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Liz Mclellan

Liz McLellan is trained in critical theory and writing on art, architecture, design, and visual media, from her degree at McGill University. She has written for publications and worked as an editor and graphic designer. From a young age, she fell in love with interior design, and has been commissioned to renovate and style apartments to be put on the market. In the other half of her time, she works as a silversmith, and reads about the history of design.

10 of Sou Fujimoto’s Most Awe-Inspiring Designs

Sou Fujimoto is a Japanese architect, Born in Hokkaido in 1971, who is noted for delicate light structures and permeable enclosures. His creations are out of this world, while addressing concerns that are deeply grounded in our human lives and the environment we live in.  Sou Fujimoto’s Career When Sou Fujimoto moved from the pastoral …

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Who Was Gae Aulenti and What Was Her Impact on Design?

Gae Aulenti is one of the most influential architects and designers of the post-war period. As early as the 1960s, her iconic creations – such as her Locus Solus series (1964), the Pipistrello (1965) and King Sun (1967) lamps – played a vital role in Italy’s global dominance within the field of product design. Join …

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The Story Behind the Architecture of Dubai

Dubai has become known for towering shiny new developments: hyper-modern and set against the sparkling teal water. The history of the place, however, includes buildings that date back from the beginning of the 19th century. Let’s discover the full story behind the architecture of Dubai! Located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on …

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Who was Elsie de Wolfe and what impact did she have on interior design?

Known and revered as America’s first decorator, Elsie de Wolfe’s impact on interior design has been enormous. Even after her death, her legacy continues, as the casual feminine and airy style she introduced remains relevant today. Join me in discovering her story, her legacy, and some of her most important designs.  Also known as Lady …

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The 15 Most Famous Female Gardeners

The world of gardening, like most worlds, is dominated by men. There are, however, women throughout history who have made their mark on the urban-natural world through landscape architecture and gardening. Join me in discovering some of the most impactful and important female gardeners across history.  Gardening dates all the way back to the first …

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Marc Peter Keane’s Most Fantastical Gardens

Marc Peter Keane is an American landscape architect and author. He lived in Kyoto, Japan, for nearly 20 years, and specializes in Japanese garden design. Join me in discovering some of his most incredible gardens, and how he came to be a garden designer.  Marc Peter Keane’s Career  Born and raised near New York City, …

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Who is Douglas Cardinal, and what makes his architecture unique?

Douglas Cardinal is a Canadian architect, whose flowing architecture marked with smooth curvilinear forms is influenced by his Aboriginal heritage as well as European Expressionist architecture. Join me in discovering some of his most striking buildings, and how he became the architect he is today.  Douglas Cardinal’s Early Life  His father was of Siksika (Blackfoot), …

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Viennese Design: What Makes it so Unique?

Vienna has become known for its iconic production of design and architecture at the turn of the century, in large part thanks to one design association. What was the Weiner Werkstate, and how did they come to produce the longest lived design movement of the 20th century?  The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), established in 1903 …

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Who is Eladio Dieste? What are some of his most famous buildings?

Eladio Dieste was an Uruguayan engineer who made his reputation by building a range of structures from grain silos, factory sheds, markets and churches, most of them in Uruguay and all of exceptional elegance. He worked mostly with brick, creating undulating and organic structures in gorgeous terra cotta.  Eladio Dieste is a particularly interesting figure …

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What is maximalism in design? 10 rules for getting it right (in 2022)

We’ve all heard of minimalism, but what about its opposite: maximalism? You may have to unlearn some of what you’ve read over the years to embrace this growing trend, but it could be very worth it. Join me in discovering what maximalism is all about, and how to do it right.  Maximalism is by no …

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Who is Diébédo Francis Kéré, and what is his impact on design?

Diébédo Francis Kéré (born 10 April 1965) is a Burkinabé architect, recognized for creating innovative works that are often sustainable and collaborative in nature. This year he was awarded the Pritzker prize in architecture, perhaps the most prestigious in the field. Join me in discovering his creative and adaptive buildings, full of beauty and intelligence! …

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What’s behind the surprising architecture of South Korean Kim Swoo-Geun?

Kim Swoo Geun was a prominent South Korean architect, educator, publisher and patron of artists. His creations are somewhere between brutalist and MidCentury, while drawing on traditional Korean aesthetics and techniques.  Korean architect Kim Swoo Geun (1931-1986), born in Cheongjin, North Korea, is acknowledged as one of the most important figures of 20th century Korea, …

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The Ancient Art of Japanese Joinery, and 6 Incredible Examples.

Japanese woodworking is a traditional practice with a long history carved out by master craftspeople. Joinery is a technique that allows buildings and furniture to be constructed without nails. Let’s take a look at how it’s done, its history and some of the most amazing examples.  Like any traditional Japanese art, from sushi-making to flower …

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The incredible buildings of Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma.

Kengo Kuma is a renowned Japanese architect, who has contributed greatly to the landscape of Japan. His design is innovative, whimsical, and yet down to earth. He has expanded the definition of materiality in the field of architecture, bringing a unique synthesis of tradition and modernity to the built environment. In 1987, Kuma founded the …

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What is Art Island and what can you see there?

Naoshima island, also known as Art Island, is a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea. The island is best known for its many contemporary art installations and museums. It’s a truly magical place, so let’s take a look at the history of the island, and some of its most incredible art.  Until the early …

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Who was Oscar Niemeyer and what was his Impact on Design?

Oscar Niemeyer was a Brazilian architect, an early exponent of modern architecture in Latin America, the recipient of many international awards, and an elegant designer and architect. Let’s take a look at his life, work, and some of his most striking designs.  Niemeyer studied architecture at the National School of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro. …

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The architecture of Tokyo: 10 of the most striking buildings

Tokyo is known for its density and spanning size, which has given rise to apartment buildings with shoebox like living arrangements, as well as towering glass behemoths. Let’s take a look at the architecture of the city, and some of its most striking buildings.  The architecture of Tokyo has largely been shaped by the city’s …

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The History of Greenhouses and How They are Built

Greenhouses can be both for functional purposes, like growing vegetables, and for leisure and entertainment. They are beautiful inventions, with an interesting history and origin. Join me in discovering everything there is to know about greenhouses!  A greenhouse or glasshouse is an enclosed structure that typically is covered primarily with glass, plastic, or fiberglass, and …

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The architecture of Wales, and how it came to be

Wales is perhaps a lesser known country in Europe, but the history of the architecture there is a story worth telling. Let’s take a look at Welsh architecture, spanning from the 14th century until present day, and some of the most striking buildings there.  There is little evidence for domestic architecture in Wales that predates …

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