Tiny Homes, Big Inspirations

Contrary to the saying ‘bigger is better’, new technologies and innovative designers are defining downsizing in beautiful ways.

What is a Tiny Home?

Tiny Homes are cozy, liveable spaces of around 400 square feet or less. They are often transportable as well! As more people are adapting to the joys of owning less and living a simpler lifestyle, the Tiny Home Movement has expanded. With the creative minds of architects, these homes can be stylish and modern with super functional details to maximise usage.

In a 375-square-feet home named Heritage, lies a beautiful interior consisting of two bedroom lofts with skylights which maximise the use of height and space. A wooden oak table allows for versatility as you can utilise for big family dinners but also fold up into three parts to make space for an open area. Built for a family, this home also features a blue oasis of couch space with storage, which can be converted into a spare bed. Small details count in a small space, look closely behind the couch- there are stairs that lead to the loft bedrooms.

When it came to downsizing, the Mayes family chose to create a home on a 250-square-foot school bus. With beautiful white and grey aesthetics tinted with wooden details, the home they created is a modern space for the happy couple and their four kids. They made a relaxing lounge area that also functions as a work space. The bathroom is strategically laid out between the kitchen at the front of the bus and the sleeping area at the back.

Tiny Home concepts have been implemented to support functionality in other small spaces such as 194-square-foot apartments in Erasmus University in Rotterdam. These were formerly offices which have been revamped from top to bottom and side to side. The living space is suspended and can be accessed by stairs that double up as storage shelves. The sink has multi-functionality for both the kitchen and bathroom area. Similarly, the chalkboard also acts as a mirror for the bathroom. Feeling inspired yet?

Tiny Homes can be creative inside and out. Tiny Heirloom designed a customised home for a couple who loves to boulder. Their come is a cozy combination of passion and design with a bouldering wall installed on the front facet. The home features a retractable roll up door that lets light into the compact yet functional home consisting of a dining, lounge and sleeping area.

Today Tiny Homes has grown into a trend and a popular lifestyle. Adventurers and families alike have transformed small spaces into pieces of art. These tiny homes are sure to inspire and make a comfortable living. Could you live in a tiny space?

Nostalgic Artistry: pushing Analog photography to new limits

Here at Micro Macro we are feeling Nostalgic. With recent trends toward Analog/ Film photography over Digital, we’re looking for artists who are pushing boundaries within this medium. Cue photographer Charlie Kitchen, a contemporary photographer hailing from San Antonio, Texas...

 Analog Matte #038 (The Other Side of the Sky), 2017

Analog Matte #038 (The Other Side of the Sky), 2017

Hi Charlie!
First up, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! My name is Charlie Kitchen. I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.

Did you study Photography?
Yes, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Texas State University San Marcos in 2014.

 Analog Matte #030 (John Ford's Point), 2017

Analog Matte #030 (John Ford's Point), 2017

What draws you to using Analog photography in particular? Is there a Nostalgic element?
There are a few reasons for my attraction to Analog photography. My first camera was a hand-me-down 35mm Pentax Spotmatic from my Grandpa when I was 14. As far back as I can remember he was constantly shooting photos of me and the rest of my family. His interest must have gotten passed down through some sort of heredity. So when I received the Pentax, I was immediately hooked, shooting photos of my friends skateboarding and lurking around skate spots. I think my nostalgia trigger lies in the memories of my grandpa and skateboarding, both of which shaped who I am today.
Regarding my current practice, I believe there is an infinite amount of potential that the large format process has to offer in terms of physical manipulation of the process.

I love the way you investigate shapes and geometry with natural elements. What was your inspiration behind the pieces of camera magic you have created? How did you get there?
I believe there is an infinite amount of potential that the large format process has to offer when you begin to dissect the process. I began the large format work after I graduated from Texas State. Thanks to my professors, I was turned on to artists working in similar fashions at that time (Hannah Whitaker, Jessica Eaton, Dan Boardman, etc). Upon seeing the in-camera collage work of Hannah Whitaker, I immediately recognised how the images were made and the door swung open. I began to experiment; one idea led to the next, and eventually became fixated on the concept of representing natural or organic imagery through this sort of geometric design. There were so many layers of ideas that became apparent once the negative was processed and scanned. The relationship between geometric and organic representation, the fidelity of the photograph interacting with the hand cut aesthetic of these forms, and the relationships between photographic space and geometric space. There’s also an interesting quality of this process that emphasises the geometric space through longer or shorter exposure times, creating the appearance of a sort of shading on the geometric form. There are so many different variables that introduce themselves when implementing a process involving multiple exposures. All of these presented avenues on which I was able to dig deeper into the medium.

Can you explain your creative process? As somebody who doesn’t know photography, what you do is really fascinating to me, how do you go about making these ‘in -camera collages’? (please explain in layman’s terms!)
I would say the first step of the process is creating the geometric forms (my process is constantly changing, hence my reluctance to establish that as the first step). Some forms are hand drawn, but the majority of the geometrics forms in the images are created using Sketchup, a basic 3D modeling program. This is to ensure realistic perspective and proportion. I was never very skilled in technical drawing, so I had to a way to bypass that aspect of the design process. The forms made in Sketchup are then used as templates to be cut from vinyl that is adhered to acetate, which acts as the mask. These masks usually consist of 2-5 different masks per set, and each one allows a different segment of the 4x5 film sheet to be exposed. Imagine a cube being represented two-dimensionally. Each mask would act as a face of the cube, and each mask is a separate exposure, meaning the camera must be moved, composed, and focused three times.

In the field, I tend to stick to the same area when shooting the whole set of masks. I’ll set up my view camera, focusing on whatever imagery I stumble upon, hold the mask to the ground glass on the back of the camera as an example of what the exposure will look like, and then go from there. I have a minimal idea of how the final image will turn out when this process is being enacted, and only know if the image turned out or not after processing and scanning. There’s a serendipity that I really enjoy that is inherent to the process itself.

“Accidents” happen with every photograph I make, such as light leaks and scratches on the acetate, but I quickly learned it was out of my control. I tend to embrace them now as artefacts of the process.

 Analog Matte #033 (Zion), 2017

Analog Matte #033 (Zion), 2017

 Analog Matte #048 (Last Chance), 2018

Analog Matte #048 (Last Chance), 2018

 Analog Matte #026 (Freeport), 2017

Analog Matte #026 (Freeport), 2017

I think my nostalgia trigger lies in the memories of my grandpa and skateboarding, both of which shaped who I am today.
 Analog Matte #047 (Bristlecone), 2018

Analog Matte #047 (Bristlecone), 2018

Do you enjoy the risk element of using analog photography?
Absolutely. There is always a chance of ruining your film when working with large format, and physically intervening in the process increases that chance. Because I’m making multiple exposures on one piece of film, that sheet of film is much more vulnerable than if it were exposed once. But the risk is exciting. It is also very easy to mix up which masks I have
already exposed on the film, so numbering systems and other ways of organising the masks must be created to prevent double exposures of the same mask. Sometimes the masks aren’t fabricated properly, so the don’t fit, or they get stuck, in the film holder. This leads to unwanted light leaks on the film, or sometimes burning the entire sheet of film. It’s quite
exciting!

 Analog Matte #035 (Mt. Carmel), 2017

Analog Matte #035 (Mt. Carmel), 2017

What has been your biggest discovery experimenting with the medium?
I think the biggest discovery was that of the initial in-camera collage method. It took a very long time for me to nail down what I had to do in order to produce a decent image, so ironing out the kinks was a series of small discoveries. One thing I have noticed is that the process has put me in tune with an alternative way of photographic seeing. I have to consider all the aspects of a photograph, but multiple times on a single sheet of film, and how they will all coalesce to form an image.

 Analog Matte #049 (Last Chance), 2018

Analog Matte #049 (Last Chance), 2018

How does San Antonio inspire you in your work?
It actually hasn’t had as much influence as you would think, but it’s getting there. Most of my work in the past few years has been made on trips made outside of Texas. For instance, my series The Other Side of the Sky” was made on a road trip from San Antonio to Utah. And the previous series from 2016 was made on a trip to Colorado. I have always been drawn to
landscape imagery, and there’s not a whole lot of landscape possibilities in San Antonio.
With that being said, I am currently working on a new project titled Harlem Garden that has required me to spend a lot of time lurking through downtown searching for possible imagery. The project is actually a collaborative effort between Zak Anders, another local San Antonio artist, and myself. So as this progresses, I am hoping to inject San Antonio aesthetic into each image. It has a very unique visual appeal in that it offers a unique balance of the natural and man-made.

In an age when everyone is taking photos with their mobile phones….what defines photographic quality within this mass circulation of imagery?
Photographic quality is earned. It’s easy to tell the difference between someone posting a photo from their phone, and someone who has been shooting for years. Like any other skill, photography requires sharpening, and the way to do this is through experience. If you keep shooting, you tend to develop a sensibility, which then becomes your vision. So really, a single photo can be great if a person is in the right place at the right time, but a series of cohesive photographs speaks volumes and exhibits skill.

In my case, I try to “make” photographs rather than “take” photographs. Constructing the image inherently offers a different avenue than the traditional way of using photography. I think my point would be, the more work and thought you put into a photograph or series of photographs, the higher the quality of the image or series of images will be.

 Analog Matte #059 (Josephine), 2018 and Analog Matte #060 (Josephine), 2018

Analog Matte #059 (Josephine), 2018 and Analog Matte #060 (Josephine), 2018

Where do you see the future of photography?
It’s difficult to speculate. Nobody in the 90s would have known that every person would soon have the ability to shoot a photo at any time with instant gratification. I think the democratization of photography is a good thing for the world, but not so much for photographers, who have to work harder to have their work stand out. Though, this is what leads to progress. We all know that the inundation of images is an issue to some degree, but an issue requires a solution, and humans (particularly artists) will find that solution soon enough.

Do you have advice for MM readers who are budding photographers?
Don’t ever stop shooting! You’ll find your vision eventually!

Thank you Charlie for giving us an insight into your creative practice!

You can follow @charliekitchen on Instagram and check out his website here- www.charliekitchenphotography.com

Images courtesy of Charlie Kitchen

Q&A With California Based Designer and Illustrator, Wesley Bird

With daily life being so visually saturated on our social media feeds, it seems special when one designer stands out. Wesley Bird is one of these people. Her work is refreshing and engaging and many times, personally up-lifting. Wesley's west coast aesthetic brings positive vibes to anyone that comes across her pieces. We had the pleasure of asking her a few quick questions, and the answers are as delightful as they are informative. Get ready for a feast for the eyes!

honeysuckle.jpg

MM: Hi Wesley. Can you give us a quick history of your company?

Wesley: Right now my company is just me and it exists of two parts. I sell my personal art as cards, prints, pins, patches, and more on my website wesleybird.com. I also freelance for companies doing illustration and art direction. I’ve been doing this full time since June 2017, but I'd been doing it on the side since 2011. In 2012, I got my first licensing deal with Urban Outfitters for a couple of art prints, and that got me some really great exposure. I gained a lot of freelance clients from that and it all kind of grew from there!

MM: How did you get interested in Graphic Design, to begin with?

Wesley: It was actually during my first internship after my freshman year of college. I had been studying Fine Art at San Diego State University and had been given an amazing opportunity to intern at Hurley in Orange County. I was kind of thrown into Graphic Design there and had to learn my way around the Adobe programs (Photoshop and Illustrator). Once I got the hang of it, I loved how quickly things came to life on a computer and immediately became hooked! I decided to stick with my major of Fine Art so that I could perfect my drawing and painting skills, but always knew that eventually, I would incorporate Graphic Design into my profession.

22694055_6486462.jpg
19453619_12802855.jpg

MM: What is your biggest motivation for 2018? 

Wesley: My biggest motivation is to make more art for myself. Up until last June I was basically working two full-time jobs - my day job as Art Director at Society6 and then freelancing for hours when I got home at night. It was exhausting and unhealthy and I had absolutely no time to create art for myself. Unfortunately, it takes a ton of work to make time for yourself! So I'm really motivated this year to make that time and get some passion projects out there.

MM: How about your biggest distraction for 2018?

Wesley: Definitely just life in general. I can get really bogged down with trivial things and worries (I’m a HUGE worrier). I’m really trying to navigate that this year and waste less time stressing about things that don’t matter - including social media. It’s SO distracting. Less time on my phone in general would be nice. I’m trying to spend 15 minutes a day meditating and so far it’s really helped calm and focus my mind before starting the day. 

Pins-32.jpg

MM: What project are you the proudest to have worked on?

Wesley: I worked on a project early last year for Converse that I LOVED and felt so grateful to be a part of it. The initiative that the project was a part of, ended up going in a different direction so the piece I made was never used (which happens sometimes in the freelance world), but I’m still very proud of that work. (See image below).

WB_Yes-To-All_2.jpg

MM: What aspect of your design process would you say is the most important?

Wesley: The brainstorming phase! That happens away from my desk. I work from home by myself so I take long walks every morning before I start work and that's where I do my thinking and brainstorming. I work a lot of things out in my head before I even start sketching things out on graph paper. I love doing this outside while I’m walking and listening to music or audio books because I feel most open to inspiration that way. 

MM: There are strong west coast vibes in your illustrative work. How does living in LA influence your design sense?

Wesley: California has a huge impact on my style. I was born in Boston but really grew up in California (I went to middle school and high school out here). The weather deeply affects my mood and I’ve found myself to be the happiest here. I feel like that’s reflected in my color choices and the simplistic style that my work has. LA’s style is very effortless. It’s cool to look like you just rolled out of bed, and I guess I like my work to feel like that too. I spend so much time considering what to make and how I make it, but my illustrations really are very simple in their execution.

Pinky Promise.jpg

MM: If you wanted the world to know one thing about your brand, what would it be?

Wesley: It’s just me over here - working for myself, by myself, fulfilling all my own shop orders, answering all my own emails! So everything I make is very hands on and special to me. 

MM: Lastly, if anyone wants to get a hold of you, where can they find you? 

Wesley: Instagram @wesleybird or my website, wesleybird.com. Or you can shoot me an email at hello@wesleybird.com. I’d love to hear from you! 

LightningRoundwithWesley.jpg

OFFICE CRUSH: Upward Projects

Micro macro takes a look around an inspirational workspace

We love taking a look into the creative domains of workplaces.  Today we're e-traveling to Phoenix Arizona where we get to peek at Upward Projects HQ (or, The Lab as they fondly refer to it). Upward Projects creates inspired restaurants that are connected to the communities they serve. You can learn more about them and their awesome concepts here!

If you have an interest in Midcentury Architecture you're in for a real treat!  The Upward Projects Lab is hosted in an Al Beadle (American modernist architect) building with the original floors still intact. They've paid homage to this fact by keeping the decor sleek, and of course, midcentury modern.

It's clear that this company really values collaboration - they've designed an open concept workspace with plenty of standing desk room for those who get a little antsy during the day. As an open plan design, they've kept a nice balance by ensuring employees have a dedicated space they can call their own with plenty of room to meet, collaborate, and flex their muscles. 

Upward Projects_LoRes_JPG_1154.jpg
Upward Projects_LoRes_JPG_1186.jpg

Many impromptu meetings take place at the bar facing the entrance (right), as well as Friday night happy hour- (they are a restaurant company after all with their Pizza concept right next door). 

Upward Projects_LoRes_JPG_1120-.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.27.50 PM.png

My favorite features in this workspace are the massive magnetic moodboards they've installed in front of each work station. They are great for inspiration, or to show off your work like awesome designer Marisa does (left)! Each person gets to design their own little corner of the office. It's a great way to celebrate individuality!

Upward Projects_LoRes_JPG_1137.jpg

Overall we love this hub for their dedication to collaboration and creativity, with a midcentury flare. 

Do you think your office or home workspace is superfresh? Shoot us an email at hello@micromacromag.com with the subject line, "Office Crush" and your space just might feature as our next office inspiration. 

DESIGN SECRETS OF A PARIS APARTMENT

Interior designer Charlotte Féquet fills a Parisian apartment with light.

Parisian people (myself included) spend a lot of time out and about in the perpetual bustle of the city, so when they come home for a few hours, they really want to feel at peace in a serene, quiet setting. Designer brief: to create calm in the chaos.

As an interior design fanatic, and after doing a total re-haul on my place in Paris, I wanted to share my secret retreat, my 615 square feet, for you to see. Lucky you !

P1050358.jpg

Moving in to what was a very dark and dated apartment, I entrusted the space into the hands of the wonderful Interior Architect Charlotte Féquet. Well known in Paris for her creative vision, she totally renovated the place top to bottom to create a unique light filled space.

Let’s start with the entrance and the living room. I can tell you, we as Parisian people have some high demands, to live in the heart of the city, in a bright apartment, without being disturbed by the noise. But.....it's possible! Charlotte decided to fill the living room with light by installing large glass windows, painting walls in a bright white colour, and refining the brick wall with white plaster and sanding the wooden floor. The result was stunning ! The neutral colour palette really brings out the colours of the furnishings similar to a contemporary art space.

Charlotte created a small wall for the entrance and we decided to add a little DIY touch with 3 monkey wrenches that were twisted and nailed on the wall- a quirky solution to hang up your jacket after a long day! The man of the apartment got creative by building a minimalist coffee table with a large piece of glass, a pallet and 4 small wheels, easy peasy! The two benches (top, right and below, left)  are actually lockers that we painted in grey to add a little bit of colour and to match the sofa. It's a useful spot for a television, and it can also be a place to sit and read your favourite book if you pull up some cushions.

As we love entertaining friends and family (French people love their gastronomy and sharing it with their loved ones), we wanted to create a guest room in case people wanted to stay a few days, or if they would rather sleep over after a late party, so Charlotte had the amazing idea to create a small bedroom space behind the glass window. The cosy bedroom can be closed by a large white light and sound-minimising curtains, for a sense of privacy. Two wooden shelves and a clothes rack complete the space, with a floor made of rush, very soft for the feet and it warms up the room. We also use this room to play music and for my singing rehearsals.

The bathroom needed some refurbishment too; Charlotte switched the bathtub for a shower and replaced the sink cabinet with a modern one. We added a black metal column to keep our towels in order, matching the colour scheme. We also installed this huge Oriented Strand Board (flakeboard) especially made for damp rooms, which we adorned with 7 decorative mirrors from a local antique dealer.

Last but not least, the bedroom suite. We added light with 2 sound-minimising glass walls. We wanted to keep the bedroom simple so here the creative DIY touch comes through the bedside tables. Made of 3 cinder blocks each, they make a sturdy support for our books and lamps. We also added 4 wooden boxes onto the wall to display our favourite French Literature. Our closet is a large wardrobe with 3 sliding white doors.

I hope these tips will inspire you to put a Parisienne twist on your own apartment for a sense of renewal. To see more of this place and other inspiring spaces, follow Interior architect Charlotte Féquet and our favourite French photographer Anthony Delanoix on their social media platforms.

Readers, what's your favourite way to add light into a cozy space?

Architect : @charlotte_fequet
Photography: @anthodx