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Design Project: Arlington Condo

apollina baker

I did a little makeover project for an Arlington condo, Brad's place. He needed an upgrade. UPDATE: More upgrades have taken place since this post! Check out the condo's current status here.

Here is the living area before:

And here it is after:

Here is the kitchen before:

And the kitchen after:

Hallway before:

And after:

This was basically a facelift for Brad's place.  The first thing we had to do was repaint and for that I went to my favorite color, Benjamin Moore's Baby Fawn.  It's a greige and I think it's a super flattering neutral.  We replaced all the unattractive gold doorknobs with antique-looking rubbed bronze ones.  If there is one think I learned from this project it's the amazing difference a doorknob makes!  Pretty much all of the furniture was a Craigslist find -- my favorite find is the pair of hollywood regency bamboo chairs for less than $400!  We had them refinished.  In the kitchen, we painted the cabinets and added some knobs and handles.  I was mainly inspired by Nate Berkus' rooms and Ethan Feirstein & Ari Heckman’s apartment that was featured in Lonny Mag.

Brad is an engineer and he does some pretty cool artwork for fun.  All of those framed graphic images are his creations, done with some computer code or something...  Here is a close up of the canvas in the living room:

The writing on the left-hand side is the code for the image.  And here is a close-up of one of the pieces hanging in the hallway:

I think they are so pretty and I love how each image is unique.  I asked him to give a little explanation of what these things are and why he started making them:

The more I studied mathematics and engineering the more I kept finding beautiful structures in math; from the simplicity of the golden ratio and its presence everywhere in nature, to the elegance of finding the area under a curve using an integral, finally to describing seemingly chaotic events with a simple equation.  I wanted to show that math could be artistic even at its most fundamental level where it's just points in space.  The images I created are under a family of mathematical systems called attractors within chaos theory.

They are expressed by a simple equation such as:

  • xn+1 = sin(a yn) + c cos(a xn)
  • yn+1 = sin(b xn) + d cos(b yn)

where a, b, c, d are variables that define each attractor.

Input specific values for a, b, c, and d and you'll these beautiful spatial point maps that show the output of the each iteration, which is typically in the millions.  Mathematically, chaos can be achieved by the simple iteration of certain equations.  The recipe for chaos in the real world, however, is still in theory stage.

Chaologists propose several possible causes of chaos:

  • The value of a control parameter is increased to a point where chaotic behavior sets in (see next section, below).
  • The nonlinear interaction of two or more separate physical operations.
  • Ever-present environmental noise affecting otherwise regular motion.

what it isn't:  is not erratic; is not dependent on external variables;  is not the result of error; is not predictable in the long term; is noninvertible, i.e., one cannot determine a chaotic system's prior history; is not found in linear systems, i.e., the plotted equation is a straight line; is not a straight line

what it is:  is erratic-looking, but is in fact ordered; is entirely self-generated; is dependent upon the initial conditions, or "control parameter"; is fairly accurately predictable in the short term; is the result of a deterministic process, i.e., can be expressed as a mathematical equation with a given initial condition; is found only in nonlinear systems, i.e., the plotted equation; is found in feedback systems where the past affects the present and the present affects the future

Plus, I think they're cool looking."

Ummmm... did I mention he's an engineer?  I love it.  He basically expresses himself in bullet points.  And I swoooooon...