This taco stand popped up at the biannual Echo Park Craft Fair in Silver Lake this past weekend. It seems you can’t drive a block in Los Angeles wihtout seeing either a small taco joint, truck, take-out window or improvised stand. But this one is unique in a couple of ways, most notably in its architecture and construction. The do-it-yourself quality to the construction and use of materials is clever. Long wood boards have been slotted into the gaps in a stack of wood pallets. These pallets form columns and the boards function as shelves and a counter. The menu items are written in chalk on the side of the pallets. White fabric has been thrown over the contruction to form a roof. Then there is the decor. There’s a Tibetan Buddhist-style string of colorful flags strung along the top of the stand. Woven Mexican bowls on the columns add color. Potted plants accent the facade and rest on heavy wood blocks that help support the columns. It’s brilliant, though one wonders how structurally sound it is and whether it’s “up to code,” as they say.
The Domino Sugar Factory in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, ceased operations years ago, but the massive building and it’s iconic logo-sign near the East River are something of a New York City landmark. In fact the refinery has been officially recognized as an historic landmark by the city. The factory is undergoing a long process of renovation that will change it into shiny, new mixed-use property filled mostly with condos and office space. That vision involves demolishing some of the building. A group of activists have been fighting for years to save the more of the property as an historic landmark. To that end, this DIY “Save Domino” sign made from string-lights was put on the side of an apartment building near South 3rd St in 2007. The red-lighted message has become a kind of neighborhood meta-landmark of its own. There’s a great short video of what the factory looked like inside before renovation started..
Last weekend Global Graphica paid a visit to a new design exhibition at the New Museum’s Studio 231. The show is titled “Adhocracy” and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s a fascinating survey of the work of designers, architects, hackers, makers, artists, technologists and programmers around the globe who are redefining design and how things are made and used. These practitioners are working either independently or collaboratively, in academia or within commercial or corporate organizations, and sometimes illegally, as part of a DIY underground of people who fix public infrastructure that local governments neglect. It’s also a look at how sustainability, re-use and recycling, open-source systems, life-hacking and the economics of design are being addressed. Among the highlights is a working 3D body scanner called “Be Your Own Souvenir” that feeds data to a 3D printer to make a resin model of a person, and a short film documenting a group who secretly broke into the Pantheon in Paris at night, where they staged film events, built their own secret members lounge, and fixed the broken clock atop the historic building, which hadn’t chimed in four decades.
Photo credit: New Museum