Monthly Archives: May 2017

The allure of consumerism (& how to deal with the aesthetic power of beautiful things)

japanese cup and tea towel

Pictured: Duetto cup from Kyoto, Japan. Linen tea towel hand printed by me (a squillion years ago)

It’s all around us, everywhere. The design of beautiful things, by clever and skillful people with exquisite materials. The last 12 years of social media have introduced me to a ton of wonderful ways that people are bringing new, to-die-for objects into the world. Things that many of us WANT. The pull of the visual, especially through Instagram over the past 5 years or so has been incredibly powerful.

We’ve all felt it. We scroll through post after post of styled and beautifully lit images, and the pull gets stronger. We convince ourselves we NEED that hand-woven, naturally dyed rug. That skillfully crafted and utterly gorgeous piece of pottery. That pair of funky, fair trade, eco-dyed, Mexican leather shoes. Continue reading

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What is a creative city?

View from a friend’s 5th floor walk up rooftop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn is changing rapidly. Will it lose its creative buzz?

During an extended stay in Manhattan in 2013 I was given a copy of Jane Jacob’s famous 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities by a postgrad student who was obsessed with this great urban activist’s vision. I devoured that book, hungry to learn about how New York had developed, particularly during the 20th century. I’ve had three visits to New York since 2008 and will probably have a life-long love affair with that city. This is a common affliction; I am obviously not the first to have ‘suffered’ the lure of this great city.

Many creatives are drawn to the New York, and most would agree that it’s a creative city. But what exactly is meant by the term ‘creative city’? Continue reading

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Designing for wellbeing

I’ve been interested in wellbeing for a couple of decades now. Ever since I was a yoga devotee in the relatively early days of it being in Australia in the early-mid 1990s. Certainly well before yoga became mainstream and was held in gyms (!). I can still recall how unknown it was to most people back then. I was interested in yoga and meditation and shiatsu and macrobiotic food and a whole lot of wellbeing-ness that was so ahead of things to come, I had no idea. It’s so interesting to me how we now have cafes with ‘nourish bowls’ and a whole cult of kombucha followers and pickled vegetable fanatics. Japanese people no doubt also find this a fascinating adaptation of what’s been a part of their culture for a veeeeeery long time. Will wellness continue to be of interest in the West? Is it a passing trend that will bore us in 5 year’s time? Continue reading

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