Friday, October 30, 2015

ODD BITS: Dazzling Dip-Tech glass printing

My latest "Odd Bits" discovery is Dip-Tech glass printing, a dazzling new Israeli technology that has quickly become an international hit among architects and designers. Dip-Tech, a digital process that combines the decorative and structural strengths of glass, is showing up everywhere from private homes to hospitals, hotels, art installations, shopping malls and houses of worship.

Above: glass doors in a public washroom in Sharonim Mall, Israel
                      All photos courtesy of Dip-Tech

Signage for interior of Botanical Gardens of Padova, Italy
Glass proved to be the best medium for curatorial notes at the gardens,
due to the high temperatures and continuous humidity within the building.

3D waterfall image printed on one large piece of glass at the 
Crown Metropol Hotel’s Atrium Restaurant, Burswood, Australia

Company CEO Yariv Matzliach saw a market niche in 2005 when he noticed that traditional printing on glass exhibited poor durability over time. “We have patented our technology with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop ceramic inks that when tempered after printing, are fused into the glass, making it scratchproof, fade- and weather- resistant as well as environmentally friendly,” explains Matzliach. “It supports multiple sustainable functions like optimizing solar energy, screening out harmful UV rays, reducing glare and even decreasing amounts of air conditioning needed in a building. The glass we use is also recyclable.”

      Cumbres – Lastarria Boutique Hotel in Santiago, Chile
      Digital white etch ceramic ink gives an exceptional finish to the glass. 
      Adhesive film does not offer the same durability or polished effect. 

    Shower door replicates homeowner's country home 
    in city apartment, Helsinki, Finland

The Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand
An earthquake in 2011 destroyed the original cathedral;
Dip-Tech technology was called on to recreate the original Rose Window, 
by lifting its images and printing them directly onto the glass. 
The ability to adjust transparency levels gives 
the facade a stained glass appearance. 

AFIMALL in Moscow features a photorealistic design of a typical 
Russian forest, digitally printed in glass on 2,650 panes.

Link here for more information about Dip-Tech technology,
or here for more about their design work

Sunday, October 25, 2015

EXHIBITION: The Utterly Fabulous World of Glamorous Phryne Fisher, Lady Detective

Meet everyone's favorite flapper detective ...
Miss Phryne (Fry-nee) Fisher!

An exhibition of glamorous costumes from the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries series   
has been extended by popular demand! It will run through October 11 
at the Rippon Lea House  & Gardens in Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia.

Update: it will then move to the Ayers House Museum in Adelaide,
opening on November 16 and running through Valentine's Day 2016.

Essie Davis plays Phryne Fisher -- a freespirited and lusciously 
attired detective in opulent 1920s Melbourne -- on Australia Broadcasting's
runaway hit. She often shows up at the scenes of grisly murders
dressed like this. (She's always coming from a cocktail party
or a hot date, so it makes sense, sort of.)

“As soon as I put on Phryne’s clothes I can adopt Phryne poses and promenade, and make an entry, feel confident and audacious… They just make me feel so good that I get away with things I could never pull off in my everyday life.”       ... Essie Davis on playing Miss Fisher

Costume designer Marion Boyce uses fabrics, buttons and trimmings
from all over the world to create the stunning ensembles worn on the show.

Feisty Miss Fisher is the creation of Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. “Phryne is a hero, just like James Bond, but with fewer product endorsements and a better class of lovers,” says Greenwood. “I decided to try a female hero and made her as free as a male hero, to see what she would do... In every sense of the word, Miss Fisher complements Detective Inspector Robinson’s by-the-book police procedures, using her endless charm and daring wit to get the information she needs." Needless to say, Phryne is always the one to solve the crime, with the help of her able personal assistant/ward Dot Williams, who's not nearly as timid as she looks.

Sherlock Holmes has nothing on Phryne, hats-wise or otherwise!

The exhibition is very hands-on; visitors are encouraged to walk through different sets to touch and feel the sumptuous fabrics, to try on replica costumes and to interact with props and furniture from the show. Upstairs, fans are invited to "become part of the crew and go behind the scenes to discover the inspiration for the costumes and understand how they were made." Even the venue's tearoom is getting into the act, with a special menu that includes Murder in the Dark petit fours, Silk Stockings tarts and a
Sartorial Elegance Afternoon Tea.

The Honourable Phryne Fisher of course keeps daggers in her stockings.

Phryne wants you to know that
Season 3 of the Miss Fisher Mysteries has just become 
available on Netflix.

To visit the exhibition's website, link here.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

EVENTS: Oh, Freedom! Designblok Prague Oct. 22 - 27, 2015

Designblok Prague, the largest design event in the Czech Republic and a major prestige showplace for all of Central Europe, begins today for a six-day run. The juried show is dedicated to design in all its forms, and focuses on the latest trends in contemporary European decorative arts.

All photos are from the Designblok Prague 2015 website

This indoor exhibition offers displays of jewelry, clothing, furniture, home furnishings, lighting, and industrial and utilitarian design from top Czech designers. Designblok represents not only individual creators, but also design studios, schools, and visionary projects from international brands. 

The 2015 festival theme is On Freedom. Jana Zielinski, director of Designblok, explains: “Freedom constitutes an important part of our rights to quality of life. In the past it has been withheld from us, it has been misused, and yet we always longed for it. Can contemporary design have anything to say on the theme of freedom? ... This year, Designblok aims to fight for freedom. For internal freedom, unrestricted by prejudice, bad experience and little faith. For external freedom – political freedom – which must be guarded even twenty-five years after the Velvet Revolution. For creative freedom which we spoil ourselves with when we are little and with which we spoil ourselves less and less as we grow up. Long live freedom!"


For a day-by-day schedule of events, you can link here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

BOOK NOTE: Mid-Century Ads -- Advertising from the MAD MEN Era

Note: This review was originally posted on 11/7/14. I've (temporarily) put it back up top, 
for those who are beginning to experience bigtime withdrawl, 
now that Mad Men is off the air.

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Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era  
Taschen, hardcover, 2 vols. in slipcase, 720 pages, more than 300 illustrations$ 59.99

Another winner from Taschen, this two-volume set chronicles America’s love affair with consumerism, which blossomed in the decades following World War II. Stylish and evocative magazine advertising, dubbed “colorful capitalism”, was then the gold standard of modern marketing. At agencies such as Mad Men’s fictional Sterling Cooper, ad men  -- and occasional women, like the ambitious Peggy -- relied on human feedback (not clicks on a computer), wit and intuition. 

Mid-Century Ads is replete with crisp, forward-looking images of everything from cars to toothpaste, air travel to home appliances, vividly showcasing the plethora of goods and services that American consumers yearned for. (Among the vibrant images in volume one, covering the 1950s, are pink typewriters, lime green bathroom fixtures and an orange convertible.) 

By the 1960s, the industry’s efforts became focused on “The Big Idea”: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­building name recognition through “relentless bombardment of amusing slogans and images.” Advertising turned more flamboyant -- eventually psychedelic -- and suggestive, reflecting the freewheeling sexual mores of the decade. With their seductive imagery and chipper attitude, these ads made consumers feel that the objects of their desires were just within reach.

Yum -- canned spaghetti!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ODD BITS: A tubful of love

Who would think that a clever change in the shape of a bathtub could result in the revival of tourism in a region of the country that was on the skids? Well, that's exactly what happened when hotelier Morris Wilkins, who died recently at 90, introduced heart-shaped bathtubs into his otherwise nondescript Cove Haven resort, thereby rebranding  the Poconos as "The Land of Love". Honeymooners and other innamorati flocked to Wilkins' "cruise ship on land", which eventually begat the Pocono Palace and Paradise Stream hotels.

The iconic tub made its debut in 1958, at Wilkins' "couples only" lakeside resort.
The designer and former submariner helped turn the Poconos into a honeymoon destination after opening his 18-room hotel, where each unit had its own 
whirlpool equipped heart-shaped tub. 

A later model:
the pink heart-shaped jacuzzi

Wilkins holds the patent on the design for a champagne glass-shaped hot tub.135 of these fantastical baths were installed at his three hotels. In case you were wondering ... guests entered from the second floor of their suite.

"Morris Wilkins has done more for romance than a box of chocolates."
                                                                           ... Philadelphia Daily News

Link here for more info about Wilkins and his whimsical designs.