Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vinyl Records become jewellery...

Having grown up in the vinyl age of records, I always have had a fetishistic relationship with them. The whole ritual of getting the record out of the sleeve after having read every minutiae of information on it, from titles and producer to art director and photographer plus all the credits, putting it on the turntable and listening to music filling the room was very special for me. The smell, feel and look of the vinyl made it precious to me - not to mention the music recorded on it.

Photo of rare Live in Chicago Dead Can Dance LP - surely not to be recycled into jewellery!

Imagine my surprise when, through The Fabulist, I discovered the website of a company making jewellery out of vinyl records. Making stuff out of old vinyl records is nothing new, I have seen even bowls made out of them (yuk!). But the jewellery of Vling! is something quite unique.

My favourite is the cassette necklace - sentimental reasons of course!

Other music related designs - which seem more appropriate to me and best designed (the rest of the stuff looks uninspiring) are a guitar, musical note, the word Rock and a gramophone that looks like a Grammy award:

The company is based in the U.S. They have also a page on MySpace. They even take custom orders, like names written in vinyl. They do ship worldwide and you can e-mail them here for questions. I can think of many records that I would never give up to be recycled but also of many I would gladly see turned into better looking stuff!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Designer's Virus:how many of us have it?

On the Design Observer blog, one of the best about design out there in my humble opinion, I found this great post from Adrian Shaughnessy, of Shaughnessy Works, musing about design and how designers approach their clients. It makes one think a lot about why one designs, how and for whom. Read it here.

(image:the avian flu virus)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Inspiration in green: Vogue Hellas cover

Remember the US Vogue cover post last May? It seems it is the turn of Vogue Hellas to have the honours. The November issue cover is flush with green, with some yellow dabs and a white logo.

The lady on the cover is infamous in Greece for the beginning of her modelling career and the follow up has been equally scandalizing for some. I say forget all this and look at the pure beauty of the photograph. I am proud to see Vogue Hellas making great issues all the time that have editorials to rival most Vogue editions. The team for the photo shoot is:

Photographer: Kostas Avgoulis
Fashion Editor: Michael Pandos
Hair: Stefanos Vassilakis
Make Up: Manos Vinichakis@Effex+
Photo Assistants: Thanos Tsakonas & Damianos Kartas@D-Tales
Fashion Associate: Despina Isopoulou
Model: Julia Alexandratou

Julia is wearing Silk dress with ruffles of organza by Christian Dior. Pearl earrings by Kessaris. Photographed at the National Garden in Athens.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Made In Jail: art by juvenile jail inmates in Thessaloniki

A few weeks ago, an unusual project arrived at Tetragon: help arrange an exhibition of art made by juvenile jail inmates in the Vafopouleion Cultural Centre of Thessaloniki. The exhibition is based on works made at workshops sponsored by the Group of Friends and Volunteers of the Juvenile Protection Company of Thessaloniki. Artists come as volunteers at Diavata Prison and help the juvenile artists create what you will see in the following photos.

My colleague, the architect Zoe Evangelopoulou, supervised the layout of the show. It was her idea that the whole set up of the podiums to show the works of art would be in the form of a Morse code, spelling out the words "Made In Jail". Such a brilliant idea, it was incorporated not only into the banners of the exhibition (see photo above) but also in the music of the show, made with Morse code sounds. Here is a plan of the layout:

The show included artifacts, paintings and poetry.

How was poetry shown at an art exhibition? It was not only read, but words, fragments of poems, were written in pieces of paper, heaped on the floor of the show room, as seen in the photos:

At the opening, after the necessary speeches, the pieces of paper were scattered in the room symbolically by two children, who relished the idea of course...People present there were supposed to join in but few did...the symbolism of the move was apparent to all I guess...

In the photo above you can see the man behind the show, one of the well known graphic artists in Greece, Spyros Tsiligiridis, helping the kids spread the word.

Some of the works shown looked like they could easily be installed in major "adult" events. Having seen both Greek Biennials this year (Thessaloniki and Athens), I must say this show moved me more than any of the others, because of its symbolism and power. What do you think?

The opening of the show was on Wednesday 17th of October and it will last until the 24th of this month. So if you're in Thessaloniki these days, do not miss this.

All proceeds of selling the artworks will go to help the juvenile inmates' rehabilitation process.

Days- opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 - 14.00 and 18.00 - 21.00
Saturday: 18.00 - 21.00
Sunday: 10.00 - 14.00
Monday: closed

Above is Zoe's favourite piece of art, parts of it were incorporated into the show's poster.

The work above is my favourite one. I am happy to say that it will be hanging at the offices of Tetragon after the end of the show, as one of the partners bought it.

All photos of this post courtesy of Zoe Evangelopoulou

Friday, October 19, 2007

Emily Campbell's time capsule

From the British Council website:

"Emily Campbell, born in Liverpool in 1966, is the British Council Arts Group's first Head of Design & Architecture. Since her appointment in 1996, her critical expertise in design has shaped an extensive programme with three objectives: to enhance Britain's international reputation for creativity; to increase understanding of design in the world at large; and to enlarge the international perspective of design in the UK. Emily commissioned the British Pavilion at the last two and the current (2006) Venice Biennale of Architecture; as well as the first major international design exhibitions to tour India and China in 2003. A series of critical debates, including How Global is Design? at the V&A in 2005 and My Kind of Town at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2006 continues with The Silk Route: Gone for Good in London in March 2007. Emily has a BA in English Literature from Cambridge, a diploma in clothing technology from the London College of Fashion and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale School of Art. Before joining the British Council she had been a pattern-cutter for the fashion designer Jean Muir, a project manager at Pentagram in London and a graphic designer with Michael Bierut at Pentagram in New York, where she created visual identities and campaigns for Brooklyn Academy of Music, Nickelodeon and Princeton University. She is on the RIBA Awards Group and the Jury for Designer of the Year 2006".

In a recent interview at Three Layer Cake, she mentions the items she would put in a time capsule to say the most about her and the times we live in. Here they are:

1. Apple's iPod

2. An animation by Daniel Brown.

3. A cow bench by Julia Lohmann:

4. Doshi Levien's Charpoy, produced by Moroso:

What would you put in a time capsule to define the age we live in design-wise?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

RIBA Stirling prize awarded to David Chipperfield Architects

This year's prestigious RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture) Stirling Award was handed to David Chipperfield Architects for the building they designed for the German Modern Literature Archive.

Read more about it at my post for 2Modern Design Talk blog here.

Inspiration: how to review

"For good measure, it gives the last word to a snooty food critic (Peter O'Toole) who sees the light and argues that the best role a reviewer can play is to champion the new; hailing those unsung heroes who are trying something different, regardless of their background, colour, creed or species."

This is taken from the Guardian's review of the film Ratatouille (which I loved by the way). I think it sums it up so nicely.

I loved the colors of the film - not the harsh bright ones of earlier Pixar, but lovely tones of blue and red and copper and green, with images of Paris so lovely and romantic. And the rat is amazing-even his colour is great. Visually (and not only) inspiring.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Goodbye to summer- inspiration: the color orange

The weather has finally turned to Autumn - so goodbye summer, with some more inspirational colors from my holidays. This time, the colour orange, one of my favourites.

From left to right, clockwise: tourist in the old city of Corfu, sunset in Igoumenitsa, child in the park of St. George & St. Michael's Palace in Corfu, sunset with Paxoi in view, sunset in Igoumenitsa, old house in Lefkada.