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The joy of Monday February 23, 2009

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Updated Rey and Charles Eames hanger…

This is an image I found this morning and couldn’t stop smiling. It pictures the work of Columbian artist Gabriel Sierra. It is so fresh and inspiring! Especially comparing to the work of most of the designers that are going ,,experimental,, and ,,artistic,,… Like the chair (pic.) of the young (and awarded) Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop. I’m not trying to say that designers can’t or shouldn’t do free, artistic work. It’s more about how they position it and where they get their inspiration from.

“Hang it all” originally designed for Tigrett Enterprises Playhouse division in 1953. Material : Steel frame with white powder-coat finish, solid wood balls painted in ninecolors (purple, yellow, blue, green, red, pastel pink, mustard, bold pink, and black) 50cm x 35cm x 16 cm ( each one ). Reedited by Vitra.


How far will we go? February 19, 2009

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What are we ready to accept? What are YOU ready to accept? What are you ready to give? Who do you want to help?

What do we consider to be normal, ethical and not?

Why do we consider ourselves superior comparing to other people?


“Over the past few years, IRFAK had developed an optimal production system for making excess human fatty tissue acquired by liposuction suitable for human consumption. This tissue has been acquired by IRFAK by means of donations. In this, IRFAK had the support of several international clinics which have a broad spectrum of liposuction treatments at their patients’ disposal.”

More information  about the project of Mieke Smits you can find on Irfak website.

Design Drive exhibition in Cesis February 18, 2009

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(Photo by Gints Malderis)

I have the pleasure to invite you to visit the Design Drive exhibition in Cēsu izstāžu nams (Pils laukums 3, Cēsis., Latvia). The show goes on till the 8 th of March from 10.00 till 17.00, Wednesday- Sunday.

You will see the work of Rihards Funts (RIJADA), Ilze Začeste, Juris Krūmiņš, Zane Homka, Baiba Linga-Bērziņa, Diāna Boitmane, Andris Tereško un Baiba Lindāne, Uģis Gailis (BU design) as well as me (: ( hammocks).

(Photos by Valdis Jansons)

Back from holidays February 16, 2009

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Last week has been full of fresh air and new impressions. I turned 1 year older. I got in a car and traveled some 900 km to South. And I ended up in Grenoble (fr).

Some fascinating buildings from 1968, when Grenoble was the city of winter Olympic games.

I had a chance to visit the atelier of French artist Marc Pessin. He is a very kind and intelligent white haired man. For over 60 years he has been working in many artistic domains, all related to graphic art. He is a book editor as well. He had exposed in numerous big museums, collaborating with world famous artists, fashion designers etc. His atelier is a real curiosity cabinet!

I can only admire him and wish to be in the position at his age where i can look back on a active and creative life as he has had it. His work still sells very well. But what I love the most is what he said about jewellery he used to create in 6oies (for Pacco Rabane etc.)- “I stopped doing jewellery because it was selling very good. Otherwise I would have had to continue doing this all my life”. I find it a wonderful attitude we should all learn from… not to get stuck in our own success, our style… I once read an interview with Maarten Baas and he said that he doesn’t mind if people would consider him to be the smoke-furniture-guy for the next 50 years. It’s a pity, I would mind!

He also has the biggest collection in France of mail art- decorated letters he exchanged with his friends-artists.

Besides 10 000 other things, he makes very beautiful relief prints with empty cans (the can is removed afterwards, it leaves a 3d trace).

I also finally visited the contemporary art center Magasin that I have had heard a lot about. At the moment there is a show of Canadian artist Davis Altmejd. The main material of his work (for this project) is mirror. The space is totally covered with mirrors. Altmejd has created several sculptures- giants.

A functional (?) solution for peeling an apple in the local bar of a small mountain village.

Snow typography. 1600 &+ m high.


Creativity = getting high. February 9, 2009

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I’m still reading the book of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Creativity flow and the psychology of discovery and innovation” and I’m still amazed by the work the author has done!

It it a lot like reading my astrological horoscope- I recognize myself in 9 phrases our of 10. Csikszentmihalyi doesn’t give a key, how to become creative and successful but he reveals characteristics common for creative people (in very various fields).

Here are some more passages I felt I have to share with you.

“Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous: They all love what they do. It is not the hope of achieving fame or making money that drives them; rather, it is the opportunity to do the work that they ENJOY doing. (..) Yet many others in the same occupation don’t enjoy what they do. SO we have to assume that it is not WHAT these people do that counts but HOW they do it.”

“By random mutations, some individuals must have developed a nervous system in which the the discovery of novelty STIMULATES THE PLEASURE CENTERS in the brain.” This sounds veeery recognizable!

“Why are these people doing their work? It was clear from talking to them that what kept them motivated was THE QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE they felt when they were involved with the activity. This feeling didn’t come when they were relaxing, when they were taking drugs or alcohol, or when they were consuming the expensive privileges of wealth. Rather it often involved painful, risky, difficult activities that stretched the person’s capacity and involved an element of novelty and discovery. This optimal experience is what I have called FLOW, because many of the respondents described the feeling when thing were going well as AN ALMOST AUTOMATIC, effortless, yet highly focused STATE of consciousness. ” (p.107.-110.)

The words I read in the book really help me to understand better what is going on in me. The author explains things in a very easy- to -understand and clear way.

Well, now I have a legal reason to be addicted to work (: .

multiply yourself by 100 000 000 February 6, 2009

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I think we take life too serious. And, especially- we take ourselves much too serious! We are so obsessed with our unique and special personalities, about making the right choices in life… finding the right man/woman, profession etc. … I am not a budist and I don’t believe in reincarnation but I m truly convinced that there is much more than what we see around us!

This weekend I saw a very inspiring documentary film about kwantum theory and it’s “father” Hugh Everett. (“Parallel worlds. Parallel lives.” u can watch here.) It is a very complex theory and, of course, I don’t understand it in details, but the main idea goes like this; scientists have discovered that atoms and molecules can splt in several parts. And as humans are made from atoms, it means that we can split as well. THey say that every time we make a choice- like for instance- when I hear my alarm, I m thinking if I get up or I can sleep 10 more minutes. The moment I get up, another me is created that stays in bed and along this another me there is a whole new univers is created where this new person continues her life. Of course, it is hard to imagine that there are millions and milliards of me “out there”, and not only out there, but- in other universes! But I really like this idea.

And I was also thinking, my mother used to say that if u would gather in one room all the persons a man had been in his life, I mean, the person he was at 16, at 25, at 30 , at 45 and so on, these persons would not recognize each other. That’s because we change so much over our life time. And I thought it really makes sense in this context. then it would mean that what I think is my consciousness is in fact one of my consciousnesses and it “travels” from one my body to another. And that’s how we get the impression that we change so much over our lifetime.

I think there are a few things we can learn from this theory. One is that we should be less stressed about making choices. We often think that it’s a question of life and death to pass an exam, to succeed a job interview… we are even struggling for half an hour choosing a dessert in a restaurant… But actually we don’t have to choose, we can get all of the options at the same time and enjoy all of the benefits!

And another thing is that we should be less obsessed with our unique personalities. (AND WE ALL ARE!) Fuck pride! Fuck ego! If we could change just a little bit the world would surely be a much better place! And in this documentary the son of Hugh Everett tells that his father’s wish was that his ashed would be thrown in trash. I heard this and I thought- what a wonderful idea!! It’s not that I would like my ashes to end up in rubbish (the most probably I would give my body to medical research), but I find it’s a wonderful thing that a man can be so relaxed and not to sacralise himself!

And I think, being obsessed with oneself is especially dangerous for (young) designers. Well, you can maybe become a genius artist this way… but designers create for other people not just for themselves!! So, I think, empathy is one of the keys we have to posses if we take the design path in our lives.

So, let’s take it easy and enjoy (; !

Glass rainbows. Glass mushrooms. February 4, 2009

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Hello, hello everybody, I’m finally back to the online world after a few hot days getting prepared for my evaluation (and I have to say that I did really good (: ). I’ll start by sharing my impressions of another great exhibition I saw not long time ago.

The show is held in Design Huis in Eindhoven and it is called GLASS. It goes on till the 8th of March. So, if South of Netherlands is within your reach, I suggest you to come and see it yourself!

Works from artists and designers from around Europe are on display. There are functional objects as well as installations and pieces of art. I have always thought glass is one of the most hard-to-manipulate materials and + it’s not easy to make something from glass that doesn’t look kitch. So, I give all my respect to people who make beautiful things from glass!

Bublicious adjustable table lamps by Dutch designer Chris Kabel. I like the idea, but … still some of his older stuff I find much more interesting (the lace parasol etc.)

The soooo beautiful candle holders by French designer Arik Levy.

Rainbows by Siem van der Marel. It’s a joy for eyes!

“Elaculatum ” by Anthon Beeke. (the ex head of communication department at the Design Academy Eindhoven + a big name in Dutch graphic design).

And some astonishing sea motifs. (sorry, I missed out some of the authors…)

Marieke van Diepen: a milk bottle serie. (At the moment I’m a fan of the “message in a bottle” theme!)

Bethlehem by De Oude Horn studio. (looks a bit like an explosion!)

Maria Roosen.

Mushrooms? Right… welcome in Holland.

Get ready for year 2025! #2 February 1, 2009

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The overwhelming tailor-made-product trend will have an enormous influence on most of the companies.
Open source business strategies will be very popular. Many products will be available in different configurations- a ready made good in a shop/internet shop and a downloadable manual/pattern that allows you to make your desired/needed thing yourself for considerably lower costs. The do-it-yourself will be the key word.
The “creativity” and different technique learning courses will be very popular for adults as well as for children. Most of people will have their personal “creative advisor” (most of the design school graduates will make their career as c.a.), who will help them to give a material shape to their ideas (about their home, furniture, cloths, shoes, food etc.).
The profession of a designer will be mire about designing services and all kinds of tools for creativity.

As the non renewable natural resources will decrease faster than it was calculated at the turn of the centuries, we will be forced to take strict measures. Taxes will increase dramatically for transportation, getting rid of waste etc.
Most of the air plane companies will adopt the “a tree-per-passenger-per-flight” plan. Every person will have to plant a tree each time he takes a plane (for extra money it could be done by somebody else). So there will be fast extending forests around airports. This will be just one of the ways to increase the awareness of people about the harmful efects of the activities they are used to and consider as normal.

The alternative energy sources won’t be that alternative any more (:! Everything will be used to create and collect energy. From gym halls till bicycles. Many houses will be equiped with flying wind turbines that will provide a part or all of the necessary energy for a household.
Electronic device manufacturers will face severe restrictions and standards for low energy consumption and cradle to cradle use of materials as well as collecting and recycling the out of date products. Due to these aspect the prices will rise considarably and the lifetime of products will be more extended.

As the actual proceses behind the big industries will become more transparent (due to information campaigns), most of the global mega brands will be forced to change their strategies and take responsability for the harm they’ve done to nature and human health. For instance, they will finally admit the catastrophic demage that aspartame (artificial sweetener) does to human body. Companies like Coca Cola will have to take care of these patients. There will be Cola, Nestle etc. hospitals all over the world.
Still people will tend to put all responsability on the manufacturers even if the information was available already 30 years ago.
Substances and food additives like msg will be strictly forbiden and considered as poisonous.