11 July 2009


FA loves Collage. Especially collages on London maps. These images were taken from the Super Contemporary exhibit at the Design Museum: a retrospect celebrating past, present, and future of London. These collages dotted the gallery, and I couldn't help but snap away at the lovely notes, post-its, Polaroids, and drawings that highlighted passages in the streets of this beautiful city.

The Hemingways

I mentioned Wayne Hemingway one of the founders of Red or Dead, the fashion label, in my previous post. But now that I look at my seminar notes I have many interesting bits to share with my fellow readers that came straight from the brilliant Hemingway himself. Not only was he hilarious, but he successfully explained how he didn't study design but found himself as a 'designer', sharing how he came to terms with that as a career.

Wayne's current project is called the Kiosk Kiosk pop up retail space. Sick of the high street stores taking over every creative hub in the city Wayne set about designing the Kiosk concept with Boris Johnson(loony mayor of London). The Kiosk concept is all about bringing back spaces of creativity and beacons of energy to our streets. You don't planning permission for these kiosks, they can be plopped anywhere.

Kiosk Notes:
  • Rent of shops in Covent garden rose from 600 pounds a week to 4200 a week. Its hard for creative start ups to lease stores in expensive locations.
  • Pop up shop concept has been a success in Japan
  • Kiosks in London sell touristy things and ice cream and faker footballer shirts in ugly green kiosks.
  • Council can profit from it and lease it to locals
  • Creativity makes things exciting: Wayne wants to bring t he serendipity back in shopping
  • 60,000 student applied for a kiosk. They had products and wanted a space.
  • Kiosks would rent for 400 a week.
Red or dead notes:
  • Started Red or Dead Label with wife Geraldine in 1982.
  • Having no money for rent they went to sell their second hand clothes and Geraldine's sewn clothes at Camden Market. They sold it all in the first day.
  • They sold through Kensington Market and had their first huge order by Macy's.
  • Don't need to be a designer to understand quality of life.
  • They have come from the mass market and design for it.
  • He didn't talk the language, he didn't draw, felt inferior to all designers.
  • Design is about making things better, and wanting to change things for the better.
  • He buys the Economist and Business week to know more about livability.
Hemingway now runs his design company with his wife. Their projects are in fashion, urban design, interiors and projects. Hemingway studied urban design in UCL and its amazing that after his stint with fashion he's back full circle doing what he loves, designing for the world and taking a special interest in housing and environmental design.
My notes:
  • Wayne is warm, funny, humble.
  • He joyously explained that anyone can be a designer for a better quality of life
  • As a designer you must have another existing principle other than design. Its the essence of your brand;your purpose.
  • It is important to give back to your community and create channels for other people to give back as well.
  • A label is not just about the person but about the team behind it.

08 July 2009

A night at the Design Museum

The last two times I trekked to Tower Bridge and did the 20 minute walk-athon journey was for the Hussein Chalayan exhibition and before that it was for Tim Walkers wonderful photography. True to my selfish fashion ways I headed to the Design Museum to hear a talk by Wayne Hemmingway, one of the founders of Red or Dead, a fashion label that was huge in the 90s. After what the Design Museum director labelled as one of the 'best lectures we have ever had' we were free to roam the design museum as we pleased. Our first stop: The drawings of Javier Mariscal.

A little about the exhibition:

The first UK retrospective of Spanish designer and artist Javier Mariscal. Regarded as one of the world's most innovative and original designers of our time, Mariscal's rich and diverse body of work spans kooky cartoon characters to stunning interiors, from furniture to graphic design and corporate identities.

Mariscal’s intense relationship with drawing and illustration is central to his career and is the basis for his designs over the last 30 years. He gave Barcelona its graphic identity as it emerged from the Franco era and in 1992 he introduced the world to Cobi, the official Olympic mascot of the Barcelona games. Sketches, designs, films and photographs will be on display alongside furniture and textiles. Mariscal will also design and paint an elaborate mural for the exterior of the museum showcasing his unique vision and signature design style

The venue of the talk

When you first walk into the exhibition ...
Pop up cardboard collages mixed with 2D film montages

The inspiration: The stuffs of Mariscal

A note

06 July 2009

Hope Greenwood and Oliver

On the way to watch the Oliver Twist the play (aka just want to see the funny Rowan Atkinson pull a Mr. Bean when playing Fagin) I came across a lovely candy store called Hope and Greenwood that sold heart shaped kisses, large chucks of chocolate fudge, and polka dotted teapots. I suggest that anyone going to see the play to grab a theater snack from here before heading in. It was refreshing to walk into a traditional candy store instead of a trendy cupcake booth that you can now find everywhere.


In between flat decor shopping and fabric sample hunting I went to the Scream Gallery to view the results of the Myartspace London Calling Competition. Artists from their network of 55,000 in 116 countries submitted work reviewed by a jury of curators. The top 20 winners were shown at the Scream Gallery in Bruton Street.