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Dwell May/June 2020

Dwell is the unique modern architecture and design magazine for people who believe that good design is an integral part of real life. Get Dwell digital magazine subscription today.

United States
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
new normals

We were halfway through producing this issue when San Francisco shut down. Like millions around the world, our team there began working from home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. A few days later, our New York office did the same, and the reality set in that what was to come would be unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Now, as then, our thoughts are with everyone fighting the virus, with the doctors, nurses, and other health workers who selflessly care for them, and with everyone doing the essential jobs that keep food on our tables and our neighborhoods functioning. As we extend our hope and gratitude, we’re also adjusting to a new normal. Though what exactly “normal” looks like changes nearly every day. What’s clear is that…

2 min

“We practice gratitude and find the joys in simple things as we slow down life and try to stay sane.”—Nicole Schmiedl, Denver, Colorado Feedback You ask about “shoes off” in the house [Dwell Asks, March/April]? I would encourage you to take a moment to readdress this question in the age of Covid-19. This is not a personal preference issue, but a public health question. The dirt and grime on shoes (whether seen or invisible) carries millions of microbes along with it. Why bring that into your house? Be safe, be clean, and take off your shoes! SHANNON FOSTER, MD, READING, PA The house in Sydney, Australia [“Mission Statement,” March/April], is extraordinary. I appreciate the architect’s efforts to harness the climate for solar gain, food production, and bringing real life into the home. Love the…

1 min
what’s new at dwell.com?


1 min
what are you doing to spruce up your space while hunkering down?

Nurturing indoor plants to improve our physical and emotional wellness.@opiarydesign Finally painting our common areas four years after moving in. Bye-bye, avocado-colored “accent” wall! @melissa_moe Um, we just ripped out our kitchen on Friday…so there is that! @benjakaiden Decluttered the kitchen, made a “coffee bar,” cleaned and reorganized all the kitchen cabinets. Bathrooms are next. @desert_lisek We urgently needed places to work for everyone in the family, so we found pieces of wood in the garage, got some shelves at the hardware store, and mixed and matched to construct desks. These times call for being creative. @melbacarolinareid Renovating our front porch…and mixing afternoon mai tais. @sbwhippet Anxiety-induced cleaning! @violagirl285 We set up a homework station on the kitchen island and shoveled the snow around in the backyard so we could set up a trampoline. @kakisv Pretty much shuffling art and decorative items to different spots…

2 min
lofty ambitions

“We were influenced by Scandinavian style, but a white box with modern furniture would not have been right for us.”Alya Shipilova, resident Architecture in St. Petersburg follows the city’s political and cultural history, with Czarist palaces next to Art Nouveau shopping centers and austere Soviet-era office buildings. In the newly capitalist 1990s and 2000s, investors and landlords began converting attic spaces into apartments—a practice the government initially encouraged but tenants often fought as infringing on communal property. One strategy to win approval was to add a French-style mansard roof, which was considered an architectural improvement and allowed for a brighter, more open interior space. Such conversions are rare now, so when Vladimir Samsonov, a software developer, and Alya Shipilova, a designer, moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2017, they felt lucky…

3 min
beach house

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT A… SUBTROPICAL GARDEN ACCORDING TO RAYMOND JUNGLES Miami, Florida In our region, we have a pronounced dry season, as long as six months, and then we get precipitation when there’s a clash of systems. It can be as much as 60 inches per year—a lot of it from hurricanes and tropical storms. Plants have to be able to make it through both. I look primarily to native species and then incorporate complementary plants from other subtropical climates. I believe in botanical interest and also creating a habitat with birds, butterflies, squirrels, and foxes, where humans can live more closely with nature. That’s what gives me joy. For butterflies, you need flowers. For birds, you need insects, seeds, and fruit. After that, my main goal is to create comfortable spaces for humans. That…