Graduation Present... to myself

So today I bought myself a little graduation present... a brand spank'n new vehicle! More precisely: a bike, bought with graduation gift money. We currently own one car and do not want another, so we are very grateful that our new home is only one and a half miles from my work.  Thus, I will be able to stroll in through downtown Montgomery on this bad boy...
...sweaty but sleek. And on rainy days I'm sure my wonderful wife will give me a lift. She'll just be grateful for what pedaling will do for my glutes. On that thought, I think bicycles are pretty brilliant: they use the age old technology of the wheel and gears to increase the efficiency and efficacy of man-power, which is not only free, but clean and renewable! Thankfully they are coming back into fashion as a serious mode of transportation.
Anyways, this bike has great customer reviews and has been ranked at the top for commuter bikes, plus it is gorgeous. What sealed the deal for me was, of course, the classic lines, the integrated bell and lights, and the avocado fenders... so I decided to go for it, even though I couldn't take it for a test ride.
Its expected delivery day is my first day of work. I was hoping to have a few free days to practice and regain my 5th grade biking skills, but I'll probably just go for it as soon as it comes in. Now all I need is a helmet, a new pair of Tom's, and a couple toddler bike seats for the kids.



I am officially done!  Today was my graduation commencement that sealed the deal. I am now a college grad with degrees in Architecture and Interior Architecture.
The only person more ready for this day to come than I was my fantastic wife. Since our marriage the summer after my freshman year, she has managed to give birth and care for two children, run our little business and only income, babydarling, all while putting up with my intensive architectural education. Amazing... even a few professors during the CADC reception this afternoon congratulated Brooke and told her how instrumental she has been. These last five years have been pretty intense, and exhausting... but I would not change anything.
The work has paid off.  Now I can be paid for my work, and we can enjoy being young parents... we are now off to new and exciting things. Wish us luck!


Pure Joy

I am so incredibly thankful to God for my family.  It is such a wonderful thing to hear the words, "Mommy, I love you" come from a two year old. I try to soak up the conversations that I have with my little boy.  Just last night he was handing me a "present" and I asked him what it was.  He said, "It's a Cindewella dwess for you, and I'm the prince.  I will dance with you."  I cherish those moments.
It's an amazing thing to have a tiny little babe depend completely on you.  To be able to make her laugh and gurgle when I blow raspberries on her tummy.  To watch her grow and change so much in such a little bit of time.  To see her eyes light up and a big smile come across her face when she sees her daddy and her big brother.
Ah, motherhood. Tis a pure joy.
When I got out of bed this morning and came into the kitchen, I found a jar with beautiful flowers and a card next to it. It was the sweetest and most special card I have ever received.  I didn't realize it right away, but when I went into to kiss Nick on the cheek to say thank you, he asked if I looked on the back of the card.  I turned over the card and it said "hennstudio."  My sweet sweet husband stayed up last night and handmade me this card.  When I read those words now, I can hear his voice reading them to me.  It means so much for a wife to have the approval of her loving husband.  Thank you, my love, for everything.


Almost Done

I am posting this from the digital resource lab in the Ralph Brown Draughon Library where I am working on my thesis book (which was supposed to be turned in at 1:00 today... oops). Needing a little break from staring at InDesign, I came across this picture on the class folder and thought I would share it. This was my climactic thesis presentation a couple weeks ago... fun.  I am at the end of a five-year saga.  I graduate in 9 days, and all I have to do is finish my thesis book (I just reached page 91), complete a design project for Parametric Modeling, begin/finish a full scale mock-up for an independent study, and reformat my boards into a competition entry. At least the end is near... and now I will get back to work.



This semester I've been doing an independent study with one of my favorite architecture professors. The subject matter was completely open to what I desired to investigate, so I turned it into an opportunity to design and develop a product to add to our now latent shop, HENNstudio.
To include a research component, I began by assembling a quick collection of flat-packed designed objects.  Flat-packing is of interest to me because our business completely relies on shipping.  Flatness has both economic and environmental benefits for shipping.  The mobile we sell on babydarling, for example, has a shipping thickness of about 1/2 inch.
For the research, I was less interested in IKEA-type assemblies, and more interested in maneuvers such as tailoring, bending, and folding.  Instead of relying on a multitude of small parts and hardware, these take advantage of material properties and rely on very few and simple steps for the customer to turn the 2-dimensional cutout into a spatial object.  I thought I would share a few fun designs:
This is a spread from the catalog I intended to produce... I decided it wouldn't leave enough time for design. This is one of my favorites: the Piegato designed by Matthias Ries Design Office in Berlin.  The powder coated sheet of laser-cut steel is shipped completely flat. The customer then bends by hand, along perforations, the desired number of shelves with ease. The entire process, including mounting with simple screws, takes only a few minutes.

Above are a couple other examples of products that use bending. I adore the Real Good Chair.  The powder-coated steel ships flat and folds along laser-cut lines to create a dynamic and comfortable chair. "As skinny as a supermodel, yet far more sturdy." There is a fantastic little documentary on the chair that I would recommend.

Above are just a few more fun designed objects I happened to come across. Enjoy.
1. belkiz feedaway : portable feeding chair
2. unless coral lampshade
3. sara paculdo's flatchair
4. fuchs+funke's papton chair
5. josh jakus's floppy basket
6. fozzils