Allison Arieff Lands on her Feet

We noted earlier that Allison Arieff had resigned as editor of Dwell Magazine; we note that she has landed at the New York Times with a new blog on design, and had a killer opening line: "Design is inextricably linked to our lives, from the toothbrushes we clean our teeth with in the morning, to the roads we navigate en route to work, to the chairs we sit in at our desks, to the beds we sleep in at night. This is what I look forward to exploring in this space." Her first post includes an homage to the Airstream trailer quoted below the fold. Too bad it is behind the "Times Select" fence and available only to paper or online subscribers. ::Living Design

Over the Labor Day holiday, my husband Bryan and I took our 8-month-old daughter on her first camping trip in our Airstream trailer. Bryan and I share an obsession with trailers. (We even collaborated on a book about them, "Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht.") I'm aware how bizarre that sounds, but trailers so perfectly illustrate Charles Eames' famous maxim, "good design comes from constraints." Every inch of space is exploited to the fullest. Every domestic need is addressed: Our Airstream is only 22 feet long yet it manages to contain a sofa (that converts to a bed); a bathroom with a combination bath/shower; a galley kitchen with a three-burner stove and oven, refrigerator and sink; and more storage space than I had in my studio apartment in New York — including a skinny vertical cabinet for a barbecue grill that collapses to the size of a briefcase. The trailer's streamline shape is attractive, but it was made that way for its aerodynamic properties. Streamlining, observed the Hungarian-born engineer Paul Jaray (1889-1974), designer of zeppelins, Tatra cars and Mercedes chassis, was "a secret learned by listening to nature."