Last weekend, Kim and I spent some time wandering around Andersonville. We stumbled upon Scout, one of many amazing shops along Clark. I was immediately drawn to the artwork of Michael McGuire (my new favorite Chicago artist). I particularly love his pencil and India ink drawings that combine/confuse nature and urbanism.
You can dive deep into his work, process and philosophies on Michael’s blog, but if you want to see his work in person (which I highly recommend), it can be found at Scout or Las Manos Gallery.
Over the weekend, we watched a documentary on Charles and Ray Eames called Eames: The Architect and the Painter (available on Netflix). It gives great insight into who they were as individuals and as a couple. Kyle and I have always known them for their furniture, but didn’t realize they had done other things like reinventing the splint for wounded soldiers during WWII and making films — one film being the Power Of Ten:
Do you remember this? We had no idea they did this film. It immediately brought us back to Junior High and watching it in class. I hadn’t seen it since. And look! The picnic people are right by Soldier Field.
This documentary is really inspiring for us. We never thought we’d be a husband and wife team at work… it just happened. So seeing another husband and wife team like Charles and Ray just hits close to home for us. The film lets you in to their relationship, which had its good times and bad, but he needed her just as much as she needed him. Together, they produced brilliant work that was both structurally sound and aesthetically beautiful.
Watching the film reminded me of British-born Andrew Byrom (above, with his wife and son), another thinker and designer who is greatly influenced by the Eames. Andrew creates experimental typefaces out of things like Band-Aids, drinking straws, steel railings, neon lights and kites. He’ll see something while out in the world and it will remind him of a letter… like when he looks at a chair, he sees a lowercase h. At some point he wonders what the rest of this alphabet will look like. And so begins his process of designing the typeface and usually building a 3D form to go along with it.
To hear more about Andrew’s process, check out his TED talk at UCLA last year. To get a glimpse of his more personal side, this interview is a great read. I was lucky to have Andrew as a design professor during his 6-year stint at NIU. He now splits his time between teaching at California State University, creating experimental typefaces, designing for various clients and playing with his 3 sons.
Thanks to Ohn Ho for sharing the interview with Andrew Byrom
We spent the weekend up in Wisconsin with our good friends, Brenda and Dave along with their 8-year-old son, Daniel. Brenda had the brilliant idea to see Spring Green’s 3 main attractions all in one weekend—Cave of the Mounds, House on the Rock and Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright’s home). The log cabin we rented was decorated from top to bottom with 28 taxidermied animals, bunk beds (for Daniel) and a ping pong table! I remain the undefeated champion of ping pong.
My favorite thing we saw was the House on the Rock. Every time you turn a corner, you don’t know what to expect. I’m fascinated by Alex Jordan’s love of carpet—it was everywhere. He carpeted ceilings, railings, pillowcases and even used it around the base of trees as if it were moss. His collections of automated musical instruments were incredible. There were countless rooms filled with orchestras of instruments that were hooked up to play by themselves by inserting tokens. Here are some moments from our trip that were caught on pixels.
Cave of the Mounds
House on the Rock – Infinity Room
House on the Rock – Creepy Dolls
House on the Rock – 7up Collection
House on the Rock – Old Optometrist Tools and Room
House on the Rock – Carpeted wall with automated instruments built in and framed.
After spending a full day at House of the Rock, we challenged Daniel to run from the road to the house, approximately 1/2 mile. He did it and without stopping!
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin
Breakfast at Red Rooster Cafe on our way home.
The Window Seat is a place to sit back and observe the world around us. This site is a collection of things that inspire us, affect us in some way, or simply make us smile.
The Window Seat is curated by Knoed Creative, a Chicago-based design studio.