Buckminster Fuller: the Dymaxion Bathroom & House

Dymaxion Bathroom

Buckminster Fuller was a 20th century inventor and visionary who did not limited to one field of expertise. He worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems. And one of the problems he chose to work on was the toilet.

He devised a four, stamped sheet metal or plastic commode that was light enough to be carried by two workers. They’ll fit up tight staircases and through narrow doors, allowing retrofitting in existing structures. All the appliances, pipes, and wires are built-in, limiting on-site construction to simple instillation hook-up.

With this configuration the interior has no germ-harboring nooks, crannies, or grout cracks.

This focus on sanitation was part of a larger effort known as the Dymaxion House which was meant to use a minimum of materials to provide maximum living space.

What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Eiffel Tower Renovation

Once condemned as ‘pointless’ and ‘monstrous’ by notable writers such as Maupassant and Zola, 125 years after its completion the La Grande Dame de Paris is finally getting a face lift. The Eiffel Tower has been under a 30 million euro construction project over the past few years and recently unveiled the result. Long overdue repairs to elevators were made that sometimes left visitors waiting in line up to 3 and 4 hours. Solar panels were installed but the most impressive feature is the new glass floor that hovers a jaw dropping 57 meters (167 feet) above the ground.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris. View from below.

Click here for an interesting article that talks about the economics behind the renovation. In 2003 the Eiffel Tower topped out at about 7 million visitors per year. So the purpose of the glass floor is to get people to spend more time in the shops before heading to the top. Talk about a rénovation intérieur au Paris!

Île Saint-Louis – Complete Paris Apartment Renovation

Once in a life time you have a client that you just don’t get along with. At first you think things are manageable but things go sour and no matter how hard you try it never gets better.  It’s not the fault of either. It’s just one of those things.

Then once in a life time you have a client that changes everything. Once in a life time you meet someone that is so dynamic, so artistic, so engaging, so maniacal, so passionate yet at the same time so ‘normal’, who can put on a face that is congruent to what people think he should be, he challenges the boundaries of your own perceptions about what is available in for use as an individual in the world.

We are going to call him the Maverick.

On and off, for circumstances we could not control, the better part of three years we were isle-in, like a villain, on penicillin with the Maverick.

It was  a glorious time.

When we met Mavs, we had no idea that he was ‘renting a womb’ as he put it, to have children with his partner.

We eventually met his partner, his wonderful children and enjoyed the company of his warm loving family.

He would bring us simple yet thoughtful and caring gifts from America.

Once he said, ‘Guys, don’t listen to me. There’s a saying ‘Get your hands off my ears. I know what I’m doing.’

How do yo not love a guy like that?

If you are reading this, Maverick we miss this time we had together.  So here is a video in honor of and that begs the inside joke from.

It’s the Isle. Do you know what time it is? 😀

Tile 101 : How to Lay Tile

Let’s tile for a while!

6"x6" porcelain floor tiles

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a good short into into the world of tile.

There are many variables that one runs into when taking on a tile project.

But if the floor is level, and if there are not a lot of pipes or odd shapes to cut, tiling a floor can be relatively straight forward.

In this video the presenter offers some good tips to get you on your way.

Bon Courage! 😀

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The Art Of Screwing – That Squeaky Carpeted Floor

Nails Italiano: Chiodi Ελληνικά: καρφοβελόνες

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Tonight that pie is mine!” Host Bob Schmidt declares. The squeak next to his bed that would wake up his wife every time he tried to tip toe to the fridge for a midnight run has been silenced!

Now, every self-respecting carpenter knows that to fix a creaky floor you have to pull up the carpet. Right?

“Wrong!” Says the Bobilator. He attacks the problem in a unique and borderline mystical way.

When the video starts out he shows the tools you need. A wire coat hanger? A roll of tape? Metal snips? Who is this guy? I thought this was going to be the attack of a renovation hack, flaying away in some fantasy world for ill gotten gains.

But quite frankly this video was a lot of fun to watch. Granted if you are in Paris and if your place  is 300 years old with a ‘point de hongrie’ hardwood floor under the carpet, with this technique you are out of luck. But if you have press-board or plywood as a subfloor this move is so crazy it just might work!

Tip: We think a twenty-penny nail whose head you grind off would work better than the coat hanger but hey, it’s his video.

We had fun watching this. We hope you do too. Enjoy!

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