Barkitecture Houston, a two-day fundraiser that features some innovative interpretations on that old standard, the dog house, will begin Oct. 26.
This year’s benefit, for Pup Squad Animal Rescue, promises to be bigger than ever, with more than 20 dog house designs being featured, along with a full slate of activities for dogs and humans.
The fundraiser calls on local artists, designers and architects to create stylish and functional dog houses, which are then sold at auction. It’s in its fourth-year running, according to the Houston Press.
Last year’s event brought in $18,000 for the animal rescue group.
“Houston is definitely a dog town, but there’s also a huge problem of overpopulation,” said Julie Landry, co-founder of Pup Squad. “It’s just a matter of getting the message out, to spay and neuter your pets.”
This year, the festivities kick off with a “yappy hour,” on Friday, October 26. On Saturday, the dog houses will line the two blocks of the Houston Pavilions. Attendees can bid on their favorites, or buy them for $500. Judges will select the “Best in Show.”
The Houston Press previewed this year’s entries, which included a giant rescue chopper that lights up, a doghouse with a roof drainage system that collects water, and a colorful fan of a dog house that folds up like a briefcase.
We’re pretty sure none of them, though, have what a dog house in Houston needs most — air conditioning!
Here’s where you can find more information.
(Photos: Some of last year’s entries; Rachel Bohanan / Houston Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, architecture, art, barkitecture, barkitecture houston, benefit, design, dog, dog house, dog houses, doghouse, doghouses, dogs, fundraiser, fundraising, houston, innovative, neuter, organization, pavilions, pets, pup squad animal rescue, rescue, responsible, spay, unusual
When Jim Berger was 12 years old he asked Frank Lloyd Wright to do for his dog what the architect did for his dad — design him a house.
The boy asked Wright, in a 1956 letter, to design a house for his dog, Eddie, that ”would go with our house” — it too being a Frank Lloyd Wright design that his father spent 20 years building in San Anselmo, Calif.
Wright, in keeping with his cantankerous image, wrote back that he was “too busy,” but suggested the boy write him again next year.
Berger wrote back the next November, and this time Wright responded with a full set of working drawings for a triangular-shaped, four-square-foot dog house, to be built of the mahogany and cedar scraps left over from the main house.
According to Architects and Artisans, young Berger didn’t build the house. But, after he joined the army, his father and brother did, completing it in 1963. After his father died in 1973, Jim’s mother would dispose of it, dropping it off at the dump.
“Frankly, it’s the best story ever about Wright,” says Michael Miner, who’s taking a reconstructed version of the original dog house on a coast-to-coast tour to promote “Romanza,” his film on Wright’s work in California.
“People think he was this curmudgeonly old architect, but here he was, breaking down and doing something wonderful for a 12-year-old.”
Miner asked Jim Berger and his brother Eric to build the reconstructed version in 2010 — and they agreed. (Miner filmed the constuction process, and included it in “Romanza.”)
Miner says the original dog house never got much use — not by Eddie, or subsequent dogs in the Berger family. Eddie, he says, “didn’t like it – he liked to sleep by the warmth coming out of the front door.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, architect, architecture, art, california, cedar, design, dog house, doghouse, dogs, film, frank lloyd wright, jim berger, mahogany, michael miner, pets, reconstructed, reconstruction, romanza, traingular, triangle, wright
In the virtual world, you can, with a few well-placed clicks, pick your house, your car, your clothes, your physique, hair style and persona.
You can go out for a night on the town, in the setting of your choice, looking for love, or a fight, or any of thousands of other adventures — all of which are under your control.
Or you can spend a quiet evening at virtual home with your virtual pet — like a Panda-chow, or a tiger-husky, whose behavior, traits, appearance and even species combination are all changeable at your whim.
The video above is a preview for Sims 3 Pets, hitting the market today.
At the risk of sounding like an old man (one can’t criticize video games or apps without sounding like an old man), at the risk of being told by countless commenters that it’s only a game (yes, I realize that), I find it bothersome (and I don’t just mean that annoying narration).
In a way, I find what Sims 3 Pets does with dogs and cats nearly as troubling as that dogfighting app that led to so much controversy.
It’s a reflection of the same wrongheaded (in my view) mindset that we can do whatever we want to with dogs as long as it (A) entertains us, (B) makes money, (C) makes our lives easier, or (D) is done in the name of science.
It’s that mindset that leads to dogs as fashion accessories, dogs being abandoned when fads change, cruel laboratory experiments, greyhound racing, dogfighting, puppy mills, over breeding and, yes, cloning.
It’s thinking that dogs and all animals exist to serve our whims — however fleeting, selfish or bizarre those whims may be.
“Lighten up dude, it’s just a video game,” you might say. “It’s just a fantasy.”
And you’d have a point.
But (A) experimenting with and exploiting dogs doesn’t just happen in video games; and (B) Sims is not really the target of my tirade, for the game is just the latest rendition of a recurring theme in our society.
Of course, if it weren’t for man’s self-serving tinkering, we wouldn’t have dogs at all. It was man that shaped the wolf into all the diverse shapes and sizes we have now — and I’m not for doing away with any of them.
But somewhere — at least in real life, if not in video games — all the tinkering needs to stop.
We don’t need tiger-retrievers, or panda-chows — whether it’s the result of creative hair-styling and dye jobs, or inter-species experiments, or cell manipulation.
We don’t need robot dogs, or gladiator dogs, or fluorescent dogs, or dogs so inbred that they are unhealthy caricatures of themselves, or dogs created in a laboratory from the harvested cells of a deceased pet.
We don’t need to reinvent the dog, redesign the dog, ressurect the dog or even fine tune the dog. It’s fine as it is, and much of man’s meddling — whether it’s to make dogs more predictable, produce look-alike, act-alike cookie cutter versions of them, or invent new versions that are low-drool or non-allergenic — is an insult to that.
It’s even more of an arrogant pursuit when you stop and consider that the species that probably needs the most work is us. Maybe it’s our inability to control what happens among our fellow humans that makes us so prone to inflicting control over dogs, nature, or whatever else we can.
Here is something I said before, somewhere: If there is even a remote chance of controlling something, humans wanted to control it, preferably remotely.
In Sims 3 Pets, players can create and control over a hundred different kinds of cats and dogs, and can breed and share them with friends providing endless possibilities to create “new and exciting” breeds.
One can customize the pet’s coat, shape, pattern, color; the size of its ears, tail, snout, eyes, and more. You can also choose their behavior pattern, traits and control their bodily functions.
Dogs can even get jobs and make money.
And most creepy of all, pets can be shaped via virtual interspecies breeding, resulting in skunk-cats and panda-chows.
(If you think mixing species, fluorescent dogs and cloning are too far fetched to ever happen, I’d refer you to my book, DOG, INC.: the Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend. They all already have.
It would be too much to ask, given that pesky First Amendment and all, that gamemakers refrain from virtual interspecies breeding.
But wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow limit all forms of novelty dogs — and other bad human concepts like war — to the confines of computerized games?
Unfortunately, that seems out of our control.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeding, breeds, cloned, cloning, control, creating, design, designer, dog, dog inc., dogfighting, dogs, domain, experiments, fluorescent, game, greyhound racing, interspecies, laboratory, manipulation, mindset, nature, novelty, over breeding, panda-chow, pets, robot, SIMS, SIMS Pets, SIMS Pets 3, simulation, tiger-husky, tinkering, video game, virtual, whims
We’ll call this one, with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ”The Case of the Pilfered Plaid.”
If you, like me, aren’t on top of the fashion world enough to know that plaids could actually be copyrighted, it might surprise you to hear that Burberry, makers of the famous Burberry check, is suing the retail chain Pets at Home, claiming material they used on items such as dog coats and beds is highly reminiscent of Burberry’s patented plaid.
Burberry is claiming copyright infringement.
Burberry, it seems, is making a comeback.. It made a “triumphant return” to London Fashion Week last month, the UK Guardian reported. And last week, Burberry revealed six month revenues were up 14 percent.
This comes after the signature check – an emblem for the fashion house for almost 100 years – suffered some image problems due the high number of counterfeiters and the design being linked to “hooliganism and “chav” culture, the newspaper reported.
Given that, the company isn’t about to let sleeping dogs lie on what they consider a copy of their pattern, or wear it.
The Guardian reports that Pets at Home has pulled the items in question from its shops, but the dispute has yet to be resolved.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, beds, burberry, check, clothing, coats, copyright, design, dog, dogs, infringement, jackets, material, patent, pattern, pets at home, plaid, plaidgiarism