Thursday, February 24, 2011

something old, something new & everything blue

Did you know that blue is the most favoured colour in the world?

It is a colour that is with us where ever we are - just look upwards and even if you can't see it today, you know that it is there behind the clouds.  You can go swimming or diving in it, sailing on it or just watch the tide come in.  In the right shades it has a calming, soothing and relaxing nature.  How could you not love blue when it is such a part of our everyday life? 

a few years ago in the waters of Fiji © decoro creativity 2011

a past creation designed and made © decoro creativity 2011

a creation made this week © decoro creativity 2011
another creation this week © decoro creativity 2011

What something blue did you enjoy today...

Friday, February 18, 2011

inspiration: harry seidler

They are many places to find inspiration. What to do with that inspiration can sometimes come quickly, other times there can be many steps of development to not only come up with a design, but where and what it can be applied to.

Having in mind that Seidler like to connected the indoors with views to the outdoors, as was the case at Rose Seidler House which has large floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the bush, the product subject to the design became curtains.

He like to incorporate art to his buildings, so the aim was that the curtains could be seen in some small way be seen as a piece of art.

His commercial work were many high-rise buildings, I wanted to portray this grandeur of tallness.

I'm particularly fond of Australia Square in Sydney, and have lovely memories of taking my parents to the revolving restaurant at the top, which of course has some wonder views.  I also am partial to patterns, so the  lines from the window frames and waffle slab ceiling leapt out at me.

Harry Seidler & Pier Luigi Nervi, Australia Sq...Image by roryrory via Flickr

Turning these lines 180° created the pattern for the curtains.  The heading was kept simple and helped to emphasis the lines to create the tallness.

© decoro creativity 2011

Taking it several steps further can lead to a design that can be difficult to recognised from the original inspiration.  The curtains kept to the straightness of the lines, in this design those lines became more fluid and playing with colour creates new patterns within the design. 

© decoro creativity 2011
Don't you find it amazing that the same inspiration can result in drastically different results?

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

incredible journeys: harry seidler (part 2)

The start of the journey click here

His designs were always forward looking. He thought that trying to preserve historical buildings on the facades, with modernism behind did not do justice to either element.

He won his first of five Sulman Medals (for outstanding architectural achievement) for this house. Soon he had many requests to design more houses, leading him to stay and add significantly to the Australian architecture landscape over a 50 year period.

The biggest impact he had was on the Sydney skyline – Blues Point Tower, Australia Square, MLC Centre, Grosvenor Place, Capita Centre, The Horizon, The Cove, Meriton Tower.

Australia Square, Sydney, designed by Harry Se...Australia Square, Sydney Image via Wikipedia

He broke new ground with Australia Square at 170m, completed in 1967. With new techniques, each of the 50 stories took just 5 days to put up: no scaffolding, light weight concrete. New design principles included:
  • The tower taking up just 25% of the site area, with the remaining public social outdoor areas
  • Large open foyer
  • Integrated art work
  • Circular building shape

Walking around the centre of Sydney the first 3 principles can be recognised in many of his buildings.

From researching Seidler's work this lead to inspiration, which will be the subject of another post later this week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

you don't need roses

© decoro creativity 2011

Let today remind you of the love - not just of the people around you, or that special person in you life but also of the world you live in.

© decoro creativity 2011

We could not live without them both - maybe that is why food and love go together so well?

© decoro creativity 2011

Of course a bit of candle light always helps create a romantic setting.

© decoro creativity 2011

and remember, you don't have to wait 365 days until you again do something wild and extravagant, or a small gesture in the name of love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

incredible journeys: harry seidler (part 1)

Next month marks 5 years since the passing of the great architect Harry Seidler.  Today we look back at his incredible journey that brought him to Australia.
Rose Seidler House, Wahroonga, NSW Australia
Born in Austria, as a young boy building work caught his imagination. During the Second World War he was sent to England where he studied building and construction. He attended Harvard and another place in America, where he studied under and was greatly influenced by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, former Bauhaus teachers Marcel Breuer and Josef Albers. The space in America was also a key influence in his designs.

His parent emigrated to Sydney, but he was reluctant to join them. When his mother, Rose, asked the 24 year old Harry to design and build their home, it was an offer he could not refuse.

He brought the Bauhaus philosophy fully for the first time to an Australian residence. The Rose Seidler House (1948-1950 in Wahroonga) was a design not seen before, challenging many conventions and had several firsts. His input was in all areas, they were part of his design! The furniture (including pieces by Charles Eames), furnishing, artwork, he decided what they would be and where they would be placed. Most items were also new to Australia, either they were imported with him or custom made locally.

Grasshopper chair in main bedroom,  Rose Seidler House

Seidler said he had no particular style over his career, rather the design evolved to embrace the elements of:
  1. Social Use
  2. Technology
  3. Aesthetic Expression
All of his 3 elements can be seen in the Rose Seidler House: Breuer influenced flexible open plan living areas (the scene of many social gatherings); modern labour saving devices (especially in the kitchen); connected the indoors with views to the outdoors; artwork (all Josef Albers) as an integral part, including his focal mural using the bold colours seen throughout the house.

Rose Seidler House has been maintained as Harry envisioned it by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, open to the public at 71 Clissold Road Wahoroonga On Sundays (10am to 5pm)
Harry Seidler's incredible journey continues in part 2

Monday, February 7, 2011

colourful monday

No Monday blues here - today I start a more in-depth journey into colour.

From all around the world, from the start to the end of the day, above or below water, there are plenty of cheerful reds and oranges to be seen.

my front garden © decoro creativity 2011
dust storm descends, my back garden © decoro creativity 2011

brain coral, fiji © decoro creativity 2011

notting hill carnival © decoro creativity 2011

new year fireworks, sydney © decoro creativity 2011

sunset, tobago © decoro creativity 2011
what colour has caught your eye today?

Friday, February 4, 2011

when to stop?

Last night there was some time without distractions. That is the benefit of being in someone elses house and babysitting a beautiful girl that quickly and easily goes to sleep at bedtime.

A recent addition to my collection is the rather lovely book by Orla Kiely called Pattern - I have yet to read many of the words, as there are plenty of pictures of her patterns that are a feast to the eye for a gal that loves colour and surface design.

Orla Kiely Pattern: Conran Octopus Ltd

I still did not succeed in reading many of her words: instead the cover gave me inspiration to do a little drawing.  The repetitions of the flower shape and its' roundness gave me a starting point.

Orla Kiely Pattern: Conran Octopus Ltd

I added my detailing to the petals and played around with ways to fill the areas with shapes and different pen strokes.  The flower was a bit lost floating in the middle of the page, so the stem grew down into a skirt of a long flowing gown (whilst also considering proportions).  It still did not feel complete, and the squiggles and stars I feel helps the composition, drawing the eye back round and up to the flower.

© decoro creativity 2011

Should I leave it there, should I add more? It can be hard knowing what to add, but harder to know when to stop.

You tell me, did I stop at the right point?    

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

a week of new things and extremes

© decoro creativity 2011
Shiny new shoes have been worn this week as schools return after the summer holidays.

© decoro creativity 2011
When the sun comes out, hats and suncream go on.

© decoro creativity 2011

and when the temperature is getting up to 40°C, then the pool is a must.

The heat is continuing until Sunday and might just break some local records. 

In the last few months many places around Australia and the World have been bearing the extremes that mother nature can bring. The heat maybe uncomfortable, but preferable to the vast flooding in Queensland (which will take many months, if not years to recover from) or the major snow storms continuing to hit large areas of the US. 

Tonight Queensland is bracing itself for category 5 Cyclone Yasi.

Stay safe, and spare a thought for those whose homes are not providing the security and reassurances that we normally take for granted.