Kelvin Lim, Prix Emile Hermès finalist!

Marc Domage © Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, 2014

(from the press release)

Kelvin Lim, is one of the 12 finalists for the third edition of the Prix Emile Hermès international design award, on the theme “Time to yourself”.

Window Seat explores the limits of private space. Lim’s armchair creates a private window space, made from tubular steel and concealed behind a curtain of elastic cords.

‘Today, we no longer need to retreat behind thick walls or into some distant forest to make time for ourselves. My design offers a moment’s isolation, with a play on the blurring of indoor and outdoor space.’ – A vision of ‘Time to yourself’, according to Kelvin Lim.

Kelvin’s project was one of 12 shortlisted from 700 entries by designers in 54 countries, by a jury of design professionals chaired by Italian designer and architect Michele de Lucchi.

The winning entries will be announced on 23 May 2014. The exhibition will continue online at for several months.

Willow, Sofia, Eva by Afzal Imram

We picked Afzal Imran from a line-up of NUS Industrial Design graduates. His furniture collection is made up of a chair, Willow, a cabinet, Sofia, and a light, Eva.

“My collection is a result of an investigation into connections in furniture and inspired by various elements of fashion. It aims to illustrate the notion of instinctive and familiar experiences of interaction with furniture, whilst evoking a certain sense of sensuality and tension, through the interaction between the fabric and the structure.”

Though trained as an Industrial Designer, Imran finds it hard to categorise himself as such. “My interests go beyond Industrial Design. As a designer, I am interested in the experiences fostered through design, be it the design of an object, a service, an interface or even a brand.”

For more explorative design projects, head down to The Plaza at the National Library Building between 23 and 25 May for the NUS DID Grad Show 2014.

Rise of the Risograph by Knuckles & Notch

Knuckles & Notch is a Design practice set up by three creatives, Djohan Hanapi, Marilyn Yunjin and Muhammad Izdi. Established earlier this year, the studio is positioned as an advocate of the arts in encouraging the exploration and development of the Risograph practice in a fine art context by providing a common platform for artists and designers to share and publish their works. We catch up with the Riso-loving trio and this is their story …

How did Knuckles & Notch come about?

It all began with a spark of an obsession. When Djohan discovered Risograph (Riso) at an NYC art book fair, the three of us were amazed by how vibrant the colours are compared to a product from a traditional ink jet machine. As soon as we realized how unique the outcome was, we were hooked.

Risograph is quite a new printing method in Singapore and there lies the value of it. We wanted to share how unique, inspiring and cost efficient Riso can be to our fellow local artists and designers and the best way to do so was by setting up a press and buying the machine. We sought out other presses in London, learned how they work with their Risograph machines and gathered samples. It took us two years to research and accumulate the capital to form our company. It was wild, stressful but simply exhilarating.

What’s the story behind the name ‘Knuckles and Notch’?

What we want to achieve is a great consistent quality of Risograph prints … always a “Notch” above the rest. “Knuckles” is a fun gesture when two people (us and our collaborators) agree with each other – like a high-five.

Why set up a Risograph press now?

Risograph machines have been around for years (mostly used by schools, churches and mosques) so we were surprised that the Risograph culture did not take off in the art and design industry. Risograph is very popular in the UK and the States so much so that it has become a normality for the art and design students, which is why we want students, art practitioners and designers to learn more about the beauty of Risograph.

How is a Risograph printer different from other printers?

Risograph produces a very rustic DIY look that other printers can’t replicate. The colours, texture and appearance can vary depending on the paper it’s printed on. Even the printing imperfections of the machine give a certain appeal. The inks are less expensive and easier to use than toner. The machine doesn’t require the high heats of photocopiers, meaning it uses less electricity. And finally, it requires less maintenance. It’s very simple and fast to change from one spot of colour to another. In other words, it is a revolutionary printing system for the modern age when people look for products and work with more uniqueness and ease of use. Can Riso replace other kinds of printers especially offset? We don’t think so. What we’re doing here is to introduce a different arsenal to the palette of printing techniques.

Who are your clients?

Most of our projects are with local artists and designers and we are working on predominantly art prints, posters and zines. We wouldn’t really call them our clients as we see each work as a collaboration.

Can’t wait to see more riso-printed work.

Jansen Tan’s desirable Coastliner

Images Coastliner in the wild (Ryan Davis, Yaer Productions)

Today we herald the arrival of the Coastliner, a beautifully crafted bicycle for the fashion-conscious urbanite designed by former national “BikeTrial” athlete and industrial designer Jansen Tan. The meticulously engineered bicycle has the power to help you brave the urban environment with peace of mind, and it will transform you into the most stylish biker as you whizz around the dot.

“Designed to be clean and uncluttered, the Coastliner is the first bicycle with all the unsightly brake lines hidden inside a 100% seamless aluminium frame with no visible welds. This is made possible with the patented “Stealth Internal Cable Routing”, an innovation by Jansen.

Made for the busy urbanite, the Coastliner has no user serviceable parts. With a carbon belt driven system made of stretch-free carbon fibre tensile cords, the system is completely rust proof with no need for extraneous lubrication. The advanced urethane technology allows the belt to be weather resistant, flexible and durable.

Urban and leisure cyclists seek comfort and ease of maintenance. The Coastliner is fitted with comfortable soft touch foam grips and microfibre saddles that work well with our humid weather. With its seamless aluminium frame, hidden brake cables and the carbon belt driven system, the bicycle can be cleaned easily, and virtually maintenance-free.”

The Coastliner comes in Matte White, Satin Chrome, Grey and Pearl White. For more info, visit Coast Cycles.

Jamie Yeo’s Ascend Cane Tip

Jamie Yeo is just about to graduate from Industrial Design at the NUS School of Design & Environment, and she designed a system for the elderly to understand quantitatively about their walking.

“For the elderly, having to use the walking stick feels like it will lead to a deterioration of health. But that is not the case! A walking stick is meant to help increase their physical capacity. ascend is an adaptive cane tip that senses the walking information of the elderly and gives feedback in a form of an app for the elderly to show them the positive effects of using a walking stick. This data can then be shared with the physiotherapist and they can also use it to aid them to understand more of the patient’s progress and recovery.”

About Jamie: “I am often intrigued by narratives and meanings found in our relationship with objects and the environment. Through research and observations, I often gather insights that inform and build upon this constant discovery. By translating these discoveries into design, I hope to bring about delightful realisations, surprise and wonders in relationships between people, things and our environment.”

Find out more about Jamie’s design at the NUS DID Grad Show which runs from 23 through 25 May at The Plaza – National Library Building.

Project Plug: Sin City by Kult

Walk on the dark side with the new ’Sin City’ series of tote bags and t-shirts by Kult. With a local, playful take on cult film classics, each piece is a mash-up of familiar local street names such as Last Tango in Pasir Ris, The Desker Chainsaw Massacre, Big Trouble in Little India, Geylang Vice Squad, Balestier Galactica and Buona Vista Social Club.

The tote bags are available in editions of 15 and t-shirts in editions of 20. They can be purchased at the new Kult online store or from the gallery on Mount Emily.

Spotted! Rianne Wynn

Rianne Wynn loves working with vibrant organic forms, and the complex yet simple designs of nature are a source of endless inspiration. “Combined with the narrative and metaphorical meaning we can draw from the myriad of life in the world, nature-inspired design touches both my heart and senses. Also, I enjoy getting hands-on and exploring new ideas, and often find myself blurring the lines between art, craft, and design.”

About her Lotus tableware set: “It is a dining set is made up of a cup, bowl, and plate. Inspired by the rich meaning as well as the form of the lotus flower, Lotus tableware hopes to enrich our dining experience, encouraging it to be an oasis in the midst our hectic urban lives. Its elegant yet dynamic design, hand-crafted in wood, reminds us of the lotus’ graceful strength as it blossoms out of the murkiest waters.”

Rianne is a graduating product designer from the NTU, school of Art, Design & Media.

The Hare & the Flying Tortoise by Gnome & Bow

“What if bags could be more? What if bags could tell stories?” The idea spawned and I became engrossed with challenge of seamlessly telling a story not through writing, but through a bag, a marvel that’s certainly the first of its kind.” – Quanda Ong.

Over the week-end I was cruising crowdfunding platform Pozible when I came across Gnome & Bow. There’s lots of things I like about the brand after spending some time on their project page. I like the designs, I like the colourways, I like the quirky details. But most of all I like the ‘storybook’ idea.

Founded by Quanda Ong, swapping a career in banking for design, he describes “we relish the challenge of seamlessly telling a story not through writing, but through our bags, a marvel that’s certainly the first of its kind.  As you use our bags, you’ll discover subtle details that reveal a story you’ll find familiar but also with something different you’ve yet to encounter. At the same time, these very details make our bags beautiful to look at and fascinating to use.”

Inspired by the tale of The Hare & the Flying Tortoise, Gnome & Bow just released their debut collection consisting of a folio, a briefcase, a duffel, a backpack, a cardholder, a card sleeve, a billfold wallet and a bracelet. The bags are made of a 12oz cotton canvas in Camouflage, Navy and Camel and matched with a Mahogany leather. Wallets are made of Oxblood leather and the bracelets are made of a chestnut leather. Nice!

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