Sick Cocoon and Sick Ball by Jeannine van Erk

photo via designboom, image courtesy of bel+bo
These stunning lanters are actually made from custom-dyed medical bandages. The designer, Jeannine van Erk, carefully layers the dyed bandages around the balloons with an adhesive, allows it to dry then pops the balloons and off you go with these beautiful and earthy coloured lamp shades. They are subtle and welcoming, inviting and non-pretentious. Perhaps a reflection of the designers personality. I LOVE the idea of turning bandages into lampshades. Re-making a material from one purpose to the next. I also adore the idea of each lampshade being different from the next due to them being handmade. There is something very lovely about a handcrafted work that you just don't get with mass-produced and factory made items. The knowledge that somebody has carefully crafted something with their own hands (I am known for having a hand fetish) appeals to me. It feels as if an object has reached its full potential when it is hand-crafted as the maker has given everything in his/her physical and mental capabilities at that point in time and that to me is intriguing, it tells a story, it has a narrative, it has meaning.

Jeannine van Erk works for Berlin based design studio bel+bo and exhibited these works at the DMY Berlin (Berlin International Design Festival) held this earlier this month.

This is how the designers describe these products:

Cocon- Malade and Boule Malade are unique, handcrafted lampshades.
Their individuality is achieved by hand-made, specially dyed natural materials.
Because of the craftsmanship of the Dutch designer, Jeannine van Erk, each lampshade is different.
Their special quality is warm, atmospheric light in a simple, yet contemporary design.

The color chosen for an order is never exactly the same as shown. These are natural pigments,
so they will vary slightly.

They are available in 7 different colours
detail view of sick cocoon bandage lantern via designboom
cocon and boule malade, assorted colours, image via designboom, image courtesy of bel+bo
designer making the sick lanterns, image via designboom, courtesy of bel+bo


State of Design 2011 Festival Guide - Now available

This years State of Design festival guide has been launched and is available from their website, here.

The theme for this year's festival is Design that moves. Personally, I am interested in the interventions that take place outside in the urban fabric, such as the Landscape Urbanism 72 Hour Urban Action in the Docklands that sees teams of architects, builders, landscape architects, urban designers etc...live, eat, sleep and work on their chosen sites and construct new urban forms through site specific interventions. (Correction, the name of this event has now changed to Urban Realities, Landscape Urbanism 3 Day Design Challenge.

Chasing Kitsune, from here

Hassell's Chasing Kitsune which is a Japanese food truck that will make its way around the city and adapt to its imnmediate surroundings, Mapping the Burbs, which is an Architectural discovery tour conducted on your bike.
 Camp Street CampOut + LookOut, which invites you to design and recreate the tent city for a day. Participants are invited to pitch their designs for a tent and display it in Alfred Deakin Place, Ballarat. Using recycled fabric, everyone is invited to tailor their tent claim a little bit of this public space.

Other than what's happening outside on our streets and beyond and true to my personal interests, there is also a worshop called MakeUp which takes you through the art of reusing and upcycling material. From transforming unwanted vintage wallpaper to reusing old yacht sailcloths and turning them into teepees.

This and much much more stuff to do in Victoria from the 20-31 July 2011.


Opening of the Highline' Section 02'

This project makes me so incredibly happy. It makes use of a disused elevated old railway system in NYC and turns it into a fantastic civic space through which one gets an alternative view of the streets of new york.

Instead of demolishing this disused infrastructure, landscape architects and urban designers Field Operations along with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and planting designer Piet Oudolf collaborated together to celebrate civic life in one of the worlds most famous metropolises with this elevated park corridor. Remaking an old and once vital part of the industrial city into a new, vital part of the public city.

perspective view, merging vegetation and the built environment around it, giving an indication of what sort of space you can expect upon visiting the Highline.

The design celebrates the human scale, interaction between people, interaction between people and the surrounding built environment, interaction between people and industrial heritage and the interaction between people and a more romantic planting scheme that could be argued somewhat removes the visitors from the very city that this piece of infrastructure once served. As the people at dezeen describe it:

The park accommodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate, and the social. Access points are durational experiences designed to prolong the transition from the frenetic pace of city streets to the slow otherworldly landscape above.

Top view of the Highline Park, some vegetation found on the elevated level is in fact tree canopies planted on ground level. image via dezeen

Rudanko+Kankkunen - Vocational school in Sra Pou, Cambodia.

This is such a meaningful project by finish architects Rudanko+Kankkunen. The school was constructed with hand-dried blocks of local soil and built by the local community. via dezeen
Window/Door Shutters, image by architects

 Using materials found closeby and having the locals building the school as a design process makes this project close to the heart and it gives it more soul.

I love the colours of the window shutters, they are vibrant and contrasting to the terracotta coloured bricks.

Facade, image via architects
Student looking through the woven window shutters, image via architects
It would've been nice to have added the surrounding lot to the design aswell. For this sort of project I would imagine having a workshop with the children and planting perhaps fruit trees and other edible crops to the school yard.

Holes in wall to let sunlight through and also aid in ventilation of the building, image via dezeen

Urban Interventions

My urban intervention Crate[or] is now online for your perusal here. Feel free to email or comment on the project. It forms a part of ongoing design research that I am conducting into approaching the city at a human scale when discussing urban development and the understanding of the forces that play out in the city.

Crate[or], photo by author


IKEA's 'Homemade is Best' - The architecture of Baking

Ikea's 'Homemade is Best' cook book contains 30 traditional Swedish baked goods recipes with a twist. Each recipe is complimented by an image of the ingredients before they are mixed together and baked. It is a wonderful documentation of the process of baking. NO, actually, it is the process of arranging the ingredients of baking.

Napoleonbakelser, before


The ingredients are placed in a decorative composition adjacent to each other and this image is then paired with the end result. But if I was to imagine the scenery of when I bake and cook in my kitchen, the image is a far cry from the stylized and glorified images of this book. It would be interesting to contrast this work by documenting the 'real' process of making and juxtaposition the images next to each other to further the notion of documenting a design process. Because, it is only the ingredients and the end result that is on display here, and the actual MAKING part seem to have been left out.

Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) before

Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) after
Still, a cool idea from the ad-agency Forsman & Bodenfors.

The homemade is best book serve the purpose of drawing more people towards the kitchen and obviously to IKEA's showroom. That is beside the point. These days, people seem to be more obsessed with the end result and product that they forget the beauty in the making of things. This is why I love this project. It starts to talk about the intimate and domestic in a beautiful way. It is a world away from fast-food outlets and mass-production of food. 
Mandelmusslor (Almond mussels), before

Mandelmusslor (Almond mussels), after

Yet the irony is that this work is meant to draw people towards the mass-production of the IKEA kitchen. As if IKEA is saying: OK, so here we have it, we'll let you go back to domesticity and the art of making unique food in your own home so that you don't have to worry about getting your consciousness dirty with the immorality of mass-produced food. Leave the mass-production to us and you'll be a happy peach. 

vaniljhorn (vanilla horn) before,
from here

vaniljhorn (vanilla horn) after, from here

Looking at the homemade is best work, makes me a happy peach but I just want to reconfigure the work to include the process of making it as well.

Now I know the point was not that at all, it is just the way I think. Originally, the ad company made the cookbook, created an iphone app that traced your exercise and told you when  you'd done enough exercise and earned the calories to eat one of the recepies. Clever, isn't it. Apparently, the ad reached 40 million people without IKEA spending a cent on media and promotional costs..somehow...I am contributing to the publicity too. Hmmm.

Here's a link to the movie.

I think I might just visually suggest how this process would look if applied to the components of an architectural project. Watch this space.
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