Thursday, May 25, 2006

Charging up the stairs

"Can we harvest the energy expended from footsteps and the vibrations from trains? Architect Claire Price describes how this can be put into practice..."


Feeling fed up? Don't worry, you'll snap out of it in your 70s

"People in their mid-20s and early 70s are the most satisfied with their lives, while those around 50 have the lowest life satisfaction levels, according to the Bureau of Statistics' measure of progress report.

People tend to be less content in their 30s, 40s and 50s than other age group, apart from the very old, it found..."


You snooze, you lose: weight linked to sleep patterns

Article in SMH: "Compared with sound sleepers, women who slept no more than five hours a night were 32 per cent more likely to experience major weight gain - defined as an increase of 15 kilograms or more - during the course of the study.

They were also 15 per cent more likely to become obese compared with women who slept for at least seven hours..."


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I want it that way - spoof video clip

i want it that way

I got shown this clip from YouTube. It's two Chinese guys living in a university dorm in the States having a bit of fun miming to the Backstreet Boys 'I want it that way clip'. They're natural comedians and they're really fun to watch.


They've got a blog too called: The Dormitory Boys - Life is short, make fools of yourselves while you can. They've published more clips on their blog.



20% of all household water is flushed down the toilet. ROTA-LOO composting toilets DO NOT use any water!



Giacometti, Art Gallery of NSW

Sculptures, prints & drawings from the Maeght Foundation
Art Gallery of New South Wales
18 August until 29 October 2006

"One of the most original and inventive artists of the 20th century"

The Art Gallery of New South Wales brings to Australia for the first time an exhibition of some 79 works by Alberto Giacometti. Renowned for his relentless investigation of the human figure and his unique and singular vision, Giacometti stands beside Picasso and Matisse as one of the towering masters of 20th century art.

The 35 sculptures, 22 prints and 22 drawings in the exhibition span the two most intense phases of Giacometti's career - the surrealist period from 1929 to 1934 and the post World War II period from 1947 to 1965, when he produced the thin and unnaturally elongated figures for which he has become best known.

The works have been drawn from the Marguerite and Aimé Maeght Foundation in the south of France, which holds one of the most significant collections of Giacometti's work..."


It takes a village

"New planned communities are designed so that people can live and work with everything they need nearby...

Today's home shoppers demand better homes and neighborhoods than ever, and developers are meeting the challenge. The best communities are places where people can build their lives -- where everything they need -- schools, stores, jobs and meaningful social relationships -- are nearby.

Driving America's housing trends are changing demographics. The nation's population is getting older and more diverse, with recent immigrants make up a growing share of the mix. Households are increasingly made up of smaller families, non-families and single people. A majority of women now hold jobs outside the home. All of these factors influence the kinds of homes and neighborhoods people want.

Less than a quarter of all households are the "traditional" married couples with children, while more than a quarter consist of a single person. Despite decreasing household size, the average size of new homes keeps increasing -- 2,140 square feet today, up from about 1,600 square feet 20 years ago..."


Lawn or latte?

"Wake up and smell the coffee: these days, cafes are the new backyards... And with Sydney becoming an increasingly high-rise city, with more apartments being built with cafes and restaurants underneath, it seems a good time to take stock...

"I think it's really the way to go," says Chris Johnson, the executive director for urban renewal at the NSW Planning Department. "Apartments are changing the way we live. Instead of using the kitchen and dining room in our own houses, we're using the broader precinct outside as part of the home.

"We have breakfast downstairs, lunch around the corner, dinner close by and then meet up for coffee underneath," Johnson says. "It's a totally new style of how we live."...


Monday, May 22, 2006

Experimenta New Visions Commissions 2006

Call for applications

"For the 2007 exhibition Experimenta Play, Experimenta is commissioning new interactive works that allow the audience to play, and be played upon.

Up to $6,000 per project is available for emerging and mid-career Australian artists to create new interactive media art works for an exhibition of Australian and international media artworks to be launched in Melbourne in September 2007.

Extending ‘play’ beyond the realm of games, Experimenta is looking to commission works that have humorous and unexpected outcomes, involve an element of chance, toy with preconceptions and assumptions, provide a journey or an opportunity for discovery. Within this playfulness lies the potential for deviousness, trickery, teasing, surprise, humour, inversion/subversion and delight. What are the possibilities for playful new media artworks? How can we play with technology to create new experiences?

Sources of inspiration might come from traditional narratives, labyrinths, puzzles, everyday environments, re-imagined objects or activities, re-purposed toys. The commissions are for interactive media artworks that can be: audio/visual, installations that play with scale and perspective, immersive environments or small, intimate and object based.

Please visit to download the Guidelines and Application Form. Contact Emma McRae, Experimenta’s Curatorial and Project Coordinator to discuss your projects.

There is no cost to apply and applicants need not be members of Experimenta Media Arts.

The closing date for applications is Friday 21 July 2006"

Experimenta is supported by the Australia Council, Australian Film Commission, Film Victoria, Arts Victoria, The City of Melbourne and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Inside magazine no. 41

Inside 41

Features in the latest issue of (inside) australian design review magazine include:
Michael Wolf’s Hong Kong density photography projects p62-68; and the
Tokyo Hipster’s Club in Tokyo, designed by Tom Dixon and written by Jean Snow p98-103

(inside) has a new editor - Robyn Gower. I found this issue quite jam packed with interesting articles and snippets.

Michael Wolf:

Tom Dixon:

(inside) - media kit and blurb about the magazine only on the website:

Other links from this issue I've noted down to have a look at:

MagScapes - magnetic wallpaper (I've been looking for ways for conveniently hang things on the wall like a visual reference wall, but without putting holes through the plasterboard, and being able to frequently change the things I put up):

Shigeru Ban architects:

Recyclicity - will need Alta Vista's Babelfish to translate the website:

Eric Markow and Thom Norris - Woven Glass:

Dotgroup - movable Door company - may come in handy one day:

moth design - was interested in their 'In the Shed' installation at Federation Square, Melbourne:

Andrea Zittel:

Lucas Ihlein's Bilateral Petersham exhibition - May 26, 27

Lucas Ihlein Bilateral Petersham

SATURDAY 27 May, from 2.30pm to 6pm
Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock Street Camperdown (off Mallett Street, and not far from Parramatta Road).

with afternoon tea, a little excursion to Johnston’s Creek, and, if we’re lucky, a ribbon-cutting by the Mayor Himself, Sam Byrne.

It’ll be your chance to get a hard copy printout of the blog to put next to your toilet…

FRIDAY 26 May, 6pm
Petersham Bowling Club, cnr The Avenue and Brighton Street.

with delicious dinner cooked by Fiona, bowling shenanigans, and a slide show by some amazing visiting Filipino artists who are here for the Biennale, Alfredo Juan Aquilizan & Maria Isabel Gaudinez-Aquilizan. There’ll also be a powerpoint presentation by yours truly, which hopefully will satisfy the likes of Tully and his household.
Dinner available at the cheap Big Bowl prices. RSVP to Fiona on 0434813926"


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Graphics Alive

Graphics Alive

Graphics Alive: A world of graphic arts appearing on our daily items
Edited by Victionary

"In this book, we talk about graphics that create relationship with us. It is not only a relationship between audience and the entity, like what we would get from reading a flyer or seeing a poster, but a more intimate relationship with our lives. This relationship encompasses all design disciplines - including graphic design, fashion design, interior design and industrial design, etc.

Most of us can recognize the value of good design in major undertakings such as building a house; few of us give it much thought in our daily items. To a lot of people, design is like a trend, but rather an art of making objects look beautiful. It is true that many designers are going under the trend, however, good design isn’t reliant on anything. ‘Graphics Alive’ brings you to discover this omnipresent power of ‘graphics being alive’ around us. From big to small, from head to toe, the survey comprises of study of top international brands to unique projects by design experts and also up-and-coming designers..."

I came across the book last week. Decided to buy it. $85 from Kinokuniya. It's a great visual reference book. The book features lots of cool, illustrative graphics on the walls of hotel rooms, ipod skins, bags, canvas shoes, shirts, t-shirts, blinds, soft-toys, cushions and more. Designers' work featured include: Jeremyville, Chillichilly, Simone Legno, Kingpro, Viagrafik and others.


Google finally puts Australia on the map

"Google overnight sneaked out much anticipated street mapping data for Australia and New Zealand cities within Google Maps in a move that is likely to spur a frenzy of mapping mash-up activity.

While the Google Earth application has captured the imagination of the world with its 3D satellite images, Google Maps offers businesses a means of overlaying their own data or statistics over detailed street maps on their web site..."


Switched on, burnt out

Article in SMH: "Mobile phones, email, Blackberries - technology has made us available all day, every day. But at what price, asks Karen Kissane..."


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Design Festa - Tokyo, May 20-21

Design Festa

"Design Festa is a freestyle International Art Event open to all creators, both professional and non-professional from all over the world to exhibit their creative talent. Design Festa is the biggest art event in Asia, with approximately 51,000 visitors and 6,000 exhibitors... This art event is held twice a year in spring and fall at Tokyo Big Sight, the biggest event hall in Japan."

They've got live bands, a projection space for video art, short films, and lots more going on.

There's such a buzz happening and there's lots and lots of cool handmade things available from some very talented designers. If you're in Tokyo, it's definitely worth a visit!


dfactory: High Tea with Mrs Woo - June 29

High Tea with Mrs Woo

dfactory: The Business of Fashion
"Host and fashion aficionado Nell Schofield talks to fashion designers High Tea with Mrs Woo and others about the thrills and spills of Fashion Week."


High Tea with Mrs Woo:

dfactory: Pop ups, fold outs and other design adventures - 25 May

"What are the ingredients for a stand-out children’s book? Help our charismatic host, Nell Schofield ponder this question with Mark Macleod, one of Australia’s best known publishers for children and teens; Anna Fienberg award winning children’s author and Sandra Nobes, designer shortlisted in the APA 54th Annual Book Design Awards. In an already saturated market, is it the story, the illustrations or the overall design which gives a new children’s book the edge? Presented in conjunction with the 2006 Sydney Writers' Festival."

6pm – 6.30pm Drinks and music in the Café with guest DJs “those two girls”
6.30 – 7.15pm Pop ups, fold outs and other design adventures talk
7.15 – 8.30pm Drinks and more music by ‘those two girls’

"Hopscotch Film Pass Giveaway: Receive a complimentary preview double pass to the wonderful new film Wah-Wah, written and directed by the one of the worlds best-loved and most versatile actors of his generation, Richard. E. Grant, when you attend d factory on Thursday 25 May."


Couture teddies to raise money for children affected with HIV/AIDS

Akira Isogawa bear outfit

marie claire and Mercedes Australian Fashion Week Designers United for UNICEF Campaign.

"Over 40 of Australia's top designers have styled couture teddies to raise much-needed funds for children affected by HIV/AIDS. The statistics are shocking: according to UNICEF, every day 1400 children die of AIDS-related illnesses and 1800 are newly infected.

Each bear will be auctioned to raise funds for children affected by HIV and AIDS. If you want to own one of these gorgeous teddies, simply bid for the teddy of your choice..." Auction ends: June 6, 8pm.

Designers include: Akira Isogawa, Alannah Hill, Marnie Skillings, Alice McCall and many others.


Nicole Colovos - new designer for Helmut Lang

Article in SMH titled: Denim day and night: it's all in the jeans.

"Apart from a short course at the Parsons school in New York, she (Nicole Colovos) has no formal qualifications in design: she developed her eye while working as a stylist.

Now 36, she is the new designer for Helmut Lang, a label known for its minimalist, elegant style. She describes herself as a proud New Zealander who thinks of Australia as home. She spent 12 years in Sydney in what turned out to be a longish pit stop on the way to New York, where she worked on Harper's Bazaar.

She and her husband Michael started the label Habitual in 2002. "It was about taking denim, and elevating it, and pushing it round," she says. Then there were few upmarket denim labels. "We were trying to elevate the perception of denim," she says..."


The must-have job ticket

"Bianca Burd used computer qualifications to get into fashion. Graduates in other fields are following..."


Cutting crime as easy as MP3

"Downloading music from CDs onto iPods and MP3 players will no longer be illegal after the federal cabinet agreed to make sweeping changes to copyright laws..."


LTC: Keith Cunningham - June 29

"International speaker in June: Keith Cunningham, millionaire U.S. entrepreneur, on lessons he's learnt about making it BIG in business. Keith regularly shares the stage with Brian Tracy and Robert Kiyosaki."


Keith Cunningham's website:

"Every time I speak these days, someone in the audience wants to talk about their frustration with obtaining "Financial Freedom, Passive Income and More Time." This newsletter is the first of a three part series on these issues..."

Go to Keith's website and select 'News and Articles' in the left menu to read 3 interesting articles:
1. The Myth of Financial Freedom
2. Myth #2 - Passive Income
3. Myth #3 - More Time

Penne bosciola

penne bosciola

Been cooking penne bosciola a bit lately. Got some takeaway penne bosciola from the Italian Bowl on King St, Newtown a few weeks ago and then by the time we got it home, it wasn't piping hot anymore. The other 'close' Italian place is somewhere like Bar Italia on Norton St, Leichhardt. So I figured I'd try and cook it at home. Found a simple recipe, bought some mushrooms, cream, and ham and voila, I can have the meal on the table in 12 minutes (the time it takes the penne to cook) and it's probably faster than driving and then trying to find a park anyway. And it's piping hot as it only has to go from the saucepan to the plate to the table.

I seem to go through food phases, like I'll crave Japanese sushi or udon noodles and then just eat many meals of it then go through a Thai food phase then a Chinese food phase then an Italian food phase... Then at some point I get over it and then can't look at that type of food for a while and then go onto another type of food...

Some craft links

Sweet Little Treat:
"Sweet Little Treat follows the trails of two girls in the search of sweetie goodness in the forms of food, baking, crafty bits, and whatever takes their fancy! Oh! ...and they may just mention their evolving business in t-shirts... and their quest to produce a cake inspired by "Martha" each month!"

Saw this website link appear then disappear off the screen of the blogger 'blogs updated' roll. Cool site and their blog says they have a stall at the Paddington markets.

Claire Robertson of Loobylu has started a new website called Kiddley.

"Kiddley is an independent weblog published almost daily and is brimming with bright ideas, fun projects, links to great web finds and quick tips for parents to take away and enjoy with their kids. Kiddley is about taking a little time out every day to remember how exciting childhood (and parenthood) can be with just a tiny bit of imagination."

Japanese craft books resource:

How to sew your own tote bag:

How to grow your own pineapple:

How to make your own applique shirt:

Like the shoulder bags! Main site page is:

Cool bird bag:

Interview with Jess Hutch up on Whipup

Jess Hutchison

There's an interview with Jess Hutchison, a knitting, crafts talent based in San Francisco on the website Her works include robot and other knitted toys. She's also written and published her own pattern book. It was interesting to read that Jess has a background in history and not the arts. It's cool how she's just gone and created stuff and now it's out there and her products are admired by many worldwide.


Jess Hutchison's website and blog:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Design bookshops

It's fun to just spend a couple of hours in the afternoon browsing the latest releases, especially design titles at bookshops. Hadn't been to the Published Art bookshop in Surry Hills for a while, so thought we'd pay it a visit. It's a smallish bookshop with bookshelves lining 2 walls with the book jackets rather than the spine on display. Then there's a table in the middle with more titles. Saw Graphics Alive, published by Victionary ( in 2006. It featured examples of cool illustrative characters on clothing, cushions, bags etc. Lots of cool images. May have to get this book sometime.

Then later on in the afternoon, we walked along King St, stopping in at Better Read than Dead and Pentimento.

Other regular haunts include: Kinokuniya, Ariel, and occasionally the Architext bookshop (RAIA's headquarters) and the Building Bookshop.

Published Art, Shop 2, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills:

Better Read than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown:

Pentimento, 249 King St, Newtown

Kinokuniya, The Galeries Victoria, Level 2, 500 George St Sydney

Ariel, 42 Oxford St, Paddington and 103 George St, Sydney:

Architext, 3 Manning St, Potts Point:

Building Bookshop, 525 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills:

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Chinatown, Sydney

There's so much happening in Chinatown on a Friday night. Got there around 6pm. Bought 8 mandarins for $2.40 and 2 bunches of chinese broccoli for $2 from Paddy's markets. The seller threw in some extra Chinese vegies as she didn't want to pack them away.

Then bought 3 more Chinese brush paints from PO Hong stationers as I've just started a Chinese brush painting course. Then I bought a custard bun from a Chinese cake shop and a pack of 6 frozen steamed bbq pork buns $4.80 from the Emperor's Garden restaurant cake shop. They were also selling warmed steamed buns for $1 each - kind of like how you buy warmed up meat pies from convenience stores. Also walked by a fabric shop in one of those arcades and they were selling cool Japanese women print fabrics. Will have to have a closer look some other time.

Then walked through the arcade to Dixon St, and you see the Friday night market and food stalls lining the street. The street is really buzzing with life and activity. The Chinese restaurants have tables lining the footpath outside their restaurants with a hostess trying to show you the menu and show you to a table, and then in the middle of the street there are food stalls selling foods from beef and pork jerky to noodles, to cooked meats on skewers, and heaps of other Chinese foods. Then further up the street are stalls selling Chinese swords, bonsai trees, lego astronaut jewellery, wool crochet bags, cutesy Chinese character keyring soft-toys, cute stationery, incense sticks, and heaps of other things.

After walking through the street market, I made my way back to the Emperor's Garden restaurant to get some plain congee, bbq pork, and fresh rice noodles before heading back home. Really quite enjoy making this trip and just walking and looking around on a Friday night.

2006 Melbourne International Film Festival - 28 Jul - 13 Aug

"The 55th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), to be held from July 26 – August 13, will present an unparalleled programme of cinema from around the globe.

Executive Director James Hewison said, “ we have attempted to streamline the MIFF programme and have thus sought to underline our commitment once again to critical areas in contemporary cinema - be that renewed vigour in our local filmmaking community to our Asia Pacific neighbours, from immediate work from the Middle East exemplified in our filmmaker in focus, Iranian Jafar Panahi, to the Danish phoenix rising from the ideological strictures of Dogma. If cinema may have the power
to effect change then it’s in evidence in Globalised and, finally, in the concrete wastelands of Los Angeles, a remarkable selection of Super 8mm skateboard films that evoke the freedom and creative spirit of the Seventies – get into it!”

Australian cinema is championed again in this year’s festival – buoyed by the successes of films as varied as Little Fish, Wolf Creek and Look Both Ways, which all premiered locally at MIFF 05, new Australian cinema looks set to power through 2006 with some innovative and unexpected new work.

Leading off the charge is the World Premiere of Em 4 Jay, the fourth feature from Melbourne iconoclast Alkinos Tsilimidos; an unflinchingly confronting, romantic tragedy. The Australian Showcase will also feature George Gittoes’ searing documentary Rampage, a stark and, at times, painful portrait of three brothers in an American ghetto; Jeremy Sims directorial feature debut, Last Train To Freo – a tense psychological drama about five individuals will have its World Premiere at
MIFF 06 too; and Peter Cattaneo’s Opal Dreams starring Jacqueline McKenzie and Vince Colosimo, plus introducing newcomers Christian Byers and Sapphire Boyce. This year MIFF highlights a distinctive new strength in Australian filmmaking.

The Festival programme will once again feature the work of world-renowned filmmakers, and more than a couple of unknown gems, in its popular International Panorama, Regional Focus, Backbeat and Documentaries series. The most highly regarded short film competition in the Asia Pacific, best MIFF shorts screens approximately 100 short films, competing for a prize money of AUD$35,000..."


Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Smile, pain at the pump has pay-offs

"Not only should we learn to live with high fuel prices, we should be glad of them, writes Ross Gittins..."

Article suggests the government could put money towards improving public transport rather than focussing on building more expressways and leaving petrol prices high to encourage commuters to use public transport more.


Hydro Wall - winner of the 2006 Next Generation Award

Metropolis magazine announces the winner of the 2006 Next Generation Award.

The third annual Next Generation event was won by architect Virginia San Fratello.
"San Fratello, joined by her collaborators Ronald Rael and Isaiah Dunlap, was rewarded with $10,000 for her Big Idea, The Hydro Wall. This concept is a series of flexible sacs that store rainwater within a building's wall. Intended for warm climates, the Hydro Wall acts as a thermal mass. Learn more about the winning team and their project in the June issue of Metropolis.

The 11 Next Generation runners-up, listed with their Big Idea entries below, will be presented in the July issue of Metropolis and featured in issues throughout the year."


In the meantime, you can read about the 15 finalists' projects at:

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Surry Hills Festival - 20 May

"The much awaited Surry Hill Festival is on again soon and everyone should expect a bigger and better 2006 festival. Look forward to colour, carnival, wild and wonderful sounds, frolicking on the green and delicious delights - there will be something for everyone from the young to the young at heart. The popular Surry Hills Dog Show-off will be on again! And this year's festival features new attractions such as the Blissworks chill out area, and Knot Gallery's giant collaborative mural.

In our new home Prince Alfred Park, there will be plenty of room to move and enjoy live entertainment on three main stages, three DJ stages, plus street theatre and a large kids area.

You will be able to browse among the 250 or so market stalls and satisfy your hungry tum with a wide choice of food available from the international food fair..."