Barbara Í Gongini

Beautifully dark gothic/pixie/fairy style clothing. I am a big fan of garments that seem to have neither beginning nor end to its form. Barbara Í Gongini creates this. With freeflowing and flattering pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. Her garments wrap around/under/over/unbutton/button and so on...

Also, along with a creative team,  Í Gongini produce the most magic and haunting fashion videos. Inspired perhaps by the Japanese horror movies The Ring and The Grudge. Garments come alive when you choreograph seemingly unnatural human poses and movements. It gives me shivers at the same time as I find it fascinating and rather sexy. I WILL own a Barbara Ingongini garment...and I am also inspired to make my own Barbara Í Gongini influenced clothing.

via cool hunting

via cool hunting

long chalk jacket
Middle length cardigan, with detachable sleeves.

Middle length cardigan, with detachable sleeves

Middle length cardigan, with detachable sleeves

Middle length cardigan, with detachable sleeves


Die Antwoord - short film - Bring me my machine gun or Umshini Wami (zulu)

I have been following Die Antwoord now for over a year since one of my former studio members introduced them to me with the question - Are they serious?

Since then Die Antwoord has quickly hit mainstream with their white trash saffa, foulmouthed techno hiphop shit on the next level. I like Die Antwoord because there are more to them than meets the eye. A lot of people think that they are taking the piss. YES THEY ARE PEOPLE....and this is a great thing. The beauty of Yolandi and Ninja is that they are taking the piss out of things in their world, far removed from many of ours.

They are opening doors or windows, if you like, into their way of life, their unique experiences and ultimately and most importantly, a side of South Africa that the western world rarely see.

This movie is no different. There are still some serious issues in South Africa. The title of this movie is Umshini Wam, in Zulu this means 'Bring me my machine gun'. It is also known as a struggle song and is widely known as the ANC's military wing during the apartheid struggle. It has recently been linked to the current president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma and is still sung in rallies and demonstrations throughout the country.

I think this is the understatement of the movie. It seems as if many people in South Africa still haven't learnt the lesson from the violence associated with apartheid. To have this type of mentality, that of a dominant colour, within the so called rainbow nation obviously creates some serious social divides. To me, this movie seem to have a message about a social divide and the still evident prejudices and racism that goes on within SA's borders. 

Yes, I believe that, of course, the movie could be done in another way, but this way is full on and maybe that is what is needed to start a discussion about this issue. A little bit of humour, some phat beats by DJ Hitec and a lot of swearing hits home with me.

Salton Beach

In the 1950s, 60 odd years ago, this ghost town was once a promising beach resort developing on Salton Lake, a saline lake located on the San Andreas Fault  in Southern California. But when sea levels started to rise and increasing salinity and pollution levels and unemployment gloom became evident, the developers quickly abandoned this grand scheme to move elsewhere in search of a profit margin.

abandoned boat
saltencrusted caravan and other structures 
images from wikipedia
What is left is an entropic landscape of human settlement, economic dismay and namely ecological disaster. Yes, this type of phenomenon is often viewed through a negative lens. Viewed as being an end of a line, a finished state of being, a non functional environment and so on, you get my drift. Instead, I view this as being a moment in time, a state that is constantly changing, in this case there would be both new and adapted ecological environments produced by the highly saline environment and the degradation of the structures brought here by us humans, a highly functional system that may not be your picture perfect traditional beach resort but a system and a space where events still occur. There's potential to explore and investigate these new environments before deeming them redundant and proceed with generic restoration principles.

There is an irony in the faith of Salton Beach, instead of your typical charter tourists coming here for a 2-4 week holiday from their 9-5 jobs to enjoy the pastel colours, cocktails, suntanned bodies, white beaches and crystal clear water you will now get another tourist, the one that is interested in this  unexpected outcome, for example, you may have movie crews shooting some scenes here for their post apocalyptic action flicks.

Salton Beach works, it's function and existence lying in our attitudes toward it.

This is a stunning movie shot on location:


Obscur - Beautiful

autumn/winter 2010

autumn/winter 2009
spring/summer 2010
There is something so neat and clean about these garments yet they are so skew and raw. It is that paralell that draws me to Obscur. 

 Richard Söderberg, a Swede producing collections since 2008. The garments, the brand and the designer's intent for making, is described as being:

'a language for the creator, a language that is intended to express a certain view of the world and a reaction. A reaction to the impureness and inconsistency that surrounds us.'

The way Obscur's garments are made is through an inspiration from a dark scandinavian heritage. This heritage being both the landscape around him and music according to Obscur's website

These garments are said to be for men, but I've gotta say that I'd wear them any day!


Louis Reith and map mountains

As a landscape architect, I see these map mountain artworks by Dutch artist Louis Reith as much more than just a decorative piece. The re-use of existing forms of representation such as the maps can begin to inform a re-design of the sites they were representing in the first place. The map mountains become functional in my eyes. The map models can show or suggest alternative spatial configurations and thus inspire and generate spatial suggestions when designing. via frankie


Functional and decorative vinyl wall stickers

As a non-home owner I've had to rethink how I decorate my home so to not end up either evicted or short on getting my rental bond deposit back from the agency because 

a. the landlord have no taste 
b. the agency want to make a quick buck. 

 (for those of you who don't know, any major and seemingly permanent alterations to a rental property need approval from landlord before being pursued in Australia, if you fail to do so you need to either rectify the modification upon moving out or pay a fee so that the landlord/agency can pay someone to do it for you. The latter is often over estimated and will end up costing you more than it should).
So therefore I cannot be bothered to do any major or seemingly permanent alterations to my rental as I know that I won't be here for that long.

birds on power lines
birch trunks

Instead, I drool over these vinyl wall stickers that can be removed from your wall and that won't leave you out of pocket, more than the cost of the stickers.

wall calendar
coat hanger

This cost can be larger if you choose to go to the Ferm Design website and buy any of their hot stickers (these are great as some of them have a function too, such as the periodic table,  calendar, chalkboards and as coat hangers).

The cost can be small if you choose to go on ebay and buy them off a South Korean company called The IUM that give you plenty of choice and deliver cheap to Australia. Up to you.

our removable nursery wall sticker

I went for the latter, left is a picture of the nursery wall that I decorated for my daugther. She loves to stare at it when I change her. Children see high contrasts in black, white and red best in the first year of their life. It was easy to assemble and I'll have to get back to you in terms of how well it comes off.


it all started with...

...a fascination for informality. both in design and generally in my everyday life (as if there is much difference anyway!) as long as I can remember I have been involved with and fascinated by activism, freedom of speech and freedom to act, reclamation of the public space that people feel have slowly started to disappear, random acts of creativity in civic space and the emergence of wierd and different types of environments brought on by all things bad for you like sewage, garbage disposal, fumes and other toxins, big budget commercial builds that have no interest in public interest and meaningful choice but build only for the profit margins and the glory of architectural shallow fame.

last year I finished my masters of landscape architecture at RMIT university here in Melbourne, Australia. my thesis project investigated the meaning of informality in the landscape, more closely, in the urban landscape. it's shapes, forms, acts and characteristics and how it manifests itself as a system, an object, an act, an event or any other type of occurrence that is deemed unexpected, unplanned and surprising. I explored how and if the informal could inform design. it became both about how the informal as an existing phenomenon can inform the way we design and also how the informal as an emerged and unexpected design outcome can inform a design, finally, how I design can inform the level or outcome of informality. I have included the pier project.http://thepier.se invented by fellow Swedes Nils Petter Löfstedt and Erik Westman created a living space under a pier in my hometown Malmo. the urban living room was inaugurated with a party and after this, it could become a space of refuge. this project could easily fall under art/design activism and street art but it is more than that. talking about the mere space that the pier has created, a pier that is purely in state of engineering, built for one function only, has now been reinvented to not only still serve as a pier, it's original purpose but it has been turned into a hybrid, responding to the political and economic issues of contemporary city life. here's a video of the project.

                                                                all images from fotografiska museet

informality manifests itself within each of the ecological, economic, social and cultural facets of the urban landscape that I am interested in. the way that people spontaneously occupy space. the temporary shelters under a railway bridge. the emergent vegetation in a 100 year-old storm water drain, the weathering of materials, the vacant urban lots awaiting planning approval or more funds. the food vendor on the street corner. a washing line between two buildings. pot plants on window sills, a bunch of milk crates nestled together under a tree acting as a seating arrangement for our city's contemporary nomads. the list is long and forever growing and this is why this topic is so very fascinating to me.

there is one massive question on this topic: when does the informal become formal? a mentor of mine once asked the question: can you plan the unexpected? the answers begin to describe what my role as the designer is.

this has been my first entry. it feels good. i'll leave you with a simple request. look up and look around, what informality do you see or even create, is it permanent or is it gone the next time you pass it?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...