It was so good to be back in Hongkong over Christmas. It felt very much like we had been away for a long holiday and came home. Very weird. Of course we spent a lot of time with friends but we also had the chance to see some projects we worked on the past year like this City Square logo and a MTR-ad at Wan Chai (exit A5 and A1/2). Hopefully 2016 will continue to bring projects and reasons to come back.
If you want to dive into HK’s housing problems and enjoy a holiday at the same time, this piece is a must-read. Inge Goudsmit and I collected Airbnb places in Hong Kong that will tell you everything about the city’s housing history and challenges. You’ll find the article here on Archined. Some other work from this summer: An article for FD on why modern slavery is still a driving force in our economy, written with Kathleen Ferrier and a column about why downloading the app ‘I’m getting arrested’ can be considered a political act in China. I’m making new research plans for the coming months… any interesting leads or ideas? Let me know.
A new issue of Hollandse Nieuwe is out (I did the lay-out and design as usual). The theme of this magazine is Autumn Blues and it’s about all the lovely festivals, concerts and music-events in Hong Kong this autumn. Very practical to be up-to-date again myself on the secret music venues where all the ‘cool cats’ go:). You can read/see the complete magazine here (in Dutch).
Some projects are so lovely to work on that you hate to finish them. End of this summer I worked on the catalogue and exhibition-printwork / window stickers for a very special exhibition called Parisian Zoo. It was a 2 week event all about vintage animal jewellery organised by the experts of Palais Royal in Hong Kong.
For the catalogue I used the idea of an old-fashioned zoo with different sections. Every page had a different product-photo and each time a different section/text-box was filled with details. It was really a pleasure to work with these art and design loving people:)
I was so excited for Urban Discovery… I know how they love urban heritage and like to share all those hidden gems in trucked away neighbourhoods. So the good news is: It’s now possible to explore different cities in Indonesia too with Urban Discovery’s iDiscover App. To highlight this occasion, CEO Ester van Steekelenburg made an app-tour in Indonesia to celebrate with all the local heritage people. I helped them with all the promotional material (in Bahasa!).
It’s always such a pleasure to work together with inspiring friends. My new year’s resolutions was: doing more projects with people I like… this is one of the results. A poster/flyer/cover for a conference in Cambridge about looted art in World War II (mostly from Jewish families in Europe). The stories are fascinating and the amazing photography says it all!
I haven’t been able to post in a while due to a super busy summer with work and a trip to Europe in September. But I’m planning to make it up to you by posting about my summer projects every day for a week.
#1 – The summer issue of HN magazine came out; chock full of travel-stories in Asia. Loved to work on this!
#2 – I made this logo for an architectural firm in Shanghai. Lines become spaces…
Never heard of a coffice? It’s where all the cool kids work these days! Rather than commuting to a an office, they take their laptops to their local coffee shop. According to Nicola Millars (futurologist) this will be one of the big trends in the area of work for the next few years.
And it makes sense, you get more done with coffee, cake and good connectivity according to this Guardian article. Millard’s favorite place to work, is somewhere with a bit of a life but no colleagues to distract her. “My four criteria for working,” she says, “are that I need good coffee, I need good cake, I need great connectivity – the Wi-Fi wings to fly me into the cloud – and I need company.”
Even without the coffee, coffee shops are good places to work. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research explored the effects noise has on creativity. They found that a low level of ambient sound, like the one found in a coffee shop, improves creativity. A tech startup in Virginia even developed a coffee shop noise simulator called Coffitivity, you can use in your (home)office. It sounds great, but why not just follow my example and get all the good vibes and noises for real from your local coffee place:)?
The coffice-trend is also useful to keep track of, for city councils. This quartz article asks the question what a city needs to foster innovation. They conclude that it’s coffee shops, bike lanes and 3D printers.
Starry Starry… City! I made these business cards for one of my favorite Hong Kong companies: Urban Discovery. Their goal is to keep heritage alive for a vibrant and viable urban future… to reach that goal they develop all kinds of cool stuff like an iDISCOVER app for city-walks with all kinds of hidden gems in it. They have an amazing food-tour and on top of that they make awesome products as well (looking forward to the kids-book about Hong Kong that is being published in 2014).
Of course there’s also the serious part of the business where they help Asia’s rapidly changing cities redefine their heritage. They advise governments with historic city centers, reach out to developers that want to capitalise on the social and cultural investment potential of heritage buildings and work with NGOs to engage the community in heritage revitalisation projects. Urban Discovery consists of lovely people with strong ideals in their area of industry… where do you find such ‘gems’ in the city nowadays:)
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work” (Gustave Flaubert) More and more I experience the truth in these words. The beautiful watercolor-painting I found here reminds me of my former neighbor… 73 year old artist Maria Beatriz, who is still working steady every single day (and never stopped wearing shocking pink and red by the way;-)). A great example of living out creative discipline.