My Helium Heart

Observations in intention / elegance / interaction / patterns

Curated by Online Experience Designer Elise Henley

Authenticity: Actions over Words

My thoughts on authenticity as an action:

Imagine a man walking down the street. To everyone he passes he says, “Hello! I’m an honest person.” Now imagine another man walking down the street. As he’s walking he notices a $5 bill drop from the pocket of a passer-by. He retrieves and returns the money to them.

The first man says he’s honest. The second man examples it. Given the opportunity, the first man may be honest as well. But who can say?

Brands become authentic when they no longer praise the valor of the virtues, but show living examples of those virtues at work—and their impact upon the lives of others.

Love the playful colors and geometric forms.

From Design Milk:

The latest collection from the Paris-based design team of Colonel, made up of Isabelle Gilles and Yann Poncelet, features two lamps, a table and a bench, and updated versions of two classics. The summery collection was inspired by the aesthetics of outdoor furnishings complete with playful colors and simple forms.

The Dowood lamp is made up of a painted metal base with a sycamore shade that’s painted with bright geometric forms. Available in two sizes with three color stories for each size.

Restraint

My thoughts on restraint as a means of pushing limits:

Restraint has to be one of the most underestimated attributes in both design and life. To take something only so far because you know it shouldn’t go any further. To know that your abilities aren’t validated by the exhaustion of your efforts but on knowing when and where to invest those efforts.

Limits are often seen as things to be tested, pushed, or broken. Shackles on the imagination. But knowing the “how” doesn’t inform the “why.” Pushing the limit doesn’t mean doing more, adding more, or getting somewhere faster. Restraint is the key to pushing limits. Doing the right things for the right reasons to get the intended outcome.

It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity.

Kathleen D. Vohs, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota on the purpose behind messiness:

Not long ago, two of my colleagues and I speculated that messiness, like tidiness, might serve a purpose. Since tidiness has been associated with upholding societal standards, we predicted that just being around tidiness would elicit a desire for convention. We also predicted the opposite: that being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.

One such experiment separated forty-eight research students into either messy or tidy rooms. The students were told to think of new uses for Ping-Pong balls and to write down as many ideas as they could.

When we analyzed the responses, we found that the subjects in both types of rooms came up with about the same number of ideas, which meant they put about the same effort into the task. Nonetheless, the messy room subjects were more creative, as we expected. Not only were their ideas 28 percent more creative on average, but when we analyzed the ideas that judges scored as “highly creative,” we found a remarkable boost from being in the messy room — these subjects came up with almost five times the number of highly creative responses as did their tidy-room counterparts.

On the convergence of messiness with the minimalist trend in contemporary office spaces:

Our findings have practical implications. There is, for instance, a minimalist design trend taking hold in contemporary office spaces: out of favor are private walled-in offices — and even private cubicles. Today’s office environments often involve desk sharing and have minimal “footprints” (smaller office space per worker), which means less room to make a mess.

On cultivating innovation:

At the same time, the working world is abuzz about cultivating innovation and creativity, endeavors that our findings suggest might be hampered by the minimalist movement. While cleaning up certainly has its benefits, clean spaces might be too conventional to let inspiration flow.

Read the full post: It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity.

Illustration by Eda Akaltun for Herman Miller’s Then x Ten exhibition celebrating the power of the poster.

From Eda Akaltun:

The ‘Then’ component of the exhibition celebrates Herman Miller’s history by bringing together a special series of posters from their archives, hand picked and curated by Steve Frykholm. These hang alongside ten new posters created by leading contemporary artists from around the world, specially commissioned to create a new artwork that references the Herman Miller brand. I was honoured to be within a very talented roster of people including Felix Pfaffli, Kam Tang, and Craig&Carl.

I was given Charles and Ray Eames’ Molded Plywood chair to illustrate. I designed the poster to be screen printed in 5 colours at the end, and the dimensions are 90 x 120 cm.

/ hat tip Margaret Almon on Pinterest

The Case Study Houses were sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine which commissioned major architects to build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the US housing boom following WWII with the return of millions of soldiers. Located in West Hollywood this is Case Study House #21(B) - the Walter Bailey House - designed by Pierre Koenig (shown in the photo) and completed in 1958. Photo: Julius Shulman
MID CENTURY MODERN on Facebook

The Case Study Houses were sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine which commissioned major architects to build inexpensive and efficient model homes for the US housing boom following WWII with the return of millions of soldiers. Located in West Hollywood this is Case Study House #21(B) - the Walter Bailey House - designed by Pierre Koenig (shown in the photo) and completed in 1958. Photo: Julius Shulman

MID CENTURY MODERN on Facebook

Morning Sun print by Inaluxe.
From Inaluxe:
Morning Sun print is part of our Blossom range. Inspired by all things botanical, and in particular - spring.
This is a reproduction giclee print taken from the original mixed media collage. Professionally printed to gallery standard on 300gsm velvet matt art paper with Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks, on A4 size paper, with a white border surround. Printed area is sized to fit in an 8” x 10” matt.
/ hat tip Diane on Pinterest

Morning Sun print by Inaluxe.

From Inaluxe:

Morning Sun print is part of our Blossom range. Inspired by all things botanical, and in particular - spring.

This is a reproduction giclee print taken from the original mixed media collage. Professionally printed to gallery standard on 300gsm velvet matt art paper with Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks, on A4 size paper, with a white border surround. Printed area is sized to fit in an 8” x 10” matt.

/ hat tip Diane on Pinterest

The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band plays “Con Alma” (1968). An essay in sophistication.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality.

Yoko Ono

Love this! How much more kitschy can you get?

From No Pattern Required:

This is the Kuba Komet from Germany, and I am totally in love. The KUBA Corporation manufactured the Komet from 1957 to 1962 in Wolfenbuttel, West Germany. These were kind of an early version of the entertainment center, as there were 8 speakers embedded in this along with a record player, a radio, and a TV tuner in the  bottom cabinet. For an extra charge you could also get a early version of a type of tape recorder and a Remote control with UHF tuner!

Another cool feature of these sets was the ability to swivel the top as you can see in the above picture. Komets were not small by any means. The set stands approx. 5′ 7″ tall, it’s over 7′ wide and weighs about 300 pounds. It cost approximately $700 – $1,250.00 US back then, which at that time – well that was a BOAT LOAD of money.

/ hat tip Daisy’s Attic Retro and Vintage on Facebook

Why Kitchens are Better Than Conference Rooms

CEO Tim Brown on food as a central part of IDEO’s creative culture:

One of the first things visitors notice when they visit IDEO is the food. It’s everywhere. Some might look at our breakfast spread piled high with bagels, cereal, granola bars, and coffee and think: typical Silicon Valley gimmick providing free food to keep people captive at work. But food represents much more than an employee perk here—it’s a central part of our creative culture.

The kitchen as a place to collaborate:

All of our offices have spacious kitchens rather than cafeterias. This is an important distinction. Employees eat food that’s prepared for them in cafeterias. Families and cooks make food together in kitchens. Outside of our tool shops, the kitchens are our most-used build spaces. We host cooking classes, brew homemade beer, and compete in food contents—Stuff-on-A-Stick, anyone?

Forgoing the conference room:

While most of the work happens in project rooms with dedicated teams, we’re always nudging people back to the kitchen to decompress and get inspired. We forgo the conference room and instead hold all-studio meetings around communal tables.

I think my heart just skipped a beat.

Read the full post: Why Kitchens are Better Than Conference Rooms

Located in New York, is Elliot Erwitt House, designed by architect Roy Johnson and completed in 1961. The home’s interiors were designed by George Nelson Associates and is furnished almost entirely with Herman Miller pieces.
MID CENTURY MODERN on Facebook

Located in New York, is Elliot Erwitt House, designed by architect Roy Johnson and completed in 1961. The home’s interiors were designed by George Nelson Associates and is furnished almost entirely with Herman Miller pieces.

MID CENTURY MODERN on Facebook

Wikipedia refers to knolling as “the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization.” I absolutely love this!

From Jeannie Jeannie:

I was pretty thrilled to find the Things Organized Neatly tumblr a few months ago, but only recently came to the realization that the best of the best out of those knolling photos were all taken by Portland-based photographer Jim Golden. He has a solid collection of perfectly knolled objects (read up on the skill of knolling!) and its a delight to see large collections of say, 8 track tapes being laid out in such a methodical way.

Each collection is a delicious snapshot of colors, texture, and variety. You can buy prints here.

To Be Authentic Is To Be Imperfect

Optimist, author and trained ethnographer Simon Sinek on perfection:

Perfection comes out of molds or off assembly lines. Things made by nature or by hand are imperfect. It is their flaws that make these objects unlike any other of their kind. It is their imperfections that make these things unique and beautiful. The same is true for people.

He goes on:

Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections.

In closing:

Great leaders don’t try to be perfect, they try to be themselves.  And that’s what makes them great.

Couldn’t agree more.

Read the full post: To Be Authentic Is To Be Imperfect

/ hat tip Swiss Miss

Architecture for Dogs is a project by Japanese graphic designer and curator Kenya Hara to explore the idea of designer doghouses.

Wallpaper.com reviews the project:

… in collaboration with a star-studded cast of designers and architects from America, Europe and Japan, this online venture supplies free blueprints for 13 different DIY doghouses, each one earmarked for a particular breed.

On the project’s curation:

Building on the ‘man’s best friend’ bond, he [Kenya Hara] started by matching designers to dogs, choosing only small breeds that like to live inside. Some are random pairings, such as the Dachshund with architects Atelier Bow-Wow and the Toy Poodle with product designer Konstantin Grcic, but others are special requests, like architect Toyo Ito who wanted to build for his own Shiba, and Kengo Kuma who was keen to make a new home for a client’s Pug.

The result is a unique collection of doghouses that take into account the breed’s physical characteristics, temperament and health concerns, creating a greater connection between the dog and their owners.

/ via THEARTISTANDHISMODEL