Exteriors: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Extension

Design Curiosities: Winkreative

Design Curiosities

Founded by Tyler Brûlé in 1998, Winkreative is a Zurich-based branding and design agency with 50+ employees and clients in 15 countries. In 1996 Brûlé launched the incredible Wallpaper* magazine. As you probably know, Wallpaper* was an instant hit, even earning Brûlé the British Society of Magazine Editors Lifetime Achievement Award. Wallpaper* is now available in over 50 countries. In 2002 Brûlé sold his stake in Wallpaper* to focus on Winkreative. This guy knows what he’s doing, Winkcreative is producing some amazing work. I highly recommend checking it out.

Curiosities: Harry Clarke’s Illustrations

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Harry Clarke was a stained glass artist and book illustrator from Ireland. His father owned a decorating business, and Harry grew up with a studio right at arms length. He is renowned in Ireland as a stained glass artist, but today I’m more intrigued by his drawings. In the twenties he created these amazingly erie illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. I pulled them from Will Schofield’s blog, 50Watts, who scanned them from a friend’s 1923 copy. I think they capture the essence of Poe beautifully. You can find all 24 illustrations on 50Watts.

Design Curiosities: Athletics

Design Curiosities



Athletics is a New York-based design firm founded in 2004 by Jason Gnewikow, Matt Owens, and James Ellis. I did not know until just recently that Athletics founding partner Jason Gnewikow was the guitarist and art director for one of my all-time favorite bands, The Promise Ring. This was an exciting and unexpected discovery for me. It was the work of musician graphic designers like Jason that got me into this business in the first place. In addition to Athletics, Jason is a partner in the newly launched hotel, The Graham & Co.

If you have a second longer, I highly recommend checking out this ancient-by-internet-standards video of Jason talking about his earlier work for The Promise Ring and Jade Tree Records.

Good Goods: Copper Baskets

Copper BAskets from House Doctor
These metal storage baskets are available at House Doctor, but I’m not sure if they have any distributors in America. At any rate, they are quite lovely and are on my wish list. I recommend checking out the House Doctor shop, for sure. It is a family-run interior design business with in house interior accessory designers. Let’s just hope they have plans to sell in the US soon.

Exteriors: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Extension

Design Curiosities

Design Curiosities

Design Curiosities
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was by far our favorite museum in Boston. The Gardner opened on January 1, 1903, and is the legacy of famed american art collector and philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardner. The original building was designed in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palazzo, where three floors of galleries surround a garden courtyard.

Over the years, the number of annual visitors to the Gardner had grown from 2,000 to 200,000. This increase, along with new museum programming, began to stretch the original building too thin. In 1999 the Museum launched an Extension and Preservation Project to reclaim the palazzo.

In January 2012 the new extension, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, opened to the public. The 70,000 square-foot addition includes spaces for visitor services, concerts, and special exhibitions. I highly recommend a visit the next time you’re in New England.

All Images Credit: Photography © Nic Lehoux / Renzo Piano Building Workshop