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Dwell January/February 2021

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
change of plans

Should we get a task chair? It was a debate in my household as it was in many last year when aesthetics and ergonomics battled for primacy in our interiors. Not that a task chair can’t be beautiful. They just tend to bring a cubicle vibe wherever they go. We ultimately decided that style wasn’t worth chronic back pain. No matter where you stand on the issue, many of us have started taking our home office setups more seriously. And while I hope the new vaccines have us collaborating in person again soon, the normalization of remote work will be a lasting effect of the pandemic and bring about enduring changes in how we design our homes. With that in mind, for this issue’s Modern World section (p. 25), we’ve rounded…

2 min

“What a perfect layout for a house. I may not love some of the interior choices, but the way they laid out the floor plan, and kept costs low, is impressive. Bravo!”—April, via Dwell.com Feedback It’s so great that you are bringing attention to [the affordability] issue [Affording America, November/December]. We recently moved to Boston, where the idea of a starter home is nonexistent; single-family home sales are up 37 percent compared to this time last year, with an 18 percent price increase to a median of $700K. NOT affordable. KATE TAIT, VIA DWELL.COM “Here’s What They Don’t Tell You About Living in a Tiny House” [Dwell.com] is excellent, but it misses one point. The reason for municipalities to refuse to allow tiny homes has to do with safety and egress requirements for third…

2 min
what would you love to see automated in your home?

Watering my plants. They’re so varied in terms of exposure to light, distance to forced hot air vents, and their own biology. @dprivitera Folding the laundry after it’s dried and then putting it on shelves in a closet. @this_julie_young Why can’t we have showers that steam clean themselves? Toilets and sinks that run a regular self-clean? Have you been in selfcleaning toilets in Europe? Okay, they’re gross, but we have the tech. @marybinghamlee My son. @smiths_pics Fluffing the pillows on my sofa before I go to bed. @pamcam17 I hate scrubbing the bathtub. Please design a bathtubscrubbing Roomba, so I can buy it! @lexikon1 Removing the dust that collects on plant leaves! @withlove.d Blinds, but affordable options. I’m not spending $500 to automate my $50 blinds. @huibs_ Dusting every nook and cranny. @piediddly It would be a dream to be able to remotely close windows when I…

3 min
2020 dwell design awards

2020 DWELL DESIGN AWARDS JUDGES Dwellings WINNER CASA COSMOS On a rustic strip of coastline near Puerto Escondido, Mexico, S-AR designed a beach getaway with an open concrete grid that frames its natural surroundings. RUNNER-UP COCKPIT IN WILD PLANTS Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP created a sunken retreat in Karuizawa, Japan. Its glass lookout allows the residents to study wildflowers blanketing the forest floor. To honor the most outstanding projects we published last year, we enlisted our readers and an expert panel of judges to select the most creative, context-driven designs across eight categories for the Dwell Design Awards. Our judges’ selections, which appear on these pages, display imagination in their form, consideration in their materiality, connection to their environments, and innovation in how they frame a way of living. “It’s rational and poetic all at once, a paradox in…

2 min
screen play

A few months after moving from Salt Lake City to the east side of Austin, Texas, Creede Fitch and his wife decided to transition from renting a house to settling in and building a home. They soon found a lot they loved—5,837 square feet with a beautiful pecan tree at the center. However, the tree had protected status, which is not uncommon in Austin, and couldn’t be moved. “It was actually a saving grace,” says Creede. “We were able to get the lot cheaply, and we knew we could make it work.” After meeting with several Austin architects, the couple found their perfect match in Thomas Bercy of Bercy Chen Studio. Bercy was able to marry Creede’s taste for midcentury and Mexican modern design with his wife’s affinity for Mediterranean and…

1 min
modern world

A dedicated office is now an essential component of many of our homes, but a lot of us have been making do with ad hoc, hastily set up spaces. It’s time to give your office a more intentional upgrade, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it look like the one you used to commute to. We’ve gathered an assortment of new work-from-home items that are as attractive as they are functional. And for design inspiration, we spoke with a few people at the forefront of home workplace R&D. ELGATO KEY LIGHT AIR Lighting is everything when you want to look your best on camera. Elgato’s new compact LED lamp illuminates features evenly for video conferencing—but not so intensely that you feel like you’re staring into the sun. It’s easy to…