Friday, 25 May 2012

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts*

Today is my favourite event of the year, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show - a day where I get to spend quality time with my Mum, sip ridiculously expensive champagne, eat seafood platters and wander around looking at the fabulous displays of flowers, all of which both relax and inspire me. It is always fascinating to see what colour trends are being used in the gardens at Chelsea as there is usually a fairly consistent theme that emerges… a theme that may pervade into other aspects of design.

On Monday this week I also went to the launch party of Kasthalls new rug collection, created by their chief designer, Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg – like Chelsea, this is also an event that involved imbibing copious amounts of champagne (I think I will have blown my units allowance for the next month by the end of today)…. Now I know I always bang on about concept images, but this collection was truly beautiful and is inspired by Gunilla’s interest in flowers and gardens. She has created a series of images using flowers that she had collected herself, pressed and arranged in multiple layers to create kaleidoscopic geometric patterns.

(Image from Kasthall - Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg)
(Image from Kasthall - Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg)
(Image from Kasthall - Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg)

It is a truly classic example of the power of concept images in providing direction in the colours and textures that are applied in the work of a designer.

So, ready for a solid dose of relaxation and inspiration I am off to Chelsea for my lovely day of the year. Perhaps if I drink enough champagne I will begin to see geometric and kaleidoscopic concept images of blooms in the award winning gardens... and if I do, maybe it’s time to drink some water.

*Sigmund Freud

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Money for nothing…*

In the current economic climate it’s hard to make money (unless you are a hedge fund and/or speculate aggressively around the volatility in the markets), but what if you could make even the most basic financial thingamajig, for example, a ten pound note into something that has intrinsic and sustainable value. That is the essence of design. It may also be the way to sort out Greece and the rest of the Eurozone, but we’ll need lots and lots of paper.

(Image from Agrablewski)

Origami is simple, it’s intricate and it uses the most basic of materials to create spectacular and desirable outcomes – in 3D – and let’s be clear, 3D seems to be a hot trend at the moment...

A supreme example of design excellence from basic principles is how origami was used at the heart of NASA's space programme – it was used to help structure and engineer the unfoldy, solar panel bits (the bits that make satellites look like pretty flowers)… There is nothing more cutting edge or enduring in design than a satellite that is up in space for up to 30 years with these superbly simple unfoldy bits…

So, what’s the point of my blog this week? – It’s simply to say that design is about more than just having lots of money to splash out on the latest designer stuff - the best design is about focusing on the detail, the intricacy, the effort, the beauty and the intrinsic value of the finished product... or you could just make a paper plane…

* Dire Straits

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