Port Lust

I’m a constant real estate voyeur, despite being a long ways from homeownership– This week, I could not stop clicking on listings for empty waterfront lots in small port cities. I think a port might be the best place for me to straddle my opposing desires for both fresh (quiet) air and enough downtown bustle to keep me energized. A little floating home inspiration for an anchor-friendly lot:

1/ Amsterdam  2/ Finland  3/ Japan  4/ Lagos  5/ Maine  6/ Norway  7/ Ontario  8/ Seattle  (with a houseboat design how-to from the architect) 9/ Texas

SHOP | Spring at Last

Spring really took its sweet time this year in both Chicago and New York. Lots of travel, major project culminations, and professional jumps in the air this season! Remembering to keep a cool head as all kind of pent-up ideas from the last year start to grow lives of their own. Also diligently keeping my table full of fresh cut flowers these days – a little Bouqs offer below to get in on some blooms! Just sent my extra set of stems to my horticulturalist-gardener mom, and the blossoms are as top notch as they look in the pics.

1/ Staying storm-proof  2/ Tenderly  3/ Rainboots that don’t look like rainboots  4/  Mineral elements  5/ Pretending I’m French  6/ Studio Landline never waits for Memorial Day  7/  Long weekends though  8/ The versatile waistcoat  9/ Flowers for you, flowers for your bff (Links to BOGO offer)

Sebastian Foster: Gallerist for the Digital Age

Buying things online makes our lives easier almost all of the time. But buying contemporary art online? As an Art History & Criticism major and former Chelsea gallerina, I used to disdain the idea. Sebastian Foster’s print gallery completely changed that. I fell in love with Bask by Tiel Duncan when I saw it on Design Milk back in December. It’s now hanging in my kitchen, and I just hung Nest 1 by Britt Bass Turner in my soon-to-be-shared rehabbed studio space. The prints arrived in lusciously rich colors on thick high quality rag paper. Although original paintings by these artists are four to five figure investments, most of the prints go for under $75 in standard easy-to-frame sizes. Feels like a huge improvement over the meh event posters I replaced, and compared to anything similarly priced from a big home decor retailer, they have so much more soul.

Sharing my favorites, but there are dozens to chose from. –Kristen
1/ Bask by Tiel Duncan  2/ Nest 1 by Britt Bass Turner  3/ Thermally Induced by Methane Studios  4/ From afar by Lisa Golightly  5/ Green House by Jeremy Miranda  6/ 213212 by Susan Logoreci  7/ Wagon by Jessica Brilli  8/ Waiting #71 by Brett Amory  9/ On deck by Leah Giberson

Urban Design | Art + Play

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel made a press announcement today about the 77 new playgrounds going in this spring– I’ve been working like crazy on the designs for about half of them. In tandem with the mayoral announcement, here’s some recent inspiration for creative and playful urban spaces. Indian Boundary Nature Play Center (# 5), was an amazing first project to work on with the Park District last summer. It’s Chicago’s prototype for more adventurous parks.

1/ Timber Swing (Unbuilt), Ireland  2/ The Longest Bench, Sussex, UK  3/ Playground Crochet, Sapporo, Japan  4/ Appearing Rooms, Southbank Centre, UK  5/ Indian Boundary Nature Play Center, Chicago, IL  6/ Grosse Tete, Grigny, France  7/ Walker on the Green Minigolf, Minneapolis, MN   8/ Birds’ Nests, Vail, CO  9/ Slide Mantras, Sapporo, Japan

Packing | Nordic Skiing

I may be alone on this one, but Winter is my favorite season to be outdoors. Good snow and pine trees are critical ingredients though! I’m getting ready to counter the freezing winter chill with a weekend Nordic skiing  in Door County on the shores of Lake Michigan.  [Reviews after the break.]

1/ The skis  2/ The best base layer  3/ Embracing the 70s (similar)  4/ Down  5/ The best ski sock  6/ Waterproof leggings (?!)  7/ Poles from Norway  8/ The best “bass” layer  9/ Not-your-7th-grade Fleece

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Earlier this month, the University of Chicago Arts Incubator invited me to  lead an architecture and urban design workshop for teen arts leaders from throughout the city.  Teenagers are mind-blowing.

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