Filter journal
  1. Hit the Beat: physical drum machine by Lorenzo Bravi


    Created by Lorenzo Bravi, Hit The Beat is a physical drum machine that can play anything, making it possible for everyday objects to become musical instruments.

    The setup includes a collection of box-like objects with solenoid actuators built in, and each containing different granules. All boxes connect to the main unit with an integrated Arduino module, which acts as the translator of the midi message received. The Midi message is sent with any Midi app thanks to Midi Configuration on Mac. Lorenzo used Little Midi on the iPad to send the wireless message. Midi instruments can be assigned to each box that eventually triggers a physical solenoid percussion in realtime. Users can build an orchestra-like set of items, creating an intuitive and interactive investigation of music and sound.

    You can view the video here.

  2. The Art of the Brick


    A 20ft Tyrannosaurus rex will feature along with versions of the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo in a show of 75 Lego sculptures coming to London this year. US artist Nathan Sawaya used more than a million Lego bricks to make the sculptures, over 4,188 hours. The works, which are being shown in the UK for the first time, have to be transported in four shipping containers, with previous destinations including New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Shanghai. The artist said he hoped to 'elevate this simple plaything to a place it has never been before.' There will be an interactive zone where visitors are encouraged to make their own pieces.

    The Art of the Brick exhibition opens at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane on September 2014. Tickets go on sale today at

  3. Marina Abramović @ the Serpentine


    The internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović will perform in the Gallery for the duration of her exhibition: 10am to 6pm, 6 days a week. Creating the simplest of environments in the Gallery spaces, Abramović’s only materials will be herself, the audience and a selection of common objects that she will use in a constantly changing sequence of events. On arrival, visitors will both literally and metaphorically leave their baggage behind in order to enter the exhibition: bags, jackets, electronic equipment, watches and cameras may not accompany them.

    Marina Abramović: 512 hours opens at the Serpentine on the 11th June.

  4. ‘Genericide’: brands destroyed by their own success


    Turning a product into a household name is the stuff of corporate dreams isn’t it?

    Not necessarily.

    Think Hoover, Jacuzzi, Frisbee.

    When was the last time you “vacuum-cleanered” the front room, took a dip in a “whirlpool bath”, or played in the park with your “flying disc”?

    It may seem like a fairly innocuous linguistic slip to confuse brand and product – indeed, you might think it a compliment to the company behind such a successful name – but it could be the sign of a brand in its death throes.

  5. iPhone save


    Rescue your smashed white iPhone 4 with coloured highlighters… sort of modern day Kintsugi.

  6. Chelsea Flower Show


    Last week I was lucky enough to get my hands on a ticket to CFS. Not only were the flowers absolutely beautiful, the attention to detail and thought that had gone into the designs was fascinating.
    I found the gardens associated with war and recovery especially moving, including ‘Hope on the Horizon.’

    “The H4H (Hope on the Horizon) garden at Chelsea was arranged along two clearly defined axes representing the Military Cross, emphasised by an avenue of hornbeams, and with both planting and landscaping designed to emphasise the various stages of the road to recovery. Granite blocks representing strength were key to the design while the planting, in a predominantly white and blue palette, emphasised the concept of physical well-being.”

    Click here to read more about the concepts behind the gardens.

    Some of the designer’s weren’t too bad either!

  7. Flexible Futures


    Time and time again we are briefed by brands who thought they had built their future vision three or four times in the last decade, only to find each time that their concept was flawed, their ambitions had revised or their brief had been short-sighted.

    What happens if you begin the process with a brief to in-build flexibility and in effect create a future-proof concept from the outset?

    You might address this brief with a digital approach, a flexible communications platform that is the most responsive and direct of all media. By messaging through digital means print costs are dramatically reduced or removed to make change effective and efficient. You might address this brief with an architectural approach, building a smart space that shifts with the seasons, reflecting consumer behaviour and expectations. If you build an architectural framework that 'occupies' a space and then employ that framework to create an experience, how powerful and adaptable could that be? A kind of pop-up that keeps on popping.

    Flexible retail architecture could pay back in many ways. It's economical, allowing change to be applied at minimal cost. It's ecological, facilitating the re-arrangement of merchandising rather than the rebuilding of merchandising. It's effective, allowing change with minimal effort and planning. Future-proof in times of massive change might seem like an unattainable goal, but the tools of change are here, in technology, both digital and mechanical. Digital hardware is more affordable each year and manufacturing partners are more flexible in their development processes.

    For the second year running we have completed an event for Samsung in Germany; a roadshow where a series of components are built and re-built over a two-month period in a number of varied locations, and every time it is slightly different, but every time it is consistently on-message. This event-led, flexible thinking got us thinking about the retail potential of such an approach.

    There is evidence of the beginning of this trend in the retail market today; the new Benetton flagship in Milan creates 'rooms' with fabric screens and suspended rails; our Roxlin concept in China is built under a structural frame that suspends shop fittings to create the space; our centre piece in Shasa, LA suspends rails in an ever changing showcase for new arrivals; our digital concept for Argos allows the brand's communications in store to change constantly, surrounding the shopper with immersive messaging. All of these concepts explore the potential for a more reactive, more relevant and flexible future.

    This is only the beginning, the potential is massive.