heART and Design: THOMAS HEATHERWICK

“Listen to this music very carefully. This had brought me to tears.” says this guy who sent us out if we talked too much in class; or excluded us in orchestra rehearsals if we didn’t pay as much attention as he required. My mind was searching for the right response to this unsolicited, abrupt confession. How can something essentially non-living move someone so much? If there were words, sure – because words can ultimately kill the heart, isn’t it? But this was an instrumental number.

Several months later, I’d find out missing vowels. Passion.

A few years later, there I was… bawling my eyes out during performances, gasping at crafted objects, and marveling at the complexities that pure talent and passion generate.

However unfortunate, that there are not that much “moving” projects nowadays.

But Thomas Heatherwick is by no means ordinary, neither is he part of the general population. His work elevates him in ways not every man is fortunate enough to achieve.

I have seen his works (albeit most via the web), but having attended his talk the past weekend, and hearing his stories and concepts first-hand was an experience and a learning point beyond what the cyberspace conveys.

Thomas Heatherwick don’t seem to be undaunted by “this vs. that.” His projects merge the specialized zones that the corporate seem to think better subdivided. Strange though it may be, these may be the littlest of objects compared to his architectural work, but these next two creations are by far the most captivating to my artistic soul:

The London Olympic Cauldron.

Heatherwick Studios had tried competing for a larger project but ended up runner up for a couple of times, but this client – the government –  tapped him and asked his assistance to build the Olympic Cauldron. A cauldron? Is it not something the audience barely remembers? And there began the genius machine. Heatherwick Studios, did in fact make the most memorable cauldron in history. It was the biggest secret revealed during the Olympics. Afterwards, it was delivered to the different countries as a token of remembrance.

Let me know if these caused your eyes to involuntarily cascade tears down your cheeks.

Please visit Heatherwick Studios website here.

Happy Tuesday!

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heART and Design: Love Affair With the Panton Chair

I had once heard that the heart wants what it wants. If that assumption were true, would it be applicable to my love affair for the Panton Chair?

Truth be told, I have never adored a single piece of furniture (/ART ) as much as I love the this one. In fact, six years ago, I told myself this piece of history would be my first luxury purchase. For the time being, I have cushioned myself on it countless times (in various stores and public spaces) and I never tire of doing so.

In technical terms, Panton chair is formed after the human body and has a cantilevered base. The iconic Verner Panton designed it in the late 1960s- with the assistance of Vitra. Also, it is the first “fully plastic chair made from a single section.”

For the market, it is safe to say, Panton chair’s success is due to its cunning + stunning appeal together with its relentless versatility. From the modern 60s look, to the contemporary eclectic era of the 21st century, it is comparable to a chameleon morphing its way into every scenario it faces. A handful of which portrayed below:

The ultimate example would be its appearance at Bartholomew Church in Eastern bohemia by Maxim Velcovsky.

What more can we ask for from a single piece of furniture?

….What about the kids, you ask?

 

This was set to production almost twelve years ago. Talk about being ahead of the trends.

I guess communities of people are having this love affair along with me after all.

For the mean time, I’d have to satiate my longing with visuals, so I have created a pin board entirely dedicated to this piece of art (and since imitation is a form of flattery, there are some unoriginals included within the board). Enjoy! xx

Friday Frolics: Tung Lung Chau, Hong Kong

I cannot lie. Sports is one of my greatest weakness. But early this year I was invited to join a camping trip, which because of the given reasons, I bothered to let my excitement make the judgement call. I was promised the hike would only be thirty minutes (It took 3x as much.), and that the view is worth it. The latter, on the other hand, is an understatement. It was very much worth the one and a half our hike. If you are the type, like the rest of the world, who loves getting more than what you paid for, try Tung Lung Chau. NOW. It is the perfect season!

Since it is my first time camping and had no clue about anything- from the basics as to what needs to be brought, to all the apparently savvy camping equipment nowadays… Tung Lung Chau is not a threat. Like most of Hong Kong, it provides convenience. There are three port-a-potties and basins with fresh water, roasting areas are pre-designated, signages to help you navigate, and of course, a family-owned convenient store half an hour walk down the campsite.

Here are some images from an amazing weekend.

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Serenity, calmness and fresh air.

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It seems like an ocean away, but some of us actually hiked up that direction. I, on the other hand, stayed on this side and consoled myself by taking an image for memory’s sake.

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What would you give to have this view everyday?

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A rare site in Hong Kong. A photographer or not, who won’t be captivated by this stunning beauty.

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We ended the night barbecue-ing and eating the last bit of dinner treat.

To get here, we took the route from Yau Tong and crossed the sea via a charming, quaint ferry. Round trip transportation cost no more than HK$100 and food (thanks to an amazing chef we had with us) was less than HK$100 as well! Now, if we had more places like Tung Lung Chau, us non-sporty, weak chested people would be spoiled!

And if those weren’t enough to entice, I’ve been saving the best for last…

Creation at its best. Simply Breathtaking, is it not?

Creation at its best. Simply Breathtaking, is it not?

Visit flickr for more updated images soon.

heArt and Design: BBC Design Rules

3, 2, 1… and we’re back!

Not quite an expected beginning, but here’s a quick post, or rather, just a bunch of links for those who are looking to venture into the interior design realm. If you stick to the end, it’s not a doubt you’ll pick up a handful of basic knowledge to get you up and going. Here are the links to BBC Design Rules with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Hope you gained something from this very quick visit. Cheers to you if you go against the “practical” ways and pursue a career into art and design.. You won’t regret it! For the most part of your life, at least. I kid 😉

Inspiring Interiors: Hotels, Hotels!

How would you see the best of the best hotels without leaving your home? The internet! (Happy (belated) Internaut Day!) To be more precise, please click here -and while you’re at it, why not vote for your favorites? I did!

This will be a quick post, but it won’t leave you hanging for nothing. Below are a few eye-popping interiors to inspire you for the rest of the week(end). Don’t forget to read the description bar on the website to know more details how these thoughtful designs came to be.

Beauties like these seem too good to be true, does it not? ❤

Four Seasons Hotel, Guangzhou, China - Hirsch Bedner Associates

Four Seasons Hotel, Guangzhou, China – Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jing-Ang Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, China - Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jing-Ang Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, China – Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jing-Ang Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, China - Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jing-Ang Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, China – Hirsch Bedner Associates

South Place Hotel, London - Conrad + Partners

South Place Hotel, London – Conrad + Partners

Macalister Mansion, Malaysia - Ministry of Design

Macalister Mansion, Malaysia – Ministry of Design

Jumeirah Vittaveli Hotel, Maldives - Hirsch Bedner Associates

Jumeirah Vittaveli Hotel, Maldives – Hirsch Bedner Associates

The Churchill Bar, London - Bespoke London

The Churchill Bar, London – Bespoke London

Happy Saturday! (Vote now!) 🙂

Friday Frolics: Wan Chai Art Distict

My friends and I took a stroll around Wan Chai last month (not that side of Wan Chai, by the way), this little district is filled with quirky, vintage stores that one could easily keep you coming back. If only I had loads of money to spend, I am sure I would have walked away with bags and bags of collectible antiquities. Another friend actually took me here months ago and as soon as the area sunk into me, I felt right at home. None of the items there belonged to my past but they were reminders of it. It’s the classic irony I am sure we all share somehow, someway. Plus, an artsy fartsy would not be able to help it, the facades of some store really speak about the interior character in one snap! Take for example my two favorites below:

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And of course, the interior has to pride itself too! Like we always hear and copy, “It’s all in the details!”

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Faucet for hand knobs? Upcycling just got fancier.

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If this is part of the décor, I love it! If it’s for sale, I’d love to have it.

So without anymore delays, on behalf of these quirkiness, I welcome you to a short summary of our “tour”.

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I think we’ve went it to approximately five boutiques. All of them had their own characters, it’s just like going into fairytales, and if you had listened closely, I am sure there were tons of stories in one book.

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This refurbished display cabinet is just teeming with plastic toys. The smell brought me right back to twenty years ago. It may be junk to some, but for some collectors out there. (Especially guys, you might find a treasure or two in here- there’s even a Superman poster somewhere in this store.)

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Here it is! (@ nlostnfound)

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This certainly reminds me of my grandma’s house and bedtime stories. (Ps. Gaaah. Adorable miniature rocking horses!!!)

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A feast for the eyes! It would be safe to say you could find any home accessories you might be missing at the moment, and more! And by the way, does this trunk not remind you of Mr. Bean? (Click here if it doesn’t.)

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Cat lover? You might be infatuated with these Japanese cat booklets. They are so adorable even in pixels.

Oh, and if you haven’t already been sucked in, this next capture might do the trick.

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Handmade?? Defined cuteness enough for you? ❤

I promise you, these snapshots do not give any justice to what lies in wait. Here’s a map, find yourself lost in this small little district in Wan Chai tomorrow!

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At Sau Wa Fong Street, there would be these twin staircases on the left, pick either and climb up, there you’ll find these quirky goodness.

And for us who’s been… here is a teaser.

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Happy Friday!

 

Inspiring Interiors: Van Alen Bookstore

Yellow, in color psychology, is mostly known for being the “happy color,” but beyond that, yellow is also a color of stimulation. It aids in improving the enveloped users’ memory, sound thinking, and decision making. This is why informed designers would practically be utilizing any tone of yellow for a study area, den or library. And that precisely is what’s done with the 400sqft. space of Van Alen Bookstore in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York.

Van Alen Institute  is an independent, non-profit organization which aims to educate the mass-“public realm”- about the significance of architecture and interior design. Their bookstore veers the same path.

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It is the first of its kind- a bookstore that holds only architecture and design books- in New York City back in 2011.

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As living in tiny spaces, working/shopping, and especially designing a small space brings about the same amount of challenges. Yet, at the same time, it also draws out as much creativity and the guaranteed coziness.

Located in the busiest city, it is painted a bright, sunshine yellow (Does it not just remind you of their iconic cabs?) and furnished with as much recyclables as possible. Take for example this staircase which is made of seventy pieces of stacked wooden doors donated by Build It Green! NYC.

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These panels are held by bolts that hang from the ceiling, while the cables serve to protect people from falling off the “art installation.”

While the glowing, bursting yellow encapsulate the space, it is juxtaposed with a concrete gray which mellows the space down and beget a stereotyped New York ambiance. It is such a simple color coordination which brings so many back stories and memories. One of which, for myself, is the series How I Met Your Mother which is set in this city 95%.

Here in the gallery-type bookstore, you could spend as much time as you want browsing and lounging by the innovative staircase which took advantage of its structurally high ceiling. You could pretend to be in the library choosing which book you are taking home for the week. It just brings back good old days of being in university.

Watch a design file video here.

Disclaimer: Click on images for source.