Hand Made

From A Beer Bottle To A Light Bulb Moment By Studio Swine

I love it when someone takes an everyday object whose form or purpose we now take for granted and manages to transforms it into something extraordinary.

Studio Swine (which incidentally stands for “Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers”) is co-founded by a Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and a British Artist Alexander Groves. They are those kind of innovators.

This Anglo-Japanese design studio has criss-crossed the planet, creating amazing designs which all appear to explore how our finite resources can be successfully used (or reused) in the context of modern design.

When most people look at a bottle of beer they see a happy time ahead of them…


Heineken beer bottle by Tristan Townley

Heineken beer bottle by Tristan Townley


Few would spare a thought for the bottle – it’s simply a container. But the visionaries at Studio Swine had a light bulb moment… Continue reading

Guy Laramee – Carved Book Landscapes

One of the reasons so many old or broken things get discarded is because most people can only see it for what it is now and not what it could be.  I find it really inspiring when a designer, craftsman or artist takes this perceived trash and transform it into treasure.

One such artist is Guy Laramee. He takes old books and turns them into these amazing landscapes…

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Life is Precious… (so is great design)

How would you define great design?

For me, it is when the design solves a functional problem as simply and elegantly as possible. If that is achieved, then I believe the result will be honest and timeless.

Consider the humble paperclip… the design for that bent piece of wire came about in the 1870’s. It’s simple performance-centric design is why it has survived and stood the test of time.

Now imagine you have to survive a particularly arduous period of time. You would want an ace up your sleeve. That ace in design is the “Life is Precious” survival kit.


Life is Precious survival kit by Fort Standard for Wallpaper Magazine

Life is Precious survival kit by Fort Standard for Wallpaper Magazine

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Potter Light by Bruce Rowe – was necessity the mother of invention?

History doesn’t relate to how the Potter Light came to be.

Potter Light in charcoal by Bruce Rowe (image by Scottie Cameron)

Potter Light in charcoal by Bruce Rowe (image by Scottie Cameron)


I like to imagine it was the result of architect and artist Bruce Rowe (of MAKE Architecture and Anchor Ceramics) trying to find the right light for a job…

And when he couldn’t, necessity became the mother of invention and he took a seat behind his potter’s wheel and created his own. Continue reading

Episode IV – “A New Hope”

If I gave you a box of crayons what would you create?

I imagine most of you immediately think of them as the tools with which to draw or write…


But to Star Wars fan and sculptor Steve Thompson they could be carved into characters from his beloved movies. Patiently he whittled away the wax to reveal….

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