Friday, May 27, 2016

Airbnb's shedlike offices


Airbnb's San Francisco headquarters has an interesting design scheme in that many of its meeting and conference rooms are modelled on its listed properties. So, for example, the above is based on the cabin in California below.


There are also other workspaces with a decided garden office feel...


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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Shed art: One Thing After Another


On show at Clerkenwell Design Week has been the One Thing After Another installation, from Sam Jacob Studio which the architecture and design practice says is all about "exploring the inputs and outputs of information between digital and physical worlds". Here's how they explain it:
The installation starts with an ‘original’ piece of architecture - a garden shed. This is 3D scanned to create a digital copy which is then processed and scaled to fabricate a new CNC’d version from Verolith. The original shed sits surreally inside this larger digital version, while inside it contains a doll-house scaled copy of itself. It is architecture arranged like a Russian Doll where one version of a thing sits inside another. Though the technologies of 3D scanning and digital fabrication the original building is both replicated and made different. The original building is ‘transmitted’ into a new state: bigger and materially transformed.
There's a good article with more detail and photos at The Spaces.
 
  One Thing After Another from Sto Werkstatt on Vimeo. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Shed of the Year 2016 shortlist

 
The shortlist of 32 microarchitectural gems for the annual Shed of the Year has been announced (see organiser Uncle Wilco's shedblog for full details) and voting is now open for the public to decide on the eight category winners. The finalists, whittled down from nearly 3,000 entrants, will be featured on the Channel 4 series ‘Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year’ later this summer. The winner will receive £1,000 courtesy of sponsors Cuprinol along with a plaque, £100 worth of Cuprinol products and, most importantly, a giant crown for their shed.

“Following a record breaking number of entries, the competition is just getting bigger and better each year," said friend of Shedworking Uncle Wilco. "It proves the nation is totally fanatical about garden sheds and the true British eccentricities are being championed. These 32 sheds include some of the best I have ever seen in the history of the competition, so deciding who will take out top honour as the Shed of the Year 2016 will be tough, I love them all.”

Sadly there is no specific 'garden office' category this year, but these are the shortlisted candidates for the 'workshop & studio' category which will be of particular interest to readers of Shedworking.

Star Wars – owned by Stephen Gee in Nottinghamshire
Following the recent launch of the latest edition in the Star Wars saga, this shed is inspired by Han Solo's Millenium Falcon, complete with flight deck and windows based on those seen on the silver screen.

Povera – owned by Michael Connell in Lewisham
Full of inspiration and creativity, the shed was mainly built from waste materials in such a way that it surrounds the trees in back garden. Approached in the same way as Michael does his art, it was an on-going project, the structure of which changed as he was inspired with different ideas.

Lawnside House – owned by John Barnard in Cheshire East
Built by hand, the Lawnside House resembles a decorative log cabin on the outside, with an eye-catching Lawnmower Museum inside featuring a unique collection of antique/vintage lawnmowers and gardening tools.

Cowpe Smithy – owned by Robin Sharples in Lancashire
Built to replicate a corrugated iron and timber workshop common after World War One, Cowpe Smithy is clad with salvaged air raid shelter corrugated iron obtained from a closing military surplus dealer. The shed also houses a large collection of Blacksmiths Anvils.

However Shedworking will be voting for:

Dylan Thomas – owned by Maggie James in Laugharne
This shed used by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas to work on some of his most famous works. It stands on stilts above the estuary in Laugharne and has stunning views and has been furnished to re-create the interior as it would have been when Dylan was there.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Garden office inspired by ABBA


An excellent interview with Barnsley-based shedworking writer Max Reid by Sharon Dale in the Yorkshire Post (photos by Simon Hulme). Designed by architect Mark Booth with interiors by Ben Huckerby and built by Cedar Garden Rooms, features include a day bed and a kitchenette. Here's a snippet:
“I wanted somewhere that was quiet and had no distractions and I remembered that Abba went off to a log cabin in the hills of Sweden for six months to write some of their best music. So I suggested to my wife that I could do the same.” 
 Lots more details about the build and Max's new musical at the link.
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Shed Space: The role of the shed in the creative arts industry


Shed Space is a new exhibition running at the Old Fire Station in Oxford which "celebrates the role of the humble garden shed in the creative industries, past and present". It features a full-size shed in the gallery with green roof, while inside the shed there is a scale model showing an urban garden and shed scene, put together by art and architecture students from Oxford Brookes University. Among them is a ‘Sweetie Shed’ designed by architecture student Katie Reilly who describes it as “An edible escape for children in a yummy playhouse at the bottom of the garden where imagination runs wild and friendships blossom.” 


Co-organiser Jeni Burnell, who is also a researcher at Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) said: “The humble garden shed has always featured as a backdrop in the creative industries being used by music composers and authors through to engineers and industrial designer Recently the shed has undergone somewhat of a revival with people setting up home offices and creative escapes at the bottom of their garden. This exhibition celebrates that creativity and captures the enjoyment around such endeavours.” There are ongoing details at the exhibition blog

During the exhibition, various 'makers in residence' are transforming the shed into a ‘making space’ for workshops including DaisyWebb next Friday and Saturday who will produce a series of illustrations which consider the identity of sheds as both domestic and natural (Click here for her workshop), furniture makers Jan Waterston, Sam Bolt and Freya Whamond in June who will be providing an insight into the workshop of a designer maker (Click here for their workshop)
and in July basketmaker Sherry Doyal will work on a collection inspired by Charles Darwin’s orchid research (Click here for her workshop).


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Friday, May 20, 2016

Pod Works: Shedworking in the street



My book Improbable Libraries features telephone boxes successfully turned into titchy libraries, so the Shedworking staff were especially delighted to see that they are also now to become urban garden offices, aimed at "entrepreneurs who are looking for affordable convenient work space in attractive locations who are constantly on the move or for those who need a convenient place to work before a meeting or an interview".

Pod Works - from New York-based co-working company Bar Works - will be refurbished boxes in a couple of dozen locations in the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Norwich, and Plymouth, though the plan is to extend into many others nationwide. Each will be tiny shedworking stations and have plug sockets, wifi, printer, scanner, 25 inch screen, VOIP phone with free national calls, and gratis tea and coffee. All this for £19.99 a month. --------------------------------------------------------
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

God's Own Country garden at Chelsea Flower Show


Garden designer, broadcaster, and friend of Shedworking Matthew Wilson has a marvellous garden in this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. His God's Own Country – A Garden for Yorkshire is inspired by the massive stained glass East Window at York Minster. Of especial interest to Shedworking's readers is the refuge which represents the cathedral. Here's what Matthew says about it:
It is designed as a restful, calming environment, with the furniture of a great cathedral – benches, aisles, stone tombs – represented by blocks of yew, Buxus, timber seats and stone. The materials used will reflect the Yorkshire landscape and York Minster, including traditional stone and timber and will include gargoyles and monoliths loaned from historic sites across the county. The York Glaziers Trust and stone masons from York Minster will contribute their expertise, bringing more than 600 years of living history and ancient skills to Chelsea.


He is also putting up short videos about the construction of the refuge and the garden at Yorkshire.com which are well worth checking back for.
Matthew Wilson's Chelsea Diary part 3 from Construct Films on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Shedworkers and their dogs


Shedworkers who enjoy working in their garden office accompanied by their dog will be interested in research by pet-food specialists Purina who encourage employers to let their employees bring their pets to the office as part of their Pets At Work (PAW) programme.

Its survey - which centres on dogs but also includes other pets - suggests that people are happier and healthier when they are able to take their pets to work, more physcially active, less likely to suffer from depression, and enjoy reduced blood pressure and chloresterol levels. There's an interesting article in The Guardian which reports on other pro-pet research.

Photo: Sylvie's Wedding Cakes ----------------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blue Forest at Chelsea Flower Show


Continuing our look at shedworkingesque structures at the RHS Chelsea Flower show next month, here is Blue Forest’s exhibit which will feature a children’s treehouse. They describe The Enchanted Playhouse as "a fairy-tale retreat for young imaginations to explore, offering a unique space for adventurous play... The treehouse will be nestled amongst woodland plants, with a blue and white floral scheme and a variety of ground cover plants including ferns. In combination with the treehouse, the planting design has been created to instil a magical sense of joy and adventure synonymous with childhood memories of playing in woodland dens." It will be in the Fresh area of the show ground, on stand FR335 FR335.
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