Monday, December 17, 2012

ON THE BOARDS: Goldendale Residence

Fig. Studio is excited to share a rendering and plans for a project slated to start construction this spring.  Located in rural Goldendale Washington, the project takes its cues from the dry high desert landscape and beautiful vistas of the surrounding property and Mt. Hood.

 The owners, a Portland couple with a love for fishing and the outdoors, called on us to transform their existing vacation home into a full time residence.  The design was to be creative, functional and responsive to its unique site.  The Fig. designed addition consists of two bedrooms, one bath and a new living room.  The new layout provides privacy from the main house, while creating a large protected courtyard that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
The courtyard location was a key element to this design as the owners wanted to enjoy the outdoor landscape while remaining sheltered from the strong winds the site experiences throughout the year.  The courtyard features both a corten steel fireplace and and an open fire pit perfect for roasting marshmallows and grilling pizza.  Glass wind screens shelter seating areas and allow for multiple layers of protection on particularly gusty days.  
Slated for completion in the fall of 2013, our clients are looking forward to sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the sunset over the Columbia River Gorge from the comfort of their new outdoor living space.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Portland Bazaar 2012

Don't miss the 2012 Portland Bazaar!  Locally crafted goods always fit perfectly under the tree.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tsunami Memorial

After following news reports focusing on tsunami debris washing ashore on the Oregon Coast, the Japanese dock on Agate Beach in particular, we began to understand the unique and important opportunity presented to Oregon citizens:  transform these debris into something important.  Make something beautiful.  Create Place.

Fueled by a newfound connection to what was viewed as rubbish by many, we developed a conceptual memorial design. We presented it to both the City of Newport and the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, with hopes of spurring a dialogue and ultimately the construction of a memorial.

Now is the time to think big.  The Japanese dock has captured Oregon's imagination. As an object, it has transcended its original purpose, and now embodies Oregon's relationship, both culturally and seismically with our Japanese neighbors.  I suggest that we rally our fellow Oregonians to build a memorial worthy of Japan's resilience and grace in the face of disaster, a disaster that could have just as easily befallen our shores.

No memorial of a significant size or distinction has been created in the United States to commemorate the Japanese Tsunami. By providence, the dock made landfall in Newport. Therefore, it seems practically pre-destined that Newport be home to this memorial. 

If you’re interested in becoming part of the dialogue contact The City of Newport. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Postcard: Jardin Majorelle

By Jenny Guggenheim

Fall is looking suspiciously like summer here in Portland, so I decided I'd stick to that theme and take you on a pictorial tour from my recent visit to Yves Saint Laurent's private paradiseJardin Majorelle in Marrakech.  The lush and fragrant flora are in stark contrast to the parched and dusty landscape found just outside the garden wall. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Seaworthy Jewelry

By Amanda Rickenbach

Seaworthy is a local Portland jewelry line created by Marisa Howard. Her line began with all vintage parts and pieces and evolved to include a variety of handmade mixed metal pieces. All are hand shaped and hammered with 12k gold fill wire, perfect for sensitive ears. Seaworthy's jewelry is so in tune with the Americana trends we have happening right now, while somehow managing to remain soft and timeless.

"I am inspired by simple, geometric shapes and textile patterns from the 1930's. A customer told me that my jewelry has it's own language. I like that idea." -Marisa

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hella Jongerius

By Amanda Rickenbach

Holland would be nearly completely under water if it weren't for the ingenious invention of polders and dikes in the 12th century. Is 65% nearly completely? Maybe not, but it's a pretty high percentage. This incredible engineering feat reflects the adage "God created the world, the Dutch created Holland." To this day the Dutch continue to reclaim land from the rivers and the sea using a complex system of dykes and drainage canals. 
"Hella Jongerius's 2005 Polder Sofa for Vitra references the geographic makeup of her homeland in both name and design. Its elongated horizontal lines, low-lying form, and asymmetry echo the patchwork of the Dutch landscape and create visual interest from every viewable angle."  Each section of the sofa is defined by it's own unique fabric, color, and proportion. Decorative buttons made of natural materials like bone and mother-of-pearl create another level of dimension and character. 

The Polder Sofa is available in a variety of sizes and several colors of either leather or fabric. The pictured sofa by Jongerius was created with Maharam Polder for Vitra. The textiles include mohair velvet and two scales of checked wool. This sofa is a fun mixture of geometry, texture, and comfort. I personally love the checked wool cushion and think that the inspiration behind the design is unique and fabulous. 
Photos: Maharam 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


By Amanda Rickenbach

How do you feel about bathing outdoors? The Dutchtub is an award-winning hot tub that’s inner workings are incredibly simple: wood fired and with natural circulation. Simple luxury.

With this smart fiber glass polyester construction and the sturdy, long-lasting materials you can use the Dutchtub where ever you want, any time you want. Choose from a variety of colors: Dutchtub Orange, Ocean Green, Light Blue, Pigeon Blue, Reed Green, and Dark Grey.  I'd put my tub on a bluff in the Columbia Gorge or in a secret wooded area on the Oregon coast.  Our long winters would feel extra warm with one of these cozy accessories hanging around.

View their inspiring video above - now you can't say no. 

photos: Weltevree

Friday, July 6, 2012

Corner of the World

By Jenny Guggenheim

So it turns out we like Instagram.  We really like Instagram.  It's an excellent tool to chronicle our day-to-day and now acts as a visual catalogue of progress here at Fig.  As you may have noticed, we've made some changes to our website, added a new partner (did we tell you that?) and have expanded to offer architectural services.  Ok, so we're officially and architecture and interiors firm.  Consider yourself in the know.  Follow our camera roll as we document our evolution and project progress- we promise to give you a little visual treat each day...and we promise to make a more formal announcement and throw a party for our new name, Fig. Studio Architecture + Interiors.

Cheers for now,
Jenny and Jeff

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Living Roofs

By Amanda Rickenbach

Chances are that you have either seen a green roof or have been inside a building that has one. They are growing in popularity both in residential and commercial design for a number of reasons, but I thought I would list just a few of the best ones.

-Living roofs help to lower urban air temperatures and combat the heat island effect.

-Living roofs help keep the interior of your home at a stable temperature. Plants and soil are really great insulators, which means you’ll save money on your heating and cooling costs.

-Living roofs filter rainwater. When the water falls on a typical roof, it’s often funneled off into storm water drains, collecting pollution along the way. When rain falls on a living roof, however, it’s filtered naturally just as it is in the wild. This means you can reuse this clean water in your home or garden.

-Living roofs attract native wildlife to your yard. And depending on what you plant, it can also be a food source for you, or your furry friends.

-Living roofs filter noise, keeping your home quiet.

Besides all the great stuff they do for the planet - they look fantastic.

photos: first - feldman architecture, second-fourth - ecoroofs everywhere

Monday, June 25, 2012

Illuminate Color: Summer Sangria

By Amanda Rickenbach

Wednesday marked the first day of summer! That means it's time to start thinking about garden parties, BBQ's, and of course yummy sangria recipes. These colors are perfect for creating a rejuvenating and energizing space just in time for long, warm days.

1. Caliente - Benjamin Moore
2. Stone .01 - Yolo Colorhouse
3. Powder Blush - Benjamin Moore
4. Arbor Day - Mythic Paint

photo: treehugger 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Huddleson Linens

By Amanda Rickenbach

Established in Los Angeles in 2011 Huddleson Linens creates tablecloths, table runners, placemats and napkins that are printed with artistic and timeless designs. Their prints are designed specifically for the table and are brought to life by using hand painted art work. Looking at the images one can sense that handmade quality and see the original brush strokes.

Much of their linen comes from Italy, where textile weaving has been an art and a science handed down through generations. The fabric is resilient, beautiful and can easily become a piece that you hand down to future generations

The founder, Tim Gledhill, very sweetly wrote this about the dining table:

"The dining table holds a special place in our lives – a place to come together; to meet, nourish, converse, celebrate and console.  A place for first dates and last suppers.  Throughout the ages table linens have been a central part of everyday life as well as the greatest celebrations.  From biblical dinners and Roman banquets; through the Renaissance paintings of the Dutch masters, with groaning tables and fine tablecloths; to Dick Whittington, who began an epic rags-to-riches journey with nothing but a few belongings bundled into a napkin.
Sometimes, in the present day, we forget that every meal can – and should – be a special occasion.  We should remember."

Doesn't that inspire you to create wonderful meals and start using beautiful table linen at every meal? Even a simple cloth napkin?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Fig. Studio is happy to be featured in the article "Mission: Colorful" (pg. 43) in Gray Magazine's Issue No. 4.  Check out the project in more detail at our Portfolio site.

Gray Magazine offers a fresh take on the Pacific Northwest's design scene, and features a cross section of lifestyle, product, fashion and built environment stories.  You can pickup a print edition at your local Powells or New Seasons.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Salone Luxe: Missoni Home

The Missoni Home booth (take the word booth with a grain of salt) was certainly a stand out and immediately caught out attention.  The lighting was elegant, soft, and inviting.  Every surface begged to be touched, and touch we did.

We particularly enjoyed their decorative lighting concepts, which highlight the use of open weave craft and their ubiquitous patterns originating from their fashion house.

Missoni is never afraid of color, and we like it that way!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salone Trend: Stainless Steel

By Jenny Guggenheim

Our first day at the Rho Fairgrounds was exhilarating, overwhelming, hunger-inducing, and more inspirational than we could have ever imagined.  I loved checking out the fashion just as much as the exhibitors' booths-  Italian men certainly know how to wear their suits properly.

The kitchen cucina exhibition hall proved to be quite groundbreaking compared to American standards and gave us a plethora of detailing ideas and material inspiration.  One trend we couldn't help but notice was the use of Stainless Steel in sophisticated high-end kitchens.  These were certainly not industrially inspired- they were razor sharp with precise detailing.  Who's in?  We're dying to apply some of these concepts.

Boffi (shown above) is of course a stand-out and we managed to discover their showroom while escaping a downpour.  While rubbing elbows with several other soggy designers, we noticed that each room highlighted the use of Stainless.  What is different that what we'd traditionally see in the US is the use of a think-gauge steel with no wrapped edge.  The material is applied in it's purest form and it's natural strength creates the edge detail.  We loved the super clean look of these countertops.

This Stainless Steel application could easily be applied to a US kitchen and is durable enough to withstand the most agressive of long as you don't mind a little patina.

These images (taken at the Salone exhibition hall-  low light) demonstrate the use of modular shelving and a SS waterfall edge detail.

What do you think?  Would you give Stainless Steel a try in your kitchen?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Moroso

Well, we've been back from Milan for quite some time, but between fun client projects and moving the office, Fig's been swamped.  In better late than never fashion, here's the beginning of a series of posts with  our Milan discoveries.

The Moroso showroom, one of our first stops in the Zona Tortona and specially transformed for design week, hosted "Way of the Water Dragon" (fitting due to torrential downpours all week!) and created a sensory-based experience for waterlogged visitors.  Let's just say that hour I spent on my hair was ill-conceived.  The saturated crimson entry vestibule was dotted with lightweight steel stools (product name unknown) and columns of clean, white light highlighting material transformation.

From the installation designer:
"From ancient Chinese tales, the physical form of the dragon is all-elusive and ever-changing. Therefore the way of the water dragon is hidden. What is visible for us would only be the metamorphosis of the movement of the water dragon. Hence the dragon here is not seen as a physical and explicit image but as a conceptualization of the idea of movement.This idea of movement is marked by Zhang Ke's rhythmic and abstract ink-water calligraphy work, which derives into multiple forms such as the "Dots" stole and the "Hidden Dragon" sofa. The ink-water work is further projected onto foldable screens that redefine the space of the main room, a moment of the movement captured in a sinuous shape in the center of the scene.What hits the eyes of the spectator is the intriguing interrelationship between the strong dynamism represented by the ink-water traces and the floating form of the furniture piece "Hidden Dragon"." Zhang Ke

One standout theme we discovered during our Milan adventure was the strong desire to veg-out on these beautifully upholstered seating clusters found throughout the city.  We were not alone.  We saw people actually napping in the middle of showrooms.  This may be high-style, fast-paced Milan, but it appears some designers checked their dignity at the door.  The Hidden Dragon sofa was certainly nap-worthy with it's steep-angle back and morphous silhouette.  I found the soft wool upholstery to be similar to Maharam's Divina.

Once through the installation section of the event, Moroso offered a more standard showroom experience highlighting new pieces and treatments on familiar offerings.  I finally had the chance to test drive Patricia Urguiola's Fjord lounge (in a new super floral) and can attest that is sit's beautifully.  It's much softer in person and would do well paired with more traditional lines.  We saw a lot of deconstruction and bohemian texture here, and appreciated the heavy layering and play with transparency here.

Ombre is still a hot trend with high-end manufacturers (as it is with the DIY set) and Moroso's application was certainly eye-catching.  Paired with sam-fabric pillows this sofa would do well in a hospitality or creative office environment.

Overall, the Moroso showroom offered a plethora of highly usable products and trademark edgy material quality.  I could see these used as statement pieces in the Portland market-  definitely not out of reach.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Salone Del Mobile

by Jenny Guggenheim

The studio is closing up shop for about 2 weeks while we're out scouting the latest and greatest in Milan, Italy.  The Salone del Mobile takes place April 17th through the 22nd, and we'll be there for every minute of the design action.  Shoes don't fail me now!  

Following the fair, we're headed for 3 days of exploring the wonders of Marrakech.  We're excited to be staying in the heart of the medina and learning more about the Moroccan culture.  I'm anticipating a lot of cous cous intake and color and texture overload.  We're on a special mission to bring back decorative items for a new bedroom project we signed this week.

We're wrapping up our trip in Barcelona, where we'll meet friends in town for a wedding and introduce ourselves to Gaudi.  Although Paella is better known in Spain's southern region, I'm betting we will be able to get our hands on the dish if we know where to look.  

I'll be updating you all on our finds in Milan throughout the trip and intermittently sharing photos via Facebook as we find hotspots.

We have big news to share with you all upon our return.  Until then...