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Everyone should live alone–at least for a while, we think.  It teaches you how to take care of yourself and your cave.  It will make you a better roommate when the time comes.  If you make the choice–or it is made for you–to live on your own, you mostly have to make do with a place designed for two or three or seven.  Unless you get lucky.

Tobacco by Avehideshi Architects and Associates

A few designers have, luckily, turned their heads to solo living. Above dwelling (“close to transportation”), is in Tokyo (of course) and is a solo abode designed for a 60-year-old woman above a tobacconist shop.  Architects : Hideshi Abe / Avehideshi Architect and Associates. Photos by Hiroki Kawata.  Viewed at dezeen here

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The cost of land being what it is, the building has a small foot and lots of stairs to climb–beautiful stairs in this case, so take your time.

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This drawing shows where the living quarters (or eighths) are, but how the solo householder has arranged it all is her secret.

 

Nor is this little lady telling us how she arranges her life and her bonnets inside this tiny red place.  Chances are it’s either neat as a pin or a spectacular mess.

 

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If you want some space around your home alone, here’s a nice little cube among the trees and rocks to call your own.

 

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This is a tiny onesy tucked right into the woodsy countryside for the winter.  Fits right in (“Maybe I should have the Birches over for hot chocolate”).  Seen here.

 

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Back to the future, this prototype for one is designed to supply food, energy, heat and oxygen to its occupant.  Its maker calls it  Oogst 1 Solo.   Sadly for us, no mention of it providing wine and potato chips.  Seen at polychroniadis on tumbler.

 

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This is Piiri house, mostly wood, just for one, good for thinking about where you are and where you aren’t.

 

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And if you aren’t yet sure where you want to live, consider the mobile option.  This one in Lego colours folds up into a trailer and folds out into different rooms.  More here

 

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Mmmm. Designed for one, maybe but surely occasional sleepovers are allowed.  APH80 tiny home designed by the Spanish design team at Abaton,

Once you start looking, it turns out there are more people than we thought, professional designers and just plain soloists, who have considered the uni-dwelling:

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Blob VB3, Designed by Belgian architectural firm, dmvA above.

Front Architects modern-billboard-house

A bit of a cliffhanger, by Front Architect

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The lovely  L41home, designed by Architect and Urban Designer Michael Katz and Designer Janet Corne

So if you’re ready to go it alone, at least for a while, you just might be able to find the right fit after all.  Lots more here and here  Just don’t be a stranger, OK?

 

Here at less, we are fans of a lot of uncommissioned public art, namely the kind that 1) makes you smile 2) makes you admire how well it is made and 3) makes you glad no damage was done in providing you with this unexpected smile.  The category of u.p.a. that succeeds most often on all three scores is the kind that people stick on walls with paste.  Like this swell white rabbit.

As you can see he’s just a little guy on the run caught in full motion on a nice blue/grey wall, found here

Here’s a white dog or doggish creature  stuck on a wall in a lavatory in Melbourne, where quality public art of the non-commissioned kind seems to thrive.  This colour spewing critter is the invention of an artist named Ghost Patrol, who is said to be one of Melbourne’s most prominent artists.  See here.

According to the internet, at least, the top spots for really good stick-on art are Australia (Melbourne and Fremantle) and England (Bristol and London)

This fine little two dimensional shamrock green dachshund lives in London.  He was spotted by the keen-eyed, generous, prolific photographer mermaid99, bless her heart.  Find the pooch and much much more from the mermaid here.

Looking for the uni-coloured dachshund is this colourful kitty, another mermaid 99 find in London  here.

pretty weird squidman in Mexico City.

And here’s a lovely bird, a swallow stuck up in Rye, East Sussex England.  The artist goes by De Wilde when he’s outdoors.  See this fine woodcut and more here

The finders of this paste up, called “Hello Stranger”, on a lamp post in North Oakland CA, are Alex and Allison who rightly point out that it is equal parts pretty and sinister, as all good childrens’ tales should be, we think.

This is just swell, another one from Melbourne.  Thanks to we heart it 

Why is it that “Steve” is the perfect name for this little white dino?  Go here to meet Steve and other Fremantle sights.

These two bandits are having a lot more fun than Bonnie and Clyde.  Found here at a site called Oakown Art (“an exposé of cool public art & culture in and around oakland, california”).  The artist goes by “Get Up”.

Below, three finds of our own in Paris, 2011.

On this one old wall you’ll find a white paste up figure of indeterminate species grasping maybe a large slice of pizza and a coffee (?), a nifty green octopus attacking…Popeye (?), and a whole bunch of tulips.  Also way at the top, a space invader.

And here’s a dapper masked fellow with a rosy fleur for his sweetheart.

And here is another sweet little space invader eyeing/protecting a sweet little cafe.

Space Invader is all over Paris (and quite a few other places too).  These are also stick-up art but made of ceramic tile not paper so they last and last.  They have become part of the fabric of Paris, not a poke in the eye, but an unexpected treat for those who love the sight of children at play without supervision.  This image from here

Let’s give London the last smile:

Again thanks to mermaid99  for this fox. Find it here.  The artist is Surianii.

Martin Parr is one of those photographers who takes pictures that any one of us might have taken, but we didn’t.  And if we did, you just know they would not, not in a thousand tries, make you want to keep on looking at them the way these do.  What does Mr Parr do that we can’t do?  Good question.

Above, a famous photo of his taken at the seaside in New Brighton, Merseyside, England

Pink lookout hut on the pier in Cardiff, Wales

A shop and its keepers in Cambridge England

A great selection of Martin Parr pictures, mostly taken in the UK, can be found at the website of the Guardian newspaper here.

When he’s not in England, Mr Parr is often in a sunny place, like Mexico.

Above is from a book of his called ‘A Fair Day: Photographs from the West Coast of Ireland’ found here .

This book ‘Bad Weather’ was his first, and it is just so amazing you think about the pictures in it days and days after you see them.  Make that years.

Mr Parr himself looks like he’d blend in to the crowd almost anywhere.

He’s wishing he was a fish, and she’s wishing he was too.

Now these two have a future, unlike the couple above them,  but they’ve each got their own ideas about things, despite the matching sweaters and hair.  It’s all there isn’t it?  update, 29 July 2011: This image was featured in an interview with Martin Parr.  It is in fact a photo by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken, an influential, innovative photojournalist admired by Mr Parr (thanks Chantal).

Great photographers of the life that’s going on all around us preserve a momentary glimpse of an ongoing story.  You can’t help feeling that the action and sound will begin any second.  Now.

The Royal Art Lodge was founded in 1996 by Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama,
Neil Farber, Drue Langlois, Jonathan Pylypchuk, and Adrian Williams in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, Canada.  Hollie Dzama and Myles Langlois have also been members.

See here and here.

Neil Farber’s many modern Draculas from here

Pink fish descending staircase seen here

A dog, a boat, a microphone, a speaker.  Could be a song about living life on your own terms.  Found here

Imagine the frustration of being a first class singer AND a white bunny.  Here

Can I eat the little flower in your hair.  see this

The nuclear family.  Marcel Dzama. Found here

Domestic ceramics.  go to this

M Dzama makes books too.

Above Red Devil (no tail) from here

And more dolls, these by Drue Langlois found hanging here.

They and more like them once hung in a window in Vancouver.  They spent a few cold stormy nights there, small and weird and adorable.  Then they were gone.

Pens are a simple source of great pleasure for anyone who likes to make marks on paper.

Above set of six seen here

Above Cross pen can be viewed long and up close here

That’s an Alibi pen up there.  Strictly for getting yourself out of hot water.  Go here

Of course there’s a Fountain Pen Network, see here

And of course there is a Pen Addict.com right here

This one above has a see through tank, for ink voyeurs.  At His Nibs, here

Cobalt blue, Levenger True Writer, circa about 1995 at fountain of pens here.

This is a Pelican, 75th anniversary, coveted, here.

And another pelican, at the Pen Hero

If you love pens or even the idea of making a mark with metal and ink on paper, we hope you have a great pen shop in your town, like this one in Vancouver seen here

And Art Brown’s in New York, image from here.

Ink up.

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