Author: Cynthia E. Smith

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Woven tan wicker armchair with colorful found plastic and rubber objects (including discarded bottles, tire, flip-flop, broken doll parts) woven into, and protruding from, the form.
A battle between nature and plastic

The Campana Brothers’ TransPlastic collection tells a fictional story: in a world made of plastic, nature grows from the plastic and overpowers it. This conceptual collection reflects the Campanas’ preference for juxtaposing contrasting materials and manipulating the scale of domestic furniture. The series treats the natural fiber as clothing or a prosthetic addition, transforming the furniture’s original shape with organically shaped extensions.

Multi-leveled tower-like building supported by cables being dropped into bombed craters depicted in a dynamic and vigorous swooping, diagonal orientation from the upper left to lower right. Three binder holes along left edge.
Experimental Structures
I read Buckminster Fuller’s “Critical Path” early in my studies and was always struck by how his formative education and life circumstances informed his work over the years.  Failure confronted Fuller after he left the Navy, heading him on his “lifelong experiment” with an aim of finding out “what, if anything,” one individual could do...
clay landscape tile
Two Rooks
My student rental on one of the famous hills in Cincinnati yielded a one bedroom first floor apartment in an older house on a busy street.  It seemed safe, was affordable, but most importan,t and the selling point for me, were the Rookwood tiles embedded in the fireplace and doorway frame. Such tiles were popular...
wooden chair
Material Masters
Sculptural, ergonomic and light weight ––the DCW (Dining Chair Wood) along with the other molded plywood furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames––was revolutionary in its material, form and manufacturing method. While still at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, described as the “cradle of American modernism,” Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen initially collaborated on the design...
Design-and-Social-Impact
Design and Social Impact Q + A: Bryan Bell
Five Intelligent Coalitions: Design and Social Impact panelists were invited to expand on the Design and Social Impact white paper recommendations. Each had participated in the 2012 Social Impact Design Summit, which the “Design and Social Impact: A cross-sectoral agenda for design education, research and practice” white paper chronicles. Bryan Bell, Co-Founder of the SEED...
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Design and Social Impact Q + A: Mariana Amatullo
Five Intelligent Coalitions: Design and Social Impact panelists were invited to expand on the Design and Social Impact white paper recommendations. Each had participated in the 2012 Social Impact Design Summit, which the “Design and Social Impact: A cross-sectoral agenda for design education, research, and practice” white paper chronicles. Mariana Amatullo, Co-Founder and Vice President...
Green ceramic vase
Informal Living
I sold an almost complete set of chartreuse curry colored American Modern dinnerware two summers ago. It was one of the first items the antique dealers bought when we were clearing out the attic in anticipation of a move. I loathed parting with it because it represented a unique time in American domestic life when...
Design-and-Social-Impact
Social Impact and Design
“There is much that members of this diverse, global community can learn from one another and from the constituents they serve.” – Design and Social Impact finding “Where are the gaps? What are the models? How can we prepare the next generation of designers?” were the three topics a diverse group of leading practitioners and...
Drawing of Grand Central Terminal
New York Classic
Like thousands of others, I pass through Grand Central Terminal every day on my way to work. Actually I am on a subway train passing below, but in my mind’s eye I picture the magnificent granite and limestone building looming above Park Avenue interrupting the busy boulevard. Even today it stands as an enduring temple...