Friday, November 9, 2007, 03:51 AMWhen I started SpaceTransform, I set out to offer design services in a way that dealt with more than just the surface appearance of homes and offices. I understood that our wellbeing is intricately related to that of our environments, and so while I intended to apply the skills and principles I'd learned in interior design school, I also wanted to incorporate Feng Shui and considerations of the energetics of our homes. I wanted to help people find harmony in their homes, so that they could feel peaceful and uplifted in their lives.
I had no idea how profound this work would be! It is incredibly moving and rewarding to be invited into peoples' homes, to get a glimpse of their lives, and to lend assistance and inspiration by creating supportive and comfortable spaces, by teaching and encouraging, and by infusing their environments with intention and energy. It has turned out that my *design* work is also *healing* work. I am honored and grateful for that; this services is enriching on many levels -- for my clients, and for myself. I am happy to strive to offer the best of my self in order to help people live more beautiful lives.
"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us."
Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 11:46 PMBurning Man this year was as usual an intense mix of beauty and challenge, work and play, natural and unnatural phenomena. The Tree Spires installation that I participated in was, ultimately, more successful than not. Here is a photo showing one of the four steel trees we created, holding lanterns that I designed, during a magical sunset.
Friday, August 24, 2007, 02:46 AM
I'm about to make my annual pilgrimage to the Burning Man Arts Festival, and this time I'll be bringing sixteen sculptural lanterns that I made as part of the Tree Spires art installation. I and my fellow Tree Spires crew, who go by the name "Iron Monkeys", spent the summer constructing four 15'-tall steel trees with benches built around the bases, and the lanterns which will hang in the trees.
For those of you who don't know, Burning Man is an event which takes place at this time every year in a remote location outside of Gerlach, Nevada. The festival, which calls itself an "experiment in temporary community," gathers tens of thousands of participants from all over the world who co-create "Black Rock City" together. The city, raised on the blank canvas of an ancient seabed, is devoted to art, and all forms of personal expression. It functions as a gift economy; there is no vending or advertising. It is pure human creativity, ingenuity, generosity, and interaction. After Labor Day the event ends and all traces of it are removed. At least the physical ones... Burning Man is a powerful cultural force which has transformed many lives, including mine. It encourages personal empowerment and creative expression, provides a community of inspired people from all walks of life, and infuses a sense of joy and wonder at the possibilities that exist. I highly recommend visiting the web site, reading a bit more, and looking through the image gallery -- a picture is worth 1000 words!
I look forward to installing and sharing the art that I and my friends have created. I will share pictures after I return! Happy end-of-summer!
Thursday, July 19, 2007, 12:24 PMLast week one of my clients contacted me to say, "what I didn't tell you at the time I hired you is that I'm a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and we're doing an article on Interior Redesign." Gulp! My first national coverage! Today that article came out. It is a writeup evaluating five redesigners across the country, including SpaceTransform. Here it is:
"Interior Designers Use Your Own Furnishings"
Thursday, June 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
Did you know: when I'm not transforming spaces, I'm designing and building sculptural lamps. It all started about 6 years ago with a vision of creating gorgeous, transcendent light art that would remind people of their nature, which *is* nature. Lights that are beautiful and alive, like us! I am finally manifesting my creations and installing them at events, sharing their magic. Soon I will be offering them for special event rental, taking orders for fine art commissioned pieces, and offering a line of mesmerizing designs. It's another way for me to help make the world more beautiful. That is one of the things I'm here to do!
This image shows the piece I am currently working on right now... it is about 6' tall, and filled with color-changing LEDs. I call it "Luminous Tease".
Monday, April 23, 2007, 03:42 PMSpaceTransform got a little write-up last week on NWSource.com's "Daily Find." Check it out:
Change your world with an interior 're-designer'
Thursday, March 22, 2007, 08:08 PM
Ah... sweet spring!
Growing up in Minnesota, where winters were long and frozen, I developed a deep appreciation for the return of spring. During the painfully cold and grey winters it would seem almost incomprehensible that the season would again change to one of warmth and life. But of course it always would, eventually. Sunny days in March (or April) would feel like a miracle, a surprise blessing from the universe. Spring's ecstatic return after a dark winter would remind me of the reliability of the change in seasons. That I could trust in nature! That change was inevitable. That new life wants to emerge... and that we all are given opportunities to renew ourselves, to grow and transform. Even now, living in temperate Seattle I am deeply moved by this time of transition and the energy it carries.
The Chinese theory of Yin/Yang complementary balance explains the normal change of the seasons in this way: winters show the Yin aspects of darkness, passivity, and coldness. The cycle in spring then naturally changes to the Yang conditions of brightness, activity, and expansion. This is why we are in harmony with nature when we rest and go inward in winter, and when in spring our energy raises and we grow and express ourselves.
Spring is here again, for the land and for us. What new discoveries will you find within yourself, what new activities will you begin, how will you grow and transform in this exciting, revitalizing time?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 01:10 AM
Healthy indoor plants are incredibly beneficial to the beauty and energy of a home.
* They clean the air, taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
* Plants in potting soil bring both wood and earth elements into a space, which represent growth and stability.
* If placed in appropriate locations, plants will always have an extremely profound positive effect on the beauty and power of a space.
Following a few guidelines will help you best integrate plants into your home.
* In terms of plant shapes to choose, keep in mind that form defines energy. Which plant would you imagine would have more harmonious energy -- one with sharp spiky leaves, or one with soft rounded clusters? In general, choose plants that have rounded or oval leaves rather than spiky leaves or cacti.
* Choose plants that are appropriate to the light levels and other conditions in your home.
* Place plants in pretty pots that are big enough (but not too big) for their roots to grow and expand. Repot them when necessary for their continued radiance.
* If well cared-for and healthy, plants' vitality will generate chi (life-energy) for their environment. If they're unhealthy or contain dead plant-matter, they will actually have a negative effect on the energy of the space. It is therefore important to take good care of your plants, to pay close attention to their health, and to trim off dead bits when necessary.
Life is better with plants!
Monday, January 29, 2007, 01:06 PM
From a Feng Shui perspective, the front entrance is one of the most important features of a home, strongly affecting the experience of its inhabitants as well as its guests.
The front entrance (or the entrance used mainly) is the face of the house, and in that sense it represents a home's image and character. It greets you as you return after each excursion. It greets guests as they enter. And it leaves the final imprint as we depart into the world. It is the window between the inside sanctuary and the outside environment, the vital passageway through which chi energy flows. The entrance therefore has a very important role and should be given appropriate care and attention.
The following should be considered:
* The entrance should be clear, visible, confident. It should not hide behind overgrown bushes or plantings.
* The front porch is not a good place to store clutter or belongings which don't have a place inside the house. Many people spend time and energy carefully arranging the interiors of their houses to create a good feeling, but if the front entrance is cluttered then the experience will still suffer; by the time they and guests have arrived in to that space, they have already been negatively affected by the entrance's first impression.
* The flow of energy into the house is affected by the objects in its way. So in addition to affecting humans' perception of the home, clutter and overgrown foliage will hamper the ability for chi to enter and vitalize the space.
* Design front entrances with care and intention: clear of clutter, with a few beautiful objects arranged in a simple, balanced, harmonious way. This will provide a positive first impression, visually and energetically, for you and your guests.
* The area just inside the entrance should also be arranged well, providing a welcoming and spacious place for us to transition between the outside and inside.
Next time you enter your front entrance, pay attention to the subtle impressions it creates. What simple changes could you make to optimize this facet of your home?
[photo: front door designed by Morris Sheppard]
Monday, January 8, 2007, 09:45 PMIn Feng Shui we talk about living in harmony with nature, and that includes considering the rhythm of the seasons as we go about our lives.
Our mechanical world of electric lights, alarm clocks, and year-round availability of all manners of food has confused our bodies' instinctual alignment with natural principles. However, becoming conscious of this fact we can make choices to better honor nature's seasonal intelligence. We should not necessarily try to keep a constant and unchanging state of work, rest, and eating throughout the year.
Many people I've been encountering lately (myself included) complain of being tired due to the winter weather. Instead of seeing this tiredness as a problem to be resisted, why not simply respond to it with more sleep?
As nature finds in winter a time of rest and renewal, so should we. So give yourself permission to go to bed a bit earlier or to sleep a bit later. It's OK to take a brief nap in the afternoon. It's just fine to spend Saturday night snuggled up with a book. We are simply flowing with natural principles when we subtly allow our energies to cycle seasonally.
Spring and its burst of new energy and life will be here soon enough, joyfully pulling us with it... so let's all help each other remember to delight in the calm inward restful nature of winter.