I have been toying with the idea of creating a post that just sits there for a while and whenever I find something that stops me down and gets me to say ‘cool’, I’d stick it in that post. So this is the first one, chock-o-block full of stuff I think is kinda worth checking out. If you have something that you’ve come across, feel free to send me the links and I’ll check them out. It would be nice to figure out who some of the readers are that read Life of an Architect, even if they do want to stay in the background. You can send me your nominations and links:
bob (at) lifeofanarchitect (dot) com
I promise I won’t embarrass anyone.
Based in Santa Clara, California, for over 25 years Fitzgerald Formliners has been developing and producing some of the most technically advanced liners for concrete form work. One of the things that I like best about their pattern catalog is that they have a great selection of liners that suit the modern residential market. Some of my favorites are forms 16938 – 1.5″ Wide Plank (random lengths), 16020 – Rough Sawn Plank, and 16920 – Random Wood.
Located in Vancouver, Canada, Bocci is a contemporary design and manufacturing house. My favorite item that they have is the bocci 22 line – a complete suite of CSA – and UL approved interior wall accessories that challenge the ubiquitous cover-plate concept. A minimal alternative, 22 is designed to “mud in” directly into drywall, millwork, or any wall surface, without a visible cover plate or trim. Despite being expensive, these outlets can turn a liability into an asset and that alone can justify the cost over your more traditional outlet set-up.
Based in Los Angeles, California and founded in 1997, Soli Architectural Surfaces provides amazing tile products. Their product catalog has a mixture of old-world craftsmanship and new-world technology most all of which can be custom tailored for color, size, finish and thickness. In addition to tiles, they provide other architectural decorative surface finishes in creative and trend setting patterns, geometric shapes and varied materials such as glass, resin, basalt, sodalite and concrete. Visit their website and look for yourself.
Focal Point Lights
I really love it when utility light fixtures are considered and featured in the spaces they illuminate – and Focal Point Lights has lots of really clean, straightforward fixtures. Based out of Chicago, family owned and operated, I think they deliver a fantastic product at a great cost. I am particularly enamored with their collection of linear light fixtures. Utilitarian and beautiful.
If you read Life of an Architect very often, you know that I just bought a new camera and what I went with was the Nikon D90. I did a ridiculous amount of research and read umpteen billion product and users reviews before settling on the D90. It seems to straddle the line between your straightforward point and shoot camera and one that a professional might choose to make a living. So far I am loving this camera. I take pictures of buildings -wide vista shots and close-up details – while at the same time, I use this camera for functions at my daughters school. If you are looking for a camera that is as easy to use and a point and shoot, but one that has the ability to give you some creative control (if you want), this is the camera for you.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Cyra DuQuella crafts decorative ceramic art tiles using old world methods of tubelining and cuerda seca. All of their art tiles are hand-crafted and they specialize in Arts & Crafts, Bungalow, Art Nouveau and Art Deco tile. Creating tile like this is a lost art and is technically very demanding and it is very cool stuff.
EZY-Jamb Trimless Door Frame
Manufactured by Studco Building Systems US, LLC, EZY-Jamb is a fully adjustable split type jamb with perforated sides that allows the jamb to be set and finished with wall compound resulting in a clean modern look. We just specified this system for a weekend house and I am anxious to see how it turns out. We typically have other ways of achieving this look where the success depends more on the skill of the contractor then the proper installation of a clever product. Studco has a whole line of complimentary products to go along with the jamb system – they include EZY-Cap and EZY-Reveal.
Element Lighting, a brand of Tech Lighting, is a line of of fully adjustable (tilt, pan rotation and lens rotation lock) and fully recessed fixtures with frame-less housing. This means that you can forgo the goof-ring of typical fixtures and when you are design modern projects, this is a very good thing. These fixtures are really slick and they come with a full compliment of sizes, shapes, baffles and colors. Definitely cool.