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Bernhardt And Aruliden Enlist Eighth-Graders To Design Ideal Schoolroom

Beating out graduate-school contenders at this year's ICFF, the School at Columbia receives an honor and teaches us all something in the process.

Which school nabbed a top prize at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair? No, not RISD or Pratt but rather the School at Columbia and its team of eighth-graders, who took it upon themselves to reinvent their classroom -- a space that has evolved little since the dawn of the Industrial Age.

The resulting products are nothing short of inspiring.

As part of the Tools at Schools program, the creative consultancy Aruliden guided the class through every step of the design process -- from research to mood boards and 3-D modeling to production, which is where Bernhardt, the North Carolina–based furniture company, came in. “We even flew the kids down to the factory in North Carolina, so they could see the manufacturing aspect of it,” Johan Liden, of Aruliden, says. That was really key for us, to go full circle.” The company’s president, Jerry Helling, has shown his commitment to fostering American talent through his seven-year collaboration with the Art Center in Pasadena and was eager to do the same with a younger set of students.

The resulting table, chair, and lockers -- which made their debuts ICFF -- are nothing short of inspiring: well-made pieces that display not only a fine attention to function but the flourishes that make designs pop. The lockers, for example, feature a doorknob (inspired by one student describing her locker as her bedroom for the semester) and a wealth of storage, including seven shelves and a tilt-out bin. A clever addition is the name tag that doubles as a mail slot –- which won raves among the students. “There’s not a blackboard in the entire school -- it’s all touch screens and smartboards -- so when they saw something that was a little more tangible, that you can actually write a note, it was more exciting to them than something digital,“ Liden says.

"More than anything, this is a call to action."

Although Bernhardt wouldn’t disclose the size of its investment, Helling says that it was a “big, big one.” The company has no intention of mass-producing and selling the pieces and is looking for an outside manufacturer. But up until now, the only nibbles have been from potential buyers. “People want to buy it, so many people, and they won’t stop asking,” Helling says. "First we have to find somebody to make it.” The licensing fees would go to promoting design education in school curricula. “The idea of learning how something’s actually made is something that most kids don’t get,” he says. “Nobody has any idea. Things just appear on the Internet and you order it and it’s here.”

Liden thinks the collection can be produced affordably, though perhaps not with all the bells and whistles. "But that’s the next step," he says. "More than anything, this is a call to action. Anyone can do this in their backyard."

Be sure to click through the digital slideshow for close-ups of the final products. For a more detailed description of the design process, read Linda Tischler’s fine article on FastCompany.com.

Source: Belinda Lanks, senior editor at Co.Design.


European Trends Heat Up American Kitchens

Painted and exotic-wood cabinets, appliances boasting wireless connectivity, and hands-free faucets are some of the hot trends from overseas, says The Home Depot’s trend and design expert.

Source: BUILDING PRODUCTS Magazine‚Ä®
By Jean Dimeo

With the unabashed fascination of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London Friday, it’s no surprise Americans are also looking overseas for inspiration for their kitchens. Jennifer Foresman, senior manager of trend and design for The Home Depot, travels the world in search of the products and trends that will take hold in the U.S. She shared her insights with several hundreds attendees at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas last week.

What’s Hot From Europe





Waterway Memorial Day Event to Feature Video Tribute of Military Heroes

Residents are encouraged to submit photos of their military heroes to the University of Phoenix for a special video tribute at the University of Phoenix booth during the Memorial Day celebration at Waterway Square in The Woodlands.

The Memorial Day event is from 6-9 p.m. May 28 and 29.
 
Hosted by The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Memorial Day Event in The Woodlands will include live music in Waterway Square, complete with fireworks, face painters, balloonists and more.

Local pop/rock band August 83 will take the performance state from 6-7:20 p.m. May 28. Another Houston favorite, alter Ego, will play the latest alternative and contemporary hits from 7:40 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day.

The fun continues May 29 with live music from country favorite the Buck Yeager Band from 6-7:20 p.m., followed by one of The Woodlands’ favorite bands, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as they energize the audience with a variety of classic 80s hits from 7:40-9 p.m.

A grand display of fireworks will light up the night sky both evenings beginning at 8:55 p.m.

“University of Phoenix has the depest respect for the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country,” said Christina Robinson Grochett, University of Phoenix South Texas vice president. “The university is excited to offer local residents an opportunity to honor their hero as we celebrate freedom with friends and family.”

Photos of military heroes for the video tribute can be emailed to natalie.broussard@phoenix.edu.

Attendees at the Memorial Day Event in The Woodlands will find limited, free parking in the Waterway Square parking garage, located between Fountain Plaza and Woodloch Court, and curbside along Lake Robbins Drive, Waterway Avenue, Waterway Square Place and Timberloch Place.

Paid covered parking is available at the 24 Waterway parking garage, located at the corner of Fountain Plaze and Lake Robbins Drive; the Waterway Square parking garage, located between Fountain Plaza and Lake Robbins Drive; and the surface parking lot at the corner of Waterway Avenue and Timberloch Place and the corner of Six Pines and Lake Robbins Drive.

Source: Woodlands Villager


Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas is Newest event in Global Series

The inaugural Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas will take place in The Woodlands, located just north of downtown Houston, on May 21, 2011.

“Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas will be a phenomenal race,” said Steve Meckfessel, Ironman's Chief Operations Officer. “The community's spirit, unique amenities and accessibility make The Woodlands a perfect destination for our athletes and spectators. We’re truly excited about adding this event to the 2011 Ironman schedule.”

Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas will offer 65 coveted slots to the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship, taking place on Oct. 8 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Additionally, there will be a prize purse of $100,000 for distribution among the top professional male and female finishers.


Early voting underway for The Woodlands Township board election

Early voting for The Woodlands Township’s Board of Directors election began Monday, May 2, 2011 and will run through Tuesday, May 10. Election Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14.

All registered voters who are residents of The Woodlands Township will be able to vote for candidates in Positions 5, 6, and 7 of The Woodlands Township’s Board of Directors. Each office carries a two-year term and all three positions are elected at-large by voters in The Woodlands Township in both Montgomery County and Harris County.

The ballot positions for candidates are:

  - Position 5: Nelda Luce Blair

  - Position 6: Peggy S. Hausman
                      James Stilwell                           

- Position 7: Bruce Tough

From Monday, May 2, through Saturday, May 7, the early voting polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Polls will be closed on Sunday, May 8. On the last two days of early voting,