A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Thursday, October 28, 2010

David Wilcox - Speed Creating

From Dominic Wilcox:
“Each day for 30 days I will make a new object, installation or creative intervention while going about my daily life. At home, in the studio, on the train or wherever my day takes me, I will attempt to make something that interests me creatively and then quickly document it on the M&M website (and here) via photographs, drawings or video. Each day I will receive a small budget of £10 for materials.
Day 27, Pencil Shelf
I believe that this self-imposed project with it’s constraints on time and money will force me to take an instinctive and experimental approach. The fear of failure and the usual time spent thinking through the potential pitfalls of a project will not be an option and I will need to react swiftly to my thoughts, observations and experimental outcomes discovered along the way. I am not focused solely on the final objects or images but on the creative journey I take. Complete failures are expected and embraced.”
Mr. Wilcox will document each day on his website.
Dominic Wilcox website

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Canelé Restaurant

It's all about the food...

Canelés from Canelé
Canelé - "...a small French pastry with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. The dessert, which is in the shape of small, striated cylinder approximately two inches in height, is a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France, but can often be found in Parisian patisseries as well. Made from egg, sugar, milk and flour, flavored with rum and vanilla, the custard batter is baked in a mold, giving the canelé a caramelized crust and custard-like inside."  Wikipedia
Corina Weibel. The name conjures up images of food and wine. Ms. Weibel, along with General Manager and business partner, Jane Choi, own Canelé Restaurant in Atwater Village (Los Angeles). Early on, Ms. Weibel cooked for Nancy Silverton (Campanile) for five years and with Suzanne Goin (Lucques) for three. 
For those fortunate enough to live in or near Atwater Village, Los Angeles, its an easy walk or drive to great food. No, it's not decorated with fancy motifs, crystal chandeliers or other slick paraphernalia. No, the servers aren't polished and aloof. And, no, the kitchen isn't tucked away in the back, as if the "magic" of cooking should be hidden from view.
Instead, you will find a warm and inviting, albeit extremely casual, restaurant, reminiscent of small, out of the way cafes in Paris or the French countryside. A large window at the entry holds a community table, for those who prefer to dine in a large group; whether with friends or would-be friends. Smaller tables, for two or four, are scattered throughout the small space. Mirrors, which make the space appear larger, are hung on several walls. And don't expect a white table cloth - you won't find any - and you won't mind, after taking that first bite of food.When you meet either Ms. Weibel or Ms. Choi, you know, immediately, why you feel at home. Both greet you with warm smiles and welcoming gestures, as you are seated. You will be handed a menu, as in any other restaurant. However, you may also read the items from a chalkboard, incorporated onto a wing wall.
Okay, now, the best part: food. Rather than list my favorites, here is a selected list of items from Canele's dinner menu:
gazpacho with soft cooked egg and toast
pissaladiere with a salad of fresh market herbs
dandelion salad with capers, parsley, garlic, croutons and sherry vinaigrette
coop's omelet with a salad of fresh market herbs
roast chicken with socca, braised leeks, harissa and french feta
seared market fish with couscous, baby beets, avocado and tzatziki
bistro steak with sauce bordelaise, pommes anna and creamed spinach
herb-roasted leg of lamb with ratatouille and tapenade
buena chica cheesecake
flourless mocha cake with vanilla ice cream
profiteroles with chocolate sauce
On a recent visit to Canelé, for brunch, we sat at the bar, which gave us ample time to view the workings of the kitchen - watching Chef, Aliza Miner, at work. While dining on our omelets, a woman sat beside us, striking up a conversation. She made it quite clear, she drove all the way from Santa Monica, because this was, for her, "one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles."
Canelé is rooted in a sense of "place" which feels authentic. It doesn't have to try hard because it is, simply and elegantly, about excellent food served in a lively, warm  and friendly neigborhood environment.
If you live in west LA, or in Pasadena, or anywhere within driving distance, consider a trip into Atwater Village to experience the warm vibes and great food of Canelé. You won't be disappointed.
PS - As you walk out the door, you will be gifted with a delicious canelé - the restaurant's namesake pastry. We also recommend either the Buena Chica Cheesecake or Chef Aliza Miner's, Gingerbread Molasses Cake for dessert.
Below, Cornina Weible, interviewed -  DineLA.com

Canelé Restaurant


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Self Portrait - rAndom International

Nothing is Permanent

No matter the media, a portrait usually captures a personal moment in time. 
In the work of rAndom International, while the designers capture a fleeting, freeze-framed moment via their Temporary Printing Machine installations, the image presents itself, then fades into oblivion - never to be seen again.
As the blank canvas is studied by the viewer, meaning is pondered. Within moments, viewer and object converge as the viewer's likeness, as if by magic, is transferred onto the blank space.
initially feeling exhilaration at the thought of being in collaboration with the artist - the feeling soon dissolves - as the image, gradually fading from view, returns the canvas back to its original pristine state. Past and present coalesce in memory.

From rAndom International website:
"The installation questions both the traditional concept and content of the portrait as preserving memory through image making. Rather, it creates an elusive presence of entropy. A self-portrait now becomes a profoundly self-reflexive experience which then illuminates the poignancy of the lost moment. The piece follows an aesthetic of presence and erasure that rAndom has been developing over time through a variety of Temporary Printing Machine installations. A permanent piece has been installed at the BMW HQ in Munich, and different iterations have been shown in the V&A and Scope Art Fair in Miami Beach in 2006. In 2009, rAndom‘s ‘Study For A Mirror’ was accessioned into the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
‘Self Portrait’ has been developed with the generous support of Incubator, which is an alternative platform to initiate and develop new work. ‘Self Portrait’ is the first in a series of special projects that rAndom and Incubator are working on and was inaugurated at rAndom‘s Designer Of The Future exhibition at Design Miami / Basel 2010".

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Michaël Harboun - The Living Kitchen

Michaël Harboun
It begins with vision. Michaël Harboun, a student at Strate College, imagined an environment, namely a kitchen, fabricated out of programmable matter which has both digital and physical advantages. Mr. Harboun states, "Today our environment is populated with physical devices containing digital information. Taking the example of a Smartphone, it is composed of a physical, fixed object into which flows a changing continuity of information. The physical is static, the digital is dynamic. Now, let's imagine a world where physical objects would gain digital abilities - meaning one could change the shape of any object as one would change the contents of a Smartphone."
This technology is now being researched and developed at Carnegie Mellon University and referred to as "Claytronics" - where millions of minutely intelligent robots communicate with each other.
In this simulation of Michaël Harboun's, Living Kitchen, the user touches the wall; pushing, expanding and extruding here or there, to create a faucet, basin, cutting board or dish. 
Upon completion, each self-healing "object" is gently pushed back into place.
Fantasy today, reality tomorrow. The Living Kitchen will be on view at the Saint-Etienne Biennale-International Design 2010.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rene di Rosa: 1919-2010

From the press release:
On October 3, 2010, Rene di Rosa, Founder and visionary, passed away peacefully at age 91.
An inspiration for all of us, Rene lived life more fully than most, and achieved unconventional success in the worlds of art and wine. A passionate and omnivorous art collector, he became equally renowned for his famed Winery Lake vineyards and his engaged philanthropy. In 1960, he purchased 450 acres in the Carneros region of Napa and despite his city roots, embarked on a love affair with the land, becoming a leader in the fight to preserve the region's agriculture and open space.

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake is known for his stylized, architectural clothing. Created within Mr. Miyake's Reality Lab - with inspiration from Computer Scientist, Jun Mitani, and with R+D team, including textile engineer Manabu Kikuchi and pattern engineer Sachinko Yamamoto, the clothing begins as a folded origami-like form. As it unfolds, a dress is revealed.
While "design" is defined as, "a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment or other object before it is built or made", Mr. Miyake and group travel beyond the definition - into its essence - revealing, not only a garment, but something extraordinary.

Theater Design-RFA:Los Angeles

An Architectural Journey

When Ronald Frink (Ronald Frink Architects) first met with Gilbert Cates, Producing Director of the Geffen Playhouse (and renowned producer of the Academy Awards), he had no idea this meeting would lead to the complete redesign and renovation of one theater and the full design of another adjacent, smaller venue.
As with most civic projects, the design architect is grist for a multitude of opinions from staff, board members and patrons. In the end, the current Geffen Playhouse, along with the smaller 120 seat Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater is another vibrant venue for theater goers on the westside of Los Angeles, as well as the greater LA area.
Originally, the structure was built as a Masonic Club. As time progressed, it was sold to Donald and Kirsten Combs, who, along with their architect, A. Quincy Jones, planned the conversion of the building into an innovative mixed-use facility which housed the 498-seat Westwood Playhouse in the ballroom and the Contempo Furniture and Textile Showroom in various other rooms of the building.
In 1993, The Geffen Playhouse Company was formed by Gilbert Cates, and with the support of generous donors, the property was acquired and gifted to UCLA with the proviso that the facility would be used into the future as a live theater.
Like so many buildings constructed in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, this one was in need of major help. In order for the theater to expand its repertoire, the physical building needed to also upgrade and expand. In summary, the scope of the project included the adaptive re-use and substantial renovation, modernization, seismic strengthening and historic restoration of the original building, while introducing a completely new space for a small theater, actors green room, star and chorus dressing rooms and administrative offices.
As with any historic structure, important aspects and elements were restored and maintained. Existing stonework, both on the interior and exterior was preserved and restored. Also, various cornice decorations, decorative columns and ornamental concrete medallions were restored and protected during demolition of non-historical elements. Existing hardwood floors, wrought iron, and light fixtures were also cleaned and restored.
Patrons attending performances prior to  renovation might think the architect, simply, cleaned and redecorated the interiors of the older structure. However, the entire interior space, with the exception of historical elements, was reworked and, in part, excavated; the architect complying with the mandate to improve audience site-lines, while creating a demountable stage with a new understage to support a wide range of productions requirements, such as traps, cross-overs and special effects.
The whole journey, from discussions through completed construction, took several years. And while many patrons have fond memories of the old auditorium,  those and many more will enjoy productions at The Geffen Playhouse far into the future as a result of the beautiful restoration, renovation and addition by Ronald Frink and team, including contractor, Morley Builders.
Hollywood luminaries, such as Annette Bening, Laurence Fishburne, Chris Pine, Mary Steenburgen, Dana Delaney, Alan Cumming, among many others, have performed on one or the other of the Geffen Playhouse's state-of-the-art stages. The Geffen, with its accompanying Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater provides the Westside of Los Angeles with two exciting performance spaces.

Above all, thanks to the vision of Gilbert Cates, The Geffen Playhouse's Board of Directors and the architect, Ronald Frink, the Geffen's renovation and expansion has protected a significant historic and cultural resource in the city of Los Angeles, while giving to the city a very special place for theater.

Below: From deomolition through completion - The Geffen Playhouse and the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater

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