All the Buzz at Museum of Craft & Design

We had an exciting night last Friday at the Museum of Craft and Design in SF. Our Buzz Bench was selected to be part of the New West Coast Design 2 exhibit highlighting experimental works in traditional and new materials. We were thrilled to be included with the other architects, industrial and interiors designers, design groups and craft artists working with advance technologies. Curated by Kathleen Hanna and Ted Cohen, this exhibit “focused on the design process itself and how this impulse is manifested by a wide variety of individuals.”

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In our case, it was the the humble bike rack that required a significant re-think. As our urban environment continues to develop, so too does activity around bicycle commuting. And so, the Buzz Bike Bench by Jason Bird of Luxxbox in Brisbane, Australia was developed. As a lifestyle element that can allow large numbers of bikes to parked and locked, it also functions as a meeting place for the urban warrior to sit, relax,  or simply spend some time in the community – the Buzz of city life.

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Let the Competition Begin!

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Since 2002 the event has expanded to currently include 65 participating teams and nearly 10,000 students in three competitions around the world.

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For the 2013 competition, Perry Cordoza of Nuvis, and currently the President of the SoCa Chapter of the ASLA invited Site Design Studio to design a courtyard as part of the event. Site Design then enlisted us, along with other manufacturers, to “supply the tools” so they could “create the space.”

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Included in our donation were our Willshire Collection rectangular planters in both Alarm and Apple, as well as a TerraScreen living wall system. Both were used in a courtyard entrance within the Solar Village. Thanks to Park West who planted up the planters and assisted with the installation. Continue reading

Park(ing) Day has found its traction.

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Last Friday was Park(ing) Day, “an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.” After reaching 162 cities on 6 continents in 2012, the organization this year decided they wanted to put focus on the quality rather than the quantity of our urban public spaces, and we couldn’t agree more.

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It was our pleasure to participate in the International Parking Day event in Madison, WI in conjunction with SAA Design Group.  We provided the SpiraPave deck & paver supports, top slope correctors and beam holders for the decking they built to elevate the top of the platform to curb height.

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SAA Design Group sees this event as an opportunity to re-imagine our urban landscape and highlight the value of our civic spaces.

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Recently Architect magazine featured an article called Newest Urbanism where the author, Kim O’Connell, explores the idea of tactical urbanism as it moves into the mainstream. She references the Better Block program of Dallas that installed a bike lane, plants and sidewalk furniture to a moribund city block, as well as the students of Georgia Tech College whose plan formed the basis of the Atlanta BeltLine Street Framework Plan. These interventions are a way to reclaim our urban environment, encourage street life and promote economic investment.

And while each small effort might not make a major change on its own, combined together they will help to push forward an agenda  including studies and proposals towards a real change to our cities.

 

Colorful Containers by Popular Demand

We get a lot of requests for pots, planters and trellis products finished in unique, project-specific colors. We can only offer so many as standard, so we color match on a regular basis. Some of these colors eventually find their way to our blog, advertisements, or on our websites. Slowly but surely, we get more and more customers asking for specific non-standard colors.

Due to their popularity, we recently added several of these colors, plus a few more, to our standard color pallet for all our FRP fiberglass pots.  Shown first at Dwell on Design this year, the new “standards” have gotten terrific response!

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They are all available now, at no additional cost. We’re still happy to match colors for specific projects, and we always welcome color requests and suggestions from our clients. Continue reading

PIE in the Las Vegas sky

Several hundred interior and exterior landscapers gathered at the Plantscape Industry Expo (PIE) in Las Vegas this week. From the sights and sounds, the general overall business outlook was positive and there was a high degree of interest in the living wall product options. If you didn’t have a chance to visit us, here are a few pics of those who did.

Mark Whitten of Green House Nurseries in Arleta, CA is having a “first look” at our new product – VersiWall with Jon Willingham, Southwestern sales representative.

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See our newest products at Dwell on Design in June!

VanNess Planters by Surya Graf for Tournesol Siteworks

Zest Planters by Surya Graf for Tournesol Siteworks

We’re excited to be working again with our partners at Street & Garden Furniture, as well as the fantastic group of Australian designers at Quench, who exhibited last year at the Dwell on Design event in Los Angeles. This year’s show, billed as America’s largest modern design event, takes place on June 20-21st at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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We’re Hiring…

help-wantedThings have gotten busy here at Tournesol Siteworks – busier than we’ve been used to for quite a while. The activity in the multi-family construction business, not to mention the acquisition of the assets of Vespro, has us looking for people to join our team!

We’re a close-knit group that takes care of our own, and those people who fit well tend to stay with us for a long time. If you relish the chance to make a difference in a business that is rapidly growing, take the time to review our job postings. We’re a dynamic organization, so you should be the kind of person that doesn’t mind constant change. We anticipate posting several more opportunities in the near future, so keep checking back!

We’re going underground…

Root Solutions barrier installed at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco

Root Solutions barrier installed at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco

Seriously! We’ve acquired the assets of Vespro Inc. of Northern California, the manufacturer of Root Solutions root barrier. While many of our products are decorative (pots, planters, site furnishings), quite a few are more functional (container irrigation, planter liners, living wall systems). The root barrier product fits perfectly into the functional part of our line – a locally-manufactured product sold primarily to landscape contractors, by our existing distributors, and specified by our design partners.

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