From My Phone | Barbican

The Barbican has grown in popularity over the years. it’s no wonder that umpteen photos of the striking skyward-bound perpendicular Lauderdale House or the oasis like entrance to the Barbican Centre sweep across Instagram.  These days, not even its lofty conservatory can claim to be a secret sanctuary in London. The last time, I visited, I questioned if there were more people than plants on show.

But the Barbican still has its secrets, in the form of pleasing perspectives for those that drift away from the crowds.
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She Wears These Shoes On The Sea Shore

I'm just about to pack my Birkenstock Arizona EVA sandals away till my feet feel the heat of the sun again. 

But before I deposit them, along with the rest of my summer clothes into cedar block infused storage, I have to tell you that they were absolutely one of my best summer spends this year. I bought them with beachy intentions and because I figured that the pricier original cork versions wouldn't handle seawater, pebble and sand escapades as well.

I done good!

They've gone from beaches in Spain to beaches in Japan and even handled stomps around London without looking too shabby at the end of it all.

Alas, summer is done and autumn is no time for sandals, so these are getting a good clean before packed away along with my summer clothes till whenever the warm weather makes and appearance next year.

I bagged a bargain and bought them for £19.00 on ASOS during a sale - if you spot them in a clearance sale now - do yourself a favour and grab them for the next round of sun (fingers crossed).

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Dead Beautiful

When I tend to my plants, pluck away the dying or broken blooms, leaves and stems, I cannot help but be quietly moved by the beauty in their decay. There is beauty in the most unlikely places, if we care to take the time to notice. So, I've started to take photos of my dead plant bits.

“I learned that just beneath the surface there's another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn't find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force--a wild pain and decay--also accompanies everything." David Lynch

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26b Kingsland Rd

Behind the door marked 24b on Kingsland Rd, Shoredich, lies one of my favourite shops in London. Jasper Morrison's shop, housed within an annex just off his studio, is purposely low-key. It is laden with a thoughtful collection of books and design treasures. The type of treasures that both inspire and echo much of my own explorations into product design.


You won't find the usual Instagrammable piles of ubiquitous designed in Denmark, made in China goods here. 

Nothing in the shop flashes its brand or designer. Everything here has a reason for being here. Everything here is SUPER NORMAL. These things do not change with time, they improve, they are good to have around and, as JM himself says;

"Super Normal may belong more to everyday life than it does to design".

A visit to the shop sets each contemplative visitor on a journey of discovery that encourages a more thoughtful approach to consumerism, appreciation of design and aesthetics. 

Jasper Morrison Shop

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From my Phone | Malaga

Early May in Malaga. The sun still unripe. Waves flail frigid onto the sand. Lifeguard post unattended. Beaches yet uncrowded. Chiringuito's silent. The tourist season, impending. Twitches of anticipation as the heat begins to rise.

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In a plain little nutshell, Design-Ah is a Japanese educational kid's television series about design, shown on NHK.

Don't let the fact that it is targeted at kids put you off.

It is the most unpatronising, buoyant and refreshing programme that I have watched on design for a loooooooong time.

Each fast moving rhythmic 14 minute-ish episode is packed with visually pleasing, interesting, inspiring and thought provoking concepts set against quirky sounds. It was made to educate kids. It's educating me!  It's easy to watch (even if you don't understand Japanese) and encourages a second look at the kind of everyday objects that I've been banging on about lately! 

I'm a big fan.

Their website is equally awesome. It's currently my favourite place to get lost and find myself up to my neck in inspiration.
Loaded with clips to tease you into re-thinking things from the more obvious - "why didn't I think of it that way before" conjectures to the more; "Wow, Just WOW" moments. The latest clip on their website is a gem and you bet I got my compass out to give it a go | Watch it here |

I watch episodes on YouTube with my 2 year old. Not sure how much he understands - he likes the sounds mostly.  I'd like to think that by gently introducing him to concepts of design - we might encourage analytical thinking and also encourage him to question and appreciate his surroundings too.

If you are not familiar with Japanese TV, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed at how fast moving each episode is. My advice is to just give in to it and go with the flow!

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