Saturday, 26 September 2009

Ooh Bamboo

Cheap, available, eco-friendly and now with stunning results. Modern techniques have brought Bamboo to the forfront of furniture design.

 Two companies producing results are Modern Bamboo and Plidesign.

Both companies are committed to great design at reasonable prices using sustainable sources.
Plidesign signed up to Project 10:10 this summer committing to reducing their footprint by 10% by 2010. They have already re-designed the Reee Chair saving 14% on production emmissions.

You can save the planet and enjoy fantastic furniture. This Spring Chair by Modern Bamboo is a particular favourite .

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Artificial Tissue

Visual Artist Hubert Blanz has created these confounding images from satellite imagery on the web. These exaggerated futuristic scapes represent a comparison with the growth and development of organic tissue structures. What intrigued us about the images is at first glance your brain knows there is something not right about the image. On further inspection the angles and perspectives create a giddy confusion. As large format abstracts they are impressive.

Blossom's Favourite Party Track

It is impossible not to dance or at least shake something along with this. I love to dance. I dance everywhere.

WWF. What a difference a day makes...

Around the world on any given day, millions of people take actions – big and small – that contribute to making their community and their world a more sustainable place to live. On 23 September we want you to join WWF staff around the world for a global online event and show the world what a difference a day makes!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Simple Urban retail for anonymous design products from around the world.

Images: KIOSK store NYC, Japanese can opener, Citra Sipper from Florida.

London Design Week is upon us and there are a host of events to stick our noses into. With the growing trend in guerilla retail we are interested in the Kiosk concept that has been brought to London from New York by SCP. The London store is designed by Michael Marriott of SCP. The concept of Kiosk is to represent anonymous design ojects and support independent producers. The products are simple but full of purpose and utiliity. Find the store on the ground floor of the SCP East Store.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Show me a sign!

Signbox are a great little UK company. Their designs are innovative and fresh. The LED signs have a life of 50,000 hours and can be used indoors or out. So if you need to update the signage in your office/studio/home, look no further.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


"I'm liiving on a jet plane..." Fancy some First Class or have an early morning connection try staying in Oscar Dios' first Jumbo Hostel just outside Arlanda airport in Stockholm. Smart, functional and a little rudimentary (shared facilities), but much more fun than staying in the Radisson across the road.

The question is does this count for joining the mile high club? Me thinks not.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Perfect Lunch

When you travel across timezones and eat your way across cultures it is important to enjoy a balanced diet whenever possible. We have concluded that the best lunch you can have is this.

Miso soup with fish broth, Edamame Beans steamed and salted, Salmon Sashimi with soy sauce and wasabi and green tea. This is the best lunchtime pick up to survive the day.

10 Years of Turin Brakes

1999 saw the first release from the London based acoustic-folkies Turin Brakes. They put together a 10th anniversary concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to celebrate after being off the road for a while. The set started with a nervous Olly and Gale supported by Eddy on base, running through some acoustic numbers including some new tracks.

The boys were then joined by an 8-piece female choir before taking an ice-cream break!

They returned with amplifiers turned up and were joined by drummer Rob and Phil on keyboards.

The set reminded us that the boys have put out some great songs over their 10 yrs incl; Future Boy, Painkiller, Average Man, 72, Underdog, Feeling Oblivion and our favourite Long Distance. They also did covers of Chris Isaaks' Wicked Game and Neil Young's Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

You can view some snippets of the concert here.

The support Mike Rosenthal(?) was great too but we can't find any info on him...

Summer Song

Summer maybe over but Borneo born Zee Avi brings it right back with her gorgeously melodic voice. She used to post her songs via her web cam but Kris Rowley spotted them and she has now recorded her first album.


I Want to Ride my Bicycle!

There is no excuse no not to hit the road and reduce your carbon footprint while extending your life! Design is becoming part of everything and here are a selection of designer bicycles to demonstrate the point. The BIXI system is in place in Montreal with a planned 5000 bikes. You insert your card and take a bike. Designed for urban travel with solid tires, 3 gears, chain protector and a carry basket. The system will soon be rolled out in London and Boston. There should be one in every town!

However, if you need to do some serious head-down hammering around the track you need the new Trinity Advanced from GIANT bicycles. State of the art Compact Aero Road Design will have you squeezing the most out of every lap.

Craig Calfee has been making bamboo bicycle frames for 10yrs now. He makes these to measure and they are truly works of art. Bamboo is slightly heavier than the carbon fibre equivalent (each frame is 4-6lbs), but has better vibration damping, good stiffness and is crash tolerant. they also come with a 10yr guarantee.

For the big city commuter the IF-Mode is ideal. It looks smart, performs well and fits easily on the tube or taxi. No oily chains or complex tubes.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Via Francigena

If you can make it to Rome, then make a week of it. Start out in Florence and take the Via Francigena down to Rome as the pilgrims did back in the Renaissance.

On the way is the beautiful town of San Gimignano. Take a copy of EM Forster's Where Angels Fear to Tread and find a seat in one of the 4 Piazzas. This is the only medieval Italian town to retain its feudal identity as 14 of the original 72 towers remain.

Order some Tuscan Bean soup and a gelato and soak up the history.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A Day in Rome

We are lucky that our global meanderings take us to some exquisite places, but no matter where you go a little inside information can transform a visit into an experience. So we will drop our little hints and tips as we go.

Rome is one of the most magnificent cities to wander in. There is so much to explore. But if you find yourself there for a day, then visit our favorite sidestreet, Via dei Pianellari.

There is everything you need on this street for an afternoon experience. Firstly, go to the barbers for an Italian cut. Drink a coffee and spend an hour talking about Italian women, Italian men and Italian politics. It is an education, not a haircut.

Wander down the alleyway and sip tea with Veronique who will demonstrate the wonders she works with antique art.

Then you come to Secondome, which is a glorious home design store with lots of our favourite brands and some local Italian finds. You will spend an hour browsing and chatting and spending money.

A little further down you will notice that the street signs take on an altogether different appearance. More Alpine than Roman. They are the creations of Wood Sculpturer Ferdinando Condognotto. His wonderful store is hidden behind some potted bushes but you will hear the music playing from his radio. His work is magical, he is Guiseppi.

When you become a little fatigued it is time to rest and recuperate at Pietro Valentini's. The best restaurant in Rome. Give him a call and book as there are only 8 tables. Always agree to his wife's recommendations; Fried Courgette Blossoms and Aubergines, Hazelnut Pasta with Black truffles and Chocolate Ravioli. The service is beyond expectation, the food will be the best you have ever eaten, the price will not be noticed and you will be rewarded with multiple kisses from the chef.

Enjoy your visit, say hello from us!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Going Somewhere?

London is a carnival of independent bookstores despite the best efforts of publishers to force filtered gumpf into our heads. Our favourite is Daunt on Marylebone High Street. It is a must visit before we set off on any of our travels. Books are arranged by country (except UK!?), so pick the place you are off to and pick a novel to fit your quest. Ask the staff, they will know.

Whether it's Fragrant Harbour for Hong Kong, On the Road for Midwest US, God of Small Things for India or Love in a Time of Cholera for the Caribbean; there will be a book that will throw you into the culture. Forget the travel guides, they are bland and prosciptive. Let your imagination start your journey.

btw other must browse boookstores in London are;

Stanfords, Long Acre for maps and charts.
Foyles, Charing Cross for its size. You may never leave!
John Sandoe Books, Chelsea for the staff.
Tales on Moon Lane, Herne Hill for children's books.

Made It

Clay. It's amazing just how creative our ceramicists are. London Design week lets you explore the best of London based designer-makers via the Made It event throughout september. Merete Rasmussen is our personal favourite, her abstracts are pure sensual elegance.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Big Binoculars

Blossom picked this little chap up on Hollywood Road. She wants to put it in our nephew's bedroom window (he's nearly one) to freak out the neighbours...