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Books: Coyote v. Acme by Pentagram

In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products-Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes-invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.

Originally published in The New Yorker, Coyote v. Acme presents the opening statements of an imaginary lawsuit by Coyote against Acme for his personal injuries caused by the faulty devices, citing 85 occasions in which they “did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling.” Our holiday greeting reprints Frazier’s essay as a mini legal brief with Weil’s drawings presented as supporting evidence. Weil carefully considered the design of each cartoon product, making sure the contraptions would functionally work.

So who is at fault, Coyote or Acme? Even when pressing his case, Coyote can’t seem to cut a break. Weil’s designs for the gadgets undermine Coyote’s legal claims with special safety features like “screw-in detonator” for the Spherical Bomb and a “weighted armor jacket” to be worn with the Rocket Skates. The look of the diagrams is inspired by the photo-realistic illustrations of the McMaster-Carr hardware catalog. But Wile E. skims over the fine print. As Weil tells Wired Design in a post about the project, “The Coyote, like most males, never reads the instructions.”

Pentagram Project Team, Product design: Daniel Weil, partner-in-charge and designer. Illustrations by Simon Denzel. Book design: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jesse Reed, designer. Coyote v. Acme © Ian Frazier. First published in The New Yorker, February 26, 1990.

Coyote v. Acme, by Pentagram

Private Apartment by Joseph Dirand

Private Apartment, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France, by Joseph Dirand
via: Architectural Digest, Photography © Adrien Dirand

House in Yatsugatake by Kidosaki Architects Studio

Located on a sloping mountain ridge at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains, this house was designed on a piece of land that offers spectacular views that are rarely known. Seeking for the best in picturesque scenery, the client took up residence in Tateshina, and spent many years searching for the ideal site for building his house.Inevitably, the main aim of this project is to meet the client’s expectations to incorporate these stunning views in to the design.

When I visited the site, my first impression was that this untapped and expansive nature must be embraced into the interior to the greatest extent possible. I decided to arrange the house in such that this horizontal expanded scenery must be maximized. In order to realize this design, I introduced mega structures column enabling half of the house to extend into the air. To support this large overhanging floor, 2 diagonal bracing steel cylinders, each 300 mm in diameter is introduced. With this, the house is floats in to the midst of a glorious natural surroundings. With this overhanging structure, the breeze of the mountain plateau flow through the interior, makes you coexistent with nature.

When you are invited to the entranceway, after passing through the restrained space of the hallway, and as you enter in to this dramatic space, magnificent and impressive scenery spreads out before your eyes. Living / dining / kitchen area, the majestic panoramic view extends on all three sides is something you can’t find anywhere else, but here in this space. And the scenery is all to your own.

This space is an extravagant experience that only those who have given a privilege to be invited can truly enjoy. Other rooms are planed to offer differing views of the mountains, enabling a variety of views from each of the rooms. The high ceilings and wide wood deck and eaves enable a space steeped in the overwhelming presence of the panoramic views of the area.The feeling is so intense that it is almost as if you are living on a cloud.

The various components have been elevated through careful attention to detailing, and the refinement of the structure gives a sense of tension and unity to the space and adequate materials, achieving the proper balance between a dominance over and a harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The character and humility of this dwelling, constructed without compromising the vision of the architect, expresses a dignified reverence for the scenery surrounding it.

House in Yatsugatake, Nagano, Japan, by Kidosaki Architects Studio

Kirkpatrick House by George Nelson & Gordon Chadwick

Over the course of… four years, George Nelson, along with his associate Gordon Chadwick, would execute a highly personalized design-a home tailored to the members and lifestyle of the Kirkpatrick family. This itself is not remarkable-it could be said of any architectural commission. What makes the Kirkpatrick House so special-then and now-are the universal qualities that transcend the specifics.

The best Nelson designs, be it a clock, chair, or in this case, home, share that same elusive trait. His view of design allowed for both modular system and mannerist quirk. As an “architect in industry” (as he categorized himself in the introduction to the 1948 Herman Miller Collection catalogue), Nelson was responsible for creating-and making salable-consumer goods. In the Kirkpatrick House, it becomes clear that this mentality affected his practice of architecture in equal measure. A product had to be unique to stand out in the market, but it also had to appeal to a wide array of people to be successful. Even in the execution of this private home for personal friends, Nelson’s brand of modernism embraces this duality fully.

Kirkpatrick House, Kalamazoo, Michigan, by George Nelson, Gordon Chadwick
via: Herman Miller

Casa Altamira by Joan Puigcorbé

Casa Altamira, Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica, by Joan Puigcorbé, Paas Arquitectura
Photography © Rodrigo Montoya, Joan Puigcorbé

MOOT Carbon Fiber Chair by Ross Lovegrove for Established & Sons

The MOOT (Mood of Our Time) Carbon Fiber Chair was designed and developed by Ross Lovegrove in partnership with Established & Sons.

MOOT Carbon Fiber Chair, by Ross Lovegrove, for Established & Sons

Apartment in Le Marais by Fleur Delesalle

In the heart of Le Marais, architect Fleur Delesalle just completed construction of a place of warmth that combines the best of contemporary creation, on earth as “in heaven”.

Apartment in Le Marais, Paris, by Fleur Delesalle, via: AD Magazine France

Charlotte Perriand’s La Maison au Bord de l’Eau at Art Basel Miami Beach

This compact beach house was originally designed in 1934 by Charlotte Perriand, the celebrated 20th-century architect and designer and right-hand woman of architect Le Corbusier. Unveiled as part of Design Miami, the compact construction is fittingly located on the beach, behind The Raleigh Hotel. Perriand designed the house for a competition sponsored by L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui magazine, it introduced her concept for an economical form of eco-friendly, pre-fabricated holiday home and she won second prize. The design was never actually built, although the idea was later reworked into several other variations. But now, eight decades later, Louis Vuitton has brought the original beach house design to life with the assistance of her daughter Pernette Perriand-Barsac.

Charlotte Perriand’s La Maison au Bord de l’Eau, Art Basel Miami Beach, Louis Vuitton
via: The Telegraph

3D Paper Moulding Washi Lamps by Nendo

Nendo has produced a series of lamps that use the traditional technique and modified it to create seamless three-dimensional washi forms.

3D Paper Moulding Washi Lamps, by Nendo, for Taniguchi Aoya Washi
Photography by Hiroshi Iwasaki

House in Shinoharadai by Tai and Associates

The site is situated on a small hill in Yokohama. A new program, composed of two-family residence and office, is applied to the building, while paying attention to preserve the family’s history and memories attached to the land. The building is divided in different volumes according to the scale of the surrounding residences. The podium is constructed of concrete retaining walls, the main volume, which is regarded as piano nobile, is made of concrete using wood panel formwork with tongue-and-groove joints, and the white volume contains office. The form of each volume expresses a different function inside.

The interior space is planned around the old pine tree with the family history. Living/dining/kitchen space of the parents’ house is located around the tree, and the exterior wall continues into the interior space, integrating the terrace and the living room.

Children’s house and office shares the main entrance. The impressive stairs lead to the second floor from the entrance hall. All the volumes protrude into the void, with the soft natural light cascading from above; this is the symbolic space of this architecture.

The office has a modern interior space based on black and white in harmony with the landscape.

From the second floor one can enjoy a full panorama of Yokohama Bay. The second floor is composed of an open plan in order to provide fine views from everywhere for the children’s family. Living/dining/kitchen space extends to the roof terrace continuously, so that the interior and the exterior merge into each other, and the house will open up towards the sky.

These three separate functions are closely connected with the exterior in different ways, while placed at an appropriate distance where one can feel presence of others.

House in Shinoharadai, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, by Tai and Associates
Photography © Seiichi Ohsawa

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