Walking Paris

Walking Paris

I think I have mentioned before that I love Paris!

I have visited the city many times and dropped by the usual tourist destinations like the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. Once inside after waiting online, reality sets in… it would take days to see all that is offered.

On our latest trip an effort was made to not let those precious few hours slip away….. waiting. We decided to walk, talk, eat, relax, walk some more, talk and eat again.  We roamed the Paris streets, but this time included planned, liesurely  stops for lunch and dinner at well researched dining spots.

We had a great time and our good decision to view Paris from a different perspective was reinforced as we passed by the long lines at the usual tourist attractions.

The image above is on the grounds of the Musée du quay Branly, recommended as a must see by a friend. It is known in English as the Quai Branly Museum, nicknamed MQB. The building was designed by Jean Nouvel with extensive gardens and green walls designed by Gilles Clément and Patrick Blanc. The museum features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. We will make an attempt to see the interior exhibits on our next trip to Paris!

Lazy Basketball

She shoots---she scores!

I am always in search of new seating designs that are innovative and well designed. This chair falls into another category– definitely eye-catching, possibly a stress reliever? The Lazy Basketball chair puts an obvious whimsical twist on two things, seating design and basketball. This unusual chair, manufactured in Italy by Campeggi and designed by Emanuele Magini, will amuse more than basketball fans. Consisting of a metal framework wrapped with synthetic net and topped off with an unexpected basketball hoop!

Take a few moments to watch a slow motion demonstration on the Campeggi website—- click on the text “seat with basket”.

Sir Paul Smith

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

I received a book titled Hello, My Name is Paul Smith for Christmas and I could not put it down until I finished reading it from cover to cover. Sir Paul Smith generously shares his backstory about his journey from opening one small shop in Nottingham, England to becoming an international presence in the design world today. The book is beautifully illustrated, including much of his own photography and it is an inspiration for those seeking to learn more about the business of design.

His design focus originally was men’s fashion, establishing his first store in 1970 and in my opinion waited far too long to launch his first women’s collection in 1993. He is a keen observer and photographer and has collaborated with the likes of British car brand Mini, Mercian Cycles, Burton Snowboards, Leica Cameras and Maharam Fabric Corporation to name a few.

Paul Smith shops and interiors are designed in-house following Paul Smith’s vision that all of the shops should look different and not be formula driven.

If you have not visited a Paul Smith shop it should be added to your list of things you must do. The shops are welcoming and not just about fashion. You will see interesting objects and artwork that Paul Smith has been collecting and photographing everyday of his life.

What’s trending for 2014?

Do you follow trends?






ARIG Designs ECIDA’s New Work Place

Michele sitting in ECIDA's new reception lobbyECIDA invited the community to 95 Perry Street in the historic Cobblestone District in Buffalo, NY for an open house on October 9th to check out their new space. ECIDA moved into the space, along with BUDC on September 27th and were open for business on Monday, September 30th. ARIG provided space planning and design services and we continue to monitor the contractor to clear the remaining punch list items. But in the meantime, ECIDA is thrilled with their new work environment and I must say they have been a genuine pleasure to work with!

Please take a moment to learn about this project.


Personal Space

Personal Space

Team Concept #2 1994

A discussion I had yesterday with a colleague of mine about the “office of the future” brought back memories of the Fisher Price Team Building project that I was fortunate to have been involved in way back in 1993. The project team consisted of the Architect, Construction Manager, Owner and Furniture Dealer. At the time I headed up the Design Department for the Furniture Dealer and we were charged with planning the interiors for this truly innovative building.

As part of the initial research and planning we mocked up a team area for the Juvenile Products Team. Part of the plan was a new product at the time called the Personal Harbor, which can be seen in one of my original development sketches at left. The Personal Harbor was installed as part of the team mockup for the highest level position going into the building, a Sr. Vice President. As the story goes, the VP closed the sliding door for privacy and when he tried to open it, it would not open, he was trapped. Needless to say, this product was not used in the final building space plan design.

The Personal Harbor was developed using video taped studies to determine how people work rather than the usual programming process that involves interviewing people to understand their workplace needs. The result was a self-contained 48 square foot workspace, meeting ADA guidelines. The workspace included a sliding curved door for privacy, ceiling, lighting, airflow and it was relatively easy to relocate.

When I mentioned this product to my colleague, who is a bit younger than me, he had not heard of it. And as I continued to think about it, I realized I had not heard of it since that project. I decided to look it up on the web and I found the above photo included in the Steelcase Timeline stating the Personal Harbor had won the 1995 Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA).

Looking at this image today, I wonder if it might be time to take another look at the Personal Harbor as it might fit into the “office of the future”.



Falling Water?

Falling WaterWe are all familiar with Falling Water, a remarkable residence in Bear Run, Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Artist Jason Middlebrook’s take on Falling Water represents the artist’s fascination with the earth’s environment and the human effect juxtaposed with Wright’s vision of living in harmony with nature. This is a gigantic mobile fountain which at first glance appears to be made of stone, but in actuality it is constructed primarily of styrofoam.

Falling Water is on display with additional Middlebrook pieces at MASS MoCA, the perfect venue for artistic work of this scale.
Falling Water Detail

Charles Pollock


1930 – 2013

Very sad to read in the NY Times yesterday that Charles Pollock perished in a fire at his Queens studio on August 20, 2013.

A talented, mid-century furniture designer and artist in the news more recently with the release of the newly designed CP chair commissioned by Bernhardt Design which was posted here last November.

This is a video produced by Bernhardt Design last year that highlights his life and talent.

12 Ton Birds

MASS MoCAWeighing in at 12 tons each, this male and female Phoenix duo was conceived by the talented Chinese artist Xu Bing. The Phoenix Project is on display in a football field size exhibition space at MASS MoCA’s Building 5 through October 27, 2013. You will be awestruck when you enter this room. On closer inspection of the parts and pieces used to create these creatures, you will enjoy identifying components that were salvaged from urban construction sites in China. These giant birds are illuminated with tiny LED lights and create a breathtaking sight at sundown.

Note the welder’s masks in the image below….  what other items are you able to identify?



A very unique planter indeed!

From GREENFORM, the Relax planter will surprise and delight.

Grass, flowers, or unique stones are suggestions to fill the form. It consists of 2-pieces and is human size, 74″ x 30″ x 5″.

Designed by: StauffacherBenz of Zurich