the worlds of architecture, design and food 
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2012:  issue 2

Dear <<First Name>>,

You can blame the tardiness of this newsletter, and I think probably the entire economic downturn of the last few years, on smart phone apps.  First it was word games (that led to more than one harsh word from hubby and many nights of into-the-wee-hour design work), and now it's Draw Something.  I'm seriously hooked, and you'd think that someone who draws for a living would be good at the game.  You'd be wrong.  But I keep drawing with my big fat finger on that tiny little screen.  And when my opponents don't respond quickly enough, I just start a new game.  I have 10 games going.

So yes, I really like to draw.  And it does stimulate my creativity.  That's what this issue is dedicated to.  All you chefs out do you stimulate your creativity?  Do you draw too?  If you do, I'd love to see what you draw.

keep in touch,


do you still sketch?


photos courtesy yours truly


Computers have taken center stage in our lives as well as in our architectural and design offices.  When I was in college, the big push in my classes was for permission to use pens rather than lead, which required just the right point and pressure to achieve the various line weights needed for a well drawn sheet.  Computers were still a few years off, and sketchbooks were a required purchase every semester.  Last year I proctored the NCIDQ exam and was amazed at the lack of lettering and drawing skill I witnessed...these young designers can use more computer programs than I can name, but can they draw?  And furthermore, does it matter?  Carol Hsuing, an architect at FXFowle in New York, waxes poetic about the benefits and joy of the hand drawn sketch.  And she also makes the point that hand drawing is in fact an 'essential part of the design process'.   Architectural Record takes a look at drawing, both by hand and by computer, from a much less poetic perspective.  While I tend to agree with Ms Hsuing, I have gotten so accustomed to the computer, and so busy being productive, that my sketching skills are sadly lacking.  Recently I began carrying a sketchbook....everywhere....with the intention of re-capturing the skill with which I once sketched. What about you still sketch?  I do think it matters.


eed 2012

a designer (re)turned artist    


photos courtesy eric engstrom

Eric Engstrom, retired founder of EDG in San Rafael (full disclosure....yes, I did work at EDG but it was after Eric retired) has taken on a new career.  Rather than creating architecture, he's now creating art of architecture.  Eric has a show up through April 27 at McEvoy Fine Art at the Showplace Design Center in San Francisco.  Check it out....I will.  Not only do I think Eric's work is remarkable, I'm so glad to see someone move from art to architecture and back again without being in the least redundant.  The beauty of building can be captured in so many ways....Eric's view of history is gorgeous.

there's an app for that

photos courtesy

I don't have an iPad.  And this app might be the one that pushes me to make the leap.  Paper.  You can draw, paint, write and it is SO CHILL! (I'm channeling my teenager).  Click the link and watch the video.  Then tell me you don't want it too.  In the meantime, my sketchbook will have to do.  I'm just not sure how I'll carry my markers, pencils and watercolors. 


a (little) contest


2011 photos courtesy's the cocktail napkin sketch contest.   This is the 3rd year Architectural Record has run this contest.  You have until June 22 to sketch up your 20 minute masterpiece.  Considering that this newsletter is for people involved in food, architecture and design, entering this particular contest should be a no brainer.  You don't have to be an architect to enter, so grab a pen and a cocktail and  unleash your inner artist.
Leslie LaskinReese Interior Design

Parti notes is a compilation of interesting, and hopefully enlightening, information about the worlds of architecture, design and food.  My belief is that by sharing what intrigues us, the world we create will become that much more remarkable.


I have been designing space since 1987.  Early commercial commissions include office, conference center and retail space.  The last several years my focus has shifted to restaurant and hospitality design...a natural fit for me after working in restaurants through college and beyond. I am an NCIDQ certified Interior Designer with LEED accreditation.  Please contact me if you would like to talk about something in my newsletter or about an interior design project.  For more information about me, please see my website


I look forward to hearing from you,

Leslie Laskin Reese



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*In architectural criticism the parti is the assumption made that informs a design as well as the choice of approach when realizing the scheme.  The big idea. 

Copyright © 2012 Leslie LaskinReese Design, All rights reserved.
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