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Laurie Dickason (UK)

Laurie Dickason attained her degree in Applied and Decorative Arts at the University for the Creative Arts Rochester, Kent with a portfolio boasting a very cool range of work that explores objects of the ‘mundane’, or that are part of domestic routine, such as fixtures and fittings. Creating solutions that can be intriguing as well as used in everyday life are important to her. As part of her studies, she organized a five month visit to Finland to better understand European design, technique and manufacturing. It was then that she exhibited at Helsinki?s Design Week Habitare 2005.

Laurie is driven to achieve functionality in good design through the qualities of craft, technique and process. Often combining man made materials with natural ones, she designs domestic products with a twist – a new identity, function or visual aesthetic. She feels that by adding ornamentation, it gives a mundane products a new skin. “Why should we have to deal daily with unsightly technology such as light switches and cables?” she asks. Funny thing is, until now these are rarely touched on by the design world. Instead of camouflaging, she transforms them into decorative objects.

Although Laurie has designed several innovation products, her new light switch decoration called Flippant is a product I would enjoy using in my home. She makes a good point when she says that “Lights are often designed but the light switch is often neglected.” How true! Of course, in the states we have kitschy lightplates, but how often do you see ones like this? Flippant designs are laser cut and available in a variety of colors to fit all decors. Starting at ?36, these seem to be designed for the dimensions of EU light switches, but you can email her directly to inquire at lauriedickason[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Thanks Laurie for the information!

What do YOU think of the Flippant?

(images and partial text from laurie dickason)

Posted in uncategorized on October 26, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {oct 26 ’06}

Notes from the cafe. I carry a journal with me at all times, where I like to jot down thoughts, dreams, and lately, a few cultural observations. Here’s a recent entry from my little book.

Let us eat cake. Or simply coffee. Whichever your prefer, prepare to pause daily in Germany for your midday snack – which is usually coffee and a big ‘ol slice of cake. The afternoon ritual of taking tea in Britian is the German way as well – only with it’s stronger companion – a cuppa java. Cafes are a huge part of German life, which I find no problem with, as I could live on cofee and baked goods if only my rear-end would promise not to expand. You’ll find cafes buzzing from dawn ’til dusk, with the locals chatting it up over delicious sweets, sipping expresso or cappuccino, and smoking their brains out. (ugh. People smoke like crazy here. I hate this. How can a culture so big on health and wellness be tobaccoholics? ) The younger Germans often skip the cake and dine on a cigarette instead, with coffee, which I’m certain contributes to these girls staying so Posh Spice slim.

I enjoy the casual ‘n chic cafe scene here so much, the atmosphere isn’t quite as hurried and lines aren’t nearly as long as the local Starbucks back home. I’ve noticed too that cafes aren’t as hell bent on selling more than a good cup of coffee (vs. mugs, art, CDs and the typical Starbucks lifestyle). Coffee is almost always served in a fine mug or glass with a saucer and a single cookie or chocolate on the side. Many cafes light a tea candle on your table, even during the day. The experience of afternoon cake and coffee here is meaningful. It reminds me of the importance of pausing during the day to catch a breathe, refresh the mind, and just do nothing for 30 minutes or so. Or in my case, take notes and snap photos. But still.

Thoughts on Dogs.

Dogs have it made here. Fifi and Fido can join you in most cafes and restaurants, on the subway, even department stores and hair salons have no problem with your pooch. Recently at the zoo, I noticed that your furry companion (not your husband, your dog!) can accompany you into the zoo for the price of a “doggie” admission ticket. How cute! American dogs would totally love it here. Back in the states, we can dress them up but we certainly can’t take them out (except the local park). Puppy love in Germany! Two barks and a tail shake to that!

Now onto design…

(image by holly becker for decor8 – hannover town hall cafe)

Posted in uncategorized on October 26, 2006

See you Thursday!

I’ve been out and about all day (as most of you know, I’m in Germany), so no posts today… But I’ll be back online tomorrow and Friday to blog about a few design studio visits I’ve made this week along with lots of fresh finds from Europe and beyond.

See you in the morning! :)

Posted in uncategorized on October 25, 2006

Tord Boontje at Target!

Tulips, hash brownies, clogs, windmills, and Tord Boontje… The Dutch are known for great things. Target is the king of bringing affordable design to all income levels. Seeing Tord ‘n Target team up is a total dream come true.

We all have Jon from Happy Mundane to thank today for this cool Target find. Sparkling pretty Tord Boontje at the Target Red Hot Shop this season. All I can say is GOOOO Target!

Great find, Jon! Thanks!

(images from target)

Posted in uncategorized on October 24, 2006


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