Sunday, October 13, 2013

Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest- Inspiration

For the Undersized Urbanite contest, I am building a miniature house of the next century, guessing at what the architectural and interior decor styles of 2114 will be. Art Deco borrowed from the Egyptians,

And the Art Deco period depicted a future based on technology,

So did the MidCentury Modern period,

and it added an outer space influence,

(Both of the above illustrations are Arthur Radebaugh )

From where, or when, will the future borrow? Please don't say the 1980s...... My guess is that elements from both Art Deco and MidCentury Modern styles will be a strong influence, with additional elements yet to be invented (but I will try).

A contemporary artist, El Gato Gomez, has an interesting retro MCM style, that includes a large dose of retro-futuristism. In other words, she depicts the future as it was believed to be 50 years ago. Her art also has a geometric aspect that reminds me of Art Deco. See for yourself, compare her painting,

With an Art Deco design,

Her version of the future is "slightly" more optimistic than the zombie and vampire overrun future found everywhere today,

Gomez reaches back to (and, yes, idealizes) a period where society did believe the future would be bright. Like this:

I have a few other inspiration-photos:

The house depicted below existed in Boulder, Colorado, but unfortunately was destroyed by a fire. Its one side-uplifted roof, that stops half-way down, and walls of windows are very inspiring, and very "futuristic." I am unable to restore this house, but I am able to use it as an inspiration.

Hopefully, I will start building very soon.

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catching up

My mother sailed through cancer surgery today. She has breast cancer, and bladder cancer, both cancers have a high rate of cure so we remain hopeful. She is a trooper, she enjoys telling people, with her typical British humor, that she has cancer "top and bottom." Hopefully, the doctor's report will be optimistic.

Before my Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse entry yesterday, my last post was on the new Ikea dollhouse furniture.

I did not have a chance to respond to your pithy comments before, so let me do so now. First, let me say, from what I have subsequently read, the Ikea furniture is not for me. The scale of 1:6 is too big for one thing, and the furniture is a little clumsy. From your comments, I received the strong impression that this furniture is not for you either, but you all were too nice to say so. I don't think there is a better group on the Internet, you are creative, talented, thoughtful, warm, and soooo diplomatic!

Thank you! So, here goes:

12Create, who always has thoughtful comments said:
"Nice simple pieces. I love the little heart cushion - so cute."
I understand, 12Create, you have exquisite taste and you probably thought, "Good grief, what nice thing can I say about this set of plastic building blocks shaped like furniture?"

Makeminemidcentury, who always has lots of energy and a wonderful sense of humor said (in response to my statement that I was back- hah, little did I know how untrue that was at the time!) "YAY! That's the best news I've had for ages. One, you're back, and two Ikea miniatures!! I bet they don't come to Australia. It'd be too good to be true!"

Thank you MMMC, now I am really back! And that Ikea furniture? All I can say is, hmmm, hey, I'm really back this time!

The grandmommy said "I like the style but not the plastic and colors. To me looks too toyish. But there but for the grace of paint! LOL Thanks for sharing."

Such diplomacy, such politeness! You really meant "Neen! What! Hmmm, who are you and what have you done with Neen? This Ikea furniture is large, and plasticky and garish! You have lost your mind, but thanks for sharing." Grandmommy, you are so nice!

Anita , trying to let me down lightly, said "This is already in Finland IKEAs and I heard that it is Barbie size and too big for 1:12 :(". It's ok, Anita, I have recovered. :@)

The brilliant designer and furniture creator, Pepper, wrote, "Hey Neen, I hear the mini Ikea are going to be 1/15th scale?!? People just love throwing us modernists a curve ball. I can't wait to see what people will do with these items." Yes, that curve ball that life keeps throwing at us...but, you know what? We duck below it, or jump above it, or catch it and throw it back! Now, those manufacturers, why don't they get it? Architects make miniature models of beautiful modern houses, why not mass produce beautiful, modern houses and furniture in miniature?

The amazing Christina, founder of the Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest, wrote, "That's great to hear. I occasionally see vintage IKEA dollhouse furniture online and have wondered why they didn't still make it." I wonder why not as well, because this new Ikea furniture is larger and less detailed. Ikea revolutionized the furniture industry. As a result, well designed, affordable furniture became accessible.

It's not earth shatteringly important, but it would be nice to have this wide range of DIY, modern furniture in miniature at affordable prices. The pieces do not have to be extremely modern like these photos depict (although, I do like much of the furniture):

So where is a good place to find unusual miniature furniture? How about with action figures? I recently discovered that Star Wars action figures often drink at bars, and those bars are for sale at reasonable prices on eBay or Amazon. Like these pieces with miniature Barbies and action figures:

Wishing you only good things, Neen

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest 2014

Hello friends,

I have been out of action due to a family member's serious illness, and I have really missed blogging, and reading your blogs. I hope to be able to post new blogs every week or so, including blogs about my entry into the Undersized Urbanite Dollhouse Contest of 2014. This is a wonderful contest that I participated in earlier this year (click here to view my posts on the contest). The Amazing Christina, with her blog, The Little Victorian, did a fabulous job with the first contest, and the second contest details are even more spectacular! Click here to read all about this contest.

My entry in the last contest was an Art Deco House fashioned from a 1930s vintage radio cabinet.

The house has been changed a little; here it is after a recent party held by its residents:

(The bar and champagne glass stool are new, and there have been some changes to the furniture.)

I went back in time by almost a century for my last entry, and in this entry I will be tackling something that may be built a century in the future. Those of you who have followed my blog for the past twenty months or so, know that I love cutting edge modernism whether that cutting edge was in 1920 or 1960. For example in Future Perfect, I featured these pictures:

My fascination with cutting edge futurism is very much connected with my love of astronomy and a hope that someday we will be able to explore outer space. So, where I am going with this? I intend to build a cocktail lounge, with an attached small house, and the design will be a guess at architecture and interior design 100 years from now, perhaps in this Undersized Urbanite environment:

Or this one

My entry, of course, is not built yet. I have a few kits to bash, and some wood and plexiglass. My blogs (which will be tagged at the contest website-or vice versa) will depict my progress.

Here are a few photos I took as I was trying to plan my future cocktail lounge, they are not much, but they do show the direction I am heading (the scale here is 1:16, and I intend to keep the project in this scale):

Wishing you only good things, Neen