Ideas for Contemporary Living

Tag: Snapshot

Snapshot 26

Posted on January 17th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, The Moment. No Comments

If you attended the Fog Fair last week, you most likely noticed three works by the Dutch duo that makes up Studio Drift:  Shylight and In 20 Steps at Pace Gallery, and Fragile Future at Carpenter Workshop Galleries.  These two designers are working to create site-specific installations and interactive sculptures that deal with space and light, utilizing an understanding of geometries and movement in the natural environment paired with the latest in technology and craft. This is worth checking out.

I first noticed Skylight  in a video of the installation at the Rijksmuseum. Mimicking the metamorphosis of flowers from day to night, this is a dynamic interpretation of lighting, which are normally static in the form of stationary pendants or chandeliers.  I think this is perfect for a temporary installation or public space…a little bit goes a long way.

In 20 Steps expresses the movement and “ultimate freedom of flight” in brass and glass, LED and microchips. Simple elements become dynamic, and capture light as the sun sets.



My favorite, perhaps the most easily integrated into the above-average home, is Fragile Future. I love that dandelions were hand-picked, with their seeds individually glued to LED lights, becoming something both fragile and exquisite. Perhaps I just remember playing … Read More »

Snapshot 25

Posted on September 6th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

Design is about turning fantasy into reality, dreams into inhabitable spaces. The work comes from turning ideas into something that can be built. As summer came, I tasked myself with an ultimate task…starting my own firm, a client focused firm built on my professional (and personal) experiences, knowledge and dreams. The timing of this was perfect, in that it coincided with a long planned trip with Sean, my mom and sister to explore Paris, the Loire Valley, Normandy, and London. Seventeen days to daydream, seventeen days to explore what design and life can be. This trip ended up being a great reprise from the work that was about to come, and a time to reconnect with family, while being inspired by great design current and historical.

While in London, I revisited the Serpentine Gallery, which yearly invites one architect to build a summer pavilion. This years architect is Bjarke Ingels, of BIG, who is known locally for designing the new Google campus in Mountain View. Known for architecture with expressive gestures which are joyful, Ingels took his starting point of a brick wall, and worked to create something beautiful out of this ordinary structure. Instead of clay, Ingels  stacked fiberglass blocks to create a cavernous cave.  The blocks shift forward … Read More »

Light Fantastic

Posted on February 16th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

This past week I ran into Leo Villereal’s work at every turn. On a break from work, I saw a great show at Jessica Silverman/fused space gallery. Watching the Super Bowl fireworks show, there was Villereal’s work at the Bay Bridge as a back drop {click here}. And then there on the back page of Architectural Digest was his installation at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum. Clearly there is a convergence of interest in the work.

The work of Leo Villereal resonates with me: its fluid, evolving, and utilizes technology to create eye-catching, ephemeral installations that compliment the viewer in a way that makes us feel hip and modern for getting it. Usually working in installation format, the site-specific works morph into organic forms or simply turn on-off in random fashion. These pieces take advantage of the minutiae of  LED lighting combined with the speed and finesse of computer programming software and electrical hardware.

The computer software and electrical hardware provide the vehicle for the visual manifestation of code–an artist-written algorithm employing the binary system of 1s and 0s telling each LED when to turn on or off. This simple command creates lighting sequences that synchronize or randomly diverge. It also changes how we think … Read More »

Snapshot 24

Posted on January 12th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, Inhabit. No Comments

A fixture of Bay Area art for decades, David Ireland lived the life he preached, turning his house at 500 Capp Street into a living sculpture. Ideas of impermanence, authorship, and “what is art” all come together in one living experiment.
His house was one of the first projects that I studied while at CCA. I was excited by the originality and unconventionality: beds and walls that move, torches as lamps, decay as art/decoration. I love that Ireland shellacked all the walls, thereby preserving the decay. Ironically, the house has now been painstakingly restored to its original state of decay (along with foundation and public access code requirements) and will reopen to the public this month.  The 500 Capp Street Foundation is dedicated to providing access to the artist’s work, related study and public programming. It’s worth checking out.

A signature of David Ireland’s art is his dumbballs, formed by passing a lump of concrete from hand to hand (over a period of hours) until a sphere sets up and hardens.  The artwork required time and repetition, with theory over-taking notions of craft and artist’s decision-making. Chance and physical characteristic become the output of the creative process, where the performance that engages the body as much as the mind. Isn’t this connection … Read More »

Snapshot 22

Posted on October 13th, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

An installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum plays with our perception of light and space, using colored acrylic panels and ceramic tile in a color gradient to create a visual passage of compression. Situated in-between the Renaissance galleries displaying drawings and glass, this installation plays gently with the historical concept of line drawing in the form of the cut out shapes, and the literalness of the stained glass windows on display nearby. I think this is very clever, with excellent execution.

The title of the show furthers the Renaissance reference: “The Mise-en-abyme”, which means “into the abyss”, is a representational technique in which a scene is depicted within the scene which is depicted within that scene. The installation was created by London designers Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri.  The show was installed to coincide with this year’s London Design Festival. Very cool.

David Bjørngaard, October 2015

Snapshot #20

Posted on June 30th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, The Moment. No Comments

I’m a fan of this commercial carpet from Ege, which shows the full range of possibilities being produced in the commercial carpet world. The advances in technology are allowing for greater creativity in design, and performance durability. I would even recommend this carpet in a kids playroom or rec room, as stains and spills would be easily cleanable. I’m excited to utilize the technology in the residential world.  Enjoy!

David Bjørngaard, June 2015


Posted on June 23rd, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

Materiality is the star at the new Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University, by Aidlin Darling Design and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture. Rammed earth, stained oak, glass, river rock, steel, and water combine to create a unified, textural experience that awakens the senses. This is the type of simplicity, detail and richness that I admire in interiors and landscapes. This makes me envious of the students and faculty at Stanford who get to use this space.


I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-

  dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

  As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!


Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here

  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!


  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,

  Fall, gall themselves, and gash Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1918


David … Read More »

Snapshot #19

Posted on June 2nd, by David Bjorngaard in Here/There, The Moment. No Comments

I now realize that I am stain glass obsessed! (See Snapshot #3) Not 1970’s hippie stained glass that we still see sometimes in this part of the world, but the modernist architectural-artistic variety that filters light while providing a modern voice in traditional buildings.  While running down an art-and-design-rabbit-hole on my computer, I came across this abstracted cross design by the 1994 Turner prize nominee Shirazeh Houshiary and her architect husband Pip Horne for St. Martin In-The-Field in London.

I love the simplicity of the warped grid, which reinterprets traditional religious cross iconography, but is thoroughly modern in the use of opaque and translucent glass in a monochrome pattern. Designed to replace the original stained glass window destroyed in World War 2, this simple insertion contrasts nicely with the 18th century architecture by James Gibbs, a contemporary of John Nash. The effect is strong and poetic.

David Bjørngaard, June 2105

(Snapshot is a Tuesday post series of ideas, art and images that inspire me now)

Snapshot #17

Posted on April 21st, by David Bjorngaard in Elements. No Comments

As the “makers” movement spreads, not only are neighborhoods and jobs created, but traditional crafts are being revitalized. I’m really excited about this. Working on high-end interiors has allowed me to source and design hand-made items, things which you cannot find anywhere else, providing one-of-a-kind exclusivity to the projects I work on. This is a huge source of enjoyment and fun as I get to know the crafts people, and gain knowledge on how things are made. The makers movement has democratized this process, bringing unique and affordable pieces into the homes of design conscious individuals. I think the shift is great, as we all deserve to live with things made by individuals with care and love.

I am working on a project where I have been sourcing unique textiles for my client, who lived and traveled in Japan. She loves the Japanese aesthetic, especially a blue & white color palette. In my endeavor to outfit her office, I came across Ricketts Indigo, a husband wife team that cultivates indigo on their Indian farm in order to produce the dye for their crafts. The process is labor intensive, resulting in both woven and dyed textiles which are imbued with value and meaning. The textiles have subtle color … Read More »