By Janine Saunders, November 23rd, 2010


WBP Labs just produced “Inside Design,” a three-part reality series about interior design for IKEA and Babelgum. Not to blow our own whistle, but we think it’s pretty swell.

Whether you’re a design professional yourself or you just need some fresh ideas to make your crash pad feel like less crash-pad-like, this series is for you. It features four New York area designers–hand picked from the WorkBook Project and Design Related networks of staggering creative awesomeness–competing against each other to create the ultimate urban living room design. The only catch is they have to work with a modest $5,000 budget and use an item or two from IKEA’S BESTA or KIVIK lines. Sounds like a cinch right? Wait till you see what these guys n’ gals came up with!

The lucky winner gets to keep the finished living room, a new iMac, and an unlimited one-year membership to everyone’s favorite Brooklyn creative space, 3rd Ward (did we mention this comes with a new 3rd Ward bike? It does).

We don’t want to be spoilers by revealing too much about the winning design, so let’s just say it’s super creative, functional, and makes us somehow feel more human when we curl up on the couch. Trust us, you will too when you see this.

So without further glowing praise, here’s Inside Design: The Reality of Living With Style.

Ep1: Inside Design

Ep2: Inside Design

Ep3: Inside Design

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By Janine Saunders, July 13th, 2010

First in the series, entitled “Surf, Live, Paint” profiles Andrea Shapiro and her architect Maziar Behrooz, who after designing the home, moved onto her private art studio, deciding upon surplus shipping containers mounted atop a cement foundation. In addition to a noticeably innovative choice to use the containers, the environmentally functional aspect of the project is that normally those very containers would remain at loading docks, to most likely never to move again. Some twenty-one thousand of these containers arrive in US docks each and every day. Granted some will be placed on chassis and travel to a second destination, however the containers that unload at the docks will remain. Considered a waste of time and money, they will not be shipped empty from whence they came, instead they will remain at the docks, hopefully awating a new purpose. MB Architecture is that purpose. Behrooz, based in East Hampton, has been at the forefront of sustainable design, most recently winning the 2009 AIA Peconic Design Award for the “Container Studio”. His firm, MB Architecture, recognized around the world, currently has 6 homes currently under construction in the New York area.

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By Janine Saunders, July 6th, 2010

“A House for Blake” examines the concept of Mass Customization, changing the landscape of the modern pre-fab house forever, allowing the customer to fully pick and choose each and every detail in the design of a custom home. This new style of customization is similar to that of purchasing a car, in that the customer may simply log into the Res 4 website and add or drop hundreds of features to their design, making every inch of the home, their own. Joseph Tanney of Resolution 4 Architecture has been designing homes for 20 years, recently attracting the attention of Debbi Gibbs, after winning the Dwell Magazine pre-fab home competition for a design in Pittsboro, NC.
Since then Resolution 4 has designed over 50 different homes, offices, and public facilities across the country. Pre-fab homes have become one of the most sustainable forms of home building, by reducing the environmental impact of construction as well as reducing the actual build time. By taking advantage of this mass customization, Debbi was able to manipulate the design of the home so she could keep an eye on her young son, Blake, if he’s running around the lake in the backyard, or jumping on the trampoline out front, she can always keep an eye on him. The high performance windows used in the home not only fill the space with gorgeous natural light, but also play a significant role in temperature management. In designing the bathrooms and kitchen facilities Res 4 chose very specific fixtures that combine style with the new wave of eco-conscious water management. Currently, Joseph is watching a number of his designs come to life both in the country and in major cities across the nation. Currently based in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Resolution 4 still maintains it’s stronghold on the Modern Pre-Fab design market.

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By Janine Saunders, July 2nd, 2010

The “New Gen, Next Gen” episode features what’s known as the “100K House” , a collaborative effort from Interface Studio Architects and Postgreen Homes, both based in Philadelphia, PA, have found the perfect niche market by combining technology, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. By almost exclusively building on infill sites, of which there are 25,000 available, they have access to land that normally remains empty, and are able to build homes of the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. The homes can be built for as little as $100,000, or at approximately $100 a square foot, which lends appeal to a younger as well as more eco-conscious demographic. By using a combination of solar panels to heat water, a heat recovery unit to keep the house heated yet well ventilated, and SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel) , pre-made, heavily insulated panels that are simply assembled onsite dramatically reducing build time, the innovations in the 100K house are astounding. Brian Phillips, the brains behind ISA, has already built 2 of these units, with a third currently in construction.

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By Janine Saunders, June 21st, 2010

Inspired By Design is a mini-series produced by WBPLabs – a division of the WorkBook Project. Inspired By Design explores the emerging art of eco-friendly and innovative design. Each episode provides a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the most pioneering creative efforts of craft and engineering in contemporary life.

From city studios to beach-side shores, every story draws as much from the personalities of the individuals profiled as it does from their surroundings. Leading architects, industrial designers, and sustainability experts discuss their working models of success produced in collaboration with the imagination of their clients.

Each partnership creates an environment which seamlessly combines form and function into a graceful whole.

Ep101: Surf, Live, Paint

Ep102: New Gen, Next Gen

Ep103: A House For Blake

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By lw, May 4th, 2009

RADAR is a weekly series produced by WBPLabs – a division of the WorkBook Project. The series is a timely, insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity.

RADAR highlights innovative projects and events across different creative disciplines, hangs with creators and founders, and digs deep into process, method and participation.

From what it means to ideate on the fly with musical improv due I Eat Pandas, to the curation of confessional storytelling in Cassette From My Ex and the importance of community in the Next-Door Neighbor all-star webcomix project, RADAR provides a cultural compass for audiences, in order to both inform and inspire.

RADAR is not traditional web content. The series is stylish with high production values, mini documentaries that get to the heart of the subject matter, shot with a commercial and music video mentality by award winning filmmakers from the WBP network.

What People Are Saying

SCREEN DAILY “Online content platform Babelgum has acquired the worldwide exclusive Internet and mobile rights to weekly video series Radar. The three-minute episodes, which examine innovative projects across creative disciplines, are produced by WBP Labs, the experimental lab division of the Workbook Project. The deal was negotiated by Babelgum’s GM and publisher – film division Karol Martesko-Fenster with WBP Labs founder Lance Weiler…” Read More

FILMMAKER MAGAZINE “Premiering on Babelgum today is a new doc web series, “Radar,” created by a number of people familiar to readers of Filmmaker magazine. The Workbook Project’s Lance Weiler, whose “Culture Hacker” column will begin appearing in the next issue of Filmmaker, produces, Alex Johnson directs, and the d.p. is Tom Quinn, one of our “25 new Faces” for his feature The New Year’s Parade. The Workbook Projects Lab series looks at creators who are exploring new forms of storytelling in their work…”

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