Archives for the month of: December, 2013

Ever wanted a new pair of Nikes but the pay cheque doesn’t land for another 2 weeks and a girl has gotta eat? The Merit Shop, a new online store is offering a solution; buying stuff without money. Save your cynical eyebrow raises for one moment for The Merit Shop are not offering something for nothing. No no no, you pay with talent.

San Francisco-based designers Daniel Soares and Pedro Sampaio, the brains behind the brilliance, ask that you “Sing a song. Tell a joke. Do whatever. Use creativity instead of money. Here, in this little corner shop of anarchy, the value is all in you”.

The duo told Taxi that “It’s not about money. For us this is a project to see what happens. To make some good in this world.”

So dust off your vocal cords and whip out those Jazz hands, this is the kind of world that I want to live in. Tell people about them. and check out their beautiful video below.

What if money didn’t exist?


The holiday-rental website, Airbnb, recently revealed their new San Francisco HQ, a 100-year old renovated warehouse (my ideal home). Named 888 Brannan, the great expanse of space has been modelled on eight Airbnb listings from around the world, including (rather sweetly) the original apartment from which the founders launched the website. Great idea.

Airbnb Headquarters in San FranciscoAirbnb Headquarters in San FranciscoAirbnb Headquarters in San FranciscoAirbnb Headquarters in San FranciscoAirbnb Headquarters in San FranciscoAirbnb Headquarters in San Francisco

All images from

Scandi chap, Eric Therner, has designed these retro yet romantic diamond light bulbs. I just love them. On his website, Therner states that he “like(s) to think of Diamond lights as a structure, with a function”. Agreed.  This product looks as good switched on as switched off. No shade required is a requirement here. Let those damn fine angles flaunt themselves.

diamonds! diamonds! diamonds!Diamond Lights | Designed by Eric Therner

Lyon based designer Olivier Abry, founded Wo & Wé in 2010, a design studio producing striking handmade lamps by restoring and re-assembling vintage industrial components. The self-titled “light creator-assembler”, Abry’s work is made up of single and double armed as well as adjustable articulated wall and ceiling lights.  

Industrial, recycled and minimalist. Design heaven.

Check his blog and the collection’s website

Andrew Willis built a skatepark in East London using reclaimed materials left over from the Olympic Games, creating a lasting legacy for the local community of Hackney Wick. He had no money for materials and no skills to build it, but with an upcycle mind on his shoulders this London chap made it happen.

Lady Gaga brought Benjamin Rollins Caldwell to the attention of the masses, by sitting starkers on a piece of his bespoke furniture for the front cover of her new album, Art Pop. The chair her pert bottom rests upon makes up part of Rollins Caldwell’s Binary collection, a series of bespoke furniture pieces all of which are covered in a collage of 100% recycled motherboards and computer chips from old computers sourced from offices, abandoned warehouses and schools.

Although some of his pieces would never make an appearance in my sitting room, I love what this guy does. His use of recycled materials and the lengths he goes to accumulate them are inspiring. I have pasted my favourite piece of his below, a chair constructed out of old piano keys.

“Sometimes the objects I discover simply inspire an overall design idea and other times the objects actually become the raw material for the piece”. Benjamin Rollins Caldwell


All images from

POW! WOW! Is a week long festival in Kaka’ako, Honolulu attracting around 100 artists from around the world to come together in a celebration of public art. POW! WOW! was founded in Hong Kong several years ago and was brought to Hawaii in hope of engaging the community through art via a series of lectures, collaborative mural projects, exhibitions, concerts and art classes. The event took place in January of this year, but the official video has just been released. I would love to spearhead an event like this in London, especially as we have such a strong street art scene here.

‘Tis indeed the season to be jolly, but festive cheer is not the only thing to come over us at this time of year. Various ailments plague most of us as the nights draw in and temperatures plummet sending the British transport systems into to disarray, in not so jolly a fashion. The majority can nurse such afflictions with a warm bed and cough medicine. Some of us are not so lucky. A total of 6,437 people were seen sleeping rough by outreach workers in London during 2012-13, a number up by 30% on 2011. When the temperatures begin to drop, those on the streets are particularly vulnerable to illness. But, there is something that can be done to help.

The Wrap Up Project, created by WCRS, have produced gift wrap in 3 festive snowflake designs, which in fact depict the common cold, influenza and pneumonia; take a look closer on the project website This clever idea is the brainchild of design duo Doug Fridlund and Mikael Alcock, (aka Doug & Mikael, the cool kids behind the Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery pranks). 100% of the proceeds from gift wrap sales, go to St Mungo’s, the charity helping those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to rebuild their lives. So, why not wrap up your pressies with a sneeze this Christmas and give to those less fortunate?




Following on from the ingenious Nestrest, Daniel Pouzet now introduces the Swingrest; the ultimate hanging sofa. Pouzet is co-architect and designer of Dedon Island, a high-end holiday resort in the Philippines, a haven which acted as muse for his latest design feat. The extra high ceilings of the resort villas provide a perfect structure for hanging furniture. Building on the basket structure of Nestrest, Swingrest is perfectly designed for hanging on a terrace, veranda or even indoors. Alas, I will have to dream of lounging semi naked, suspended above a lake in the Philippines as I have neither lake, veranda nor sufficient funds. If I did, however, that bad boy would be swinging from the ceiling of my London before you could say blue tit.

daniel pouzet's swingrest hanging outdoor lounge for dedon

Today I was walking past The Conran Shop on London’s Marylebone High Street and in the shop window stood a lampshade which stopped me in my tracks. It was one of the pieces from Issey Miyake’s IN-EI collection, co-developed and manufactured by Artemide. For those in the know, this is old news as the collection was released mid 2012. I just felt these images ought to be shared again. For me, the shades are incredible works of art, that could almost be mistaken for sculptures. Miyake used a material derived from recycled PET plastic bottles which are processed using innovative technology that drastically reduces both energy consumption and CO2 emissions. IN-EI (Japanese for Shadow) includes floor, table and pendant lamp designs, all of which were created using 2 or 3D mathematic principals. All pieces are foldable, which then extend into the lampshade, causing a play of light and shadow through the layering. The collection represents a continuation of the ‘132 5. Issey Miyake’  2D/3D folded clothing design research undertaken by Miyake’s reality lab. Check ’em out.

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category

IN EI by Issey Miyake for Artemide in home furnishings  Category