Sunday, 30 May 2010

No Man's Land by Christian Boltanski

I've long been a fan of the work of French artist Christian Boltanski, especially his installations in unconventional contexts such as churches and warehouses. His body of work consists of issues concerning self identity, death and the Holocaust ... or I suppose, the effects of the Holocaust - I can't get enough of Nazi Germany history. Boltanski's small and large scale installations create such strong imagery that are evocative, inspiring and engages his audience on a rather personal level - powerful works that evoke emotions.

Boltanski is currently exhibiting a large-scale installation, titled No Man's Land at New York's Park Avenue Armory It features 30 tons of discarded clothing (a medium that he often employs), 3000 used biscuit tins and the sound of human heartbeats, gathered from all over the world.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Typography Tuesday

Word as Image: Clever design from Ji Lee. I, of course, like the last two best.
images from Ji Lee

Monday, 24 May 2010

jan von holleben makes dreams come true

Dreams of Flying is a series by German photographer Jan von Holleben. I first spied these cute and quirly images on the programme for Melbourne's Rooftop Cinema back in 2008 (the astronauts), and have enjoyed them ever since. I like that the 'how' of it all only becomes evident once you've looked at a fair few of the photos (Want to see how Jan does it? Scroll allll the way down).

all images from

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Gear Ring

Omgosh! Interactive rings, are awesome. Clever (nerdy) interactive rings, are awesome². This is The Gear Ring by Kinekt Design, and another for the I-want-it tag :)
Images from Kinekt Design

Friday, 21 May 2010

Lynn Palewicz

Lynn Palewicz mixes and exploits photography, sculpture and drawing to reinterpret the idea and aesthetic of self-portraiture. These images are from her skin drawing series, exploring "the relationship between touch, tension and surface." and changing, for a moment, how we perceive our skin and bodies. They show how beautifully delicate the human form is ... one of the main reasons why I enjoyed life drawing so much. How fantastic are the drawings?!

Images and information via Lynn Palewicz.


Installations by Japanese atist Chihari Shiota, found via see hear say. I like how the third one is reminiscent of Russian avant garde artist Vladimir Tatlin's infamous Monument to the Third International. Then again maybe that's just me having a brain stuffed full of early twentieth century art.

 image credit: see hear say

The I-want-it files

DIY colour-in dress, woooot! For a mere 238 euros, Dutch designer Berber Soepboer's colour-in-dress can be yours to fill in as you please. Imagine all the boring train journeys that could be improved by this clever and colourful little garment! Found via Design Milk.

image credit: here and here.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Calder Woodburn Rest Area by BKK Architects

I'm sure this project has been written about to death, but it is kind of coolio so here it is - the award-winning Calder Woodburn Rest Area in Shepparton (essentially, a big, award-winning toilet ... okay, fine, it is more than just a big toilet but it sounded cool, like in the IT Crowd) by BKK Architects and Vic Roads. The guys at BKK (Black Kosloff Knott) came and gave us a talk in 2008 as part of the student-run AND Lecture series in our faculty, and it was one of the most inspiring ones of the semester. One of the directors of BKK, Simon Knott is also a presenter on 'The Architects' on RRR on Monday evenings. Good, informative and informal architectural nerdfest :)

The rest area celebrates the rich history of the services station and the surrounding environment and the Australian landscape. The design also reinvents the idea and aesthetic of a rest stop. Great use/manipulation of Colorbond, too. To me, it truly embodies the notion of Australian architecture. Oh, and the rest area was also shortlisted for the Australia Interior Design Awards.

Buona notte!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

smiles for your saturday...

 ...courtesy of American artist Wayne White. Spotted on The Jealous Curator.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


So I feel a little bad posting about something so frivolous after Zi's thoughtful comments yesterday, but I like Chinnychinchin too much to just leave it. Lets just say in response, that I am blessed to have been brought up in NZ, and leave it at that.

I seem to have an endless backlog of bookmarked websites, and every now again I try to go through my bookmarks and delete older ones, which in hindsight aren't nearly as cool as I thought they were. But the majority are still fun/inspiring/delightul and so the bookmarks folders grow and grow. Chinnychinchin is one such site. I can't remember the exact details of where I first found out about it, though I think it was in reference to the super snarky Cheapskate cards (which still make me laugh):

More recently added, and much less snarkey, are the Unwritten Books - blank notebooks with covers designed to look like so-called "literary classics." Because everyone has the potential to write a bestseller. Or just to record the salacious details of their love life. Me likey.

Monday, 10 May 2010

maid-quarters in the headquarters

I suppose this post will turn out to be a bit more personal than I'd like it to be ... but here goes. We looked at a high-end apartment over the weekend - a visit to one of our relative's newly bought property. The apartment block was absolutely gorgeous and from my limited knowledge of tropical architecture, it was very much suited to the local climate in Kuala Lumpur (it isn't a rarity, being a developing country, the population tends to look at more developed, Western-type architecture and image as a display of wealth). Yes, so the architecture of the apartment block was quite something.

We then took the elevator up to the apartment ... went into the unit. Again, luxuurious, spacious etc.

Walked around, looking at the high ceiling that added to the open-planned comfort, the rainforest shower and sauna-type gizmo in the main bathroom, the floor to ceiling glazing ... we walked past the kitchen and then came to what I thought was a strange little outdoor non-space. It was a narrow corridor which led to this tiny room with a ridiculously small bathroom attached to it - it must have been narrower than the corridor outside and virtually no room to manoevre. I wish I was exaggerating ...

But of course, it is the maid's room. It is fairly common for middle/high income earners to have live-in maids (I hesitate to use the word, really) in parts of South-east Asia. It is perhaps one aspect that I absolutely detest about living back home, because there is such a clear hierarchy within the household. I don't care what you say ... whether your maid is treated equally as a member of the family or anything. The hierarchy is there (I feel like I should stress that this is so, so common ... that it is actually part of everyday life here), the design/organisation of the house shows it ... and at the risk of sounding like a child -- I don't like it.

I do understand the need for a lot of households to have full-time assistance around the house ... but that certainly doesn't mean I agree with it. It is absolutely disgusting, I cannot stand it and it makes me angry ... especially because we are one of these households, and I actually cannot do anything substantial about it. If you know me well, you'd know that I dislike relying on others - not because I don't want help but because if I am capable of doing it ... why not?  Having said that, however, I enjoy giving anyone a hand at all. If other households who don't have live-in assistance can do it, so can those who argue it is a necessity. Doing the dishes, loading and unloading the laundry, cleaning the floor, vacuuming the rugs, washing the car, weeding your garden, making lunch - man, they really aren't that hard to do.

So often I see new houses being designed or the old being renovated (the client/families, obviously, having a sizeable amount of money) with a small, dingy little room for the maids.

I'll have to stop writing here ... I am rather worked up by the issue, that it is an accepted part of society ... but I do realise that I'm not doing anything about it, which makes me kind of angry at myself.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

information is beautiful, and Stefanie Posavec

There is a wonderful website dedicating to making information, well ... beautiful! Facts and figures, issues and ideas, knowledge and data, numbers and words, made into graphic goodness. Information is Beautiful is run by David McCandless, a london-based author, writer and designer. He is apparently into 'anything strange and interesting' and he loves pies ... but hates pie charts. Remember those hours spent at school inputting data and picking, from Microsoft PowerPoint, which charts will represent the data best? ... Not a fan. Also, PowerPoint is boring.

Lets not be overambitious and summarise the whole site into one blogpost. So, today, we look at London-based data artist (woah!), Stefanie Posavec. One of her featured work on Information is Beautiful is Literary Organism, a visualisation of the structure of Jack Kerouac's On The Road. Posavec meticulously studied and analysed the text ...
... and then divide the text, where chapters "bloom into paragraphs, sprout sentences, and spread out into words". But there's more -- they are colour coded according to key themes. Ohhhh if only it was made for Dickens' Great Expectations, HSC English would have been much easier and way more fun and pleasurable. Here is the result:

Looove! Oh, yeah, also, Posavec teamed up with Microsoft research ecologist and studied the 1876 text The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and the Blue Colour of the Sky by General AJ Pleasonton ... which was the basis the album concept, album name, lyrics of OK Go's third album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. Conceptual art, unto thee I declare my eternal love.

This is a long post! Sorry for the length but ... yeah I'm not sorry at all.

Shite, bedtime ... 

All information and images from Information is Beautiful.

Typography Tuesday

An ode to type by The Birds and the Beasts, found at the ever inspiring Design is Mine. Plus two more I took at uni, enjoying the play of shadows behind the cast iron (I think?) lettering on the front of the Engineering workshops.



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