consumption

Nov 282018
 
Anti-convenience

Let’s just be perfectly clear exactly what is going on. I am crossing town, via two buses, in weather below freezing, for a bunch of kale, a chunk of Parmesan, and a bag of flour. While I’m there I’ll have a slice of pizza. Yes, kale is hard to find in Berlin, and it’s unequivocally the best pizza in town, but really? In the last two weeks I have sampled the state of the art […read the rest]

Jun 022018
 
Technology View mid-2018

In 2018 you can build your own website in 5 minutes, with no technical skills. You can edit video in your phone. You can do rudimentary graphic design with Powerpoint. You can run your own advertising campaigns. A slew of professions are kicked to the curb, along with their middle-class incomes and expertise. I use a professional video editing software on my computer, but I would never claim to be a video “editor”. Because I […read the rest]

Apr 032015
 
The Future should be Durable

Interview with Stefan Schridde, founder of the Murks Center against planned obsolescence. Murks means “botch”, or “bad work”. “Products designed with planned obsolescence don’t meet the needs of the society.” He sees cheap consumer goods as “lonely” and the alternative is a “durable” future.

Feb 222015
 
Zagreus art/dinner

Dinner at Zagreus. Best €36 I’ve ever spent. Every bite was so delightful. Zagreus is an art gallery owned by a chef. Every exhibit inspires a meal, collaboratively co-designed with the artist. This time, the show was by a group of students in product design. The table, napkin, lighting, and servingware for each course were designed by different groups and Chef Ulrich Krauss invented fabulous flavors for each aesthetic experience. The serviceware was so compelling […read the rest]

Nov 152014
 
The Grounds (groundless) Sydney,  review

If Disneyland had a farm (and they probably do}  it would be The Grounds.  It’s farm aesthetic as money machine.  And swarming with spenders sucked in by the latest gimmick,  an urban farm. It’s definitely got a lot of landscaping.  Mostly flowers.  The kale has gone to seed and the vegetable area does not appear to be tended or harvested.  Certainly the planting is not organized to maximise on-site food production. There are farm animals.  […read the rest]

Aug 112014
 
Mehl Stübchen Berlin

The Mehl Stübchen is a flour factory which creates flours for many specific uses. They sell to home bakers, rather than to businesses, providing advice and information to improve the quality of home baking. They also sell very good bread and pastries. They are located in the “Red Island” of Berlin at Leberstraße 28. The owner, Nicole, needed me to bring a translator for the interview, so thank you to Julie August for the assistance. […read the rest]

Aug 072014
 
The Home Project, Berlin

Walking through Kreutzberg/Neukölin I was drawn to another minimalist window display of an unlit store in a residential street. Like most entrepreneurs of shops with obtuse names in quiet streets, the owner wasn’t all that interested in promotion. The Home Project is a project of two designers, Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig. “I’m interested in your project”. “Good.” “So?” She seemed comfortable with monosyllables, just my style, as I fumbled for a pen: “Why?” “Because we […read the rest]