Better Design Better Living, December 2014

Better Design Better Living, December 2014 -

What an amazing year for Kansas City. It recently received a lot of love from New York Magazine, the KC Royals captured everyones hearts in the MLB Playoffs & World Series and one of our friends (Tad Carpenter) launched a site (Made In The Middle) that captures it all and celebrates KC’s creative community. It’s also been a great year for us and we feel very fortunate to be working on so many dream projects with amazing people and clients. Thank you so much for all the collaboration, support and love. Here are just a few of the most recent things we feel exceptionally proud to be part of…

A couple years ago we started working on a small house with an amazing client. This November Dwell Magazine published an article on that house. Also, in November Architect Magazine featured our studio as the Next Progressives.

Last week we were awarded the Best of Year Award in New York City for the Académie Lafayette Playground, a pro-bono project built partially by volunteers. It’s so rewarding to design something built around one of the most important aspects of life - play! Remember to take time to play this holiday and have a great 2015!



When Académie Lafayette approached us about designing a playground for their new Kindergarten through 2nd grade campus we saw a huge opportunity to bring together volunteers, utilize crowdfunding, and work with some great companies (Centric Projects, TAMKO and Zahner) while creating something new and different… A custom playground that encourages imagination and creative group play. Check out the results here, a video on it here and another video here.

Speaking about crowdfunding, Jonathon Kemnitzer and Craighton Berman are teaming up to present Kickstart My Heart - A Motley Approach to Crowdfunding at the International Housewares Show in Chicago. The presentation will include best practices + future opportunities for Kickstarter and probably some music from Mötley Crüe. Check out this awesome blog post about it from IHA and for more information about it go here.

It’s cold out there. If you’re looking to warm yourself up with a cocktail we suggest a Winter Whiskey Sour. 1/2 a squeezed lemon, 2 shots of Dark Horse Distillery* Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, a teaspoon of sugar, a dash or two of bitters in a cocktail shaker. Then shake (not stir) with ice, strain in a glass and enjoy. *they’re a new client



We became mutual fans and supporters of EJKEI’s successful Kickstarter project (a documentary about skateboarding in Puerto Rico) when SKATE BENCH No.1 was on Kickstarter at the same time. We couldn’t make their premier, but we did get the chance to meet last month. Even though this was the first time meeting in person we were instant old friends and saw San Juan as it should be… from a local’s perspective. This post isn’t about anything earth shattering, it’s about celebrating new experiences, products and forums that make life better. In this case, thanks Kickstarter! by Jonathon Kemnitzer

Check out some of the older tunes we’ve been diggin in the studio through our NOT SO NEW, Spring 2013 KEM STUDIO Spotify Playlist.

We were honored that DWELL recently interviewed us about our work on the Whitehill Residence and published this article about the project. We’re also excited to announce that Jonathon Kemnitzer was awarded the 2013 IDSA Midwest Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement at the regional conference in April.



It’s like Christmas in October! Next week is the annual American Royal Barbecue event, now right in the backyard of our new studio. It’s a slice of Americana… a little State Fair, Mardi Gras and BBQ all rolled up into a Kansas City experience that can’t be missed. Come down to the Stockyards District and enjoy the sweet smell of spice, wood and just about every meat that can me smoked. You’re invited to join us at the Burn Rate! tent for some beer and BBQ. Just bring 2 cans of food or a $10 cash donation. All proceeds are donated to Harvesters of Kansas City to help fight local hunger. Giddy up. by Brad Satterwhite

Maybe you heard about Kickstarter changing some of their rules for design projects. If you want to learn more about the changes and get the inside/behind the scenes of launching a successful Kickstarter project, we are giving a presentation for the Kansas City IDSA Chapter at 6:00 on Thursday, October 6th (register here - seating is limited). We will be giving a tour of our new studio and the presentation is below our studio at Amigoni Urban Winery and the first drink is free.

There are perks to having a talented chef working next to your office. We just heard that Todd Shulte, Chef/Owner of Genessee Royale and Happy Gillis, has launched his latest culinary adventure in partnership with Bill Haw… UNCOMMON STOCK. Todd is back in the soup business, and will be selling old favorites, and some new ones by the quart. by Jon Taylor

KEM STUDIO wins 2012 IDEA design awards!

KEM STUDIO wins 2012 IDEA design awards! -

IDSA just posted their 2012 IDEA Winners (International Design Excellence Awards) and we are proud to announce that we won a coveted SILVER for The Town Of Kansas Bridge Entry and Rain Garden (new video here). Out of 660 total finalists only 229 received awards and only 71 of those were silver and 35 were gold.

to everyone at the Kansas City Port Authority, Missouri Department of Transportation, Dimensional Innovations and Vireo who collaborated with us on this project!



We were at our space on Main Street for nine awesome years, but we found a new space and neighborhood that fits us perfectly. Our studio is now in the Stockyards District of Kansas City. Some of our neighbors/friends include the Dolphin Gallery, Genessee Royale, Livestock Exchange and Plug Projects. The move gave us the opportunity to design our own space within the renovated Telegram Building that we share with DMH (an Advertising & Marketing firm), Amigoni Urban Winery and the Bill Brady Gallery. Needless to say, we love being surrounded by great, optimistic, creative people. An open house is in the works, but drop by to visit anytime (new address listed below).

If you haven’t been down to see the new Amigoni Urban Winery space (conveniently located directly below our new office) it’s worth the trip. Their two-story tasting room has become a satellite meeting space for us in the afternoon. You can sample all of their wines, talk to Michael and Kerry about their vineyard, and if you’re not in the mood for wine they have Boulevard Beer on tap as well. Great space, Great people, Great wine… yet another reason to drink local.  by Jon Taylor

A couple of years ago I saw a cocktail recipe in Tastebud Magazine that has become a tried and true party starter. The best part is it’s simple and to the point (potent). Mix 4 equal parts. One can of frozen limeade concentrate, one can of water, one can of vodka or tequila (I prefer tequila) and one bottle of beer (go with an IPA). Serve over ice and enjoy your party! by Jonathon Kemnitzer



11.11.11 - Happy 7th Birthday to us, thanks for all the love!

Last week was the second incarnation of the Vagabond pop-up restaurant by chef Alex Pope (of R Bar fame) and Test Kitchen’s Jenny Vergara. Kansas City has never suffered a shortage of good places to eat, but the Vagabond concept puts a whole new spin on the dining experience. Having the opportunity to eat smoked octopus, sweetbread and chicken-fried duck confit while surrounded by local art and the chefs plating the next course five feet away made for a truly unique evening. There will undoubtedly be more pop-ups to come and it’s definitely worth a trip. by Jon Taylor

This fall we did a little experiment by documenting a two hour time lapse of our Town of Kansas Bridge Enhancement project. It was interesting to watch people interacting with it in ways that we anticipated and in ways that we didn’t, which was exciting to see. Check out the short minute and a half video here. by Jonathon Kemnitzer

If you told us a month and a half ago all the things that would happen with/from SKATE BENCH No.1 we would have laughed. So to keep you in the loop, we had a successful Kickstarter campaign, we’ve hung with Tony Hawk & Mike V in Vegas, since Wednesday it has been on sale on (an online sales site committed to good design) and finally we launched our own online store, BETTER DESIGN BETTER LIVING. Whew… we’re looking forward to the holidays, when everything will calm down (ha)! by Jonathon Kemnitzer



when you can check it out Google Street style via Google Art Project (a link to a cool behind the scenes video).  This came out a few months ago and it’s pretty interesting.  The digital world continues to amaze, but it’s important that we remember the value of real experiences… there is no substitute to standing underneath Michelangelo’s David.  So shut down your computer and get out there!  by Jonathon Kemnitzer

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Stones Throw Records.  What can we say, they’re good and they’re celebrating 15 years as only they could… with a series of live performances for 100 people that are recorded, mixed and mastered live and pressed on vinyl.  Mayer Hawthorne is first (all the tickets have been given away and I won’t be there) but keep your eye out for future performances.  by Jonathon Kemnitzer

If you’ve been wondering what we’ve been up to lately, here’s a link to our new 2 minutes and 39 second reel.  Enjoy!



is brought to you by Chris Grill, the latest addition to KEM STUDIO via Virginia Tech and a 5 week European post-graduation adventure…

BETTER IN GERMANY - The Greiffenegg-Schlössle beer garden serves a great liter, but what makes this spot a great place to enjoy a tall cold one has more to do with the EXPERIENCE they serve with their beer than the ingredients in it. Instead of paving a road up to the garden,Greiffenegg-Schlössle kept it fun and authentic by making the only access to their secluded paradise an interweaving network of beautiful hiking trails with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards, and old city center. None of this has anything to do with making the actual beer, but it sure does make it taste BETTER.

BARCELONA’S BANNERS ARE BAGS - In Barcelona, we ran across a store that re-purposes vinyl street banners to create purses, backpacks, laptop bags, and other accessories. But what made their store memorable wasn’t their product as much as how they approached the display of their bags. The bags stuck to the painted, metal walls with cleverly hidden magnetic strips that were placed inside the zippered pouches. This simple approach made for a clean and unique display with infinite arrangement possibilities.

KEM STUDIO WINS A 2010 I.D. MAGAZINE DESIGN AWARD! - I.D. Magzine Annual Design Review

KEM STUDIO WINS A 2010 I.D. MAGAZINE DESIGN AWARD! - I.D. Magzine Annual Design Review -

I.D. Magazine just posted their Annual Design Review and KEM STUDIO is proud to announce that it received a design distinction award for KENA, a digital microscope designed for Ken-A-Vision. Judge Dan Fromosa from Smart Design said, “It would be difficult not to select the kena digital microscope for an award when the judging panel each immediately wanted to own one.

The winning entries will be showcased during the 2010 I.D. Annual Design Review Exhibit taking place from August 30th to September 10th at the AIGA National Design Center on 164 Fifth Avenue in New York City. So if you’re in NYC make sure to check it out and email us some photos.

THANKS + everyone at Ken-A-Vision who collaborated with us on this project! It’s been great to have KENA recognized again after receiving a 2009 IDEA Award from IDSA & BusinessWeek Magazine.



FARMERS? - During a recent vacation, I visited a few wineries in Sonoma. Many of them started their spiel in a Taj Mahal-like tasting room saying “as organic farmers we believe in complete sustainability”... organic farmers… sustainability… huh!?! Then we went to Prestons Vineyard where the design of their space, wine, wine labels and attitude completely synchronized with Organic Farming. Remember talk is cheap. If you’re going to make a commitment, make sure you’re all in. Walk the walk don’t just talk the talk.

SPRING MIX TAPE - Download our latest MP3 mix tape here. It’s designed for drives with the windows down, enjoying a cocktail on the porch or a good game of boccie. Happy Spring!

IT’S ALL YOU - Many of you have been reciprocating by emailing stuff we should check out. We’ve liked them for so many reasons that we decided to end our Better Design Better Living emails with them. So keep sending us the love and they might end up here… Swagger Wagon, Rube Goldberg Machine Music Video, Programmable Magnets



THEY’RE BACK - We’ve heard from many of you that you have been missing the Better Living emails and we want you to know we missed them for good reasons…for the second year in a row we taught our Collaborative Workshop at Virginia Tech, we’ve been doing a large research project for a 2011 product launch that has been taking us coast to coast and in between, Brad has been teaching an Architecture Studio at the University of Kansas and our staff grew by 33%. With that and all the other work in the studio, we’ve been quite busy. But just like we’re excited for spring, we’re excited to pick these emails back up. Enjoy!

THE FUN THEORY - In previous emails, we’ve mentioned how simple ideas can have a strong impact. Along those lines, watch this quick video on how a fun & simple idea can change peoples behavior.

2010 VIRGINIA TECH COLLABORATIVE WORKSHOP - Check out what happens when you get 25 students coming from Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Visual Communication in one room, for ten days, working on 3 different group projects… Strong dialog, some hair pulling, a better understanding of collaboration and a lot of amazing work!



FOOD> ART> SENSE OF PLACE, PART 2 - The same article in the KC Star that reminded us of our favorite place to eat also connected us to an artist that made us contemplate the idea of “Place”. As architects and designers we often talk about Place being bricks and mortar, long lasting and concrete. Outstanding in the Field founder Jim Denevan’s art provides an example of how Place can be extremely powerful and temporary. He creates massively scaled, totally compelling, freehand drawings in the sand using primitive tools like a rake or piece of driftwood that last only as long as the ocean’s tide takes to change. Experience and memory are as equally powerful as the Place itself. This is why we strive to design for the human experience in our projects. And if that results in a building or product, awesome.

GOODBYE NAUGHTY BUT NICE - We really love the neighborhood our studio is in… it’s eclectic, urban and has a lot of character. You may notice the next time you visit us that it has a little less character, but in this case it’s a good thing. Naughty But Nice, the one story building to the north of ours was demolished recently during the course of a day. We caught it on video and reduced it to 1 minute and 17 seconds. Enjoy!

YARD LIGHTS NO. 1 - Whether you put up holiday lights or not we came up with a quick and cool solution to make that tradition a little more whimsical… and cool enough that they can have a second life enhancing a summer evening party in your back yard.

Have an amazing holiday season, we’ll be back with more better living in 2010!



The latest issue of I.D. Magazine just hit the news stand and KEM STUDIO is proud to announce that it received one of three design distinction awards for SP Datapoint, a pharmacy computer and label printer designed for ScriptPro. Taken from the article on page 93… “I love this one,” Damon said. “I worked on a desktop computer for the Seattle Public Library that had to withstand a ton of abuse, and this one is designed to withstand that, and designed to look like it’ll withstand that.

The 2009 Annual Design Review Exhibition is also tied to this award and will be in New York City from June 25 - August 28, 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday at Material ConneXion, 60 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10010. So if you’re in NYC make sure to check it out and email us some photos.

GOOD DESIGN AWARD - Also, we won a Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for SP Datapoint. The exhibition opened in Chicago last week when we were at NeoCon and will be part of their permanent collection.

THANKS + everyone at ScriptPro who collaborated with us on this project. Congratulations, it’s well deserved!

For more information about SP Datapoint Pharmacy Computer + Printer visit ScriptPro or KEM STUDIO



FOOD> ART> SENSE OF PLACE, PART 1 - A recent article in the Kansas City Star Magazine got me thinking about my favorite restaurant, Justus Drugstore. The food is spot on, no debate, and can go toe-to-toe with any restaurant across the country (yes, even that place in Napa, and that one in NYC too). Chef Jonathan Justus only serves food that comes from a stones throw away, is super high quality and simply prepared. But that’s not really the thing that is most memorable. It’s the “story” that Justus personally shares with all the diners. By making it personal, you get the passion he has for what he does and you want to be a part of it… I know i do.

DANCING ON GLASS - Where should a performance be performed? Quixotic Performance Ensemble says anywhere. In fact their latest performance included live original music, video projections (short amazing video), and dance performances IN FRONT and ON the actual buildings of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It is an amazing group and event that we are proud to be a part of (Jon Taylor is Quixotic’s Board President). Check out these additional photos and remember to think differently like Quixotic did with this performance!

MAYBE SO, MAYBE NO - Mayer Hawthorne met Peanut Butter Wolf at a party through a mutual friend, gave him a two song demo and never expected to hear from him again. But Peanut Butter Wolf was blown away, immediately signed him and released those two tracks on a translucent red heart shaped 45. Mayer Hawthorne recently released his amazing first full length album, A Strange Arrangement which has been getting a ton of press. Here’s a toast to those who put themselves out there and for those who believe in them… Maybe So!

KEM STUDIO WINS IDEA AWARD! - presented by IDSA & sponsored by BusinessWeek Magazine

KEM STUDIO WINS IDEA AWARD! - presented by IDSA & sponsored by BusinessWeek Magazine -

We are super pumped to announce that we won a coveted IDEA Award from IDSA & BusinessWeek Magazine with our client Ken-A-Vision for KENA. KENA, a digital microscope, received a bronze in a competition that included over 1,600 international entries and beat out 349 finalists to become one of the 150 winners.

It was featured in the main image of the Medical & Scientific Category (Designs to Improve Your Life) and also has it’s own page on IDSA & BusinessWeek. In response to this news we posted a short and fun video that was part of our entry describing KENA. Enjoy!

THANKS + everyone at Ken-A-Vision who collaborated with us on this project. It is well deserved!



BLURRING LINES - When we designed Paragraph Gallery we anticipated artists would take what we created and blur the line between art and architecture, creating a unique experience for the end user. Fortunately for us and everyone that visits Paragraph Gallery this month, Emily Sall and Rebecca Ward did just that. Check it out.

MANCHESTER GROOVE - A couple of years ago a friend lead me down a flight of stairs in an old building hidden in a corner of Manchester. Turning the corner sweet sounds of soul from the 50s & 60s filled the air. People were grooving, beehives were bouncing, champagne was flowing. It all lead to one of the most memorable nights. Even though this mix will never recreate that experience, I promise that it will get your feet tapping, hips swaying and feeling good during the summer heat.

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS = BIG OPPORTUNITIES - Watch this quick video on how Nike slightly tweaked an embroidery machine to simply create a product that increased performance and decreased weight.



DON’T FORGET YOUR ROOTS - Over the past several years it seemed liked the the record labels have lost their love of music, at the least they certainly lost giving people the experience of enjoying music. But we found hope that the pendulum is starting to go back the other way. Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) recently came out with a solo album. I went directly to the label to purchase the album and was able to get it on vinyl… awesome! But, here’s where they got smart. Because they know that I am impatient, I was able to enjoy the music right away with the mp3 download that was part of the purchase. It’s a small change, but it makes the experience so much better. Sometimes it’s those small things, whether it’s in music or design, that make the difference between success and stagnation.

THINKING DIFFERENTLY - You have probably already seen this, but that’s okay because this is a great example of thinking differently and a small change that causes quite a reaction. A QUICK VIDEO

IDEA Award Finalist -

We were recently notified that we are a finalist in the IDEA awards, presented by IDSA and sponsored by BusinessWeek, Target and AutoDesk. KENA, a Digital Microscope we designed for Ken-A-Vision, was one of the finalists selected from 1,631 international entries. This is the Academy Awards for the Industrial Design community, so we are extremely excited about our “nomination” and really enjoyed getting to tell our client. We are both anxiously waiting the July issue of BusinessWeek for the announcement of the winners.



PERSONAL CONNECTIONS - When I purchase a carton of eggs from Campo Lindo Farms (a local free range farm) at the grocery I always get a personal connection to the family, their farm and the hens… “ladies”. It’s quite smart how they’ve created that connection. Through a small piece of paper placed in each carton they let me know if the “ladies” have been enjoying the warmer weather, if a new calf was born or if their kids have been helping out around the farm. It’s undeniable how much a sustainable, caring and honest message can improve our lives. In this case it even makes the product taste better.

EAT BETTER - Next time you are in Portland, Oregon make sure you take time to visit Pok Pok. This restaurant started out as a street cart after the owner honed his technique on the streets of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Fast forward two years and his cart has become a cool restaurant in an eclectic part of town and was awarded restaurant of the year in Oregon.

DREAM BIG - Never stop thinking differently & dreaming BIG. A QUICK VIDEO

Housewares Show -

Seems like we’re always in Chicago, but that’s okay because we get to see family, friends and visit some of our favorite restaurants. This time we were up there for the Housewares Show. There were some interesting designs and just about everyone had some sort of environmental statement. Some environmental approaches were good, some were really poor and bamboo seemed to be the default. But there was no better solution than the starch-based cookware and tableware products by Bioshphere that can be used in the oven, freezer and microwave. Best of all it naturally biodegrades in 40 days.



GOOD TUNES - Lately we’ve been listening to a couple of great free podcasts. First is Freddy Anzures propsRadio (a friend from the design world). Second is STONES THROW RECORDS, especially their Hawthorne Radio podcast. Also, Daptone Records released a really good, toe tapping, free compilation including Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings on AMAZON. Check it out!

EAT BETTER - The IDSA Board met in Las Vegas for the transition meeting at the end of January. While there Jonathon Kemnitzer got away for a quick breakfast at BOUCHON, Thomas Keller’s restaurant. Whether it’s food, a product or a building, it’s always a great experience when somebody can take something so simple and make it so amazing. In this case it was white sausage, scrambled eggs and a croissant.

THINK. PLAY - Right now our lives are pretty complex, but remember to play like Kevin Carroll. A QUICK VIDEO

Design Thinking Presentation -

Brad and Jonathon gave presentation to several hundred students, faculty and outside guests while at Virginia Tech on Design Thinking. The presentation focused on using a consistent frame work to facilitate multiple discipline collaboration along with the importance of paying attention and living design. Here’s a link to the presentations intro highlighting projects and images from better living and outro which challenged the attendants to pay attention on how they were going to make life better through design.

VT News -

The VT news featured the workshop we are currently teaching, announcing the presentation of the students design proposals. Click here to read the article.

Integrated Design Studio -

We are in the midst of teaching a workshop at Virginia Tech that brings together students from the Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Graphic Design school. The purpose of this two week project is to demonstrate how interdisciplinary collaboration can liberate and invigorate design and design thinking. The students are challenged to examine not only what you think about while you design, but HOW you think.

A blog has been created to share information and document the process. Click here to view, share and post your own comments.


We are honored that two of our projects have recently been recognized for design excellence. Actually, the greatest reward has been sharing the news with our clients and seeing the gratification it has given them…that’s what better living though design means to us.

DATAPOINT, a product for ScriptPro, received a GOOD DESIGN award and COOL STRETCH, a product for Brown Medical received MONSTERS OF DESIGN award.

NYC espresso -

On a recent visit to NYC, we stumbled across Macchiato – a boutique espresso bar. Given that we are admitted espresso and design addicts, we dropped a couple loud oh’s-and-ah’s when we discovered the shop while walking past on a cold day. One of the baristas, Tal, obviously noticed we were jonz’n for our afternoon fix and offered to buy us a shot. The place caters to the fast paced lifestyle of midtown Manhattan and the origins of the European espresso bar. Great espresso, cool space and a simple, generous act on Tal’s part that now makes us customers for life.

Kemper at the Crossroads OPENING -

Following a fast and rewarding processes, Kemper at the Crossroads opened to the public yesterday. The turn out was huge and the exhibit by Jeff Shore and John Fisher: Reel to Reel was amazing. “Working collaboratively since 2002, Shore and Fisher have constructed a complex network of floor- and wall-based kinetic sculptures, each containing a mechanized film set or an electro-acoustic instrument. Once activated, Reel to Reel delivers a multisensory experience that is both poetic and captivating, advancing dialogues between the history of cinema and music, and human interaction with new technologies.”, from Click here to view the Podcast from the opening.

KEM STUDIO designed the new location, and collaborated with Derek Porter Studio for integrated lighting elements and contractor Hurst Construction. Congratulations to Crosby Kemper, Rachael Blackburn Cozad, and the rest of the Kemper team on a successful opening.

Kemper KCUR interview -

In a recent interview aired on KCUR, Brad Satterwhite spoke with KCUR’s Laura Spencer about the design and objectives for the Kemper at the Crossroads. Click here to listen to the interview that also includes a description of the museums mission from curator Chris Cook and the first exhibit described by artists Jeff Shore and John Fisher. The museum opens to the public on November 7th, their initial Crossroads First Friday show.

Kemper Podcast -

The Kemper at the Crossroads project is nearing completion and the word is out. On the eve of the opening, KEM STUDIO spoke with the museum about the design of the space which was issued as a Pod Cast by the museum. Click here to view the cast including interviews with Jon Taylor and Brad Satterwhite

2008 Spring / Summer Playlist -

Even though fall is here, we made a playlist complimenting warm breezes, springtime headphone listening, deck parties and pool lounging, available on iTunes. Make sure you download our album cover at the camera icon to the right to replace the pre-assigned iTunes album art. Enjoy! Next up…cold weather music.

Standard Style + Quixotic -

Quixotic Fusion performs at a fall fashion show for KC’s Standard Style Boutique on the rooftop of a plaza parking garage. The show featured food by ReVerse, Chop!, Nara and Capitol Grille, a concert by Ryan Cabrera and benefited the Bacchus Foundation.

29th American Royal BBQ -

We all know KC is know for BBQ and this is the festival and competition that reinforces it. It’s a smoked meet explosion with team names that can only be rivaled by boat names at the Lake of the Ozarks (highlights: Rub it like its Hot, Burn Rate!, Half Sauced, Fowl Play and Jiggy Piggy). Thanks to contractor JE DUNN (Well Dunn) for throwing a great party and our friends at BURN RATE (see photo) for some killer Q and good times!

Kemnitzer Deck -

Just completed a new deck and landscaping (with the help of Brian Whitfill) at my house. The two tier deck and large step make the space functional for a small family dinner or a large outdoor party. All of the deck boards are EverGrain Vibrance Collection composite boards in Thunderstorm Grey from TAMKO Building Products. The composite boards were extremely easy to work with and look fantastic. For photos of the deck, check out the camera icon to the right.

2008 Tour of Missouri -

This 2nd annual, 7 stage road race started in KC before traveling throughout the state. The women’s criterium took over the Country Club Plaza and was amazing to watch…so was Mark Cavendish’s stage 1 men’s sprint finish later that day. The day prior, approx 500 weekend warriors went on a 36 mile charity ride from ReVerse on the Plaza to Parkville and back …the hardcore local racers pounded out 72 miles on last years KC stage course that went as far as Plate City. Congrats to our friends from the local organizing committee, Ty Henson, Scott Capstack and Andy Olson, for helping put together a truly unique sporting event in KC. Brad Satterwhite joined a few fellow Centurions for the 36 mile portion and “drafted” from the back of the peloton, so to speak, ending it properly with a cold one from Boulevard Brewery.

(UPDATE 10.06.2008: The Tour of Missouri has been upgraded to a 2HC competition rating for 2009, the highest rating possible for a US race.) Check it out.

Kaze Sushi -

As far as we’re concerned there are sushi places and there’s KAZE. With a bold statement like that, you can probably guess that we make sure to go every time we are in Chicago and while we were at NeoCon this year it was no different. Some of our favorites are the sweet potato soup and a couple items not on the menu. So make sure you ask for the salmon with truffle oil nigiri and white tuna with banana-wasabi puree nirgiri, Amazing! While you’re in the neighborhood (Roscoe Village) make sure to walk around and visit some of the local bars.

Two West LA -

This is what I’m talking about. . . lunch LA style. KEM STUDIO is designing Two West’s new offices in Hollywood, CA and we took advantage of the SO CAL weather by holding a meeting poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel. Two West is a transformation design firm that has merged with Melanie Paykos Design, an award-winning graphic design shop in Los Angeles with an impressive entertainment portfolio. BIG CONGRATS on your west coast venture!

Kemper Crossroads -

KEM STUDIO has been selected to work with the KEMPER MUSEUM to design the new location, Kemper at the Crossroads. Crosby Kemper purchased the building well known as John O’Brien’s Dolphin Gallery. “Kemper at the Crossroads will open this fall, and it is our hope that it will bring contemporary art to new audiences and help to solidify what is already a bustling area of art galleries, atists’ studios, restaurants, retail, and urban residential areas.” Rachael Blackburn Cozad, Kemper Museum Director and CEO. We are honored and excited to be involved with an institution that will continue to be the beacon for contemporary art in KC.

AD HOC, Napa Valley -

If you want French Laundry quality food at, well, not French Laundry prices and prefer a more casual dining atmosphere, check out Chef Thomas Keller’s new restaurant AD HOC. As the names suggests, it was intended to be a temporary restaurant for the single purpose of experimenting with new dishes while he planned another restaurant. It’s a 4 course family style menu that changes everyday . . . no decisions - just simple, honest, perfectly cooked food. Thankfully, frequent guests convinced him to make the place permanent. The added treat was that the waiter overheard our table geeking out about cooking and invited us into the kitchen to see them prep for dinner service.

Centurions take over San Francisco -

Brad Satterwhite joined 70 other emerging community leaders from the Kansas City Centurions Leadership Program for a benchmarking trip to San Fran. We found out that we are nothing a like (go figure), but they have fantastically liberal views, great restaurants and wine, and the highest urban land density in the US. Good times, great company.

Quixotic hits First Friday -

On Friday June 6th Quixotic took over Baltimore in front of the Dolphin Gallery with a guerilla street performance promoting Quixotic’s summer show at the Uptown Theater on the 26th and 27th of June. You can see a lot of different things in the Crossroads, I’m glad we can now add flaming hula hoops to that list.

Dolphin Gallery -

A Crossroads art gallery landmark is pioneering a new movement in KC. Back in the first part of the year, John O’Brien sold the Dolphin Gallery is moving to the West Bottom’s. KEM STUDIO has been working with John to design the new gallery and frame shop that plans to open in August. The building is a fairly new warehouse that will be fitted out to accommodate a large gallery space, frame shop and storage that far exceed the size of his current gallery. Cheers to John for the vision and guts to instigate change . . . here’s to much success!

Biolite Pads -

KEM STUDIO recently collaborated with Riddell on a new family of hip, thigh, tailbone and knee pads. The pads are made from extremely light weight shock absorbing foam. Here’s a photo of the thigh pads.

Stableview Review -

Wired Magazine recently reviewed an image-stabilizing binocular we designed for Bushnell in their May 2008 issue. Check it out.

Revolution -

Brad Satterwhite was on the organizing committee that put together first year event to benefit the Salvation Army. The Hobb’s building was transformed into an atmosphere like no other, from the creative directors of Quixotic and Wearhaus. Organic Proof used their electroacoustic/afro-beat/jams to enforce a funky lounge feel in the outside tent, while DJ Kiko De Gallo kept the inside hopping, spinning elctro/funk/roots music. It was all layered with a production of light and video from Quixotic’s Anthony Magliano and Mica Thomas. Wearhuas’s Carmen Stalker topped it off with 3 runway shows featuring outfits by designers using fabric purchased from Salvation Army Thrift stores.

DETOX 3K RUN, Sponsored by PUMA -

Jonathon Kemnitzer organized a run designed to DETOX the body after a heavy night of drinking, getting the participants juiced up for the day at the Influence Conference. The event was advertised as a 3 mile run, where someone will most likely throw up and the group will probably stop for a shot of espresso. While no one threw up we did stop for espresso and everyone had a great time at the maxed out event. Sponsored by PUMA

Influence Speaker + Sponsor Party at KEM STUDIO -

Catered by CHOP! and dj by Freddy Allen Anzures the party started out small, but as word got out our studio was packed with 150+ people. Dancing…Drinking…Good Times!

2008 Midwest District IDSA Conference, Influence -

What Influences you? Every designer is challenged to create the next big thing. In order to achieve this, we often look to the people and places that inspire us - those that challenge conventional thinking and push the boundaries beyond what we’ve come to expect from the world of design. Held in Kansas City our creative community introduced and entertained designers from around the Midwest for a 3 day event at the beginning of April.

Big 12 Tournament final game -

Courtesy of our friends at AL Huber Construction, we were able to catch KU’s victory over Texas in the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center first hand. We love our seats for home games at Allen Field House, but it’s hard to compete with the Founders Club at the Sprint Center.

Justus Drugstore -

This restaurant is the epitome of inspiration found in unexpected places… in this case, Smithville, MO. There are too many savored details to mention here – but behind the bacon wrapped goat cheese salad (like you really need to wrap it to make goat cheese good) and fois gras served with a spiced sorbet – there is the compelling story of the restaurant owner and his connection to Smithville. It is hard to put your finger on the impact of knowing that everything (including the crackers and pasta) are made from scratch every day, and comes from within a 100 mile radius of Smithville. And when one of the owners explains that the taste of the butter actually changes with the seasons because of what the cows are eating it is hard not to look at things a little differently. However, appreciating the food and the story behind Justus Drugstore does not require culinary sophistication – it only requires that you enjoy eating. It sure seems like there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Quixotic performs at the 2008 BCA Partnership Awards lunch -

It’s not every day you attend a business lunch that includes aerial silk performance acts. One of the intangible perks of being a member of the Quixotic Board of Directors is the vicarious pride associated with witnessing 500 people at this year’s Business Committee for the Arts honors lunch genuinely moved by a 10 minute performance.