Digesting Design

Shelter House of Cards Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on September 25, 2009




I haven’t been able to go to all of the London Design Festival events that I wanted to this week, there was just too many and not enough time, but the Shelter House of Cards exhibition launch is one non-London Design Festival event I have had on the ‘cards’ for a while now, so I was really looking forward to checking it out at the Haunch of Venison Gallery. In short, Shelter asked 53 designers and creatives (including a ‘joker’) to create a deck of cards inspired by Shelter’s recent House of Cards campaign and to be silently auctioned off to raise money for the work Shelter does. Participating artists included: Nick Park, Sir Terence Conran, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Damien Hirst, Amelia’s Magazine, NB Studio, Neville Brody, Jon Burgerman, D*Face, Henry Holland, Experimental Jetset and Mauricio Ortiz, who was the winner of a public competition that Shelter also ran as part of the campaign and exhibition.

My favourites were Ortiz’s 8 of clubs, Burgerman’s 9 of clubs, D*Face’s Queen of clubs, Ella Doran’s three of diamonds ‘cushion’, Experimental Jetset’s 9 of diamonds, Park’s 6 of spades, McQueen’s King of spades ‘sculpture, Amelia’s Magazine’s 2 of hearts, Amanda Levete Architects 3 of hearts, M/M Pari’s 4 of hearts, Polly Morgan’s 10 of hearts, Gerald Scarfe’s Jack of hearts, Antoni and Alison’s ace of clubs, NB Studio’s 2 of clubs and Lacey’s 5 of clubs. Check out a full set of exhibition photos on my Flickr page here.





Banksy vs. Bristol Museum Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on August 22, 2009

With the hype surrounding the new Banksy vs. Bristol Museum Exhibition since it opened its doors in mid June, it was time to pay Bristol a visit to check it out with UK Street Art. My mouth has been watering since I heard about it and saw that video from the BBC whilst in Tokyo. We queued for about 3 hours and I never thought I’d queue that long for a single exhibition exhibition, but it was 1000% worth it, and I urge you to stick it out in the queue and go see what I’m thinking will be Banksy’s best ever exhibition.


There were three mains rooms in the museum dedicated to the UK’s most notorious and identity hidden street artist containing new and old work, canvases, sculptures, installations, stencils and everything else in-between. Something I’ve never seen of Banksy before was a space dedicated to all the artist’s workings, sketches, old stencils and all the stuff you don’t see, set behind chicken wire and in a realistic workspace of what could be Banksy’s studio. The next main room included the highly anticipated animatronic chicken nuggets, fish fingers and sausages as well as a bunny rabbit putting on make up as a provocative comment to animal testing. We spotted a postcard high up on one of the wall ledges, but couldn’t see what was on it, something which I wish I could. Then in the other main room, an abandoned and tagged ice cream truck took centre stage alongside a riot policeman riding a kids electric rocking horse and modified human sculptures.

As well as the three mains rooms, Banksy had placed his pieces of work amongst the rest of the Bristol Museum’s permanent collection. I don’t think I’ve ever paid so much attention to every piece on display in a museum, but we spotted a bong amongst antique china cups and saucers, a reduced sign on a terracotta army figure and a dildo amongst some other similar looking rocks in the geology section. There was plenty of Banksy amongst the permanent collection.



Hopefully we spotted everything, but probably not, with visitors looking out for the unexpected. Maybe there were things on the floor and ceilings and windows we didn’t see, but the postcard was the only real obvious which we saw, but couldn’t see what was on it. All in all, make sure you go visit if you can, we heard people from as far as Australia have flown to the UK especially for the exhibition, as this is the best street art exhibition I’ve ever been to and well worth the wait outside. I’ll let all the photographs do the talking instead so check them all out on the specially created UK Street Art x Banksy microsite here. Alternatively, you can see them all individually on my Flickr here. Go visit, go visit now!



Picture 1

Zine’s Mate – Tokyo Art Book Fair

Posted in Everything Else by Paul on July 12, 2009


On Wednesday evening I briefly helped to set up the first venue along with a few other W+K people of Zine’s Mate, the first book fair specializing in artist’s publications to be held in Tokyo. The fair consisted of two venuses, GYRE and VACANT, both in the Omotesando area of west central Tokyo. There was massive hype before the start of the fair which finished today and W+K have had involvement with the GYRE building so that’s how I found out about it.

GYRE held commerical and exisiting established publishers including NIEVES and Berlin based Motto, which I actually visited when I was there so a great reminder of their works. The opening night was packed and I mean packed, you could hardly move so it took me a while to get around to see everything. NIEVES created 100+ individual zines which had some great ones amongst them and likewise with Motto. The rest of the stores had some fantastic books and prints on display including one of the new releases by Rocket called ‘Tokyo Edit‘ which I really wish I got now and will do my best to track it down. It was a book studying the sub cultures and creative industries of Tokyo with interviews and in depth research into existing Tokyo designers and creatives.



The second venue of the fair at VACANT opened after GYRE did and we had inside knowledge before we got there, that there was about 200+ people waiting outside and the police had to be called as it was so busy, so we never made it down on the opening night. I did eventually manage to go yesterday afternoon, still very busy. This part of Zine’s Mate was independent and underground publishers and artists and again a fantastic look at Tokyo’s book scene. There was lots of things I wanted to get, but I just ended up getting the three wonderful mini publications shown in the picture below. You can see more about Zine’s Mate on the W+K blog here.




Sony Photography Awards 2009 + Tokyo Copywriters Club Exhibitions

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on June 8, 2009


I went to my first Tokyo exhibitions this weekend, and I’ve got plenty more to attend to, ready and bookmarked whilst I’m over here for the next few months. First up was the Sony World Photography Awards 2009 held at the Sony Building in Ginza which is in south east central Tokyo. A big dark space with the images being projected onto big screens and smaller information screens displayed the information and background stories of the photographs. Of course there was sponsorship of Sony products just outside the exhibitions, but there was some amazing images created, an example of which you can see in the picture above. This is the best link I could find in English about the exhibition.

I then went onto the ADMT (Advertising Museum Tokyo) which was also nearby to Ginza. There are no street names in Tokyo, everything is mapped through a complicated numbering system, so I am getting lost pretty much everywhere I go, so being nearby made a change. I went to see the Tokyo Copywriters Club exhibition which was an unusual exhibition for the museum apparently, with works solely judged to be exhibited based on the words rather than the images. There was a lot of work on show, with plenty of English advertisements along with the Japanese ones. A really well laid out exhibition and I didn’t know who either of them were, but two creatives were advising on visitor’s work that they brought along and hosting a talk.

The ADMT itself was really good, and a great resource of looking back at the history of Japan’s advertising industry. It was a small museum overall and I particularly loved the time-line wall. Everything from the original GameBoy to the first Apple Mac to traditional print advertisements on display. There was a vast array of other prints, both from the western and eastern industries and I wish some of them were able to be bought in the shop.





Cunning Review

Posted in Internships by Paul on February 28, 2009


Yesterday was my last day at Cunning, with a month passing me by very quickly (again). I’ve had a brilliant time with the creative team and the rest of the staff of Cunning and felt like part of the team from day one. I’ve been kept busy throughout the month and have learned lots along the way. I’ve managed to see how briefs work from ideas to refinement to client pitches and their preparation, through to just about the final execution and the planning that goes into it and this will give me some good experience for my future projects and all the small things that I wouldn’t usually consider, when in actual fact they are just as important as everything else.

I worked on a variety of client briefs including helping out with some of the NY office’s projects ranging from events, TV programmes promotions, and for a book launch. We had lots of brainstorms/brain dumps/idea sessions for projects which I found very useful and creative, and I helped in the development of ideas through to visualizing them and designing client pitch boards. I also worked on ideas for the Cunning window display and the ‘Cunning 60 Minutes’ as mentioned in my previous post and these side projects are still in development. There is a Cunning 60 Minute talk organized by myself, with the help of Becca happening next week so I will put up a post about that as well, so watch this space. I also helped with some photographic recces and vox-pops around London for research as part of some project’s development. Altogether, working on a range of different briefs, activities and side projects made this internship a very exciting and stimulating one.

I’ve learned all about being part of a busy and fast paced creative company in Cunning, learning about clients needs and wants more, and the importance of what pitches to clients are all about, right down to their smaller details. I’ll definitely be staying in touch and many thanks to all the team in the ‘basement‘.

P.S. I even had a hand at dealing with angry finance people on the phone, but I have to say, speaking to BT on the phone is much worse.