Design by Nature

With our love for circles and colors, Alex Rose, founder of Blue Ring, is a perfect fit for a featured guest spotlight on Circle of Colors!

Recently returning from The Ocean Conference at the United Nations in New York to reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity, be inspired to learn more and become part of a network to fund globally important ocean exploration and conservation projects by joining Blue Ring!

We did!

It is no coincidence that airplanes remind us of birds, or that the only things that seem capable of sticking to fabric, as well as Velcro does, are the burs from plants. The shape of birds and the design of their wings still inspire novel aviation equipment today, and Velcro was specifically created to mimic the tiny hooked structures that allow burs to securely attach themselves to an animal’s fur in order to ensure seed dispersal. Biomimicry or biomimetics is the imitation of biological designs with the goal of solving even our most complex problems. The applications are endless and include fields ranging from nanotechnology to building design to fashion to medicine. Although the discussion of this topic could (and does) fill entire books, here are just a few examples of ocean-inspired biomimicry.

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is studying the shell structure of the windowpane oyster, Placuna placenta, with the hope of producing a hard, lightweight, transparent armor that “resists mechanical penetration but is also optically clear,” just like the shell of the mollusk. The unique nanostructure of the shell allows it to localize damage, preventing it from compromising the structural integrity of the entire shell. A human armor like this could be nearly invisible and would be capable of withstanding multiple hits without collapsing.

The concept of a bioluminescent bulb is of growing interest as it would require no energy to power and would be a renewable source of cold light with no waste production or pollution. This idea was inspired by the bioluminescent marine bacterium, Vibrio fischeri. In a study recently conducted at the University of Madison, three undergraduate students genetically engineered E. coli bacteria that were capable of glowing just like V. fischeri and created a “biobulb.” This light source would essentially be a closed system containing several species of microorganisms where “each organism plays a role in the recycling of vital nutrients that each of the other microbes need to survive.” The bulb would be recharged by natural light, allowing the food organisms to grow and reproduce or “recharge” the system.

Sharkskin has been a model for more aerodynamic cars and wetsuits.

The surface topography of sharkskin and its incredible ability to ward off bacterial and parasitic infections prompted the Florida-based biotechnology company Sharklet Technologies, to develop its very own micro-textured adhesive film. The film is covered in microscopic diamond-shaped bumps, a characteristic that “prevented dangerous microorganisms…from establishing colonies large enough to infect humans.” This synthetic sharkskin does not actually kill the pathogens, but prevents them from colonizing the surface. Sharkskin has also been the model for more aerodynamic cars and wetsuits.

With so many brilliant colors and textures, it isn’t hard to see why fashion designers are inspired by marine life.

Then, there is of course fashion.

The underwater world is full of colors, textures, and structures that lend themselves incredibly well to being imitated in cloth. American luxury label Rodarte is known to have created an entire line of high fashion dresses inspired by the elegance and beauty of Siamese fighting fish, also called bettas. During Paris Fashion Week in 2016, haute couture designer Alberta Ferretti presented an entire collection influenced by the ocean. “I explored different moods inspired by the sea – that part of the earth with its fascinating fluidity,” she said. Also moved by the stunning beauty of sea life is recognized fashion designer Luly Yang, who has an entire couture collection called Ocean. According to Luly, the style of her Ocean collection is exemplified by “movements fluid, ethereal, and vibrant, with attributes of jellyfish, sharks, and coral, bringing the mysteries of the deep to the surface.” There are endless forms both spectacular and unusual to imitate in the underwater world, and I have no doubt that fashion designers will continue to explore these options for decades to come.

Marine debris in the form of recycled ocean plastic trash is becoming a textile of choice for a growing number of products.

Outside the world of couture, the ocean is inspiring the creation of new fabrics and materials. Oceans trash actually. Plastic pollution is a monumental issue in the world with 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into our seas annually, and companies are beginning to make good use of this refuse by upcycling ocean plastic. Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create a sneaker made from recycled ocean trash. According to Adidas, “We are working with Parley to transform marine plastic pollution into high performance sportswear, spinning the problem into a solution. The threat into a thread.” Fourth Element, a scuba diving brand that makes technical gear and lifestyle clothing, utilizes textiles created from recycled ghost fishing nets. The quality of their products is superb, and the styling is comfortable and modern, all the while helping to remove stray monofilament nets from the ocean that formerly captured marine creatures and damaged ocean ecosystems. The sunglasses company, Norton Point, launched a line of eco-friendly sunglasses in 2016 made out of high-density polyethylene taken from the ocean and recycled, as part of their “Sea Plastic Differently” campaign. In an effort to produce less plastic in the first place, Saltwater Brewery made edible six-pack rings out of barley to reduce plastic in the ocean and protect marine life. Clif Bar also changed their packaging from shrink wrap to 100% recycled paperboard.

Jellyfish are a constant source of inspiration both technologically and aesthetically. 

There scarcely exists a human problem that has not already been solved by nature; we need only to keep our minds open and the answers will present themselves in some of the most seemingly unlikely forms. There are many more incredible examples of biomimetic designs, including but certainly not limited to, those inspired by marine species. Consider keyword searching for boxfish body, mollusk glue, mantis shrimp claw, spider silk, lizard skin, gecko feet, butterfly scales, and bat echolocation in relation to biomimicry to get a broader look at the amazing design solutions that can be found in nature.   

The Huestudio + Company invites you to join Blue Ring today and become part of a global network + “marry” the ocean and join a global celebration on World Oceans Day next year on June 8, 2018!

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Alex Rose holds a B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Aquatic Biology, and has a wide variety of experience in the biological sciences including but not limited to bioacoustics research, exhibit construction, science writing, teaching, public presentation, and aquatic animal husbandry and breeding. Alex is also a professional violinist, photographer, Explorers Club Fellow, PADI Divemaster, and lover of all things aquatic. She is currently the Science Editor and a principle writer for Ocean Geographic Magazine, the Managing Editor for Ocean Geographic Explorers (OGX) and is a free-lance science writer and editor as well. Alex also composes violin pieces for use in ocean themed films and exhibitions. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research.

She founded Blue Ring at the beginning of 2017 in an effort to create a new method of ocean conservation accessible to and inclusive of everyone who wants to better understand and protect our seas.  

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View the colorful video, Our Ocean, Our Future.

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”

– John F. Kennedy

Photo Credits: © Alex Rose.

Happy 2-12 Day!

“When you know what you want and you want it badly enough, you will find the ways to get it.” – Jim Rohn

Happy 2-12 Day!

We love this day and love everything about the numbers 212 [two-twelve]!

With just two days away from Saint Valentine’s Day, a day most associated with romantic love, 212 is all about embracing values of extra effort, care and attention. There’s still time to think of others, to appreciate them, to honor them, to share and spread kindness and love.

We believe these ‘extra efforts’ certainly can impact greater results and positive outcomes. With every interaction and encounter, these are important core values of how The Huestudio + Company daily operates and engages with our clients, family and cherished friends.

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Blessed with creating and designing a widely successful training experience for customer service leadership at United Airlines, based on the original bestselling book, 212° the extra degree, by Sam Parker, the premise is “At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Just one extra degree makes all the difference.”

So, while you may have already planned, bought, wrapped and staged your upcoming Saint Valentine’s Day offerings, why not take it to the next degree? Be 212°!

Surprise your sweetheart/s! Be creative. Make things happen. Spread kindness. Be inspiring! Share love.

PS: While customary to send cards, give flowers, chocolates, jewelry and other special gifts, if you’re late with your planning for your special sweetheart, contact our creative team or our wonderful Preferred Partners. Yes, there’s still time…

Learn more about 212° the extra degree and our friend, Sam Parker.

Photo Credit: Heart | © Jovana Rikalo, 2015.

 

Our Perfect Partners

 

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

We simply love our Preferred Partners*! All are passionate artisans, dreamers and purveyors of high-quality offerings and exceptional professional services.

In preparation for our soon-to-launch, refreshed website, Preferred Partners came together on January 23, 2016 to provide one-of-a-kind couture creations for an intensely creative, stylized photo shoot at the picturesque Schaumburg Golf Club.

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Beautifully appointed tablescapes were photographed by Gabi Bucataru of PhotoGabi and Paolo Cascio of Paolo Cascio Photography, resulting in over 2500+ images. As a preview and ‘sneak peek”, our signature Circle of Colors Children’s Birthday Party is proudly featured!

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We are appreciative and grateful to our valued Preferred Partners in our creative collaborations as artisans of exquisitely-curated event experiences™.

Anna Shea Chocolates | Balloons By Tommy | Circa Ceramics | Classic Event & Tent Rentals | Eight21 Studios | Fleur de lis Florist | Halls | Kiku Handmade | KY Jockey Silks | LBrown Design & PaperieMaddiebird Bakery | Mark Roscoe | mirabelle studio | Modern Event Rentals | Over The Top Rental Linens | Paolo Cascio Photography | PhotoGabi | RuMe, Inc. | The Flower Studio | Vanille Patisserie

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*The Huestudio + Company’s Preferred Partner program is an exclusive, invitation-only network of elite artisans and purveyors from around the world. As artisans of exquisitely-curated event experiences™, our exceptionally high standards offer discerning clients only the finest high-end, bespoke offerings while delivering exceptional client services. Learn more about our Preferred Charitable Partners, too!

Photo Credit: © PhotoGabi exclusively for The Huestudio + Company, 2016.

Hand-written | A Lost Art

All of us at The Huestudio + Company are proud to celebrate National Handwriting Day on Saturday, January 23, 2016! We love hand-written notes and appreciate the art form! You might consider us “Old School”.

The art of elegant [at times, even legible] handwriting is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Almost obsolete in our fast paced, technology-filled world full of easy-to-change fonts and spell checks, handwriting is one of the few ways we each can uniquely express ourselves. There’s a certain elegance to pausing, quietly connecting thoughtful words, then flowing through fingers and pouring into hand-written words.

It’s special, as someone cared to take time to pen a note, poem, letter or journal entry.

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In celebration, we hope you’ll take pen [or pencil] to paper and send a hand-penned, personal note of thanks, appreciation and gratitude to someone you love and are thinking of.

Rekindle that creative feeling.

You’ll be amazed at what a writing utensil, a hand and paper can do. For yourself, and for others!

Write On!

february_heartsPhoto Credits: Women Writing | © Jen Brister, 2015; Old Letters | © Kitty Gallannaugh, 2015; Custom  Trio of Circle of Colors Hearts | © The Huestudio + Company, 2014.

Huestudio Heroes

Throughout this wonderful holiday season about giving thanks, take some time to give back. Create a Thanksgiving with more meaning by making it a holiday with a purpose – An Inspired Thanksgiving!november_cornucopiaThe Huestudio + Company is inspired by the generous giving efforts of Preslee and Justin Bany, with support from their friend, Maddie Enviya.

For November 2015, we are proud to salute these young adults as Huestudio Heroes!

The 4th Annual Benefit for My Brother’s Kitchen* was held on November 7, 2015 in Elk Grove Village. Attending guests were invited to bring two (2) cans of non-perishable food items to support Thanksgiving servings on November 21, 2015 and were treated to music, raffles and good cheer.

IMG_3839For past benefits, Preslee and Justin created handmade gift certificates donating their personal time to rake leaves and shovel show. Inspired to do more for 2015, a larger giving idea was envisioned.

IMG_4707Supported by their friend Maddie, fifty (50) “Giving Thanks” Kits were artfully and lovingly hand-assembled. Preslee and Justin budgeted, shopped and set-up an assembly line of non-perishable items of granola bars, water, hand warmers, gloves, toothpaste, mouthwash, cheese/crackers, etc. to supplement the Thanksgiving Dinner feeding date on November 21, 2015. Friends and family were invited to “sponsor a bag” by donating funds. To date, over $450.00 has been raised with the support of twenty-three (23) sponsors.

IMG_4708Take time to give back. Non-perishable food items continue to be accepted and any/all are welcome to participate in the November 21, 2015 regular feeding date, just a few days prior to Thanksgiving, where 200+ Thanksgiving dinners will be served.

Be inspired to join Preslee, Justin, their wonderful parents and their many family and friends for An Inspired Thanksgiving!

IMG_4706*My Brother’s Kitchen was started as a Deaconate Ministry of Christ’s Vineyard by brothers Frank Vito, Sr. and Pete Vito, Sr. Their mission was simply to feed those less fortunate than themselves. Together with their friend and Executive Chef, Joe Coco, they began the mission in December, 2003. Soon after, Frank passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, but Pete carried on their mission, and “My Brother’s Kitchen” was dedicated to Frank’s memory in March, 2004.

Their first location was Our Lady of Mercy Church in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, where it stayed until the building was demolished in 2006. The mission found itself without a regular place to feed the needy until 2009. In 2009, Pete found a new home at West Side Christian Church and School on Pulaski and 13th in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, where it remains today.

Sadly, in October 2010, Pete Vito, Sr. also passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

Today, Pete’s children have taken up the efforts that Pete and Frank began back in 2003. Pete’s eldest son, Anthony is now the Executive Director of My Brother’s Kitchen. Aided by his sister, Marie and their brothers Peter and Vince, the Vito children along with their extended family and friends continue feeding the hungry in memory of Pete and Frank. Their mission remains simply to feed the less fortunate with donations from generous family and friends. They personally prepare meals on the 3rd Saturday of every month, averaging around 200 meals served.

Get social with My Brother’s Kitchen on Facebook!