2014年11月29日 星期六

Christmas by design: traditional decor given creative makeover


November 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Christmas by design: traditional decor given creative makeover

A new take on traditional decorations and seasonal interiors by six leading designers

Nathalie Lété

rtist and interior designer

“For my Christmas design, I wanted to decorate the simple fruits that you find in winter: oranges, apples and clementines, to embellish the Christmas table. I imagined what I would have done if I were a mother to surprise my kids in those hard days in the past. I would transform the fruits to make them resemble jewels in the candlelight.“The sparkling fruits on the Christmas table are inspired by the stories our parents/grandparents told us about how, when they were children in the 1940s, they would only be given an orange for Christmas and this in itself became something to be treasured. I remember when I was little receiving a Christmas stocking from St Nicholas that was full of clementines, walnuts and chocolates – it was magical.
“So I pinned some sequins and pearls on to the fruit. For me the ideal Christmas is when people make the gifts themselves.
“These decorated fruits are a good reflection of my design style. They are colourful and I like their handmade approach. They are inspired by popular culture, like much of my work.
“It’s a cross section between something that might come from Mexico or a country in Asia. And I like the idea of transforming an everyday object, a piece of fruit, with just a few sequins or glitter. Just as women in the countryside once transformed objects using straw, branches, pine cones, this is what I try to do in my work – add poetry, colour and magic to everyday things, with the sensitivity of an artisan.”

Tricia Guild

Interior designer and retailer
“When entertaining family and friends at Christmas I find all those small but thoughtful details – such as the choice of the ribbon for the wrapped gift, or the decoration on the tree – help to make the time more memorable. I love to use colour to bring personality and character to the table, perhaps cobalt blue with flashes of hot pink or cool lilac. These colours bring a sense of warmth and festivity to a space, yet are also contemporary and vibrant.
“I dress the table with coloured linen and candles in a variety of shades, combined with pure white linen and a mixture of tableware – coloured and white ceramics.
“Each place has a handwritten name tag and a little surprise, such as a chocolate or two or even a quirky bauble. Gifts are individually and uniquely wrapped, each one different to the next; I use thin strips of fabrics, twine, string and ribbons to add a special detail.
“Around the house festive touches such as branches festooned with decorations and ribbons, masses of candles and flower garlands, that I make with my granddaughter, are both hung and arranged.”

Charles Edwards

Lighting designer
“Christmas conjures up all sorts of memories for me – from being with an Italian girlfriend in the Piazza Navona in Rome on New Year’s eve, to spending a surprisingly happy Christmas at an abandoned coach house after my parents’ house was bombed towards the end of the war. After the ruin we had left, the cosiness of the little house made up for the lack of comfort.
“The best Christmases are not overblown. Spending a fortune on decorations and buying expensive presents for people who already have everything they need is ultimately rather vulgar. Christmas should be about looking out for other people. When my family lived in London, we almost always had at least one waif and stray staying with us.
“The lights I have chosen for this display are decorative, gold or silver. Elegance and attention to detail are the only other common threads, as I wanted to choose lights that hint at the range we make. Variety is a vital part of successful interior design.
“Many of the lights are inspired by 19th and 20th-century designs and the team at my Wimbledon workshop takes great pride in making sure the detail and craftsmanship is every bit as good as the originals.
“I still love all sorts of things about Christmas and I am particularly fond of the carol services, but I definitely breathe a big sigh of relief when the whole thing is over and normality resumes. If I find it all too much, I retreat with a DVD of Withnail and I and a bottle of ginger beer . . .”

Harriet Anstruther

Contemporary interior designer
“I rather dread Christmas. For me, the festive season consists of ignoring traditional social expectations, wearing sweatpants, watching back-to-back second-rate films and scoffing eggy noodles in the dark.
“So I have pulled myself together and decided to think of others. The concept behind these Christmas interiors is more about the mutual celebration of getting through another year, and time off together with friends and family.
“The word ‘hall’ is thought to derive from the Old English word heall, which refers to a covered space where the public life of a household proceeded, or an empty space in which to entertain. In reality, it is now invariably a space filled with keys, schoolbags, unopened mail and coats, and is rarely an empty or separate space. Nevertheless, an entrance, lobby or inner hall should, quite literally, aim to entrance, to fill with wonder and delight, beckoning in guests and family alike.
“My Christmas hall is one in which the birds represent people; people with the occasional but inevitable desire to fly away from everyone. It also celebrates the comforting darker, colder months with bright colour and candles that cast a soft, fluid, warming light at the centre of the home. The mixing of old junk shop finds and inherited pieces with modern and contemporary things, creates an eclectic amalgam of silhouettes, colour, light, materiality and context.”

Sheridan Coakley

Furniture retailer and manufacturer
“I really enjoy Christmas, it’s the best time of year to spend relaxing with friends and family. In our characteristically classic style, we have chosen a collection of modern and vintage products for the SCP grotto [named after Coakley’s furniture store].
“Everything is centred on the Oscar sofa by Matthew Hilton, which we make using sustainable materials at our specialist factory in Norfolk. This particular version is upholstered in a dark blue velvet. The design itself is a fine example of what SCP does best – take existing product typologies and update them for the modern world. Matthew Hilton has a real talent for this.
“Alongside the sofa is a pair of Jasper Morrison side tables, which have been reissued in 2014; the originals were launched back in 1986. These, along with Terence Woodgate’s Sax coffee table in front of the sofa, are all about form and function: simple, elegant and useful. To add some colour and vibrancy to the scene we have used cushions from the latest Donna Wilson collection, a vintage hand-sewn Ralli quilt from Pakistan and a beautiful Moldovan flat-weave rug.
“On the side table we have placed a new product from emerging US designers Fort Standard, the Infinite Tree. The coffee table has the all-important vintage Picquot Ware tea set and tray on it, Christmas needs good cups of tea. Our wall is adorned with antlers, which feels fittingly northern European. The scene is lit by a Mantis floor light from the designer and sculptor Bernard Schottlander. It is a delightful piece that has been recently issued based on his 1951 designs. The Parallel shelving system by Terence Woodgate in the background is adorned with a colourful collection of vintage German vases, which have some wonderfully tactile glazes on them.”

Afroditi Krassa

Product and interior designer
“Christmas is all about darkness and light. I remember as a child waking up in the middle of the night and the Christmas tree lights would be on, overloaded with glitzy decoration. No matter how cold and grim it was outside, I felt warm, loved and protected. So, we decided to recreate the iconic shape of a Christmas tree with light alone. We suspended 15 Pentagon Pendants from the AKollection, our own signature collection of products, over an imaginary tree. The pendants are made in mirror glass and are shown in two colours: pink rosé and smoked bronze.
“We also added some glamorously sleek presents at the bottom, three boxes made in bevelled mirrored glass, which are part of the Pleat Mirror Panels range. There is no need for a traditional Christmas tree; this is an ethereal and ghostlike version of this seasonal must-have.
“Simplicity, wit and storytelling are constant points of reference for the interior design work that we produce at the studio. And just like Christmas, I am asked to design spaces that ultimately make people feel good, Christmas or not. They say that the secret to the groundbreaking music of Pink Floyd is not what they added but what they took out. So, when excess and ‘loudness’ is the name of the game, it is good to start questioning what are the things that matter the most to all of us.”

2014年11月28日 星期五


2014.11.25 參觀史博館的「築人間」展 (因有工事,免費入場)。我給的分數是


「築人間」回顧展 漢寶德最愛小飛豬

「築人間」展場懸吊了一隻可愛的小飛豬。這是總統府資政漢寶德最喜歡的展品,懸吊在他創辦的國立科學博物館哺乳類演化廳。西方諺語「When pigs fly(當豬飛時)」是「不可能」之意,漢寶德卻總能「化不可能為可能」。

漢寶德八十回顧展2014/10/24~11/30 4F - 國立歷史博物館

票價:全票20元 半票、學生票10元
漢寶德書法+歷史建築 古趣相乘
字級:大字體 一般字體 小字體
  • 建築學家漢寶德在大稻埕「保安捌肆」舉行「境與象」書法展,讓漢字文化與歷史建築相互呼應。圖/趙夢琳提供


在日式老屋「保安捌肆」溫潤的木頭地板與階梯上,漢寶德長幅書法自由伸展,偶現童趣的字跡與歷史空間相交融,古趣加乘;立在壁上的書法,寫著「飄飄何所似 天地一沙鷗」等字樣,映照其下的咖啡桌椅,讓整個空間更富靜謐的藝術氣質。



Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf
10小時 ·

''Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art.''

-- Virginia Woolf's May 13, 1926 entry from "The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 3"

[WITH OBJECT] (often as adjective candied)
Preserve (fruit) by coating and impregnating it with asugar syrup:candied fruit
  • Okay, it's not exactly sugar-free, since some of the dried fruits are candied with sugar.
  • Generally, these fruits are candied, but they may also be eaten fresh.
  • I'm not a big fan of fruitcake; candied fruit is not my thing.

2014年11月24日 星期一

Top 10 Taiwanese Designers to Watch: From Craft to High T

Top 10 Taiwanese Designers to Watch: From Craft to High Tech

For decades Taiwan has been an electronics design hub, making components for the biggest names in the world’s tech industries. Now, Taiwanese designers are making names for themselves as innovators in the spheres of product and industrial design. From catwalk fashions and artisan furniture to cutting edge eco-technologies, these 10 product designers form the vanguard of Taiwan’s emerging creative force.

The Culture Trip
UNIKEA | Courtesy Kenyon Yeh

Kenyon Yeh

‘Design’, says Kenyon Yeh, ‘is a process and a tool to deliver ideas’. From his Taipei studio Yeh creates furniture and lighting that, although boiled down to the most minimalist forms possible, nonetheless convey Yeh’s ideas and aesthetic regarding modern urban living. His UNIKEA project is emblematic of his practice: in it, Yeh strove to forge unique identity from uniformity by assembling Ikea flatpack furniture without reference to the instructions, customising each component as he went along. Yeh’s interest in unique approaches and beautifully simple forms have seen him invited to work with the likes of TOPMAN UK andBritish designer Simon Hasan, as well as acting as brand director of Taiwanese make Esaila.

Jolin Wu

Jolin Wu’s CV reads like a who’s who of fashion luminaries: not only did the Taiwanese designer study at London’s Central St. Martin’s and the Royal College of Art, but she also went on to work as a freelance designer with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Julie Verhoeven. This experience surely stood Wu in good stead for establishing her own brand, which she did in 2008 back in Taipei. Focusing on womenswear, Wu largely reinvents the look of her collections each year, oscillating from dreamy romanticism to sport-luxe functionality; the common thread from collection to collection is her use of clever tailoring and elegant basic forms that speak to modern Taiwanese femininity.

Su Jung-Cheng

She’s still under 30, but Su Jung-cheng already has an impressive collection of product designs to her name. A recent collection includes Su’s Nonsystem furniture range, a range of boxes and flat surfaces that can be clipped together in different ways to make different pieces of furniture, from stools to shelves. Her minimal yet multifunctional pieces work perfectly in the context of Taiwan’s crowded urban areas, where space is at a premium and inventive, adaptable furniture works better than traditional didactic design.
The Culture Trip
Courtesy Homer Concept

Elvis Chang

Elvis Chang describes the products made by his award-winning design company Homer Concept as ‘functional artworks’, and when you see his tactile, ergonomic yet organic pieces it’s hard not to agree. Specializing in multifunctional wooden furniture, Chang’s Homer Concept tackles issues of constricted living space head on, producing pieces that make the most of small living spaces while remaining aesthetically appealing. With a commitment to sustainability, Homer Concept has brought out pieces such as the Stack Stool, a wooden stool that also doubles as occasional table, desk and even stepladder. Thanks to this commitment to creating pieces that last a lifetime and address real-life consumer needs, Chang’s design studio won the HKDA Asia Design Awards in 2009, and the Golden Pin Design Award (Best Design) in 2011, the longest running design award for products created in the Chinese-speaking world.
The Culture Trip
International Forum on Natural Dyes & WEFT TAIWAN 2014 | Photo by Chang-Chih CHEN

Sophie Hong

Hsinchu-born Sophie Hong is in some ways more like an artist than a fashion designer. Using traditional techniques to apply layers of paint to silk, she creates stiffly lacquered material that she then cuts and tailors into striking items of clothing. There’s an element of theater to her pieces, which often incorporate the flowing shapes and high collars ofChinese opera or dance, but Hong aims to always make the pieces wearable in a modern, international context. Whether experimenting with her recent menswear collection, designing stage costumes or expanding her womenswear range, Hong’s guiding mantra is to create clothes that are ‘beautiful, elegant, simple’.新竹出生的洪麗芬在某些方面與其說是位時裝設計師,其實更像是一位藝術家。她將傳統工藝的技術應用在絲布上,創造了挺拔的湘雲紗,並裁剪成引人注目的設計服裝。她的設計中常見到中國戲曲及舞蹈服裝裡流動線條及立領的設計元素,但洪麗芬始終以好穿、當代以及國際化為其設計宗旨,無論是男裝系列,舞台設計服裝或是她持續拓展的女裝系列,洪麗芬追求的是 “美麗、優雅、簡潔” 的設計使命。
The Culture Trip
Scenery Knife Block Set | Courtesy JIA Inc


Design studio JIA Inc aims to make cooking and kitchen duties a pleasure rather than a chore through their innovative design of home wares. The studio collaborates with international designers to create products that fuse the best of both East and West. The result is products that capture the ‘calm and comfort’ of home with the benefits of a globally networked design community. JIA’s recent collection of kitchen knives perfectly captures this aesthetic: incorporating the traditional Chinese cleaver, chef’s knife and paring knife, the set is made both from bamboo and acrylic, and the terracotta outer holder can also be used as a plant pot. JIA has won numerous distinctions for their subtle designs, including numerous Golden Pin Design Award ‘Design Marks’ over the last five years.
The Culture Trip
Courtesy Xcellent

Ader Chen

When Ader Chen founded Xcellent in 2001 his aim was simple — to offer ‘a better choice’ of design. Xcellent’s lighting products certainly fit the bill, as the design studio has revolutionized the humble lamp: using cutting edge LED technology Xcellent has produced award-winning lights like the Star Pendant, a futuristic modular design made up of ‘blades’ of light, which can stand alone or be fitted together to make unique light fixtures. But it’s not all hyper-technology — Chen also has a poetic side, as seen in his Flight Pendant Lamp, inspired by a flock of seagulls. A self-confessed bicycle obsessive, Chen’s love for deconstructing mechanical and re-making them in better ways is apparent in all of the products Xcellent releases.
The Culture Trip
New Old Light | Courtesy Kimu Design

Kimu Design Studio

Design can change the world, according to Hsiaochun Shih, Tingwei Yeh and Yihsien Lin, the brains behind Kimu Design Studio. Starting from this position, the team aims to make products that connect with people in simple and natural ways. From stationery to home wares they combine traditional and modern, and East and West in surprising ways: the ‘new old light’, for example, combines a traditional Asian paper lantern that expands and contracts to create different intensities of illumination. Recently, Kimu claims to have found their most important design partner yet—nature. By re-imagining flowers and plants, the studio hopes to capture the interplay between man and the natural world in their lighting, for which they were recognized with a Golden Pin Design Award ‘Design Mark’ in 2014.
The Culture Trip
Polygon Tetrahedron Ring | Courtesy 22 Design Studio

Sean Yu and Yiting Cheng

Concrete and steel are rarely materials associated with home ware or accessories, but at 22 Design Studio, husband-and-wife design team Sean Yu and Yiting Cheng take these uncompromising raw elements and re-purpose them to create everything from jewelery to clocks and stationery. Inspired by the hypermodernity of Taipei, the duo tries to capture the strength and power of concrete and steel in their ‘resolute and uncompromising’ products. Their concrete jewelery, fashioned by hand in Taipei, somehow combines elegance with a certain brutality, while their pens and automatic pencils could at first glance be mistaken for industrial tools — both products speak to a determination to find points of connection between humans and the modern urban space. 22 Design’s unique approach has seen them featured in magazines such as GQ and Wallpaper*, and won them a national Golden Pin Design Award ‘Design Mark’ in 2014.

Curvature Lab

Taiwan is perhaps the world’s technology hub, with international electronics and digital companies flocking to the island to design and manufacture products. Curvature Lab takes advantage of this tech-savvy atmosphere and combines it with traditional Taiwanese aesthetics to create everything from computer screens to tableware. The Lab has recently established their first brand, Woo Collective, in an effort to embody this ‘New Craft’ ideology. In creating their ‘Inheritance’ collection of containers, the designers worked within the parameters of traditional Taiwanese tin craft to create simple forms, then roughed up the products by burning incense onto the surface of the tin to create a golden flush.
By Cassandra Naji
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