Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Maarten Baas and Bas den Herder. They sketch their ideas which are then produced by other companies, hence they have no staff. Good business plan! Something of the Flintstones about these pieces...
Monday, 19 April 2010
Nendo is a wonderful creative group with designer Oki Sato. They have collected a host of design prizes since coming together in 2002. They were inspired by the lack of rules in European design and returned to Japan to set up Nendo meaning free-form clay. In fact the design prizes were what funded them to start with. There latest commission, the tokyo baby cafe, mixes over and undersize furniture to cater for the perspective of parent and child. Parents can relax here and not worry about their children. Aisles are wide for prams and there are books and toys for children and separate changing and nursing areas.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Takeshi Hosaka provides an all glass walled environment built around the trees dotted about the site. Takeshi was also behind the igloo-esk(!) Hoto Fudo noodle restaurant. we think we will be seeing more of Takeshi in the coming years.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Need to explore your moral standpoint on the world then take a look at Waltz with Bashir released in 2008. It explores the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 through the animated eyes of 2 Israeli IDF veterans. One has nightmares the other no memory at all. Animation that keeps your attention for 90 minutes and evokes an emotional response. Questions go unanswered but perhaps there are no answers.
It is anything but understated. Built on over 120 acres of Sentosa Island it looms over the financial district like an intergalactic space docking station (or how I would imagine one of those to look!). It looks out over the the Marina which is a fresh water reservoir, one sixth the size of the whole of Singapore. The Marina Barrage was completed in 2008 and won the Superior Achievement award from the AAEE last year.
The Riverwalk from Clarke Quay, with its bars and restaurants, past the financial district and into the marina, gives you a real sense of what Singapore is about, money. Making it and using it. It is also a very efficient place to be. Everything is clean and works and is on time. This is a definite bonus for a visitor. It took 20 minutes to travel from downtown and be checked in at Changi for a flight. At Heathrow or JFK it takes 20 minutes to find the right check in desk!
The afternoons become heavy with pregnant storm clouds and high humidity, and as the rain comes down in bouncing drops, awnings extend out over terraces to cover diners and drinkers and umbrellas pop open as the locals will not go out without one. Although it doesn't seem to take more than 20 minutes to walk anywhere on the island, people use cabs because of the heat and there are more cars than there should be. It is an ideal place to set up a mass transit system. Small and compact and densely populated. There shouldn't be any cars clogging the streets.At least all the cabs are regulated so fares are reasonable and you won't get ripped off.
The people seem content here and they are polite, helpful and happy to talk about their island. There is very little crime due to the strict punishment regime. This allows the freedom for children walk on their own and play in the parks scattered around town even after dark. As long as they follow the rules and guidelines laid out on the myriad of signposts. No Spitting, No Gum, No Skateboarding, No Cycling, No Climbing, you get the picture.
Singapore has grand ambitions and as long as you can take the heat and afford it, it is definitely worth a visit, just don't spit on the pavement or your stay may be longer than expected!
Friday, 16 April 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
"Late Night Tales" site. A great series of remixes selected by the likes of Air, Snow Patrol, Groove Armada and Fayboy Slim. The latest release is selected by one of our favourite groups, The Cinematic Orchestra. An audio feast awaits...
Monday, 12 April 2010
We watched this film again last night (over 3yrs old already!), we'd forgotten how lovely it is and we are suckers for anything lovely. Glen and Marketa won an oscar for the song and they won are hearts for just being lovely. Let the birds sing along! If you didn't see it back in 2007, grab the DVD, a bottle of Rioja and a box of chocolates...
Friday, 9 April 2010
Monday, 5 April 2010
Commonwealth Games gathers pace, although you do get the feeling that with the opening ceremony on 3rd October it is all a bit late. The foreman at the main complex, the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, assured me that it would be complete by the end of June. That will leave the wet season (Jun-Oct) to finish the interiors and plugs & drains! I hope the city concentrates on its strong points, the gentle politeness and pride of its people. We fear they are trying to turn New Delhi into a "cool 21st century city" ie. bland, spiritless and lacking heart. Alot of covering up/over, alot of steel and glass and lots & lots of sweat. There are people everywhere; digging holes, digging up kerbs, digging up roads, digging tunnels.... We wish them the best of luck and a fantastic games.
Delhi 3-14 Oct.
Delhi 3-14 Oct.
Friday, 2 April 2010
Museum of Modern Art in New York, a gallery that he first exhibited at in 1947! It is a marvelous setting and there are a number of associated lectures and events. Who needs an excuse to visit New York? But if you do this is as good as any...