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Journal

The Semi-Comprehensive History of the Chino

The Semi-Comprehensive History of the Chino

Although often used as the name for the style of trousers themselves, chino is, in fact, the name of a 100% cotton twill cloth.

The trousers’ origins can be traced back to a British military officer by the name of Sir Harry Lumsden, who encountered an issue with troops in his Corps of Guides who were dressed in sparkling white cotton uniforms while stationed in the dusty desert on The North West Frontier of India and Afghanistan, leaving them vulnerable to sniper attacks. He dyed the uniforms with either tea or river mud (the historical jury is still out on this one) and came up with a resulting cloth of a drab yellowish shade, named khaki from the Hindi word for dust. The resulting camouflage kept his troops out of danger. 

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Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air | TED

Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air | TED

Kamal Meattle was told by his doctors that he would have to leave New Delhi, one of the cities with the world’s dirtiest air, to save his lungs and health. Instead of fleeing his home, he consulted a 1989 study by NASA before developing a unique tactic for cleaning the air of his office building: a greenhouse containing hundreds of common household plants, including money plant, areca palm and mother-in-law’s tongue.

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Recreating Eden and Roberto Burle Marx

Recreating Eden and Roberto Burle Marx

“Unlike any other art form, a garden is designed for the future, and for future generations.” – Roberto Burle Marx. 

Roberto Burle Marx was one of the most influential landscape architectures of the 21st century although he surprisingly never gained significant notoriety outside of his home country, Brazil. He even often collaborated on large projects with Oscar Niemeyer.

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How To Build Your Own Living Structures by Ken Isaacs

How To Build Your Own Living Structures by Ken Isaacs

How To Build Your Own Living Structures is an out-of-print manual (PDF available here) by Ken Isaacs, who is known for an architectural career of radically deconstructing conventional notions of modernism. The DIY guide consists of a series of his Living Structures, all hand-made and affordable furniture and architectural units, that provide multifunctional use which challenged the way people work and live within their own homes and environments. The spatial requirements for the Living Structures are that they are larger than furniture yet smaller than architecture.

“Put traditional, separate pieces of furniture in a tiny shelter and you have a shack, uncleanable, crowded and impossible to live in. The old ideas of furniture have always interfered with the development of truly compact, ecologically correct homes." – Ken Isaacs

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Paolo Soleri: Transforming the magic of the desert into an urban dream

Paolo Soleri: Transforming the magic of the desert into an urban dream

In 1970, fed up with a society devoted to accumulation, pollution, and density, Italian architect Paolo Soleri began the construction of Arcosanti.

Let’s think about the mountain of toys that man surrounds himself with. To feel alive we have to constantly buy and we’re now prisoners of materialism. The more we accumulate, the stronger our self-esteem gets”.

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Tom Sachs: Unperfecting perfection and transformation

Tom Sachs: Unperfecting perfection and transformation

Bricoleur, artist and early authority of the art of knolling, Mr. Tom Sachs has a peculiar relationship with perfection. Looking at his most recent body of work – i.e. Hasselblad – it’s apparent that it embraces the beauty of handicraft and imperfection. Working under Frank Gehry gave Tom Sachs a deep understanding of the way perfection is achieved through order as well as the tools needed to develop his own vision of it.

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From the How-To Series: Embrace the Stain

From the How-To Series: Embrace the Stain

For centuries, we have been taught to hide and remove food, wine and grass stains from our clothing. In our eyes, stains are a natural expression of being human, a reminder of a particular experience, good or bad: coffee with a close friend, an expensive fountain pen that leaked or the culinary euphoria you experienced while traveling.

Here are a few tips on embracing stains as a mark of authenticity and identity:

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