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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pushbutton Paradise

Caris has been struggling over her final project for her summer interior design class for over a week. It isn't bad enough that this project accounts for more than half her grade, but to complicate matters, she also had to partner up with a guy who...well, lets just say he has no taste. Okay, he has taste; BAD taste. It's good that he's going for a degree in Architecture and not Interior Design.

For this project, Caris (and partner) had to come up with a themed elevator, using one or more sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Since she spends a good deal of her life in a store that sells natural products like bamboo and grass thatch, what better theme could she possibly come up with than "Tiki?" To put an upscale spin on a rather lowbrow pop-culture lifestyle, she revved it up a bit by making it "retro" or "mid-century modern tiki." Coming up with the concept was the easy part. The hard part was convincing her partner, who thought that they should go with a "stripper" theme. WTF? The guy wanted to put a stripper pole and runway lights in AN ELEVATOR. When she was telling me about her partner and his ::ahem:: tastes, she said the only way she could convince him to go with the tiki theme, was by showing him pictures in a tiki book which showed artwork with "nekkid girls". "Yeah," said Caris. "He actually said 'nekkid girls.'"

Rather than allow this neanderthal to control the project, she said that during their meetings over the past week, she would "plant a thought" in his head and make him think that her ideas were actually his ideas. She didn't want to risk getting a poor grade by delegating components of the project to the Caveman, so she basically did ALL the design, gathered the materials, built the mock-up, AND graciously allowed him to put his name on it. "He's lucky I was that generous."

Last night, Charlie and I noticed that the lights in the dining room where Caris was working were on into the wee hours. She stresses, but when she's under the gun, she does her best work. This morning, when I went into the kitchen for my coffee, I saw her finished project sitting on the table. I couldn't help but snap some pics. If I do say so myself (and I do), she did an amazing job. I thought she did such a great job, that I actually posted the pictures, at the urging of a talented tiki artist friend, on a website called Tiki Central, which highlights and promotes the Tiki Culture lifestyle. She's had nothing but kudos from the "cool cats" in the tiki world. Which is no less than I expected because my daughter is awesome.