Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

12/24/2014

Slow and Steady

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

It's rare to see a business with real heart, so when I found out about Heath's design and business philosophy, I knew I had to cover it. Here's a company that doesn't ambition to rule the world, but to really find a satisfying medium between economics and creativity. What would the world be like with more companies who follow their example? 

~*C
Bucking the trend, Heath Ceramics scales back distribution of its iconic designs

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Carolyn Horwitz
Published: Nov 2014, Entrepreneur

A sample of Heath Ceramics wares. Photo by: Kathryn Pritchett
“Grow big, quickly” sounds like an enviable path to success for a young designer. Not so for Heath Ceramics. The venerable midcentury company is taking a slower, more studied route to growth that challenges preconceived notions of retail success.

Contrary to the usual tactic of manufacturers, the storied American ceramics-maker will have weaned itself off all its wholesale customers by the end of this year, focusing exclusively on direct sales from its own four retail stores and website. [read more]

12/24/2014

Water Works

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Los Angeles is a great place to be and companies like WET prove it. Here's a company that's tucked away in the northern part of the city, where you wouldn't think to look, yet they've produced some spectacular sights, delighting people around the world. Think the Bellagio, people :)

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A high-tech fountain specialist pumps out mind-blowing attractions
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Jenna Schnuer
Published: Dec 2014, Entrepreneur

"The Waters of Olympic Park", Sochi (Photo: WET)
If Mark Fuller’s parents hadn’t already realized their son’s engineering and creative potential, his waterfall and fish pond project—which he worked on through high school and college with his grandfather—would have been a dead giveaway. Rather than install standard fish ponds in his family’s backyard, Fuller connected them by an underground tunnel managed via a secret control panel. [read more]

I love Olga's work because she is courageously political, while also retaining her compassion for the people she's giving voice to. Her latest work is on the Los Angeles River and delves into the growing complexities in the area. 

~*C
Text and Photos by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Drew Tewksbury
Published: 11 Dec 2014, Artbound


As the sun turned a deep red orange on the horizon, silver-caped bodies dashed, bounded, strolled around a graffiti covered 126-foot diameter train turnaround, outfitted with twelve equidistant canopies installed in the round and bisected by a large table made from trash found along the site.

Metal music blared from the speakers in the center, as the players (who were really draped in silver thermal blankets) alternately held up signs that daringly stated "Hands up, don't shoot," "I can't breathe," or whimsically depicted a sun, a moon, or a rabbit.

As the music calmed down, the melody switched to "Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings' "This Land is Your Land" while the players slowly made their way below the canopied cavity of the roundhouse, placeholders for the wanderers perhaps that have sought shelter in the very same spots. [read more]

12/08/2014

Pac-Man with a Twist

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I've been seeing these bars pop up everywhere in LA. We're not the only one in the country. 

~*C
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Michelle Juergen
Published: Dec 2014, Entrepreneur


Old-school is cool again. Arcade games that were popular in the early ’80s are reentering the social sphere thanks to savvy bar operators who know that a bit of Super Mario is better with mead on hand.

Though no firm industry numbers are available, there’s observable growth in this specialized market. “There’s just been an explosion of arcade bars,” says Paul Kermizian, co-founder of New York’s Barcade. “The last two years have been crazy. We tried to keep track, but it seems like there’s a new announcement or new place opening every week.” [read more]

12/03/2014

Michael Kolster's Handmade Photographs

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Michael had such a wonderful energy about him when we met on the banks of the Los Angeles River. It was obvious from just a few minutes just how much enthusiasm he had for his medium, despite its rigor and difficulty... or perhaps because of it. 

~*C
Text and Photos by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Drew Tewksbury
Published: 24 November 2014, Artbound

A handmade photograph in development | Photo: Carren Jao
Dressed in a silver nitrate-splattered white shirt and ripped jeans with a red headlamp strapped just below his eyeglasses and blue surgical gloves on his hands, Michael Kolster has the look of a eccentric professor with his laboratory set on the banks of the Los Angeles River, creating prints using anachronistic methods.

Kolster, a 2013 Guggenheim fellow and associate professor of art at Bowdoin College in Maine, has set up shop for fourteen days along different parts of the Los Angeles River, advised by Jenny Price of Play the L.A. River and guided by the group's playing cards. "It was a great way to find access to locations along the river and it even tells you where to park," says Kolster. The professor's journey is a continuation of his long term project, "Down by the River," where he captured four other American rivers in the East, forty years after the introduction of the 1972 Clean Water Act. [read more]

12/02/2014

Laying the Foundation

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

My second assignment for Anthology was a pleasure. I interviewed a young couple, Kristine and Richard, who had daringly built their home from the ground up, while living in it most of the time too. Oof. That's quite an accomplishment.

Again, the article is available in print, but Anthology has offered a sneak peak at the issue below. 

~ *C
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Anh-Minh Le
Published: Issue No. 17, Fall 2014, Anthology

Design Matters

12/01/2014

Local Flavor

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Starbucks sometimes gets a bit of flak for creating a generic, coffee world, but it's actually taking steps to change that. Here's why.

~*C

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Carolyn Horwitz
Published: August 2014, Entrepreneur

Click on photo below to view article


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