Archive for the 'travel' Category

Shinkansen

Shinkansen.ver2 is a beautiful film by Daihei Shibata, of a journey taken by Shinkansen.

The Tower Tomamu, Hokkaido.

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Images taken from ‘-FUL, Klein Dytham architecture’

Getting distracted today, I’ve been browsing through ‘-FUL, Klein Dytham architecture’ book (published in Japan). One project that I haven’t seen before particularly caught my eye: The Tower Tomamu, a hotel in Shimukappa-mura, Hokkaido. Remodeled by Klein Dytham in 2008, what could be a pair of really bland tower blocks in the middle of the mountains, has been transformed into part of the landscape. The segmented colours (much like lego blocks or coloured pixels) that cover the towers from head to toe, create a beautiful camouflage at a distance. You can see how the building could blend into a snow covered winter landscape or a lush spring green landscape. A nice solution to what could be a terrible eyesore!

KDa have designed a lot of great projects – playful yet sophisticated. It’s always fun to see what they come up with next. There is a lovely looking bath house (Moku Moku Yu) on their site which I’d love to visit! Without sounding too sentimental, and probably without their knowing it, KDa had quite a significant impact on some aspects of my life in Tokyo. They held lots of great parties and Pecha-Kucha Night (of which we witnessed the birth!) was a highlight of the month at superdeluxe in Roppongi, and is now enjoyed worldwide.

Parking lots

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Ed Ruscha
Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles 1967

Ed Ruscha’s Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave. (detail) from Thirty-Four Parking Lots (1967)

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Dodger Stadium today, Google Maps 2009

Thanks to a comment left by my friend Dan in response to this previous post, I discovered Ed Ruscha’s Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles 1967. Ed Ruscha hired a helicopter to fly over L.A. early one Sunday morning in 1967 and shot a whole series of vacant parking lots. Beautiful patterns. Brilliant.

The beauty of Google Maps is that I can fly over all the parking lots, in any city, in any part of the world, and I don’t have to hire a helicopter! Not quite the same I know but … it’s great (if you try to ignore the whole Big Brother thing)!

More images from Ed Ruscha’s set can be seen here.

Furoshiki design

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space-to-think was commissioned by Samsonite Japan to design a limited edition novelty ‘furoshiki’* (90 x 90 cm traditional wrapping cloth) to be presented alongside the launch of their new line of limited edition Cabin Size suitcases launched in May.

Using three colours on chirimen (traditional Japanese crepe cloth), we wanted the design to compliment and add a little burst of colour to the Cabin Size suitcase range (beige, apricot, brown) – something a little retro and fun, that would appeal to customers of a 30-60 year old age group.

As Samsonite is all about travel, it seemed obvious to me that the idea behind this furoshiki design would be ‘movement’. Keeping in mind the multi-purpose function of furoshiki, an important aspect of the design was to create something that worked as a beautiful pattern when folded, but when the furoshiki was spread out in full, the image worked in it’s entirety. By using repeated shapes and patterns rushing across the fabric, I wanted to create a sense of movement and direction in the imagery. In addition to that, the swallow being a true traveler – fast, agile and migratory – leant itself perfectly to the overall concept. See some sketches for the project here.

I was very excited to be invited to work on this project, especially as I have a passion for traditional Japanese textiles … and it was very enjoyable to have the opportunity to work with Kyoko, at Samsonite in Tokyo. I look forward to future creative collaborations!

* Furoshiki
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment promotes the use of furoshiki as an eco friendly, alternative way to wrap gifts and to carry things around. The name ‘furoshiki’ translates as ‘bath spread’ as it was once most used for wrapping people’s clothes at the Public Bath houses. They are also used for bundling up or gift-wrapping all sorts of things from lunch boxes or books, to watermelons and bottles of wine!

The Hungry Cyclist

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Image from The Independent.

Today is the booklaunch of The Hungry Cyclist, by Tom Kevill Davies, published by Harper Collins.

Tom is a cousin of mine and I’m sad to be missing his book launch in London this evening. This book is the result of Tom’s cycling journey through North and South America over a period of more than two years, in search of the perfect meal. I really can’t wait to read the book!

There is an article about The Hungry Cyclist in todays Independent:

‘Americans looked at me in horror when I told them of my plans to ride through Mexico. “You’re not packing a piece?” they asked, astounded that I didn’t want to carry a gun with me. The Mexicans recoiled in shock when I revealed my plans to ride to Guatemala. “It’s full of bandits and machetes,” they would warn. (The machete part is true – all Guatemalan men do carry them – it’s an agricultural country and I soon learnt that machetes were the multi-tools of Central America). In Guatemela, I was urged to be wary of the gangs in El Salvador – and so on.

So, after 752 days on the road, did I find the perfect meal? Well, yes, I found plenty of them. From smoky tripe tacos to moose burgers and Olympia oysters to cold beers and spit-roasted guinea pig, I enjoyed some truly flawless meals.’

http://www.thehungrycyclist.com