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10 Beautiful Designs - October

10 Beautiful Designs - October

It’s Autumn now, right? Or at least it’s close. So close that I can already feel the cosy open fires, smell the chestnuts roasting and feel the crunch of the fallen leaves.

This month will feature designs from all manner of design routes, a bit like the miscellaneous blog from August, enjoy.

Horiz-ontal

First up is the Casa Italia project. Invited to create artwork for the Italian sports team headquarters, Davide D’Elia presents ‘Horiz-ontal’. This winding path of blue and white walls feature 17 installations of various objects painted in sync with the dividing lines. The corridor is surreal but yet immersive and inviting. You are guided down the path, led by the flow of the lines, the lighting and the bold colours.

 

A+Z Loft House

I just love it when old buildings get repurposed into beautiful living spaces and this is such a great example. Factories are always my favorite conversion projects, closely followed by barns and old unused churches. This ex-weapons factory in Budapest has become a wonderful home. Undertaken by a husband and wife who run A+Z Design Studio, decided to become their own clients and convert this industrial building into a living space. In total, they have spent two years on this project and the result is a combination of retro with contemporary. The space has four floors, plenty of natural light and lots of painted details. I absolutely adore the living and dining area.

 

WTF Lamp

These ‘WTF’ bare lamps come from Sergey Lvov of Ukranian Levantin Design. I’ll admit, I’m a bit smitten with these lamps, aren’t they lovely! Nothing is hidden, all the fittings are on show, the bulb is proudly sitting in the geometric wire shade and the exposed power cable trails down the structure. 

 

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Kenzo/Spike Jonze

Not product design, not architecture, not even interior design...though actually it kind of is all three. The new collaboration between Kenzo and Spike Jonze is probably the best advert i've ever seen. I absolutely love it. It takes everything you'd expect from a perfume advert and turns it on it's head. It's fun, bold and breaks from stereotypes. The setting is a beautiful grand building with wide open staircases, mirrored walls and beautiful chandeliers. Complete with elegant furnishings, beautiful interiors, amazing choreography and strong direction, it was impossible to leave this off the list. 

 

Impossible I Type

This beauty from The Impossible Project marries modern day tech with nostalgia. This striking industrial design screams modernity, from the matte black finish to the typography. There are few buttons or dials on this camera, the ring of LED lights at the front are controllable from the camera and there is also a switch for exposure compensation control. In manual mode, the camera takes it’s lead from an app, offering remote shutter control, artistic shooting modes and shutter and exposure control.

 

Mido

From the mind of designer Rasmus Warberg, comes the MIDO sideboard. The industrial pipes pair beautifully with the wooden case. This thoughtful construction is evidence of his fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. I love the black pipes, and how they enhance the brightness of the wood.

 

Turning Boxes

Hans Sandgren Jakobsen designed these turning boxes for the 2015 Cabinetmakers’ autumn exhibition. There will be 50 limited edition cabinets available, all of which are already pre-ordered. The single, interconnected drawers are connected by one single bolt allowing them to easily slide in and out of their location. The contrast between the American walnut and European maple is just beautiful and the tower is both a functional item and a focal point. ­­­­

 

Solight

This wonderful light is not only a great design, but it has practical and environmental purpose too. Designer Alice Chun has designed this packable, collapsible and floatable solar lantern as a lighting alternative to reduce pollution and give light to those in need. Made from recyclable sailcloth material and 10 LEDs, which re-charge in the sun, this eco-friendly product provides 8-12 hours of light. Withstanding most climates makes this a versatile design, very beneficial for those in areas with no electricity.

 

Monoliths

I really love these tables. Probably because they’re made of concrete… in fact, there’s no probably about it, it’s definitely because they’re made of concrete. Architect Murray Barker and artist Laith McGregor designed these outdoor table tennis tables for the University Museum of Art in Melbourne. With copper detailing and steel nets, these tables look heavy and yet sleek.

 

Austin Seven Boulogne

This gorgeous go-kart has been designed and created by Douglas Varey who started building them as a family project with his 11-year-old daughter. Using re-purposed and eco-friendly materials, Varey designs and builds vintage inspired go-karts and this is a truly beautiful example of his work. This Austin Seven Boulogne took two years to complete and illustrates how different elements come together to create truly fantastic design.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

 

Top 10 Glass Designs

Top 10 Glass Designs

This originally started out as a top 5, but once I started narrowing it down, I just couldn’t only choose 5…you’ll see why.

 

Limpid Lights

Hailing from Eindhoven, Sam Van Gurp and Esther Jongsma, partner together to create product design studio VANTOT. The latest work to come from this duo is a collection called Limpid Lights. The shades are hand blown, and treated to create a hazy hue from the LED inside. This beautiful collection comes in a variety of shapes and three different colours.

 

 

OP-Vase

This beautiful collection of vases comes from designer, Bilge Nur Saltik. The faceted glass creates the illusion of a bouquet from just a single flower, multiplying and magnifying the flower. The collection features thee different vases in different shades and sizes, each crafted from hand blown glass. I really love this idea, and how effective they are at achieving the look of a bouquet.

 

 

Well

Aptly named as it draws inspiration from traditional water wells, this table lamp from Medj Studio takes a fresh look at mood lighting. A wooden handle mechanism winds and unwinds the cord which changes the height of the bulb. The higher the bulb, the brighter the light as the glass is frosted at the bottom creating a gentle hue. The glass is blown into wooden molds and drilled to allow for maple handles and brass details. The bulb socket hangs properly due to the weight of the brass bulb socket and a textile cable holds the socket.

 

 

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Glass Tea House

Okay, so less product design, more architecture, but an incredibly beautiful design which I had to include.

Tea ceremonies are a deeply rooted tradition in Japanese culture. This stunning creation comes from Tokujin Yoshioka to allow people to appreciate the surroundings whilst taking part in a tea ceremony, bringing people closer nature.

 

 

 

Holy Tristan

These tables marry together my favorite material (concrete) with glass. Concrete is a minimalist material and allows the focus to be placed on the lit glass table top. Designed by Michael Neubauer, these tables look futuristic and sleek. The patent pending lighting system has a special touch dimmer, giving ‘table lamp’ a whole new meaning.

 

 

Glass Shoal

This incredibly beautiful design comes from Scabetti. Resembling a school of fish swimming together in formation, this three hundred and eighty-six fish lighting fixture has quite an incredible presence. Created using clear, kiln-formed glass, the light reflects off the glass almost resembling sunlight through water. Truly beautiful.

 

 

 

Uki

Mjölk, a Toronto based shop and gallery which focusses on Japanese and Scandinavian goods has released this lovely candle lamp which comes from Nichetto Studio. The Uki tea light lamp has a Murano blown-glass diffuser to create subtle angles and the two shade options of either white or grey sit on top of a brass or copper base creating a soft hue.

 

 

Quido

This wonderful glass orb has one purpose, to allow you to enjoy a drink in the sun, with your friends without attracting lots of little bugs along to the party too. This contemporary design, takes modern mixology to a gorgeous new level, combining a bulky black lid with delicate glass straws. This is both beautiful, and practical.

 

 

Bottle up

Glass waste is a big problem in Zanzibar, as tourism proves to be both a vital source of income for the island, but also a large driver of waste. The glass has begun to overtake the natural surroundings, and as a solution, six Dutch designers have turned their attentions to creating ‘Bottle Up’ by teaming up with local craftsmen to transform glass waste into beautiful, functional products.

 

Credenza

I’ve saved my favourite until last because I think this collection is a truly beautiful example of glass design. This modern stained glass, inspired by the stained glass windows found at holy sites marries perfectly the traditional beauty of a thousand-year-old art with contemporary design. The highly skilled Italian artists that product these pieces, still use an old manual technique.

 

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson

Have you seen our Top 5 Marble designs?

10 beautiful designs - July

10 beautiful designs - July

There’s a lot of clocks this month...though that's no bad thing! 

Enjoy! 

Life in Progress Concrete Clock

I couldn’t keep concrete out of the blog could I? This gorgeous and simplistic design comes from Bertrand Jayr for Lyon Béton. The French manufacturer has a growing family of concrete products and I love it! The clean design is created by the absence of numbers and the clean white clock hands. Small enough to be a desk clock yet big enough to be a wall clock too, this is a versatile design with a big impact.

 

The Bradley Element

The Bradley Element by Eone is an innovative and practical design. Stylish and intriguing, this watch strips away traditional elements and instead replaces the hands with a dial ball bearing system powered by magnets. The Bradley line of watches were designed with the visually impaired in mind, able to match the position of the ball bearing to the raised marker on the watch face. This eye-catching design is made of tough materials making it not only a great design, but also a practical one.

 

Anima Table Lamp

Art Deco will never go out of style. The streamlined accents and pastel colours shine through to modern day designs, and this Anima table lamp from Atelier Sauvage is a key example of this. Composed of two contrasting woods, solid sycamore and French pear, this simple form is defined by its smooth curves, stacked structure and bulb placement. Delicate but bold, this piece is both a lamp and a sculpture.

 

 

ONEclassic

This beautifully designed speaker is constructed from acrylic plastic.  The clear casing isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it has a practical reason too. The acrylic is perfect for damping which stops the sound from reflecting inside the speaker. Of course, this material comes at a higher price and it is 5x more expensive than wood. There’s no denying that this speaker comes with a hefty price tag, but the transparent design and uncompromising performance makes this a unique design on this months blog.

 

Tarxia Collection

These handcrafted wooden phone cases from Adrián Rosales and Rafael Ruiz Casares are influenced by Andalusian art mosaics. The Tarxia collection are crafted using a seven centuries old technique which involves creating geometric patterns out of inlaid wood. Each of the nine designs are finished using natural materials making them ecological and hypoallergenic.

 

 

Today

Another clock, I did warn you that it would be clock heavy this month. This one though, is truly beautiful, and comes from Scott Thrift. Instead of focusing on the passage of time through hours and minutes ‘Today’ makes a full clock rotation through 24 hours to represent dawn, noon, dusk and midnight in corresponding hues. This clock stretches the user’s perception of time and provides a reminder to live in the present.  

 

Time Pattern

Layered triangular components form the basis of this clock. ‘Time pattern’ is a wall clock which again, looks at time differently. Designer Jorrit Taekema uses the layered elements to represent the passage of time and how it is constantly changing. The triangles look striking against the black clock front and although you might not have this for practical uses, this is a lovely item in its own right.

 

Concreto

Probably my favorite design on the list and can you blame me? Look at it, it’s beautiful! Designer Daniele Ragazzo was inspired by the walls found in Liguria which feature glass frozen in cement. This gorgeous design might look frail, but composed of fibre-reinforced concrete, coloured glass, amber and brass, this delicate looking table is much more solid than it looks. I just absolutely love it!

 

Wooden Turntable Collection

Creative and beautifully designed, these turntables from Joel Scilley are created from old pieces of wood. Available for purchase through his website, each turntable is beautifully individual and ranges from the classic looking ‘Chirp’ to the elaborate ‘El Diablo’.

 

Connesso Chair

Take a look at this, isn’t it lovely. It’s so simple and yet bold. This striking armchair comes from recent design graduate, Caroline Eriksson. The sweeping arm, in contrast to the solid form of the legs and seat, making the design look both delicate and tough. I love the simplicity of this design and that it capable of making such a big visual impact.

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

If you've enjoyed that list, then you're in for a treat, because there's a new one every month! Why not give the previous design blogs a read!

10 beautiful designs - June

10 beautiful designs - June

Hi!!! 🙌🏻 It's that time again, enjoy! My personal fave is the TWELVE lamp series! Tweet us your faves @g2innovation 

Elmer

Designed by Guillaume Delvigne, in partnership with French design studio Bellila, this lovely lamp, Elmer, is inspired by Elephant ears. The metal ears, combined with a sturdy oak base make for a soft and soothing design, which looks great in an array of playful colours. This clever and contemporary design means that the lamp can sit on it’s own, or be grafted to a shelf. I absolutely love the orange one!

 

Lagoon

Customizable and fun, this outdoors chair from Baldessari e Baldessari for Lagoon is inspired by lagoon colours from all around the world. Polypropylene-molded to give the impression that it’s comprised of two pieces, although the stitching doesn’t hold the chair together, it does fasten the cover into place which is removable and available in different fabrics, allowing you to customize the look.

 

Woolsey Ping Pong table

Designed by Sean Woolsey, this sleek and multifunctional Ping Pong table is perfect for design enthusiasts. Featuring a solid black walnut top sitting on solid walnut legs and paddles made from walnut and maple, this table is one that screams to be shown off. Perfect for an office environment, the powder-coated steel net can be easily removed, effortlessly turning this gorgeous table into a dining or conference table.

 

Mushroom Lamp

Versatile and functional, this fungus shaped LED lamp also acts as a charger and stand for your phone. A nod towards nature, particularly the varieties of mushroom that illuminate at night using bioluminescence, this lovely little glass lamp emits a soft and welcoming glow. When flipped over to reveal the maple base, this lamp is able to charge your phone at the same time as working as a lamp. Able either to illuminate a space for 8 hours or to charge an iPhone twice over before needing a little recharge itself.

 

Lift-Bit

The world’s first internet-of-things sofa has been unveiled and it looks lovely! The ‘Lift-bit’ designed by Carlo Ratti Associati with help from Vitra is a modular furniture system which can transform from sofa to bed to chair through gestures or a mobile app. Consisting of a cluster of upholstered stools, motorized using a linear actuator, the user has complete control over the form they want their seating to take, though the shape-shifting configuration will re-adjust when it gets ‘bored’ to keep users on their toes.

 

Solid wool

Solidwool is a British company that has joined the green revolution. The material, Solidwood, is made from two components- bio-resin and wool. Bio-resin is eco-friendly and without harmful chemicals, and wool is sustainable, renewable and natural and forms the base of this design. The sustainable ash wood legs offset the black powder coasted steel frame and would fit beautifully into any contemporary setting.

 

TWELVE

This lovely lighting system from Plato design is fully customizable thanks to its magnetic connections and modular design. The TWELVE collection consists of three different models, each with different finishes, and made from different materials. My personal favorite is the Basic TWELVE because it’s made from concrete and I’m sure my love of concrete is no shock to anyone who reads this blog regularly! The dodecahedrons with built in magnets let you join together up to seven lamps with only the need for one to be plugged in.

 

Concretus

Designed by second year product design student, Gražina Bočkutė, this gorgeous speaker is striking. Clean crisp lines, highlighted by the rough texture of the concrete and complimented by the metal accents, this contrast of materials makes it both contemporary and industrial. With Bluetooth integration and four control buttons on the side, this speaker turns traditional speakers on their heads. 

 

Molekule

Air pollution is a big problem, and indoor air is 5 times more polluted than outdoor as chemicals and pollutants accumulate and multiply over time. Designed by Dr Yogi Goswami, a scientist who has developed the Molekule, a system, which doesn’t just capture harmful bacteria, mold and viruses, but converts them into clean air. The contemporary design and clean cylindrical shape make this an elegant piece, which wouldn’t look, out of place in the home.

 

Louis

Sometimes you just can’t beat the grainy retro warmth of a vinyl record. The problems occur when you want that sound, but don’t want the heap of records stacked up next to your deck.  This beautiful little speaker, inspired by the iconic gramophone shape, is the answer to all of life’s vinyl problems. Designed by Paolo Cappello, this wooden analogue speaker mimics the sound of records when playing music off your smartphone. Available in neutral, graphite and yellow, what’s not to love? 

Enjoyed this months design blog? Why not check out the previous posts here

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 beautiful designs - May

10 beautiful designs - May

Hello! 

I can promise you, there's some really great designs in this months blog! My personal favourites are the Gemma sofa and the Helix lamp, but you'll have to scroll down to get a peek at those! Tweet us your favourites! Happy reading! 🙌🏻

Lampo

Designed by Kasia Oźmin and Lindsay Richardson, Lampo is easy to assemble, elegant and creative all in one. The innovative design inspired by origami, features clean geometric shapes which work beautifully with the warmth of the maple wood contrasting with the colourful twisted cloth cable. Lampo shades are carefully folded by hand using Japanese washi paper, which is tough, durable and flexible. The lamp arrives in a tube, and takes about 5 minutes to assemble.

 

 

Gemma Collection

The Gemma collection from Daniel Libeskind is technically a collection of designs and not just one beautiful design, but I wanted to focus on the grey and white ombre sofa, which really caught my eye. Known for complex building design using complex geometries, this sofa uses signature Libeskind design but on a much smaller scale. The ombre knitted fabric highlights the geometric shapes within the sofa and looks much softer than the solid colour leather upholstery option.

 

Circuit

Oh come on, it wouldn’t be the beautiful design blog without some lighting… so here it is! Circuit comes from New York based studio, Apparatus and the lighting is repeated to create larger fixtures by either stacking or alternating. Oval shapes made of aged brass house Glass capsules and the results look simple and lovely.

 

Femton 

Femton, from industrial design student Ali Safa A, is a collection of workout gear that consists of four devices each made of natural materials. The collection consists of an adjustable dumbbell, a core wheel, two push up barrels and a hemp skipping rope. Designed to become part of your homes décor, this collection makes workout gear stylish and contemporary, a complete departure from the typical and often unsightly metal and plastic equipment.

 

Lee

Lee, from designer Glen Lewis-Steele is a hanging cube light. Cleverly designed, this curious asymmetric form unveils structural secrets, as the viewer is encouraged to move around the light. Handcrafted by Lewis-Steele and available in three sizes, this lamp is a beautiful example of clever design. 

 

Helix Lamp

The Helix lamp from Michael Samoriz pays homage to the lighting coil, which is an element in every incandescent bulb. Samoriz’s work ranges from 3D graphics to industrial design to visualizations. The lamp emits light only from the bottom curvatures and the versatility of the design means it can be contracted or stretched out, depending on the use. I really love this lamp and I love how it changes depending on which side it’s viewed from!

 

BIRK

You know how miscellaneous things, like paperwork, keys, pens etc. seem to accumulate on top of the coffee table? Well, designer Iselin Lindmark Dubland noticed that too and created BIRK, a coffee table made up of half circles to conceal storage space within. The inside is lined with 100% wool to protect items from getting scratched. The tabletop and legs are crafted from birch veneer and made by Dubland in her schools workshop.

 

GIANT Anglepoise

Iconic, Anglepoise has been around since the 1930’s designing gorgeous and functional desk lamps. They’ve always stayed very true to form, or at least until a request by the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre asking for a lamp, which was triple scale to match with one of Dahl’s loved characters. The giant lamp proved so popular, that they launched it as a floor lamp. There is now a re-engineered outdoor version, which just looks fantastic and makes a massive statement.

 

Paperscapes

Dear Human, a Montreal-based creative studio, has come up with a way to turn recycled paper into functional objects called, Paperscapes. The studio prides itself on being able to take a second look at things, to uncover hidden potential and make things fresh again. Paperscapes uses recycled paper sourced from an industry waste site, which is manipulated into a clay-like material.

 

Knot Studio

Inspired by the sea and the city, these funky-knotted cushions and stools from Knots studio are bold and beautiful. The knots are formed by a unique tying technique that is filled with stiff foam filling and upholstery that improves their longevity.  

 

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson

Last months design blog can be viewed here

10 Beautiful Designs - April

10 Beautiful Designs - April

 

Hello!  

I've got a lovely new list of beautiful designs, just for you! 

Enjoy 🙌🏻

Why not tweet us and let us know which you really love! 

LA table – Lagoon

I’m in love with this design, it’s such a fun concept and ties in nicely with the upcoming ‘Top 5 Marble Designs’ blog, as it is made from marble and resin. The design, aptly named ‘Lagoon’ resembles the coast and likely influenced by the Caribbean island of St Martin where designer Alexandre Chapelins studio is based.

 

Metamorphosis Shelf

Created in collaboration with Horm, this hand carved wood design from Sebastian Errazuriz is simple and beautiful. Using only panes of glass to add functionality to his work, this shelf focuses on the natural beauty of the tree shape. Sourced from fallen branches in forests in South America, the shelves keep the trees’ original shapes. This shelf is part of a series that includes coffee tables, which are equally as stunning.

 

Matter of Motion

These beautiful stools come from Israel based designer, Maor Aharon, who has explored materials, motion and shape to achieve this design. Focussing on centrifugal motion, Aharon looked at how velocity, acceleration and radius of rotation have an affect on different materials, the results are beautiful.

 

Atmo Sfera PlatterLess Design Turntable

The iconic design of the turntable has remained largely unchanged for almost a century. Atmo Sfera has constructed a design that changes more than just the aesthetics. Eliminating reverberations allows a superior sound to shine through without any distortion. The built in RIAA phono preamplifier and built in Bluetooth connectivity allow for ease of access to your music and the contemporary design is a welcoming addition to modern living spaces.

 

Omata One Analog Speedometer

Omata has created an analog speedometer, designed specifically for cyclists. The company believes that “great design and meaningful products come more from what you leave out, rather than what you add in” and this is certainly true in this case. Omata have stripped this design down to the very basics; speed, distance, ascent and time. Beautifully simple, the Omata One records a vast amount of data, which can be transferred to your digital device for you to view. Currently on Kickstarter and will be available in grey or white.

X Diamond 3/60

By joining 60 three-foot maple wood bulbs together using cast brass joints, the X diamond 3/60 is born. This celebration of hexagonal and octahedral forms in nature looks spectacular and encourages viewing from different perspectives to reveal the multiple layers and hidden shapes.

 

Mygdal Planter

A fresh and innovative take on modern lighting design, the Mygdal planter is a self-sustaining eco system designed to never require maintenance from the owner. The glass vessel features LED light which replicates sunlight, creating an environment where plants can perform photosynthesis. This minimalist design effortlessly transforms spaces otherwise unable to sustain plant life, into beautiful green areas.

 

Jarvis Boards

Designed by Tony Smith, founder of Austin-based Jarvis, these beautifully crafted boards are as environmentally friendly as possible. Born of the simple idea of creating the best boards possible whilst living consciously, these boards are made from recycled foam core, sustainably sourced wood, reclaimed lumber and natural resins from recycled bio-waste. Light weight, but strong, the boards emphasise the careful craftsmanship and care which bought them to life.

 

The Mashrabeya Cabinet

The Mashrabeya cabinet, a name derived from the Arabic term Maschrabiyya, which refers to decorative wooden frames seen in traditional Arabic architecture. This design comes from Nina Mair Architecture + Design. The punctured panels keep the cabinets contents partially hidden and, if need be, ventilated. Available in different colour combinations, there is a choice of two wood effects and panel colours.

 

MOON

Humanity has been fascinated by the Moon thoughout history. Using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter topographic data and modern 3D printing techniques, Oscar Lhermitte and Kudu have created the most accurate and detailed lunar globe to date. Their Kickstarter campaign has already exceeded their target and so we can expect to see this project come to life soon. The detail in the globe is very beautiful and I can’t wait to see this in production! 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

If you've enjoyed this, why not read our other design blogs

10 Beautiful Designs - December

10 Beautiful Designs - December

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1 – Grovemade Tabletop Collection

Kevin Do, Grovemade industrial designer describes the tabletop as a ‘vehicle to enjoyment’. This collection is an example of sleek yet practical items, which are aesthetically pleasing and minimalist. This perfectly weighted dishware, is crafted from porcelain and looks beautiful sitting on the collection of wooden placemats which are not a traditional rectangle shape and feature a subtle geometric pattern. All products are made in house, and attention has been paid to all of their pieces, from the curved edged plates to the salt and peppershakers. This is a full and beautiful collection of tableware.

2 – Sennheiser Orpheus System

Sennheiser are known for their beautiful design and perfect sound quality, but this time, they’ve really gone an extra mile and achieved a design, which looks sleek and if I’m honest, I think is absolutely perfect. The Orpheus headphone system is housed in an Italian marble body, which is offered in a range of colours, and offers a new concept of amplification, which combines elements of both the transistor and tube amplifier. No expense has been spared in choosing components fit for this gorgeous design and as a result, not only does the Orpheus offer stunning audio quality, it provides visual quality too!

3 – The Aron Chair

This is a subtle yet beautiful piece of furniture from Mexican artist, Luis Luna of Namuh Studio. Handmade from walnut, this is a gentle construction with sweeping contours and fluid connections. The short back provides the unobtrusive support that you would expect from a chair yet the long legs are typical of stool.

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4 – ELMA

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a lamp! Designed by Tommaso Caldera, this beautiful lamp features a metal diffuser to radiate a gentle glow in the surrounding space. The design draws inspiration from traditional nomadic lamps, creating a simple form. The milled plywood creates support for the lamp in a contrasting natural wood. Available in a selection of colours including dark red and sea blue, this is a gorgeous piece of design.

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5 – ODO

This clever piece of design comes from Brussels based design studio, NAB. Constructed from powder coated steel and solid ash, this interesting design resembles a dragonfly face. The rolling steel tabletop curves under to resemble eyes and the solid ash joins the curves together and completes the face.

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6 - Giàcolu

This is more than just a lamp.  This design comes from Italian Studio, Delaneo Design and encourages interaction and engagement. The user has complete control of the form they wish their lamp to take, and can be adjusted to suit almost any function or aesthetic. I think the beauty in this design, lies within the fact that it compromises of so few elements, that the range of possible shapes are even more impressive.

7 – Hummingbird Bike

Imagine a bike which weighs less that 15 pounds but yet is 5X stronger than steel. Designed by Peter Craciun, this bike is both practical and beautifully designed. Being light weight and foldable means that is ideal for taking on the bus, the train or the trams so is ideal for urban commuters and people living in smaller spaces. The chain tensioner can be removed to make it safer and cleaner so that it won't fall catching on the bikers leg and getting chain dirt on you. The hummingbird bike is a carbon fibre frame which makes it shock absorbent for a smoother ride. Available in four colours and two wheel sizes, this is a practical design, which is also stylish.

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8 – Stop the Time Watch

Swiss company, ‘What?’ recently stopped to think why we keep track of time in the first place. Launched in Brooklyn, their collection has re-conceptualised the purpose of a watch and allows the wearer to ‘stop time’. By stop time, I don't mean in some sort of superhero way, the stopping time feature allows you to send a ‘timestamp’ to a supporting app whenever a noteworthy moment had occurred. Pressing the red button on the watch lets you expand upon the moment which you've deemed noteworthy and let's you add photos or notes etc. This company are essentially reinventing the wheel when it comes to watches. You are allowed five noteworthy moments a month which may not seem like a lot but when you consider how new technology is being integrated into classic designs like the watch, this is a clever new play on an old technology and its exciting to see where it could lead.

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9 – Beeline, Intuitive Navigation

For all the cyclists out here, I'm featuring this simplistic yet beautifully designed navigation system which strips back the tech and makes a design which leaves only the essentials. Based on a compass’ naturally occurring movement, this piece of design lets you find your way to your destination and tells you the distance to go. With an accelerometer, digital compass and gyroscope, this smart little device gives you just the right amount of information for you to find your way home. Waterproof and with a battery which lasts for months, this is such a versatile design which has thought of lots of practical features. Currently funded on Kickstarter!

10 – Pewter Cast Desk

This Pewter desk from Max Lamb is his largest cast to date, and he molded it on a Cornish beach using only a kitchen knife and a metal rod. At 4.30am, Lamb began carving his mold to coincide with the tide, as he knew he needed at least 6 hours to complete his work.  By 10.30am, the Pewter was ready to be melted (which took 30 camp stoves and several assistants). Lamb poured the Pewter into the sand mold and an hour later, revealed this stunning piece of geometric design which is decorated by the raw texture of the sand. 

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - November

10 Beautiful Designs - November

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1- Frame Chair

This gorgeous chair has been designed and made by Dublin based studio, Notion in collaboration with Mourne Textiles. Made from naturally finished, CNC machined ash wood and handwoven upholstery, this design blends contemporary and traditional techniques. I love the curved shape of this chair, and the black legs work beautifully with the outer yellow fabric.

2- Mobi Customisable lamp

I love lamps; though I’m sure you know that from previous months design blogs. The thing I love most about this one is that it’s customisable. Designed by James Dieter, this design explores different dimensions and form. I love the fact it can be reconfigured without tools because it enables the user complete freedom to restyle it whenever they please. 

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3- Ecocapsule

The Ecocapsule is an innovative new approach to living arrangements. With the surge of interest in Glamping, this design addresses peoples desire to travel with their creature comforts. Highly portable this capsule is only 4.5 metres long by 2.25 metres wide and a mere 2.5 metres tall. Perfect for the eco friendly traveller this ecocapsule is more than just a tiny home. The retractable wind turbine and integrated solar panels mean that the pod is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions. I think this is a fantastic design and is the perfect solution for wanderlust travellers and it also has scope to be used as temporary housing in disaster areas.

4- Bender Chair

Aesthetically pleasing and simplistic, this chair almost looks like a doodle with it’s curved corners and single outline. I absolutely love it; I love its reduced form and modern design. Unlike modern office chairs with complex mechanisms for comfort, this chair is designed to support you by bending and flexing to prevent rigid sitting.

5- Thousand Bike Helmet

This is such a sleek looking design. The idea behind this helmet was to design a product that people would actually want to wear, and I think they’ve done exactly that! The Thousand helmets boast rubberized matte finishes in three colours (with a limited edition gold version) and include a magnetic buckle on reinforced vegan leather straps. Through innovative PopLock technology, the Thousand helmet secures effortlessly to the bike providing an anti-theft system. In fact, they’re so confident with their new technology, that if it is stolen, they’ll replace the helmet for free! Available to pre-order now on Kickstarter!

6- Calcarenite Concrete Furniture

You’ll have noticed in precious months top ten design blogs that I’m a bit obsessed with concrete, whether it’s concrete furniture or lighting, I think concrete is pretty versatile and looks great when done well. ‘Calcarenite’ from Italian designer, Cosma Frascina takes on minimal design inspired by Frascina’s hometown of Salento where there is an abundance of stone and mineral deposits. Each piece is completely unique and explores concrete in it's raw form as everyday furnishings.

7- Polite Table Tennis Co

This Ping Pong table is just a bit lovely! Handmade from natural materials such as wood and steel, they are rustic and neutral in colour resulting in a versatile and durable table. Designed by California brand, Polite Table Tennis Co, they offer two models as well as custom options. 

8- Bubble sofas

These fantastic bubble sofas look incredibly comfy. Resembling childlike drawings of clouds, this collection looks both modern and cosy. The colours available are bold and available in grey, yellow and red. From a distance, the upholstery looks like a solid soft layer, but upon closer inspection, it is revealed that there is a mesh layer, which adds even more interest to the design.

9- Fire Vase

The Fire vase from designer Martín Azúa and ceramist Marc Vidal is a beautiful example of a tabletop fireplace. Designed to burn twigs, it is super easy and convenient to use! This fire vase kicks out some serious heat and light - perfect for dining outdoors. Available online in two sizes.

10- Spun Birdfeeder

This birdfeeder is both practical and beautiful. Designed by the sustainable Canadian studio, Urbanproduct, the birdfeeder is handcrafted from hardwoods such as Maple. The design features a top dish for water and a covered dish for seed. The feeder is both weather resistant and safe for birds after being finished with a VOC-free rub.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - October

10 Beautiful Designs - October

1. Times 4

Inspired by a pie chart, this piece designed by Gonçalo Campos for French brand Polit, is a highly organised piece of furniture. The table is divided into four colour coded interior sections, which are exposed by rotation. The tabletop and legs are made from natural finished beech wood, and the quarters and frame from white metal.

2. YC1 Chair

Japanese designer, Mikiya Kobayashi has designed a chair that is both sleek and functional. This aesthetically pleasing piece is made from rope and leather woven into a wooden frame, making it entirely unique. This is a beautiful piece, which is functional and still offers a balance between comfort and modern design.

3. Winnie

Winnie, a lighting concept by Finland based Nikolo Kerimov, is a lovely design inspired by honey pots in Winnie the Pooh.  This clever collection has several different sized pieces, each with different cork sizes and one with a cork light fixing too. 

 

4. Reverb Lamps

Crafted entirely from metal except the cord, Alessandro Zambelli draws inspiration from carbide lamps. Available in red, beige and turquoise, they are a contemporary take on an antique lamp.

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5. Aeris Air Purifier and Planter

This dual function air purifier and planter from Lab Fabrici purifies the rooms atmosphere with a high speed fan and a terracotta-coloured substrate of expanded clay and activate carbon. This piece is in two parts and the aerated planter sits perfectly in the base. Stylish and practical, I’m a big fan of this!

6.  Gabbia Lamps

Portuguese designer, Rui Pereeira and Japanese designer Ryosuke Fukusada envisioned these ‘inverted basket’ shaped lamps. Perfect for both ceiling and table, these lamps are designed to be used with LEDs. Handcrafted in Kyoto by a studio that works predominantly with bamboo, these lamps combine bamboo weaves and colourful acetate.

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7. Toon Chair

This chair combines characteristics of other projects from Redo Design Studio. Created by Polish designer Radek Nowkowski, this chair continues the brands style in a beautiful way. Joined together with metal fittings where the legs meet the bent wooden back, the result is a very light piece, both physically and visually.

8. Buster Bulb

The Buster bulb by Buster + Punch is the worlds first designer LED bulb. I’m a big fan of this new collection and love how eco friendly it is. This bulb uses just 5% of the energy burned by a conventional bulb and promises 10,000 hours of life, which means it could last around 5 years.

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9. Skurniture

Skateboard inspired furniture by California based studio, Swenyo. I’m a really big fan of this design! It’s so simplistic yet looks so good and I especially love the black skateboard with white legs combination. This is a fantastic design because you can buy the legs separately and play around creating your own designs perhaps upcycling an old deck of your own.

10. Stick Modular Shelving

This entirely customizable shelving creates storage for whatever you need it for. Whether it’s clothing storage or for displaying your items and ornaments on, this shelving creates a sleek solution. Designed by eco conscious, Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus, the construction is completely organic which they classify as “Soft Minimalism”.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

 

10 Beautiful Designs - September

10 Beautiful Designs - September

1. D’Hauteville Concrete Chair

This midcentury inspired concrete chair by Julie Legros and Henri Levallard Boget rethinks traditional chair design. Consisting of steel legs and a concrete seat the chair is being touted as‘surprisingly confortable’. A striking piece which makes a statement both indoors and outdoors.

2. Inactivité

“Inactivity seems to be the disease of today,” observes designer Benoit Malta. Altering the sedentary nature of modern life has inspired the Parisian designer. We are obsessed with this idea of making everything as comfortable as possible, we’ve neglected the fact that it is really bad for us to be less and less active. The aim of this chair is to create a ‘bearable discomfort’ used to put the body in motion and out of the stationary poses which most of us sit in all day.

3. Concrescence Concrete Planters

Iowa based designer Vakhtangi Darjania has created these efficient concrete planters inspired by his native home, Tbillsi, Georgia. Made from a pourced cement sand mix and birch plywood, these planters have character and raw simplicity.

4. Inside out table lamp

Okay, there’s a lot of concrete this month, but it’s all justified because each of the the designs are really beautiful. This design is no exception. This concrete structure lamp comes from Milan based Daevas design and features a brass lampshade. The design, which is based on the Fibonaci spiral, looks solid from one side however when viewed from the other side, the concrete reveals a completely new shape.

5. E1 4K Video Camera

This is a fantastic design for anyone out there who wants a professional camera but wants to ditch the bulk. Sitting somewhere in the middle of professional gear and portable HD/4K, the E1 is the smallest 4K professional camera with an interchangeable lens system.

6. Seletti Monkey Lamp

If you’ve read my previous months top ten design blogs, then you’ll know I’m a BIG fan of lamps and the Seletti Monkey lamp is not getting left behind. The range designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba comes in three different poses; sitting, standing and hanging. Made in Resin and finished in white, these monkeys are quirky and contemporary.

7. Marshall London Smartphone

If you only need one reason to love this phone, let it be the fact that it has double headphone jacks. Made for music lovers, this smartphone is way more than a phone; it’s the loudest phone on earth. The London, looks like a classic Marshall amp with the black alligator like texture on the back and has two speakers on the front, one on the top and one on the bottom. There’s no need to scroll through your apps for your music player because a very convenient ‘M button’ requires a single press to provide you with access to all of your installed music players. Take my money Marshall, for the scroll wheel alone, I love it.

8. Wall Elements Birdhouse Collection

Vincent Bos has designed this collection with durability and versatility in mind. The modular system can be uniquely assembled to work in any space and the mount is sturdy enough to be used on a wall or a fence. This playful yet functional design is designed to bring nature into urban spaces.

9. Camp Champ

Camp champ brings the luxury of a kitchen to the raw nature of camping. Austrian designer Franz Moser has designed a product that is practical, yet stylish. The compact box unfolds to provide a bin holder on each door, a flip down counter top, a four-burner gas stove, a knife block, grater, a set of pots and pans, a colander, a plate and spice rack and a set of plates and utensils. It’s basically, everything you could ever need for a gourmet camping trip! Come dine with me - camping edition anyone

10.  Epiphytes – Organic Pendant Planters

Created by Italian studio Dossofiorito, Epiphytes takes its name from a type of plant that grows on the outside of things, such as trees, instead of in soil. This home garden design is intended for use with Epiphytes as it lets their roots hang down, looking almost wild and overgrown.

 

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Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful designs - August

10 Beautiful designs - August

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1 – Full Grown - Square Pendant Lamp 

I chose the square pendant lamp because I think the shape is very unique, though in all honestly I could have chosen any product from the Full Grown range, as each of their designs is exquisite.  The nature of Full Grown is just that. Nature. This art form challenges how we create. By making their products from manipulating living trees into their desired shapes, their work requires months and years worth of dedication, making it a slow but beautiful process. 

2 – Davide Oppizzi – Floor lamp large square

Available in three sizes and shapes. These LED lamps are a metal structure finished in real wood oak or white Carrara marble. This lamp is part of the 'eau de lumière' collection which takes it's concept from luxury perfume, playing on the shape of perfume bottles.

3- Gianluca Mingolla  - The sound of technology

This particular piece, not only is it a beautifully designed table, it also pays tribute to the process used to construct and make it. Mingolla recorded the sound of the CNC machine cutting a prototype and converted the sound waves into an image, which he transferred for the CNC machine to follow accurately for the tabletop. 

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4 – Danielle Ragazzo – Liaison Table

This 15mm pane of glass tabletop is supported by angled thin stainless steel legs, which resemble sewing pins. A different colour powder-coated steel base resembling the ball-head of a sewing pin supports each ‘leg’. This is a beautifully designed piece with careful consideration for both practicality and style. 

5 – Patricia Urqiola – Shimmer 

By employing an iridescent multi-chromatic finish, Uriqiola adds an ethereal element to her ‘shimmer’ collection of tables, mirrors and shelves. Refracted hues and tones transform the pieces when exposed to different lights or when viewed from different angles. This is a gorgeous collection of work and definitely couldn’t be left out of this list! 

6 – Anne Boysen – Toward, Balanced Blue 

This sofa is not just a sofa. This is an Anne Boysen sofa. Joking aside, this really is a beautiful design which allows the user to choose their seating style. Whether that be a chaise lounge, an armchair or a traditional two-seater sofa based on the position they want to sit/lay. The clever design of this sofa makes it a versatile piece of furniture while still being aesthetically pleasing and functional. 

7 – UNSTUDIO – Standtable  

This table addresses an important fact: That standing is better for us than sitting. The design of this table is perfect for arranging your office equipment to be at a level that suits you thanks to the surface being on three different levels. The standable is practical with built in shelves and is aesthetically pleasing

8 – Dackelid Form – Wooden Cloth

Effortlessly combining form with functionality, the table is easily adjusted in size to accommodate the space available. Designed like a caterpillar track, the table extends by using the beams stored beneath the top pushing the batons one by one, creating a larger surface.

9 – Revés Chair 

The perfect chair for cocooning into your own space, and then also for bursting back out if you want some company too. This chair looks both cosy and comfortable and combined with two-tone quilted fabric by Trevira, the back of this chair can fold up and down effortlessly, similar to a shirt collar. Currently in development with an unmentioned furniture company, this chair should be available for sale in the future. 

 

10 – Sebastian ErraZuriz – Wave Cabinet

This fluid cabinet has transformed a traditionally functional piece of furniture into something that delicately opens in a non-traditional way. This cabinet almost looks like a sculpture yet constantly able to change it's form and shape. As beautiful and delicate as this is, I can’t help but feel that all it would take is for my cat to jump on top of it for chaos to unravel. Overall, a very gorgeous piece, and a strong contender for my favourite on the whole list. 

 

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Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - July

10 Beautiful Designs - July

Hello July, it’s nice to see you.

Hasn’t it come around fast? It feels like we’re hurtling through this year at an alarmingly fast rate.

So today, lets pause, take a step back and appreciate the genius of ten of my favorite, recently discovered designs.

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1 – Book Lamp

This gorgeous minimalist looking lamp is made from an iron rod, which is painted bright red. The design is basic, yet clever. The top of the lamp acts as a room lamp or reading light and the bottom of the frame, doubles up as a stylish bookmark. Perfect next to your favourite sofa/chair that you like to settle down and read in when it’s dark outside.

2 – 3ANGLE

You may be the only one able to determine the time from your watch, but the crisp design and smooth motion of this watch is sure to catch people’s attention.  The smart watchface presents time using a triangle, which effortlessly changes shape every 5 seconds. With a variety of colours changeable in the watches settings menu, there is a 3ANGLE to suit everyone.

3 – CatCube

What better than a geometric cave for cats?! I can assure you, I’m being completely serious. This cardboard cat dome would be well utilised by feline friends and would act as the perfect retreat. Speaking from personal experience, I could buy my cat the fanciest bed in the world, and he would still choose a tough, cardboard box. This cat cave offers a retreat for your cat, whilst remaining an attractive item in the home.

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4 – Origami Bird Lamp

Folded paper, meets brass, meets light. This delicate looking bird made from paper and brass, illuminates through connection with the brass perch and fills the room with light. Perfectly weighted, this light rocks back and forth when touched.

5 – Origami Door (Drehplattentür)

This elegant design, transforms opening and closing a door into a beautiful, hypnotic process. You will see if you visit the link that the door folds effortlessly at the slightest touch, mimicking folding paper. Currently a prototype and an addition to his artistic practice, this door is unfortunately not available for purchase, though I am very hopeful that one day it will be.

6 – Cosmic Dinnerware

Winner of Wallpapers 2015 design award, the cosmic diner collection from Italian brands Diesel living and Seletti. The 11-piece set represents our solar system and beyond, each made from porcelain, beautifully designed with a realistic image of outer space.

7 – Modular Emergency Homes

24-year-old Australian, Alastair Pryor has created a compact shelter, which is wind, and rain resistant and can be put together or taken down in under two minutes. The idea is that this design could be used for emergency aid relief in a crisis to be able to keep families together whilst providing them with space and privacy.

8 – Slash Lamp

Yes, it's another lamp, I’m a big fan of lighting!

This concrete lamp is pretty unique. A stone comes with this lamp so that the user can smash the shade (or not) and reveal the steel mesh behind it. The lamp allows the user to decide how they want it to look, whether leaving it un-smashed, or smashing different sections of it.

9 – Zero Scooter

Inspired by the design of the Italian motoretta from the 60’s, Bel & Bel have been working on re-designing the look of the Segway. The growing popularity of Segways is what led the designers to completely re-design the product with a fresh, retro design while embracing new technologies. 

10 – Puphaus

This sleek looking dog house turns traditional plastic kennels on their heads. Easy to assemble without any tools in just 5 steps, this house is maintenance free and has a raised roof for ventilation. Made from Western Red Cedar, this Puphaus will naturally age and stain, which is encouraged and is designed to last 20 years.


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Written by

Katherine Thomson

Top ten Fathers Day gadget gifts

Top ten Fathers Day gadget gifts

Top ten gadget gifts to buy your dear papa for Fathers day.

(Or for anyone really, because I can assure you, they’re all super cool gift ideas!)

Father’s day has come hurtling around again and so the mission for a great present begins! With less than one week to go, I’m going to help all of you panicking people out there, who, like me, haven’t a clue what to buy.

1.    MiP

MiP is your very own little robot buddy; its motion is completely controlled by you and can even be controlled using GestureSense, meaning that you can control your robot remotely using your hand. MiP is balanced in the same way as a Segway is and is equipped with a carry tray, which can carry twice its weight. This is the ultimate gadget for those who want the ease of travelling the TV remote across the room or passing a fresh drink to their friend without needing to get up. This robot has its own built in emotions and personality so you need to be nice to it, or you’ll have to deal with one grumpy robot! For £89.99, you get a robot friend and carrying device all in one!

2.    Retro Touch Speaker 

You can never go wrong with a stylish retro gadget. At £29.99, this nostalgia-inducing speaker combines old and new seamlessly. Although it looks like it’s out of the 1970’s it is actually full of the latest tech. Not only is this cool little gadget only a speaker, it also acts as a stand for watching films on your phone or reading from recipes in the kitchen! (Just make sure to stand it in a safe place.) This Bluetooth free speaker won’t drain your phones battery. Instead using the latest near field audio technology, this speaker instantly amplifies your sounds so you can enjoy your music with a boost.

3.    Cycle Speaker 

Wires, wires, wires! They’re annoying aren’t they! Especially when trying to do something else, like cycling. With limbs and wheels flailing around, the last thing needed is a pesky wire getting caught up in the mix! That is where the Cycle Speaker steps in! This convenient speaker from Mayhem UK provides excellent sound quality in an innovative bottle shaped design, which fits securely onto the bikes drinks holder. For £11.99, this is the perfect Fathers day solution for all the outdoorsy dads out there who like to cycle to a beat! 

4.    SMART Rotating Stone Bake Pizza Oven

Is your Dad a Pizza fiend? Perhaps a man who knows a good pizza base when he see's one? Or just a man who is always searching for tasty, high quality, delicious baked goods?

This rotating pizza oven might just be the gift you’re looking for. With adjustable temperature settings, the oven absorbs heat and distributes it evenly to produce a perfectly crispy base and thoroughly cooked toppings. This brilliant little oven has an analogue timer and a viewing panel, so you can have a sneaky little peak at the pizza progress!

5.     Fitbit Flex

For the fitness fanatic dads, or for the dads who want to be. The Fitbit Flex is a great gadget, which can help transform fitness into a lifestyle. This sleek, stylish looking device, tracks movement throughout the day and counts your burnt calories. Wirelessly working with the Fitbit app, the user is in control of the personal fitness goal they want to set and achieve throughout the day. The light up display keeps motivation on track and helps to encourage movement.

6.    Star Theatre Planetarium

For £109.99, this planetarium is full to the brim of beautiful constellations and celestial movements, well, kind of anyway. The discs included with this planetarium display both stars and constellations so you can get a full picture of the night sky across your walls. You could hardly get a better view of the glorious night sky on your ceiling without ripping of the roof of your house, and this is arguably cheaper and easier.

Perfect for the stargazing dad!

7.    Arcane Arcade Table 

If you really want to splash out on your dad this fathers day, then why not get one of the coolest gifts ever, a huge gaming table with over 100 amazing games. At £4000 it doesn’t come cheap, but it would probably mean you would only need to worry about fathers day this year and then not have to think about it for the next 20 or so years!

Games are not all you get for your money though, take advantage of the 500GB hard disk and Ethernet ports and watch films, play music and even browse the internet on the built in LED flat screen. 

8.    M:Tech IMusic Pillow

For the Dad who likes sleeping to the soothing sounds of the ocean or to a bit of Metallica. This pillow for £16.99 offers all the musical solutions for sleep. Equipped with a 3.5mm stereo plug to allow the listener freedom of what device to listen to their music on, whether they want to listen through their phone, iPod, Mp3 player or radio. The removable wire means it’s safe and tidy when not in use. The perfect gift if they’d like a choice of silence when sleeping, or sounds.

9.    Haynes Classic Camera Kit 

A great gift for Photography Dad. This classic camera kit allows you to build your very own camera! Following the simple step by step instructions, you can build a twin lens reflex camera, enabling you use 35mm film to take retro style photos. For £24.99, this camera kit is brilliant for photography but also for the fun to be had by building, and assembling it yourself.

10.  Cheesy Boards – You Talkin’ To Brie?

Okay, sorry, this isn’t a tech gift. But as far as gifts go, if your Dad loves cheese (which a lot of dads seem to) then here is a practical gift. For £8.99, you can’t go wrong. What better way to serve up an assortment of cheese and grapes than on a board with a cheese pun? That’s right, there probably isn’t one.

 

I hope I’ve managed to shine some light on gift ideas for you. Whether you’re seeking a gift for Fathers day or someone else, these are ten gifts you can’t go wrong with!

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

Top Ten Photographers

Top Ten Photographers

 

 

Photography (fəˈtɒɡrəfɪ)

n

1. (Photography) the process of recording images on sensitized material by the action of light, X-rays, etc, and the chemical processing of this material to produce a print, slide, or cine film

2. (Photography) the art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs, making cine films, etc

 

1. Rankin

John Rankin Waddel, better known as Rankin, is a British portrait and fashion photographer. He is famous for working with an impressive clientele and a non-exhaustive list of models, actors/actresses and musicians. He made his name in Publishing after founding Dazed & Confused magazine with Jefferson Hack in 1992. The magazine provided a platform for emerging stylists, designers and writers, which went on to develop cult status and forged a distinctive mark in the arts. Rankin is often seen as a celebrity photographer, but his work with charities and campaigns, which feature ‘Real women’, mark him to be a genuinely passionate portrait photographer across a wide spectrum of industries. "There’s a time when people say your work is revolutionary, but you have to keep being revolutionary. I can’t keep shooting pop stars all my life. You have to keep changing, keep pushing yourself, looking for the new, the unusual." - Rankin

 

2. Tim Walker

Tim Walker is a British fashion Photographer. Walker’s passion for Photography began in the Condé Nast Library, where he worked on the Cecil Beaton archive. After studying Photography at the Exeter College of Art, Walker worked as a freelance photographic assistant in London before moving to New York to work as a full time assistant to Richard Avedon. On his return to England, Walker focused on portrait and documentary work for British Newspapers. Age 25, Walker shot a story for Vogue and has since worked with the British, Italian and American editions as well as many other well-recognised and renowned publications. Walker’s work is very enchantingly beautiful, and looks like something from a fairytale. His work is always well composed, and has been likened to a snapshot of a daydream. “Fashion for me is just a massive dressing-up box. There's always something black, there's always something baggy. In fashion there is always something you can mix together that becomes the costume in the play."

 

3. Richard Avedon

Avedon was an American fashion and portrait photographer. Upon his death in 2004, an obituary published in The New York Times noted that “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”.

Avedon’s career began working as an advertising photographer in a department store. By 1945 his photographs began appearing in Junior Bazaar and a year later Harpers Bazaar after being endorsed by Alexey Brodovitch, the art director for Harpers Bazaar. Avedon’s career took off and he was recognised for his unique and revolutionary shooting style, which was a depart from the norm of traditional emotionless poses and instead showed models full of life, and in many cases, open air and outdoor settings. In 1955, Avedon made fashion photography history when he worked with one of the most successful models in history, Dovima, on his piece, ‘Dovima with Elephants’. Several photographers including aforementioned Rankin with model Erin O’Connor have since recreated homages to this piece. Avedon’s work is stylistic and his portraiture is easily identifiable by the black and white image on a white or grey background.

 

4. David Bailey

Bailey, an English fashion and portrait photographer, renowned for his work with British Vogue and his co-creation of ‘Swinging London’, a culture of fashion and celebrity chic in the 1960’s. His early photographic life began with his purchase of a Rolleiflex camera after time spent serving with the Royal Air Force. His creativity burst through and after he was demobbed in 1958. Determined to pursue a career in Photography, he went on to become a second assistant in a studio before being called to an interview with photographer John French. Baileys work is iconic, and his clientele is impressive and long. Regularly shooting in Black & White, his photos are very stylistic and identifiable. There’s simplicity about his photographs and they often look clean, which has influenced other photographers such as Rankin.

 

5. Irving Penn

Penn, although famous for his art, kept fame at arms length. An incredibly private man, he was rarely interviewed and in many ways denied the existence of fame in his life. Penn was offered a position at Vogue in the art department before being asked to try Photography. In October 1943, his first photographic cover appeared on Vogue and he continued to work for the magazine up until his death in 2009. Penn was among the first photographers to use a simple grey or white backdrop behind his subject. His work has inspired many modern day fashion photographers. Modest in his abilities and often self-critical, Penn has been described by Anna Wintour as one of the leading artists in the 20th century.

 

6. Ansel Adams

Adams is the only Landscape photographer on the whole list I’m afraid, but one I very much admire the work of. Known for his careful composition and consideration for tone, he is the perfect example of well-executed landscape photography. His life began in western San Francisco, born to upper class parents. His father, with whom Adams had a warm, supportive relationship with, developed his passion for the outdoors. However his distant relationship with his mother was driven by her disapproval of his interest in Photography. Adams love of the outdoors was cemented by his first visit to Yosemite National Park with his family where his father presented him with his first camera. Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space. I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters. At first the colossal aspect may dominate; then we perceive and respond to the delicate and persuasive complex of nature.”- Ansel Adams.  Adams also identified as an environmental activist. He spoke passionately and acted on causes, which concerned him. The Big Sur coastline was one, which caused Adams much aggravation as he fought to protect it from development.

 

7. Mario Testino

When reading interviews with Testino, he comes across as wild, charismatic and ‘in the moment’. Hailing from Peru, the fashion photographer felt unaccepted by the norms of society there and was often criticized and bullied for his dress sense. Moving to London aged 22, dying his hair pink and moving into a hospital turned apartment just off the Strand, opened up new possibilities to Testino. Testino flourished in London and in 1980 when he decided to pick up a camera, he began documenting his friends’ social lives with candid shots rich in spontaneity. His career has grown spectacularly and has been described as "the world's most prolific magazine and fashion trade photographer.” By Aaron Hicklin of The Observer. He has an impressive list of clients and has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. In 1997 his career high point came when he was chosen by Princess Diana to photograph her for Vanity Fair.  Since then, the British royal family has regularly employed Testino.  

 

8. Euginio Recuenco

Hauntingly beautiful, Recuenco's photographs convey a sense of mystery, but rather like a painting by Giorgio De chirico, they leave the viewer with a sense of dread and unease.The Spaniards work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and his work has been described as cinematic. When asked about his cinematic style in relation to Fashion Photography, Recuenco replied, I'm not a slave to fashion. When I take a picture I do it to tell something, to tell a tale, to tell people what I'm thinking about and I use fashion to achieve this target.  I do not like having a very nice, beautiful model with a beautiful dress because I like to have content in my picture.” His style is very unique and his photographs tell stories beyond fashion. Recuenco isn’t worried about being bold and creative. His recent homage to Picasso, combines cubism with fashion photography, represented through his use of fragments in the photographs and the models geometric clothing. This is a photographer worth researching to better understand the full impact and power of his work.

 

9. Annie Leibovitz

Annie’s work is almost theatrical in appearance. Her career in Photography began in 1970 when she began working for the newly launched Rolling Stone magazine. Her intimate photographs of celebrities whilst working there until 1983, defined the Rolling Stone look. The infamous photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono has become a defining photograph in her ongoing career. The photograph features a naked Lennon curled up into Yoko, looking vulnerable in the fetal position. This photo is of particular importance as it was taken 5 hours before Lennon was shot. There is no doubt that Leibovitz is a highly talented photographer. Her capabilities have stretched from intimate Rock and Roll photos for Rolling Stone, to elegant shoots for Vanity Fair all the way to enchantingly beautiful pieces for a Disney Parks project. Leibovitz has proven herself to be an important and versatile photographer, competent in many areas.

  

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10. Henri Cartier-Bresson

Considered to be the father of Photo Journalism, the French photographer is known for his candid photography and early use of 35mm film. He developed his interest in photography from an early age, funded by his parents so that he could explore the art more freely. After moving to England to study at Cambridge, Cartier-Bresson went on to Africa where he shot game and learnt new techniques in Photography. On his return to France, he decided to take up photography seriously, and to develop his skills. After displaying his work in New Yorks Julien Levy Gallery, he was assigned a fashion shoot by Carmel Snow of Harpers Bizarre. His inexperience with models proved challenging as the shoot was a failure. However, Snow was the first to publish Cartier-Bresson’s work in a magazine. In September 1939 at the beginning of WW2, Cartier-Bresson joined the army as a corporal in the film and photo unit. Captured the following year by German soldiers, he went on to spend 35 months in a prisoner of war camp under Nazi control. After 2 failed escape attempts, he managed to escape on the third attempt and hid on a farm in Touraine where he obtained false documents to allow him to travel around France. He worked for the underground, aiding others and working secretly with other photographers to document the occupation and liberation of France. The American office requested that he make a documentary, La Retour, covering French prisoners and displaced persons. By 1947, working with other photographers, ‘Magnum Photos’ came to life. The agency was a cooperative owned by its members, documenting events and news around the world. Cartier-Bresson received international recognition for his work covering Ghandi’s funeral in 1948. His book, ‘The decisive moment’, has gone on to influence photographers around the world. "There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative," he said. "Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever." – Henri Cartier-Bresson, Washington Post 1957.


Here are some of the photographers that almost made the list, and there’s many more. They are equally as important as the names mentioned above, but my list couldn’t go on forever. 

-       Craig McDean

-       Erwin Blumenfeld

-       Norman Parkinson

-       Peter Lindbergh

-       Paul Gore

-       Robert Frank

-       Steven Klein  

Written by

Katherine Thomson

Top apps to manage your health

Top apps to manage your health

To celebrate World Health Day, i’ve assembled a list of 10 of the best health managing apps for you to take a peak at.

So, in no particular order…

10 – Argus – This app is an all in one activity tracker and food diary. Without compromising your privacy, Angus is designed to monitor your lifestyle using mobile computing. Designed beautifully, this app makes lifestyle tracking easy with a honeycomb layout displaying all information tracked from your day, including your food and water intake, exercise, sleep duration, step count and heart rate.  Argus calculates your active calories compared to your resting calories, allowing you to see how many you have burnt through exercise alone and how many you have burnt by simply functioning.

9 – Yoga Studio – This app makes Yoga accessible from wherever you are! Whether you’re in your home, in the park or even waiting for your train (if you’re particularly eager). Yoga studio puts the power of yoga into your hands at a time when it’s convenient for you! For £2.99 this app includes 24 hours of ready-made HD video classes to allow you the freedom to choose the workout you want to do. Perfect for beginners all the way through to experts, if Yoga is something you want to try or something you’re proficient in, this app is the perfect yoga companion for you. (I think I’m going to have to download it myself.)

8 – Headspace – ‘Your Gym membership for the mind’. This app uses meditation and mindfulness to help you live a healthier and happier life. The app works on a subscription basis, which opens up hundreds of hours worth of Headspace content, with guided and unguided exercises at varying lengths to fit around your lifestyle. The app offers a free program designed to help you learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness in ten-minute sections over a ten-day period, just to make sure it's right for you.

7 – Zombies, Run! 3 – Yes, this app is exactly like it sounds, running from zombies (well, imaginary ones) for fitness. With over one million users, this app is a popular choice for those wanting to run further and faster. Ideal for both beginners and practiced runners, if you like the thought of being spurred on to run by a horde of Zombies then this app is probably the one for you. The app works through your headphones while you’re running to create a zombie scenario in-between your own customised playlists as you earn critical supplies for running further and faster. The app allows you to build your own base, which your supplies help to sustain.  

6 – Fitstar  - This app basically transforms your phone into a personal trainer. The developers of this app understand the difficulties of working out around work and other commitments and so have designed an app which enables the user to fit exercise in around other activities. Fitstar allows you to rate your workout on level of difficulty, which allows the app to show you new fitness sessions to help you progress and improve without getting bored of the same workouts over and over again. Another member of the Fitstar family is ‘Fitstar Yoga’, which works in the same way as Fitstar personal trainer except with yoga.

5 – Lumosity – Developed by Neuroscientists, this app is for Brain health and memory. It designs special programs, targeting the abilities important to you, such as problem solving, attention span and memory. Lumosity lets you track your progress over time to see how your brain workouts are improving and allows you to compare your results to people similar to you.

4 – MyFitnessPal – This is a simple to use platform to track your daily food intake. It’s a great tool to be able to count your calories and the app calculates your daily intake allowance based on your height, weight, and if you would like to lose, gain or maintain your weight. The app works with your phones camera to scan barcodes on food you eat to show you all the nutritional information and allow you to add it to your diary. As well as adding foods by barcodes, many restaurants have their nutritional information on the site and you can add your own meals too. Recent foods display in your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks categories for ease of selecting frequent foods. The app allows you to add your friends who are also on the app and track your weight over time.

3 – Nike+ Training Club – This app is your very own personal trainer in the palm of your hand. The app allows you to select your fitness level and then creates a workout plan to work for you. Aimed at helping you to achieve your goals, whether you want to get lean, toned or build strength. Your motivation isn’t likely to dip from this app, as you are able to add your friends and connect with the Nike training club community, which shows you a newsfeed worth of other people’s workouts to spur you on.

2 – Map my Fitness – Using GPS this app tracks your activity route. With pre-programmed routes around your location you have the option to follow a planned route knowing the time and distance you want to travel. This isn’t just an app that tracks when you have signal though. Even if your GPS fails while you’re out and about, your route will still be tracked and your calories burnt will still be counted (trust me, I’ve been there). If you’re looking for a complete app with the ability to log foods, create training routes and connect with your friends, then this is the app for you.

1 – Sickweather – Want to know what illness is troubling the area where you live to better your chances of not getting it? Well, believe it or not, you can. The Sickweather app takes public information from Facebook and Twitter when people post updates with their location on such as ‘This flu is horrible’ and translates it into a sick bubble around the area they live to build up a picture of what illnesses are going around different areas, even traceable to the street where they live. Alternatively you are also able to report how you’re feeling anonymously to report symptoms or illnesses. 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

Top Ten Amazing Materials

Top Ten Amazing Materials

 

Do you want to know the top ten amazing materials?

 

Of course you do. There are so many incredible materials in the world, it was a tough call to only choose ten, but here you go, I hope you like them.

 

 10 - D30 Impact Protection – This amazingly clever material is a substance used in impact protection. Now used in phone cases, body protection and electronics, this material is made up of D30 molecules. The material in it’s raw state is soft and flexible, much like ‘Play-doh’ to touch; however on receipt of shock, the molecules lock together to absorb energy and disperse energy to provide protection before returning to it’s flexible state.

 

9 - Fungal Foam - Environmentally friendly and cost effective. This foam is made from agricultural crop waste- plant stalks, rice and wheat husks, which are then bonded together with mushroom roots. The company is now developing this material to be an alternative to petroleum-based plastic foams which though convenient, threaten the environment

 

8 - Sweating Rooftops – Now, I know that this doesn’t sound extremely appealing but give it a chance. This new material from researchers at ETH-Zurich is really rather genius. Much like humans sweat to shed excess heat, this rooftop material absorbs water when it rains and only releases it when the temperature is raised to a certain point. Thus, keeping the house cool.

 

7 - Graphene – This is a remarkably strong material, in fact, it is about 100 times stronger than steel. In it’s pure form, pure carbon, one atom thick Graphene is an almost transparent sheet. It conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency.

 

6 - Gallium – Discovered by Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875, Gallium is used in industry every day. Though Gallium does not exist in a pure form in nature, scientists have found a way to extract it from Bauxite and Zinc ores. The product, Gallium (III) is a soft; silvery metal which when held on the palm begins to liquify in 5-7 minutes. (Pretty cool yeah?) Well, this amazing metal is used in a variety of ways every day such as, thermometers, mirrors, and solar devices.

 

5 - SilIca Aerogel – This is the lightest solid in the world, with a composition of 99.8% carbon dioxide and 0.2% silica gel. Aerogel is the best thermal insulator available with a melting point of 1200 degrees Celsius. Due to its impressive properties, aerogels have many uses from thermal clothing to spacecraft. The Glenn team is currently working on a NASA project called the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD). The HIAD is an inflatable vehicle, which is stowed inside the launch vehicle. Prior the entering the atmosphere the HIAD is inflated; this helps the spacecraft slow down and land safely on it’s destined location, which has an atmosphere. Covered by a thermal protection system, aerogels are used as an insulator.

 

4 - Self-Healing Concrete – This may sound like something out of a Sci-fi film, but self-healing concrete is a huge breakthrough in structural damage. Repairing cracks in concrete structures is time consuming and costly but necessary. Researchers have come up with a solution that involves creating a concrete mix that contains bacteria in microcapsules. When in contact with water, the bacteria will germinate, producing limestone as they go, thus sealing the crack before any damage to the structure can occur! (Amazing right?)

 

3 - Hydrophobic Metal – Scientists have developed a metal, which causes water to bounce off it. (as if by magic) Unlike chemical coatings like Teflon, etching microscopic structures into metal with the help of lasers creates this surface. This development is amazing, yet just to pattern a 1x1inch of this can take up to an hour, so don’t expect to see it in any consumer products any time soon.

 

2 -  Metal Foam – This is the substance you get when you add foaming agents and powdered titanium hydride to molten aluminum and then let it cool down. This is an incredibly strong material, which is also extremely light, making it a favorable substance with 75-95% empty space. It has been suggested that this material could be used to make space colonies and floating cities. (How very futuristic!)

 

Still reading? I hope so, because I’ve saved the best until last!

1 - (Drum roll please) E-Skin – Imagine a world where your health can be monitored, constantly and discreetly throughout your average day. A health monitor that continuously checks your blood pressure, pulse, monitors your sleep pattern and stress levels. A thin layer of electronic skin which then uploads the information to your smartphone and allows you to track your wellbeing. Well, with E-skin, this doesn’t have to be imagined. This amazing material (and well deserved of the top spot) has been designed for multiple uses. We could see wallpapers doubling as touchscreen displays and dashboards, which allow drivers to adjust electronics with the wave of the hand. 

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