Creative Journal

25 Innovative Ideas Shaping the Future of Design

from Interior Design, 2/21/2018

A pattern of innovation is afoot.

1. Easton Helsinki by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects Empowers Car-Heavy Locale

The freeway-riddled neighborhood of Itäkeskus in Helsinki, Finland, was in need of a little social glue: something that sparks joy in its residents as well as entices commuters to venture off the exit ramp. Enter Easton Helsinki, a 710,000-square-foot shopping center with community spirit. Read more.

2. Print Your City! Designs Chair From 100 Pounds of Plastic Waste

Architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki, founders of 2-year-old Dutch studio the New Raw, set out to tackle a mounting problem: the proliferation of plastic detritus, of which only 9 percent is currently recycled. “Plastic has a major design flaw,” Sakkas states. “It’s only used for a short time, but lasts forever.” Read more.

3. Mario Filippetto Architetto Gives Modern Refresh to 18th-Century Milanese Chapel

Reverence is the theme in any house of worship. In the case of the tidy Votive Chapel, reverence takes on double meaning: religiously as well in regard to the 18th-century masonry structure it replaced. Read more.

4. Kelly Harris Smith’s WantedDesign Installation Recasts Felt as Space-Maker

As co-founder of FilzFeltKelly Harris Smith is well schooled in the eco-friendly properties of the material. Now an independent designer and creative director, the textile trendsetter managed to wring even more possibility out of the cloth when she was invited to create a site-specific installation during WantedDesign 2017 in New York. Read more.

5. Rooftop Oasis by V Studio Enlightens Beijing’s Golden Resources Mall

No one would ever guess that this oasis exists on the roof of Beijing’s enormous Golden Resources Mall—at 6 million square feet, it’s nearly twice the size of the Mall of America. But the indoor-outdoor aerie by V Studio founder Hu Quanchun takes up just 3,500 square feet. Read more.

6. Alex Chinneck’s Logic-Bending Chimney Sculptures to Transform U.K. Town

Installation artist Alex Chinneck likes to trick the eye. Recent works include building facades that appear to be sliding down to the ground or torn in half. For his current show at the Städtische Galerie Kornhaus in Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany, he “knotted” one of the museum’s 450-year-old pillars. Read more.

7. Atacama Desert Inspires Outdoor Performance Venue by Coz y Ortiz Arquitectos

There’s no better place for an outdoor performance venue than somewhere it never rains. Such is the case with the Atacama Desert, approximately 700 miles north of Santiago, Chile, where the Teatro al Aire Libre Ruinas de Huanchaca has opened. Read more.

8. Susan for Susan Explores Chemical Processes to Create Unique Lamps

Kevin and John Watts left behind architecture school and an advertising career, respectively, to form Susan for Susan. “We set out to create products that visually question how they’re made,” Kevin Watts explains. The unique shapes and textures of their lamps are developed by exploring the reaction between Styrofoam and acetone, which acts as a solvent on the foam. Read more.

9. Helmut Jahn Updates Landmark Seven Oaks Horse Farm in St. Charles, Illinois, for His Wife

Helmut Jahn’s métier is grand-scale urban architecture: Merck Serono headquarters in Geneva, an airport in Bangkok, towers from Warsaw to Tokyo, and luxury condominiums in New York and Chicago, which is home base for him and his firm, Jahn. Decidedly different in scale is Seven Oaks, a landmarked 30-acre American Saddlebred horse farm in St. Charles, Illinois, that dates to the 19th century. Read more.

10. Alice Bleton’s Capsule Prototype Reconnects Office Workers With the Outdoors

Talk about hanging out. But not if you’re prone to vertigo. Monade Capsule, a prototype that debuted during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, is Alice Bleton’s response to “office workers needing a private spot away from the office where they can re-engage with the outdoors,” she notes. Read more.

11. Star-Studded Design Team Reimagines Claude Debussy’s Only Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande

A new incarnation of Pelléas et Mélisande, the only opera ever completed by Claude Debussy, in 1902, is a feast for the eyes—literally. Current-day directors and choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet envisioned the Opera Vlaanderen and Royal Ballet Flanders production as a window into the human soul. Read more.

12. Nendo’s Oki Sato Gives the Portable Toilet a Sleek Redesign

The devastating impact of natural disasters on power grids, water supplies, and basic hygiene spurred Nendo principal Oki Sato to rethink a relief-effort essential: the portable toilet. Unlike standard mobile loos, with their clunky and cumbersome structures, the elemental Minimlet is, well, good to go. Read more.

13. Dutch Invertuals Exhibits Personal Curios From 45 Designers

These are a few of their favorite things: 45 participants displayed 800 curios from their personal archives alongside new work at “Fundamentals,” an exhibition launched during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. It was the vision of Wendy Plomp, founder of Dutch Invertuals, who has produced 18 shows focused on innovative Dutch design over the past nine years. Read more.

14. Inspired by Case Study Houses, WATG Urban Builds the First Freeform 3-D Printed Home

WATG Urban claimed first prize in the 2016 Freeform Home Design Challenge, commissioned by Branch Technology to build the first house that combines freeform 3-D printing with conventional construction materials. Despite its futuristic contours, Curve Appeal, as it’s called, is actually inspired by the past: Case Study Houses—but using technology those mid-century architects could only imagine. Read more.

15. SVA Students Reimagine Mundane Dining Tools for MoMA Design Store

It was five years ago when Paola Antonelli, the Museum of Modern Art senior curator of architecture and design and School of Visual Arts faculty member, suggested to Allan Chochinov, the New York school’s MFA products of design department chair, that his students conceive pieces for the MoMA Design Store. For the program’s fourth year, 25 students were tasked with improving the dining experience. Read more.

16. Core Studio Curates Industrial-Inspired Show in Eindhoven Garage

With space at a premium, exhibitors wishing to display their wares during international fairs must think outside the tradeshow box. Behold the subterranean exhibition “Hardcore,” held in eight rented spots at the fully operational Q-Park de Admirant garage in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week. Read more.

17. Poured Concrete Flooring Eliminates Disease in Bangladeshi Homes

An acronym for architecture for health in vulnerable environments, ARCHIVE Global believes design can help combat disease. A recent pilot project confirms the belief. In 2014, the nonprofit launched Health From the Ground Up, an initiative to improve conditions for the disadvantaged in Southeast Asia. Upon learning that thousands of Bangladeshi children die due to parasites harbored in the dirt floors often used in their homes, the team focused on a single basic element: new flooring material. Read more.

18. The Museum of Ice Cream’s Latest Edition Lands in Miami Beach

It was an Instagram sensation from day one. After the Museum of Ice Cream popped up in New York two years ago, temporary outposts in Los Angeles and San Francisco quickly followed. More installation than museum, the multisensory spectacle is the sweet, nostalgic vision of the museum’s founder and creative director Maryellis Bunn. Read more.

19. Tokyo Salon by Moriyuki Ochiai Architects Evokes Braids and Twists

Straightened, curled, puffed out. Hair can be fashioned into amazing shapes. Inspired by that pliancy, Moriyuki Ochiai Architects transformed a 1,200-square-foot former clothing store into Spea, a Tokyo salon. Read more.

20. Ugo Rondinone Brightens Fundación Casa Wabi With Local Children’s Sketches of the Sun

The Mexican sculptor Bosco Sodi made a splash in New York last spring with his temporary brick-wall installation, an interactive public-art piece. But back home, he’s been fostering art and community since 2014, when he founded Fundación Casa Wabi, a nonprofit entity that occupies a Tadao Ando Architect & Associates building in Puerto Escondido and mounts exhibitions meant to provide enrichment for locals. Read more.

21. Wutopia Lab Treats Two Shenzhen Homes to Gender-Inflected Makeover

The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture alternates between Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen, China. The latter hosted the most recent biennale, but, unlike previous ones sited in typical exhibition venues, this edition staged high-concept interventions in migrant villages outside the city center. It was there that Wutopia Lab transformed side-by-side residences into His House and Her House, a gender-inflected meditation on the modern cosmopolis. Read more.

22. Joris Laarman Lab Digitally Fabricates Exoskeletal Furniture

Breaking serious ground since founding his namesake lab with partner Anita Star in 2004, Dutch designer Joris Laarman first gained acclaim with a curious rococo-inspired radiator. Laarman’s greatest contribution to the field, though, is not a particular design so much as a new methodology, one in which technology drives form rather than simply abetting it. Read more.

23. Bentley Reinvents Production Process for New Continental GT

Bentley Motors director of design Stefan Sielaff channeled cut-crystal glasses into the third generation of the grand tourer’s LED headlights. But more significant is its aluminum exterior, which is nearly 200 pounds lighter than its previous incarnation. Read more.

24. Clap Studio Revamps Dreamy Office in Valencia, Spain, to Promote Rest 

When the 10 partners of an event planning company met with Clap, a design and branding studio, to assess the needs of their office, work wasn’t the only consideration. Their Valencia, Spain, space would also accommodate—even promote—rest. Regaining mental clarity is crucial during their long days of creative output. Read more.

25. Adjaye Associates Masters Interactivity at New York’s Spyscape Museum

Hiring a Virtual Assistant is Cost Effective and Smart

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Virtual assistants boost productivity and create long-term client relationships to ensure ongoing success for you and your company.

Entrepreneurs start their ventures with bold visions and big plans. However, it’s all too easy to get bogged down by the mundane tasks involved in building a business empire. No matter the industry, every company has these critical tasks that can’t be ignored, and ultimately keep entrepreneurs from the work they do best. This is where a virtual assistant can come to the rescue.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Think of a virtual assistant as an individual who cleans up your crucial administrative tasks from a remote location. They can (and often do) handle everything from answering emails to database entry, website administration, and even social media. Most are contract or freelance workers who work from home, allowing for complete flexibility in how much or how little of your work you choose to delegate.

Marcus Lyons, owner of Barking Dog Media U.S. says:

“I help other small business owners with the day-to-day running of their business. These people set out to own their own company not realizing there are all these daily tasks that need to be attended to,” Marcus explained. “Maybe they don’t have a head for admin, or maybe they just don’t have the time. Either way, I take these tasks off their hands so they can focus on running their business more efficiently.”

The Benefits of Using a Virtual Assistant

Questioning whether a virtual assistance sounds like a fit for your small business? Here are five of the biggest benefits to using their services.

More Time to Do What You Love

Running a business can seem like an endless parade of pesky emails, phone calls, meetings and appointments. These can quickly begin eating into your free time, leaving you with less time to handle the important stuff. Brittany Hardy, owner of Empty Desk Solutions elaborates:

“Sometimes we know our plate is completely full, yet we cannot wrap our heads around managing an in-house team member. Virtual assistants are the perfect solution to many of the day to day business tasks that would otherwise require a part-time or full-time employee.”

Rely on an Expert

As the virtual assistant industry grows, so too does the breadth of skills available to call upon. VA’s often have years of experience under their belts in areas such as marketing, copywriting, social media, human resources, and even bookkeeping. Claire Costa, a Vancouver-based Virtual Assistant explains the benefits:

“For small business owners, taking care of certain aspects of your business can mean making mistakes, simply because it’s not your area of expertise. These mistakes can lead to so much extra work, so hiring a virtual assistant is as much an investment in your business, as it is your own free time.”

Less Hassle

As your business grows, you’ll likely need help. Unfortunately, you may not be ready to hire a full-time administrative employee. Establish how much you can afford to pay to get important admin tasks done, then find a virtual assistant to work within those boundaries. You don’t have to worry about the tax implications, benefits, or get locked into long-term contract agreements.

“People are literally putting their business in my hands, and that’s a huge responsibility.”

“Your virtual assistant will only charge for work done,” Claire explains. “You don’t need to worry about tracking hours, covering source deductions, and all the other challenges a full-time member of staff brings. It’s the perfect middle ground for a small business owner.”

A Personal Business Relationship

“People are literally putting their business in my hands, and that’s a huge responsibility.” – Marcus Lyons

It’s natural at the beginning for a virtual assistant to concentrate on simple tasks like data entry, email management, or making travel arrangements, but as the relationship grows, you’ll learn to rely on them more and more. With time and trust, you can ask your virtual assistant to take on more aspects of your professional life, becoming your own administrative rock start, and leaving you more time for…

Strategic Thinking

Through the growing pains of a small business, you’ve probably become accustomed to taking a “do everything yourself” approach to management. If you’re pulling 100-hour work weeks, it doesn’t really leave much time for big-picture thoughts about direction and strategy. Delegating tasks to a virtual assistant means more headspace to devise new projects, big decisions or creative ways to grow your business.

Contact us today to find out more! 

Take Stock of Your Career in the New Year

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that’s the perfect time to take stock of your career. Even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s still important to think about the skills you’ll need to be successful, says author and speaker Bernard Marr — particularly as industries and jobs evolve.

“Every year you should be proactively improving your skill-set to enhance your contributions at your existing job and be ready when it’s time to find something new.”

Once you’ve determined how and why to plot a new course, reach out to us for a beautiful new resume.

DO RESUME WRITERS REALLY HELP?

Absolutely. There are numerous reasons you should hire a professional resume writer to create one of the most important documents you’ll ever need.

5. You don’t write two gud.

There’s no shame in your game to admit that your writing skills are less than stellar. Doctors, lawyers, nurses…so many people don’t write for a living, and we’ve seen some homemade resumes that were filled with spelling and grammar errors, not to mention formatting.

Let’s say you’re an accountant.

Dollars and cents are your game, not words. So if you’re struggling to express your previous work experience well—and your writing confuses HR professionals like advanced math perplexes most of society—a resume writer can help. He/she can discern what needs to be on your resume (and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t), and express it all professionally.

4. You’re Stuck in the Past

When you look at your resume, you think it looks totally awesome. But when a hiring manager sees it, all she or he’s seeing is the year 1986.

Like music and fashion, even resumes have to be stylish so they can get more than a passing glance from a potential boss. If you’re not sure of what the current trends are, a professional resume writing service can give your resume the extra savoir-faire it deserves. From the quality of the paper it’s printed on to the template used, we make sure that your resume reads—and looks—its best.

3. You’re Not Getting Interviews on Your Own

You know your work experience is impressive and your workplace skills are stellar. So why aren’t you getting any interviews?

The main reason could be your sub-par resume. A professionally written resume can open doors for you that might lead to a great job. It’s also good to keep in mind you might even need several versions of your resume, depending on the type of job interview you have. These advanced nuances are things with which a professional resume writer can assist.

2. You’re Shy or an Introvert

To you, a resume is a necessary evil. It’s basically a one-page depiction of all your previous accomplishments and accolades, and frankly, you’re not the bragging type.

You might need an expert to help you through the writing process if you have a hard time talking about yourself, much less writing it all down on paper. There’s no shame in getting help with this because writing about yourself is one of the toughest assignments, and you’re often your own worst critic.

A professional resume writer will know how to spotlight your most worthy accomplishments because he’s looking at them with fresh, unbiased eyes. Let him turn your resume into something that’s personable and professional.

1. You Have Issues

Maybe you left the workplace so you could raise your family, and now there’s a huge gap in your employment history. Or perhaps you’re changing career fields and don’t quite know how to revamp your resume to show off the skills you have for this new industry. While you can’t rewrite history, a professional writer will know just how to accentuate the positives on your resume, and write away any negative aspects.

Hiring a resume writer may not be an option for everyone and some people can do the job on their own. But for those who have the necessary skills but are struggling to get interviews, a professionally polished resume can be one of the best investments you make as you continue on your job search.

Whatever the reason, your resume should make you more than marketable, but attractive to a hiring professional, recruiter, and head hunter. Barking Dog Media U.S. brings 35-year’s of career coaching and resume writing that allows us to create the best document you’ll find for the price anywhere.

Ready to get started?

Why Hire a Freelance or Virtual Services Specialist?

BUSINESS BENEFITS OF HIRING A FREELANCE PROFESSIONAL

1. Affordability
Sure, it’s nice to have a roster of full-time and part-time staff, and there’s a lot to be said for the feeling of “family” that can develop among a group of on-site co-workers. But for a lot of jobs, it’s far more efficient (and just as effective) to hire freelance talent. A freelancer who works out of his home doesn’t have a lot of overhead costs, so he can offer you less expensive rates. A freelancer who is local to your business won’t have to figure travel time, mailing expenditures, and other costs into his rate, so you might get the benefits of face-to-face interaction without the expense. You probably don’t want price to be the only factor in deciding which freelancer to hire, but if you ask the right questions, you may be able to get Madison-Avenue quality at small-town prices.

2. Flexibility
The reason a lot of freelancers decide to freelance is, frankly, because we want to set our own hours. That kind of flexibility can benefit the client as well as the freelancer. Your freelancer might be updating your website, posting a blog, answering your Facebook fans, and brainstorming a list of direct mail ideas after you’ve closed up shop for the night. In fact, you might be able to email your freelancer a list of assignments at the end of the business week, and find that they are completed and earning you money by Monday morning!

3. Immediacy
Related to flexibility is immediacy, the sense your freelancer has of wanting to get the job done fast and right. Freelancers are small business people too, and we know we are more likely to make a profit when we meet your deadlines, exceed your expectations, and move on to their next assignment. We don’t take time for water-cooler conversations, agenda-less meetings, or office politics. We just want to satisfy our clients.

4. Experience
Good freelancers have a lot of experience with a lot of different businesses and in varied and diverse industries. Each job we work on and each client we work with adds more knowledge to our craft, more skills to our already considerable arsenal. You get the benefit of all that experience on all your jobs too.

5. Independence
One of the hassles of hiring new staff is all the time you have to invest in training before they are really up to speed and able to make valuable contributions to your bottom line. Freelancers, on the other hand, are used to working on our own. Yes, you’ll need to define your expectations clearly, and give them access to the company information resources they’ll need, but you won’t have to sit with them and explain everything. You’ll be able to focus on your own projects while your freelancer completes the assignments you’ve given her.

BUSINESS BENEFITS OF HIRING A VIRTUAL SERVICES SPECIALIST

There are numerous benefits to contracting out work to a virtual assistance specialist, but these are perhaps the most crucial reasons, and create the most value for the money.

Rethinking your approach to staffing:

  1. It takes forever to find the right person
  2. Employees cost more than their salary
  3. You have to find a place to put people
  4. You need to keep the people you have busy
  5. Availability isn’t the same as competency
  6. Employees don’t really work eight or ten hours a day
  7. Firing people is a hassle
  8. Your personnel budget is suffocating your margin for growth

Especially in smaller businesses, startups, and entrepreneurial endeavors, contracting a virtual services professional not only provides all the benefits listed in the freelance portion of this entry, but combines them with all the benefits of a virtual assistant. If time and money mean sometime crucial to your business, then you should leverage the assistance of someone like me.