Henry Dreyfuss

I was first introduced to the work of Henry Dreyfuss in school, researching my thesis. In search of information on the dimensions of the human body, I was directed to The Measure of Man, Dreyfuss' 1959 book on ergonomics and human factors. The Art and Architecture library had a gorgeous, near-original manuscript with big, beautiful drawings. I recentIy bought another book of his, Designing for People. This mid-century masterwork introduced industrial design best practices to the world, one of the earliest examples of applying "design thinking" to general business and quality-of-life problems.

Born in Brooklyn in 1904, Dreyfuss apprenticed himself to the legendary Norman Bel Geddes at the tender age of 20. At the time, industrial design was not entirely recognized as a field in and of itself. Bel Geddes' studio mainly paid the bills by designing sets for theatrical productions in and around New York. Dreyfuss split off to form his own practice (still working today) in 1929.

Man at work.


Alley Walking II

Winter is dying a slow, slushy death here in Chicago, full of ugly wet snow and matte gray skies. While comparatively mild this year, winter does seem to drag on forever. It's a good time to go for a walk. 

Two recent articles ( 1, 2) brought my own fondness for walking into focus. The slow, rhythmic pace of travel allows the mind to both wander and focus. A lack of speed allows for close observation of the surroundings. Dense urban conditions allow for the majority of errands to be done on foot.

A collection of alley photos from the last week or two, mirroring a post from a year ago

Beautiful red garage, reminded me of the Rural Studio's Red Barn.


Made Now

A few weeks ago, I put up a post about Tumblr, Pinterest, and this current fetish for curation on the internet. With so much content out there, it's easy to get trapped into an endless cycle of re-posting and recycling without respecting the source.

A few days ago, I finally joined the smart-phoned ranks. Inspired by a few Tumblrs of original content that I enjoy, and the new tool at my disposal, I've hammered out a new addition to the Object Guerilla family: Made Now.

Made Now is a Tumblr of what I make, daily, in real time. The caption is the date and time. The tags explain in a few words what it is, but, in the spirit of Tumblr, it is meant to be consumed as images. 

Smartphones and technology are often blamed as carriers of distraction, destruction, and desperation. I am often one of those cranks, shouting silently at the hooded hunchers on the train -- look around you! 

I want to turn this computer in my pocket into a tool for mindfulness instead of a twittering, Facebooking tyrant. Hopefully this practice will discipline my making, focus my energy, and serve as an accessible record of my education as a craftsman, designer, and architect.

Subscribe now! Made Now.

3.5.13 / 11:51 AM. Circle cutting jig.