woensdag 31 oktober 2012

Our Garden Birds

Since I've been working with my good work-friend Peter Graatsma on a trend lecture about identity according to birds, birds are everywhere. Funny to see how your focus in work can also focus everything you see. The fun, the beauty, the dangers that threaten them, the colours, what's written about them... endless inspiration. Peter gave me this lovely book by artist Matt Sewell.

Let me quote what he wrote about one of my favourite birds; the Blackbird:
"A healthy addition to any garden and a resident in most. Just by listening to the Blackbird's call, you can tell what's going on out there: whatever is happening he likes to sing about it. Danger, happiness and general comings and goings are all reported on, and of course he welcomes the sun every morning. The Blackbird sings with compassion, clarity and heart..... "

vrijdag 26 oktober 2012

Unless You Remove

Last Tuesday I went to the Graduation Show of the Design Academy during Dutch Design Week. Always good to go there, very inspiring. It's great having taught there at the then-called master Man and Humanity, and I might teach there again.
From all the projects I've seen many were good, some were brilliant, some were unnecessary and some keep popping up in my mind. Here's one of the stars.
Luis Gomez Barquin. He graduated from the master Social Design. His project Unless You Remove is poetical, a sign of the times as well as a proof of the past.
Ancient architecture was purely for protection. Against weather, animals or human enemies. It was done by removing soil or excavating rock. Ancient garments were also made by removing. A fleece from a sheep, a bark from a tree. These were remade. All this needed focus and dedication.
Today's dangers and lifestyle are more complex, so products as well as garments are way beyond the ancient pieces. But we lost the skill of removal. We constantly add. That's also metaphoric and reflects our lives which are reigned by consumerism, speed and distraction.
But we can learn, and remove. Focus again, reflect, commit.
That's why Luis designed items that will become ours by removing elements. Objects that ask for an action, he calls them.
I fell in love with the idea, for it's part of the questions we have to ask ourselves: what do we really need, what can go? I fell in love with the objects as well.

the blanket is too thick to wrap yourself comfortably unless....

the chair is uncomfortable to sit on unless..........

woensdag 17 oktober 2012

Campaign for Wool I

Raised by Prince Charles, spreading over the fashion and design world: the campaign for wool. Wool has a traditional place in our daily lives since centuries. Wool is beautiful, wool is warm, wool is natural and organic, wool is recyclable, wool is fabulous. Wool however is threatened. Farmers hardly get any money for the fleeces they sheared from their flock and often just destroy the wool. Some wool, like merino, is often taken from the sheep in a cruel, painful way. So it's time for a change!
We must emphasize the beauty and heritage of wool. And make a new future for wool. That's why I've joined the campaign for wool.
It's obvious that wool is my favourite material for my handmade designs. On sale at Options, April&May and Royal Tichelaar in The Netherlands, and Deshima in Tokyo.
From 6 till 11 November it's woolweek. Many events, constantly updated via facebook.

donderdag 11 oktober 2012

The Girl Effect

Despite the fact that not all twelve-year-old girls in poverty suffer this kind of life it's important to raise awareness for those who do. So have a look at this short, graphic film. Really well made and the reality of it makes you shiver.

zondag 7 oktober 2012

Little Sun

I've bought one when in Tate Modern last week. What a wonderful object, with an amazingly strong light for such a smally!
Great project, brilliant artist, Olafur Eliasson.
Have a look at little sun

dinsdag 2 oktober 2012

Buy Nothing New

October has just started and there's a very good initiative (originally from Australia) with a lovely website. Easy to do: just buy nothing new. First look at what we have; do we really need anything now and why? Closets, cupboards, shelves, sheds, attics and basements are usually full with stuff and clothes. There might be items that we forgot about. Why not polish them and re-use? Repair them and re-use? Customise them and re-use?
Or borrow, if we know someone who owns what we need. There are more online communities such as peerby on which we can connect and borrow or lend. A drill, a tent, a workmate. Anything.
I think it's good to reflect on everything we have, and sometimes just feel good not to buy. We have a lot, you know. Too much often. Live good, consume less, reduce .