Friday, 29 January 2010


Particularly pleased to annonce a new pop-up tearoom at Wiltons Music Hall. Sample lemon drizzle cake and forkfuls of Sachertorte whilst languishing within the splendor of Wilton's faded Victorian glory.

The first tea and fancies will be served on 28th February.
At tea-time.

(To book:

Unhappy Hipsters

She had this uncanny way of making him feel so, so small.

Trapped by the tawny palette, he struggled through yet another brown knit scarf.

It became their routine. And so the evenings stretched out before him: still, gray, and gravel-strewn.

Is this what it means to live in a designed world? RIBA London is howling with laughter this morning.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


Who would you invite to a supper outdoors?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

EVENT: Ignite London

Ignite London invites a set of speakers to share their expertise. A play on the format of a Pecha Kucha, each speaker is given five minutes in which to show 20 slides and share their knowledge.

(Suitable for all attention spans).

7pm, 2 March The Luminaire, Kilburn High Road, NW6

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Glitter and elephant dung. Chris Ofili's exhibition, including new work (with less glitter and elephant dung) inspired by living in Trinidad is now open at Tate Britain.

London Undercover

My Aunt went back to design school a few years ago intending to redesign the ironing board. I asked if she would redesign the umbrella. As London falls this week back into a cold spell*, find yourself cover. And listen to Magnetic Fields' All the umbrellas of London.
*BBC weather. Please change your descriptions to anything but a Wednesday Sleet shower.


The ICA is in trouble. Sixty years after it began its remit as a radical laboratory for contemporary arts, the Institute is steeped in cuts, redundancies and restructuring, resulting in possible closure by May. Artistic Director Ekow Eshun told the Guardian that the financial predicament has culminated after "a perfect storm of events that all came together". Namely the blurry waters of the recession. A fundraising gala that didn't raise as much as they had hoped. A significant drop in private corporate bookings for the venue's spaces and elegant stairwells.

Why is the Institute at sea? Where are the reserves? Are we revealing that London arts institutions have flimsy economic models and rickety revenue streams? Programmes that are responsive and provocative are at risk so let's examine..Would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Lemn Sissay

Lemn's response to climate change is being shown as part of the Royal Academy's Contemporary Earth: Art of a changing world exhibition.
Take a moment or three to watch.

100 Club

One Hundred Oxford Street.
Ronnie Wood's surprise visit on stage.
This is Spinal Tap.
Katy: "Who is Ronnie Wood?".

A Single Man

John Lautner's house in Tom Ford's A Single Man.
A borrowed BAFTA preview DVD. For your consideration.
(link via )

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A day without discipline

Distraction will inevitably lead to following Alain de Botton on twitter:

All designed objects are propaganda for a certain way of life.
4:35 AM Jan 18th from web
On architecture: even if we lived in Venice or a Louis Kahn house, we would still often be in a bad mood.
8:41 AM Jan 10th from mobile web
A new religion, centered on the fig, the lemon and the papaya.
8:58 AM Jan 10th from mobile web
(Well aware that I am blogging about twittering. Dear me!)

Monday, 18 January 2010

EVENT: Mr Rosenblum's List or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

"Be among the first to discover brilliant debut novelist Natasha Solomons (a few weeks before her novel hits the bookstores) and hear the heart-warming story of a man desperate to be accepted by English society and… their golf clubs in post-war Britain".

Jewish Book Week, Tuesday 2 March, 5.30pm
(other launch events to be announced shortly. Bunting and baumtorte- I am so excited for Tash).

Book Club

Launched last September, Shoreditch's book club cafe sums up the cultural landscape.
Art. Brunch. Film. Lunch. Beer. Poetry. Wine. Talks. Readings. Workshops. Dancing. Storytelling. Pool. Newspapers.
And wine is served in carafes.

Repeat 1

Sibling shorthand. ‘DC’ was code for going to get a diet coke can from the utility room. Repeat 1 was code for my brother’s (continuous) play of one particular song. One-hit wonders in Mill Hill.

Repeat 1 for a Monday: Vampire Weekend’s Taxi Cab.

My favourite design related word is...

An alternative to conventional name tags at conventions. At "Creative morning" sessions, Swiss Miss design studio hand out Conversation starter tags and ask delegates to scribble on the dotted line.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 play was adapted by Alfred Hitchcock and filmed in one single shot to create the macabre Nietzschian drama. The revival at the Almeida makes for an unsettling evening: two young men's sinister act, martinis served over a chest and an incriminating blue ticket to the Coliseum pinned to a suit jacket.
*A member of SUDS alumni, Bertie Carvel's performance is mesmerising. The reviews are unequivocally full to the brim of praise. And rightly so.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Forgotton Spaces

RIBA London has launched Forgotten Spaces. An ideas design competition for areas of unused land in London.

So what is a forgotten space? "Small or large – a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict bilding or underpass or flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, commercial or public, a piece of public art or a new building, the only requirement is that it answers a need in the area and serves a function for the local community".

The chosen proposals will be part of an exhibition at The National Theatre in May.

A short tale

A developer submits two proposals to their local authority for a 144-unit residential block. One classical, one modern. The council green lights both(!) and is now asking the developer to choose which one to build. Your reaction to this will tell you if you're drawn to pediments and plinths of the neo-classic or the minimal, blank facade of the modern. What does 'in keeping' actually mean?
The Story at Building Design.

Flat 14

Over the New Year break, friends visited my flat for peach Bellinis. And with that came several responses to the space, namely it needs "something". It feels transitory. In a good way. Paint the floorboards white. And the walls. You need a chair. So we can sit down.
I need to get practical. But can't help ponder over hanging up a disco ball.
(inspiration via 2 or 3 things).

London Festival of Architecture Update

Click the image for legibility!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

"The mean reds"

The Donmar stage has become an artist's studio. Rothko's 1950s studio. Easels and taught canvases. Inky paint splattered on floorboards and brushes flecked with Rothko's red rage. Applying a base coat of maroon, the audience is faced with an artist who despised 'mantlepiece' art, artificial light and the "next generation" canvases displaying Campbells soup.

Red by John Logan, Donmar Warehouse until 6 February

Monday, 4 January 2010

Back in the Basement

Me: Did your family like their Christmas presents?
Mike: I gave my mum a Best of Bette CD. She also told my sister, brother and Dad that she wanted a copy. She now has four copies of 'Did you ever know that you're my hero'.

Happy new decade everyone. In case you missed my Brixton Market piece, jump one and read below.