Guest interview n°3: SARA ZIFF / TAG

Guest interview n°3: SARA ZIFF

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Mark Borthwick / SAFIA

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Alexandra Richardson interview / TAG

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Katja Illustrative mastermind interview / Chaunielle

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Casamica / Verso Nord

Casamica / Verso Nord

Corriere Della Sera‘s latest issue of Casamica, Verso Nord, has just hit newsstands. A holiday special of wintry design, architecture and treats, the issue maintains the fresh, airy art direction of its previous issue thanks to SM Associati.

Along with the usual feast of gorgeous objects, inside there is a special on grand urban spaces of the Nordic cities, a feature on Tokujin Yoshioka, a look at ’60s looks from Finish fashion house Marimekko and a nifty look at toasty fireplaces for the snowy season.

Inside you’ll find portraits of the magazine’s protagonists by 2DM‘s illustrator Marco Klefisch, including design great Stefan Diez Design Miami/Basel’s Ambra Medda, architect Hermann Kaufmann, artist Olafur Eliasson, the late great Ralph Erskine, and desigher Kasper Salto among several others. 2DM’s Ricardo Fumanal also makes a grand appearance with two architectural illustrations and a brilliant portrait of Piero Gandini, Marco Ferreri and Maria Vittoria Backhaus.

Tag Christof, photo and illustrations courtesy 2DM.

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Skill To Do Comes Of Doing / Treviso XYZ

Treviso-XYZ: Skill To Do Comes Of Doing

By definition, design is meant to enhance and improve the lives of those who interact with it. As per Bauhaus and the Modernism it spawned, it’s also supposed to do this for as many people as possible, with mass production and mass functionality at its core. Today as a result, we’re able to fill our homes and pockets with brilliantly conceived, well constructed objects thanks to the incredible progress of the most industrial of design. Nevertheless, in the century since William Morris (perhaps prophetically) decried design’s obliteration of intimate relationships with our objects, our lives and landfills have become tirelessly filled with assembly-line drivel.

Weeding through the mess it helped to bring about, design seems only recently to have discovered that it should devote more attention to its capacity to create an experience and less on a design’s ability to create that experience for everyone. From Marian Bantjes’ gorgeously constructed, hard-to-come-by graphic books to a clever piece of furniture entirely cut, planed, sanded and painted by its creator, the special power of a something well-designed and then brought to life by the same person is formidable. Especially in a world of grey widgets anonymously produced by the hundreds of thousands each.

Treviso XYZ, having sensed this critical shift have brought together a host of young craftsman innovators, a “niche of tenacious designers” who work their hands alongside their brains to bring ideas to life. The appropriately named “Skill to Do Comes of Doing” hopes to nurture artisanal talent and further the discourse and appreciation of craft in the industry. Its gallery/temporary shop is “enthusiastic praise for the cult of doing,” and sure to be a feast for the senses and a refreshing break from our Ikea chairs. And tables. And lamps. And coffee cups.

Starting the 17th of December at Via Inferiore 31 in Treviso, Italy.

Tag Christof, graphic courtesy Treviso XYZ.
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A long, long time ago in the faraway, new land of America – or so the story goes – archenemies made friends for a day. They feasted on fabulous fare so fattening and filling that they had to take long naps before waking up just to eat again. Over yams, cranberry and pumpkin, formerly irreconcilable differences were forgotten as polar opposites realised the bountiful insights each could gain from the other. Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in the hope of a fruitful tomorrow, reflection on our good fortune, forgiveness of our foes and for enjoyment of friends, family and food.

So whether you’re scarfing down turkey, tofurky or take-out Chinese with your closest companions, we wish you the happiest of Happy Thanksgivings!

Text Tag Christof, drawing Mrs. Betty Anne Pinetta.
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Spazio Rossana Orlandi – JAMESPLUMB Opening

Spazio Rossana Orlandi – JAMESPLUMB Opening

Tucked into a quiet niche just steps away from Milan’s city prison, Spazio Rossana Orlandi is an almost Seussian space in design, packed to the brim with whimsy, imagination and contradiction. In recent years it has become a place of pilgrimage for the design world during Salone, and its labyrinthine space is a veritable crucible of creation. Designers are housed, nurtured and encouraged to create free from the constraints of commerce. The latest of such grand experiments was conducted upon James Russell and Hannah Plumb of England’s JAMESPLUMB, who lived since mid-October among the space’s fractured whimsy of rumpled, multicoloured furniture and imposing Marten Baas masterworks.

In keeping with the nature of the space, the work was carried out in the open over the course of their stay, using a collection of antique and industrial furniture as a starting point. The result is a feast of textures, textiles and subverted forms. From their almost trademark block seats to a wardrobe stuffed with old leather suitcases, skilful artisan hands are evident throughout. In all, the adeptness with with which the two are able to so seamlessly integrate cosiness and imagination into every object is formidable, yet their works never come within miles of the obvious or quaint.

At last night’s opening, The Blogazine brushed elbows with the brilliant designer duo, as well as Ms. Orlandi herself, who spread her good design word to a very pleased crowd. We look forward to the next outing!

Text and photos by Tag Christof.

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Guest Interview nº19: Kostas Murkudis

Guest Interview n° 19: Kostas Murkudis

Kostas Murkudis is multitalented Berliner in search of the perfect shape. He has years of experience working with Helmut Lang and as far as he’s concerned, fashion is a serious business. Belonging to the rarified group of true designer-artists in fashion, Mr. Kostas’ conceptual work surprises with sharp, unique and smart pieces. We caught up with him on one of our recent trips to Berlin.

It seems that you have always been close to the design world – you almost embarked on the path of a graphic artist but veered off into fashion – why the change of heart?
It was never the idea to change paths!

Your fashion work has a strong graphic influence; it seems in a way like you never abandoned them. So do you think you have managed to mix both of your interests?
I don’t think that… In fact, it’s more of an architectural moment in my work rather than one full of graphic influences. My interests are always very complex and I love to combine and fuse conflicting sides.

You are considered by the industry as one of the few legitimate fashion-artists. What do you think about it? And why do you think they might categorize you in that way?
That sounds like being an outsider. Actually that’s not my aim. I do love the industry and the power it wields as much as I love working in other fields, like collaborations with other artists or experimenting in other disciplines.

Your use of shapes and fabrics is impeccable. How do you manage the challenge to make conceptual and wearable clothes?
Those are indeed the parameters of my working process and the way I look at things. I don’t like to think about useless one-minute garments.

Are you an obsessive planner or you are more improvisational in the conception of your clothes?
I love to keep the process open until the last moment and follow my intuition.

Source of inspiration?
It can be so many different things – from virtual imaginations, motion architecture art and movies. I love to look also into historical moments. Most of the time its very romantic in its approach.

Your work seems so… correct, for lack of a better word. Deep, harmonious, serious and the product of a lot of work. Your apparent dedication begs the question: are you a serious worker or do you sometimes have some fun on the job?
Indeed – I am a serious worker – most of the time – but we as a team do have also very funny moments while we are preparing and searching for the shapes and styles. We laugh very much about the first steps during our work in progress. The funniest moments are when our stylist from London is with us for the fittings.

It seems you have done quite a few collaborations with very diverse brands. What is that process of mixing ideas like?
That’s a great experience I don’t like to miss anymore. When to brands start to work together – to respect and listen to the other side as much as possible. I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn and get the back up of a specialist of a certain kind of design and craftsmanship.

Are your collaborations something that you actively seek out or are they more often opportunities that had “popped” at the right time?
It is both – but always full of respect and curiosity on both sides and the wish to discover new fields together.

What should we expect from Kostas Murkudis in the future?
New collaborations and getting closer again with the industry of fashion and more artistic projects.

Interview by Juan Alvarado, Images courtesy Kostas Murkudis

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Hurts – Pablo Arroyo

Hurts by Pablo Arroyo

2DM photographer Pablo Arroyo recently caught up with hot hot hot pop new kid on the block Hurts for a shoot for French mag Modzik. Fresh off the September debut of their much-anticipated first album, Happiness, the slick-haired, Manchester-bred duo of Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson have been making rounds in discerning iPods the world over for some months. Their addictive synth sound is now on the brink of a jump onto the airwaves and into the bigtime.

Glam on, guys.

By Tag Christof, images Pablo Arroyo

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