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Friday, January 30, 2009

john britten

I came across this documentary about John Britten, a modern day NZ legend, who had a unnatural talent for design, and management, that any ID student could learn a lot from. (One of his heroes was another NZ'er Burt Monro, who of course had a movie recently made about him, but, it seems like Britten far surpasses him in every way.)
Britten - Backyard Visionary
the doco, made in 1993 features a wealth of patterned woolen jumpers. It opens with details about his past creations, including a barn conversion made from reclaimed and recycled materials, (which only serves to remind both how forward thinking he was, and how self-congradulatory we can be, with architects still acting like material reuse is a radical step forward towards total enironmental sustainability.)
and details the process of building his second bike, from start- a real life wireframe model built by hand in his garage with a hot glue gun,
to finish - with a stressed engine frame-less chassis, and fork wheels and fairing/body laid up from single strands of carbon fibre.
As a primer on hard work and work flow techniques, it's actually quite educational, and the way he manages to involve such a qualified team of volunteers, and keep the project on track, is admirable, and why i think he's a much more inspiring 'backyard inventor' then Burt Munro.

if you don't have time for the 40+ minute documentary, there's a different short 7 minute film on youtube, that covers some of the same area.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Island photo's from the 1950's on flickr.

photos taken by Harry M Hyndman between 1957 and 1960, while living on Thursday Island, and travelling in the Torres Strait.

i'm feeling a connection, in the solid heat that melbourne is experiencing at the moment, 3 or 4 days over 40 degrees, reaching 45 at one point, lead to beach dreams. island getaway, crayfish hunts and pearling luggers.

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Friday, January 09, 2009


Antti Valta is one of the awesome creative people i lived with in Utrecht a couple of years ago, He seemed to get a lot more work done then i ever did, very good at knuckling down. i think it might be the glasses...
He's just launched his website and i thought i'd show you some of his work.Cover and spreads from a brochure promoting Erasmus exchange program for students.University of Helsinki, International Student Mobility Services 2008

The king of Sweden and the president of Finland having a birthday party. Illustration for an article 'Finland 90 Years'.ARVO-Magazine 9/2007

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

some plans

some things i want/should do this year, not so much resolutions as guidelines

move out of home- essential, and in the process of finding a place

get studio space- i need some room to work on ideas i have. i am being considered, for a place in kensington, if i don't get it, i will find another,

build more bikes, ride track- i rode on the track on sunday. it was one of the scariest things i've done on a bike. going round on a 45 degree sloped path is unnatural, but i could see how it would also be fun. it gets easier the faster you go. at one stage i sped up, and i could feel the centrifugal force sticking me to the ground,

make more custom stuff for bikes and motorbikes- i think that this is something i would like to do, design and make small boutique runs of specialty products that are sold through the internet

record more sounds- because it's really cool what happens when you record ambient sounds and then listen back to them

make linocuts and etchings again- i enjoyed doing this years ago, i'd like to give it a shot again

get a good digital camera- i'm jealous of all the crystal clear photo's i keep seeing. digital photo's taken with a good SLR look like magic.

travel, plan to get to europe.- so extermely dependent on my finances, but definitely high on my list of things i'd like to do

enter design competitions in australia- i've got to keep my hand in, so to speak.

get out more. spend less time spectating/internetting, more time creating- i am so guilty of this. i think i spend as much time thinking of doing things, as actually doing them, and it's not very productive.

read books again- I used to be a voracious reader, but when i started uni, that gradually stopped. I think my thought processes have changed since then, and i think i might be advantaged by reading more.