June 13, 2014

Oregon Grape Plant: Yellow and Purple Dyes

The Native Northwest people used the Oregon Grape plant to create bright yellow dyes and a variety of medicines. The yellow dye is created from the plant’s inner bark and roots. It creates yellow flowers in the spring and purple berries in the summer. The berries produce a purple dye (although it’s not known for its stability). 

This spring, I drew an Oregon Grape plant. (These plants grow all over the place in the Puget Sound area.) 

May 19, 2014

"Our Neighborhood" Interactive for the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Recently, I finished a project where I designed the “Our Neighborhood” interactive for Weatherhead Experience Design for the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle. 

During the 1950s in Seattle, new neighborhoods were being formed in great numbers. This interactive celebrates that history as well as recording the new stories. In this piece, I tried to capture the 1950s and the spirit of Seattle—fun, smart and quirky.

The Neighborhood sign is made up of letters from famous historic signs around the Seattle area.

For this project, I had fun researching 1950s art, product design, typography, illustrations, advertisements 

Visitors learn about the history behind the neighborhoods and they have an opportunity to share their neighborhood’s story. (see above) Visitors can play a game that predicts neighborhoods that they would enjoy. (see below)

It takes a small village to create these interactives. I worked with Weatherhead Experience Design: Andrea Weatherhead, Writers: Katrinka Mannelly and Joe Wahman, Project Manager: Susan Merrill, Code Developer: Bob Freeman, all the staff at MOHAI who helped out, Executive Director: Leonard Garfield and Historian: Lorraine McConaghy.

April 30, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Favorite Color

In Scottsdale, Arizona sits a gem- Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architecture school. According to one of the docents, Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite color was a red orange. Outside the buildings it becomes an accent color to the natural stone walls and red oxide colored beams, structures and steps. (Red oxide looks like another favorite color.) Inside this beautiful red orange color becomes a strong visual element that warms up the spaces. You see it on the furniture, drapes, theatre benches and walls.

One of the docents said that Frank Lloyd Wright had his cars specially painted for him in this color. On this pinterest board you can see that he painted his cars either red oxide or a shade of orange.