Wednesday, June 18, 2014

disorienting psychedelic hues RICHARD MOSSE / CONGO

WINS Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 
"Shot on discontinued military surveillance film, the resulting imagery registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and renders the jungle warzone in disorienting psychedelic hues."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jaime Lerner "Sustainability is an equation between what you save and what you waste."

Jaime Lerner, Brazilian politician and true leader in town planning and sustainability is a logical and thoughtful trailblazer from whom politicians of today could learn a thing or two. Originally an architect, since the 1970's Lerner has been the driving force behind the city of Curitiba in Brazil - now a beacon of livability and sustainability in South America. Jaime Lerner reminds me of a town's take on a "Sustainable Creative Director" rather than a mayor or town planner...

Upon becoming mayor of Curitiba he took to solving problems such as unserviceable and geographically isolated slums that were too narrow for municipal waste removal. His solution: a program that traded bags of groceries and transit passes for bags of trash - sublime!

METRONIZING THE BUS: Modest initiatives over large scale expensive plans - this is Lerner's answer to "Grand Central" style terminals.  Why create a whole underground structure when this simple tube and bus system works in the same way? The goal was not only to mimic a subway with a fraction of the costs but to create a reliable, fast and plentiful service. One bus every minute or so! Read more on Lerner's attitude towards planning and transport here.

Another early initiative was the implementation of "municipal sheep" at a time when park lands were being developed in the city to control floodplain issues. Lacking in the necessary wealth and resources to obtain farming equipment like tractors, town sheep were implemented to graze new parkland areas and to sweeten an already great policy their wool was used to fund children's programs and initiatives. It sounds like something from a whimsical children's story but it is decisions like this that have shaped Curitiba into the admirable city it is today.   

Such bold and unorthodox solutions are both inspirational and logical at the same time, reading about Lerner, there is a certain aspect of practicality, humour and true optimism (he believes any city in the world can be improved in 3 years with the right type of design and responsibility) to this man that just makes plain and simple sense. A creative and independent style of policy making that the modern world is needing more of. In an SBS special "This is Brazil" hosted by Australian/Brazilian Fernanda de Paula, Lerner - in true Jaime Lerner style - provides viewers with his tips for building a greener city, things we can all do without the need of policy:

Jaime Lerner's Recipe for a Greener city (no official policy changes even necessary)

1) Use your car less, the car is going to be the cigarette of the future.

2) Separate your garbage.

3) Live closer to your work or work closer to your home (whatever works for you!) 

Extra added words of wisdom: Sustainability is an equation between what you waste and what you save.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Would you tell?

How many luxury brands out there would actually tell how much an item cost to make? Belgian designers Bruno Pieters label honest by aims to be totally transparent in terms of manufacturing, cost and materials. It is quite amazing to see it all spelt out in front of you, every last little millimeter of thread is accounted for. In reality it is a condensed version of any specification sheet seen in any fashion company from fast to luxe anywhere in the world. All Bruno has done is uploaded and made the information available. It is a simple gesture, that when applied to quality garments increases and transforms their perceived value like never before.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Martin Parr's Photos Say About Us

martin parr - last resort

martin parr - machu pichu

What we value. Leisure, consumption and communication.

martin parr - fashion mag

Parr enables us to see things that have seemed familiar to us in a completely new way

Critisized and applauded:

Art Critic David Lee,

"[Parr] has habitually discovered visitors at their worst, greedily eating and drinking junk food and discarding containers and wrappers with an abandon likely to send a liberal conscience into paroxysms of sanctimony. Our historic working class, normally dealt with generously by documentary photographers, becomes a sitting duck for a more sophisticated audience. They appear fat, simple, styleless, tediously conformist and unable to assert any individual identity. They wear cheap flashy clothes and in true conservative fashion are resigned to their meagre lot. Only babies and children survive ridicule and it is their inclusion in many pictures which gives Parr’s acerbic vision of 
hopelessness its poetic touch."

Parr Shrugs,

"It didn’t seem to me to be a controversial subject. It was a rundown seaside resort in Britain. What’s the surprise in that?"

described as cruel and 

Martin Parr - British Food

Martin Parr - British Food
martin parr - fashion mag

Martin Parr - Flowers

...voyeuristic, flash saturated and anthropological 

with books titled The Last Resort, The Cost of Living, Signs of the Times, British Food and Fashion Magazine - Yes Parr is having a laugh at us but he does it so dam well. His is a world where white bread, empty fish and chip wrappers, flowers, high fashion parties and politics collide in an intimate creamy milkshake of "on show" colour, wrinkles and cake. 

A fascinating balance of seminal documenting in a world that often makes no sense. 

There are many words to describe Parr's work from vulgar to cynical but all I see is humour, an exploitative type of honesty and a borderline obsessive fascination with people. What more could you ask for in a photographer? 

Do something good for your eyes and brain - visit  1982 - 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's a new dawn, it's a new day...

It's an exciting time to work in design in any capacity. I don't care what anyone says. It's exciting to watch commerce, originality and creativity colliding with common sense, the new and welcome frugality and the most exciting kind of curiosity.

From build your own mobile phones, to luxury products incorporating thrifty D-Y-I-just-about-everything I get the feeling a big consumerist mould is smashed to bits and pieces.

Prohibition Kit by Francesco Morackini

found via

This liquor-distilling kit by Vienna designer Francesco Morackini breaks down into four perfectly innocent household objects.

M A K E  YOUR OWN MOBILE PHONE - now in its 2nd version.

These products break through the "sustainability" "eco" "ethical" barrier (albeit totally encompassing each and every one of those words). 

Super innovative.  
On many levels.

I hope this signals the future of the design of cycles and systems behind faster moving consumer goods.

Because we are tiring of this:

No matter how artistic the photography, right?

Monday, October 8, 2012


As I sipped my morning coffee a newspaper alerted me to this: 

FACT "it takes around 70 litres of water to grow one  a p p l e  and 1,500 to 3,000 litres to produce a kilogram of  m e a t."  read on : source.

Which  l e d  me to this:

Which made me w o n d e r why there is so much of this:

In  s p i t e  of:

Monday, October 1, 2012

What did you pay for your mobile phone?

"The technology that has placed such unsustainable, devastating demands on the Congo, is the same technology that has brought this situation to our attention..."

Bandi Mbubi on TED: Demand a fair trade mobile phone.

Mobile phones, play-stations and laptops all contain tantalum. Who benefits from the trade of this mineral and who pays the price?

+ + + + We benefit from relatively cheap and riduculously convenient products.

+ + + + Lords or war, commanders and negative military forces all over Africa benefit by imposing themselves on mines.

+ + + + Multinational companies most definitely benefit from cheap raw material prices and cheap labour.

Can you spare 4.37 minutes? Become aware of conflict free technology. 

A s k   q u e s t i o n s.

p h o t o   c r e d i t s  photo story, conflict minerals by:  mark craemer