Take 5: An Architectural Puzzle, Hyper Urbanist Photography, Joy-ful Lettering + More

Every other week we’re inviting one of the Design Milk team to share five personal favorites – an opportunity for each of us to reveal the sort of designs we use and appreciate in our own lives from a more personal perspective. Tech Editor Gregory Han returns this week for our Take 5 series.

03.09.23 | By
Take 5: An Architectural Puzzle, Hyper Urbanist Photography, Joy-ful Lettering + More


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1. Rachel Joy Love Wins

I’m going to kick off this round of five favorites with an ultimately satisfying highlight reel of lettering artist Rachel Joy filling in the lines of her optimistic message in near perfect detail. I think I’ve watched the clip 10x already now, rewarded with each and every view of her skills applying acrylic markers onto canvas. Extra points for a favorite Chaka Khan track accompanying her flow.

Woman in black tank top reaching toward a sculpture shaped like a picture frame glowing with light within a dark room.

2. Maya

I’ve always been enamored how our brains can perceive the illusion of three dimensional shapes and spaces from certain arrangements of two dimensional forms. Understanding what our eyes see and how it is interpreted by our brain is a wondrous reminder the world we deem to perceive isn’t necessarily the world as it really exists. In similar spirit designer Luiza Guidi’s illuminated sculptures offer the framework of space, light, shadow, and movement – the epitome of a mood light, by way of inspiration from the works of architects Luis Barragán and Tadao Ando.

All black aluminum analog table clock set on plywood furniture surface near task lamp base.

3. Punkt AC02 Alarm Clock

Sure, I glance at my iPhone or Apple Watch while out on-the-go when I need to figure whether I’ve got a minute to spare. But at home I’ve strewn several wall and table clocks throughout to keep abreast of the time. The last thing I need is yet another screen. My personal preference is for analog time pieces. With their soothing seconds to minute metronome, the operate as a sort of a subtle heartbeat of the home.

The Punkt AC02’s Bauhaus-inspired design is subtly satisfying in form (love the sliver of light blue across one of the hands) and is designed to be a bedside alarm clock, and near impossible to tip over unlike plastic counterparts. In my case the AC02 is sitting in front of me as a desk-side companion, always there to remind me it’s time to eat lunch or finally log-off with nary a notification sound.

Two photographic prints framed in light wood frame focused upon the balconies of high-rise buildings in the Spanish city of Benidorm.

4. Danny Franzreb’s Balconies

While perusing House of Spoils collection of photographic art prints – a selection strongly emphasizes people, automobiles, and the natural landscape – it was the vacant architectural patterns captured by photographer and professor of design Danny Franzreb that stopped me in mid-scroll. From several cropped perspectives, the balconies adorning the verticalities of the Spanish city of Benidorm – the city claiming the highest density of high-rise buildings per capita in the world – take on a surreal pattern representative of pandemic times within the context of an urbanist landscape. I imagine all three photos displayed as a triptych would really heighten the hauntingly desolate feeling. More to check out over at House of Spoils IG feed, a gallery now celebrating their 10th anniversary.

A Soma cube model in angle view, a geometric puzzle invented by mathematician Piet Hein in 1933, recreated with gray LEOG pieces shown against all-white background,

5. Building Bricks Set

Designer David Umemoto’s LEGO plans are derived/inspired by Danish polymath Piet Hein’s puzzling Soma cube, but there’s more than a tinge of Ricardo Bofill and Escher-esque architecture (or for the younger gaming set, the feeling of the impossible architecture of the puzzle game, Monument Valley) instilled into these puzzling plans. It’s like a grown-up architecture nerd’s version of a Rubik’s Cube.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at