The Perfect Cup Of Tea with MyCuppa

I admitted recently that I had never made a cup of tea in my life. This caused great upset amongst my friends and I was immediately forced to make one. The results were shameful. I can’t stand the smell so I never have drink the stuff. For me making a cup of tea for my rather picky friend was as easy as a vegetarian cooking the perfect steak for a carnivore!

Clearly what I needed was the MyCuppa mug. Spotted on Recraft and available to buy on Amazon I may have to invest just so I don’t disappoint future guests!

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The colour guide around the inside of the mug allows guests to simply choose what colour they wish for their tea. Then the maker can add the appropriate amount of milk, perfect! You may question the need, believing it far too easy to make a cup of tea, well lucky you!

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Filed under Just For Fun, Product Design

Time In Words–A Clock With A Difference

The Qlocktwo by Biegert & Funk is unique. It tells you the time in not only words but complete sentences. Taking a literal approach to the way we read time has created a new concept in clocks and this idea supported by the sleek and beautiful design of Biegert & Funk has produced a fantastic product.

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The interchangeable faceplate looks as if it is floating, fixed to a back support by only magnets. The faceplate comes in a range of 7 colours and the clock is available in over 10 languages. The clock isn’t cheap at $1000 but good news! The company has come up with an iPhone/Android app that can be downloaded for just 99 cents. The Image below shows the different ways the app can show time based on the original concept for the wall clock. A perfect partner for the project!

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Filed under Product Design, Technology

A Graffiti Artists Dream Sketchpad

I spotted this little beauty on Recraft, a great website full of quirky products. The Walls Notebook available on amazon features 80 pages of blank New York City walls, just ready to be covered in graffiti.

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I love this idea and although I am not a graffiti artist myself the chance to play at being the next Banksy would be brilliant. With the scale and complexity of modern graffiti art I can imagine that a huge amount of planning goes in to their production, making this notebook ideal. Purists on the other hand may hate this element of planning, seeing graffiti as spontaneous and random. Personally I love it and as the notebook is only $11.39 it made it on to my mental shopping wishlist instantly!

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Filed under Art, Graffiti, Just For Fun, Sketchpads

Where do you read? Wish it was somewhere like this?

Yesterday was officially the longest day in the UK so there is no denying it summer is here. This is the time of year when I get the chance to relax and do some reading but at the moment, my room being decorated I am bunking in my sisters room and I find it impossible to read in there. It just doesn’t work somehow. It got me thinking, if I could design a reading spot what would it look like?

Here are some other designers ideas…

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House On The Flight Of Birds, Portugal by Bernardo Rodrigues features this beautiful little window seat. Great for kids but I just hope they also included an adult sized version!

I love architectural details such as that above but for those looking to add a reading nook to their home how about some of these pieces of furniture below.

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This bookcase with built in seat is called Cave and features an ergonomically shaped seat with reading light above. Again I think this is a great idea for kids but I can’t actually imagine using it myself.

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This is more like something I can imagine using, less claustrophobic and higher off the ground, this angular design by Guy Eddington is great. Something that could fit in with your furniture without being obtrusive. For me a place to read should be quiet, discreet and this ticks those boxes.

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Discreet is certainly not how you could describe this seat, with built in shelving by Etsy. I do like its form but for me it conflicts with the nature of its use. A more subtle version, less neon, more natural would be fantastic!

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Filed under Furniture, Interiors, Just For Fun

The UCLAN Creative Festival–Great Presentation Ideas You Could Reproduce

New to UCLAN studying my Masters I had not yet seen a degree show at the university so it was great to pop down to the Creative Festival on Friday and see what was on offer. A number of different departments had work on display, each department varying its presentation technique, below are some of the best bits.

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I first came across the Architecture degree show. Having studied Architecture for my undergrad at a different university it was interesting to look at how the styles differed from course to course. One piece stood out in particular for me. Bruce Johnson managed to take a, lets face it dull wall section and turn it into a piece of art (below). Unfortunately the full affect doesn’t come across on camera but Johnson had had layers of plastic laser cut, each plastic sheet depicting a different layer of the structural build up. The layers were then framed and then fixed perpendicular to the wall to give the greatest effect. I have found that the presentation of structural diagrams is something that is often ignored. This is understandable as legibility is a key factor but it was refreshing to see someone really pushing the presentation of this type of drawing.

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Next up the Illustration Degree Show. A great collection of work with many unique styles on display and some beautiful display techniques. I particularly liked the use of picture frames and the way sketchpads and associated materials were displayed alongside large prints. My favourite work was by that of Naomi Jones (bottom left of the picture below), a full post about her work should be right below this one, or click here to read more.

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Finally the Interior Design Degree Show! I may be biased but this was my favourite of the shows. The collective standard of the work was excellent and some great display techniques had been incorporated into the show.

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The course managed to combine technology and more simple materials together throughout the exhibition extremely effectively, managing to present the students work clearly and professionally.

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I particularly liked the cardboard display tables that had been produced to show models and the students portfolios. So clever, with a simple design that was produced in house, the result is neat and gives uniformity to the display. That combined with a bulb hung over the display table gives each student their own defined exhibition area.

Cardboard and hanging bare bulbs are both items that are extremely on trend in the world of interior design at the moment. To incorporate such objects into the exhibition is a great idea, it really shows that the students know what is happening in interior design, outside the confines of the studio.

Interior Design Display

UCLAN students are lucky enough to have access to a laser cutter. The intricate models below by Paula Ambler and Charlotte King show the high standard that can be produced at this level using such equipment.

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As in all departments the abilities of students varies. Many were able to produce high quality computer renders to give a real understanding of a space. This is something I aspire to be able to achieve myself but have not as yet learnt how to do. At this point I have been looking at the methods of producing visuals that don’t rely on complex visualisation packages. That is why the image below by Emma Brady really stood out. Bright, colourful and fun I was instantly drawn to it. It certainly gives an impression of the space in a more artistic way than just computer renders. I may give this kind of style a go myself!

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Many of the students had also provided business cards with some great illustrations reflecting the individual style of the student. Something that really caught my eye was this fold out portfolio disc case by Emma Cairns. Simple to produce but with bold graphics, the object reflected the students personal style well and gave a glimpse of her creativity before you even got to view her full portfolio. With employment at a low nationally, I do hope little tricks like this help give the students an advantage when it comes to finding a job in the future.

Portfolio Idea

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Exhibitions, Interiors, Models

Beautiful Children’s Book Illustrations At The UCLAN Creative Festival

Yesterday I popped in to university (UCLAN) to have a quick look around this years Creative Festival. On show was the degree work of the universities art and design courses. There was a lot of fantastic work that stood out but ignoring my natural tendency to lean towards the design of the built environment I have to say my favourite work was that of an Illustrator Naomi Jones.

Naomi’s final degree work included a book that she had written and illustrated herself. Below are a series of images from the book that I got off the artists website.

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The illustrations are absolutely charming! Clean, quirky and with almost a 3D feel this is a children’s book any kid would love in their collection (or at least their parents would!)

As a UCLAN student myself any chance to promote another student is great! Simply click on any of the images above to view the artists further work and contact details.

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Stylish Cables

We really are living in a world where every tiny mundane part of everyday life is being redesigned to incorporate a bit of fun! and I love it! New concepts are popping up everyday, some better than others but it is the work of iida a Japanese company that has really stood out for me lately. The company produces a great range of designs, that take a slightly different look at objects we use all the time.

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Above and below are great example of this approach. The designers at iida have produced a series of AC adapters where a feature has been made of the cable, something that would normally be considered an eyesore. Birds, army men and Alice in Wonderland are amongst the designs available to buy on the company shopping site.

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I think this is a brilliant idea. A product that I could definitely see being copied and mass produced across the world. It would be great for a teenagers bedroom or just for adults with taste on the quirky side (like me!). The bird option is certainly going on my wish list!

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Filed under Interiors, Just For Fun, New Uses