12 September 2014

alewife: craft beer bottle shop and tasting room

Very excited about our latest project! Props to Kelly and Jamie for not only being awesome clients with a clear vision but also wonderful people!!! Alewife will be a great addition to the Five Points area.

04 September 2013

Office Space for All

For a number of our recent office projects, we have been confronted with what I'd call a sea change in office design and programming that has been unfolding for the last several years. Traditionally, an office was a place for doing work, plain and simple. Rows of uber efficient desks or cubicles provided a place to sit, a desk, and probably a computer to accomplish the day's tasks. The more worker bees you could cram into a space, the higher the productivity per square foot, right? Apart from being widely parodied in films from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" to "Office Space", that perspective has come under fire recently as researchers delve further and further into the complex chemistry of the workplace and what real productivity looks like. They discovered that, far from being only a task-oriented place of execution, a workplace is more like a microcosm of the wider world, where a variety of people with various learning and working styles interact in complex and multifaceted ways. In effect everything matters: from how you sit (ergonomics), to the color of the walls (mood effects), to how much sitting and standing you do (why sit at all?), to whether you even need a desk or dedicated workspace of your own! Google has codified the alternative workplace in its various headquarters and Google-plexi where ping pong tables, juice bars, cafes, and lounge seating are likely to be found at every turn. Offices are places for people. They are tools, like a stapler or computer, for accomplishing work productively. As such, office spaces need to facilitate the wide variety of working styles, personalities, and ways to interact that encompass a rich working environment. If nothing else, a good office design can provide variety, allowing one to simply change venue to help clear a mental block or re-approach a difficult problem. This recent Fast Company article explores the truly nuanced art of office space design. Even large furniture manufacturers are taking note, offering flexible workstations and a huge line of seating options that broaden the possibilities for the workplace environment.

06 May 2013

Etsy Favorites!

Spring is in the air and Mother's Day is quickly approaching! Take a peek at some of our favorite etsy finds:

1. Lime Chevron and Neon Red Diamond Hemp Pillows
the print society: hand printed textiles
2. The World Coming Together art print
designed by yoni: graphic art  

1. Austfonna Maple Rocking Chair
dzierlenga furniture: future heirloom furniture

2. Palafitte Table in White Oak with lacquered top in Lavender Gray
jb + dg: furniture 

1. Aqua Fade Bowl Set 
up in the air somewhere: ceramics & housewares

2. Handmade Turquoise Floral Lace Tumbler 
burning fork studio hand-built lace pottery and ceramic jewelry

1. Wood Clutch: ROSE
tesler + mendelovitch: wood, leather and metal 

2. Tote and Backpack    
ada blackjack: bags and leather goods

1. Pendant lighting fixture: Gramophone - White Clay
ligh texture: designer lamps and lighting

Vintage Soviet mechanical alarm clock "Vitjaz"  
cute old things: lovely vintage finds

01 May 2013

parklets - green space on the go!

Since One Spark, outdoor public space has been on our minds here at OAD. The event highlighted the lack of accessible, beautiful public green space downtown. Although there are a few parks - Hemming Plaza, the unnamed park behind the library and Jesse Smith Memorial Park next to Dos Gatos - none of them provide an appealing location for co-workers or families to meet up for lunch, let alone an after-hours stroll.  And since there are only three public parks they are also not exactly convenient for people working in some case 5 or 6 blocks away. For us, it's almost unexplainable why a city as beautiful as Jacksonville, with a ton of vacant lots, in a state where almost anything will grow, would have so little park space downtown.

While doing a bit of research for a project we are working on, I came across the San Fransisco Parks to Pavement Program. Basically it's a program design to convert underused or neglected urban spaces and parking into Parklets. Parklets are publicly accessible, re-purposed, open park space which is "available for all to enjoy". Funded by local businesses and residents, they not only add beauty to a street scape but also aid the development of a city. Conceived of as temporary installations, they are quickly becoming permanent spaces which are challenging residents and businesses to redefine the way their streets are used. Setting up parklets in various locations in Jacksonville's downtown could shape a path or "necklace" to connect existing green space along walkable corridors. These parklets could link to the larger parks and create a more dynamic, contiguous and enjoyable street scape.

3876 Noriega Street Parklet (Hosted by Devil's Teeth Baking Company)
Photo by: Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders & Wells Campbell photography
The Parklets movement spawns from an installation by the Rebar Group in 2005 called PARK(ing).  By "renting" space on the street, i.e paying the meter, Rebar was able to convert a single metered parking spot into a simple public park for two hours,  the maximum parking time limit. The installation led to Park(ing) Day, a single day (September 20, 2013) every year when people around the globe create temporary parks in public parking spaces.
Park(ing). Rebar Group, 2005
Here are some more Parklets to enjoy:

3868 24th Street Parklet (Hosted by Martha Brothers)
Photo by: San Francisco Planning Department
033 Judah Street Parklet (hosted by Trouble Coffee)
Photo by: San Francisco Planning Department
375 Valencia Street Parklet (Hosted by Four Barrel Coffee)
Photo by: Great Streets
Photo by: San Francisco Planning Department

25 April 2013

paying taxes and loving it

Earlier this week, I had the unenviable task of paying our business tax bill, something that had filled me with enough dread to put off for several weeks.  Usually this kind of experience means traffic, horrible parking, long lines, and rude people.   Biting the bullet, I headed down to 231 E. Forsyth Street to take my medicine.

Parking... found a spot right out front.  That is the tax collector's home base in the background, a beautiful old structure in beige glory.

Paying for parking... not a problem.  Most meters downtown take credit cards.  This one also happened to have 44 minutes left!

Security... completely pleasant. They didn't want they're picture taken, not out of a paranoid mistrust, but because they didn't have they're hair "did" as is often said 'round here.

Waiting in line... nil.  Actually, by the time I got from the security desk to the Tax Collector's room, my number was flashing on the digital screen, welcoming me to the waiting attendant.   OK, architecturally, I would have done a few things differently, but the space was clean and well-lit overall.

The transaction... totally 
reasonable.  I had forgotten one of the documents I needed and sure enough the woman behind the desk said "Have a digital copy? Just email it to me."  She printed it out and we were on our way.

This is yet another reason why Jacksonville is a great place to live.  We have a downtown with stately old buildings and an urban feel.  But we're also small enough to have human-scale interactions without hoards of people tripping over each other. While living in New York a few years ago, I felt like there was a critical threshold of density that had been exceeded. At some point you stop considering the people around you as friendly compatriots and start seeing them as competitors for limited resources, obstacles to your own survival.  Jacksonville has a balance of scale and services that can make even the mundane a delight.

22 April 2013

One Spark

OAD closed early on Friday afternoon to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the OneSpark festival in downtown Jacksonville. OneSpark was definitely a success for downtown, bringing over 130,000 people to the area over the five days of the festival.

Here is a list of the top One Spark Getters
  • Top 3 Vote Getters in Music: The 5 & Dime ($2,326.50), Boneshaker ($2,495.36) and Fathom Sphere ($2,509.43).
  • Top 3 Vote Getters in Technology: The Riverwalk Project ($2,448.45), Kona School ($3,137.96) and The Wall ($3,466.29).
  • Top 3 Vote Getters in Science: 123-Fresh ($2,945.65), 1 Food Park Project ($3,189.55) and Tiger Trail ($4,183.94).
  • Top 3 Vote Getters in Art: 20 Murals in a Year ($4,010.39), Beyond the Facade ($4,202.71) and Rethreaded ($6,768.42) 

And here are our favorites: 

Beyond the Facade:
“Beyond the Fa├žade” is an idea that incorporates the use of buildings and structures as display areas for 2D and 3D artwork. This exhibit was definitely my favorite! I thought Doug Eng's photo's were beautiful and would definitely inject much needed "life and vitality" into Jacksonville's urban landscape.
Rethreaded is a fantastic Jacksonville based non-profit that helps women get out of the sex trade industry by providing them job training and life skills. The organization teaches these women to up-cycle donated t-shirts into a variety of products from children's clothing to scarves.
Food Park Project:
The Food Park Project proposes to train people on how to turn abandoned and desolate land into not only a "fertile and productive food oasis" but also an outdoor space that provides the "aesthetic appeal of a botanical garden."

We already love their trail mixes so we are excited to see their business continue to thrive and grow! They are hoping to expanded their company and provide the Jacksonville area with not only the Fresh products we already love, but also a storefront which will offer a cafe with meals to go and a yoga / fitness studio.
I think I loved Immersed because it reminded me of one of my favorite books, Diamond Age. The concept is an online, multi-player, "adaptive learning environment" which simulates a video gaming experience while providing a virtual world with educational content.
After a few minutes of peeking behind the scenes of the Boneshaker I found myself really digging the ingenuity of Ronald Schroer! Using stuff he found laying around his house, Schroer created Ol’ Fence. Ol’ Fence has 40 individual motions that can be combined for a wide range of actions. His ‘speech’ is created live with a talking drum, bowed and struck.

Here are a couple of other projects that I thought were worth mentioning: 

BLOOM, created by Emily Moody, is a Jacksonville boutique hostel for the traveler who wants to stay within a budget without skimping on style. This would be a great addition to our downtown area and I'm excited to see how Moody develops her concept!

The Wall: 
Proposed by State of the Re:Union's Al Leston, The Wall is a traveling storyboard that "connects, creates and illuminates the stories of our time." While I found this to be a really interesting concept, I'd like to know more about the installation and execution of this project.

And one final note:

I'm not sure where this came from, or what it proposes or really what it is, but I guess sometimes things can just be what they are and so there it was.....a giant floating duck!