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Five Questions with Ben Uyeda

Ben Uyeda

Ben Uyeda is an designer, architect, lecturer, and entrepreneur whose work centers around affordable and sustainable design. He is the co-founder of FreeGreen.com, an innovative, web-based media company that distributes green home designs digitally. In 2010 Ben won the U.S. Green Building Council’s Natural Talent Design Competition for his affordable, green home designs for the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. His latest website, Homemade-Modern, focuses on affordable, do-it-yourself furniture with a modern aesthetic.

Here is one of Ben’s fantastic DIY stories on Steller::

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1. Could you tell us about your background in architecture and your approach to creating ecologically responsible buildings?

I have been involved in architecture on a variety of different fronts. I co-founded ZeroEnergy Design back in 2006 and I am really proud of the high-performance green homes we design. I have also taught architecture at Cornell University, Northeastern University, and most recently Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Architecture physically embodies the values of a society and trying to push those values towards a more sustainable ideal has been rewarding, inspiring, and maddening. Publishing DIY projects directly to consumers is my outlet for when my creativity overtakes my patience.

2. What do you think makes a great DIY project, and can you recommend one for those of us who aren’t so handy?

A great DIY project is one that provides access to a result that would otherwise be unaffordable or unavailable. In America, labor is expensive and DIYing is often the only way to get domestically made products that use quality ingredients. For those who have doubts about their craftiness, I would recommend the bucket stool, it can be made with just hand tools and a bucket.

3. You have some wildly creative DIYs on Steller that unite unlikely materials such as concrete and Legos. How do you come up with your ideas?

I am actually more interested in how to make something more than what I make. I like thinking about the sequence of physical tasks and coming up with the process. Once I come up with an interesting process for manipulating a material, I will then try to match it with an appropriate application.

4. What do you like to do when you aren’t creating amazing things?  

I am almost always designing or making things ranging in size from people houses to doghouses. I am a big fan of multitasking though, and I usually listen to audiobooks while I am in my workshop. This keeps my mind busy and learning while my hands think for themselves.

5.  What are some of your favorite Steller stories?

My little sister, Jessie, and my mother teamed up to document some of our family’s favorite recipes on Steller. Here is one of their stories:

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To see more from Ben:

Go to Discover and search for Ben Uyeda or find him on this week’s Featured Authors.

Download Steller for free:  www.appstore.com/

 

This Week’s Featured Stories, Part 2 of 2

Happy Wednesday! We’re excited to share this week’s next group of Featured Authors. Learn how to make a DIY bookshelf with Ben Uyeda, float away on bubbles with Donny Tsang, travel the Pacific Coastline with Ana Kamin, and learn a new delicious recipe with with Tiffany Mitchell - All this week with these Featured Authors:

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

This Week’s Steller Featured Authors, Part 1 of 2

Happy Monday! We’re excited to share this week’s next group of Featured Authors.  Check out these great stories of adventure and creativity by Jeff Bartlett, Jordan Oram, Andy Kennelly + Christopher Kuehl:

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

Five Questions with Jonathan Lo

Jonathan Lo

Jonathan Lo is author of the blog, Happy Mundane, where he strives to find beauty in everyday things. Whether he is recommending a new throw pillow or sharing a recent travel experience, his mundane aesthetic shines through. He is principal of his own design studio, J3 Productions, has been featured on HGTV, and has been profiled in publications like Better Homes and Gardens and Elle Decor. He was also named one of the ten most followed men on Pinterest.

Here is one of many great stories by Jonathan:

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1. How can we use your motto “there’s beauty in your dish soap” in our everyday lives?

I think it’s important to take a few moments each day to appreciate the beauty around you. It can be found everywhere and anywhere, whether it’s a nicely designed space to the dish soap bubbles in your kitchen sink!

2. What is “The Octopian”?

TheOctopian.com is a new website that we (j3productions.com) recently launched. It’s a lifestyle site that focuses on architecture, style, travel, design, with a little mix of science fact, and fiction.

3. What do you like about living and working in suburbia rather than in a big city like New York or L.A.?

I think there’s benefits to both types of locations, but ultimately I think what’s most important is HOW you live, not where you live.

4. Could you tell us a little about a typical day in the life of Jonathan Lo?  

When I’m not travelling, I usually start my days with breakfast and then walking my dog, Pepé, around the neighborhood. I then catch up on my favorite websites and blogs, then head to the office and then get to work! After that I come home, take Pepe out again, and end the day watching gloriously trashy tv, only to wake up the next morning to start it all over again!

5.  What are some of your favorite Steller stories?

Notes from the Road" by Lord cherry
"Creative Creature/ Sean Santiago" by Dabito
U/we" by Satsuki Shibuya
DIY Lego Skull Planter" by Ben Uyeda

To see more from Jonathan:

Go to Discover and search for Jonathan Lo or find him on this week’s Featured Authors.

Download Steller for free:  www.appstore.com/

 

This Week’s Featured Stories, Part 2 of 2

Happy Wednesday! We’re excited to share this week’s next group of Featured Authors. Visit the famed Royal Hawaiian with Jonathan Lo, see the art of the letterpress in Seattle with Ursula Rosien, take a tour of the beautiful Getty Villa with Arthur Maciel, and learn all about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with Rezel Apacionado - All this week with these Featured Authors:

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

This Week’s Steller Featured Authors, Pt. 1 of 2

Happy Monday! We’re excited to share this week’s next group of Featured Authors. Go for a wander around Chicago with Graham Wolfe, explore the amazing cold water surfing opportunities of Norway with Adam Moran, see the people of Marrakech through the lens of Michael Kestin and see the art of fire in motion with Alan Eason - All this week in the following Featured Author stories:

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

Five Questions with Chris McClean

Chris McClean

Chris McClean is an award-winning graphic designer and photographer who was worked with brands such as Burton, Nike, and Quicksilver. He has also made a number of very successful surf films that document the sport in unexpected locations like the North Sea. He recently returned from a trip to the Maldives, where he has been working on a series of four short  films featuring surfers William Aliotti, Teiki Balian and Matt Smith. Chris’s beautiful Steller stories showcase some of his unique adventures around the globe.

Here is Chris’s latest story:

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1. Could you tell us more about your stunning Sea Drift series on Steller?

Sea Drift is a byproduct of various filming projects around the globe documenting surfing. I was capturing images of not just surfing, but also culture, lifestyle, and travel on a Fuji x100s and thought Steller would be a great outlet.

2. You’ve made some successful surf films, including Uncommon Ideals and Beyond the Scars. Could you tell us about how you got into filmmaking, and if you have any new films in the works?

It kind of developed out of the success of Uncommon Ideals, which was an idea to document the North Sea. Channel Four picked up on it and commissioned a second in the series, and it got legs from there. I’ve been on the run ever since. Currently there’s a series called Atlantic Diversions running on Epic TV featuring trips to the Faroes, Ireland, and the Canary Islands.

3. What’s your preference and why – cold or warm water surfing?

Thats a hard one, both have solid arguments in their favour. Cold waves are generally empty and warm ones are well, warm, and you can ditch the wettie which always feels great. But I love surfing at home with my mates best where it’s 5°C or 41°F in winter, so yeah cold is best – haha.

4. What do you think that humans are so drawn to the ocean?  

We crave that sense of freedom, the unknown. It’s mysterious and unexplorable, unfathomable. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sums it up beautifully:

My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.

5.  What are some of your favorite Steller stories?

So much good stuff but I loved Kenneth Christian Osborn’s Double Exposure story, Cairo Foster’s skate stuff is great and recently came across Absinthe Minded Swede who has some great-looking stories, like this one.

To see more from Chris:

Go to Discover and search for Chris McClean or find him on this week’s Featured Authors.

Download Steller for free:  www.appstore.com/steller

 

This Week’s Steller Featured Authors, Pt. 2 of 2

Happy Wednesday!  It’s time for Part 2 of this week’s Steller Featured Author stories.

In the following stories, you’ll go to Portugal to see where cork comes from with Igor Josif, learn about the tools of the illustration trade with Elaine Biss, see how to make a delicious summer desert with Karin Stienemeier and get a great DIY idea from The Eventful Life.  Enjoy!

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

This Week’s Steller Featured Authors, Pt. 1 of 2

Happy Monday!  We have another set of great stories to share this week from Steller Featured Authors.  In this week’s first group, you’ll get to travel to Morocco with surf adventurer Chris McClean, explore Ecuador with Jon Glassberg with the #LeadNowTour, get creative with Gowan Park/Popillust and take in the wonder of Thailand (including a tiger visit!) with Sandy Noto. Enjoy!

To see more stories from these authors, visit the Featured Authors page under Discover in the app this week.

Download Steller for free: www.appstore.com/steller

Five Questions with Emily Harrington

Emily Harrington

Emily Harrington is one of the world’s top rock climbers. She is a five-time National Champion, a two-time North American Champion, and has placed podium in World Cups. She’s reached the highest levels in the discipline of sport climbing, free climbed 2500 foot walls in remote parts of the world, won ice climbing competitions, and summited the world’s tallest peaks (including Mount Everest in 2012). You might also have seen her in Apple’s recent Ipad Air commercials. She recently traveled to France with her sponsor, The North Face, and a crew from National Geographic to document the history of climbing there and the development of the sport as we know it today.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is Emily’s story on her recent trip:

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1. How did you get into rock climbing?

I started at age 10 on one of those little artificial towers at some fair or outdoor festival or something. I was instantly hooked and begged my dad to take me to the climbing gym. From there, I spent nearly every day after school in the gym and eventually joined the Junior Climbing Team, was introduced to competitions and outdoor climbing, and the rest is history.

2. What would you consider your greatest climbing experience?

I think it was a few weeks ago actually! I climbed this route in the Verdon Gorge (France) called Tom et Je Ris. It’s a 60 meter, steeply overhanging section of cliff lined with rib-like protrusions called tufas. The protection was super spaced and the route begins 300 feet off the ground, so it’s this really intimidating airy experience just to be up there. I can honestly say it’s some of the most beautiful climbing I’ve ever done. It was also important to me because the route is graded 5.14, an elite level of rockclimbing that I had not achieved in over two years. I’ve recently branched out in my climbing career and have been trying to learn new styles and expose myself to other disciplines, which has taken my focus away from sheer difficulty climbing. My success on this route gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to realize I can still push my limits in the realm of hard climbing in addition to pursuing other styles.

3. Could you tell us more about France’s Verdon Gorge?

The Verdon is an incredible place, a massive system of gorges characterized by sheer limestone cliffs 500-1200 ft deep. It is significant to climbers because it is considered the birthplace of modern day sport climbing, which means it was the first place in the world where climbers focused on the actual movement over the rock face using just their hands and feet. Before, climbing was a means to reach somewhere: a summit or the top of the cliff was the ultimate goal, and people would use whatever means necessary (artificial protection) to reach the top. During the late 70s and early 80s, the Verdon evolved into a place where climbers began to test their physical and mental strength on the steep blue limestone, using protection in the form of bolts and ropes only if they fell and not for assistance. It’s an impressively gymnastic and demanding sport, emphasizing strength, flexibility, creativity, and determination.

4. What do you like to do when you’re not climbing?  

I love skiing and trail running; and I’m getting into mountain biking and kitesurfing, pretty much anything in the mountains or on water I can get into. I also enjoy just hanging out at home in Tahoe with friends. Sometimes I get tired of traveling and just being in one place for a while is relaxing.

5.  What are some of your favorite Steller stories?

Christian Pondella “Ascent" & "Denali National Park

Jon Glassberg’s “Lead Now Tour" series

Alpenglow Expeditions “The Guide Life

Sarah Vanilla Bean “Cooking + Baking Logs

To see more from Emily on Steller:

Go to Discover and search for Emily Harrington or find her on this week’s Featured Authors.

Download Steller for free:  www.appstore.com/steller