INDUSTRIAL SCARS

design squish blog
Patterns in waste ash at coal- fired electrical generation station, Moncks Corner, SC

design squish blog

Aerial view of bauxite waste

design squish blog

Removal of Overburden from Blasting Kayford Mountain, West Virginia

Photographs by J Henry Fair


CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,
(3) Comments

January 15, 2011

STILLNESS

earth, photography, nature, design squish blog

forest, photography, design squish blog

earth, design squish blog

field, photography, design squish blog

field, photography, design squish blog

design squish blog

Photographs by Helena Kvarnstrom


CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,
(2) Comments

CHILDREN OF THE FOREST

children book, children of the forest

children book, children of the forest

children book, children of the forest

Children of the Forest by Elsa Beskow - my favorite childhood book.


January 04, 2011

MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES

botanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, design squish blogbotanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, vdesign squish blog

botanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, vdesign squish blog

botanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, design squish blogbotanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, design squish blog


botanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, design squish blogbotanic illustration, moth, butterflies, eugene seguy, design squish blog

Moths and butterflies illustrations by Eugene Seguy


December 22, 2010

KUDZU

kudzu, photography, art, rob hann, design squish blog

kudzu, photography, art, rob hann, design squish blog

kudzu, photography, art, rob hann, design squish blog

Photographs by Rob Hann. From “The Plant that Ate The South” project.

“Anyone familiar with the American South will know that throughout the summer months large parts of the countryside are swathed in a green leafy plant that will cover anything in its path. It smothers abandoned buildings and drapes over trees, large and small, giving the landscape a magical, dreamlike quality.” - Rob Hann

kudzu, photography, art, rob hann, design squish blog

Kudzu is a plant native to Souther Japan.  Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 and is now common throughout most of the southeastern United States. Kudzu has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually and is considered invasive species.

http://www.robhann.com/project-kudzu.htm


December 16, 2010

FOREST ART, COLLECTIVE ACTIONS

design squish blog

Above slogan was hung between two treetops in the countryside, 1978. It reads: “I do not complain about anything and I almost like it here, although I have never been here before and know nothing about this place”

design squish blog

Collective Actions is an art-group founded in early 70’s in Russia that was part of Moscow Conceptualist Movement.  Collective Actions is responsible for series of art performances and installations in forests and suburban parks outside of Moscow.  They call their happenings “Trips Out of Town”(«поездки за город»)

collective actions, collectivnye deistviya, design squish blog

russian conceptial art, forest installations, slogan forest, design squish blog

Above photo was taken by Collective Actions not far from the “Slogan” installation.

russian conceptial art, forest installations, slogan forest, design squish blog

Above: Twelve canvas paintings by N.Alekseev were sewn together into one single piece, installed in the shape of a tent and left in the forest. 1976.

collective actions, tent, forest installation, design squish blog

tent, installation in the forest, design squish blog

conceptual art and nature, design squish blog

design squish blog

Above slogan installed and left in the forest: “I waited for you at the appointed time and left. You know the road yourself. Come, if you want to see me.”

nature, collective actions, russia, design squish blog

collective acions, art, moscow conceptualism, design squish blog


December 14, 2010

FREE ONLINE SNOWFLAKE LIBRARY

design squish blog

I was happy to find this online snowflake library: The Bentley Collection  Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Thousands of snow crystals available for view online for free:

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog

snow crystals, snowflakes under microscope, snowflakes, design squish blog


December 11, 2010

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR HOLIDAYS

iceland, fog and ice, nature photography by stanislav ginzburg, design squish blog

Fog and Ice, Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland, September 2006 BUY

iceland lagoon, icebergs, nature photography by stanislav ginzburg, design squish blog

Icebergs, Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland, September 2006 BUY

Stanislav Ginzburg recently launched SG Print Shoppe - a place to buy beautiful nature photography from all over the world while benefiting iconic North American wildlife (A ten percent donation from each sale will be made towards creating American Prairie Reserve in northeastern Montana. This future three-million acre wildlife sanctuary will provide an uninterrupted area that will harbor more than 90 species of mammals, 300 birds and over 1,500 kinds of plants. For the first time in a hundred years it will restore migratory routes for pronghorn antelope, grazing fields for bison and will reintroduce entire colonies of prairie dogs and foxes back into their native habitat. )
This is truly the best present for holidays!


http://www.sgprintshoppe.com


Read more about American Prairie Reserve:
http://sgprintshoppe.com/protect-wildlife/

 


November 23, 2010

BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS OR HOW TO MAKE TOYS FROM ACORNS

design squish blog

Above: Moth from various leaves, acorn, rose hip, sticks.

It is autumn and acorns, pine cones, sticks and various seeds are available outside. These are some wonderful illustrations instructing on how to make toys from found natural materials. (Поделки из природных материалов)

Some materials to think about:

design squish blog

Snake from acorns, string and acorn caps:

design squish blog

Cat from deergrass, sticks and maple seeds:

design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Bear from pine cones. (ha-ha)

design squish blog

DIY hedgehog from pine needles and pine cone.

design squish blog

Donkey from acorn, sticke, peaunut, maple seeds.

design squish blog

Goldfish from acorn, oak leaves, maple seeds.

design squish blog

Owls from pine cones.


November 22, 2010

FALL IN PROSPECT PARK

golden tree, prospect park, brooklyn, design squish blog

Golden leaves and trees full of house sparrows in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


house sparrows on a tree, prospect park, brooklyn, design squish blog


house sparrows , vorobej, design squish blog


November 08, 2010

PIGEON HOUSES

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

golubyatnya, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia,design squish blog  design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia, design squish blog  design squish blog

Pigeons need houses too?

Few decades back in Russia, almost every building courtyard had a pigeon house(pigeon loft / dovecote). There were two near where I used to live in Moscow near Molodezhnaya street.  Why? Pigeons symbolize peace? The need to care for environment and others (bird and non-bird friends)? To be used as messengers during war (haha)? White doves, brown, black and regular gray pigeons were trained to fly around the neighborhood in perfect circles.  I loved watching them flying or sitting in their pigeon lofts.  Today most of pigeon houses in Russia are abandoned or demolished.  Reasons: pigeons spread disease but most importantly care for pigeons asks for money and time. Maybe it’s not cool anymore to have pigeon keeping as a hobby..

pigeon house, dovecote, Russia,  design squish blog

“The hobby of pigeon keeping is gaining in popularity in the United States, after having waned within the last 50 years. Both the hobby and commercial aspects of keeping pigeons are thriving in other parts of the world” -Wiki

Read about John Neilko’s flock of 250 pigeons that lives on the roof of the Polonia Democratic Club in Williamsburg, New York - NYMag

 


October 27, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSHUA CITARELLA

climbing an oak tree, design squish blog

Oak Tree, Spring
2010, C-print, 24 x 36”, edition of 5

climbing an oak tree, design squish blog

Oak Tree, Winter
2010, C-print, 24 x 36”, edition of 5

sealed and buried for all time, design squish blog

Sealed and Buried For All Time
2010, C-print, 30 x 40”, edition of 5

Striking photographs by Joshua Citarella. 


October 14, 2010

INSPIRATION….


CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,
(6) Comments

October 09, 2010

FRAGILE FLOWERS: DUTCH PAINTERS AND NATURE DETAILS

design squish blog

Detail from: A Still Life of Tulips and Other Flowers.
Jacob Marrel
1681, Oil on Canvas

design squish blog

design squish blog

Details from: A Glass of flowers and Orange Twig
Abraham Mignon
1660, Oil on canvas


September 16, 2010

EARTH TONES: DESIGN SQUISH’S ETSY ECO PICKS

birch mug, ceramics, pottery, clay


This mug by lenni08 reminds me of where I grew up. There are many birch trees in Russia — it’s considered the national tree.


birch bark necklace, jewelry


This necklace made of birch bark by bettula is inspired by the discarded and unusual. You don’t have to think very hard to figure out which tree is my favorite.


redesign, rotating bike wheel pot rack


When I was growing up, people in Russia did not have a lot of money to buy new wares, so they made belongings out of other objects. To this day I think it is pretty cool to see objects and materials being reused, like this rotating bike wheel pot rack by plaidclad


recycled leather necklace


These beautiful and valuable bits and pieces almost disappeared into the garbage pile forever! Get inspired to recycle by the digit recycled leather necklace by mainichi and shift key typewriter vintage pendant necklace by PreciousPastimes.


restored dresser


This neglected dresser was salvaged and restored by rubyrhino1 and made into a vintage masterpiece.  It reminds me of our summer dacha in Russia.


Read full Design Squish guest Curator post on Etsy:


- Earth Tones: Design Squish’s Eco Picks

 


TREE HOUSES

small treehouse, design squish blog

Read Richard Louv talk on the importance of tree houses and climbing trees:

- Last Child in the Woods: Schoolhouse in a Tree


treehouses, design squish blog

- Richard Louv: Let them climb trees

best tree house,design squish blog


CATEGORIES:   DIY, NATURE,
(3) Comments

September 14, 2010

SCRAP ECOLOGY:  INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL GOERS

design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Shelving/vase system displaying thistles, dried plants and exotic flowers.

Daniel Goers is a local Brooklyn designer, architect and artist who has a show right now called Scrap Ecology at Brooklyn coffee shop K-Dog in Lefferts Gardens.  All pieces are made from reclaimed materials except some lighting components. Daniel has been collecting scrap materials and remaking them into beautiful designs and sculptures for some time now. His other great project is in collaboration with artist Jennifer Wong called Birdtown. Fifty birdhouses were built from recycled materials and installed in Fort Greene:


http://myrtleavenuebirdtown.com/


design squish blog


Above:
Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong.


design squish blog
Above: Birdhouse from Birdtown.

Scrap Ecology aims to rearrange the raw materials of our urban and natural environments into objects with new meaning and purpose. These materials include abandoned shipping pallets from Red Hook, wood cutoffs from carpentry projects, recycled packaging, discarded architectural samples, donated plant stems and foraged specimens from Prospect Park and the mountains of Harriman State Park.


http://dgoers.com


design squish blog


Why reclaimed materials?

New York is a great place to find raw materials to build with.  every day the streets are filled with “trash” that can be so much more. But maybe the best reason is that material is free. The reclaimed material also tends to have more character.


Do you enjoy living in New York? Would you if you had an opportunity move somewhere where there are more trees and less garbage?

Of course, New York is a great place to be a designer but my sculptures do hint at the desire to be closer to nature.  I would love to live in a barn in the mountains but in the meantime I will work to bring nature to people’s homes here.


design squish blog

design squish blog

Above: Lamp made from glass jar moss terrariums.


Why do you think using reclaimed materials is popular today? 

It’s just marketing for many people. I like to believe that myself and many other designers simply see some intrinsic value and potential in the waste around us. What was once a shipping pallet can become a hundred new things, so why cut down another tree?  More people come to this realization and the ‘green’ movement will become less about marketing & more a part of the collective conscience.

 


September 10, 2010

AHH…

vija celmins, design squish blog

I love this painting by Vija Celmins.


CATEGORIES:   ART, NATURE,
(2) Comments

September 09, 2010

FIREFLIES… CAPTURED ON PHOTOGRAPH

capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog

capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog

There are always many fireflies in Upstate New York and New Jersey during summer.
I always try to photograph fireflies but photos never come out as good as these.

capturing fireflies on photo, nature, summer, fireflies glow, design squish blog


CATEGORIES:   photography, NATURE,
(15) Comments

September 04, 2010

NYC COMMUNITY GARDENS IN DANGER

Did you know that the law protecting NYC’s community gardens from being taken over by developers is about to expire?
City officials are working on new rules to protect the gardens, but unless we speak up, those rules may not be strong enough.
I just signed this petition calling on Mayor Bloomberg and City officials to make sure that the new rules PERMANENTLY PROTECT our community gardens from development. Can you take a moment to sign, too?

SIGN HERE

new york city community gardens in danger, neighborhood, design squish blog


September 03, 2010

ANT LOVE

ant organic pillow, nature inspired design, design squish blog

ant pillow, nature inspired, organic cotton, design squish blog

Nature inspired hand printed ants design pillow with organic eco-cotton insert by Bailey Doesn’t Bark.  Not for people who hate ants in their bed or coffee mug:

nature inspired ant design, coffee mug,design squish blog

ant pattern coffee mug, nature inspired deign, design squish blog

Wear this if you absolutely love ants:

ant inspired necklace, ant love, design squish blog


September 02, 2010

FORT TILDEN, BROOKLYN - ARGUABLY ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST BIKED TO URBAN BEACHES IN AMERICA

bike ride to the beach, fort tilden, far rockaway, design squish blog

Fort Tilden beach is located in Fort Tilden Natural Area (Far Rockaway, Long Island) that surrounded by dunes, rosehip bushes, wild grapevines and maritime forest.

“Wide-open and pristine sands, a fresh sea and a rugged beachscape of barnacled bulkheads and sea-softened pilings jutting up out of the sand.  Regulars at Fort Tilden smile to one another as if sharing a great little secret” - New York Times.

hipster bike paradise, the most biked to beach, nyc, design squish blog


“Fort Tilden State Park feels like the city’s best-kept secret—an unspoiled island oasis, tantalizingly close to Manhattan. Even on a weekend at the height of summer, you’ll get a 50-yard stretch of beach to yourself. On weekdays, it’s practically all yours. On a busy day, you might see several families (mostly Russian) picnicking and grilling.  How can this be? Simple: Fort Tilden is so difficult to access that only the most intrepid Robinson Crusoe types dare venture there” - NYMag.

Note: Unless you own a bike!!!!

Directions: Bedford Avenue bike lane ends in Sheepshead Bay where you have to deal with car traffic until the Marine Park bike path begins.  Over the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and you’re there.

the most biked to beach, design squish blog

It can turn into a fun and sustainable weekend.

biker beach, sustainable weekend, new york city, bike friendly, design squish blog

fort tilden, nyc best beach, sustainable weekend, nyc, brooklyn, design squish blog

fort tilden, the most biked to beach in america, sustainable weekend, nyc, design squish blog

Opportunities to chain up a bike end early but no problem you can always take your bike with you on the shore:

fort tilden, far rockaway,  best urban beach in america, sustainable weekend, nyc, most biked to beach, design squish blog

fort tilden, bike to the beach, sustainable weekend, design squish blog

fort tilden, far rockaway,  best urban beach in america, sustainable weekend, nyc, most biked to beach, design squish blog

The sunset viewgasm from Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge on the way back, makes this a perfect bike ride experience. 

fort tilden, far rockaway,  best urban beach in america, sustainable weekend, nyc, most biked to beach, design squish blog

fort tilden, far rockaway,  best urban beach in america, sustainable weekend, nyc, most biked to beach, design squish blog


August 31, 2010

DEREVNYA BOUQET , FROM KONSTANTIN PAUSTOVSKY

wildflower bouquet, russian buket, derevnya, field flowers, design squish blog

“Почти каждый день Феня принорила Петру Ильичу цветы.  Она ходила за цветами в заливные луга и рвала их долго, подбирала все одинаковые: то одну ромашку, то кипрей, то подмаренник.  А когда весна входила в полную силу и всю ночь над лесом не потухала заря, Феня пробиралась в усадьбу к Липецкому и рвала там для Петра Ильича сирень. 

field flowers, bouquet on the windowsill, design squish blog

До чего она была холодная, пахучая, росистая! Прижмешь к лицу пышные ветки  - будто умоешься.  Принесешь цветы, Петр Ильич возьмет за подбородок, поднимет зардевшееся лицо, скажет: “Ех ты, сероглазая!”  - и обязательно чем-нибудь отдарит.  А потом сядет к роялю, заиграет.  сирень вся задрожит, и роса с нее польется прямо на рояль...” - Paustovsky

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August 01, 2010

POEM FOR ASPEN TREES


aspen tree poem, wind full of wantonness, design squish blog


And the wind, full of wantonness,
wooes like lover
The young aspen-trees till they
tremble all over.

- Thomas Moore (From Trees of America)



July 30, 2010

SHEEP POO PAPER

sheep poo paper, environmentally friendly materials, design squish blog

sheep poo paper, environmentally friendly materials, design squish blog

Paper made out of sheep poo.  I personally touched it and it is very very soft.


GARBAGE FIND: TREES OF AMERICA BOOK

trees of america, book found in park slope, design squish blog

trees of america, book found in park slope garbage day, design squish blog

From the book:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I or you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind it passing thro’.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

Christina G. Rossetti


July 26, 2010

BOWERBIRDS

beautiful bowerbirds illustration, drawing, design squish blog

“The most notable characteristic of bowerbirds is their extraordinarily complex courtship and mating behaviour, where males build a bower to attract mates. There are two main types of bowers. One clade of bowerbirds build so-called maypole bowers that are constructed by placing sticks around a sapling, in some species these bowers have a hut-like roof. The other major bowerbuilding clade builds an avenue type bower made of two walls of vertically placed sticks. In and around the bower the male places a variety of brightly colored objects he has collected. These objects — usually different among each species — may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, and even discarded plastic items, coins, nails, rifle shells, or pieces of glass” - Wiki.


SUMMER

summer flowers, upstate new york, harriman state park,

The most cheerful thing I know is the calm, the silence,  which are so delicious,  both in the forest and the fields.

-Jean Francois Milllet

summer flowers, upstate new york


July 19, 2010

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