For Arthur Andersson and Chris Wise, the fundamental elements that give buildings meaning are found in nature. Imbuing day-to-day activities with poetry and awe, their designs address both pragmatic needs and the psychological yearning for refuge and contemplation, centering and escape, joy and comfort. Their work is best experienced through the senses. Tactility, expressed through an eloquence of craft, the use of textured materials, and the logical design of structural systems, gives their buildings a rightness within the landscape. In their hands, daylight becomes a building material. Small wall apertures, three-sided dormers, clerestories, and other details grab, bend, and thread sunlight from one end of their houses to the other. Full of light and atmosphere, the houses are the physical embodiment of the great Charles Moore's influential tenet that architecture is about enhancing a sense of place.
Natural Houses presents seven of the Austin, Texas–based firm's exquisitely crafted projects. Precise and cool, with forms often derived from the American vernacular of barns and cottages, these are painstakingly crafted houses made from regionally appropriate and aesthetically timeless materials. Natural Housespresents a range of sites and residences—from a small cabin in the woods to a multibuilding camp. Sited on a cliff, the House Above Lake Austin uses terraces to descend its steeply hilly site. The building's simple materials celebrate the site and climate not by drawing attention to themselves, but by blending in. The stone foundation is similarly tied to the natural stone of the mountain. Smooth plaster walls above the stone foundation appear to have been chiseled from the rock itself. In a deceptively simple boathouse the walls fold down to become impromptu diving platforms.
Did you know that raw Macadamia nuts are extremely healthy? They are very high in selenium which helps to build selenium superoxide dismutase "the body's most powerful antioxidant enzyme". Macadamia nuts also have a large amount of zinc, a great mineral when you're Eating for Beauty. Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is required for the metabolic activity of 300 of the body's enzymes, and is considered essential for cell division and the synthesis of DNA and protein. These enzymes are involved with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. Zinc is also critical to tissue growth, wound healing, taste acuity, connective tissue growth and maintenance, immune system function, prostaglandin production, bone mineralization, proper thyroid function, blood clotting, cognitive functions, fetal growth and sperm production.
Macadamia nuts also contain approximately 80% monounsaturated fats, including the beautifying oleic acid (omega 9). Oleic acid is great for reducing bad cholesterol as well. Oleic acid improves the fluidity of LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol), which decreases arterial clogging.
Macadamia nuts are high in calories, but they contain fatty acids that actually activate the body to burn fat more efficiently. They are also the richest natural source of palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that prevents the deterioration of cell membranes.
Anywhoo - today she featured this amazing book Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today by Kate Bingaman-Burt. It's a collection of drawings of everything Kate bought since 2006. It's wild and artistic and thought provoking. Highly recommend.
Have you seen the documentary Food, Inc.? It's a great inside look at how the corporatization of the American food supply affects what we eat and how we eat it. Watch the trailer below and check out their fabulously informative website as well.
Over the weekend I went to the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA and I was really excited to see our girl Alicia Silverstone
talk about her new book The Kind Diet, macrobiotics and her vegan
doggies. Alicia was lucky enough to get frozen meals from the goddess
of green eating, Linda McCartney herself while she was working in
London, and now she embraces and promotes a totally natural lifestyle (her skin is the proof!)
The Festival of Books is one of my favorite local events every year,
and besides seeing great talks from everyone from Alice Waters to Sarah
Silverman, I was able to pick up even more literature on great eats by
Michael Pollan, (who's new book is a must read for everyone who eats
food..) and some reading-for-pleasure courtesy of the whimsical Mrs. Miranda