Friday, September 9th, 2016
Have you ever heard of the London Design Biennale? It’s taking place right now at Somerset House in London until 27th September 2016. I visited the exhibition before it opened its doors and I could not wait to tell you all about it. At the exhibition, 39 countries represent their design ideas of Utopia. That’s a huge challenge in my opinion and I was fascinated by what each country came up with.
I haven’t really thought about it but I will reveal my thoughts at the end of this blog post. First, I want to tell you a little bit about what the different countries thought Utopia means. Bear in mind, that it’s an exhibition so there’s always an element of interpretation and that’s exactly what I’ve done. A few of the artists and presenters introduced me to their concepts but the rest is what I saw and felt when entering a room.
Some of the countries, such as Indonesia, Russia, and India, saw Utopia as a whole of human history. History has influenced how people perceive design and also how to predict the future. Design is a powerful element of telling a story, from objects to propaganda posters.
Other countries, such as Germany, Israel, and Taiwan, make Utopia an experience of senses. It’s what your eyes see, your skin feels and your ears hear. All this can be influenced by design. It puts each human being in their own world of Utopia.
Utopia was closer to real life for some of the countries at the London Design Biennale. Countries such as Australia, UAE, and Saudi Arabia particularly looked at problems the world has with water and by that, I mean water pollution and water scarcity. Design can help in many ways, either to express a problem or even to solve one.
NATURE VS. CITY
It was interesting to see that some of the countries saw Utopia as a harmonious togetherness of an advanced city and nature. China was very significant in showing the merge as well as Norway.
I loved the idea of Utopia as a collaboration. Utopia would not be possible without human beings helping each other and creating new things. I remember countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, and Italy showcasing art and design of selected designers.
I don’t know exactly how to describe this idea of Utopia but I have seen it “in” Austria, Japan, and Turkey. The idea of Utopia is highly individual with an open end. I can probably just describe it by telling you what each country created. Austria designed a sea of lamps which were very sensitive. If you touched one lamp the light switched itself off and on and also influenced the functionality of the other lights. Utopia represented the influence and environment of things and people. Do ask the artist when you’re there, I really liked his explanation but it’s really difficult to re-capture his thoughts. Japan on the other side was represented by an artist who saw everyday objects in a different light; out of the expected. Last but not least, Turkey created a machine where you can add a wish. You can follow the wish for a bit until it disappears somewhere in the building.
My favourite 5 countries and their idea of Utopia
I also liked Portugal, Germany, and Taiwan. I’m going back next week to fully explore Utopia in Taiwan, where I will discover the country through the sense of taste, I hope.
So, what do I think about Utopia and design?
I think it would be something you haven’t seen or experienced before. It’s an idea of something which can never exist, though. As soon as it exists it’s not Utopia anymore. I would actually compare it to a secret. As soon as the secret is revealed it’s not a secret anymore. If I had to exhibit at the London Design Biennale you probably would find a room with nothing. Or something you can see when you’re far away and when you come closer it’s gone.
Let me know what you think of Utopia and if you had the chance to visit the exhibition!
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
I love interviews and getting to know people behind their ideas, projects or businesses. I went to Secret 7” twice in the last two years and always thought it’s such an amazing idea. I was lucky that my boyfriend knew the founder of Secret 7” so I asked Kevin a few questions.
Let me know if you have heard of Secret 7” before. I can’t wait to see the next “exhibition”. I actually wanted to take part this year but then time was flying; you probably know what I mean. Count me in for next year, though. Promised!
And now the interview!
1. Can you briefly describe what Secret 7” is & how the idea was born?
Since 2012 Secret 7″ has been combining music and art for good causes. Each year we take 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and press each one 100 times to 7″ vinyl. We then invite creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style for every 7″. The resulting 700 sleeves are for exhibition and then sold for £50 apiece. You don’t know who created the sleeve, or which song it’s for until you have parted with your cash – the secret lies within. To date, we’ve raised over £170,000 for charities.
The idea came about while I was working at Universal Music. The staff was challenged to come forward with fundraising ideas and inspired by the RCA postcard sale, Secret 7″ was my response.
2.What has been your greatest success with Secret 7” so far?
I’d say successfully developing it year after year. The core concept of the show has stayed the same but we’ve grown into a month-long exhibition with a programme of events and various bonus material. This year we had sleeve making workshops with artists, talks, hosted a sleepover, gave the public the chance to record live to vinyl at the exhibition, reanimated a vintage jukebox and commissioned seven unique turntables with Thierry Noir and Rega. We’re a small team of two (see last photo), and when I step back and look what we output each year it’s incredible.
3. What has been your most favourite sleeve of the past 5 years?
That’s a really tough question. I’ve 3,500 to choose from now! I’ll reference two sleeves, one by Non-Format (who sealed the record inside a concrete block) and the other Boneface, both for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer last year. They are equally brilliant in their execution and yet worlds apart, I think they show how wonderfully different two people can interpret a track through the project.
4. How long does it take you to organise such a big event?
A lot of hours! We’ll almost start picking up conversations with partners and venues for the following year as soon as one show ends. It gets really hectic and sleep deprived from December till May for the two of us.
5. If you don’t organise the Secret 7” show what do you do?
Now that 2016’s show has come to a close we’re exploring more projects as Goodness, using our skills and network across music/art to deliver meaningful campaigns.
6. Last but least, how do you stay creative?
Good question. If I’m looking for inspiration I’ll get out in the world – walks, holidays or a drive. If I can’t go far and need a clear mind I’ll have a shower. At peak madness bringing Secret 7″ together, I’ll shower three or four times in a day.
I’ll update you as soon as I know when the next Secret 7” show starts again.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
What do you think about workshops? A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend the Viking Arty Party, a blogger meetup where we could test some arty skills such as origami, block printing, and calligraphy. I’ve never seen so many creative bloggers in one place. It was great meeting some like-minded souls. A couple of months ago I’ve attended my first workshop. It was all about collaging in different forms. I really loved it. So I was very excited to attend the Viking Arty Party and I want to tell you a little bit more about the different workshops. Are you ready?
First stop was the Origami workshop with Samuel from MindFOLDness. You’ll probably wonder but origami wouldn’t be my first workshop choice although it’s the closest to Found Some Paper. Anyway, I totally changed my mind. It’s wonderful! First of all, we got a little introduction to what origami means and where it’s used. Samuel was so good in explaining the meaning of origami and he impressed us with stories of the folding craft in different areas such as medicine and the space industry. If you want to know more about origami and mindfulness his book will help. Finally, we folded a bird ourselves. It’s quite therapeutic and relaxing, to be honest. Samuel told us to give this bird to a stranger as an act of kindness. What a wonderful idea, don’t you think?! Have you ever tried origami?
Second on the list was block printing. It’s actually easier than you think. You don’t need a lot of materials. Jane from Tea & Crafting introduced us to the art of block printing. All we needed was a thin sponge, a piece of plastic to stick our sponge shape on and some paint. I’m a big fan of triangles and diamonds so I tried to combine these two and block printed a Viking folder with my purple shapes. I’d love to show it to you but I was too concentrated in the workshop I forgot to take a picture. What shape would you choose? Have you ever tried block printing?
Last but not least, we had some time to dive into calligraphy. I almost missed it because I had to attend a friend’s birthday party but then I decided to stay half an hour longer to at least try it. And it was so worth it. Suzie from À L’aise came super prepared. I was quite impressed how structured her workshop was. She printed some beautiful templates for us to use and practice with. After a short introduction, we started immediately. It was so much fun! I didn’t have time to do the whole alphabet but we could keep the ink and the pen so I still need to practice more. If I have to compare calligraphy to something it would be the language French. Not sure if you can relate to this comparison. It’s just beautiful. If you have ever tried calligraphy it would be amazing if you share it with me on Twitter.
And here’s me very concentrated taking photographs (this photo was taken by Search Laboratory). When I was a child I always put out my tongue when I was being creative. Guess nothing has changed much hahaha
See you at a workshop in London soon?
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Together, we created our own little tile designs in a morning workshop. Head to my Twitter account to see what I’ve made. We also had an interesting introduction to the designs of Bisazza. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about tiles but after I’ve visited the showroom my opinion completely changed. After all, we have at least two rooms with tiles in our house: the bathroom and the kitchen. So much potential! I will never look at these two rooms in the same way again and yes, I feel that my bathroom and the kitchen look fairly boring after I’ve discovered Bisazza’s dream world of tiles.
Bisazza works together with artist teams like the Studio Job and Tom Dixon, who I’ve also discovered recently and with whom I fell deeply in love with… ehm, I mean with his design. Of course, Bisazza is an extravagant brand and it’s not cheap. Therefore, I recommend start saving now so when you buy your own house you won’t be able to go with any lower than these tiles after reading my blog post. Promised!
I’m definitely planning on having a pool in my house. Tiles sorted! What would you create in your bathroom or kitchen?
I really like the gold and white tiles at the entrance of the Bisazza showroom. It looks very elegant.
Bisazza has so many inspirations to choose from; every colour theme you can imagine as well as the most beautiful artworks.
This is us creating our own tile designs. The Bisazza team was absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed getting creative myself.
Just look at the details of the mosaic flowers. They’re not only a place where you buy tiles, it’s a place of inspiration and true art.
Sunday, May 29th, 2016
This year I finally made it to the Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 again. I wanted to go every year but because I worked in a full-time job which wasn’t design related I struggled to convince my employer to let me visit the festival. Well, this year I’m my own boss and I decided to spend a day at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016.
I started with a press breakfast on Tuesday where we were shown around the streets to get an overview of all the shows in Clerkenwell. There was so much to see! Then I met up with a group of design bloggers who were invited by We Blog Design to visit some selected designers and talk about their new collections.
I thought I mention here the other design bloggers if you fancy following them.
So where have I been & what have I discovered? We started our tour at Arper, an Italian design company with a Scandinavian touch, creating furniture for offices and homes. It was great to hear a little bit about the story behind the company. It only exists for a bit longer than a decade but is doing really well. Then we went to Clerkenwell’s St James Church (I had no idea it’s so much more than a church) and this was the highlight of the tour, in my opinion. Tom Dixon’s work is just stunning. He has chosen an amazing venue to showcase his work (see last picture below; he created the chandelier which stays there forever as far as I know). Have a look at Twitter to see the great installation HakFolly by Hakwood & FleaFolly Architects. The tour was followed by a visit at Vitra Showroom, the Sensorium Installation and the Sto Werkstatt. Last stop: The House of Detention. I met the designer of Off The Rails Design and I can’t wait to introduce her properly on my blog soon.
Phew! So many designers and places to discover. It was great! Thanks to We Blog Design for organising a little tour for us!
Have you been to Clerkenwell Design Week this year?
Saturday, December 5th, 2015
Two weeks ago I found Christmas at Paperchase. It was the perfect start into my favourite season of the year. I was invited to visit Paperchase’ special blogger event, introducing their collection for the new year. It was a bit like fashion week, you know, when you see all the stuff which will be only released next year.
I felt overwhelmed and immediately fell in love with their copper collection. It was also great to get a little glimpse behind the scenes when one of their designers talked us through their processes of choosing the patterns for next year’s occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Easter. I had a little bit the feeling it must be great to be a designer at Paperchase. They work together with artists as well as experiment with their own patterns. There’s so much creativity involved.
But the best part was still to come. Paperchase gave us the opportunity to decorate our own Christmas trees with items from the shop. I really wanted to have the black tree because it looks so elegant and I immediately imagined something copper ‘coloured’ with it (yes, I’m quite obsessed with copper – have you seen my copper Christmas wreath?!). Luckily I found some very beautiful and quite unique fairy lights in copper. Since I’m an aspiring minimalist there wasn’t much I wanted to include so I just added a few white and copper glitter balls and a reindeer. Well, and two unicorns on the top which you can’t see in the photos here I’m afraid.
After I decorated my black Christmas tree we continued crafting with Laura from Things by Laura. We made beautiful paper pinwheels which are now hanging in my flat everywhere. I know where to go when it comes to my wedding decoration. Found Some Paper definitely needs some paper, right?!
It was a very well-organised blogger event and I couldn’t stop looking at all the amazing stuff they had for Christmas. It’s a perfect place to treat yourself creatively but also to get an inspiring gift for Christmas. I have found Christmas at Paperchase, have you?
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
One week after our sketchbook event we hosted another awesome creative networking event, this time at the Old Paradise Yard in London. We invited four bloggers and creatives to the event who shared their insights on blogging and social media as well as being active as a creative person. Let me introduce you to our panelists from that day because it’s so worth checking out their blogs.
I love Julia’s blog. It’s mainly a fashion blog but then it’s so much more as well. Julia discovered her love for photography when she started her blog and ever since evolves in her passion. I could have listened to Julia for hours – I kind of did when I met her before the event and then at the creative networking event itself – because her passion about blogging, photography and social media is endless. She gave me and the participants of the event a lot to think about, how we can improve our blogs and how we can do what we love.
I was very happy that Teri joined us that night. Her blog The Lovely Drawer is not only lovely it is amazing. Her content is quite niche compared to all the fashion, beauty and food bloggers out there. On top of that she manages to bring some personal stories into her content which makes you love her even more. I was curious to know how she manages such a successful blog and her creative business at the same time.
A Little Bit Of Almost Everything is Anna’s blog and you can probably guess what kind of content she publishes there. Thanks to her blog, she got discovered by Marcroy and is now an author of People of Print – “created as a library of illustrators, designers and printers both creatively and commercially with the purpose of educating and inspiring”. I was fascinated by Anna’s story and how she found a way to spread her love of design online and offline.
Jasper is a graphic designer and art director who started an online magazine / blog called Justified which quickly turned into a quarterly print magazine. Jasper has many talents and uses these to build his unique portfolio. It was interesting to get his opinion on how important it is to have an online presence nowadays.
Here are the top three things I took away from that evening:
The event was a real success! People felt comfortable and participated in the Q&A with the bloggers and creatives. The evening was rounded up by a speed networking session where people could get to know one another. I think I was a bit rubbish moving people around every five minutes but I think they had some awesome conversations with the panelists and the other guests.
Let me know if you’re interested in more events like these because I might organise more with ToandTO in the next year.
Sunday, November 8th, 2015
On Wednesday, we hosted our first ToandTO event – since I joined in August – at Hackney Down Studios in East London. Pam and Smart did a fantastic job setting up an exhibition like room with a few tables in the middle for our sketchbook drawings and speed networking session.
The atmosphere was exactly what we had in mind: a cosy room where people can mingle and enjoy the sketchbook exhibition. It was also all about the little details at the event. When people arrived they had the chance to look at the 16 different sketchbooks which were presented on shelves, Pam and Smart extra built for this event. Each sketchbook was quite unique and I almost got lost in so much talent. This definitely motivated me to start a sketchbook myself (it’s on my New Year’s resolutions list already)!
As you can see in the pictures below we collaborated with Winostudio to create bespoke new sketchbooks for the participants. These were later used to draw each other. We’re going to scan the results and put them on the ToandTO website (link to follow). Time was flying on that evening because there was so much happening and so many people to get to know. We had free drinks for everyone and the lovely Lena who is a chef and psychology student made some delicious snacks.
Why I loved this event so much? I loved meeting people through the act of being creative. I’ve been to many networking events and I really enjoyed them. But I never had the opportunity to be creative myself at these events and to meet so many people I know are interested in art and design. The speed networking session is an element we want to include in all our ToandTO events by the way. I can’t wait to host our second sketchbook event next year.
A big thank you to our supporters who made the event special:
Gary Lyon (candles) – pssst… win a candle on my blog here
Soda Folk (soft drinks)
Five Points Brewery (beer)
Lena’s Mood Food Journal (catering)
Join us at the next creative networking event on Wednesday, 11th November 2015. It’s going to be an evening full of inspiration. It gives you the opportunity to meet new like-minded people as well.
Have you ever been to a similar event? I’d be interested in your experiences.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015
As you already know, I started organising creative networking events with ToandTO – which stands for Today and Tomorrow. After two busy months, we (say hello to Pam) finally opened up tickets for the first event: Sketchbooks Are Dead – Sketchbook Exhibition & Interactive Life Drawing.
It’s a very special event where you can explore the art of sketchbooks. The evening will be very cosy with some wonderful sponsors who make sure that you’ll leave this networking event with an amazing feeling of creativity. I don’t want to reveal too much but I think there are involved some bubbles, delicious snacks, a brand new sketchbook, pens, and a lot of like-minded people to meet. I’m a big fan of speed networking which should be part of each ToandTO event so we make sure you get the most out of our events.
If you’re interested in joining us on the 28th of October 2015 at the fantastic Hackney Downs Studios at 6:30 pm, sign up below. I’m looking forward to meeting you (or maybe seeing you again?)!
There is another brilliant event coming up in November, too. You might have read about the Bloggers Picnic I organised earlier this summer. We also created a cool video for the event. I love meeting new bloggers and catching up with familiar faces so therefore I’m proud to present to you a new kind of event with ToandTO: Creative Networking – Creative Bloggers meet Creative Freelancers.
The idea is to connect both for various reasons. A lot of creative freelancers, e.g. photographers, web designers, make-up artists, and so on, are thinking about starting a blog to boost their business and get the awareness they deserve but struggle to make it happen. Vice versa, there are bloggers out there who started a blog first and are now ready to make a living from freelancing. We thought both parties would benefit from each others’ knowledge and experience that we decided to organise a networking event for them.
Apart from our speed networking session where everyone gets the chance to meet one another, we also invited two bloggers and two creatives to talk about their experience and to give you tips on how to get started. As always, we want to create an absolute comfortable environment for you so expect a unique and unforgettable event with drinks and snacks and that extra bit.
If you’re interested in joining us on the 11th November 2015 at the wonderful Old Paradise Yard at 6:30 pm, sign up below.
Will you join us?
Monday, October 19th, 2015
How do you get to know a holiday destination? Yes, by flying over there and having the best time of your life. To give you a glimpse of what the destination Tenerife feels like Thomas Cook Airlines got creative and invited all sorts of bloggers to their evening full of creativity.
You probably wonder what creativity has to do with Tenerife but that’s why you have me. I’m going to tell you why this evening was very special and why I’m convinced Tenerife is a wonderful place to travel to.
The focus of the evening was the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife which takes place every year around February and is the second most popular festival in the world after Rio. Did you know that? Yes, it’s all about partying, having fun and exploring the different cities in Tenerife. But a carnival that size also requires some serious creativity. That sounds so contradicting. Let’s scrap the seriousness!
So what was so creative that night in London and could you adapt it to your next holiday in Tenerife?
You can see it was such an inspiring evening. If Tenerife is just half as much fun as the evening was, there is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try. Or have you been already?
Wouldn’t you agree that I could be the ideal festival advocate in Tenerife next year? *insertoddsmile*
PS: Photos were taken by the great photographer of the event whose name I don’t know. I call him Mr. Photographer. His pictures were much better than mine.