House in Japan mascarades in Transformer guise as a WW II Bunker. Residents still waiting for it to accept living entities


Please. Don’t get me wrong. I gravitate toward minimalism. But, when I came across this posting at DesignBoom regarding a concrete house designed for a couple who collects furniture (please go to the link above and see no evidence of any collection of furniture) it reminded me of the old adage to “make sure to photograph your design before anyone moves in and messes it up…”.

Also, please read the description of the project. I am considering having a weekly post of “Say what?” writing by design blogs describing the project’s design intent and associated quotes pontificating on the merits of the end result.

BTW, just think of the merits of a new film blockbuster using buildings instead of vehicles for the next generation of Transformer movies (staring of course a young and frustrated architect).

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Buy this Book about Dieter Rams, “As Little Design as Possible” It will make you (visually) happy and content.

From Phaidon:

“Dieter Rams, the German industrial designer who was head designer at Braun for over 30 years is finally being profiled by Sophie Lovell in As Little Design As Possible: The Work of Dieter Rams. Published by Phaidon the 240 page book will feature exclusive photographs, illustrations, and treasures from the personal archive of Rams himself. 

Dieter Rams is one of the most influential product designers of the twentieth century. Even if you don’t immediately recognize his name, you have almost certainly used one of the radios, clocks, lighters, juicers, shelves or hundreds of other products he designed. He is famous not only for this vast array of well-formed products, but for his remarkably prescient ideas about the correct function of design in the messy, out-of-control world we inhabit today. These ideas are summed up in his ‘ten principles’ of good design: good design is innovative, useful, and aesthetic. Good design should be make a product easily understood. Good design is unobtrusive, honest, durable, thorough, and concerned with the environment. Most of all, good design is as little design as possible. 

In that spirit, this monograph is as little book as possible. It is a clear, comprehensive and beautiful presentation of Dieter Rams’ life and his work. It is a must-have book for anyone interested in Rams’ work, his legacy, and his ideas about how to live.”

Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles of good design:

1.    Good design is

Good design makes a product useful.

Good design is aesthetic.

Good design makes a product understandable.

Good design is unobtrusive.

Good design is honest.

Good design is long-lasting.

Good design is thorough down to the last detail.

Good design is
environmentally friendly.

Good design is as little design as possible

An overview of his work at Braun and Vitsoe:

Check out this beautiful visual summary of Rams’ new book, “As Little Design as Possible” at September Industry (Pure Ocular Pleasure Biweekly):

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Project – Containers of Hope – Architizer – Empowering Architecture: architects, buildings, interior design, materials, jobs, competitions, design schools


We live in a ‘Convent’ that has a “Art Jury” for all things architectural. Even need permission to change the color of your door…

While the intent is (kinda) understood, the execution for progressive architecture and new building systems are not at all encouraged. In the 1920′s Lilian Rice was an architectural game-changer in the planning and design for Rancho Santa Fe, CA area (with much support from the firm of RIchard Requa and Herber Jackson). I doubt if she would support the notion that all buildings being built over 90 years later should still be expected to duplicate her iconic forms.

The rural character of our Southern California area would welcome a variety of new architectural building systems, to include this example of “container” design. Unfortunately, this will be a long time coming for ‘Art Jury’ and building code compliance.

From Architizer:

“Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta dreamed of living in their fantastic property 20 minutes outside of the city of San Jose, Costa Rica; where they could be with their horses and enjoy the natural landscape.

They made the very bold choice of exploring with me the possibility of creating a very inexpensive house made out of disregarded shipping containers that allowed them to be dept free and live the life they always dreamed of…”

Link above to site will show over 25 images of the site, architecture and interior.

BTW, a nice overview of Ms. Rice at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society:

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“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”


Buckminister Fuller, July 12, 1985 – July 1, 1983

In the early seventies Bucky Fuller visited the Architecture school for a lecture when I was a student at the University of Illinois. I remember having to climb a tree and look inside the lecture hall in order to see him talk. The place was standing room only, and very hot. One idiosyncrasy of his (documented below at Wikipedia) that caught my eye was that he  was wearing three watches. He spoke nonstop for over 3 hours without notes, and it was one of the most amazing talks I have ever experienced. 

“Fuller was a frequent flier, often crossing time zones. He famously wore three watches; one for the current zone, one for the zone he had departed, and one for the zone he was going to. In this respect he follows the jazz drummer Buddy Rich, who in the Pete Atkin / Clive James song “The Wristwatch for a Drummer”, also “wears three, one on the right wrist, one on the left, and the third one around his knee”. The wristwatch in question is the imagined “Omega Incabloc Oyster Accutron 72” for which “Buckminster Fuller designed the case” Fuller also noted that a single sheet of newsprint, inserted over a shirt and under a suit jacket, provided completely effective heat insulation during long flights.
He experimented with polyphasic sleep, which he called Dymaxion sleep. In 1943, he told Time Magazine that he had slept only two hours a day for two years. He quit the schedule because it conflicted with his business associates’ sleep habits, but stated that Dymaxion sleep could help the United States win World War II.

‘If somebody kept a very accurate record of a human being, going through the era from the Gay 90s, from a very different kind of world through the turn of the century — as far into the twentieth century as you might live. I decided to make myself a good case history of such a human being and it meant that I could not be judge of what was valid to put in or not. I must put everything in, so I started a very rigorous record’

Fuller documented his life copiously from 1915 to 1983, approximately 270 feet (82 m) of papers in a collection called the Dymaxion Chronofile. He also kept copies of all ingoing and outgoing correspondence. The enormous Fuller Collection is currently housed at Stanford University.”

Above from:   Buckminster Fuller – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is a nice overview at Wired of his work, “What We Can Learn From Buckminister Fuller:.


Fuller’s sketch for the US Pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal. 

“Sure, he’s famous for giving us the geodesic dome — the super-lightweight building that gets stronger as it gets bigger — but Buckminster Fuller’s legacy extends way beyond the soccer-ball structure. He was an avid futurist who tinkered in mathematics, engineering, environmental science, architecture, and art, all the while keeping notes in a mad-scientist-style filing system he called the Dymaxion Chronofile. There was nothing mad, however, about Fuller’s objectives: He just wanted to invent devices that would help humankind and protect the planet (which he dubbed, no kidding, “Spaceship Earth”).”

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How would it be if your body was delocalized in space? Be in 2 Places at the same time? Isn’t this the norm for designers? @TEDTalks

Aaron O’Connell
Aaron O’Connell is the first person to experimentally induce and measure quantum effects in the motion of a humanmade object, bridging the quantum and classical worlds. 
Full bio and more links

Since a kid I have been fascinated by the concept of being in 2 places at one time, and sometimes feel that I have obtained this task during a few business meetings…Anyway, this talk by Aaron O’Connell is interesting as he summarizes the concept of how the mind perceives ‘things’ and the potential of viewing objects that may be existing in another space (as defined by quantum physics). A whole new take on the Zen phrase, “Everywhere you go, there you are…”.

From TED 2011

“Physicists are used to the idea that subatomic particles behave according to the bizarre rules of quantum mechanics, completely different to human-scale objects. In a breakthrough experiment, Aaron O’Connell has blurred that distinction by creating an object that is visible to the unaided eye, but probably in two places at the same time. In this talk he suggests an intriguing way of thinking about the result.”

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