I'm bringing out a book for 2012

Guess where Mikkel Vang and I are at the moment? Yes just another day photographing the book and yes I'm still hiding my banged up face. Three locations to shoot today and then on the Eurostar to London.

I'm bringing out a book for 2012

Antwerp over and out... Mikkel and I have finished photographing our locations in Antwerp. I have never been there before but wow what a beautiful city. I would love to come back here. 

However, I did have a little accident in Antwerp. Memories me stumbling in the middle of the street, hands in pockets, face first on the road. Ouch... Result, black eye, grazed face, massive swollen lips. Not my best look. This is me in one of our cool Antwerp homes hiding my face. I can't show you because it will gross you out. It is pretty hard going into a homeowners house with this banged up face.

I'm bringing out a book for 2012

Mikkel Vang and I are touring Amsterdam at the moment for the book. This is what we do when the owners of the home duck out for a couple of hours.

I'm bringing out a book for 2012

An exclusive SnOOp behind the scenes of Mikkel Vang photographing on our first day at our first location in Copenhagen for our new book being launched for Christmas 2012.

Heineken Open Design Explorations Flies SnOOp to Tokyo

A couple of weeks ago I got to speak at my first Pecha Kuchu in Sydney, Australia. I was the last to speak which meant with no dinner, two beers mixed with nerves and alcohol I was slightly tipsy... Um it wasn't my proudest moment. But then I thought about the space, Super Deluxe where Pechu Kuchu originated in Tokyo.  Co-founder, Mark Dytham, from the TED like talks gave me a personal tour when I was in Tokyo for the  Heineken Open Design Explorations. The interiors were temporary, fun and had an easy going feel. So me having a good time, being a little tipsy and making people laugh suited the environment the talks begun.
 From the street front we walked down a kitch wallpaper stairwell
 The warehouse-style-club has a derelict shop feel about it but the folk inside are sporting avant-gard outfits.
 The space is used for dancing and thinking
Young local video artists had a craft bag of goodies they put under a camera and used a video mixer to create inspiring images projected onto the wall
 One of the cool projections created

 Mark blowing into ceramic bird that tweets a beautiful sound
 This is me standing in front of the projected ceramic bird. I'm wearing a Cos shirt my new fave high-street fashion brand
Avant Garde womens toilets are not quiet how I would describe them but was worth a visit
 To find the smiley face toilet rolls.
 The sinks were salvaged from an old school. Check out those taps. 
If you go to Tokyo make sure you go and visit Super Deluxe. It was my favourite club visit.

Heineken Open Design Explorations Flies SnOOp to Tokyo

Before we met up with the chosen Tokyo Designers for the Heineken Open Design Explorations Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture co-founder of PechaKucha and partner for the project shouted myself Robin from Iris Communications and Palo from Cool Hunting dinner in a top secret sushi restaurant only known to locals. I was sworn to secrecy I couldn't reveal the name. It's where all the A-list Tokyo folk go to eat.
Mark is keeping up-to-the minute with the Pechu Kuchu nights going on around the world.
If you have been a long standing SnOOper you will know Japanese dinnerware is my love and passion
Mixing old traditions, crafts and skills with new ideas, vision and technology is the future of good, timeless design.
Tonight I'm going to be one of the presenters at Pechu Kuchu in Sydney Hyde Park at 7.30pm . You can get your tickets here

Heineken Open Design Explorations Flies SnOOp to Tokyo

I had serious bag envy over this hybrid Hermes look-a-like when I was heading to the hotel to have a little nap before dinner and we headed off at 11pm for our Tokyo nightclub Heineken Open Design Explorations

Heineken Open Design Explorations Flies SnOOp to Tokyo

When I was offered to go to Tokyo for the Heineken Open Design Explorations I jumped at the chance to go. I was told we would fly to Tokyo and on the same evening we would explore 5 night clubs in one night. OMG! More about this later in the  week. To start off the trip we flew Air France Business Class.
 I was a little bummed by the toiletries bag provided by Air France. Compared to Virgin and BA it lacked in generosity.  I thought the earplugs provided were to help block out nearby snorers but it turned out the electronic chairs were louder than the jet engines. 
The colour palette and graphics had a real seventies chic about them
The French are masters in elegance when it comes to  design.  The storage is understated but reeks of sophistication
 What can I say a ten hour flight gets to all of us. And there really isn't anything more delightful than a hot towel on your face during a long haul flight.
What was really fabulous about Air France was their entertainment system. As a passenger you can opt to watch the plane take off and land.
 But the best part was the social media channel where you can chat to other passengers on the plane. I made friends with Robin and Andy.
I adore the blocked blue on the uniforms of the Tokyo airport workers. LOVE.

My Love for Grandiflora Sydney

A week back on the island of convicts and I'm already stealing from the poshest flower shop in Sydney :-)

DIY candleholders

You can watch us here

Achille Castiglioni Taccia Table Lamp from Flos Makeover

I can't decide if I should have the shade sitting up or down? What do you think I should do? 

As you know I have just moved back to Australia and my husband and belongings are all still in the UK waiting for visa's to come through. I thought I could live from a suitcase until my loved one and loved possessions arrived... But not possible. The other day I stumbled upon a fabulous vintage store in Sydney and found a gorgeous avocado coloured light. You know when your heart races really fast when you see something you love and you know you must have well this "big fat green baby"had to be mine. 

Within 24 hours the light was shattered on my bedroom floor by my flatmates friends. I will not bore you with the details. All I can say is I was heartbroken. To soften the blow my adorable flatmate has loaned me his Achille Castiglioni Taccia Table lamp from Flos so I can still enjoy the wonderful curvacious kinda survived lampshade. I had it sitting in a traditional manner but then talented Australian designer friend Charles Wilson turned the shade upside-down and made it look like a blooming freesia. So now I have the delightful dilemma of choosing what way to sit the shade.

Messing Around

Industrial Revolution 2.0: Murray Moss London Design Festival at V&A

Wowza! The future is here... And it is going viral... 3D printing have you heard about it? To emphasize the 'viral' nature of this Revolution, New York gallerist and curator Murray Moss has commissioned eight designs from the worlds of fashion and furnishings all sponsored and produced by Materialise. Murray gave me a private tour around the London's V&A museum yesterday showing off his eye-opening, cutting edge exhibition Industrial Revolution 2.0: How the Material World Will Newly Materialise. We started in the Hintze Sculpture Galleries in front of "Bust of Lady Belhaven, 1827', re-imagined with a hat by Stephen Jones. Stephen Jones worked from a 3D scan of the 1827 carved marble bust of a demure Lady Belhaven located on the plinth next to this new sculpture. Stephen manipulated the scanned data of the original bust and 're-designed' the sculpture by adorning her with a remarkable hat. The new bust was then printed by Belgium company Materialise. "I want to start a discussion now while it is peaceful about this technology which is quickly becoming ubiquitous and is permeating, simultaneously, all areas of the contemporary material world, including fashion and domestic furnishings, as well as transportation, medicine and architecture," says Murray. 
Murray explained he had every right to be in this historic building with a very controversial process such as 3D printing  next to works that have been laboured over for months and years by artists, craftsman and designers whose work sits within the museums walls. Why? Hidden in the depths of the corridors of the V&A rests a plaque titled, 'The Arts of Industry As Applied To War' reads,  "The central intention of the Museum's collections was to improve the quality of the "industrial arts" - designed and manufactured objects - in Britain, by placing the finest historical and contemporary examples before the public".  Well you couldn't get more contemporary examples. 
This amazing dress designed by Iris van Herpen, from the Netherlands was 3D printed nylon built through Additive manufacturing, which allowed for this 'sculpted' ensemble to be produced without an seams - no sewing machine or handwork was employed. "I wanted to go back to the meaning of couture 'custom built for the torso'.  Soon our bodies will be scanned and a suit or dress will print out'", explains Murray.  
"There will be no shipping overheads because designers will simply send their new designs by USB to shops where they will print out the latest collections".  Murray discussed how printing is a green process and will lower carbon emissions. Will it? To be honest I find it a little unsettling. I question if we are able to print what ever we want when ever we want will we not end up with a lot more waste in our landfills? At the moment we can print concrete, glass nylon and resin.  
'We are at a tipping point in history where profound and radical changes in how we make things will revolutionise our lives,’ Murray says.  'These are not “futuristic” objects but everyday items – lamps, chairs, tables, shoes, hats – produced today but signalling tomorrow’s processes.’ It is the first time any of these works has been exhibited in Britain and, in most cases, anywhere in the world". The fact is SnOOper's we are on the brink of a new Industrial Revolution and now is the time to get our heads around it. "When I had my 62nd birthday I decided I didn't need to understand the process of a design to exhibit it. This new attitude has been the most liberating in my life", says Moss. 

Ron Arad - London Studio

SnOOper's I feel like I have let you down today. I had the amazing invitation to have a private tour with some London Design Festival VIP's today.... BUT I arrived 20mins late. This meant I couldn't introduce myself to Ron and the people who were there were in a rush so rushed him.
Last night designer Ron Arad was awarded the London Design Medal 2011 at a ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of the London Design festival. The medal is awarded annually for a lifetime’s contribution to design and the city. The studio is on Chalk Farm Road in North West London. You enter it by way of a flaky blue gate that opens onto a cobbled lane called Old Dairy Mews. You then climb a steel stair and find yourself, with a dislocating sci-fi effect, inside abendy, asymmetrical space where, at first glance, the principal occupants are chairs. Then you note that there are assistants sinking into their computer screens, like Alice just before she slips through the looking glass, but they are outnumbered by chairs and models for other projects. 
When I did arrive and sneaked in Ron was showing some amazing video's of his work including the Design Museum, Holon and his Vortex in Seoul, Korea.

When I asked him questions I felt like this stencil found at the entrance of his studio located in a gated muse in Camden. Ron is one of my design hero's and his jumper which had holes all over it showed off the stripes from his top underneath. His hat made from straw was worn at the end and captures what I love about design and fashion at the moment. Imperfection can be so beautiful, creative and oozes a confident attitude of "I don't care".
One of my favourite quotes from Ron is "Some people have hair and some people have hats I wish I belonged to the first group, but I belong to the second". I asked Ron if he would give me a quote for my book and he said send me an email. Damn my heart sunk... It really was a visit that I wanted to be Amazing (AND IT WAS... AND I WAS VERY LUCKY)...but SnOOper's I wasn't my normal chatty self and didn't feel like I connected to my hero. 

Perspectives by John Pawson at St Pauls

British architect John Pawson has installed the largest lens ever made by crystal brand Swarovski in the southwest tower of St Paul’s Cathedral for the London Design Festival, which starts on Saturday. I was lucky enough to have a little SnOOp yesterday so you guys could get an exclusive preview
                        Perspectives by John Pawson for Swarovski Crystal Palace, ©Gilbert McCarragher.                                                          Pawson’s installation marks the 300th anniversary of the cathedral’s completion and remains open to the public until January 2012.
The morning started with a champagne breakfast at Madison Restaurant in One New Change opposite St Paul's. We had a brief presentation by John Pawson, Nadja Swarvoski and Ben Evans. Then we were led to the normally closed to the public spiralling Geometric Staircase that connects to the Dean door on the upper levels of the cathedral. The installation comprises a spherical mirror suspended at the top of the 23-metre tower, mirrored in a hemisphere below the lens at the foot of the staircase to create a composite image of the whole tower for visitors gathered at ground level. To be honest I thought when I was coming to the exhibition it was going to be a hanging piece. However, the more I think about this piece more genius I believe John Pawson is. It has a fabulous 3D quality to the reflection which is breathtaking. John told me "the best view of the lens is from the ground floor looking down". Nadja stated "Perspectives is the most important location we have ever had the opportunity to showcase our crystals. It's a very proud moment." I highly recommend the visit.