3 – 3 : : DesignPlan : :

: : DesignPlan : :


Tragedy, calamity and chaos strike indiscriminately…..there is, no knowing.

When events erupt that cause us, as bystanders, to gasp in awe….to grapple with
comprehension of what we are seeing – to become the topic of the day’s commentary….
we, remotely, feel helpless – feel fear – feel ineffective.

Nature, in it’s power, occasionally  overwhelms our senses, distorts our perspective,
and depraves our senses……

Japan, March 11th, 2011……. 03/11/11….. the aftermath, the crisis of consequence,
compel us to act to offer assistance – to succour those in need…..and yet, we are,
ineffectual in the most part – feeling helpless, feeling impotent – incapable to ‘make it, better’….

It is scary….it may become scarier still…..the prospect of a nation’s meltdown, the
prospect of a country vanishing in a cloud of cosmic dust – is terrifying.

And yet, personally, I can’t help but feel – that in facing such dire possibilities,
the rest of the world’s petty problems, may be, finally, put in perspective – as trivial,
as pedestrian and as childish arguments.

Japan is a country of greatness – an enduring spirit of conviction, of cause…… we want, and we wish
it strength and determination – to wrestle the immense odds it is confronted by, and to overcome.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

In an attempt to pay  homage to Canadian Japanese who have impacted our profession
this week’s post features some of the work of Moriyama-Tashima, Architects

Raymond Moriyama, when I was a young  anxious designer in Toronto -was a god.
Even then – in the 1960’6 and the 70’s…..the calibre of work – the class associated
with the firm, was a benchmark to which we all – all my contemporaries – aspired to.

In 1964, Raymond Moriyama won the project to design the Ontario Science Center…..

an awkward and challenging site provoked a most remarkable statement of
determination of spirit overcoming extreme difficulty.

The following photograph is one of the rare shots of the structure as it developed : :

Situated atop an inaccessible ravine, Moriyama took the problem and elegantly wrought
a solution which was unique and awe-inspiring. Few photographs of the architecture
exist…..most focus on the content – on the experience of the Science Center.

However, the design solution commands the vista and yet engages the visitor in
an unequalled experience of engagement with the terrain and its  difficulties.

Over the past 5 decades, Moriyama-Tashima Architects have prevailed – have
produced, outstanding world-class results….all of which are generally focused
on the engagement of the person, with the organ of the architecture…..



I have intentionally chosen not to identify the works as reflected here…….one should embark on a voyage
of discovery of the work and careful craftmanship of Moriyama-Tashima, Architects

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

: : DesignTrek : :

Well, this was good – I enjoyed this….and not even one little annoying Tasmanian devil to
have to deal with…unless you count that annoying sommelier at dinner the other night.
Imagine – the gaul – to actually say, out loud, that Australian wines were better –  actually,
he said ‘superior’ to our great California wines. Poor boy – I hope to think his boss set him

Okay – I’m ready to call it a day……. the spa completely did me in……and you? You feeling it too?
Looking forward to a good night’s rest.

What do you mean we have to get up early? Why? It’s paradise here…..why would I want  to get
up early?

Venice? What about Venice? Tomorrow? No! You’re kidding, right?

Of course I like Venice – I LOVE Venice! But, I’m, you know – tired…..all this travelling
can be quite exhausting…..

Yes…yes – of course – I know, I know …. others would be more enthusiastic….maybe.
No! I don’t want to be ‘left behind’, as you put it…….lord knows what happens to those
you have ‘left behind’ in the past.

Of course I’ll be ready. But – Venice….where exactly in Venice?

Leaning majestically on the banks of the Grand Canal, between Ca’ D’Oro and the Rialto Bridge,
the 14th century Palazzo has been declared a National Monument and still preserves the untouched beauty
of an ancient noble residence. Details are emphasized by a rare preciousness and elegance.
A real treasure: the restoration carefully enhances the original noble features, delighting while evoking an extraordinary history.

The ballrooms and the rooms are home to important artworks, including paintings by the most representative
Venetian painters of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as Sebastiano Ricci, Giambattista Tiepolo, Niccolò Bambini and Pietro Longhi.

A Private Palazzo, a Noble Residence, a Museum, a Luxury Hotel and much more… this all is Ca’ Sagredo.

Ohhhh – sorry I asked.

Well – if it’s that ancient it’s probably a wreck, like – you know? It’s not? Show me – can you show me?

Hold on Buster…..who’s that? We’re not goin’ there…..is that why you want to visit Venice? Va va va voooom!
Oh – yes….now I see….yes, she’s not real. Okay – okay! I’m sorry….but why is she in a picture of the hotel?
A partner? Whaddaya mean, a partner…..whose partner? Ohhhh – you mean like, a store partner. Yeah – okay -that
makes sense…..what other partners? Damiani? Burberry? Others?  Really? Do I get to try stuff on – and maybe keep what I like?

Oh, okay – yes – we’ll go to Venice. Venezia, right?

Wow! Okay – I’m ready….andiamo!


: : DesignAwards : :

“Project raises the bar for Norwegian architecture”

Oslo Opera House in Norway, designed by Norwegian practice SNØHETTA, has been named winner in
the Culture category at the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards).
Oslo Opera House was selected by a panel of some the world’s most distinguished architects,

and renowned industry experts, including Sir Peter Cook. It triumphed over fierce competition
from a shortlist of 16 entries and was awarded the prize for its highly proficient architecture
that realised a complex programme with coherence and clarity.

The judges said: “Oslo Opera House, the anchor project in an urban regeneration scheme,
has already proved highly popular with its local community. The building in its scale,
ambition and quality has raised the bar for Norwegian architecture.”

: : DesignFantasy : :

Out of respect, and a strong yearning for, Spring – I thought we might stretch the inner
child within us…… and plan/build us, a treehouse.

Who hasn’t had such ideas?

Hey Wendy! Wanna get all the guys and bring ’em over to the fort?

We’re gonna have hot dogs and pizza for lunch……

: : DesignProjects : :

I figure, if we are experimenting with treehouses, then why not with other,
unorthodox structural forms – for habitats, for working, for recreation….
These are some of the better inverted pyramid structures in the world….

Odaiba, Japan

Tempe, Arizona

Tiyuguan, China

St. Petersburg, Florida

and, of course, right here in Montreal – for Expo ’67.

Then again, in the world-right-side-up, we have : :

Astana, Japan

: : DesignStuff : :

…and from BIG building stuff, to little building stuff : :

Ryuji Nakamura decided there was a need to ‘magnify’ himself…..to become BIG!
So, with some basic tools such as scissors, razor knife and some stiff carboard,
he created this littleHoue to fit over the webcam on his Mac…..

What fun! Honey! I shrunk the world…..

: : DesignResources : :

Hey! The world’s first truly floating sofa…..using magnetic levitation hidden in the very attractive
polished chrome base, one can now, have their very own, CloudNine……so cool!

By designer D.K. Wei.

: : DesignChallenge : :

Last week I presented a challenge to the readers…..provide the correct answer as to what this is : :

and you would win a DesignPlan t-shirt.

Well – seems everyone was stumped ….. didn’t even have one brave soul hazard a guess.

The images from last week, are lamps made of paper….

http://www.studio-glow.com : :

A studio of two in Grand Isle, Vermont. They make paper from abaca pulp, chosen for qualities of strength,
beauty and a wonderous ability to transmit light to create one-of-a-kind illuminated sculptures as lighting and installations.

They  process abaca paper through a Hollander beater, making sheets in the tradional manner,
allowing the forces of air, wind, gravity and time to complete the work, the forms.

Be sure to check out their web-site – what wonderful forms…..

: : DesignChallenge II : :

Oh heck! Why not? I mean I got all these t-shirts now…..someone’s gotta win ’em.

This one is easier, I promise…… look at the following products and then identify
one of the two facts that are common to all – and I don’t mean the obvious one
that they are made by Apple…..

Okay? Submissions must be received by midnight Saturday night, March 26th. And the first correct
answer wins – choice of white or black t-shirt……

There is, one  acceptable answer…..

Submissions must be e-mailed to:  comments@designplanonline.net

: : DesignProduct : :

…and while on the subject of Apple / MAC, this product just won the Red Dot award : :

LG Electronics subsidiary,  LG Hausys, is Korea’s biggest building and decorative material company.
Its products include a solid surface material called HI-MACS and to demonstrate the “limitless design possibilities”
of the material, LG Hausys teamed up with Korean architect Shi-hyung Jeon to create Horn,
a hand-made iPod speaker dock featuring the smooth, curved shape from which it gets its name.

: : DesignResources : :

And so, we’ll feature HI-MACS this week, as a new resource for all architects, designers…… : :

From the LG web-site : : (http://www.lghimacs.com/about/about_01.jsp)

Whether architects, designers, contractors or private individuals, our range of products HI-MACS® Acrylic Solid Surface appeals 

to everyone wishing to work with a high capacity material as aesthetically pleasing as it is resistant.

Suitable for all kinds of residential and commercial applications,
the HI-MACS® will seduce you by the scope of its utility.
Its exceptional translucence, its different textures and many colors,
its resistance to stains and its hygienic characteristics make it the ideal
material with which to equip the working surface in the kitchen, toilets,
bathroom, hospitals, laboratories, hotels and restaurants. 

This exceptional composite material will give you the opportunity to
create the most attractive and functional shop furniture, well-finished
and hygienic kitchen furniture by virtue of basins and sinks perfectly suited to your daily use.

From bathroom furniture (in particular shower, bath and washbasin) to reception counters, HI-MACS® will be able to satisfy the
most exacting requirements of the designers owing to the unlimited variety of its uses. HI-MACS® will be able to meet the demands
of your very fertile imagination and convert your inexhaustible creativity into reality.
LG Hausys believes in continually trying to surpass one’s best efforts and innovates constantly in order to develop and offer
avant-garde technologies, materials and solutions.

…and finally, to inspire all of us, to be fearless – to be graceful, gracious and exude confidence….
that the world will still be here tomorrow – and we will all have another chance to

make it better……


Michael Moore


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