Popweekly: Digest for 11.30

red house singapore
Red Windows in Singapore by swisscan
Popweekly is a weekly report (at the beginning of the week instead of the end) which contains a digest of news, events, and issues of interest to Popwuping readers. It’s something new I am trying as a means of sharing all that I read over the course of a week. It’s subject to iteration of course – especially this opening paragraph.

The Mobile Office

The Mobile Office, by The Practice of Everyday Design, was constructed from discarded materials within a one block radius from the site. All the material was transported to the site with our bikes and a makeshift dolly. The only purchased items were the hardware used to hold it together. The mobile office has allowed us to consolidate all the furniture and shelving into one mobile unit. This has freed up our office space allowing us the flexibility to make large scale models and have spontaneous dance parties.

Workspace, a project by Joseph O.Holmes.

The Workspace project is my ongoing attempt to examine the quasi-private spaces people carve out of their public work lives. Such spaces represent a tug of war between personal expression and comfort on the one hand and the unyielding demands of work on the other. The long-term accumulation of the tokens of that struggle, over years or even decades, can be formally beautiful in a very human and touching way. The project is part of a larger series in which I ask friends and strangers to open up private spaces to my camera.

Call for entries: The Singapore Short Film Awards 2010

An entire week of short film screenings every night showcasing all Singaporean short films produced in 2009! Deadline: 15 December 2009
The Singapore Short Film Awards will re-cap all that’s happened in the Singapore short film scene in 2009! If you have made a short film in Singapore in 2009, submit it to us and you can be in the running for Best Documentary, Best Script or even Best Director!

Mall shoppers delight in the opening of Singapore’s half-completed Mandarin Gallery

It is only half complete, but Mandarin Gallery will open its doors to the public over the weekend after a $200-million facelift.
About 50 of the Orchard Road mall’s 103 tenants will open in time for the Christmas buying season, says Mrs Patrina Tan, 41, senior vice-president of retail, marketing and leasing at Overseas Union Enterprise, which owns Mandarin Gallery.

Looking to work overseas?

The second annual Expat Experience survey, commissioned by HSBC Bank International, revealed that expats in Canada have the best quality of life and found it among the easiest places in the world to integrate with the local population.
Australia and Thailand also came in the top three in the survey of 3,146 people working in 30 different industries and 50 countries, even though Thailand was one of the countries worst-hit by the recession for expats.

What Will Come Of Brand Dubai?

Aside from the fact that Dubai was (and still is) trying to cram 100 years of development into less than two decades – the making of Dubai marks one of the most audacious and epic branding exercises undertaken in modern times. The task, to transform a Middle Eastern port into an ultra-modern global financial, business and cultural centre, has been attacked with gusto, to say the least, funded by incredibly deep local pockets. Like a new brand of soft drink, the marketers approached Dubai like a product and brought it to life.
I hope all of you who recently celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful day.

Where (Some) Of Your Bags Are Made

case factory guangzhou
Every week I am contacted by manufacturers of bags and cases in China to see if I would be interested in selling their products. Ignoring the fact that I don’t sell product on this website, an easy mistake for the non-native English speaker, I do find these emails interesting for allowing me to see who is actually manufacturing the mass market bags so many of us love to buy.
Few recently have offered a peak inside their manufacturing facilities, offering instead ‘glamour shots’ of the outside of the factories, which is why I am sharing the photo sent from “Guangzhou Rohua Indestrial Co.,Ltd” in Guangzhou. So much for that vision of the aged artisan and his apprentices sweating over fine leather in a small shop somewhere in Europe.
I like seeing where the stuff I purchase is being made.
Learn more about them on their Alibaba page.

Inspiration: Norah Jones talks about sensitivity to criticism

norah jones
Part of GMA Summer Concert series in Bryant Park – photo by minwoo

Norah Jones still gets stung by jokes about her putting audiences to sleep, says Will Hodgkinson in Mojo.
“They call me ‘Snorah,'” says the 30-year-old Grammy winner. “But that slow music touches people!” Having sold 37 million records, Jones doesn’t see any reason to change her style now–not that she could if she wanted to.
“I realize my strengths,” she says with a hint of resignation. “The truth is, I sing ballads. People like it when I sing ballads. I seem to have a way with them. And if the cool kids can’t say anything nice about me, that’s how it is.”
Jones writes a lot of songs about longing and loneliness, which can be draining for her but cathartic for audiences. “It’s probably how your dog feels when you go out of the door. We’ve all had that feeling, right?”
Still, Jones admits that criticism about her limited range does get to her.
“I’m too sensitive. All I have to do is pick up Newsweek and glance upon a bad review and it will crush me for a week. Some Joe Schmo writes a snarky comment in a blog and I’m destroyed.”
But she quickly recovers. “I’m like, Oh, I make slow music. I guess that’s okay. Maybe it’s a good thing to sound like yourself.”

I still remember with some fear all the critiques we were forced to endure in music school. Critiques that required us to perform solo, in small or large groups in front of a jury of our peers. Some of the comments were absolutely disheartening but you learned to take the criticisms in stride and apply what you learned from them. Somehow the impersonality of the web makes us more sensitive but the same lessons apply — it’s valuable to learn from those that dislike your work the most.
Article from The Week via Talent Develop Resources.
Norah Jones discography
Come Away with Me (2002)
Feels like Home (2004)
Not Too Late (2007)
The Fall (2009)
Of interest
Critical and Creative Thinking. Creative thinking is generally considered to be involved with the creation or generation of ideas, processes, experiences or objects; critical thinking is concerned with their evaluation.
Living abroad increases your creativity
10 Simple Ways to Instantly Boost Your Inspiration

Outside Our City

Photo shoot from collaboration with Piyada Vachanaratana. Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. Manufactured objects and human interaction are not considered part of nature unless qualified in ways such as “human nature” or “the whole of nature”. Nature is generally distinguished from the supernatural. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the galactic.

By Michael Paul Young, Bangkok.

Link Love: Finding love, Travel and Art

Assorted links loosely joined
Small pieces, loosely joined. Some of my favorite links of the week found on twitter and elsewhere.

From the Popwuping archives:

Interview with Mismo’s Adam Alexander Bach

mismo factory floor
It’s not so sexy to see a great brand being made on a factory floor.
Limitedhype had a chat with Mismo founder Adam Alexander Bach providing a sneak peak into their operations and bag making process. During their chat they talked about Danish design, collaborations, work and a bit of the history of the brand that is Mismo.

The name Mismo comes from Spain…. Mismo has two meanings; “the same” or “something that refers to yourself”, which we liked as reference to the personal marks each person leave on their bag because of the natural materials we use.
We chose to specialize in bags because back in ’03 when the idea first came to mind there were nowhere you could find a well designed bag in a nice material to hold your laptop. From there we’ve sought of expanded the line into every possible bag we could see ourselves use on different occasions.

Mismo | The Ultimate Personal Companion
See the Mismo Travel Duffle and the Mismo Transit Laptop Bag for examples of their great catalogue.

Space Music Flow

space music flow
Space Music Flow cell phone concept with Bluetooth speaker cradle by Hyunsoo Choi.
Hyunsoo Choi is part of the Korean Idealgraphy design collective. They have received a great deal of positive press, partially for their counterbalanced lamp by Joongho Choi, and their portfolio contains a great breadth of work for you to enjoy.

Read more

Comm.unity Platform

media lab community
“Comm.unity” is a new communications platform being developed at the MIT Media Lab which combines knowledge, awareness and learning of the user’s social relationships and integrates this information into the communication protocols and network services. Comm.unity allows developers to easily create socially aware peer-peer applications for face to face interactions. It runs on a variety of devices through a range of network protocols [source].
Here are some of the possible scenerios they describe:

Imagine going on a trip and creating an ad-hoc group with the people you happen to be traveling with. Any picture anyone takes could be immediately distributed to all of the group’s devices.
Imagine being able to chat with strangers on the plane, or a friend sitting ten rows in front of you in a lecture hall.
Imagine taking the subway and getting the digital version of the Metro paper as you walk by the T-stop. Then, share music and files with strangers sitting next to you in the subway car.
And how about getting notified when your friends and family are nearby?
How about a communication system for emergencies and disaster scenarios, which allows news and critical information to be distributed among people in the area without the need for existing infrastructure (which is likely to be down…)?

Read more

Paul Smith Bike Saddle

paul smith bike saddle
Mr. Stripes has teamed up with Japanese bicycle saddle specialist, Kashimax, on a limited edition saddle with his signature pattern. Only 20 will be available making this an exclusive addition to your designer fixie.
Paul Smith

The Field Guide Bag

field guide bag
This huge tote bag from Beesnetta got it’s inspiration from vintage field guides and old army satchels. Built to last with olive duck cloth and brass hardware, it would be perfect for camping or carrying your favorite pillow on board the plane. Wish they would lose the brass hardware as it looks more suited to the screen door than something as great looking as this.
I could find many uses for a bag of this size but with many bags this size there is always a tendency to overload and with this strap you might just lose your arm. Superb effort at a reasonable price.
The Field Guide Bag

Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

shanghai mansion bangkok

To grasp just how romantic and ravishing Shanghai Inn’s interiors really are, picture a scene from a classic Chinese Opera or one of those fantasy martial arts films of recent years. Then, close your eyes and imagine you’ve stumbled onto the set. [source]

I’m knocked out at how well the they have executed their vision of 1930s Shanghai in the interior of the Shanghai Mansion in Bangkok’s Chinatown. Like the surrounding neighborhood the interior is bold, exciting, and at times overpowering — this is a thoroughly different experience from other boutique hotels in Bangkok. The supermarket on the ground floor and the grit of the surrounding neighborhood only seem to add to the experience.

Read more

Inspiration: “Good ideas rarely come in bunches”

paul rand signature
This is certainly worth repeating:

One of the more common problems which tends to create doubt and confusion is caused by the inexperienced and anxious executive who innocently expects, or even demands, to see not one but many solutions to a problem. These may include a number of visual and/or verbal concepts, an assortment of layouts, a variety of pictures and color schemes, as well as a choice of type styles. He needs the reassurance of numbers and the opportunity to exercise his personal preferences. He is also most likely to be the one to insist on endless revisions with unrealistic deadlines, adding to an already wasteful and time-consuming ritual. Theoretically, a great number of ideas assures a great number of choices, but such choices are essentially quantitative. This practice is as bewildering as it is wasteful. It discourages spontaneity, encourages indifference, and more often than not produces results which are neither distinguished, interesting, nor effective. In short, good ideas rarely come in bunches.
The designer who voluntarily presents his client with a batch of layouts does so not out prolificacy, but out of uncertainty or fear. He thus encourages the client to assume the role of referee. In the event of genuine need, however, the skillful designer is able to produce a reasonable number of good ideas. But quantity by demand is quite different than quantity by choice. Design is a time-consuming occupation. Whatever his working habits, the designer fills many a wastebasket in order to produce one good idea. Advertising agencies can be especially guilty in this numbers game. Bent on impressing the client with their ardor, they present a welter of layouts, many of which are superficial interpretations of potentially good ideas, or slick renderings of trite ones…
Expertise in business administration, journalism, accounting, or selling, though necessary in its place, is not expertise in problems dealing with visual appearance. The salesman who can sell you the most sophisticated computer typesetting equipment is rarely one who appreciates fine typography or elegant proportions. Actually, the plethora of bad design that we see all around us can probably be attributed as much to good salesmanship as to bad taste.
Paul Rand

Paul Rand – Thoughts on Design
Via 37s.