Urban Farming

This is an interesting video about urban farming in Tokyo, Japan. A recruitment firm in the centre of the city has integrated greenery into its office space, even using the harvested produce in the staff canteen. Fruit sprouts from the ceilings, while other plants serve as partitions in the open plan areas. The subtitles are a little difficult to see, so I would advise to watch the video on a larger screen.

Decorative Ironwork at Retrouvius

Retrouvius have acquired some interesting salvaged metal structures. This decorative ironwork serves almost as a sculpture in itself. Against a wall the intricate details become more and more evident.

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The complex handcrafted piece almost looks like an abstract drawing. The squiggles gradually turn into carefully crafted leaves, moving away from their abstract beginnings.5787_4_of_7

The straight metal lines incorporated into the centre of the structure resemble skyscrapers of an inner city.

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The swirling lines and round shapes then begin to make a little more sense the longer you look at the construction as a whole.
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The curling lines make up the clouds of smoke and fumes surrounding the skyline and elegantly turn into leaves and shapes consistent with the wider picture.

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The ironwork is quite magnificent in its detail and craftsmanship, standing as a piece of art alone.

Shake the Dust: Woven Bowls by Quazi Design

Apart from making beautiful jewellery, Quazi Design have a lot more to offer. These beautiful woven bowls combine bright colours and elegant smooth shapes to form the perfect bowl for your home.

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The brand, which is based in Swaziland, takes pride in its African style while also having a strong belief in sustainability and respect for the environment.

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Quazi Design is a member of SWIFT Swaziland fair trade network and has worked closely with other local handcraft businesses. The range of woven bowls uses simple patterns to create a unique look typical for the small African Kingdom while combining it with a modern style.

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“The business was co-founded by Doron, a designer from the UK and Flotsam, the local magazine distributors. Doron became the driving force behind the enterprise and since 2009 has lived and worked in Swaziland building a sustainable business model with a dynamic balance between economic and social goals, believing that design driven handcraft can be a powerful tool for empowerment and economic independence. The core of our business is pushing the boundaries of craft and sustainable design through innovative techniques and continuous product development.”

Shake_the_Dust_GoneRural_Bonakele_Block_Weave_Set_Red_001_CDWProducts by Quazi design are also available at Shake the Dust a design brand which specialises in ethical products and sources, commissions and sells hand-made, luxury homeware and accessories.

Global Approaches to Upcycling: Plastic bottle lights transforming lives

Upcycling is something natural and something very human. Creativity in a practical sense is not unique to designers. While upcycling has taken of as a trend in many countries, showing people both the value and the beauty of reuse, it is also changing lives. You can find upcycling pretty much everywhere, whether it is intentional or purely practical and out of necessity. Different countries and cultures will take on different approaches to upcycling but ideas seem to be everywhere. Alfredo Moser a man living in Southern Brazil has invented a very simple light using a plastic bottle some water and a drop of bleach. These incredibly cost effective lights are changing the lives of countless people in the Philippines where these ingenious inventions are being installed to save people spending money on very expensive electricity. It shows that sometimes the best inventions are the most basic ones.

Photography: Sydney

This is a photo taken just several steps from the Opera House in Sydney, looking towards the city centre across the edge of the botanical gardens. The view shows a combination of nature, high rise urban buidlings and a building site. I like the contrast of the raw earth, the big tree, the sky and the commercial tower blocks in the distance.

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A cabin made from salvaged windows

Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz have repurposed old windows to create a beautiful framed glass wall as part of their house in a remote part of Western Virginia. Nick a photographer and Lilah a designer decided to quit their jobs in 2012 and went to build this idyllic cabin in the woods, overlooking rolling hills. The old window frames add structure and character to the building, allowing for light to be divided into multiple sections which subtly break up the glass.

A very green bus stop

This bus stop in central Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is arguably one of the most beautiful bus stops in the world. The long winding road leads straight into the CBD from the beachfront suburbs of St Helier’s and Mission Bay. Dwarfed by two huge towering trees and with great sea views this little shelter is not a bad place to wait.

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