Month: March 2013

Interview: Elvis & Kresse and their Upcycled Fire Hoses

It’s hard to imagine how a fire hose could be anything other than just that – a bright red, purely functional hose. But an enterprising couple – James Henrit (Elvis) from the UK and Kresse, a politics graduate from Canada, saw through the hose’s tough veneer and discovered a way to upcycle old fire hoses into brand new, beautiful accessories. Sourcing fire hoses from Britain’s fire brigades, they scrub away the soot, grease and grime that builds up after 25 years of active duty and turn the resultant clean, ‘green’ textile into bags, belts and purses. Not only do they give new life to something that was destined for the landfill but they also donate 50 per cent of their profits to the UK’s Fire Fighter’s Charity. And having seen some of their bags in a shop in Bath, England it is hard to imagine that they were ever life-saving fire hoses. Elvis & Kresse have turned the humble fire hose into 21st century leather. While their cornerstone products are the Fire Hose range, they have …

A Concrete Comeback

Concrete – a cold, hard unforgiving material reminiscent of 70s Eastern block buildings and industrial flooring? No longer my friends. Concrete is being transformed. Check these out … Pendant lights that look like crumpled paper are, in actual fact, made of concrete. German designers Miriam Aust and Sebastian Amelung’s Like Paper collection completely blows one’s usual thoughts of concrete out of the water. Using a rotation method of moulding, the designers spent a year and a half perfecting their idea and, wow, did it pay off! Read more about them over at FastCoDesign. Something closer to home – the humble candleholder. Nice What about concrete jewellery? A sketch pencil Or mini concrete speakers? It seems the possibilities are endless.

Interview: Australian designer Trent Jansen

Trent Jansen’s CV would have to be the envy of many a design graduate: a Space+Edra Design Residency in 2010, the Bombay Sapphire ‘Design Discovery’ Award in 2008, the Spiral ‘Rendez-vous’ Japanese Manufacturing Residency in 2006, the Australia Council for the Arts ‘New Work’ Award in 2005, the Object ‘New Design’ National Graduate Award in 2004, and an internship with acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders in Amsterdam. Wow! Now, juggling the demands of teaching at the School of Design at the University of New South Wales’ College of Fine Arts, and working in his studio, where he creates commissioned pieces as well as his own designs, Trent has certainly placed himself firmly on Australia’s design map. I caught up with him by phone to learn more about the man and his design ethic. What made you become a designer and how did you go about making it happen? It was a little bit of luck. I always wanted to be an architect when I was kid but then when I left high school I decided I …

DIY: Who’d have thought crafty ideas

I know this is technically not a DIY type of a blog, but every so often I feel like getting a little bit crafty. Even if I only ever dabble in it occasionally – the odd cushion, the homemade gift tag from fabric cuttings, a decoupage lampshade – I do love seeing what other, more talented, crafty people get up to. Here are some really simple things I’ve found that made me go: Why didn’t I think of that and why don’t I give it a try? I probably won’t but you never know … Looks pretty stylish right? Well, it is simply a paper lantern covered with multiple strips of paper! Love a monochrome Scandinavian-style room. What caught my attention here were the coat hanger magazine holders above the desk. So simple and effective. Who’d have thought? And what about this? You’d swear this was some sleek designer lamp aka Louis Polsen. But no. It’s washi tape. Say what? Yep, that’s right. Cleverly cut tape, stuck to a wall. You couldn’t get a more sustainable light …