May 17, 2014 is also the day of the All Wright Housewalk in Oak Park/River Forest, IL. It's the 40th anniversary of the event and it also celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home. I was asked to design the limited edition t-shirt for the event this year and it features a stylized illustration of the Home's iconic triangular facade nested with the official event logo. Buy your shirt here and be sure to wear it at the event to show your support--but get it while they last!
Image via PrairieMod
I recently received a copy of a book to review that piqued my interest the moment I opened the shipping box. Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design by Mark Baskinger and William Bardel and published by Watson-Guptill is a sumptuous and informative read from cover-to-cover. More after the jump...
Curbed Chicago reports that the Chicago Design Museum will become a permanent archive and gallery in the city this June that will be open year-round. They are launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and support for the first exhibition in the new space. Learn more and support the effort here.
Image via Kickstarter
I recently picked up a rare brochure called "Color and Protection" which was produced by the American Asphalt Paint Co. for the 1933 "Century of Progress" World's Fair in Chicago. It's a printing tour de force, featuring several metallic and other beautiful bright colors on every page as the Fair and its buildings are graphically represented for the reader. Its importance (beyond being a technical work of printing art) is that it shows us how colorful the Fair was—thanks to designer and color-guru Joseph Urban. Check out scans here of this special brochure from the University of Chicago's special collections.
Image via uchicago.edu
I recently found myself passing through Grand Rapids, MI on my way back from a business meeting and I had a little time on my hands. So, I decided to pop into the Grand Rapids Art Museum to see their stunning Eugene Masselink designed and hand painted wooden screen. Gene originally created it for House Beautiful editor Elizabeth Gordon as part of an entire room design, including a corresponding rug. if you find yourself in Grand Rapids, make sure you pop-in to see it for yourself!
Image via PrairieMod
Speaking of Chicago Tribune Architecture critic, Blair Kamin: Here's a link to an article and video clip discussing the design merits of the $60 million elevated lakefront Navy Pier Flyover path scheduled to finally begin development. Read and see more here.
Image via Chicago Tribune
Glass artist Larry Zgoda and his associate, Emily Carlson, are helping to organize and contribute to the first Chicago Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition taking place on Wednesday, March 19, at Solstice Stained Glass, 2010 W. Fulton, in Chicago, from noon to 7 pm.
Larry will have original works displayed, and there will be works by a dozen other artists and crafters. Many aspects of glass art making will be highlighted, including painting, restoration, lampmaking, stenciling, and more. Larry will also be showing a unique panel by Edgar Miller and will have the Edgar book available for purchase. Guests are invited to bring images and questions about their stained glass, which may be answered by a team of hands-on scholars.
This one day event will be a part of the Day of Glass, taking place in conjunction with the 43rd annual Glass Art Society Conference, being held in Chicago for the very first time. To learn more about the Chicago Stained Glass Invitational Exhibition please call 773-698-3813.
Motawi Tileworks has a beautiful new tile based on a fret sawn wood grille design from Frank Lloyd Wirght's Nathan Moore residence in Oak Park, IL. Check it out here.
Image via Motawi Tileworks
Metropolis Magazine recently interviewed ArchiTech Gallery owner and author, David Jameson, on the life and the work of Alfonso Iannelli. Read the interview here and then pick up the comprehensive Iannelli book AND go see the new Iannelli exhibit at the ArchiTech Gallery. Details here.
Image via ArchiTech Gallery
Love is in the air and however you say it, Happy Valentine's Day! Get your sweetie something from the heart here.
Image via House Industries
Heads-up! The newest issue of the Friends of Kebyar Journal is now available. The issue is all about the painted "Compositions" of Bruce Goff and features a wonderful essay on the topic by Sidney K. Robinson. The issue also happens to be designed by yours truly! Get your copy by becoming a member of the Friends of Kebyar here.
Image via Friends of Kebyar
Virtual Brick Builders Unite! Google has partnered with Lego to offer a web app that lets you build your plastic brick creations through your browser. Check out the virtual fun here and if you build something Frank Lloyd Wright would admire, send it to us and we'll feature it on PrairieMod!
Image via theinquirer.net
The new issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Save Wright publication arrived yesterday and it filled with fascinating articles related to Wright furnishing design and preservation. There's articles by Margo Stipe, Pamela Kirschner, Oskar Munoz, Jack Quinan, Neil Levine, and Susan Jacobs Lockhart (who is also the guest editor of the issue). If you are not already a member of the FLWBC, then join here to receive your copy of this fantastic publication.
Image via PrairieMod
Blouin News reports that the recent "Artisanal" line of fashion by Maison Martin Margiela of Paris featured new designs that utilized pieces of vintage fabric. Why of interest to us? One of the design incorporated to panels (with red square signature borders intact) of “Design 706” Schumacher fabric by Frank Lloyd Wright. Not sure what the black hood is about, but I guess that's fashion for you. Read more here.
Image copyright Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
If you've recently gotten a new smart phone, you probably experienced a lack of attractive phone cases to go with it. Well, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's official licensee, YTC Summit, offers a line of cases that show off your love of Mr. Wright's designs while protecting your phone. You can find these and the other officially licensed Frank Lloyd Wright products YTC Summit makes (including chess sets, house numbers, art glass panels, some statuary, and more) at your favorite Wright site gift shop.
Image via YTC Summit
Pam O'Connor sends word that after 3 years of effort, Alfonso Iannelli and his Fountain of The Pioneers in Kalamazoo, MI FINALLY appears on the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office's Michigan Modern website. A capital campaign to restore this amazing Modern public art work is preparing to begin, and it's hoped that appearing on this website will help significantly. See more here.
Image via michiganmodern.org
It's time once again for the Design Within Reach Champagne Chair Contest™ where people create a miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork from no more than two champagne bottles. A panel of DWR champagne and chair experts will judge chairs, and three winners will receive a DWR Gift Card. PrairieMod pal, Adam Frint shared his entry this year, titled "the anti-cork Korbel lounger." See all the entries here and good luck Adam!
Image credit: Adam Frint
Architect Steve Cofer created the 2014 Modernist Chicago Calendar, a 13-page large 11" x 17" set of beautiful hand drawn pen and ink sketches from his trips to the Windy City. I'm especially taken with the Robie House drawing for April.
Printed on gray heavy stock and glue bound at the top with centered punch for hanging and chipboard backing. $20 each plus $5.00 shipping per order within the continental US.
To get yours, send an e-mail to Steve at [email protected] to receive a PayPal Invoice. Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping.
Image via Steve Cofer
The ArchiTech Gallery's newest show, called Alfonso Iannelli and the Studios, opens today and will be up through April 26, 2014. The show features several remarkable pieces for sale from the full spectrum of the Iannelli Studios career. Check out some of the offerings by following the link and be sure to visit the gallery before the show closes.
Image via ArchiTech Gallery
With SC Johnson in the news recently, I've visited their website frequently enough that one of their newer products caught my eye. The "lily pad" style pump on the bottle for Windex® Touch-Up Cleaner makes me wonder if they weren't inspired by the company's own Administration Building's "Great Workroom" for its design. Probably a stretch, but fun anyway!
(left) SC Johnson/(right) interiordesign.net
There's been an exciting response to this first issue of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design and the goal is to fill orders as quickly as possible. If you have not gotten your copy yet, please be patient with us...we will have to periodically replenish supply to meet demand and the holiday season does not help with quick shipping, unfortunately.
As a new publication project and a work in progress, there will always be a few bumps. Luckily, a professional copy editor/proof-reader has agreed to join the JOA+D editorial group and will help make sure issues will have commas in the right place and are (hopefully) free of spelling/grammatical errors.
Everyone's kindness and support so far is very much appreciated and it's hoped this effort to create something new that reflects all of our passion for Organic Architecture and Design will only continue to grow and improve.
Image via OAD Archives
Not to be upstaged by Sotheby's, Christie's December 19, 2013 auction will be offering a super rare example of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed "butterfly" art glass lamp that was formally in the collection of Wright-associate and sculptor, Richard Bock. The auction will also feature a rare Wright-designed art glass window from the (now lost) Oscar Steffens House. See these and all the other lots here.
Image via Christie's
The first batch of Volume 1:Number 1 issues of the new Journal of Organic Architecture + Design are in and the early adopters' orders have all been shipped.
If you have not ordered your copy or signed up for the deal that is an annual subscription, then here's a look at what you're missing. See some sample spreads of the inaugural issue of Journal OA+D V1:N1 after the jump...
I've always been intrigued by the blue "Mod" book cover design from a 1970 re-issue of the 1939 An Organic Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy. The letter forms that make up "Frank Lloyd Wright" are written in right-angle lines—but I always felt the design missed the mark by not creating a perfect square out of the forms. So, I decided to remix the idea, clean up some of the parts, and made a perfect square iteration. Of course the next step was to obviously make it cherokee red. Now that feels (W)right!
Left image via steinerag.com/Right image copyright PrairieMod
The shopping days are dwindling as we get closer to the 25th! My 4th holiday gift pick is anything red from Heath Ceramic's Classic Holiday Collection. We use Heath dishes in the "Little Red House" everyday and we love them—Useful and Beautiful! Anyone's eyes would open wide with delight to "see red" if they got anything from Heath. Check out the entire Classic Holiday Collection here.
Here's the next in my holiday gift picks to help you shop for the architecture-lover on your shopping list: Anyone who loves Frank Lloyd Wright, design, and printing will treasure this limited edition letterpress print of the Isabelle R. Martin House, created by the WNY Book Arts Center. You can order one at the Graycliff online shop while they last. See all the ArchiTypes prints in this series here.
Image via graycliffestate.org
The wait is over! The special news that I've been teasing you with is the announcement that a brand new organization has been launched called The Organic Architecture + Design Archives (or OAD Archives for short) that will also publish the new Journal of Organic Architecture + Design! So what's it all about? Find out after the jump...
As a special Thanksgiving treat I created a new Mod illustration of Frank Lloyd Wright's first independent commission, the iconic William H. Winslow House (1894). I was so inspired by my recent tour of this beautiful house, that I thought I'd try my hand at capturing its fantastic lines and form in my simplified figure/ground graphic style. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!
Illustration copyright PrairieMod
Patrick Steffes of the website, Forgotten Chicago, sent a heads-up on their newest article, which features one of the least-known modernist architects in Chicago history, James F. Eppenstein. Eppenstein had a relatively brief career from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s, but left behind a remarkable body of work. Forgotten Chicago’s article on Eppenstein covers his remodeling of Hyde Park’s Shoreland Hotel, recently reimagined by Studio Gang; a modest bar at the famed LaSalle Hotel that was the start of one of the worst fires in Chicago history; and the unique Electroliner interurban train which ran from Chicago to Milwaukee until 1963. More information on Eppenstein’s amazing career may be found at the Forgotten Chicago website.
1935 image of Eppenstein's office via forgottenchicago.com
Wright Auction House has a fairly important Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian chair from the Rosenbaum House for sale in their upcoming December 12, 2013 Design auction. It would be nice to see this chair back in its original home, but at $10-15K, you could build an army of plywood replicas instead. See more here.
Image via Wright20.com
The holidays are just around the corner and the crush of catalogs have started arriving in the mail. In perusing CB2's recent catalog, I came across their Modern answer to the decorative Christmas village that often accompanies a tree or adorns a mantle. Check it and other seasonal goodies here.
Image via CB2
Today's "Google Doodle" celebrates the 120th birthday of Raymond Loewy, the "Father of Industrial Design." Loewy had a truly remarkable career, designing icons like the famous Coca-Cola bottle, Lucky Strike cigarette packets, and logos for Exxon and Shell. Read more about his life and work here.
Image via Google
There's around 50 days left to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign to restore the Alfonso Iannelli-designed Guard Memorial. Contributors to the campaign have a series of different levels they can give at--and get in return.
One level "thank you" gift is a never-before-produced reproduction of an Iannelli-designed cat paperweight from the 1920s (as seen in the images at left). Help a good cause and get some cool stuff in return!
Check it all out here.
Top image via Andrew S./Bottom image via ArchiTech Gallery