Monday, 30 November 2009

Blend in with your surroundings, be the grey man...


After having his studio closed down in Beijing in 2005, artist Liu Bolin went to the streets and decided to "camouflage" the whole population of China. Are you sure you saw someone in every image?

Toe Tapping Goodness

Winter winds from Mumford and Sons from the new album Sigh No More. A tour in the Spring with dates being added all the time. See them at the smaller venues while you can. Makes me grab Blossom and jig. Well it's my interpretation of a jig... Don't really know what a jig is. I'll stick to a ragga dance from home. Now your toes are tapping Little Lion Man will have your feet stamping (note child sensitive lyrics!!).

St Lucia

Blossom in all her Juletide splendor. She was St Lucia one year.

Big Pink

Looks like we'll all have to start staring at our bellybuttons again. A bit of 80s shoe-gazing.
But we like it. What do you think the Big Pink refers to?

Sunday, 29 November 2009


The 10 essential characteristics of a well-designed product:
- sustainable
-well made
-emotionally resonant
-socially beneficial

Here are a few products that may lack a combination of these attributes.

The Skin Collection by Nacho Carbonell as presented by Droog. Carbonell states that the elastic layer invites the user to place items under the skin so the furniture takes on unique contours and make others curious to find out what is underneath.

Martin the Mule storage by I Bride. It's a donkey with a cabinet on...

Glass tank by Kyouei.  It is a glass for drinking alot.

Our personal favourite...

The Feminoir Vase by Danish ceramicist Christin Johansson.

Aaah the delight of creative gobbledigook thanks to Oops.


Birgitta Ralston and Alexandre Bau set up the Transplant Design Competence Center as the physical embobiment for the development, collaboration and sharing of concepts.

They have a drive to create products and environments that create meaning to spaces and peoples lives.

They constantly research how to include new materials and processes into production. Redesign is also a key theme, how to make new products from available materials to contribute towards sustainable thinking and acting.

If you go to visit here you can quite easily be having a meeting looking over the vistas of Dalsfjord from inside the building or whilst dipping your toes in a meltwater stream. This is a place where inspiration and action come together to produce some truly honest visual design profiling.

Saturday, 28 November 2009


As you will be aware 95% of all pop songs are written by Swedes. Here is a fizzy-synth-dance -groove that brings the mid-80s back in the frame. Swedish 5-piece O'Spada will be arriving in London in December to brighten the groove scene, and we guarantee you will all be tapping your toes to their beat at next years summer festivals.

Julia Spada has the pop-groove sensibilities of  a young Madonna and the band are drumtight and tacsharp.

Bring back Shalamar, Stephen "Tin-tin" Duffy, your time has come. In the meantime O'Spada have two singles out with an album due early next year. Break out the disco balls.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A Owl is not for Christmas. It's for Life.

It seems that Owls have been very much in favour of our graphic artists this last year. Matt Pugh has taken them into 3 dimensions with this adorable  family of Owls in Oak or Walnut and a choice of 6 colour trims. Made from natural materials to last a lifetime, as with all his other little wonders.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Saturday, 21 November 2009


"Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it."

Friday, 20 November 2009




Bill and I spent a blustery autumn afternoon watching this majestic film. We have listened to the joyous music of Sigur Ros for many years, but we hadn't watched this film of their homecoming after a global tour. It is shot with such splendid affection for their homeland; their people, their landscape. The simple beauty of everything that surrounds us. We were bewildered by their talent, honesty and integrity. I urge you to watch this. Dubbed by some as the best music documentary ever, it is just lovely. Take sometime and share yourself.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


We miss the dark, otherworldly stories of our childhood. Trolls, Ogres and Red-eyed Witches. This book Anna & the Witch's Bottle collects a group of mystical beasts and strange lands, a real return to children's fairy tails. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a bleak soundtrack from a member of the Doves rockband. The first print project by Blackmaps independent label. Only 300 available at £30.

Buzzing around town

This electric bike is for those who need to scoot about town but don't want to work up a sweat. Ideal for getting to those meetings in rush hour. Or for business parks where parking can be 2 miles away from your office, get your boss to provide a pool of these little critters. the Mosquito designed by a pair of German Design Graduates weighs 34kg and can go 60km at 50kph. It costs about 50p to charge and will cost around £3000 when it becomes available next year.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Gross National Happiness

In Bhutan people are 97% happy. Well that's what the national survey deducted in 2005. Gross National Happiness is derived from four pillars; sustainable development, preservation of cultural values, conservation of nature and good governance. These pillars are the divided into 9 domains; Time use, Living Standards, Governance, Psychological well being, Community Vitality, Culture, Health, Education and Ecology.

What kind of foundations are these for a blossoming democracy? Shouldn't they be more concerned about political correctness, manufacturing output, inflation/deflation, the stock-market indices, unemployment and Big Brother?

In Bhutan 30% of the population enter life as a  Bhuddist monk, inheritance is directly to the females, 70% of the land is forested and 45% of the population are under 15.

This is the land created by 100,000 angels.