F11 LASSIE from FREITAG lab. ag on Vimeo.

I was really struck by Kevin McClouds programme where he embarked on a project with three designers to upcycle an Airbus A320, and thought the pieces were wonderful, especially the seat and settee made by Paul Firbank, the well-known Rag and Bone Man. I remembered I was really influenced by The Eco Designer’s Handbook¬†which I thought was full of intelligent thinking and hope.

Freitag make really good bags from the canvas on haulage trucks, there’s a really good site here where you can buy some of these items, not so cheap, but each one unique and handmade. Enjoy the video above.


Blue Eyed Hexe


Always nice to run into an old friend, especially when they're in rude health as Pixies are. I think I quite like these new tracks which you can download as ep1 and ep2 from Pixiesmusic.com. Black Francis is doing some proper screaming here and the video is a tad horrible, bit horrow show as you would have it. I love the animation, savage cutout work and quite grisly. There's enough darkness in the music to make their return worthwhile.

So, it is a shame Kim Deal isn't in the band anymore. The Breeders have just come to the end of a very long tour for the twentieth anniversary of Last Splash LSXX, it just looks like they had a ball. Really enjoying Kim Deal's Singles Project, this year is already giving up rewards. 


Welcome 2014

It use to be that this blog was more about design and illustration, with a side helping of bikes…and now.

Here's Paul Steely self proclaimed urban humanist talking about his love of cycling whilst donning a lovely Giro Reverb Helmet that I think I'll be treating myself to for 2014.

We spent a lovely Christmas as a little family and looking forward to waking up tomorrow and taking on the challenges of a new year. I have a few resolutions and I'll share some below.

1. Cycle 1000 miles+ (this year I covered 840 miles, 34 rides recorded on strava – about once every 10 days).
2. See a friend or family member each month for a drink
3. Write a script
4. Read more (for myself and to my boys)
5. A few more nights out for Mrs Dots and myself.
6. Do my job differently
7. Run 5k (we've both entered the Monster Race, so we have to train hard)
8. Clear the attic by Easter
9. Get smart at maths so I can help my son with his homework
10. Build a platform in the tree (not quite a treehouse)

There are many more besides, I don't think I'm very creative any more, I imagine that's a common feeling that those of us who work with creative people in a sort of producer role (in fact I think that sounds a bit grand for what I do). I don't even feel that I write very well these days. Don't worry – I'm not down on myself – I think it's all there, but a bit rusty and only by forcing myself to start making things and enjoying language through reading and watching film as I used to; will I find the inspiration and opportunity to be creative in my own right. I do know people who believe the word "creative" to be a bit indulgent, but I don't think it is if you use it as a verb and not as a noun as in "I'm a creative". I think there might be worse things to call youself…possibly. 

So, I need to make sure this isn't empty thinking, I need to get on my bike. 


How a bicycle is made


Sweet film about how Raleigh made bikes. I'm feeling the cycling world at the moment, despite being a bit poorly (and hence time to write here) I've been watching the good times at the Velodrome, especially impressed with the Women's Team Pursuit, what a gutsy trio, made it look effortless. Also have to mention Bradley Wiggins, and I know Olympics fever is high, but I couldn't have dreamt as a child that a British cyclist would win the Tour. He was amazing, Sky looked ever Postal and dominant, I know Froome was good, but he wasn't quite there in the time trial, and Bradley didn't have the same edge in the mountains, so that's when you know it's a team sport and it takes a whole heap of guys to win the race. 

It all leaves me inspired and wanting to get on the bike…and I think I might have found something.

Spin that girl around


Euros Childs has a new song called "Spin that girl around", and it's great. I really love the music that he's been quietly making since Gorkys came to an end. You can download the music for free from his National Elf website. I'm hoping to catch him on tour, in some gigs he's got a full band and at others it's just him with a piano. I don't mind either way, it's all good. 

I know I don't post much these days, it's usually a major event, but here's Euros to celebrate my new post as Head of Media and Perfoming Arts. I'm very much looking forward to it all, it's going to be great.