Saturday, 15 August 2009

Header #2

I have once again let a week go bye forgetting to bring home the book I scanned these images from so keep an eye out for the credits on these when I finally remember.

Update: Spanish letterforms from 17th & 18th centuries which combine strapwork and strange beasts and fish.

Inspired, but cranky

Once again I am lacking in original content but totally full of ideas. Today was another design festival adventure. This time it was the Young Blood Designer Markets, again at the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. Having attended back in 2006 I was looking forward to a sprawling maze of stalls and creative people selling their creations to other creative people – how things have changed. This time the market was constrained to a small area on level one and you spent your time waddling like a penguin, peering over the shoulders of other penguins while they searched for fish.

Even though the space was small and there weren't as many stalls as I had envisaged they were all great. Fantastic designs, fresh ideas or at least fresh interpretations and friendly designers. All well worth the wait in line to get in.

My highlight was the stall of Bespoke Press (who I have been following the blog of) with their collection of prints. I won't provide a photo of the print I purchased, but will link to it once it has been put up on their website. All I can say is wow, their prints are amazing, the indentation and the attention to detail and quality make it worth every cent.

I may have to make my next project to print from the printing block I picked up in London. From their maybe digitise it to keep the letter forms alive.

With a design market under the belt we added a trip through Omnibus lane to see how it had evolved but sadly the idiots of this world had taken it upon themselves to tear down posters, deface art and destroy the perspex piggy bank (to steal the donations inside) among other things. It was supposed to be a exhibition about real social issues, apparently it was the target of some of the problems it was trying to address.

[inspired again]
To right my mistake from last Sunday we strolled up to Gaffa in Surry Hills to see the Alter Ego exhibition which turned out to be well worth the second trip back. My favourite being the everyday items moulded from soap and accompanied by an anecdote from the artists alter ego's life. There were lots of really interesting pieces, though I would have loved to compare the artists work to that of their alter ego ... what do you think?

Lastly to add another passion to the day we passed Deus ex Machina, who had a swap meet happening in the vacant block across the road. So many beautiful bikes. Definitely inspiration to keep working on my project bikes, despite one being too small and the other very hard to fine a new spoke for. Oh well continue the search.

Finishing the day with ice cream it is time to take the inspiration forward and see if I can get something original on here this week. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

7x7 upload

Tonight was one of the big nights of my Sydney Design festival calendar as the 7x7 Designer talk series was held at the Powerhouse. Run by the DIA it had a great line up of, as the name suggests seven designers of varying fields. And in the cross discipline spirit of the event the logo was created by an architect (Peter at campbellbarnett).

The speakers were:
Peter Black - Architect
John Brown - Product/industrial designer

While the individual talks were great the themes running through the data presented were where the truths lay. The 7x7 theme was future predictions, but the responses were very current and underlined the values every designer aspires to. So here is my interpretation of what I can remember.

1. Create to meet the purpose. It's the old form follows function catch cry revisited. With the current economic climate, sustainability and technological trends the consumer is (or believes themselves to be) very savvy. This means that people are judging not only the design, but also the perceived value or energy consumer in the realisation of the work.

2. Being savvy the consumer is looking for a point of difference, an originality, and an authenticity. With thousands of knock offs showing up in markets the value is in the quality, and this new wave of consumers are more prepared to save for the premium product as it will become a 'badge' they can wear.

3. Desireability and aspirational are two words that are slowly blending in the stew that is my brain, but in our future designer world the icons of the generation like the iPhone will have become common and the savvy shopper is looking for something special, not off the production line and onto the shelf. They want their purchase to have been cared for from concept through to creation or communication, or even the hand over of keys.
Limited editions are a great example of this quality and Ana Maria's example of one hundred handbags selling out in 5 days despite the price tag of $950 demonstrates the pulling power of quality workmanship. Or if you are a bicycle fan the creations at Deus ex Machina, whose off the shelf individualism makes them very desireable.

4. Next in the firing line is personalisation which has the potential to blow a hole in the bow of sustainability. To personalise you blog is easy, to personalise your car/house/aeroplane isn't. To create a balance between what can be done and where the limits lay should be compared to the environmental costs before offering 40,000 varients of a product which performs the same task.

I'm probably blurring the lines between my points so don't get too stressed out as I attempt to make 7 points for 7x7.

5. Along with wanting a high quality, sustainable product, with street cred, in a limited edition and personalised (wtf) they also want it to have a story. Not a once upon a time, but more of a from humble origins, family business grown through interesting times with interesting people sprinkled through their photo albums kind of story. Whether this story extends back a week or a century they want to know what makes the brand tick. Kind of like nudie or moleskin.

6. Following on from wanting a story the consumer then wants to see, feel or experience the authenticity. The same way being able to see the chef doting over your meal makes your experience better, is how your consumer wants you to care for your work. Passion ignites passion. It is this grandure and sense of meticulous attention to detail that has Volkswagen purchasers in Germany travelling to Wolfsburg to collect their new chariot from the towers (image at top of post) at the autostadt. The theatre of the location and the presentation as it is drawn from the column and brought before them is why they didn't opt to take it from the car lot in Halle.

7. Last but not least local materials make sense. With the cost of transport no longer limited to monetary values, but also measures in carbon footprint we need to look closer to home. The less distance it needs to travel the better, environmental credentials need to be thoroughly considered and careful consideration needs to be put into their use as a resource used in efficiently is a resource wasted.

In summary lets just say design should:
be quality; be authentic; have history (or a story); be sustainable; be personalised (whether real or perceived); use materials available locally and made by locals; finally it should be a badge proclaiming what the customer values, because very rarely does a person spend so much time searching for the first 6 criteria if they don't want everyone else to know that they are design savvy (sorry for the repeated use of 'savvy' in this blog, but it was the catch cry of the night).

Now that i have pulled together my seven which I have sharpened or blurred with the filter that is my memory I hope you can use it to justify some of your design decisions for the future.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Creative weekend ... sorta

Over the weekend I attempted to have a very creative weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't. Luckily some other people were and that gave me something to do.
With the Sydney Design Festival on there is something to explore almost everyday. So I headed out to see what I could find.
Thinking globally and acting locally I returned to a familiar haunt at Oh Really to meet up with Sophie one half of the Monday Project and two halves of Avocado and Lemon. Creative dreams, strains and realities crossed the table along with lattes and lime tart. What a great way to spend an afternoon.
Full of inspiration and a need for stimulation I headed down to an exhibition being run by AGDA as part of the festival. Not knowing what to expect I was enjoying the street art in Omnibus lane before I realised that it was the exhibition. I would post some photos from it, but as BenZen said about the studio of Ghost Patrol and Miso ... you could walk around it 4 or 5 times and see something new everytime. The same can be said here, and I would not be doing it justice if I tried. Definitely worth exploring on a sunny day.
To top it off a visit to the Object Gallery to see some more commercial work in the form of super trendy kitchen objects. After which I attempted to visit Gaffa on a Sunday. Not the best idea, so I will have to go back when they are open.
Anyway thats the abridged version of my weekend. Hopefully it gets you out to the Festival (these this don't happen every day) and inspired, maybe even to Young Blood next weekend. Hope to see you there.

Omnibus Lane, Ultimo.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

This little pig

I'm not sure if I am enough of an 'artist' to submit for this exhibition but it does sound like alot of fun. Maybe time for some collaboration on a project. I see a story and pig submission and takers?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Sketching during meetings

Do you know those times when meeting float off into irrelevant conversation that doesn't apply directly to you. Well I start scribbling. Here's the latest.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

header image

My latest header image has been up for a couple of days so I thought I should share the rest of the page it came from. Fantastically detailed lettering and frame. I will summarise some details for it as soon as I remember to bring the book back from the office.
Page 2 coming soon.

Update: The letterforms are from St Cuthbert's Gospels and were written by Aedrith, Bishop of Lindisfarm. They decorated the opening pages and marked the beginnings of new paragraphs. The arch is also taken from the same manuscript and is ornamented with Anglo-Saxon decoration.

another monday ... put on a brave face

Another monday project down. this months theme was brave (courage, not American Indian like my half month sketch), and up until tonight I was working on the idea that the bravest thing you can do is admit defeat. But hey, I'm just not that brave. So here's my submission.

A little bit of magic (courage) can bring out the hero in all of us.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

tiny tiny chairs

As part of Saturday in Design, Chandon and Living Edge in Surry Hills ran a miniature chair competition. They supplied you with a kit containing 2 champagne corks (pre distorted by bottle), 2 foil sleeves, 2 wire cages and 2 caps. The concept was to create a miniature chair from these materials and a little glue if you needed it.

Having been given one of these kits I set about procrastinating right up until the night before. Slammed a few ideas onto paper then set about with scalpel and sandpaper to create my lucky chair. The '7'. I managed to drop it off on the due date and then waited patiently until Saturday to find out how I went.

I was excited to just have a piece in the exhibition, but to find out it had made the cut when it went from over 250 down to 60 was awesome. Apparently I should turn my hand to 3D more often than I do.

In the end I didn't win, but the free beer and a day out was what it was really all about.

For all you miniature chair enthusiasts here is a link to Living Edge's blog with some more photos of the tiny tiny chairs.

for identification