Tag Archive for Design

made by us

Made by us: Appreciating the human side of things

Designing unique objects with, and for, the homeless.   Terry can fill a room with his laugh. A furniture restorer and french polisher by trade, he’s never without his multi-coloured crocheted hat sitting slightly askew on his head. He’s a colourful character who’s had a colourful life. An East Londoner by way of the Scottish Highlands, as a youngster he… Read more →

thoughtful fix wishlist

Wishlist: A curated set of items for getting your fix on

What could be more thoughtful than mending, repairing and improving things that are broken, forgotten or neglected? Creatively designed and compassionately made, here are a few tools to (and things which) do just that. Get stuff fixed Get fixed stuff Fix yourself Get your fix Photo credit (header): Lachlan Donald Read more →

goldfinger factory

Goldfinger Factory: A place to call home

The sea of pavement in front of Westbourne Park underground station is a dull grey; the sky, peppered with mist and threatening rain, a grey haze. Down the road, the Regents Canal is mottled flecks of silver. There are grey faces, grey hoodies. Tiny specks of colour—laundry hung on balconies to dry—punctuate a looming grey hulk of concrete. This is… Read more →

sophie howarth

Shopkeeper of the mind: An interview with Sophie Howarth

The glare of fluorescent lights and an overpowering scent of perfume welcome you to most department stores. Not so at the Department Store for the Mind, a retail concept responding to the rise of ‘mindfulness’ with clean, calm, thoughtful design. Online and in the occasional pop-up, it sells products to help you reflect on your thoughts and emotions. I sat down with… 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 →

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 →

Metal-spinning_resized

Tiipoi: Breaking Indian stereotypes with durable design

The first pop album I ever owned, Made in India, was one of the best selling of its generation. In my living room in London, I played that cassette tape to death, singing and dancing along, even accidentally twisting an ankle once. As an eight-year-old second-generation immigrant I had the pick of both cultures, idolising Indian pop star Alisha Chinai… Read more →

valentine

Love notes, long-stems and lube: A thoughtful guide to Valentine’s Day

Half a lifetime ago, my future husband gave me his first Valentine’s Day gift. It was an actual Valentine, made of construction paper and glue. He drew a cartoon cupid on it with marker, and fashioned a method for sticking a white carnation through it. Mind you, we were at university. Since then, nearly all his presents have followed a… Read more →

shinola

Shinola: The luxury brand helping Detroit scrub up

It’s a classic American tale. The brawny high school quarterback is widely admired, if not universally loved. A bit dim and arrogant, he coasts along until sure enough, years later, you hear that he’s gone off the rails and is a shadow of his former self. If the US were a high school, Detroit would be its washed-up former ‘big man… Read more →