Symbiosis in design always intrigues me. While the integration of disparate and creative elements into one cohesive unit doesn’t always make for great art — when it works, it’s worth noting. From the strange but wonderful slicing and clanging noises in ‘80s Depeche Mode music (which seemed radical at the time) to a chandelier made from exploded party poppers, it’s the joining of unusual things that I most love to hear and see.
The same goes for verbal or intellectual concepts. Take, for example, John Paananen’s Suburban Tipi (or teepee, as I like to call it). It’s hard to imagine someone actually building a teepee in the middle of suburbia, but that’s exactly what Johnny P did in Bloomfield, Michigan. Inspired by the “fused nomadic home designs of the yurt, tipi, and igloo” (as well as an encounter with a teepee-housed woman named Rosemary, who accused the designer of interfering with her energy), Paananen “slip[ped] the straitjacket of suburban values, materials, and methods of construction over them” to create this temporary “house” that stood for seven months.