Tag Archive for Design

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: 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 →


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 →


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: 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 →

LED bulbs

A bright idea from Japan is changing how we see the world

If anyone ever told Shuji Nakamura to stop trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s a good thing he didn’t listen. This week, he and two other Japanese researchers, Hiroshi Amano and Isamu Akasaki, won the Nobel Prize in Physics for what amounts to reinventing an equally fundamental device. By creating a blue LED, the scientists have given scores of other innovators a… Read more →

Galapagos Designs

Galapagos Designs: The evolution of vintage

Ragged, unstable and a bit smelly, sat out in the empty lot behind the Salvation Army store, tons of old furniture wastes away, losing hope. Lucy Mortimer finds the fittest of the lot and gives them a good scrub up before sending them to good homes. She set up Galapagos Designs to make it as easy and satisfying for people… Read more →

Edwin Broni-Mensah

How one man’s quest for a six-pack is changing the way we stay hydrated

When Edwin Broni-Mensah was 24, his main priority was to get rock-hard abs by his 25th birthday. A mathematics PhD student, he settled on a suitably data-driven exercise regimen known as P90X. The programme called for a strict exercise and nutrition plan that had him drinking five litres of water every day. More than twice the price of petrol and… Read more →