Follow by Email

Monday, 23 April 2012

Milan Salone del Mobile 2012

Just a few highlights of Milan's International Furniture Fair, which finished yesterday.

Loads of venues around the city, showcase new designs and creative installations, often in existing shops, courtyards and even the science museum (Tom Dixon's "Most")!  The exploratory nature of the fair is what makes it so interesting, which is why I didn't spend too long at the actual massive fair, in Rho, Milan.  It's crazy, intense, and overwhelming!  To give you an idea of size, they offer 3 day tickets, so you can see everything.  I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't 20 times the size of Earl's Court.  It's immense.  Highlights included for me, Lago, a collection of furniture which examines who we actually use space, and applying that to furniture design, and BeB's outdoor range.


BeB Outdoor

A few pics from all over the city.


Tom Dixon Lights - Not as big as I had thought they'd be!

Carved Marble at Triennale

Courtyard of Science Museum, home to "Most"
Jamie Hayon Sketches

Nendo Milano

Just back from design week in Milan last night.  Totally exhausted, but  thought I'd put a few bits up!  Firstly, Nendo is pretty much flavour of the month.  His studio must have had so much fun, because it felt like he was commissioned by everyone to do a piece!  My favourites were at Lasvit though, a Czech glass company.  He also did some minimal chairs which are elegant, but look like they should be for a 30 second rest! Some pics of a few pieces.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Day trip to Saint Geo

St. George's is one of Bermuda's most beautiful spots. A world heritage site, and the oldest part of the island, it was our capital until it was moved to Hamilton (current capital) because that's where all the smugglers where trading, and therefore, everyone else.  

As I was kind of a tourist in my one homeland, I went up for the afternoon last week, and had a mooch around.

What's great about the town, is that you can see lots of old buildings, which haven't changed since they were built, about 400 years ago.  Painting buildings is a bit more modern (1920's I think?) as the pastel hues of our homes were meant to make the island look a bit more appealing to tourists!

Highlights are the State House (oldest stone building in Bermuda), St Peter's Church (oldest Protestant church in the Western Hemisphere) and the unfinished Church.. which .... didn't get finished.  But it's beautiful!   Fort St. Catherine is a fantastic spot for watching the ships sail in (I actually saw the Tenacious approaching the island, on my ride up there, see post below!).

Our buildings were originally made from limestone carved from our island (aeolian and marine, not very dense like UK limestone, you can see the bits of sand), and our roofs are white, as they are designed to catch water, which then go into tanks under or beside the house, for all our water needs.

The State House

St. Peter's Church

Unfinished Church

Protection from the Spanish!
View from Fort St. Catherine's


What feels like, a lifetime ago, I completed a transatlantic crossing (Cadiz to Bermuda) aboard the Lord Nelson, a ship run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  

What was great about this experience for me (other than the amazing voyage!) was that the ship was designed specifically to be used by both disabled and able-bodied people.  

During the voyage, you noticed people's disabilities less and less.  One gentleman was able to move around the boat unaided through the whole voyage, as he could grab onto everything.  When we went ashore at our destination, Bermuda, he could not cope, and had to be in a wheelchair.  When we tried to go as a crew, to the pub, we were hugely restricted to choices, due to stairs etc.

There where lifts everywhere on the ship, and audio navigation system (incase you wanted to steer the boat, but blind!) and other concessions to disabilities, which basically made it a lot easier for everyone to use the ship.

The experience on that voyage has stayed with me, and I try to incorporate systems for disabled people when I can, in design.

Let's face it, we all might end up in a wheelchair! Might as well design for all of us, at the same time.

Anyhow, I bring this up now, as the sister to the Lord Nelson, the Tenacious, was in Bermuda last week.  I went aboard with my mum and dad (who is recovering from hip surgery, so a little less mobile!) and it was great.  Dad got to have a look around, with ease, and since he loves ships, it was a big treat.

Here are some pics of the ship, Notice the lifts, and there are little boat shapes on the hand rails, incase you get disorientated in a storm or if you are blind, so you know which way to the the front of the ship.

The sailing trust does fantastic work, we might take a day trip from Southampton, UK once my Dad is 100%!   Or maybe another transatlantic voyage... somehow, I don't think my clients would be too keen for me to take off for 5 weeks!

My Dad modelling one of the many lifts!
Easy to get on and off the ship, Dad didn't need any
help getting on, just getting off it was a bit steep.
Orientational mouldings on the handrails

Monday, 9 April 2012

Breakfast Club

A good friend of mine invited me to speak at the Landsdowne Club last Wednesday morning for their monthly breakfast meeting, about some research I've been doing relating to development of brownfield sites in the City of London (square mile).  Watch this space....

It was a great morning.  I met lots of interesting people, and got some great feedback to work with, moving forward.

Many thanks to David Court, the photographer who took this snap!