Vitra Were Here First

This was a post I first published in early 2009. A new video has been produced by Vitra, REMIND ME, which made me think I should revive it and share again why I love this brand.

There's a tidal wave of enthusiasm about Todd Selby's (aka The Selby) current style of shooting. Two major corporates Nike and Habitat  have used his wonderful talents in shooting their product in real scenarios. It's Genius, Revolutionary and Refreshing! Or is it? Ok before I go on any further and start to get hate male - I LOVE THE SELBY and I've been following him forever. However, there's a company I want to raise your attention to- Vitra. I have been collecting their look books for years now. Why? Well because they have been BRAVE enough to put their furniture in real homes mixed with other product. Something a lot of other companies wouldn't dare to do. They have always had the confidence in their products to stand-out amongst the mess of everyday homes. They know their investment pieces are the objects we are going to desire and most importantly they know we don't live in a showroom so they feel happier showing us how a timeless Vitra piece would look in a real home. The best part in in all this - this style of presenting design keeps quality control in check. If us the consumers are more interested in the other products in the shoot well then the piece they are trying to sell isn't and probably never will be a classic. Oh if only a few more companies could follow Vitra's mantra. It would mean we would be free from an over-populated design market with unwanted goods

 All photos by Nicole Bachmann for Vitra

Who has been the talent behind the lens? Photographer Nicole Bachmann and stylist Connie Huesser. It's crazy for years Iv'e been trying to get Nicole to shoot for the magazines I have worked for but the Editors use to say the work was too cold and too messy... WOW how wrong they were!!!

Urban Elements - Future Design Solutions

My obsession at the moment is how do we live in our Urban Cities and stay connected to the environment? When you meet people who live off the land it is powerfully clear how they have a connection and awareness about mother nature that us city folk don't. Sometimes I feel like those of us living in mega cities are like animals caged in a zoo unaware of the elements. When we do discuss  the whether it is usually about how inconvenient a snow storm is when we are commuting to and from work or a pair of new suede shoes have been destroyed from a freak flash rain storm. I have to be honest it does scare me sometimes how little we think about how our planet is coping with nearly half of the worlds population living in town and cities.

I soon will be sharing with you some of the solutions I have been researching that will show how future thinking in design can help us all look past our local concrete jungles. 

Dimitri Tyskalov, Wooden Heart -Healthy Design

Dimitri Tyskalov, Wooden Series, Heart   
Russian artist Dimitri Tyskalov's wooden heart is one of the most beautiful objects I have ever seen. I am a passionate ambassador about good design being introduced into our health systems. Research has proven good design in our hospitals, care homes and rehabilitation centers can cut down recovery time to sick patients, reduce anxiety and helps medical staff work more efficiently. You will be able to read more about this in my new book, Rethink, coming out November 2012.

MR PORTER - "The Way I Pack"

Great little video by Mr Porter for the man who has to travel for work

A-Joint by Henry Wilson

Styling Amanda Talbot | Food Oliver Heath | Photo Tony Amos
From a shoot I did recently with talented photographer Tony Amos.  The shoot was inspired by the description of Wuthering Heights. I had the chance to use A-Joint shelving unit by young Australian designer Henry Wilson. He was very kind to come to the location house set up the unit and pull it back down at the end of the day. I wander if Starck, Wanders, Dixon were as eager when they started out?

Imogen Heath Textiles

photos by Imogen Heath
Have I told you I have a very talented sister-in-law? Well I do. Her name is Imogen Heath and she is smashing it up in the UK with her textile designs. Within Imogen's first year of launching her designs are now in the London Design Museum and much loved homeware store Heals. You can check out her designs on her website. Imogen has a need-to-know blog I recommend in following.

Pear Makeover by Chef Oliver Heath

Food: Oliver Heath | Styling Amanda Talbot | Photography: Paul McMahon
I'm not a huge fan of winter fruits. When the dark clouds roll in and the chilly, crisp air arrives each year I know its time to say goodbye to juicy cherries, sumptuous berries, delicious peaches and refreshing watermelon. Apples, pears and oranges the typical winter fruit makes me yawn and sway toward chocolate. My chef husband Oliver Heath wanted to prove to me the humble, affordable pear was anything but boring and bland. He whipped up for me 'pear soup and blue cheese on walnut bread' for only $2.96 per person. OMG! it was one of the most delicious lunches I have had for ages.

I am big believer food eating should be a complete experience. It doesn't just stop with the ingredients. I would love to see more restaurants, cafes and pubs commission local makers to create tableware, furniture and sell iconic and regional foods alongside classic and regional tableware.

You can find Oliver's recipe on his blog Weekly Meals