Thursday, May 01, 2008


This week's selection of the curious, the intriguing, and the thought-provoking. Bon appétit!

Finn Juhl Exhibition
Danish architect Finn Juhl (1912–1989) is regarded as one of the greatest furniture designers of the 20th century. He was a pioneer figure within Danish furniture design and the Danish Modern movement, along with Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, and Børge Mogensen. The house where Finn Juhl lived and worked is now a museum, and has just opened to the public. Via arcspace.

All About Nothing
A blog of random images both curious and fascinating. Perfect for anyone suffering from creative block.

The Sun King's Secret Diaries - Not.
The author of a new biography of Louis XIV's mistress based part of her book on what appeared to be a previously undiscovered source: the secret diaries of the Sun King himself. Turns out what she quotes is in fact the 1998 book Le Journal secret de Louis XIV by French academic François Bluche, a book imagining what a diary by Louis XIV may have been like, based on pieced together scraps from historical documents. Not just unbelievably sloppy research (did she not bother to read the dust jacket of Bluche's book?!?), but a reminder to be an informed reader, too. Via Andrew (thanks!)

Mark Bennett
Artist Mark Bennett draws detailed architectural floorplans of the homes of cartoon and film characters, such as the Addams Family house, the Jetsons' groovy futuristic aerie, and Jeannie's home from the TV series I Dream of Jeannie. Pop culture fun.

Nature as Designer
Fascinating National Geographic article on biomimetics, the science and art of looking to nature for design inspiration. Lots of mind-blowing ideas, some of which you'll be familiar with as end product: did you know that velcro was inspired by observing the way burrs stick to a dog's fur? Via Cindy (thanks!)

The Book Design Review
Joseph Sullivan casts a shrewd designer's eye over book cover design (old and new). Insightful and addictive.

Dan Dare and Modern Architecture
Jonathan Glancey of the Guardian discusses how the 1950s British sci-fi comic strip hero Dan Dare influenced modern architecture. Be sure to check out the slide show, too.

The lovely photograph above is from the portfolio of stylist Christine Rudolph, discovered on the beautiful follow studio blog.

Armchair Traveler: Morocco

Welcome to a new series on automatism! The Armchair Traveler will feature photos from my archive (or other sources) that capture moments of beauty from around the world. Today it's a man from D'el Kelaa in southern Morocco, a village famed for its damask roses, preparing the rose petals that will eventually be used in essential oils, lotions, and other beauty products. He must smell wonderful at the end of the day. Which reminds me ... now that the Body Shop is no longer carrying Damask Rose perfume oil, I'll need to find another source. Any recommendations? (photo by Béatrice Chauvin, for Marie Claire Maison)
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