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Piet Hein Eek

Piet Hein Eek is a Dutch product designer and brand. I came across this inspiring video the other day and then discovered that he is in today’s The New York Times Style magazine. Everything they produce is in-house, in a gorgeous studio-factory-store-gallery-restaurant in Eindhoven.

“We found that it’s important to tell people that we do it all by ourselves,” Eek says in the above video.

I’ve been following his work for several years and love his regular use of recycled materials and the sense of playfulness and soul that all of his work has. He has a way of creating things that are fresh and new, while still being made from old things. He manages the task of making things that are environmentally conscious and beautiful in such a matter-of-fact and un-preachy way. Eco designers of all fields can learn so much from him.

Brooklyn Navy Yard is getting a rooftop farm

Sometimes it seems to be the people with the most insane ideas who do the greatest things. Brooklyn Grange got funded through Kickstarter in 2010 with the crazy brilliant idea of building a commercial rooftop farm on an acre of building in NYC. They did it Long Island City and it has been so successful that they are now working on a second location, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where my studio is.

The BNY farm will fill 45,000-square-foot of rooftop and it will supply local restaurants, shops and people like me with fresh, organic produce. I can’t wait.

*Image courtesy of livelocalsource.com

Homemade Muesli

I’ve been a muesli fanatic for most of my life. It is pure goodness. Last year, when I got one of my favorite cookbooks, there was a muesli recipe in it. I had never thought about making it before that. I followed the recipe the first time, but each batch I’ve made since had morphed into something slightly different, yet unique. The great thing about muesli is that there is no right or wrong. It’s simply a matter of preference. One thing that I have kept consistent is the Marcona almonds. They add just the perfect amount of roasted almond flavor and a bit of salt. This batch I made with rolled oats, smashed Marcona almonds, chopped dried figs, raisins, dried cherries, and dried coconut flakes.

I mix everything up and store it in a mason jar. I eat this mixture almost every morning with kefir (a sour, drinkable pro-biotic beverage that I discovered while living in Norway several years ago). If I want to add some sweetness, I mix in a bit of maple syrup or some raspberry jam. It’s also good if you prepare it the night before and let the oats soften a bit.

L’amour Fou

A couple of nights ago, I watched a beautiful documentary about the 50 year relationship between Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. They met when Yves was only 21 yrs old and head designer at Christian Dior.

It was a poignant story weaving back and forth between their personal and professional lives together and the present day, months after Yves’ death, as Mr. Bergé was preparing for the Christie’s auction of their massive art collection.

The final scene of the film was the auction, which took place in February 2009 and had a total sale of €342m. All of the proceeds of the sale were used to benefit the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and a new foundation for scientific research and the fight against AIDS.

(Thank you Miss Moss!)