Bonjour de Montréal

Montreal, IRDC, Creative Fuel

Every year the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) selects a city that is a leading curator of retail trends. This year’s host was Montréal – a city that celebrates its history while exuding a contemporary flair, edgy style and a thriving cosmopolitan energy. Combined with a plethora of retail stores, an expansive range of dining options and diverse neighborhoods to explore, this year’s host city was the total package.  Read more of this post

The Carriage Roads of Acadia

Acadia National Park, FRCH Creative FuelSometime in January I got talked into going to see “National Parks Adventure” in Imax … I’m not sure if it was the soothing sound of Robert Redford’s narration (apparently Morgan Freeman was unavailable…), the catchy tune of James Bay’s ‘Hold Back The River’ or the feeling of being enveloped by the overwhelmingly beautiful scenery – most likely all three – but I suddenly had an overpowering urge to explore these seemingly untouched places. Read more of this post

A Brief History of Construction Materials

Flickr image

Image via flickr.com

“There exists a dynamic exchange between the life of matter and the matter of our lives.”

-Reiser and Umemeto

Each material has its own unique way of acting and reacting with its environment. As designers we are responsible for creating the appropriate expression for each condition. Whether this is executed through scale, patterns, joinery, or structural articulation depends on the nature of the material itself. However, the complexity and sheer volume of today’s innovative products can make it seem like we need to be scientists to understand the behavior of many contemporary materials. This entry is part one of a series on unraveling that myth. As a designer by day and aspiring materials scientist by night, I hope to give some insight into how new materials behave and inspire ideas about how we can express these behaviors through design. In lieu of the 45th anniversary of FRCH, I thought it would be appropriate to start by taking a look back at the history of traditional building materials, and what was primarily available to work with when the firm started in 1968.

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1968 Revisited: Tech Blasts Off

Apollo 8In keeping with our theme this year of looking back at the year FRCH was founded and the evolution that has occurred since, I recently did a little research to learn more about what happened that year in addition to the well-known cultural and social changes that occurred.  Anyone who works with me would tell you I am NOT an expert in technology.  However, I am a believer in studying the past in order to better understand the present and the future – and in my research I quickly discovered that 1968 was a year that brought many advances in technology that continue to shape our lives today.  In those 12 months, while the country experienced social revolution, turmoil and great tragedy, some amazing advances in technology occurred at the same time.  Let the history lesson begin!

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