Category Archives: THE SCHOOL OF MAKING

A DECADE

This year marks a decade on my journey to Alabama Chanin.

Looking at where we started, where we have been and where we are headed has been an amazing and beautiful process. What a time of laughter, tears, exploration, and, well, growing up.

To celebrate our growing up, we will be launching several exciting collaborations over the next months, planning celebrations, looking back and, of course, looking forward.

The first of these collaborations – with our friends at Commune Design – has resulted in a set of new logos for Alabama Chanin and Alabama Studio Style.

Here today we present our new Alabama Chanin logo…

Look for the new logo to be integrated into our couture clothing, our site and the Alabama Chanin world over the next months. Come back tomorrow for a chat with Roman Alonso, from Commune, about design, his trip to Alabama, a bit of history and the humor behind our new and improved label.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with us this past decade… looking forward to the next.

THE MAP AS ART

Just as I am designing the new collection, a treasure of a book arrives on my desk from Princeton Architectural Press.

I have always been a fan of You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination.

And now Katharine Harmon has compiled the most beautiful collection of images and ideas in her newest book The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography.

Quilts, installations, illustrations, photography… sitting with this book is like traveling while sitting at my studio table.

 

Katharine Harmon: The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography

IN OUR BLOOD

Thinking about all of our consumption, plastic, and the oil spill that spoils our beautiful home.

From my son Zach today, a thoughtful piece about our role:

SETH BORENSTEIN
Published: Jun 11, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) – Has the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico got you so mad you’re ready to quit Big Oil?
Ready to park the car and take up bike-riding or walking? Well, your bike and your sneakers have petroleum products in them. And sure, you can curb energy use by shutting off the AC, but the electric fans you switch to have plastic from oil and gas in them. And the insulation to keep your home cool, also started as oil and gas. Without all that, you’ll sweat and it’ll be all too noticeable because deodorant comes from oil and gas too.
You can’t even escape petroleum products with a nice cool fast-food milkshake – which probably has a petrochemical-based thickener.
Oil is everywhere. It’s in carpeting, furniture, computers and clothing. It’s in the most personal of products like toothpaste, shaving cream, lipstick and vitamin capsules. Petrochemicals are the glue of our modern lives and even in glue, too.
Because of that, petrochemicals are in our blood.
Read the full article here: Boycott Big Oil? Prepare to give up your lifestyle We need a revolution for this century…in our blood?

*Photo by Robert Rausch for our Revolution collection

 

POISON + WINE

What an inspiration to get to hear The Civil Wars at Billy Reid’s Florence store this weekend.

One of my best music memories of all time is having seen Kate Bush – in a small venue – in New York City in the late eighties; the performance Saturday night ranks right up there.

Beauty and harmony beyond compare:

The Civil Wars

GOOD WORK

In a sea (literally) of bad news about our Gulf, I cleaned up my desk this morning to find some good. While I was traveling over the past few months, a lovely package worked its way to the bottom of a pile just to be discovered this morning.

In the package: Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program from Architecture for Humanity.
Those of you who have purchased an Alabama Builds shirt from us over the last few years have contributed to make the Biloxi Model Home Program a reality.
From the book:
“People say, ‘What kind of house is this?’ And I tell them, ‘This is a good house – a good, sturdy house. It’s a miracle; it’s a blessing. That’s what it is.” - Karen Parker, Homeowner
Just yesterday, I was talking with my friend Cathy from HEATH about how design can make a difference. We were thinking about how designers can set goals, make an impact on communities and create a better world. We were talking about how we can strive to be better designers and do good (better) work.Cameron’s name came up in that conversation as a role model.
Cameron, Architecture for Humanity, and all the designers who have contributed to repairing Biloxi have done really important work – really important.
Get your copy here: Rebuilding After Disaster: The Biloxi Model Home Program and support the good work…