Thomas Heatherwick talks at the Gobal Design Forum [podcast]

19 Sep , 2012  

Thomas Heatherwick talks about the process of designing the Olympic cauldron, a New Bus for London, and the Shanghai Expo Seed Cathedral

Thomas Heatherwick and his team of archi­tects, design­ers and makers work from a stu­dio in King’s Cross, just down the road from this year’s Global Design Forum for London Design Festival 2012. Here he talks about about the pro­cess of cre­at­ing, design­ing and then execut­ing three large scale pro­jects: the Olympic cauldron, a New Bus for London, and the Shanghai Expo Seed Cathedral. More…

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Pecha Kucha at Clerkenwell Design Week 2012

9 Jun , 2012   Gallery

Pecha Kucha at Clerkenwell Design Week - invite
The first golden wings of sum­mer spread over Clerkenwell Design Week 2012, a warm embrace gath­er­ing Pecha Kucha to it’s breast at the clos­ing night in the Farmiloe Building on St John’s Street.
The free beer and £1 off Sipsmith gin helped a little but mostly it was down to the weather, the exhib­it­ors and the organ­isers who, year after year, are mak­ing CDW into some­thing spe­cial: A ser­i­ous design week for people who are so ser­i­ous about design, they actu­ally think it should be enjoyed.

On the balcony at Pecha Kucha night during Clerkenwell Design Week 2012
Devised by he Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham to stop designers and architects from talking for too long about their beautiful projects, the format allows the speakers to talk about any subject they choose using 20 slides shown for exactly 20 seconds each in sequence. Results range from profound to hilarious and include most points in-between.

7 o’clock slipped by and the yard filled up with people as our chosen ten assembled on the bal­cony for PK3.

:: Christopher Turner ::

Christopher Turner, master of ceremonies, Pecha Kucha at CDW2012
Icon magazine editor Christopher Turner was Master of Ceremonies for the even­ing… More…

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Nicole Atkins at The Slaughtered Lamb

16 May , 2012   Gallery

Nicole Atkins at The Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell, London

I came to Nicole Atkins late, via David Byrne Radio in 2008, and she’s been on my playl­ist ever since. Born Neptune, New Jersey, did the usual ellipt­ical, form­at­ive stuff, formed Nicole Atkins & The Sea, released a ter­rific debut album, Neptune City, pro­duced by Tore Johansson, in late 2007, sub­sequent part­ing of the ways with Columbia and oth­ers, another album, Mondo Amore, and this unplugged gig in rainy Clerkenwell.

Downstairs at The Slaughtered Lamb is a dark, air­less place and I didn’t see her appear out of the gloom until she plugged her acous­tic gui­tar into the PA on the small patch of leo­pard-pat­terned car­pet that was the entire per­form­ance area. After the over­flow­ing orches­tra­tion of Neptune City and the raw, swampy Mondo Amore, could a girl with a gui­tar still slay us?




Camorra and Italian police create interior style guide

9 May , 2012  

The Italian author­it­ies have seized Camorra mob­ster Nicola Schiavone’s Naples apart­ment and videoed the whole thing, provid­ing us with a vicari­ous glimpse into the design sens­ib­il­it­ies of Campania’s monied under­world.

(view it on YouTube)

Embarrassingly, I can dimly remem­ber fea­tur­ing some bits of not-totally-dis­sim­ilar décor on the shop­ping pages of Spaces magazine back in 2003. Either I do a post-ironic ana­lysis of the chan­ging face of kitsch or I just bury it deep?



We got a VisitEngland badge!

8 May , 2012  

VisitEngland agency accreditation for

My agency,, received accred­it­a­tion from VisitEngland, the National tour­ist agency. We are the first London rent­als agency to gain VisitEngland approval and we are rather thrilled.

They inspec­ted our offices and vis­ited our prop­er­ties to assess per­form­ance and deliv­ery of ser­vice. And we passed with fly­ing col­ours!

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, said, “ is to be con­grat­u­lated on becom­ing the first VisitEngland Quality Accredited Agency in London. More…



Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech

23 Apr , 2012   Gallery

Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech

Hidden behind an unre­mark­able wooden door in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina lies the extraordin­ary house of Italian design duo Fabrizio Bizarri and Alessandra Lippini. Mention their names among the grow­ing num­ber of for­eign­ers who are mak­ing Marrakech their home, and they will inev­it­ably be greeted with nods of recog­ni­tion and smiles of friend­ship. For the Europeans who have settled in Marrakech are a close-knit bunch, united by shared appre­ci­ation of the Moroccan way of life. In their ten years in Morocco, the two design­ers have become reg­u­lar fix­tures of the Medina. But, if the loc­als have grown accus­tomed to Fabrizio and Alessandra, you can­not help but won­der what they would make of their cre­ation; the Ministero del Gusto.


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Reasons To Be Cheerful: Visit London in 2012

20 Mar , 2012  

A bit of grin and bear it, A bit of come and share it, You’re welcome, we can spare it…

London Olympics transport chaos

Business as usual or chaos? Nobody seems to have men­tioned that ‘busi­ness as usual’ in London is pre­dic­ated on chaos. A finely tuned state of per­petual dis­aster to be aver­ted at the last moment. It has been this way forever and the 2012 Olympics will be the latest bene­fi­ciary of London’s great tal­ent for bodging, impro­visa­tion and unex­pec­ted moments of tran­scend­ence. I expect Londoners to spend the next six months com­plain­ing about col­lapsing trans­port infra­struc­ture, high-handed IOC offi­cial­dom, a down­turn in trade for much of the cap­ital, and the fact that none of us got tick­ets.

Reasons to be Cheerful: Afterwards, they will remem­ber the buzz, the amaz­ing events that popped up all over the city dur­ing 2012, and the Dunkirk Spirit that accom­pan­ied each suc­cess­ive cock-up. I also pre­dict a short­age of bar­be­cue char­coal as City traders work­ing from home finally dis­cover that men are able to mul­ti­task, espe­cially with a nice cold Chablis. More…

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The London Bus: Heatherwick, Maps, and Apps

27 Feb , 2012  

The new London Boris bus made it’s pub­lic debut on route 38 this morn­ing in an event­ful and not entirely wrinkle-free out­ing. It was stalked through the streets by a ven­er­able old route­m­as­ter car­ry­ing pro­test­ers against the recent fare increases which con­tinue London’s fine tra­di­tion of being one of the most expens­ive cap­ital cit­ies for pub­lic trans­port.
The bus itself looks spiff­ing; Thomas Heatherwick has done a ter­rific job of bal­an­cing the con­flict­ing require­ments and yet pro­duced an iconic vehicle which seems to have met near-com­plete approval. Did notice a lot of con­dens­a­tion, though, pos­sibly from hyper­vent­il­at­ing LT staff.
I will write more about the bus, Heatherwicks’s recent lec­ture, and bus stuff in gen­eral, when I get back…

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Trafalgar Sun by Greyworld [Public Art]

24 Jan , 2012  

'Trafalgar Sun' installation by Greyworld, Trafalgar Square, London WC2

The sun had set 20 minutes earlier and the Number 24 bus lumbered up Whitehall towards a glow­ing orange ball of fire burn­ing just behind Nelson’s Column. The new Sun was cour­tesy of Greyworld who seemed to think that a 2500kg bal­loon con­sum­ing 210kW in order to emit 4-mil­lion lumens of sodium-dis­charge light, for one day only, would add a cheer­ful spark to (stat­ist­ic­ally) the most depress­ing day of the year.

I asked them, ‘Why on earth did you do it?’ More…

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