A place where Minnesota's design community can blow its collective mind about creative expression in every medium from websites to landscapes, chocolate to bicycles.

Still Dwelling on Home Studios

Posted: July 28th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: architecture, interiors | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

If you find yourself flipping through the September issue of Dwell magazine be sure to stop on page 79 for a look at a sweet, small studio space at a home in Sweden. Designed by Elding Oscarson the studio is detached from the rest of the home but is connected by an outdoor patio space. This would be a nice arrangement and a very reasonable commute. On page 22 Dwell also purports to have a slide show of “home workplaces” on their website but I can’t find it. Let me know if you do because I’d like to see the collection.


Touch Screen Ap for Automated Logic

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: architecture, design, Interactive, output | Tags: , , | Comments Off

When you work for a big agency you sort of have to take the projects that come your way but it has been really exciting to be steering BrainstormOverload in directions of personal interest. Recently we’ve been working on projects in the cycling, athletic, landscape architecture/urban planning and environmental arenas.
This recently completed project for Automated Logic Corporation falls into the last category. It runs as a kiosk rather than online and it’s the first design work we’ve done for delivery on high definition screens (1080p) which was interesting – also the first touch screen design which was even more interesting. This application called Eco-Screen (built in Flex by Creed Interactive) will be displayed nationally in the energy efficient and LEED certified buildings in which ALC installs super efficient environmental controls.
We were striving for a sophisticated skin that would look and function in a cool way while on display in these high-tech lobbies. Inspired by the iPhone GUI everything is very tactile and dynamic. Modules respond to user input and the graphs are all generated from live data about each building’s energy usage. Layers of each graph can also be turned on and off by the user. This project got even more interesting when the first installation turned out to be a grade school in Texas requiring a skin that is much more icon driven (screens 4 and 5). The entire project was an exciting challenge and ALC was terrific to work with so we wanted to share the results.


Bike Film Festival Goes MIA

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, events, local twin cities | Tags: , | Comments Off

Cycling and the arts will once again demonstrate they go together like chocolate and peanut butter as Twin Cities cyclists descend upon the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Thursday, July 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for an evening of high style bike-related events including selected shorts from the Bicycle Film Festival. (The full 2010 BFF opens Friday at the Cedar Cultural Center).

The entire event is free including bike valet service provided by Freewheel Bike Shop and Dero Bike Racks. The work of Minnesota frame builders will be on display. You can pose with your own bike for photos or create a classic bike poster. Enter to win a Surly Long Haul Trucker bike; a hand-built Traitor Cycles Luggernaut frame, Chrome, and Banjo Brothers commuter bags, Twin Six gear and Nutcase helmets. Linger and listen to the music of ‘A Night in the Box’ or just plan to people and bike watch.
More on the artsmia.org website.
There is a group ride that will leave Gold Medal Park at 5:00 p.m. Or you can ride from wherever you are. Just point your bike in this direction:
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(888) MIA ARTS (642-2787)


St. Paul Bicycle Coalition Logo

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, bikes, design, local twin cities, output | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Cindy and I have been volunteering with the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition (SPBC) to help make Saint Paul a more cycle friendly city. We’re both delighted to be able to contribute something beyond our voices at meetings. You’ve already seen Cindy’s terrific visualizations for the Saint Paul Greenway which we hope some day will connect to the Minneapolis Greenway. It is our hope that our logo design will help rally cyclists to the cause. More information is available on the Facebook page with even more coming on the soon to be launched website.
The logo is a 17 tooth cog representing the 17 District Councils in Saint Paul and is portrayed in hot colors with asymmetrical details to convey the coalitions energy. I chose the cog because it is a distinct part of every bicycle from fixie to recumbent. Certainly the wheel is also a universal component and very emblematic of cycling but it is the cog that translates the rider’s energy into forward motion. In this way it is the perfect symbol for the SPBC as we turn the energy of passionate advocates into forward progress. We hope you’ll join us or join your own local cycling advocacy group. Each person can really make a difference.
I created several alternate configurations to help ensure consistent application by the variety of volunteers needing to satisfy an equal variety of marketing opportunities. Single color and solid versions are also in the works for things like silkscreen applications. Special thanks to Andy Singer and Matt Cole for their insights and advice.


Jim Brandenburg’s Home Studio

Posted: July 9th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: architecture, events, interiors, local twin cities | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

arch-brandenburg-01

Photographer Jim Brandenburg takes his home studio seriously enough that he had David Salmela design it (along with the rest of the house) and it looks like an amazing place to work. The irony of course is that Brandenburg, a renowned wildlife photographer, spends lots of time traveling to spectacular locations outside his studio. This is probably the most classic case of having one’s cake and eating it too that has ever come to my attention and while a lesser man would be jealous I can assure you that I am merely green with envy.

Even if a gorgeous, two story studio bordering the Boundary Waters is not in your budget at the moment now is a great time to listen to the architect himself talk about it. David Salmela will be speaking at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m.. Also speaking will be Tom Fisher who is Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and the author of two books about Salmela’s work. They’ll be signing copies of the first book and talking about the second which is due in spring 2011. It’s sure to be inspiring for anyone in search of quality space. See you there.

arch-brandenburg-02


Envisoning the Saint Paul Greenway

Posted: July 8th, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: bikes, events, landscape architecture, local twin cities, urban planning | Tags: | 3 Comments »

A few months back in my post about the approved Jefferson Avenue Bike Boulevard, I promised an update. I’ve been waiting to post until I see signs of implementation so I’ll save that post until I have some real life photos. Cliffhanger, I know.

In the mean time, there are other excellent bicycle-related efforts happening around the City of Saint Paul. The nascent Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition will have its fourth meeting next week, and the Saint Paul Greenway Committee is working hard to  generate interest in [thus implementation of] a greenway that would bring the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway goodness all the way to downtown Saint Paul. I am working on some renderings for the effort (see that image up there at the top). The City and the dis-banded Saint Paul Bicycle Advisory Board have been working on the Greenway for quite some time and it’s been a long, and at times bumpy, road. Saint Paul Greenway Committee, formed back in September of 2009, is diligently continuing the effort despite the bumps. They’d like you to share your voice, vision and support for this essential urban trail at the upcoming Envisioning the Saint Paul Greenway Event. The Committee will be on hand to answer questions, as will Smart Trips (the awesome Saint Paul-based organization that is helping lead the charge along with a swell group of citizens). We ask you….do you want this:

Or this?

We’ll have more information at the event but here are the essential details:
ENVISIONING THE ST. PAUL GREENWAY
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Linwood Rec Center (860 St. Clair Avenue, Saint Paul 55105)

Please come and join the effort of creating a world-class greenway system in Saint Paul!

Download a pdf of the flyer Smart Trips produced and feel free to print and leave at your local coffee shop. Really, we’d love it.


Sanna Annukka

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: Cindy | Filed under: design, illustration | Tags: | Comments Off

design_sanna annuka_01

I stumbled upon Sanna Annukka’s wooden birds this past winter and I’m still groovin’ on her gorgeous style. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about her work that compels me to go to her website nearly every week to see if there is something new to find. She has mentioned Nordic folklore, and spending summers in Finland as inspiration for her work, and I think the gravitational pull has to do with seeing a story in every one of her prints. In this one below, my mind’s eye sees little girls running and dancing and exploring a vast land full of fjords and forests.

design_sanna annukka_02Certainly that’s what I did as a young girl in Hawaii.

And her fennofolk below…the detail is delicious. The middle one, I like pretending her name is Annika and she’s what I’d look like in two dimensional form.

design_sanna annuka_03

Check out her website or commercial portfolio for more. Perhaps you already have a few of of her designs she did for Marimekko or the band Keane. Some day her work will grace our studio walls but for now, I’ll just continue to visit her website for weekly fjord dreaming.

design_sanna annukka_04


Today in the Studio Garden (08)

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: , | Comments Off

bsol-garden-08

Now that monsoon season seems to have passed and the sun is again in full splendor the daylilies have exploded like so many fireworks – particularly when the filtered morning light shines through them.

Download Desktop
1440 x 900
1920 x 1200