Monthly Archives: February 2011

Minibar For The Mind

Next week is my birthday and in a bit of work procrastination I decided to have a look for some unusual gifts I could hint at for people to get me! The Minibar For The Mind instantly stood out.

minibar 6

Designed by The School Of Life in collaboration with the Morgans Hotel Group, the School Of Life is a London based firm that offers advice and ideas for everyday life. They are a ‘social enterprise’ addressing important questions and issues such as “why work is often unfulfilling” and “why its even harder to stay calm”.

The minibar is available from luxury vending machines within the Morgans Hotel Group and a select few shops in America.

Minibar 3

“The minibar for the mind contains an intriguing and thought provoking alternative to the usual minibar fare”

Minibar 2

The set includes:

  • Conversation Starters- 250 cards of quotes, questions and ideas.
  • Collected Thoughts- A collection of articles written by members of the School Of Life and its collaborators.
  • Reading Prescriptions- Two scrolls held in test tubes, designed to evoke feelings of relaxation or seduction.
  • A Dream and Fears Notebook- Aesthetically this is my favourite element. A simple embossed covered notebook to be used as an outlet for your fears and dreams.
  • Writers Block Pencil Set- To use with the dream notebook the pencils have quotes on them from Twain, Orwell and Sterne.

Minibar 1Minibar 5

The set looks fantastic and I would hope that its content is as clever and well thought out as the overall aesthetic. Such a thing would not only be a great idea in a hotel but great as a general standby for everyday life! A bargain at $56 or £35.

So who is getting me one for my birthday?


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Filed under Branding, Hotels, Just For Fun, Stationery

Ruin Academy – Rethinking The Classroom

The Ruin Academy is a university research centre in a derelict building in Taipei, Taiwan. The centre is run between two universities, Casagrande Laboratory, Finland and JUT Foundation for Arts and Architecture, Taiwan. The purpose of the space is to allow for hands on research into urban design, architecture, sociology and the environmental arts. The students or ‘constructor gardeners’ use Taipei as an urban case study as well as looking at smaller projects throughout Taiwan. They are exploring the idea of the “Third Generation City – the organic ruin of the industrial city”Ruin Academy 5 The structure is an old 5 storey apartment block that has been stripped back to a shell. All the internal walls have been removed and the windows taken out to allow bamboo and vegetables to grow and 6 inch holes carved in the ceilings allow rain water in. The space is used for workshops, classes and provides informal spaces for students to spend the night. It is an opportunity for students to work on a 1:1 scale and “the academy is a constantly changing mixture of ruin and construction site.”Ruin Academy 9I am fascinated by this idea. As I am currently studying for an Interior Design Masters I can’t help but wonder what I would do given this facility. What would the British equivalence of such a space even be? How could a hands on approach test my concepts and inform my research?

Ruin Academy 10Ruin Academy 11

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Filed under Architecture, Cities, Interiors, Materials, New Uses, Office/Work Spaces

Nod To A Blog – Swissmiss

Every so often I come across a Blog or website that I find inspiring and I am feeling generous so will pass on some details to you lovely people!

Swissmiss is a design studio and blog run by Tina Roth Eisenberg and is one of my favourite places to go on the web to find interesting designs that make me happy. The pieces are snappy and fun and the featured products and articles never fail to be quirky and entertaining. It is a website that doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is why I frequent it almost daily.

Below are a few links to my favourite articles of the past week. Enjoy!

Gnome Life

Gnome Life

Stamps of Disapproval

Stamps of Disapproval

Make A Wish

make a wish

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Filed under Just For Fun, Nod To A Blog

Not Such A Small World

This made me smile and instantly want to find an old model to see if I could make my own! 

The paper house was designed by architect Ryuji Nakamura for Designeast 01 and I love it! It is designed to fit perfectly over the webcam of an iMac and gives the illusion that the user is a giant. Such a simple well executed idea, this could be easily recreated to great affect.

Ryuji Nakamura

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Filed under Just For Fun

Pour Painting


Holton Rower is the artist and sculptor responsible for the beautiful art piece above. Inspired by the abstract expressionism of the likes of Jackson Pollock, Rower’s ‘pour painting’ sets out to celebrate the creative process and artist’s medium.

The film below shows the creative process in action and I think the outcome is amazing. It is such a simple idea and I could see it being used in a number of different ways. Yes this is art but how incredible would this look as part of a display in a retail space?

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Filed under Art, Colour, Film, Interiors, Materials

Deceptive Typologie

Typologie 1 I couldn’t believe it when I saw that this was wallpaper and not genuine type blocks. It looks really 3D! The wallpaper is called Typologie and was designed by Christian Benini for Wall & Deco. The design uses repetition like common wallpaper but the pattern is spread to try and hide this repetition and give a more dramatic effect.




For more information access the Wall & Deco homepage here or check out their products on Architonic here.

Typologie 2 Typologie 3

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Filed under Interiors, Materials

In The Pop Up Doghouse

Pop up ventures seem to literally be springing up everywhere at the moment to the point where I am beginning to question what makes them new and innovative? Then I saw this…Fold Down Tables

The Doghouse is a rooftop bar by Foolscap that was designed and built in just 24 hours. The bar was to last just 3 weeks and is reminiscent of a ‘prohibition era speakeasy’. As such elements of the design are concealed. Tables flip down from the walls and bottles are hidden behind the bar, suspended on ropes. The bar was simply constructed of plywood and incorporated modular elements for ease of construction. Where possible, furniture and props were borrowed to maintain Foolscap’s sustainable design ethos, necessary considering the length of the pop up.

hanging bottles

I know themes can be tacky but I actually think this one is pretty clever. The idea of prohibition is perfect for a modern pop up and this one has been particularly well executed. From the vintage tea cups to the materiality the overall look is surprisingly complete given its short conception time. This pop up is more than just throwing some clever furniture in an empty space this is a complete transformation to another era.

SeatingPropsBottles  For more information on this project simply click here.

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Filed under Furniture, Interiors, New Uses, Pop Up