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Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Meeting and Greeting

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

It is a good principle to ‘start the week as you mean to go on’  so a breakfast meeting with Louise Beveridge, Communications Director of PPR (Francois Pinault’s company, owner of Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane brands) was not a bad place to start – she on a green tea and honey, me on a strong coffee.

Then a quick trip to Fulham to check out the home of surgeon and night club guru Ahmadi Hootan. Yes, an unusual combination, a qualified reconstructive surgeon who is now behind the revitalisation and transformation of Chinawhites nightclub into Libertine. Hootan’s home overlooks the Battersea heliport and I was amazed to see quite how close the flying machines come to the surrounding buildings, as well as by the deafening noise that they make as they land and take off.

Helicopter at Wandsworth

Helicopter at Battersea

Later in the week came a visit to London Fields to the converted psychiatric day centre that is now the home and work space of Alex Chinneck and his partner Lu. Chinneck is behind The Sculpture House, maker and distributor of artist designed furniture. Chinneck himself is an artist in his own right and took me across the road to see one of his latest installations

Identically smashed windows

Identically smashed windows

a disused building where he removed all the existing glass and filled the windows with identically ‘broken’ panes. The piece is called ‘Telling the truth through false teeth

And to round off a week of ‘meets and greets’ I headed to Mayfair to  chat with Bradford Shellhammer founder and chief designer of Fab – an on line fashion, homes and gadget company. He was in London for 24 hours between Berlin and his home in New York, follow his travels and finds on his blog.

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Times they are a-changing

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

The week started with a trip to ‘the office’, at News International for a meeting with Darren Hendry to talk about the syndication of interiors features, followed by lunch with The Times Magazine’s Director of Photography Graham Wood. It was an interesting catch up with the latest developments in print journalism, or more realistically the trend towards on-line publishing and the rise of digital media.

On Wednesday I packed my bag and took the Eurostar to Paris for the launch of Ikea’s new Stockholm collection

Cave-like dining pod at the Pompidou Centre roof top restuarnat

Cave-like dining pod at the Pompidou Centre roof top restuarant

That night we dined at the eight floor restaurant of the Pompidou Centre with amazing views over the city. The next morning we were taken to an apartment furnished with Ikea’s new walnut furniture, bone china, glassware, fabrics and lights where we were talked through the product ranges by Peter Klinkert and designer Ola Wilborg

Journalists giving Peter Klinkert their full attention

Journalists giving Peter Klinkert their full attention

In the afternoon I made my way to Neuilly sur Seine to meet with Mette Degn-Christensen and Pauline Brillouet of Alexandra Public Relations (apr) to talk about their clients’ various projects, and on my way to the metro station got a great view of the high rise buildings of La Defense.

The arch of La Denense in the distance

The arch of La Defense in the distance

Friday lunchtime it was back on the Eurostar to London, and although not quite time to start humming the tune to ‘Paris in the Spring’ there were distinct signs of sunshine and blossoms on the way.

 

Home and Away

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

On Tuesday I took a trip up one of London’s biggest hills, to the blasted Hampstead Heath, it really was Shakespearean with the icy winds whipping around and storm clouds gathering, but instead of King Lear and his retinue there were dog walkers bravely striding out and trying to prevent their poodles from being blown inside out. I went to look at an apartment in a converted, Victorian built, ex-nursing home, now made over in to a four floor home with underground swimming pool and gym.

Looking down on London town from Hampstead Heath

Looking down on London town from Hampstead Heath

And from News International Syndication department came some pdfs of features that have appeared in The Times Magazine but also been re-printed in foreign magazines. It was great to see some stories that have been squeezed on to 3 pages in the supplement, given  eight glorious pages in glossy technicolor, to see for yourself go to the new Foreign Editions section on the opening page of this blog.

Age Concern

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

It came as a bit of  shock this week when attending the launch of Extraord!nary Stor!es about Ord!nary Th!ngs at The Design Museum, that many objects and pieces of furniture were things that I recognised from either my childhood or from home – so the question arose, Am I now of an age where things I regard as everyday are in fact museum pieces?

The walk along from Tower Bridge tube station to the museum was pleasant with a great view back to the bridge.

Tower bridge Illuminated

Tower Bridge Illuminated

The Design Museum was buzzing and Deyan Sudjic gave  a useful introduction to the background of the exhibition and an update on the museum’s move to Kensington High Street in 2015.

Extraord!nary exhibition visitors

Extraord!nary exhibition visitors

What I loved about the show was the background given to each item. For example there were the working drawings of  the original Anglepoise, and then objects it had inspired, such as the ‘No Angle No Poise’ light.  I had long associated David Mellor with cutlery design but didn’t know he’d been the genius behind the traffic light and modern post box as well.

No angle No poise light

No angle No poise light