Monday, 30 June 2008

MIT OpenCourseWare

I've known about this for awhile now - but just sharing now (I'm sorry for the delay). MIT has published most of their course content on the internet - so anybody can become super smart (though they may not get the piece of paper for it). Here is the link - I think I'm going to start on a couple of courses - something fun like Principles of Chemical Science. I'm such a dork - but I need to know more, my head might burst, but its only an intro undergrad course, so hopefully I'll get a tiny bit out of it. I was also thinking about Ethnography - we talk about it all the time, but I'm still not exactly sure what it is. And then there are a bunch on Polymer Physics. Do you think I can change and go to MIT instead? I don't think I mean that, but oh it looks like fun (again, I'm a dork).

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Pretend Weekend

So I've put together a really great weekend of things I would do if Miss Em of Cochonet Rouge came to visit. I keep seeing things and thinking of her, so I thought it might be fun to play pretend.

Breakfast at Broadway Market, then after perusing all the goodies and shoppes and a meander through London Fields, off to Portobello Road Market for Antiques. And then in the late afternoon we would go to a whole bunch of the auction houses near Bond Street and look at all the wonderful things we could never afford, but would pretend to (Sotheby's is a must). Then for dinner - The Tate Modern for Dinner, the bookshop and all the wonderful art. Then out for drinks - of course, and if someone good was in town a gig.

Breakfast at St. Johns on Commercial Street, and then off to Columbia Road Flower Market, where we would both be in heaven among the flowers, hats and vintage crockery. Then lunch wherever. Then to quickly peruse Spitalfield Market, and off to Brick Lane to see what the cool kids are up to. Definitely stopping for a coffee. Then Curry for dinner at a random curry house, and then possibly going to see Avenue Q (I still want to see that).

I've missed out on a few things (all the fantastic normal stores, the V&A - oh that one we can't miss, so maybe that would be a Friday night thing, drinking in Shoreditch, seeing the awesome decor of Rich Mix, and of course the laid back style of Greenwich, the incredible boutiques in Kensington, and so many things I still don't know about) - but I only planned one weekend, so that will have to do. So Miss Em, if you read this, those are some of my favourite things that I think you would enjoy too.

New Music

I recently bought a new album - Martha Wainwright's new album I Know You're Married but I've got Feelings Too. Its quite good, and very much one that grows was you listen to it more and more. I am especially enjoying "Hearts Club Band" and her version of "See Emily Play" - you can see the Pink Floyd version here. I'm looking for more suggestions if anyone has any - I'm due for something fresh.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I <3 Fabric Shopping

I really do absolutely adore fabric shopping. I think it might be one of my favourite things to do in the whole wide world. Its such a wonderful thing to go in and buy something. I only bought 2 pieces - The red is going to be a high-waisted skirt with knife pleats and cobalt accents, and the other one I'm not sure about yet - I think it will be a dress of some kind - with TONS of skirt volume, and a kick-ass gather at the waist on the right hand side. I can't wait. That's the plan for this weekend - new clothes! Now I just need to get a navy t-shirt (as that's what I'm craving the most), and I think I'll be perfectly happy with my summer wardrobe. Maybe a pair of shoes, but that will have to wait until I get paid from my summer job. Sorry about the horrible pictures, I took them using PhotoBooth - definitely not ideal, but I just wanted to share ASAP! Both pieces are 100% cotton, and I didn't look into where they came from, so I'm sorry if I have made an offense there, but I think they are great alternatives to buying fast fashion from the high street (as that's all I could afford otherwise). Maybe I'll wear my new skirt to my first day of work. Okay, I'm now just rambling...

Monday, 23 June 2008

My Bright Turquoise DNA

How do you like my DNA? It's Bright Turquoise - just like me :). I went to a great event at the Wellcome Collection this past weekend with the lovely Emmie. It was the Wellcome Collection's 1st birthday! We found the Origami man, and played with paper. I'm not sure, but I figured out how to fold my little helix from one that was lying on the table, the Origami man seemed to think I was a genius. I don't know, it wasn't that hard. I guess it was all that practice I had from my origami book that Kaori gave me in grade 9, that only had Japanese in it. I don't know. Emmie figured out a lovely star thing as well. Then we went to a talk about Science and Design with Paul Simmons from Timorous Beasties. Great talk - and his outfit was an entirely cute mix of mis-matchey stripes and plaids. I was paying attention to what he said - he really emphasized the need for designers to draw more (something I never do... oops). And he talked a lot about the wonderful macabre imagery in the Wellcome Trust's archive (I think I want to get my hands on some of that stuff). I think that's it for exciting things that happened this weekend, but I was sick, so I think having one cool thing to write about is quite good.

Another Book Report

Well I just found my notes on a book I read awhile back... In The Bubble by John Thackara. I have TONS of notes on this one. They were lost for awhile (they got tucked in with souvenirs from Romania). Really an amazing book. I would have to say, its one of the most well rounded and thoughtful book that I've read so far. If you are thinking about reading something - I suggest this one. I'm not posting my notes, because there are way too many of them. I'll give away one thing, solutions will become about interconnectivity - which I'm coming to realize is extremely important. He talks about schools and colleges not just being a 'teaching place' but more a of a place that is a network of organizations - a hub at the center drawing connections between things that are seemingly unconnected. Just re-reading my notes, makes me want to read the book all over again (it was that relevant)! If you want more of his musings - I have a link to his blog on the sidebar "Doors of Perception".

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Can't just be me

Its interesting working as a singular silly little designer in this silly little world. We often think about our own agenda and project our ideas onto society... which never really works. I've always been really focused on technology that can save us from ourselves, and in this last project I've really come to see that it can't be like that. It has to involve as many people as possible - with both big and small efforts. So, do something yourself, and pass it on!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Where do all the Good Ideas Go?

So I've been slowly but surely getting around to some of the degree shows in and around London, and the thing that strikes me is that there are all these kick-ass ideas out there but so few of them get to everybody else. Time to start using some of the new ideas! One of the things that stood out at Middlesex's show was the Product Designer's Market. The photo above is work by Nick Bampton, but check out all the other students as well!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Half of a Book Report

So I read half of a book and thought I would share what I got out of it. I read Utiltity Reassessed: The Role of Ethics in the Practice of Design. I thought it was going to be entirely different - I thought it was going to be about Ethics... but it wasn't, it was about Utility Schemes and rationing by the government, focusing on war-time Britain. For that topic it was really good... There was one paper that I enjoyed the most and that was about the idea that consumerism as we know it was created quite deliberately by post-WW1 manufacturers. Makes me wonder if we can deliberately take it back, to turn people back into citizens instead of consumers, because we're not going to be able shop our way out of what we are in the middle of. All in all, very interesting, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Little Green Trees

How glorious of a luxury - making stuff just for fun!  I made these two pieces, as well as started several others.  I tipped off to a really amazing shop in the process - the 4D Model shop.  Its amazing, its pretty much architectural modeling stuff - but to me its like a new form of art supply store, where I don't own everything already (dangerous I know). You can check out my little green trees on etsy too.  I'll be making more stuff soon - and I think I'm falling in love with the green flocking.  I've been thinking of only drawing trees from now on.  I know its not very realistic, but I really love drawing trees.

Book Report - Biomimicry...

Just finished reading Janine Benyus' book Biomimicry.  Its a great book filled with all sorts of things I don't understand (something about tubulin dimers in the brain had me a bit lost).  Nevertheless, it was an amazing read and was full of really great inspiration to look at nature as a model.  Its wonderful to think about all of the places where this can be applied for greater efficiency and innovation - I know my focus is design, but I've also been thinking about how social networks can be based more on a natural principles, dealing more with locality and balance.  I'm not going to give too much away, because I want you to read this one.  I'll give you her tips on how to be a good biomimic.  There are four stages.  1. Quietening  2. Listening  3. Echoing  4. Stewarding.  I think I might still be at the Quietening stage, but I'm certainly working on it.  You can watch Janine Benyus' TED talk here as well... 

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Best Reading List in The Whole Wide World

I have this reading list from Unit One, its Stephen Hayworth's list so I definitely cannot take credit for it... I really wanted to digitize it, just in case I lose it, then I decided I should share it (I'm all about the open-source knowledge sharing junk). So here is the link to my scans. Its insanely huge - so maybe if we split it up we'll get it all read! Let me know if you've read anything from the list and we can set up a mini-book report list!