Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Giacomo Costa

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Today 3 weeks of Indian warmth and sunshine have been replaced by grey, wet and cold Hackney. As I gazed out the kitchen window this morning, onto my mid-winter garden. I was reminded of this work, I saw at the Venice Bienale earlier in the Autumn. Even the in dullness of December the urban garden has a certain beauty. Perhaps Giacomo Costa wanted to portray this in his 'Private Garden' an installation of 24 lightboxes. Placed on 2 rows opposite each other creating an alley with a glowing etherial allure.

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Giacomo Costa

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Juna Mahal Palace

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I am visiting this amazing palace for the second time this year, and I can't believe I didn't get round to blogging it yet. It is breath taking, 9 stories high over 700 years old in parts, and best of all no tourists, today my parents and I were there alone, it was divine.

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and to crown it all a visit to the adjacent Udai Bilas Palace hotel is a necesity

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Friday, 11 December 2009

PINOCCHIO

Now showing at the Chickenshed Theatre untill Jan 16





Saturday, 14 November 2009

Dutch Design Week : Goodpoint Jam

Hilbert Tjalkens and Vera Teunen created a pixalised wall image of an open mouth shouting 'think what you eat'

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As you approach the wall, it becomes clear that this is a shelf and it is filled with 1500 jars of home made jam, compote and soup. Each Jars contents are a delicate shade of peach,orange, yellow, brown or cream and carefully placed to build up this picture. The pairs objective with this wall is to create a starting point for a discussion about what we eat. Each jar is sold with instructions to preserve your own food, so th jar can be used again.


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To buy your jar or a piece of the wall itself

Friday, 13 November 2009

Three Little Words...

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Vintage. American. Workwear. Are there three more beautiful words in the English language? I can't think of any offhand (although 'Fish and Chips' has a nice ring to it too).

It isn't surprising that designers return to the fields and garages of America again and again for inspiration. American workwear speaks of everything that is good in design. Clothes of the highest quality, the greatest functionality, made of the most simple materials, and accessible to the masses.

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It sounds like a modernist manifesto, but there's nothing dry and minimal about workwear. A Pendleton wool shirt may be constructed for warmth and efficiency, but the colours of the plaid make it as beautiful as it is practical. An embroidered overall may act as a mobile advertising hoarding, but it also brings a simple garment alive.

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Even tiny details like buttons and labels are filled with inspiring design elements.

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If you're really interested in finding great pieces of American vintage, then Dave White of Ragtop Vintage is the man to go to. One of the most well informed vendors of Americana in London, Dave is a true aficionado of the genre, always guaranteed to have a few treasures from the 40's, 50's and 60's for you to marvel over and be tempted by. If you like your clothes filled with history, integrity and style - you can do no better.

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Ragtop Vintage is available at Spitalfields Market every Thursday, and at Broadway Market on Saturdays.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dutch Design Week : Jo Meesters

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I visited Jo Meesters at his almost monastic studio, inside an old school building near to the centre of Eindhoven. These photos show various examples of his beautiful PULP collection. The objects are made entirely from paper pulp using discarded vessels as moulds. The furniture skeletons are made from sheet cardboard which are then covered in paper pulp, which upon drying creates a surprisingly robust finish.

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Studio Jo Meesters

Dutch Design Week : Exitos Bags

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Suzanne van der Aa and Kazoe van den Dobbelsteen have launched a collection of bags under the label Exitos. They are made in Colombia using a traditional appliqué technique practiced by the Cuna Indians. The designs however are anything but, based on drawings of the inhabitants of Bogata, the capitol of Columbia. Exitos’ aim is to provide employment in a fairtrade way to the women who create these beautiful embroideries whilst introducing something fresh and new with their own quirky design style. Rosana Orlandi has already placed an order and I am sure many more will follow .

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EXITOS

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Dutch Design Week : Kiki and Joost

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Kiki Van Eijke and Joost Van Bleiswijk welcomed visitors to their HUGE studio in one of the old Phillips factory buildings. The space was divided into 3 areas, a large office and meeting space , the workshop where their team could be seen working on various projects, and a light clean exhibition space, where their work was shown in a gallery like atmosphere. Their impressive body of work was shown off to perfection here. On Sunday evening I was fortunate enough to be invited to a dinner hosted by the pair for close friends and collaborators, this was a delicious 7 course affair which took place in their workshop

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further information Kiki Joost

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Scooterworks Café - Vroom Vroom!

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I always think that streets are like people. Some are friendly, cheery locals, full of unpretentious welcome. Others are more snooty, looking down their noses at you in their designer clad finery. Then there are those that are eccentric, obscure and downright weird.

Lower Marsh definitely in the latter category. An old market street, running behind Waterloo station - it is filled with peculiar places and interesting characters. One minute you're walking past a 1940's vintage shop, the next you find a second hand bookshop that hasn't been touched since the early sixties, then you pass a fetish shop with mannequins on leashes. Despite it's central location - you're never going to find a Starbucks moving into this street. Hallelujah.

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Instead, you have a far superior option - The Scooterworks Café. An old scooter workshop has been turned into one of the most eclectic and atmospheric cafe/bars in the city, with every part of the place a feast for the (curious) eye. Mechanical doodads, old surgeon's lights, newspaper covered walls, girly magazines...it's a junk lovers heaven, with a real dash of style.

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Not only does it look good, but the coffee is excellent and they have regular free movie nights in the basement. All in all, a top notch experience, and one of the most interesting spots for a drink in the city. Highly recommended.

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Scooterworks is at 132 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7AE - www.scooterworks-uk.com/

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Pop Up Noodles

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Things seem to be popping up more and more nowadays, don't they? we've only just got used to the concept of the 'pop up shop' and now it seems that 'pop up restaurants' are all the rage.
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We're looking forward to the day that someone actually designs a restaurant where all the tables and chairs fold away and the rest of the fittings are telescopic, taking the 'pop up' concept to its logical conclusion.
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Even though that hasn't happened yet, one of the most interesting things about pop ups is that the temporary nature of the structures can bring out some very inspiring design solutions.
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Take 'noodles' on Dean Street for example. It isn't quite open yet, and is only sticking around for a couple of months, but design wise it definitely looks promising, in a 'chic wood shed' sort of way.
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We love the light bulb installation and the use of wooden typography is particularly intriguing. Let's hope that when it becomes a permanent space, as a branch of Rosa's Cafe, it retains some of its current DIY charm.
'noodles' will be opening soon at 48 Dean St, W1, until Christmas