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thoughtful souvenirs

The art of finding souvenirs

A trip. A journey. A venture to a foreign land. When we travel to new places, to wander through unknown streets, to watch uncharted landscapes pass, to sit in unfamiliar cafés, we become transformed, transfixed, transported. How do we bring something back which preserves this experience? Our souvenirs tell us about ourselves, reminding us of who we have become because of the places we’ve… Read more →

tala led

Tala LED: The startup having a lightbulb moment

The prevailing image of energy-saving lightbulbs is one of winding fluorescent lamps that take five minutes to warm up before emitting a garish office-like white light. The only other option for low-energy lighting has been eye-popping ultra-bright LED spotlights, which have quickly gone out of fashion in contemporary interior design. Neither system has been able to emulate the look and… Read more →

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Why we make things

The thick pine forest that lines the sides of southern Maine’s curving costal road is interrupted by a sloping green field, where four barn-red buildings are clustered together. Inside, table saws hum as they slice through planks of oak and lathes swiftly spin as they curve blocks of walnut. “There’s a tremendous amount of creative problem solving in carpentry,” says… Read more →

wabi-sabi

Wabi-sabi: There’s beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that embraces impermanence, imperfection and emptiness. Its origins are in Zen Buddhism and it was popularised by tea master Sen no Rikyu, who integrated wabi-sabi ideas into the Japanese tea ceremony in the 16th century. Few people can articulate a concrete definition of wabi-sabi: ambiguity is integral to the philosophy. Rather than denoting a strict… Read more →

hill and szrok

Hill and Szrok: A butcher in London’s East End gives meat the respect it deserves

There’s no counter at Hill and Szrok, a butcher on Broadway Market. Upon entry by day, customers are greeted by meat being chopped on a large marble counter at the centre of the shop. At night, the same slab becomes a communal dining table that seats 14 people as the space transforms into a restaurant. Opened by restaurant manager Luca… Read more →