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@Home Design: Just Say Glow

Eric Liftin
Mesh Architectures

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"When architects design their own houses, they never want everything set in stone," says Eric Liftin of Mesh Architectures, which designs interiors and Websites. "They want to be able to experiment." Liftin didn't have acres to slice and dice, just 3,300 square feet on Greenwich Street in SoHo. And before his wife and their infant son, Asher, could move in, he found himself wrestling with the congenital flaw of most lofts -- which is that they're long and narrow, with little light at the center. A 60-foot wall of translucent acrylic built on a diagonal slashed the long loft into two luminous triangles: Master bedroom and home office were on one side; kitchen, living room, and baby bedroom fit comfortably on the other. But in today's hot-hot-hot real-estate market, Liftin was unable to find affordable space for his business; only a month later, his three-employee firm was calling his home office headquarters. An eight-foot-wide "chill-out cube" that rolls in and out of the wall with the ease of a Castro convertible became the company conference room, easily concealed behind sliding fiberglass doors. Liftin's dream house still manages to have that special glow: With a flick of a switch, lighting concealed in the wall emulates candlelight -- or the blaze of a Cancún sun.

What in the home would you like to see computerized?
My belongings. How many times have I been looking for my keys or a slip of paper, wishing I could just type "find"?

Our computers
My office is effectively in my home, so the total count is about seven machines -- mostly Macs.

Bought it online
Books from amazon.com and bn.com. In a somewhat absurd buy.com transaction, I recently purchased 300 sheets of printer paper and two CDs (Pavement and Mogwai). On eBay, I also bought a wide-angle lens for my old Canon SLR. Most recently, from Urbanfetch, I've ordered Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, batteries, and H&H bagels.

Bookmarked sites
Altavista.com, my online bank (Security First Network Bank, sfnb.com). For information retrieval, I like my.yahoo. For searching, Google. Volumeone.com is a site run by Web designer Matt Owens, who puts up a handful of inventive flash art.

Best computer chair
Herman Miller's "Aeron."

Dream electronics purchase
I would gladly trade my basic Panasonic 27-inch for Sony's sexy new model VPL-CS1 video projector, of compact size and amazing brightness. Several of them would be nice.

Virtual art, pro or con?
I'm not interested in having a projected Van Gogh -- that's a novelty. But art that is projected and responds to motions in the home and fluctuations on the network is interesting.

Inspiring movie set
Much of Kubrick and much of Lynch, for their fanatical attention to the psychic effects of spaces.

Listening to music online
I used to download music, but the radio people don't like Macs; every time I tried it, my computer crashed.

Shop I'd like to live in
Paula Cooper's Chelsea gallery designed by Richard Gluckman.


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