Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tom Dixon talk - 18 October

Tom Dixon

"Hear Tom Dixon speak about his work at his only public appearance when he's in town to present the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award. Tickets on sale soon - stay tuned for further details and subscribe to Design e-news from the Powerhouse for updates." 18th October, 6.30pm.

News from Sydney Design 06 News - enewsletter from 28/8/06


Tom Dixon's website:

Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow talk - 31 Aug

"Tokyo-based husband and wife duo Atelier Bow-Wow – Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima – continue to challenge the concept of traditional Japanese architecture with their quirky, space-friendly designs. Coining the term ‘pet architecture’ to define their practice, they are well known for creating small structures that fit into previously overlooked spaces.

This special event coincides with Object Gallery’s Window exhibition of Atelier
Bow-Wow’s manga pod, on show until 5 November. As part of Rapt! 20 Contemporary Artists from Japan, a project organised by the Japan Foundation as part of the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange 2006, Object Gallery presents Atelier Bow-Wow for the first time in Australia.

Momoyo Kaijima will be speaking on Atelier Bow-Wow’s unique vision for domestic living.

Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow
Keith Burrows Theatre, University of New South Wales
Thursday 31 August, 6.00pm
Free admission

Object Gallery Window
manga pod: Atelier Bow-Wow
2 September – 5 November


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sakura Japanese restaurant

The Departed movie

Infernal Affairs was on SBS on last Saturday night so I watched it again. It's a great HK movie starring Tony Leung and Andy Lau.

Martin Scorsese is directing the Hollywood version of it starring Matt Damon and Leonardo di Caprio. It will be titled The Departed. The storyline is set differently but the theme is pretty much the same.

"The Departed is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello’s confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit.

Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that there is a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy — and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself."

Hopefully, those who watch the Hollywood version will want to watch Infernal Affairs as well, if they haven't seen it already. It's a great film.


Australian release date for the movie according to Dark Horizons is 6th October:

Infernal Affairs: and

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Paddington markets and Woollahra

Went to the Paddington markets last Saturday. Lots of clothing, soft furnishing, jewellery, handbag, art, craft and food stalls. Lots of hand-sewn and hand-printed items for sale. I liked the stall that sold Chinese stone stamps. He would carve out your name in Chinese for $10. You also buy the Chinese words for happiness, wealth, health, longevity etc. Sweet Little Treats was there. They were selling their cute softies, fabric buttons and bags. The markets are a great place to visit.

We then walked around Woollahra a bit just up the road from Paddington. Walked along Moncur St and a few other side streets. Lots of cafes, fine food delis, art galleries, clothing and furniture and design stores.

Had lunch at Caffe Quattro Passi at 8 Elizabeth St, Paddington. It was nice casual Italian food. Very good value too. We tried the pumpkin, roasted vegetable turkish bread and the arancini with salad. The hot chocolate was really nice and the chocolate milkshake came in the large metal cup they use to make it in. That's very rare these days. Usually cafes serve milkshakes in a small glass. All for $23. They had a outdoor covered courtyard area as well.

Visited the RG Madden design store, Jones the Grocer - bought some yummy white chocolate rocky road and pistachio and cranberry nougat to have later, and they also have a walk-in cheese room!, and a few other stores.

RG Madden:
Jones the Grocer:
Simon Johnson:

Sydney Open 2006 - 5th November

"The Historic Houses Trust is once again proud to present your city when Sydney open returns for 2006. You are invited to view inside over 50 buildings, most of which you may have only admired from the outside..."

There are also the Focus tours program which "provides more in-depth access to private and fragile properties. In most instances architects or owners lead these exclusive tours."

Properties that are 'open' include: Deutsche Bank Place, St Margaret's Urban Village, JPW Studio, Bates Smart Studio, FJMT Studio, Hassell, Australia Square, The Bond and many others.


Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, Ultimo

Photo taken 12/8/06 on the day I visited the Young Blood Designers Market.

The City of Sydney council is building a new aquatic centre in Ultimo. It will be named after Ian Thorpe.

"Housed in a distinctive wave-form building designed by Harry Seidler, the new centre will include: heated 50 metre pool, leisure pool with spa, hydrotherapy pool, sauna café, fitness centre. It is anticipated that the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre will open for the 2006-07 summer swim season."


Monday, August 21, 2006

Rapt! Japanese artists' exhibition - Sep to Nov

"Rapt! 20 contemporary artists from Japan is an ambitious program of exhibitions, residencies and public events showcasing contemporary Japanese art in Australia. Developed by the Japan Foundation in the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange, it is based on cross-cultural research and discussions by Japanese curators, Shihoko Iida, Fumihiko Sumitomo and Yukihiro Hirayoshi, and an Australian curatorial advisory group led by Philip Brophy, Max Delany, Stuart Koop and Kathryn Hunyor. Rapt! is remarkable in its scope and commitment, becoming the largest collaborative arts project ever undertaken in Australia, involving twenty organisations developing different facets of the one project.

Rapt! presents a significant rethinking of the character of contemporary Japanese art and culture. Rather than conform to traditional stereotypes of Japan, Rapt! highlights new modes of communication which have developed over the past decade in Japan to enable direct connections between individuals and the rest of the world. The work of various contemporary artists suggests a new Japanese identity is emerging based on the renegotiation of traditional practices and influences..."


Synapse exhibition - 8-23 August

Creativity, imagination and a poetic mind-set

"Using himself as a tool, abstract Japanese calligraphy artist Masahiko Nakayama creates meditative black and grey-toned forms which express the world around him. Although an “advanced” calligrapher with strong technique, Nakayama’s approach to his work is completely unconventional. Rather than simply use the standard calligraphy brush he will often experiment by substituting “tools” from nature such as a tree branch or blade of grass, to form his characters. Because these tools don’t allow the use of traditional techniques, the forms are more simplistic and prone to chance. It is this element of chance and the deeper meanings found in nature, which highly interest Nakayama and provide the philosophy behind his work.

The theme of this exhibition is “connections”. It refers to the connection between our thoughts and feelings, between human beings and the universe and between one another. To communicate this connection Nakayama uses the ripples of water and rain as his metaphor. In addition to the hanging scrolls adorning the walls, the space will be filled with handcrafted Japanese umbrellas and white cylindrical shapes decorated with Nakayama’s abstract forms."

This exhibition is at The Japan Foundation, Level 1, Chifley Plaza, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney.

I went to the exhibition last Thursday. It was really interesting. I liked the layering of calligraphy with collage and the 'nature' theme in Masahiko Nakayama's work.


Masahiko Nakayama's website:

In your face: contemporary graphic design 5 Aug - 5 Nov

Image: Steve Scott

"Intelligent, irreverent and witty, Australian graphic design is out there making its mark globally. For this major exhibition of contemporary Australian graphic design, sixteen unique case studies unravel the creative process as they are juxtaposed against works from the Powerhouse Museum’s 20th century Australian graphic design archive.

Featuring alternative and mainstream design for new media, motion graphic, animation, music-video and web design, as well as large-scale super graphic and billboard design, comic, poster, book, magazine and character toy design, and even tattoo art, the exhibition is a sweeping look at graphic design in action.

Designers in the spotlight are Fabio Ongarato Design, Vince Frost of Frost Design, Steve Scott, Soap Creative, Josh Roelink of Tatudharma, Chris O’Doherty (aka Reg Mombassa), Carby Tuckwell, Voice, 3 Deep Design, Nathan Jurevicius, Boccalatte, Deuce Design, Qube Konstrukt, Crumpler, kwp! Advertising and Streetwize Communications."

You can also read some of these designers' profiles online.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Workshopped exhibition - till August 19

Workshopped exhibition

Images: TL - Nicholas Karlovasitis' 'Loose Change' chair, TR- Eric Siu's 'Twist Chair', and B- Zoe MacDonell's 'A Chair Less Ordinary'.

The Workshopped exhibition features 28 designers' work from around Australia. This year's brief was Finding Function in the Form.

"In a world where function is often lost to form, WORKSHOPPED 06 asks designers to consider design which has both function and form. Including the elements of: purpose, utility, quality, durability, comfort, and desirability.

WORKSHOPPED 06 looks for design that considers the issues relating to production, whether limited or mass production and irrespective of production method. And most importantly design that might be desired, taken home and lived with!"

Designers' work featured are: Adam Goodrum, Amy Cunningham, Arnold + Lane, Craig Harris, Danny Cheung, David Knott, David Moses, Dennis Abalos, Donald Holt, Donald Corey, Eric Siu, Frag Woodall, Gary Galego, Henry Wilson, Ilan El, Jo Philippsohn, Jonathan Everett, Keith Melbourne, Lana Alsamir, Lauren Babula, Matthew Conway, Matthew Harding, Nicholas Karlovasitis, Niklavs Rubenis, Tasman Wallworth, Tim Foster, and Zoe MacDonell.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

UK pensioner is YouTube's new star

Peter, a pensioner from the UK, has posted 7 videos on YouTube. He has received "79,000 viewings and 6,500 subscribers, putting him at the top of the most-subscribed list on YouTube in the past week." His username is geriatric1927.


Peter's videos on YouTube:

The top 10 quirkiest hotels

"Across the world you can spend the night in a hotel made of ice, a castle that used to be a jail, or a resort with a huge indoor water park, indoor ice rink, indoor golf course and indoor roller-coaster."

Article in the SMH listing the Top 10 quirkiest hotels as nominated by


Trip Advisor:

Change what you eat to slim down

RealAge tip: "If you're trying to lose weight, for heaven's sake don't starve.

Instead, change what -- not how much -- you eat, so you walk away from a meal feeling full, not frustrated.. Instead of a wedge of berry pie, have a whole pint of juicy strawberries. In other words, cut calories and fat, not portions. It works, say scientists..."


Living ourselves to death

SMH article: "The closer science looks, the more links it finds between lifestyle and long-term ailments...

A wide-ranging national health study of Australian women published last year found the average young woman puts on five kilograms over seven years while she is in her 20s, typically before she has even started having babies. AusDiab 2, a large study of patterns of diabetes in the community, found women and men put on an average 14 kilograms between age 25 and 50..."


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Young Blood Designers Market

Sydney Design 2006

Went to the Young Blood Designers Market at the Powerhouse Museum this afternoon. It was a great event! There were over 60 stalls of young designers showing and selling their work.

Images: tl- Jess Lee of imoko; tr- Ann Lightfoot and Tracey Lamount of bird; 2l- Ro, Julse, and Ange Foong from High Tea with Mrs Woo; 2r: Tanya and Karen Kopac from red ruby; 3l: Ann Lightfoot and Tracey Lamount of bird; 3r: Rachel Bending from Bird Textiles; bl and middle: red ruby clothes; br: High Tea with Mrs Woo display.

Some designers that were featured included:

High Tea with Mrs Woo: made up of three sisters Rowena, Juliana and Angela. They're based in Newcastle. Their creations are really beautiful and have an Asian influence. Their website is great too. w:

Jess Lee of imoko: tactile curiosities + clothing concepts. Jess' clothes are really creative pieces using a mix of different fabrics. e:

red ruby who are made up of sisters Tanya and Karen Kopac: stencil cut designs, limited ed. silk screen prints on handmade clothing. Loved their designs. You can also find their clothing at the Glebe markets, Glebe Point Rd, on Saturdays. e:

bird who are made of Ann Lightfoot and Tracey Lamount: hand painted bags and t-shirts. w:

Everythink: Dieu Tan is a photographer and makes really funky pieces of furniture and lighting. w:

Naomi Bishops of Gaptoothgirl is a filmmaker and textile designer. She makes beautiful woollen scarves, ponchos, jewellery and more. Cool website too. w:

Bird Textile: Rachel Bending has just released a new clothing label called Bird. She's also behind the eco meets retro Slingfings label. w:,

Pipwilly: lampshades, cushions, artwork. w:

imok: cool, funky graphics on tshirts and accessories. w:

There are still lots more events as part of Sydney Design 2006 - 5th - 20th August.

Sick cities

SMH website / feature on Sick cities. Some very interesting articles and video clips on modern life and the effect it's having on us.

"The way we live is killing us. We're crammed into cities working longer hours and busier lives, commuting more and exercising less, eating more takeaways and less fresh food.

And our modern lifestyle is taking its toll. This generation of children may die younger than their parents as a result of their weight gain. It's an urban disease being felt around the world. Our physical health is starting to degrade. The body, overfed and under-exercised, stacks on weight. The extra kilos unlock diabetes, kidney disease and cancers. Psychiatric illness is also on the increase as we struggle to be first in the rat race. Our chronic health epidemics, obesity in particular, have been widely noted.

This series looks at how our bad health is the logical result of a lifestyle we have collectively adopted. Work, food, suburbs - the fundamentals of our lives - are no longer in harmony with the human body and Now we're paying the price..."


Thursday, August 10, 2006

North Sydney Bus Shelter and Canopy Entrance competition

North Sydney Bus Shelter competition

"The Competition is an ideas generation process initiated to attract a number of architectural design concepts for the development of new bus shelters for Miller Street in North Sydney CBD and canopy entrance to the Greenwood Plaza/North Sydney Railway Station...

The competition intends to spark debate in the community about design, inspire creative thinking and encourage the concept of design to be viewed from different perspectives.

Design submissions were received from local, interstate and international entrants."

The winner was: Hannah Tribe and Marcus Trimble


Marcus Thimble's blog which has more information and images of the project:

Marcus Thimbe's main blog:

15th Biennale of Sydney - till 27 August

"The 15th Biennale of Sydney, organised under the conceptual framework ‘Zones of Contact’, will feature 85 artists and collaborations from 44 countries.

‘Zones of Contact’ is about the spaces people live in and move between. It explores the spatial dimensions of cities, settlements, territories, the land and home – places where people encounter one another and other cultures."

"The 2006 festival will be held at over 16 venues and sites throughout Sydney including the three principal venues; Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Museum of Contemporary Art."


Akira Isogawa designer rugs

Akira Isogawa

Designer Rugs commissioned Akira Isogawa to design a limited edition collection of rugs and the designs were launched in September last year. They're really cool looking rugs!

This year, Designer Rugs commissioned Dinosaur Designs to design some rugs.


Designer Rugs:

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Popcorn Taxi: Kevin Smith in conversation + Clerks II - 22 Aug

Kevin Smith

"Popcorn Taxi in association with Roadshow Films invites you to join legendary cult film Director Kevin Smith in conversation, following the Australian premiere screening of his latest film Clerks II.

One of the most unique voices to emerge during the American independent filmmaking renaissance of the 1990s, Kevin Smith burst onto the movie scene in 1994 with his low budget comedy Clerks, a hilariously scabrous look at American consumer culture, littered with pop culture references conveyed in coarse but snappy dialogue. Made for $27,000 dollars, collected from parents, credit-card advances, and the sale of Smith's beloved comic book collection, the film was launched at the Sundance Film Festival, and soon became a classic in the cinematic sub-genre of 'slacker' movies.

Smith followed up Clerks with Mall Rats (1995), Chasing Amy (1999), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Jersey Girl (2004), many of which feature actor Jason Mewes and Smith himself as the characters 'Jay' and 'Silent Bob', two idle stoners who pop up for added comic relief.

Clerks II checks back in on the lives of 'Dante' and 'Randal', the two convenience store slackers from the first film, who lose their jobs when a fire burns the strip mall to ashes. The buddies are forced to don uniforms and man the counters at Mooby's, a fast-food restaurant whose supremely irritating bovine mascot also appeared in Smith's Dogma. The film stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson and Rosario Dawson, with cameos by Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Kevin Weisman, and the triumphant return of New Jersey’s inimitable duo Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith). You can read more about Kevin and the film below.

After the Australian premiere screening of Clerks II, Kevin Smith will take to the stage for an exclusive 90 min, uncensored, no-holds-barred, one-on-one conversation with the audience, about his career, his passions, his “boring-ass life” and everything in between.

Don't miss what will be your only chance to hear Kevin Smith speak in Sydney, and share with him his passion for making films. Tickets for this event will go on sale via Ticketmaster at 9am next Monday morning (August 7th). The full details on how to buy a ticket will be announced shortly!"

Clerks II + Kevin Smith Q&A
Rated: MA 15+

Time : 6:30 pm (for a 7pm start)
Date: Tuesday, August 22nd
Where: State Theatre
Address: 49 Market Street, Sydney.
Tickets: $35

To buy tickets:
Or via calling Ticketmaster on ph 13 61 00
Or over the counter at one of the many Ticketmaster outlets.


Rhodes Phoenix restaurant - yum cha

Rhodes Phoenix Restaurant

Rhodes Phoenix Chinese Restaurant opened in the Rhodes shopping centre a few weeks ago. Went there for yum cha last week. The tables are spaciously laid out and the interior features a chocolate and rich red colour scheme. It looks very rich, dark and luxurious. It has a nice intimate, modern feel. The food's nice but the dishes could probably have been kept hotter if they wheeled the food around in the food warmer trolleys.

The Phoenix restaurants are also located in Skygardens in the city, Castle Hill and Manly.

Rhodes Phoenix: Level 5, Rhodes Shopping Centre, 1 Rider Boulevard, Rhodes.
Ph: 02 9739 6628 or 1300 883 892.


Thursday, August 3, 2006

Adobe Live! conference now up on the web

"Last week we held the inaugural Adobe Live! events in Sydney and Auckland. This is the first time this free two day conference has been staged outside Europe.

The event was hugely successful and we look forward to creating a similar event in 2007.

For all of you who were unable to make the actual event, videos of all of the presentations can now be accessed online in flash format via the following link:"