I may have gone a tad carried away with this post ... I blame regular trips to Borders, Readings and Metropolis. There are a few more, but these are enough for now. They're all fantastic books to have on hand - to read, and for reference and inspiration. Now to find the funds to get my hands on these babies.
^^^Jess, you'll find this rather interesting I reckon.
All images from Amazon.co.uk, except for The Melbourne Design Guide, which is from Magnation.

uh-oh

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The colour scheme has a sort of story-telling quality to it, I reckon. But something is not quite right with the colour ... might re-colour it actually*.
I decided to do flight (with balloons) again after coming across a print at NGV International today - one of a dead squirrel in a series named White Mammals by Kiki Smith. I quite like the overlapping balloons.

*OK I tried .. but was not very successful. Result below. Much prefer the first one.

Ron Mueck at NGV

Go see it. I'm not sure how much of Mueck's work is conceptual, but it is a great exhibition. To a degree, his work do explore the human condition ... and they are meticulously detailed and beautiful objects to look at.

Well curated, great space, I thought - all the pieces seem to be having conversations and talking to each other. It certainly is a very 'accessible' form of art, I suppose, family-friendly too, due to the shock/wow factor. This is probably why photography (without flash, of course) is allowed in the exhibition. I remember my mother, who isn't really interested in the art world, forwarding me an email with pictures of his work due to how 'cool' they were. And they certainly are cool.

Fun products

Sometimes we need a bit of fun, even in the most mundane of things.
Designed by Israeli-based Artori Design

Tea infuser by Israeli design studio, Ototo

Wrong Hat

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Bang bang you're dead!

Push Your Ideas

A short, cool inspirational video!

The yo-yo times

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Remember when yo-yo was cool? I was actually quite good at it, when I was ten or so (ha ha ha) - advancing into pro-yo, doing tricks like round the world and walk the dog. So much fun!

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If you happen to get your hands on my high school notebooks/diaries, you'll notice that I was (and still is) rubbish at doodling. You'll find miserable attempts at making 'pretty' doodles.
However, what you'll also find are spirals. I love drawing spirals - making a mark on the page with repetition and some pretty intense concentration! Also a way to get through some of the less stimulating classes.
Anyway, an unplanned, spontaneous piece for tonight. I can't believe I've just spent three hours on it. Goodnight.

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Goodbye saturation.

Australian Open special

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Not sure if I am entirely happy with this one ... but thought I'd put it up anyway. This is for my dear cousin Zachary.

Vietato L'ingresso

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A quick and fun one I did tonight, in reference to these signs we frequently encountered whilst in Rome (below is a picture of me):

Holl's Watercolours


Inspiring - some of Steven Holl's watercolour. Holl is one of my design heroes, creating such honest, humble and evocative architecture and exploiting his immense knowledge of the qualities of light and their behaviours. All images from metropolismag.com.






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I used bright and bold colours (bright yellow, purple, red) on the first attempt, which didn't suit the subject all that well. I'm happy with the pastels and she seems complacent.

I enjoy drawing in candlelight, it's so beautiful and relaxing. With a bit of Brushfire Records playing in the background ...... But it's terrible for my eyes.
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Teaching this soliloquy from Macbeth to twelve year olds is a bit rubbish and will go unappreciated, to be honest. I still remember sitting in class with the book out in front of me though, I remember that the cover was red in colour and the illustration to this was simply a candle, and some smoke. Anyway, no matter, I like it now.

Local arts and Amelia

2009 was a good year. I discovered so much of Melbourne art, craft and design - such a wonderful world, and very much a community. Walking around the city, I pay much more attention to street art, not just as a whole but also the details (the lines, strokes, colours). Ghostpatrol is definitely one that I have been examining more closely lately. Absolutely beautiful. Oh, also, I got to witness a rather large graffiti project done at Hosier Lane the other week, which was certainly interesting.

My exploration of local arts wouldn't have even kicked off if it wasn't for my dear buddy Amelia. Check out her blog, it is full of insightful and intelligent thoughts and lovely photos which I enjoy every time.
All of these have inevitably influenced my approach to design and architecture. In all aspects too, from site analysis to the presentation at the end of the semester. Of course, then, there is the danger of boxing yourself in a 'style'. There is nothing wrong with having a distinctive style when designing, I suppose ... but I am one who believes in site-specific and non-prescriptive architecture (one that derives from its site, its history, its environs). We wouldn't want unsightly, sculptural, titanium-clad buildings popping up everywhere, do we?

(Noel got a tan as a result of the playdate)

Meet Noel

This is true

I remember looking at a beautiful, simple line drawing of a nude in a Vogue magazine six of seven years ago, getting out a pen, and drawing it on a piece paper. A few years ago when I was living in Singapore with my aunt and her family, the minimal, elegant Matisse print of a nude* was one of my favourites that were hanging on the walls. There really is no particular point that I am making here ... sorry for being so anti-climactic!
Anyway, I very much enjoy the illustrations of Garance Doré, who is very well-known and respected for her fantastic fashion journal/blog (+photography). Her drawings are my inspiration du jour. Here are a few examples, taken from her blog:




Hmm, I suppose there is a point to that previous ramble afterall - I love the simplicity, elegance and fluidity (and the fluidity of an awkward line) of line drawings! The strokes, the density, the lack of lines that these drawings are composed of ... my goodness. The whole deal excites me.

*OK, that wasn't a line drawing, but more of a negative line drawing ... hopefully that made sense??

More Bennett

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours."

Moving on, (if you were wondering) the word 'boredom' was invented by Charles Dickens, in Bleak House, in 1852.
I would also like to add that, I do realise that I have been writing about things not related directly to architecture. This is, and will remain a place of art, architecture and design in general ... but it is also important not to pigeon-hole yourself. To me, meaningful and evocative architecture not only self references, but also relate to (reference, and influenced by) other fields of interest. Thus, I am in an attempt to expand my knowledge by indulging in some good literature and music ... also a very summery thing to do, don't you think? I guess I can then draw a parallel to Ricky Swallow and the importance of music in his practice - he stressed this in an interview for The Age a few months ago. So, in his exhibition at NGV Australia, Ricky Swallow: The Bricoleur, there is a wee nook where he has handpicked a few sweet tunes for us.
OH, having said that, however, I am by no means saying that I am comparable to Mr. Swallow, of course.

Sorry, Jess

First try was a big fat fail. I tried to salvage the mess that I'd made by toning it (what was I thinking!), which consequently fucked up your face even more - HAHAHA oh dear.

I tried again and it turned out a little bit better (right??) ... but you look like some sort of muppet. Apologies, my friend ...

Beach ball writing

Apart from pondering and mulling over university education, I have been drawing and sketching. I have embarked on a fun holiday journey of graphic design and illustration. It's all good fun, nothing serious - it keeps me drawing. Those whom I have been drawing inspiration from include Barry Blitt, Oslo Davis and Jane Reiseger ... all fantastic. Anyway, that is all ... I feel like the more I write, the more this blog entry is becoming a beach ball, that is, without substance. Well ... here are some pretty pictures.

Jane Reiseger


Oslo Davis (He does quite a bit for The Age ... like 'Overheard')


Barry Blitt (He is probably most well known for creating the covers of the New Yorker)

"Cut to three years later, when I'm two terms away from my final examinations ...
I hadn't had a notable university career either socially or academically, and I'd never had the same sense of life opening ...
Now it was nearly over. I'd no idea what I wanted to do ...
Candidates do well in examinations for various reasons, some from genuine ability, obviously, but others because doing well in examinations is what they do well; they can put on a show."

Ominous as the above may sound, it is somewhat comforting that Bennett shares my sentiment. Having had three years of education at university, and being now a graduate, I don't feel like I have had an education. Rather, merely learning to overcome the continuous hurdles that are exams. What use is this after? Some may argue that one cannot blame the institution, the faculty or the staff, but unarguably they play an immense part of shaping that final step of formal education before being thrown into the real world. To be honest I am thoroughly unsatisfied this university education that I have received. Perhaps I am naive and an idealist, but is it so unrealistic to expect awe and inspiration from university and/or its staff? Especially in the design field. With one semester as an exception, the Rome course that me and about twenty others embarked on was a thousand times more inspiring than all the semesters put together. I have had many rubbish tutors that have given me (and others, I am sure) nought but discouragement and on their part, an unfathomable negative attitude and laziness. Certainly it is not unrealistic to expect guidance from those whom with years of experience in the field, to pass on their knowledge.

What is education? For me, I prefer Hector over Irwin any day.
(All I have been getting are Irwins. Substandard Irwins. Fuck.)*

*Oooook, I feel like I am overly whiney, but that was not my intention. I am looking forward, thus why 2010 will be so wonderful.


 

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