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Posts Tagged ‘designers’

July has turned out to be a fantastic month for planting a new garden. We’re having plenty of daytime sunshine and rain in the late night hours. There’s still a fantastic supply of plant material in the Chicago area nurseries and there will be until the end of September. Now is a great time to have a landscape planned and implemented. Although consistent watering is essential to keep any new planting vibrant and healthy this time of year.

Watercolour Gardens creates gardens on Chicago’s North Shore and throughout the entire city.  We offer a free initial consultation and work with many types of properties and budgets.  Having been educated at Oxford in a progressive manner of designing gardens, Jason Hartong can use his design philosophy and adapt to either a contemporary or traditional spaces.  Reflecting the character and style of the home in the landscape is essential to creating a lasting, pleasing impression.

Watercolour Gardens can be contacted at 847.380.2699 or visit www.watercolourgardens.com for more details.  We look forward to serving you.

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As a landscape designer, I often take scent into consideration in planning a garden. When designing scented cues, the emotional response to the visual stimuli is enhanced. Scent can make the experience more meaningful and memorable for the garden’s owner and guests, when used properly.

Scent is a very powerful tool. It serves as a means of communication in so many ways. An attraction between individuals. A memory. A way to manipulate consumers, as stores pump Oxytocin into ventilation systems to increase spending. Scent is not something we think about all the time but our subconscious minds are always aware of it.

The New York Times recently covered a symposium on scent as design.  It’s interesting to see what the scent experts are up to.

A Parsons Symposium on Scent as Design

By JOYCE WADLER                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Robert Wright for The New York Times
WE arrived late for “Headspace: On Scent as Design,” a symposium held March 26 in the auditorium at Parsons the New School for Design, and so missed the smell of birth being spritzed into the room.

Happily, we had another opportunity, because that scent, along with several others — including “being a baby,” “puberty,” “partnership,” “empty nest,” “sex” and “death” — were available for inhalation at a table outside the auditorium, most of them embedded in small plastic beads that visitors were invited to take.

“No one likes puberty,” Kim Fisher, the young woman at the table, said. “Everyone likes sex, but there are no beads for it.”

Being not quite product-ready is not uncommon when things are brainy and theoretical, and at Headspace — a conference presented by Parsons and the Museum of Modern Art, in partnership with International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., Coty and Seed magazine — they were extremely cerebral. Does your head ache after that list of sponsors? Imagine how you would have felt in the auditorium, where designers, perfumers and industry experts talked about “co-creation” and “facilitating dialogue with the consumer.”

“I see design going through filtering, clarifying, making things visible — how does that go towards defining your work as a designer?” a moderator asked in a morning session, making us ache for the scent “coffee.” Also, the auditorium was freezing.

Why is it so cold? we asked Jamer Hunt, the director of the new graduate program in transdisciplinary design at Parsons and one of the people who dreamed up the symposium, after we beat it to the outside foyer.

“There’s a special technology for diffusing,” Mr. Hunt said. “We need the back doors of the auditorium to be open so the scent flows through to everybody.”

For Headspace, Mr. Hunt explained, designers and architects like Toshiko Mori had been paired with perfumers to “design using scent — not just a fragrance, but something that would affect our everyday lives.”

Ms. Mori had been involved in creating a scent called “anti-gravity.” Marije Vogelzang, a Dutch designer, had made eating utensils imbued with the smells of foods that might be harmful to consume but are still nice to sniff. The urban designer Majora Carter had worked on scents that could be diffused through the ventilation system of an apartment complex in her neighborhood in the South Bronx.

Mr. Hunt also seemed proud of a student project called “Scent Clock,” a piece of cardboard listing six times of day. “If you scratch at each hour, there is a different smell associated with a different time of day,” he said. “Scratch the shiny spot.”

The reporter scratched an orange rectangle labeled “10 wake up” and smelled not much of anything.

“We wanted to make it a challenge and didn’t want it to be easy,” Mr. Hunt said. “It’s a combination of toothpaste and an alarm clock.”

The reporter inhaled again, smelling mint. That explained the toothpaste, but where was the alarm clock?

“There should be a slightly more plastic smell to it,” Mr. Hunt said. “Part of the challenge is what does an alarm clock smell like? I think it smells like electronics, which is a certain kind of burning smell, but there is also the metaphysical. An alarm clock wakes you up, so you want a smell that is very bright.”

The reporter moved on to the scent made by Ayse Birsel, who has designed pots and pans for Target and toilet seats for Toto. Ms. Birsel and her colleague Yoko Hiroshi, working with perfumers Celine Barel and Laurent Le Guernec, created a birth through death line. As Ms. Birsel conceived it, each scent would be contained in a large, smooth stone that would symbolize that moment in life. Since there was no time to imbue the stones with the scent, they were presented separately.

Ms. Birsel, who wore a black stone-like Japanese gourd around her neck and black fishnet stockings, had a half-dozen stones with her.

“What we wanted to do was give form and scent to threshold in life,” she said. “We wanted to create a very intimate form. The form of the pebble as something you can hold in your hand would symbolize a moment in your life, like a birth or a partnership.”

So those two halves of a stone that fit smoothly together — is that one “partnership”?

“This is sex, actually, the pebble as yin and yang, two perfect pieces that come together,” Ms. Birsel said. “Partnership is the whole stone. We decided puberty is about dichotomy, you have multiple personalities and a piece missing because you are not totally whole.”

What about the scent?

“We asked them to create a scent that is unbalanced, with too many hormones,” Ms. Birsel said. “We had them imbued in the little plastic pearls, because in the time frame we had we couldn’t inject them in the forms.”

We heard nobody likes the puberty scent, we told her.

“Well, nobody likes puberty, so it’s a successful smell,” she said. “That was the intention.”

Click for the original article.


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Landscape design has become more important, as property owners look to expand usable living space.  The term “outdoor room” has been floating around for years. Again in America, sophisticated utilitarian gardens have become fashionable.  No longer is a homeowner limited to a traditional deck and lawn in their garden. Adding additional terraces and three season outdoor rooms, has become a logical way to extend square footage to a home.

Sherry Thomas of North Shore Magazine recently wrote, an excellent article about the European outdoor room philosophy, which has been revived.

From European-style swimming pools to sultry outdoor living rooms, North Shore residents are finding more ways than ever to turn their homes inside out.

When Susan Forney first saw her sprawling estate home in Northfield, she fell in love with its Old World elegance and history.

“I’m the third owner,” she says of her 1923 property. “It was built by a gentleman who, around the turn of the century, designed a seal that was used for Ford motor cars.” As the man made his fortune, he and his wife (a transplanted Southern belle) moved into a mansion in Chicago and built the Georgian in the country, on a 22-acre spread with ample room for horses and entertaining, as a place to escape the oppressive city heat.

Click here to read the full article.

To learn more about landscape design in Chicago and on the North Shore, visit Watercolour Gardens.

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