Thursday, June 26, 2008

Designer Dolls

Have you ever bought something only because it was 'designer' regardless of practicality or cost? Do you faithfully attend the various furniture fairs around the world from Milan to Shanghai? Do you have a favourite designer? Do words like Icon, Blueprint and Wallpaper mean more to you than a random string of nouns? If so, then welcome to The Cult of Design.

Sometimes we love designers more than their designs, a designer involves personality, character and presence, something which could be in some cases more peculiar or stringer than their actual work. Olivia Lee who is graduating this weeks from London's Central Saint Martin pays homage to those who might have influenced her in her school years. Design Dolls, is a limited edition set of 3 figurines of famous designers, right now featuring Zaha Hadid, Jaime Hayon and Karim Rashid.

Olivia certainly used this project as her graduating project, It came to her from the observation that increasingly today, designer personalities are quite literally become synonymous with the objects they design.

She studied the visual characteristics and distinct personalities of the designers as well as their products, and wondered what would happen if she merged these two entities together.

What would happen if the designer became a product? How would that differ from the designer being closely associated with the product? Would the designers appreciate such a project? And what implications would their varied reactions have in relation to the culture of design?

*In her own words:
The project started of as quite an introspective one and was born when I realised that I had a very well-organised collection of brochures and material from design festivals, I had massive collection of photographs of pure furniture and I faithfully attended design lectures as well as I could. I started to wonder if maybe I was a little weird, obsessive and if other people like me existed.

The process involved carefully studying the aesthetics of the designer’s work as well as their public persona. What is interesting is that without having to consult them, I only needed a search engine and the College library to do my research which goes to show how accessible their personalities and work are.

The most challenging aspect of executing these figures was finding the right balance between the figurative caricature of the designers and the references to their objects. But it was also very fun finding the links, for example between Zaha Hadid’s FLOW vases and her love for
weary Issey Miyake coats and black dresses.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Power to the Pedals!

Summer is coming and our vacations in Europe are approaching. Maybe it is because of that, or it is just my mind, but I see bicycles in every magazine and every website I click on. Here in Cabo it is almost impossible to ride a bike. With dirt roads, steep mountain roads and town roads, where we have 1 lane for every moving object: cars, motorbikes, trucks, bike-taxis, a few bikes and pedestrians – yes, no bike tracks or pavements for pedestrians are available here.

When living in Ljubljana, I rode my beautiful red city bike up and down the city. A bike in Ljubljana is a perfect vehicle, because it can take you anywhere and everywhere, and streets and the city are bike-friendly. It’s kind of romantic, love (wind) in the air, ‘cruising’ along the river, and stopping now and then to say hi to your friends, and joining them for a drink or two…

So, I look around and I see this:

GUCCI’s special collection 8-8-2008 Limited Edition


Phat cycles (for my exotic beachstyle living)

+ check out also:
Copenhagen bicycle style chic

Jorg & Olif Dutch Bicycles - really cool, makes me wanna move back to Europe one day

I just love summers in Europe…

Swedish Furniture Name Generator - The Blogadilla

I was searching for some cool, designer but reachable, furniture on-line, and i run into this site, made me smile. What can you invent when you wait for your turn at the cashiers at IKEA. Cool.
"Enter your first name and it will create your Swedish furniture name"

(©2008; assembled/generated by Steve B., designed by Tim)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beautiful, exotic and magical Mexico

Mexico lindo, exotico, mistico

A place like no other

There are many places in the world we desire to see, visit or even live there. But there is only one place in the whole world so unique that unites an incredible history, rich nature, inspiring flora and fauna, colorful culture and opportunities to live your life fully. Experience Mexican free spirit in Baja.

It was the daunting combination of arid land, the scarcity of water and the hostility of the natives towards the Spaniards who were searching for famous pearls of the land that made the colonization of Baja California Sur extremely difficult. Baja’s first inhabitants are thought to have arrived to the peninsula at least 11,000 years ago. In around 1700 B.C. four different ethno linguistic groups were encountered, Pericú in the south, between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz and on several islands in the gulf; the Guayacura from La Paz to south of Loreto; the Monqui, around Loreto; and the Cochimí, in extensive areas throughout the middle of the peninsula. You can still catch some of their spirit in caves at Cueva de Palma, San Gregorio, Sierra de San Francisco and Sierra de Guadalupe.

The European discovery of Baja happened in 1530-ies, by Fortún Ximénez, Hernán Cortés and others. Over the next century and a half many of explorers and pearl hunters came to the shores of peninsula, but had no lasting impact until late 17th century, when a missionary in Loreto was established. Later, in 1768, Franciscans took over the control of Baja California Sur, and in 1773 Dominicans. Their influence had a significant effect to a decrease in the population of the indigenous people.

After the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821), Baja was divided into four municipalities. Loreto, the oldest settlement of the region with more than 300 years of history, served as the capital until 1830, when heavy rains destroyed the city and forced the government to be moved to La Paz. The territories of Baja California Sur and Baja California were formally established in 1888, and Baja California Sur became a state on October 8, 1974. That year the first trans-peninsular road was completed, followed by the airport and … you know the rest. Beautiful but remote Baja came within reach and in the last two decades it has become the most rapidly developing area in all Mexico. Once a fisherman’s dream, beautiful, exotic and mystical Baja became one of the unique places in the world we can never get tired off.

Some of the amazing facts about Baja (and that’s only some of the reasons why I love it):

· Extreme desert conditions of Baja have produced thousand of endemic species of plants and animal life found nowhere else in the world.
· El Vizcaino Desert with the average rainfall 5 cm (2 in) per year is the largest wildlife refuge in all of Latin America and certainly the most diverse. (virtual tour)
· Baja California Sur, bordered by two seas, has the longest coastline of all Mexican states at more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles).
· Baja features more islands than any other Mexican state. Although most of the islands are located in the Gulf of California, the largest one is Margarita Island, on the Pacific side.
· Sea of Cortez is the most biologically rich body of water on earth. So much in fact, that Jacques Cousteau proclaimed it “the World’s Aquarium”.
· The cardón cactus, the world’s largest species of cactus, grows on the Baja California peninsula. It can reach heights of 21 meters (70 feet).
· Rock shelters in the Sierra de Guadalupe and Sierra de San Francisco feature larger-than life cave paintings of humans and animals.
· Every year from mid-December to mid-April, hundreds of grey whales arrive off the coast of BCS from the Alaska shores. Whale-watchers are proud to see whales jumping up to 40 feet in the air.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stormy weather

Following the storms, which were affecting the US last week, we also got a few raindrops last Thursday - something rarely to happen in Cabo at this time of the year. And on Friday, on our way to La Paz for an opening event of Villas Aguamarina in Pedregal de La Paz, we were followed by a big dark cloud above the Pacific. It looked as we're going to be swallowed into the dark. It reminded me of good Etta James and her song Stormy weather.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Night is Your Day or Ya es mediodia en China

Today I encountered an amazing artwork of Johannes Wohnseifer that I’d love to have in my living room or working room. With it I’d be able to follow up on my friends’ days and nights all over the world.

On the large wall map of the world at Karriere Bar, the earth is defined by vertical light tubes which, by getting brighter as the sun’s position changes relative to the earth, track its diurnal rotation. This means that in the early hours you will be able to see dawn approaching and on afternoons when time seems to stand still, you will see that it is indeed progressing. The play of lights in this artwork is amazing. Or as our local TV host would say “Ya es mediodia en China
, don’t know where they’ve got the title, but it always makes me smile.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Selling architecture that sells

The Institute Big in Ljubljana, Slovenia, hosted its first Architectural Conference at the end of May. The theme of the event, titled 'Selling Architecture that Sells', was Nordic architecture and its approach to commercial structure architecture. Six architects from North Europe presented their unique views concerning the optimum relationship between commercial architecture and quality. They were thinking aloud how to create architecture, tailor-made for the customer, and at the same time avoid the common mediocre.

Ilka Terho (Valvomo Architects) presented the recently completed project, renewal of law firm office interior of the Krogerus Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, which departed significantly from what is considered the typical image of a law office. Mahogany made place to clear cut white surfaces which tend to make a strong impression on any customer with its unique design and aggressively direct allocations.

Andrew Griffin presented a residential compound by the JDS architects in Orestad in Denmark. Balconies in form of disharmonious triangles protrude from smooth surfaces, as the bow of Titanic.

The Conference hosted as lecturers also Boštjan Vuga (Sadar Vuga arhitekti, Slovenija), Teemu Kurkela (Finland), Andreas Lyckefors (Sweden), Adnan Harambasic (Norway), and Dorte Mandrup-Poulsen (Denmark).

Large number of Slovenian architects and architecture enthusiasts who had attended the Conference proved that Slovenia is ready to meet new architectural challenges. Gorenje, international producer of high-quality household appliances with Slovenian origin, tends to support these challenges with its contribution to superlatives in design and innovative approaches.

SmarTable from Gorenje is the product whose appearance and innovative technological solutions represents new dimensions of flexibility and a real magnet for customer individuality. It had enchanted the visitors of the Observeur 08 Exhibition in the Paris 'Cité des Sciences', where it had been exhibited among 211 most creative and innovative products of industrial design selected by the international expert board. The exhibition was visited by over 200,000 visitors who had evaluated the exhibited products and selected those that provoked the strongest impressions. The prestigious SmarTable from Gorenje was ranked very high and took second place – this uniquely designed table with remotely controlled integrated refrigerator figures as a world innovation.

We’re looking forward to seeing and selling more architecture that sells, and me, personally, Slovenia being a part of it.

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