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Anna Fisher

Posted by Rob

AnnaFisher_100

Apparently this photo went viral a few months back, but I’ve just stumbled upon it and had to share it. There’s something about it that is truly mesmerizing. She’s certainly not hard on the eyes, but when you consider the NASA era it’s from, the photo takes on an especially inspiring and poignant tone.

Anna holds the title of “first mother in space.” She joined NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1978, and a little over a year prior to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Anna flew aboard Discovery on it’s second flight on November 8, 1984. The photo was taken for a Life Magazine story.

After the Challenger explosion she did not fly again, but she continues to work to this day at NASA as a station CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) on the Orion Project.

620 Reading room at Vitsoe

Posted by Rob

In celebration of their comprehensive re-engineering of Dieter Rams’s 620 Chair Program, the Vitsoe shop in New York will be launching the ’620 Reading Room’ with a party tonight. This will continue through Monday, with books curated by neighbor Dashwood Books, and free Intelligentsia coffee pour-overs by Gasoline Alley Coffee.

If you are in New York for ICFF this week, this will offer quite a contrast to the usual ICFF grind and noise.

L.A. 2013

Posted by Rob

The Los Angeles Times recently revisited their ‘L.A. 2013′ cover story from April 3, 1988 by making a PDF of the story available for download.

One of the ‘futurists and experts’ they spoke to for the story was the legendary Syd Mead, whose drawings accompanied the piece.

Lots of bold predictions of course, like your usual 200 story ‘mega rises’ and a sports utility vehicle that can adapt from a 2 seat sports car into a beach buggy via a ‘plug-in module.’

But the one that stuck with me gets dropped right in the first paragraph: “about a third of the residents have already headed out to their jobs, as required by Los Angeles County’s mandatory staggered work plan.”

YES PLEASE.

As an LA resident who had a horrible run-in with the 405 yesterday, I’m all for it. Make it so.

Side note: Tesla’s Elon Musk suggests we double deck the 405… thoughts?

Sheats/Goldstein evolution

Posted by Rob

The Sheats Goldstein house might be the most frequently photographed piece of property in LA (if you haven’t seen it on innumerable blogs like Curbed, or from the video walk through Charles posted awhile ago, you probably remember it from The Big Lebowski)—so obviously, I jumped at the chance to take a tour of the iconic house with architect Duncan Nicholson, who has been restoring and adding to the property since the ’90s. And as much as I tried to restrain my trigger finger, I took a ridiculous amount of photos to add to the home’s documentation—apologies for the seemingly endless scroll above.

Obviously, it’s an amazing house—but I’m most interested in its evolution through the ages. James Goldstein purchased the house in 1972, and then re-hired John Lautner to improve upon the house (and undo some questionable renovations)—the torch was passed to Nicholson, who has been carrying on the work to date.

Duncan started working for Lautner in 1989, and one of his first projects at the firm was to collaborate with James Turrell on his ‘Skyspace’ for the property. The corresponding concrete decks and walkways he designed that connect the house to the Skyspace take you on a near surreal procession through the rain forest-like gardens on the property.

He was also the project architect on the living room installation and designed most of the furniture, some of which was of course immortalized on film when The Dude sat there drinking his laced White Russian.

The plans for the most ambitious phase of the project, including a guest house, tennis court, nightclub and terrace, were shelved for almost 10 years after Lautner passed in 1994. Work on the project resumed in 2003 and has been ongoing ever since. Currently under construction is the nightclub that lives beneath what is arguably the most stunning tennis court in existence. All components of the addition make use of poured-in-place concrete, staying true to Lautner’s original aesthetic, one that somehow manages to make concrete feel warm and organic.

Thanks to David John for the introduction and many facts via his You Have Been Here Sometime interview with Duncan Nicholson.

Ward Roberts: Courts

Posted by Rob

Beautiful photos by Ward Roberts depicting various courts integrated into the urban landscape in near chameleon ways.

When living in Hong Kong I remember being amazed at how much area was offered up for court/pitch activities, given how short they are on space. Many of these are most likely far above street level, and while not necessarily “green areas,” they give back crucial space that was taken by construction.

Le Corbusier would be proud.

Via Freunde von Freunden.