2.8.17

Design-Ah


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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21.7.17

Who Designed That?


The world is a funny place We throw around words like 'designer' so free and easily that we gloss over the fact that nearly EVERYTHING has been designed on some level. Even the humble things that we either use so habitually, or are so used to owning have been designed by someone. 


As important as these objects are to us,  we've grown so accustomed to them that we begin to take their design attributes for granted. In fact, we may not even see them as examples of design. After all, a lot of these ordinary everyday items were designed 'egolessly', for pure functionality, stripped of their designers personal expression and without obvious branding they have a way of seamlessly permeating our lifestyle. Consequently, our familiarity of their design shifts from visual appreciation to simply experiencing their design.

Image credit


This is so interesting to me and it stokes my enthusiasm for the kind of anonymous design I've been harping on about HERE

Perhaps this is part of the reason I've gotten into the habit of questioning the things I own and use everyday. I am always interested in the story behind the things I own. Even the everyday mundane things have taught me new things.

Slowly, I've begun to realise that by taking the time to learn about and consider the design attributes and thinking behind the things I own, I've in turn, begun to appreciate them far more. And of course this has a knock-on effect that encourages good mindful living kinda thinking.

Who said material possessions can't inspire a less materialistic lifestyle?

Anyway! If you get what I'm saying then you might just like THIS brilliant collection of articles for the New York Times that is both satisfying and piquing my curiousity.  Highly recommended for the design curious or fans of obscure random info, too


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19.7.17

| STREETS | Even More Shop Fronts


I've been sloppy at sharing my shop front finds. Meanwhile, the dedicated file on my cloud is getting chubbier by the day.

I like my shop fronts local. Proper local. The ones with that 'I've seen it all' look in their windows. The ones that have seen a generation turn in to another. 

They are the everyday familiars for us in Britain. From corner shop convenience to corner niche specialist. They've been serving the community before we rolled in....


























































These are the understated. The corner shops, chip shops, grocers, tinkers, launderettes. Nourishing, filling and dealing with the dirty washing of a generation. Behind each of these doors is a familiar face, a family story and a connection that cannot be found within the sterile aisles of the 'big chains'.

These are the places that the mass marketing giants might like us to forget and in turn see us relent to their ample shelve laden with the stuff that they dictate we should have. Fooling us into believing that we are spoiled for choice. Blinding us with convenience and special offers while they dissolve our High Streets into a bland branded, copied from a template and pasted to our streets.

Catch up with my previous shop fronts here.






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10.7.17

| Thoughts | Time Always Wins









Being bombarded with the type of busy-ness that numbs the soul and makes us think that we cannot make time to have some time to enjoy the quiet details of life is as glorified as it is overrated. 


Racing against time to get everything done, is in fact running a race that can never be won. Time always wins.

So I take it slow and watch how I go. 
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28.6.17

| Photo Diary | Chilling with Jellyfish


I am of the opinion that jellyfish are wonderful company to keep. Just be sure to ensure that there are inches of glass between you and their hypnotic vicious tentacles. 

I had the pleasure of loitering wide-eyed and gobsmacked in their rather sophisticated lair that can be found within the aquarium in Enoshima, Japan. Here, blooms of jellyfish  waltz with ethereal delicacy in a darkened room. Their glazed enclosures, emanate sheer luminous fluctuations that lull some, curiously, mainly men, to sleep.  








Were it not for the intermittent snores of dozing fellows in the dimness, I felt like I were surrounded with true magic.  And in this world where we demand explanations for everything (our have it imposed upon us like it or not), I was happy to not read any of the scientific commentary for these jellyfish. I decided to believe in magic.

P.S. The aquarium in Enoshima is generally of the international tourist radar. It is however, a popular date location for Japanese. For year's I've wanted to visit for a Japanese style date with Hiro. We made it! Finally, though our date did include our son who seemed thoroughly entranced - when he was awake, at least. 


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26.5.17

| Home | Cliptomania
























There is a clip for most things in life and I seem to have most of them in my clip, (formerly biscuit) tin.

I use them for everything and anything -  from keeping papers together, laundry, keeping slippery clothes on hangers, sewing projects, keeping curtains closed, closing up opened food packets, keeping cables in place, guiding plants, hanging silly things from anywhere possible to amuse my son......

My favourite ones are the aluminium clips. They are a great example of the kind of anonymous design that I mentioned HERE. They are made in Japan, lightweight, don't rust and infinitely useful. I got mine from Labour and Wait.  I also like the stainless steel wire clip hooks from Muji. It's a hook aaaaand a clip! Oh and the rubber tipped heavy duty swivel one from Commes des Garcon's Good Design Shop in Omotesando.



Useful Links (unsponsored and unaffiliated)


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