Dezeen reports that erstwhile Target designer extraordinaire Michael Graves has been appointed by the Obama administration to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the federal agency that oversees accessibility for the disabled. Graves, who in 1999 became one of the first highly regarded designers/architects to collaborate with a big box retailer on a line of mass market home goods, is paralyzed from the waist down. Says Graves of his new role: "When I became paralyzed, I realized that as an architect and designer, and then a patient, I had a unique perspective. As a result, I became passionate about using this perspective to improve healthcare and accessibility through design projects. Now, as a member of the Access Board, I expect to provide national leadership on accessible design, and hope I can contribute on a grand scale."
Co. Design shares the latest from vacuum cleaner demigod Sir James Dyson: The Airblade Tap, a $1,500 sink faucet with an integrated hand dryer that aims to "reinvent the way we wash our hands." Like most of the inventor's creations, the Airblade Tap is prohibitively spendy but also a stunning, paper towel-eliminating example of innovative, future-friendly design. That's the good sir (he looks rather naughty/surprised, no?) drying off up top.
TreeHugger would gladly spend a night or two at Hen House, an award-winning holiday house on Scotland's Isle of Skye that's built from local materials and treads lightly on the surrounding environment thanks to post foundations that gently lift it from the landscape. Local firm Rural Design Architects is responsible for the design.
The Atlantic Cities sizes up LA's latest architecture blogger. It's no other than Moby, everyone's favorite annoying human being/90s dance music sensation/vegan/tea shop proprietor.
The Huffington Post is smitten with a 224-square-foot cabin —"a rare piece of antiquity" — from Yellowstone National Park that's currently up for grabs. The asking price is $37,500.
Curbed tracks the rise, fall, and resurrection of a mode of "uniquely American housing" known as the McMansion.
Architizer marvels at K-abeilles Hotel for Bees, AteilerD's human-scale honeycomb in Muttersholtz, France. Explain the architects: "The outside faces of the hut are compartments in shape of alveoli. This small shelters are creating micro-housings appropriable by the wild bees. The internal space is a refuge for men. You can sit down or lean on the central furniture built with the same kind of alveoli."
Apartment Therapy recommends fresh-cut flower alternatives —bulbs, small planets, blooming flowers —for Valentine's Day.
EcoHome presents the winners of the NAHB's 2013 National Green Building Awards. They include: Persimmon-Willis Ranch in San Antonio, Texas (Project of the Year: Single-Family, Production); New Edition at Damonte Ranch in Reno, Nev. (Project of the Year: Single-Family, Small Volume); the Maryland Green Designer Show Home in Gambrills, Md. (Project of the Year: Single-Family, Custom); Finding Paradise on Picardy in Raleigh, N.C. (Project of the Year: Remodel); and Seabourn Cove in Boynton Beach, Fla. (Project of the Year: Multifamily).
Dwell wrangles up "6 Great Appliances for Small Kitchens."
The New York Times pays a visit with Allan Hill, a 68-year-old with an "unwavering faith in Jesus and a slow startle response" who lives in Detroit's long-abandoned Packard luxury automobile plant. Says Hill of his home within one of Detroit's finest examples of "ruin porn," a massive ruins popular with scrappers, graffiti artists, vandals and European tourists (he doesn't have heat or reliable running water): "It’s given me time to reflect on my life. See where I went wrong. See if I can maybe change some parts of my life.”