted to create a bright, light, simple, comfortable, colorful space enjoyable for us as adults and for our kids… the kind of space that can become a spaceship with alligators and superheroes during the day and a cozy retreat for reading and catching up on our favorite TV shows at night.” It’s a playful and peaceful space perfect for this new family of five to grow into. –Lauren

Photography by Natalie Seitz

08 Feb 17:29

Ind. Gov't - Indy Star asks Holcomb for Pence records; PAC says give them some time

by Marcia Oddi
An interesting Public Access Counselor response was issued February 1 to the Indianapolis Star. Some quotes:Your complaint dated December 22,...
07 Feb 15:03


by bri


loved these illustrations on top of magazine covers by ana strumpf. thought you might too. xx bri

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very fun to look through!


06 Feb 20:27


by Erin in Indy
Hubby and I decided to hit up Longbranch the other night for an early dinner. We went on the early side because of all the positive write-ups lately, we were worried that we wouldn’t get in. However, this place is a bar and the night we were there (which was a Friday), we didn’t have to wait at all. It didn’t really start to get busy til we left. It’s also a big place, so not as much competition for seats.

They are known for their cocktails, so I felt like I should try one, even though I am typically a wine person. I ordered the “Sayonara” ($9), which had rum, sake and a nice citrus and ginger flavor. Hubby had their version of an Old Fashioned. Both of us enjoyed the drinks—I really liked the pickled ginger garnish in mine. 

We started with the Rangoon ($7) and the egg rolls ($8). Both of the dishes were excellent. I liked that the Rangoon had shrimp inside them instead of the tiny little flakes of crab that you usually see. The chunks of shrimp were larger and actually recognizable. The wonton part was super crispy and freshly fried. They were served with their housemade sweet and sour sauce, which is something I don’t typically eat—you know that bright pink sauce that is more sweet than sour…but this one was really good, much more depth to it and much more acidic kick. It was a great match. 

The egg rolls were really good as well—they put a nice hunk of monkfish inside theirs, and I really enjoyed this to give them more weight and more complexity than your typical veggie egg roll. It gave a nice silky texture as well. They give you a sampler of three different homemade sauces with the egg rolls and these were tasty too. There was a ginger scallion dashi, a duck sauce, and hot mustard. I liked the ginger scallion sauce the most, although the duck sauce was tasty too. I don’t really go in for hot mustard sauce typically just because it is so overwhelming. They do a very nice job with the sauces here, much more interesting than what you typically see in a Chinese restaurant.

For our main dishes, we got a couple of things to share. I ordered the tofu entrée ($10) and we really enjoyed it as well. It was chunks of tofu that were lightly breaded and fried and mixed with sautéed eggplant and a miso sauce. There was a nice amount of microgreens on top as well as some sesame seeds. I find that tofu dishes often have more flavor and seasoning than some other dishes in general, and this one was no exception. I like the soft texture of the eggplant and tofu and the richer flavor of the sauce on this one. My only complaint was that after it sat for a bit, the stuff on the bottom sort of became a bit greasy.

Hubby ordered the short rib with avocado rice and an egg ($16). This is short rib done in the more Korean style, sliced long-ways and not slow cooked in the way you typically see short rib on menus. I liked the way they made the rice extra creamy by mixing it with the soft avocado, and how it added a richness to the rice. Of course you know I love an egg on top, and the yolk added a nice sauce. I guess my only complaint here would be the pure richness without something to sort of balance it out a bit. We found mixing a little of the tofu into the beef dish made a nice little combo though.

We were thoroughly enjoying ourselves, which led to the decision to order dessert (this most often happens when we’re having a really good meal). There aren’t a lot of options, but we ordered a couple of the cookies offered—the peanut butter version with miso cream and the almond version with matcha cream. Man, that peanut butter one was so, so good. The cookie part was so flaky and buttery. And peanut buttery. The other one was good too, but seriously…that peanut butter version... I have thought about that cookie many many times since then.

All in all, Longbranch is a good addition to our food scene. I am not sure why Chinese food is so lacking downtown, particularly with drinks, but I am glad to see this place open. It’s an adult only place, so you may see that as a positive or negative, and it definitely has a bar vibe. I was impressed with the service and the knowledge of our server, and it was a nice relaxing and tasty meal. I would say give it a go, I am looking forward to tasting more of the dishes when we get a chance. There are a lot of good sounding things on there.

2205 N. Delaware Street
Indy  46205

UPDATE: Ok, so I ended up going back before I even posted this first post, and I have to say, the second visit didn't wow me quite as much. We had a couple of the same things, the spring rolls, the shrimp rangoon and the tofu dish as well as some new things. The rangoon is great. I highly recommend. The spring rolls had less fish this time and weren't as memorable. I still liked the tofu. We also had the General Tso's sweetbreads ($15), and although they are marked as spicy, I thought they weren't very spicy, unless you ate one of the chilis on top. They were a little sticky too--the breading didn't seem crispy enough. The hanger steak (for 2)($26) felt like a bunch of disconnected parts. The meat was good, but there were just little piles of other things on the platter and it didn't come together as a cohesive dish. We loved the spare rib appetizers ($12) though--they had a lot of flavor--like Chinese 5 spice flavor and the meat was cooked just right. So if you average out my two visits, there are definitely things worth having, but there is a bit of a one-dimensionality of some of the dishes. I can't say it will be a regular for me, but it is certainly a good choice for a change of pace, and I am glad to see someone focusing on a cuisine that we don't have a lot of in downtown.

06 Feb 15:20

Ind. Gov't. - "Funding elusive for Pence’s bicentennial projects"

by Marcia Oddi
Tony Cook had this important story on the front-page of the Sunday Indianapolis Star. A few quotes:Vice President Mike Pence...
06 Feb 15:19

Law - More on former EPA administrator, Anne Gorsuch Burford

by Marcia Oddi


In a post yesterday, I mentioned Anne Gorsuch Burford, mother of the new SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Last evening, NPR's...
06 Feb 15:17

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit "strikes down part of Indiana vaping law"

by Marcia Oddi

Some colorful language here. I dig.

A few quotes from the final, Jan. 31st version of the Indianapolis Star story, reported by Tim Evans , Tony...
06 Feb 15:16

Paintings by Inès Longevial

by Grace Bonney

As the winter days stretch on and our neighborhood color palette is limited to beige, brown and grey, I find myself gravitating toward artwork that embraces bold, bright color unabashedly. French artist Inès Longevial celebrates the human body in such jubilant colors and shapes, and hints at sensuality and form in a subtle but palpable way. If, like me, you idolize people who have such a wonderful grasp on color theory and how to combine hues in a powerful way, be sure to check out Inès’ website and Instagram feed. They are sure to brighten your day. xo, grace

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