seeking & creating : researching & discovering : applying & practicing

sustainability in design = changing mindsets + deeds

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on


Why don't we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies -- far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity -- are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences.

"We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says.

It's a message with deep resonance. Robinson's TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? "Everyone should watch this."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Secret Life of Things

We're not quite so secretly admiring the work of the lovely Leyla Acaroglu, founder of the awesome and awe-inspiring Eco Innovators, pioneers and providers of eco-design/sustainability education and training.

Check them out at

Watching this finely produced first episode of Eco Innovators' project The Secret Life of Things, all preconceptions of eco-design/sustainability evangelism being all doom, gloom and hectoring pessimism fly out the window. It's even family-friendly, which tells of how much effort Leyla and team have put into making this educational entertainment truly meaningful and digestible...

Good stuff!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Film to Catch: "I Am Love", featuring costumes by Raf Simons


Tilda Swinton looks so luminous in Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love"

Produced by and starring Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton (who learned to speak Italian for the project), Luca Guadagnino’s epic new film I Am Love tells the story of Emma Recchi, a Russian expat living in Milan as the matriarch of the Recchi textile dynasty.

Increasingly alienated from her pristine existence, she embarks on a love affair that proves both transcendental in its beauty and catastrophic in its ramifications. As the plot unfolds, Guadagnino’s exquisitely daring cinematography—oddly angled and drawn-out shots—captures Emma organizing feasts at the Recchi estate (Milan’s Art Deco masterpiece Villa Necchi), bustling through the Piazza Duomo on a shopping expedition and unleashing her passion in the glorious Sanremo countryside, where the lush wildlife blurrily swoons before the camera with palpable eroticism.

The film’s aesthetic splendor also includes costumes by Silvia Venturini Fendi and Raf Simons for Jil Sander, a series of intricate repasts created by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco, and a soundtrack by revered minimalist composer John Adams. There is a lot to digest, even beyond the gripping domestic drama at the core of I Am Love. But Guadagnino is a master of synthesis, likening his film to epicurean wizardry: “When you do a consommé, you cook a lot of ingredients slowly for a long time, a complicated culinary process that gets you a cup of clear broth that tastes beautiful. I would say that is what we tried to do. We really got to the essence of things.” I Am Love is released in the UK on April 9 and will hit US shores this June.

See also shots of set and costume:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Knitting/Crocheting with just your Hands

My late-blooming fascination with knitting and crocheting stems from the desire to create fabric from scratch with the absolute freedom of customisation. Making a fully formed garment or accessory/object from just yarn and knitting/crochet needles is a skill I used to take for granted (even thought it was terribly boring!). My grandmother and nanny were both highly-skilled and often made me things I now know are remnants of a luxury I failed to appreciate as a child.

A recent discovery of the ease and speed of crochet, a beautiful book on Pineapple Lace, as well as a nagging need to learn how to knit with just one's fingers (having watched a senior incorporate such motifs into her graduate collection led to a gnawing curiosity) has led to the unearthing of these DIY video gems:

As usual, one finds that the Japanese-originated resources always present innovation and new methods of working your paws and that yarn into new formations:

This lady has her own YouTube channel devoted to teaching different methods; well worth watching even if you do not understand the voice-over instructions.

Of course, just getting a crochet needle is no big leap, though the thought of spending on additional hardware might incur some guilt!

Currently I am obsessed with the idea that random irregularity in the process of making, as well as combination with other crafting methods (e.g. applique, beading, embroidery, heat-process, felting, etc) could create unpredictable objects of beauty.

Let the experimentation begin!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Re-Thinking Re-Working Re-Evaluating

Sometimes you need someone to figuratively slap you on the back of the head to wake you from a haze of confusion, procrastination and distraction.

Someone to see everything for what it really is and what it should be (since your vision is compromised) and then cut through situational/circumstantial crap with mind-blowing advice, the wisdom of experience and the samurai blade of honesty.

That brain-slap hurts. The truth hurts, and attempting to deflect the tension with frivolity seems lame. And then you let the pain sink in, slowly soak the advice up (it's exactly like drinking coffee or soup that's scaldingly hot at first, but then later, after the initial pain you start to really taste it), and start thinking, planning, taking action.

Ambition is great, it creates drive and feeds motivation. But it also causes impatience for achievement and possibly leads to a sense of inflated ability/capability and a lack of perspective when it comes to the proverbial eggs in baskets.

Trying to hatch eggs spread out in too many baskets is not sustainable, and with the limited resources we have, it would be delusional to expect any success coming from all these different ventures. Haste makes Waste. We must stop, re-evaluate, focus.

We need to stop preaching and start doing, cease the theory-mongering and just get down to creating and working. Once again, that empty vessel named "Body of Work" cries out to be filled, and we must no longer ignore that call.

If you do not do/act, you waste away and die.
Knowledge to Application. Theory to Practice. Thoughts to Deeds.
And hopefully Vision to Fruition.

Watch out for what we do next, and you will see what all this means.