Spring is coming, the salmon will be running soon. We are getting excited about our next miniaturized art house project based on Emily Carr’s Elephant, here are our guiding images.


Clockwise: Emily Carr’s Elephant (Carr with monkey sitting in doorway); 1900s nuu chah nulth smokehouse, wood stove in Emily Carr’s studio, salmon inside a smokehouse, Kwakwaka’wakw feast bowl on wheels.


Our images: Auntie Jessie’s Smokehouse + Mary Cahan’s Sauna

My research on late Hupacasath carver Nelson Joseph culminated in an exhibition at the Alberni Valley Museum on view from June through September, 2014. Nelson’s work has up to this point been under-recognized, but is illustrative of distinctive Nuu Chah Nulth approaches to carving in addition to having its own unique voice.


For the opening, remarks were held in an adjacent room, and the Hupacasath singers and dancers led guests into the galleries.


Nelson’s brother Stuart unveiled the exhibition.

DSC_0314 Opening night had a fantastic turnout.

DSC_0317Over 70 works were on display, more were studied and photographed. Members of the community from all over the Valley opened up their homes and collections to this research.


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The book is in process. We hope to publish it in 2015.

Last October Rod and I went to California on a mini-speaking tour; lectures at three different schools. At Cal Arts, we also did a workshop with the 4th year design students called ‘Two Tents.’ It’s based on a joke about a teepee and a wigwam, and talks about history and techniques of portable dwelling structures, then lets the students go to town designing and creating collaborative inflatable-based structures all DSC_0993DSC_0973DSC_0034in one hour. We had the best time! We’d love to do it again sometime.

“How do you get to The Cloisters?” For me and the two full-time gardeners charged with the care of Fort Tryon Park’s sixty-seven acres of forest and two historic gardens, this is the question we are asked the most. Our answer changes from season to season: the paths don’t move, but the flowers do, and we always guide visitors through the most beautiful experience the season offers.

From A Winter Walk through Fort Tryon Park by Jonathan Landsman, Landscape Coordinator, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

I’ve been working on a list of 100 blogs to read.

From Chateau de Gudanes, this post, about treading lightly:

“We want to accept its patina and wear, like an old, favourite, worn and frayed, cashmere sweater that you can’t bear to part with.”


“The restoration and the future design is all to do with ‘treading lightly’.  It’s our philosophy for CdG.  This isn’t a fast-food setup, but rather a gentle process. The history of the chateau, and the beauty of the region, deserves respect and a certain stillness.”

Costume Detail, a long-time source of fascination, inspires with her ‘about’ column.

“I am a costume designer and every day I see things that are fascinating and inspiring. They are the benefits of my profession.

Things not destined to be seen in the films.
Tools of the trade, research, materials.
Things out of context.
Things I collect and hope to use someday.
Fabrics, prints and articles of clothing.
Trimmings, equipment, workplaces.”
Yes, the benefits of my profession. Yes, things not destined. Yes, things out of context. Exactly.And finally the trials, the tribulations, the beautiful imagery of Saipua and her other projects; they hit so close to home, I hope I never meet her.


Marcel Duchamp’s Eclipse Totale at the Detroit Institute of the Arts

Links that captured my imagination lately:

R & D (Research & Degrowth)

The Soberscove Press ‘seeks to make available art-related materials that fill a gap in the literature or are difficult to access for a variety of reasons (i.e. out-of-print, not in translation, previously unpublished, forgotten, or limited in circulation.)’

NIGHTLAB is a three-week session to explore issues of ecology and urbanism from the perspective of light, or lack thereof, and the experience of it.  This lab is open to those eager to collectively speculate upon the relationship of ecology and urbanism with the design of light.”

Nice residencies: Write in the house of Hemingway’s birth, or do -whatever- on Ideas Island.



We spent a couple of days with Nelson Joseph’s work at the Alberni Valley Museum last month in preparation for the exhibit opening later this spring. This was the first time we had all of the work out together at the same time. More connections were made, understandings uncovered, a plan emerged…\

Rod & Nelson at the Alberni Valley Museum

Rod & Nelson at the Alberni Valley Museum

Nelson Joseph

The work of Nelson Joseph at the Alberni Valley Museum



// All systems have balances of success and failure, ebbs and flows, positive and negative feedback loops that create equilibrium within their respective ecologies. DETROIT represents a city in constant flux like no other on the American landscape. Assuming we are all navigating the curve of a success/fail cycle, then what might we observe to be true for Detroit? How can we represent these findings, and of what use are they to the ecology of the city itself? //

Wrapping up (beginning?) our Design Cities Detroit gathering, with several more project-based visits on the horizon. Ground truth proved surprising, and lots of creative connections were made, I am still processing what I witnessed into something real.