Sukkah City: 12 Radically Re-Imagined Traditional Jewish Shelters For Sukkot.

above: a modern sukkah, Fractured Bubble, by Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan was "Fan favorite"

Thanks to Ren and her wonderful blog, Lady of The Arts, I have learned about 'Sukkah City', an international design competition which took place last week in New York to re-imagine Sukkahs, the temporary shelters or dwellings built during the week-long traditional Jewish Festival Of Sukkot to commemorate the homelessness that occurred during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

It's not easy to describe a Sukkah, so I'll let this video by Liz Nord do it for you:

Traditional sukkahs:

624 people from 43 countries entered the competition. The 12 temporary structures that were chosen as the winning designs by a very impressive jury (listed later in this post) were constructed in Union Square Park’s South Plaza and were displayed publicly on September 19th and 20th (one of them, P.YGROS.C, collapsed immediately after construction). Here are the 12 winning concepts.

Gathering by Dale Suttle, So Sugita, Ginna Nguyen:

LOG by Kyle May and Scott Abrahams:

Blo Puff by Bittertang:

P.YGROS.C / passive hygroscopic curls by THEVERYMANY / Marc Fornes with Jared Laucks:

In Tension by SO-IL:

Sukkah of the Signs by Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello:

Star Cocoon by Volkan Alkanoglu:

Single Thread by Matter Practice:

Shim Sukkah by tinder, tinker:

Repetition meets Difference | Stability meets Volatileness by Matthias Karc:

Time/Timeless by Peter Sagar:

Fractured Bubble by Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan:

See all of the impressive entrants from 43 countries here.

Reality Disappoints?
While the concept of Sukkah City is fresh and exciting, some of the more common criticisms of the event were that the discrepancy between the impressive renderings and actual built structures were fairly great-- the completed buildings were disappointing when compared with the imagined concepts.

The Gathering Sukkah as imagined and as realized:

"Log" was one of the few designs that remained faithful to the original rendering:

The blog Human's Scribbles has great good side-by-side comparisons of the renderings with the completed structures.

The two day display culminated with Mayor Bloomberg announcing “Fractured Bubble,” a design created by Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan of Long Island City, Queens, as the “People’s Choice” winner:

The following photos from the event are courtesy of Benjamin Norman for the New York Times, who published this article on the event:

above: a panoramic view of the event

above: peeking inside the Shim Sukkah

above: the Blo Puff sukkah, a far cry from the original rendering

The process and results of the competition, along with construction documentation and critical essays, will be published in the forthcoming book "Sukkah City: Radically Temporary Architecture for the Next Three Thousand Years."

The jury consisted of these impressive designers, illustrators, architects and writers:
* Michael Arad
* Ron Arad
* Rick Bell
* Allan Chochinov
* Matias Corea
* Paul Goldberger
* Steven Heller
* Natalie Jeremijenko
* Maira Kalman
* Geoff Manaugh
* Thom Mayne
* Thomas de Monchaux
* Ada Tolla
* Adam Yarinsky

Next year, Sukkah City will expand from New York City to cities all around the world. If your community would like to be part of Sukkah City 2011, please contact them at

To learn who was behind this, the sponsors and more, visit Sukkah City.

Threadless: A Crowd Sourced Success Story. And A Look Inside The New Book.

If you're anywhere near Brooklyn today, you should stop by the the launch party for the new book about the history of Threadless. (info at the end of this post).

Threadless, in case you are one of the three people on the planet who has never heard of them, officially began in 2000 as an online user-generated design, crowd-sourced, voting-produced, limited edition T-shirt company.

They have since grown into an enormous online and offline success featuring some of the most interesting and hilarious t-shirts around --with user uploaded designs that are voted into limited production by registered users. The online store spawned a Chicago brick and mortar store, an art print store and a cultural phenomenon inspiring cake baking contests, collaborations with Dell computers and more.

above: the Chicago store interior, photo courtesy of

I've actually been a registered user since 2003 and own over 40 of their t-shirts. Below is a photo of me wearing one of my favorites (forgive me, my vegan friends):

The Book

Started by Jacob DeHart (no longer with the company) and Jake Nickell, who met in an online design forum when they were still in college, this story of how an internet T-Shirt company has led to livin' the dream has just been published in book form to be released October 10th.

A few spreads from the 200+ page book which contains over 300 images:

About the book (courtesy of Abrams) is the phenomenally successful T-shirt company with more than 4 million tees sold since it began in 2000. It pioneered the online business model of crowd-sourced or community-driven design, in which people submit designs that are voted on by the site’s 1 million users and printed. Over the past 10 years, the company has amassed a vast archive of very cool, very hip, and often very entertaining designs, and Threadless is a spectacular showcase of 400 of the very best T-shirts created by the community—a barometer of art and design over the past decade.

Much more than a book of extraordinary graphics, Threadless tells the extremely interesting story that inspired Inc. magazine to hail as “the most innovative small company in America.” There are also profiles of individual designers and “think pieces” from influential admirers, including design guru John Maeda, Jeff Howe of Wired, and bestselling business/marketing writer Seth Godin.

Author Jake Nickell

Jake Nickell, above, is co-founder of and lives in Boulder, Colorado.
(photo courtesy of

Buy Threadless: Ten Years of T-shirts from the World's Most Inspiring Online Design Community
Threadless Book Launch Party Today In Brooklyn!
Threadless and Abrams are launching the Threadless Book at the epic Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn today. Threadless Founder Jake Nickell plus a handful of awesome featured Threadless artists will be on hand signing copies and undoubtedly, causing as much trouble as possible.

As an added bonus, their pals from the Etsy Labs will be there for an afternoon of making hands-on recycled t-shirt projects as part of a special edition of Craft Night. You can try your hand at reconstructing and repurposing t-shirts into necklaces, skirts, totebags, and more.The fun starts at 2pm.

If you're already planning to check out the DuMBO Arts Fest, be sure to pop in and say hello. Tasty drinks will be graciously provided by AriZona Beverages.

Powerhouse Arena
Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM (ET)
37 Main St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brinca Dada Introduces The First Real Modern Furniture For Dollhouses.

Brinca Dada's 32 piece collection of modern miniature furniture for the Emerson House.

I blogged about the impressive modern doll house, the mid-century architecturally inspired Emerson House by Brinca dada back in February and followed it up with a sneak peek at their soon to be released Bennett House in May. Well, tighten your mini seatbelts because now I have a look at their upcoming miniature modern classic furniture line for both of their amazing architecturally inspired toy houses.

above left: Brinca dada's Emerson House and above right, the soon to be released Bennett House

Aside from the Vitra miniatures (which are drop dead gorgeous with a price that will make you cry) and the plastic miniature modern chair collections by REAC of Japan, one had to either commission modern miniature furniture or find it on individual seller sites like etsy.

Therefore, I was so happy to see that Brinca Dada will be offering one of the nicest, if not the nicest, line of miniature furniture for dollhouses I have ever seen this coming holiday season.

above: part of the new line of 3/4" scale modern dollhouse furniture by brinca dada

Designed by Brinca dada, the line is the perfect complement to both the Emerson House and the Bennett House. A clean and sophisticated aesthetic mixes classic modern design with contemporary “in fashion” highlights. In the words of their designers, “The key was to work on every detail to add an extra dimension of authenticity to this dollhouse. We used American black walnut as a common thread, giving a contemporary feel to each room. We then added color as accents, but also as an attraction to children's sensibilities.”

The line has 32 pieces, enough to furnish 7 rooms; living, dining, kitchen, office, bath, master bedroom and children’s room and is crafted with high-quality woods and non-toxic, lead-free stains and paints.

Price for the whole set $200. ($180 if ordered before November) pre-order here.

brinca dada

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.