relaxed roof top living area

I recently saw this picture in Inside Out magazine. I really like the feel this roof top space creates, especially with the plunge pool and combination of natural elements (wooden deck, thatched divider, canvas umbrella). All that is missing is a mixture of delicious green succulents (drought friendly) in matte white pots!

Roof Top Pool

the paradox of choice

I recently borrowed and read ‘The Paradox of Choice’ by Barry Schwartz. In some ways I was anxious in reading about ‘choice’ in a modern world and its associated problems. The author was justified, to a certain extent, by providing ways to eliminate these problems to oneself. As a result of reading this book I am intent to embrace and appreciate ‘satisficing’. This is about not being a ‘maximiser’ and accepting choices that are ‘good enough’ as opposed to the ‘absolute best’.

The one statement in the book that stood out to me was actually about hapiness:

“What seems to be the most important factor in providing happiness is close social relations. People who are married, who have good friends, and who are close to their families are happier than those who are not.”…”Being connected to others seems to be much more important to subjective well-being than being rich.” (p.107)

Paradox of Choice Cover

maybe this is why i like writing

Roger von Oech’s recent post about ‘how creative ideas come from manipulating your resources, no matter how few and simple they are’ included the example of a clever 1960s National Library Week print advertisement.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.
It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare’s hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.

This advertisement made me think about my growing fascination with writing. Maybe the simplicity of resources in writing makes it so special to me. Maybe this is why ‘the book’ is always better than ‘the movie’. Maybe this is why I like surfing the net and reading blogs more than I like watching television.

writing (well)

When I was reading “Getting Real” by the folk at “37 Signals” I found the following statement thought provoking:

Hire good writers
If you are trying to decide between a few people to fill a position, always hire the better writer. It doesn’t matter if that person is a designer, programmer, marketer, salesperson, or whatever, the writing skills will pay off. Effective, concise writing and editing leads to effective, concise code, design, emails, instant messages, and more.

That’s because being a good writer is about more than words. Good writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. They think clearly. And those are the qualities you need.

I then realised that I have admired good writers in the past, but I didn’t quite know why.

the avalanches

one australian band(?) i have really been enjoying over the last couple of years is ‘the avalanches‘. i recently discovered the ‘unofficial web site’ which, after registration, offers some audio downloads. my favourite at the moment is the ‘some people mix’

‘Bobby delivers a laid back, cornerstone style, saturday afternoon mini mix. enjoy’

check it out. good times.

avalanches unofficial web site

to do, visit ‘twig on burton’ in sydney

after reading the article in todays paper about ‘twig on burton’ in sydney, it really makes me want to visit. i just love the outdoor modern garden in the picture. they sell “…furniture, soft furnishings, garden pots and plants, outdoor tables and chairs, china and glassware.” the address is 110 burton street, darlinghurst.

Twig on Burton SMH Article

mmmmm melbourne

we just spent a lovely four days in melbourne, what a great place! (to visit)

melb feb 2007

some of our highlights were:

dinner at tiamo’s in carlton, followed by an awesome italian dessert at the v. flash brunetti’s!

travelling through melbourne city by horse and carriage

horses melb feb 2007

some excellent laneway graffiti and stencil-art

melb graff feb 07

staying in a restored inner city woolshed, now hotel

rialto melb feb 2007

all the while travelling around on the third largest tram network in the world!

good times…

urban forest project

i am still really enjoying looking online at the banners submitted for the urban forest project. they were on display in New York’s Times Square for three months late last year.

Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections.

there is an interesting story available for each banner by each artist (see links to each below)

some of my faves are:

“Aloha from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC”
by Marc Alt

aloha-from-hells-kitchen.jpg

“Street signs are already full of trees if you look at them the right way.”
by Michael Bierut

street-signs-already-full.jpg

“We are one nature, let’s hold it together, together” by Futurefarmers

future_farmers.jpg

“I Love NY (knot)” by Kent Hunter

i-love-ny-knot.jpg

“Scattered Seeds” by Edwina White

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… my all time favourite (after all, it does feature my favourite flower!) :
Ram Rahman

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i ♥ pre-fabricated modular living goodness

as demonstrated in a previous post, i ♥ the concept of pre-fabricated modular living. here i will provide some developments in this field, sourced via the interweb.

loftcube project

this new German concept is about prefab cubes that are designed to sit upon existing flat rooved buildings (of which there are many in Berlin). the 40 sq. meter loftcubes have been designed to be light enough to be delivered by helicopter or crane. According to the official website, the loftcubes are now a reality. they look great inside, with an emphasis on minimalism, and are ‘adjustably translucent’. I believe they sell for about 55,000 euro (or about $AUD 90,000), and more designs will be continue to be built. Link

loft cube

kitHaus

“true modular, site constructed, pre-fabricated housing systems”, built in California (despite the Germaneque name). these can be built on site in a matter of days, and are v. ascetically pleasing. not sure of the price, because i think they are very much custom order jobs. Link

Kithaus 1

Kithaus 2

Kithaus 3

Kithaus 4

floating homes

these floating homes don’t actually float, but are rather designed to sit next to water (giving the impression of floating using lots of clear glass). the floating homes are still are in a concept phase as i don’t believe any have been produced. Link

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five star fish mongers in mesmeric byron bay

oh how i love a weekend trip to byron bay. (especially when the weather is like it is)
Byron Bay
i couldn’t imagine a trip to byron without a meal at one of my three favourite eateries. today it was time to visit the original ‘fish mongers’. (the new sydney stores are also getting good reviews!)

what a lovely meal! 1/2 family box with grilled mackerel & a side garden salad.
Mongers Menu 1
Mongers Menu 2
Mongers Food 1
Mongers Food 3

minimiam (miniature people interacting with oversized pieces of food and fruit)

I love the minimiam site. It’s basically some excellent macro photography of miniature people interacting with oversized pieces of food and fruit. Each time i look at one i can’t help but make up a story, or at least some dialog about what is going on. I also really love how each scene starts as a close up, and that the second image reveals the full context.

I find that the site has some major navigation usability issues, so i have posted some of my favourite photos here to be easily enjoyed:

minimiam12.JPG

minimiam1.JPG

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tapedeck.org – analog audio tape cassette nostalgia

i stumbled across (and enjoyed) this today:

Tapedeck.org is a project of neckcns.com, built to showcase the amazing beauty and (sometimes) weirdness found in the designs of the common audio tape cassette. There’s an amazing range of designs, starting from the early 60’s functional cassette designs, moving through the colourful playfulness of the 70’s audio tapes to amazing shape variations during the 80’s and 90’s.

tapedeck dot org

Stop! (sign) in the name of love…

we’ve had this one for a while, but it is just too cool not to post:

Stop Sign Small

made by al james, it:

“stems from a fascination with the iconography and vernacular of traffic signs. It is a response to the madly litigious, antagonistic, terrorising, warmongering world we live in.”

besides that, i think it looks cool.

al says the “signs are manufacturered to international traffic control specifications (with one obvious discrepency)”.

Each sign is numbered. We have number 90. I wonder how many have been made? I have heard Cate Blanchett also owns one.

Love Stop Sign 2

Update: 12 July 2007 – Creator Al now has a loved ones page.