Saturday, March 6, 2010

File Under D’oh! for Design Obsession


Meet my new camera, Mr. Pana Sonic Lumix.  Its lovely silver sleekness houses a powerful 12x optical zoom, a terrific low-light Leica lens, and a spectacular ability to zoom while in video mode! It fits in my purse and its control buttons are large enough for a normal human hand to operate easily.
What it doesn’t have is this on its memory card! 

One gray day in the middle of February, we passed by this little house somewhere in the middle of Massachusetts. The green metal roof, which I love, probably drew my eye to the unfinished construction site, but then I glimpsed something on the garage I had never seen before.  I made my husband drive back to make sure I saw what I was thought I was seeing.

If I brighten up the image and zoom it you can almost see it.  There was a life-size tree design made from and within the cedar shingle siding!  (While I love my old camera – these pictures certainly don’t do this beautiful design justice.)  After having lost my camera with this image on it, I searched and searched to find the “decorative shingle design” and “cedar shakes art” and found nothing but a company in Alaska that does something like this. 
What is so odd to me is that since moving into our edible cedar shingle sided home, I have grown to hate cedar shingles as type of siding. Wood, as a design medium, just doesn’t float my boat (too reminiscent of the 70s or something).  But this bit of subtle roadside beauty, like a Tiffany design in wood, on an otherwise standard-issue farmhouse was as near to subliminally sublime as I’ve ever seen.   I have to wonder if it will eventually house a business specializing in these designs.

So, how did I get that picture back?  Well, that the real “D’oh!” part.   
Finally, after ten days of living an unrecorded life, I bought my lovely new camera on Thursday. On Friday, the place I had left my lovely old camera called to tell me they found it: right where I had left it, on the Mies van de Rohe Barcelona Chair reproduction in the otherwise abandoned 11th floor reception center where I sat to finalize my opinion on the functionality of its lovely design (comfy enough for extended, friendly conversation).
Graciously agreeing to mail it back to me, they sent it on its merry way back home. Instead of being cocooned in inches of bubble wrap secured tightly within a shoebox (as I am now quite used to receiving precious items), my old camera went through the US mail system shifting freely within a lightly padded envelope!  Despite this minimalist approach to packaging, it survived and still takes fabulous pictures and video (without zoom)!  
So, that concludes my point-and-shoot camera adventure – lost, replaced, found, and returned – as it all relates to my little obsession with good design.

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