Hella Jongerius’s Unique vases

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius worked with one of the oldest factories in the Netherlands Royal Tichelaar Makkum to create a special collection of 300 unique vases. As the film below says, this is more about “creating than designing”. The decisions made to experiment with glazes and finishing are a happy accident and leave a literal fingerprint on the vase which shows the process of creating from beginning to finish.


Thanks to thefoxisblack.com for this tip-off.

How to tie a tie by Alexander Olch

Alexander Olch is now at colette! (lowercase C)

After his collaboration with Thomas Erber for the Cabinet of Curiosities, colette invites you to rediscover Alexander Olch, American director and designer of ties, bow ties, notebooks, wallets… in a dedicated corner from January 17th to 29th. He furnishes the fraternities of Harvard and the most exclusive clubs in New York who appreciate his chic style.

Image courtesy The Selby

“Obsolescence is a crime” Massimo Vignelli

Planned obsolescence is the design and manufacture of products that are deliberately intended to have a limited useful life. The result is that you are forced into an everlasting cycle of replacing, repurchasing and repeating.

Designer Massimo Vignelli was said “Obsolescence is a crime”. He couldn’t be more right. This is the message that Vitsœ live by and whilst I worked for them during most of my twenties this was something that I firmly believed in. My love of the slow movement grew out of this message and I began to search for a way to live better, with less, that lasts longer.

Whilst many of us look for the latest fashions for clothing and the home, Vitsœ is quietly going about its way selling the same product that it has done for over 50 years. I cannot think of any company that is doing the same thing without messing around with the product. Even my beloved Ercol are playing around with their products.

You can read a lot more of the message at vitsoe.com and treat yourself to the first purchase that will start a lifetime of love for this little furniture company.

Lawrence Weiner, sculptor?

Born in the Bronx, New York on 10 February 1942, Lawrence Weiner is one of the most important living American artists.  A key member of the New York conceptual art world of the 1960s, for over forty years he has been using language as his primary material.  Whilst usually taking the form of large typographic wall texts he refers to his work as sculpture, and the words, phrases and statements he employs are often representative of states or processes grounded in the physical world.

Lawrence has lived in the UK since the 1960s and has almost lost all of his US accent to be replaced by a distinctly smokers tone.

Portrait of Lawrence Weiner, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

I saw the work of Lawrence Weiner at Tate St Ives during a visit two years ago and was really taken by how strong the work seemed and how simple it was that it really brings the viewer into the work and you are not distracted by any other visual noise.

Not to mention that I have always been such a fan of typography in art, and am always drawn towards any work that uses strong type in the work.

Here are some more images of Lawrence’s work…

Lawrence Weiner

Courtesy of locomomo

Lawrence Weiner 'Under The Sun' EACC Castelló

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

Lawrence Weiner 'Under The Sun' EACC Castelló

Courtesy of latitudes-flickr

Arcade Fire living in The Suburbs

I have become a little obsessed with the song ‘We used to wait’ by Arcade Fire, but not for the usual reasons that I like music. No, this is because I’m a sucker for a bit of technology used in creative ways.

Arcade Fire were one of the few campaigns recently produced to ‘show-off’ the clever things that you can do with HTML5 and Google Chrome. The Chrome Experiment in this case was to integrate Google Maps into a music video showing the streets surrounding the location of where you live, work or what-have-you.

Very clever stuff…

Now, watching the video over and over typing in different postcodes, got me slightly hooked on the track itself and after digging around I know find that I’m falling in love with the album artwork. Is this something that happens when you hit 30 years old? Arcade Fire fan-nage?

Whatever it is, I am really enjoying the eight different album covers that they have produced… very Hitchcock’s The Birds and slightly depressing monotony that is living in the Suburbs.




See The Wilderness Downtown music video in Google Chrome

Mark Adams discusses Dieter Rams’s 10 principles of good design

In this video Mark Adams, Managing Director of the iconic shelving system Vitsœ, discusses Dieter Ram’s 10 principles of good design during our visit to Vitsœ headquarters in London. Adams gives us unique insight into the history of the brand and its meaning to Dieter Rams, demonstrating how Rams’ principles relate directly to the style and success of the Vitsœ name.

See the original post at Cool Hunting

Space Bends at B&B Italia

Acclaimed film director Johnny Hardstaff and Wallpaper* have teamed up to create a unique film and installation celebrating Patricia Urquiola’s new Bend-Sofa for B&B Italia – inspired by the design of the sofa itself.

I saw this film in the Chelsea store whilst on the London Design Festival trail and it caught my eye as a very innovative way to launch a sofa. The collaboration is beautifully crafted and made an impression on me as a great way to captivate an audience in a furniture store.

See the video here

Kuntzel+Deygas unveil House of MiCha

Olivier Kuntzel and Florence Deygas, or Kuntzel+Deygas as they are better known, are a duo of artists who live and work in Paris, best known for their characters “Caperino & Peperone” created for cult store colette, Paris… some might say they are best known for the title sequence of the Spielberg film ‘Catch me if You Can‘ but I prefer Cap+Pep. The duo have been working together since 1990 and have become internationally recognised for their work, being commissioned by Blue Chip giants such as American Express, Lacoste and Nokia to name a few.

Catch me if you can title sequence

But recently the duo launched a new website dedicated to a long-lost character that saw an exhibition at colette in 2001 entitled ‘House of MiCha’ where they were showing four different versions of their charming character: sit, walk, round back and Baby Mi-Cha sitting. A limited edition of 50 pieces were produced and never to be seen again… until now.

houseofmicha.com is a new e-boutique dedicated to their collection of four MiCha pet lamps available exclusively for online subscribers in a limited run of 250, signed and numbered by the artists. Watch their specially created film for the launch of the lamps…

Beeb does the Genius of Design

This five-part series, made by the team behind the award-winning series The Genius of Photography, tells the story of design from the Industrial Revolution through 20s modernism, the swinging 60s, the designer 80s and up to the present day. Features interviews with star designers like Philippe Starck and creatives from Apple and Ford; as well as design fans like Stephen Fry and last but not least Dieter Rams.

Okay, I can’t help it.  40 hours a week is spent promoting Dieter Rams and his wonderful products so when I knew that this TV series was coming along I was in the perfect position to write about it.

The first of five weekly episodes airs on Friday 7 May 2010 at 7pm. on BBC2.

Should you wish to hear more, the series producer, Tim Kirby, will be examining the inspiration behind the series alongside its production and measured approach to the subject of design. Register for your ticket at the latest ‘Vitsœ talks’.

You can buy the DVD at the bbcshop.com.

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep: Boursier-Mougenot at Barbcian

“What I want to establish in my works is a relationship to life, to motion and to the physical presence, rather than the chance character inherent in the phenomena or situations that I use as sources of sonic activity.”

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, March 2010


A flock of Zebra finches greeted me as I entered in to the Barbican’s Curve gallery. There are an equal number of male and female zebra finches in the gallery, I later read, which explained the different colours of birds.

As I walked around the space, the birds flew about landing on Les Paul guitars, often on the strings plucking the strings with their claws. One bird was busy making a nest of grass inside the bottom of the guitar head and warned me off with some stern cheeping.

Another collection of birds were stood in an up-turned cymbals filled with water, and another bird was pecking away at another cymbal filled with food.

I am not usually amazed and amused by art installations, but this really captured my attention, watching what they would do next. Hoping that one bird would get excited on top of the guitar enough to make some fantastic sounds.


Closing on 23 May 2010, if you can make it along I would recommend doing so. Get there early as the queue can build up quickly.

The Barbican website has more information: barbican.org.uk

The Wire magazine interviewed Boursier-Mougenot and also produced a video of their visit.

The films of Erwin Blumenfeld

I was kindly invited to The Gentlewoman Editor-in-chief, Penny Martin’s inaugural lecture at the London College of Fashion on Wednesday which was a fascinating talk on the future of fashion imagery looking mostly at some of the work produced at SHOWstudio whilst Penny was Editor.

The project that most stood out to me was the films of Erwin Blumenfeld – a project SHOWstudio created in 2006.

SHOWstudio writes: “Drawing upon the full archive of Erwin Blumenfeld’s unseen film work, film-maker Adam Mufti and sound designer Olivier Alary have collaborated with SHOWstudio to create three, exclusive edits that focus on three discrete areas of Blumenfeld’s visionary motion image-making: Advertising & Layout, Surrealism & Process and Abstraction & Distortion.”

Penny discussed that this work was produced before television or film advertising had been conceived – it was Blumenfeld’s concept that advertising could move from just being in print and into moving pictures and this video is a experiment in how this might look.

My favourite printmaker: Angie Lewin

Angie Lewin, from St Jude’s Gallery in North Norfolk has already been mentioned before at ATELIER TALLY, but I couldn’t resist updating ATELIER TV with some more on this wonderful printmaker.

Her work reminds me of Lucienne Day, the wife of furniture designer Robin Day. Lucienne and Robin pioneered a new world for Britain and are often remembered most for the Festival of Britain in 1951 where they inspired so many future designers. Margaret Howell and Angie Lewin are the most obvious to me, but I do consider them closely linked to British furniture manufacturers Ercol from the same period.

Back to Angie, her work is available online and is a perfect gift for lovers of 1950s British design.


‘Eames on film’ – Charles & Ray talk about their designs

The world famous designers, Charles & Ray Eames debut their Lounge Chair in 1956 on NBC…

Charles & Ray Eames discuss a number of their design masterpieces including their then new Eames Lounge Chair, on the Arlene Francis “Home” show broadcast on the NBC television network in 1956.

Although at times quite patronising to Ray herself, the video offers an exceptional view of the Eames’ philosophies and approaches to design. It’s well worth a look.


The legendary design team Charles & Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process..

Wallpaper* Chair Arch at V&A

My friends at Wallpaper* produced a chair arch with Ercol for the 2009 London Design Festival. Being a fan of both of these companies, I am pleased that they have worked together to produce this. Staged at another great place, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the chair arch was a highlight of the festival.

Wallpaper* write “we felt Britain deserved a pat on the back this year for services to design, which have surged of late, both in interest and success on a global scale, so we set about commissioning one of London’s most exciting resident designers (well versed in the art of chairs) to build an arch using chairs from one of Britain’s most historic manufacturers. Martino Gamper was the man, Ercol the manufacturer and together, with construction expertise from engineers Atelier One, the contemporary arch took shape.”


Watch the guardian.co.uk film about the Wallpaper* Chair Arch

Ercol chair arch.png

Canada Dry, since 1904

In 1890, a pharmacist and chemist named John J. McLaughlin opened a small plant in Toronto, Canada, to manufacture soda water. He sold the soda water to drugstores as a mixer for fruit juices and flavored extracts. Over 100 years later and Canada Dry is still going strong.

From the commercials in the 60s through the Miami Vice style commercials in the 80s through to the current advertising campaigns, Canada Dry has always pitched itself as the ‘adult soft drink’.

Duke University have some fantastic videos to watch, for free, on iTunes store. Watch the videos here.