30 November 2010

At 9:03

This life-size dollhouse stands in Canada, alone, in the middle of a field, far removed from any urban settlement. It seems to be a preserved snapshot of the day it was abandoned. The clock is eerily stopped at 9:03, the chairs are pushed against the table, the clothes and toys lie, forgotten, where they fell in the haste of departure...
This is an art project of Heather Benning, who created the life-size 'Dollhouse' in Saskatchewan, Canada. She found a ruined farmhouse

and staged it as on the day of abandonment. She cut away one entire wall of the 2-stories high farmhouse. She restored its interior with the 1960s flair (while leaving the exterior intact). At the very end, she protected the interior she created with a glass panel. Finally, she stopped the clock at 9:03.
Heather Benning herself grew up on a farm not unlike the one she chose for her art project. As a child, she used to play in such abandoned farms. She would stage the ruins for her childhood games.

"I wanted to show the passage of time...," Benning explains. "I was able to show what it looked like before it was left, but then what it looks now, you know, 35 years later..."
It is the stopping of the clock that does it for me.
Very Miss Havisham.

Scenes from the suburban wars

I always get excited about the 'storytelling' songs. They are so rare.
The song is 'Suburbs' by Arcade Fire, an indie rock band from Quebec. This is the title song from Arcade Fire's third album (Suburbs, 2010). Press here for lyrics.
The video, directed by Spike Jonze, is but a preview of 'Scenes From The Suburbs' - a short film yet to be released by Arcade Fire before the end of this year.
The story line is intriguing and it may very well be a SF peep into (not so distant) future of suburban wars. I'll reserve my comments until the full film is released.
Another project of Arcade Fire not to be missed is their interactive music video for 'We used to Wait' (another track from their Suburbs album, this one directed by Chris Milk). This video will enable you to bring your own personal childhood into the visuals of the film. Provided that you have not, like I, crawled from the place far beyond the seven oceans (still to be explored to full lenghts by Google Map). While there are other similar interactive projects online (notably 'Cuckoo' by Lissie, where the visuals change with the concrete weather at your current location: it will snow if you are watching from Moscow, but not if you are watching from San Francisco), they are more a gag than a tool and they rarely reach you on a more personal, emotional level.
On a separate note, I wish the previews of full feature movies were more like this one: a project that feels complete, stirs your interest, yet doesn't reveal the plot. Then again, why DON'T they ever make previews of full feature movies in the form of a music video anyway? It certainly beats the commercials format that prompts us to go and get popcorn and coke.

28 November 2010

Get a grip

Title: Ducks

Title: Grip

Perhaps you've noticed already: for the time being I've abandoned the weekly themes. It became too limiting. I may still spin a week theme now and then, but generally I'll be posting random finds: a selection of those that not only catch my interest, but prompt a reaction.
I chose to open my newly found freedom with these photos of Marijke van Warmerdam, a Dutch multimedia artist. I spend most of my time living atop the same unbearably levelled Dutch landscape. It seems impossible for me to live (on it) without that warped perspective and imagination.

Title: A-side

Title: B-side

15 November 2010


A performance of 'Dance Dance Dance' in an L.A. park by Lykke Li and backed up by an indie band Bon Iver.

12 November 2010

One of the most dangerous guys out there

'Limit to Your Love' is a single by James Blake; a third release from this London based electronic composer (in his early 20s). This is the first single from his still eagerly expected debut album.
"Singing next to just a few handpicked sounds (a simple piano melody, a couple of drums, and a rattling sub bass) he turns Feist's jaunty original into something tense and brooding. His approach is so minimal that it's almost cocky: after each verse, he lets the song go silent for three, maybe four seconds, creating this incredible tension where you really crave the next sound. And for all the careful craft, there's still warmth - even soul- to this track, and it's that combo that makes Blake one of the most dangerous guys out there."
(from Pitchfork)

The Lucid Dream

The Lucid Dream is a bubble lamp designed by Eric Klaverbeek, a Dutch designer extraordinaire. It is obvious what inspired Klaverbeek: the blowing of bubbles. Klaverbeek literally hand-blew the lamp. In the short film posted above, Klaverbeek presented his work method applied to develop this beatiful product. What's more, Klaverbeek developed other inventive products, to name but a few below:

the eye jewellery project (see also video)

3-D curtains (made on assignment)

10 November 2010

A blow

A beautiful, beautiful Herm├Ęs installation created by the one and only Tokujin Yoshioka. Each time, this blows me away. It's just like Hogwarts!

09 November 2010


A dandelion turns into a dandelight at the magic hands of Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn, who took hundreds of real dandelion seeds and connected them, one by one, to little LED lamps. If eager for more, check Drift's website. You can also purchase a dandelight here.

08 November 2010

Let's bounce off to work

An awarded video by Goldfrapp for their track Happiness. This is a hommage to the bouncing scene from the musical 'Small Town Girl' (1953). Just like the movie scene, the Goldfrapp video is also shot in a single take.

05 November 2010

My High 5ves: Best of the Graduation Galleries

I've selected three of this year's graduation projects from Eindhoven Design Academy. Their work not only held my gaze, but it made me enthusiastic, too. There were some other designs that caught my eye, but the work of these three decidedly stood out.

My first choice is the 'dekenbank' designed by Romboud Maris.

This 'woollen blanket sofa' is but a few woollen blankets draped over a wooden frame. I love this idea for its simplicity and flexibility. I can absolutely see this sofa individualised with my own personal choice of materials. In addition, it solves the problem for those, who can get to discarded materials, but not to any money. This is a social design that restores dignity to poor living. If I was scouting for Ikea designers, this would be my first choice.

My second choice are lego clothes designed by Borre Akkersdijk.

In this 'kant en klaar collectie' (transl. ready-made collection) Akkersdijk created stuffed fabric blocks that can be sewn together to create comfortable and warm tops, coats, trousers and even dresses. Again, this design provides the user with an opportunity to customize and individualize the final product. A simple idea, yet countless variations are possible.

My third choice is a 'motion cabinet' designed by Niels Hoebers as a work-set for stop-motion animators.

Hoebers created this work-set during and after he had his internship at an animation film production studio in Poland. In order to see the work-set in stop-motion (!), please press here.
Someone should best tell Yuri Norstein about this.

On a final note, there is one more graduate project that I would like to mention: the strap with clips by Manon van Hoeckel.

This was a graduate project of Sint Lucas College of Applied Design and as such did not appear in the Graduation Galleries (reserved for the Design Academy Eindhoven). A surprisingly simple solution for carrying folders, books, maps and/or magazines.

04 November 2010

My High 5ves: Arnhemse Meisjes and the best of the rest

'Arnhemse Meisjes' is a collective of nine recently graduated product designers (all girls) from Arnhem:

Below is my selection of the best of the rest that was showcased in the hall of indie designers in Klokgebouw. Ontwerpduo and Nieuwe Heren are missing, as I've already posted about them last week.

Olav Slingerland:

Chris Ruhe, 'Only doors' collection:


Tom Frencken:

Michiel Cornelissen:

03 November 2010

My High 5ves: Jack Brandsma, Floris Hovers, Lotty Lindeman and Wouter Scheublin

Lotty Lindeman, Wouter Scheublin, Jack Brandsma and Floris Hovers: none of these four indie designers, who during DDW showed their work in Eek’s design factory, is a newcomer. Yet, they are more edgy and daring than most of this year’s graduation projects. I've already posted some about Lotty Lindeman and Wouter Scheublin here and here.

Jack Brandsma: SpareSpace mobile units for temporary offices

Floris Hovers: DDW expo

Lotty Lindeman: a temporary hotel room at Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam

Wouter Scheublin: Self-assembly construction toy