Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

New York Times: Op-Ed at 40

September 29, 2010

null

On Sept. 21, 1970, readers who turned to the last inside page of The Times’s main section found something new. The obituaries that normally appeared in that space had been moved, replaced by something called Op-Ed. The vision of John Oakes, the editorial page editor, and Harrison Salisbury, the eminent foreign correspondent, Op-Ed was meant to open the paper to outside voices. It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper, people from all walks of life whose views and perspectives would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page across the way. (Hence, Op-Ed – Opposite Editorial.)

And so here we are. Four decades and nearly 15,000 pages later. This special anniversary section features artwork and adapted excerpts from a tiny fraction of the writing that has appeared on the Op-Ed page over the years, as well as selections from commentary published exclusively online.

An excellent and detailed look at the world of Op-Ed, from the extensive experience of the fine people at the NY Times. Includes a full 10-minute video presentation of guest artworks over the past four decades too. Take a look here.

James

Advertisements

Murakami Versailles

September 13, 2010

null

“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.
Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

Takashi Murakami

From 14th September – 12th December 2010.

James

PSFK: The Future of Retail

August 15, 2010

null

For many in the world of forward-thinking lifestyle and culture, PSFK is the last word in trend-led design and innovation. Established in 2004 by London-born Piers Fawkes, the company began as a blog detailing emerging ideas from around the world.

Soon, Piers had his first collaborator in Simon King (the name ‘PSFK’ is an amalgamation of their initials). Within 6 years, PSFK has grown from a simple blog to an international company that documents fresh design ideas and holds seminars and conferences for creatives all over the world.

On 30 June PSFK journeyed to London to hold a seminar entitled The Future of Retail; Piers delivered a presentation alongside Jeff Weiner, head of Business Development, detailing the way in which the retail sector will embrace new technologies and ways of selling to the newly ‘enlightened’, post-recession consumer.

Here, we look at the key trends outlined by the team at PSFK and how they are expected to enable retailers to boost sales.

World as Retail Experience
Given the ubiquity of mobile technology and smartphone devices, consumers are more empowered than ever to transform even the simplest of experiences into an opportunity to buy. Increasingly sophisticated mobile apps such as Stripey Lines or Amazon allow users to photograph barcodes, identify a product and engage in price comparisons amongst online retailers. Square, a new accessory and app for the iPhone and iPad, enables mobile credit card payments to be taken via a small attachment that plugs into the device’s headphone jack. After swiping, the signature is entered on the touchscreen with a fingertip and the receipt is emailed.

Pre-View Shopping
City centres can be very crowded and stressful places to shop, particularly at weekends and traditionally busier times such as Christmas. Developments in GPS and wireless internet can provide users with indoor maps of malls, pointing them in the direction of the stores they wish to visit, whereas apps like NearbyNow can furnish the discerning consumer with a complete list of targeted gift ideas that can all be found within one location. Google’s Places feature provides a Streetview-esque experience for its users but in a shop floor context, allowing customers to ‘visit’ the store without visiting in person. Pre-View Shopping concepts cut down on time spent getting from one place to the next, enabling more direct and focused retail experiences for the consumer.

Tablet Enabled Service
Apple’s iPad has taken the concept of tablet computing well and truly into the mainstream, where dozens of others have failed over the years. The sheer volume of uptake of these devices, as well as other touchscreen equipment, allows the use of rich and engaging assistance and visual presentations instore – Miele’s store in Vianen, Holland does just that. On entry, the customer is handed an iPod Touch in return for some basic information, which they can use to navigate the store. The MiBar in Johannesburg, South Africa features touchscreens in the tables which can be used to communicate with staff and other customers, as well as access the menu and order drinks.

Selling the Ideal
Brands have long been in the business of attaching desirable, if intangible, lifestyle connotations to their products. However, most consumers are now able to see past this technique while shopping to some degree, choosing to focus on how this product is going to fit into their lives. Forward-thinking companies are finding ways to utilise this method of shopping to increase sales; by using digital technology and high-quality consultation the brand can help a consumer properly visualise these scenarios, leading to a higher probability of purchase. One example of this is Trunk Club, a clothing website based in Chicago that circumvents many men’s lack of interest with shopping by offering a personal shopper-based system that sends clothes to customers’ homes based on fit, taste and style requirements set out in an initial consultation. If the customer likes the clothes they buy, if not they send them back,all free of charge.

Every Store as Flagship
Flagship stores are a brand’s ‘crown jewels’; the complete aesthetic embodiment of a label’s ethos. However, limiting oneself to just one of these stores per market can be a little counter-intuitive; what about those customers who can’t make it to London, New York or Tokyo? With this initiative, brands are re-imagining the concept of visual merchandising in a way that makes each store visit a rich and involved event rather than just a conventional shopping experience. Mellow Johnny’s, a bike shop owned by Lance Armstrong in Austin, Texas, not only sells and services bikes but provides a coffee shop, showers and bike storage to encourage commuting; ultimately, the store’s aim is to get more people out of their cars and onto bikes. Apple is another brand worthy of mention; amongst open-plan, minimal surroundings they exhibit iPods, iPhones, Macbooks and iPads, all available for people to use and with well-trained staff on hand to assist.

Complementary Curation
While developing brand loyalty is always an important facet of any marketing strategy, the idea that a consumer only wants to buy from one brand is naive. Retailers can overcome this problem by introducing other, complementary brands into their space, offering consumers a choice of other brands that fulfil other needs, keeping them in-store for as long as possible. J Crew’s concept Liquor Store in New York does just that; by stocking brands such as Converse, Barbour and Ray Ban alongside their own products, they get toboost their own brand value simply by association, making the store into a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a certain look.

Revolving Decors
Keeping a look fresh is important for many brands. Some, like Anthropologie or All Saints, have a clearly defined way of presenting their wares instore and so will invest heavily in creating a look that they can maintain for a longer period. Other brands, however, are more flexible and can alter their merchandising each season if they wish. This approach to decor treats the shop floor like a theatre stage; visually engaging yet easily and quickly adaptable. Gap’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue features a permanent pop-up shop next door that they use to promote seasonal and cultural events – this means that they can create engaging conceptual spaces while maintaining the look of the flagship.

Taking the Store to the Customer
In today’s somewhat saturated and over-subscribed retail spaces, it can be difficult to get yourself noticed. One innovative way of solving this problem involves taking the brand to the consumer; mobile shops in the form of bicycle-powered coffee bars, double-decker bus restaurants and Twitter-equipped burger vans are all novel ways of communicating brand values to a potentially aloof audience and brings fun into the equation too. In Spain, gin brand Tanqueray is promoting the Private Cocktail Experience in which they stage cocktail parties in the homes of people who sign up on a microsite.

Instant Show & Tell
Many people like to take a friend or significant other along when they go shopping just to get a ‘second opinion’. However, other people are not always available to go when you want to – what to do? The answer is found in Instant Show & Tell, a trend based around the availability of real-time feedback through social networking websites and in-store technologies. Communities of ‘haul videos’ are already available on YouTube in which girls make films documenting new purchases, while the comment feature allows others to share opinions easily. Additionally, Levi’s has an online feature that can connect with a customer’s Facebook account, customising the options available to show only those clothes that their friends have ‘liked’.

Group Clout
A collectivist approach to shopping online is a method of buying that can drive down prices by employing discounts on group or bulk buys. Retailers also benefit by having access to a larger audience and therefore promoting themselves over a wider market than before. As well as this, in order for a single person to take advantage of such a deal, they typically ‘advertise’ the opportunity across social networks such as Facebook or Twitter; essentially, brands sit back while customers advertise for them. The most widely known example of this is Groupon. This highly innovative site advertises deals for groups of buyers, but only becomes viable once enough people have committed.

all images from PSFK; visit PSFK.com for further reading

James

Jack Wills Varsity Polo 2010

June 13, 2010

On Saturday myself, my flatmate Max and friend Jack ventured to Windsor for the Jack Wills-sponsored Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Polo.

Absolutely brilliant day out – kind of like a one-day festival, with shops, a Pimm’s bus, live music, the England vs USA match on a big screen, a silent disco and, of course, polo matches!

Didn’t end up watching much polo; I can’t say I understand the rules much, and our 30-odd cans of beer and sunshine were much more enticing! Definitely going to go next year, although more planning will be necessary I think.

Here’s a few snaps of the day, taken variously by myself and Max:

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

null

James

Style Society – Interview With Sarah Leigh

March 19, 2010

null

Sunday 14th March saw Style Society, a fashion and live music event put on by dear friend of the Fold Sarah Leigh, descend upon Orange Rooms, Southampton. Seeing as the night was such a success, we felt it necessary to have a quick chat with Sarah about the night – the highs, the lows and plans for the future.

null

Just for the benefit of our readers, what exactly was Style Society?

In a nutshell, Style Society was, and will be a bi-annual event created to enjoy the talent of Southampton’s local fashion brands and professionals, artists and musicians – to put all this creativity under one roof for an informal evening of networking and entertainment.

What inspired you to put this event on in the first place?

The concept came about when I started my blog; Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files. I’ve been working in the fashion industry for a few years now and wanted a space to document my day to day experiences, sights and give my opinion on things I’m passionate about. The blog has proved successful and I have found it a great platform to promote local fashion and design talent and to speak about up and coming names. It was this idea that lead me to think about putting an event on; to gather many of my friends and contacts together in one location and empower them to show off their skills to a live audience, promote themselves and have a really great time while they do it. Initially I discussed the idea with Sophie Penn, my friend and a Southampton-based writer and stylist, who was also looking to do something locally too to promote herself and the designers she regularly uses, and Style Society was born.

null

What was the biggest highlight of the night for you?

The highlight was seeing it all come together at about 7pm! We’d spent the whole day setting up Orange Rooms, the bar where the event was held, to house all of our exhibitors and entertainment, not to mention 4 months planning it all, and to see everyone in place and guests start arriving was so rewarding. It looked just how I’d imagined.

What was the biggest headache you encountered?

The biggest headache in the run-up to the event was the fact that it was on a Sunday, and Mothering Sunday to be exact! As far as promoting was concerned, we really had our work cut out, but this just meant that we ensured our event had something for everyone (Mums too), and that there was enough entertainment to ensure people stayed all night long!

On the day space was a small headache, just because of the number of people involved, and we wanted to make sure everyone has a great location to promote their products or services. Room was a little tight, but it turned out fantastically!

In hindsight, what would you choose to do differently, if anything?

In hindsight, I would have been aware of the date of Mothering Sunday! Although the event was a huge success, it could have been one less thing to worry about!

How well suited do you feel Southampton is as a city to hold events such as these?

To be honest, Southampton has an unfair reputation of lacking creativity, but I wanted to prove that there is an underground scene here, with hoards of fantastic artists, singers, fashion designers and stores looking to spread their message and inspire others. In Solent University, we have a hotbed of creative talent emerging, and the event was just as much about promoting this as established organizations.

null

Style Society featured live art, illustrators, vintage boutiques, live music and DJs. If there is the possibility of a follow-up event sometime in the future, are there any other avenues you’d particularly like to explore?

I would love to do another event, perhaps in the summer, so that we could have some of the entertainment outdoors – a fashion festival would be ideal!! Its early days, put I’ve got my planning hat back on already! I would love to include more designers, brands and bands who have now approached me, and really I think there’s room for all kinds of creative outlet – as long as it fits with the ethos of Style Society.

How much money did you raise altogether? Where will it be going?

On the night we raised around £900, which is just fantastic – I’m overwhelmed by the people who came out and supported the event. Donations are still pouring in this week, and so we look set to hit our £1000 goal. £1000 will aid Oxfam to build a classroom in one of the world’s poorest communities – I strongly support education, and this overall aim fitted perfectly with our support of promoting emerging individuals.

What has the reaction been from the people that contributed on the night?

Everyone I have spoke to, that was involved with the event has been so kind and generous following it, and have all offered their services for next time. I think we’ve found a fantastic set of people who have a lot in common and have proved to be quite a forceful collective!

Any plans to put another event on in the future?

Yes I thinks so, Sophie and I would love to repeat Style Society, and there are a few more charity and networking orientated events I’ve been asked to get involved with. This has been the first event I planned beginning to end, and let’s just say I’ve caught the bug – stay tuned to Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files for news!

Visit Sarah’s blog for full coverage of the night!

James

Style Society @ Orange Rooms, Southampton

March 17, 2010

null

Here’s some pics from Sarah Leigh’s Style Society event at Orange Rooms last Sunday. A very successful evening, with much fun had by all! Rumours have it that there might be another event in the not to distant future!

Big up Sarah, Sophie the models and all those that lent a helping hand.

Kristian

Le Laboratoire – Une Architecture des Humeurs

March 8, 2010

null

Le Laboratoire is one of the design industry’s most pioneering thinkers. Created by David Edwards and located in Paris’ first arrondissement, Le Laboratoire brings together art and science in a collaborative sense to explore the possibilities of design to create revolutionary products or concepts. The end product is generally eschewed in favour of the creative process itself – the journey of discovery and exploration is often, according to Edwards, more important than the result it fabricates.

With this in mind, Le Laboratoire is currently undergoing a research project/exhibition entitled ‘Une Architecture des Humeurs’, or ‘An Architecture of Moods’, that runs inhouse until 26th April , 2010. In the exhibit, a collaboration between the R&Sie(n) architectural practice and a group of mathematicians, programmers, architects and robotics designers has produced a model by which biological and physiological data, obtained from visitors, is used to conceive designs for housing units and urban plans.

null

The participants enter through a signal collection station that monitors levels of mood-altering hormones within the brain. This informs the station about the individuals’ ‘animal reactions’ as well as any signs of stress, pleasure, disinterest or repulsion, which will have an effect on the ensuing design that is produced.

By doing this, Le Laboratoire aim to compose designs based around pure emotional desires, rather than the ideas that can be expressed through potentially limiting methods of conventional communication. Radical concepts such as this have obvious implications within other creative worlds, such as fashion – particularly bespoke tailoring – as what we see in our mind’s eye regarding an ‘ideal’ garment may be difficult to contextualise through language or illustration. Le Laboratoire’s approach would circumvent that problem entirely by tapping straight into our mind processes and letting them do the designing. Now, it seems, anyone can be a designer.

James

iPad’s first ad

March 8, 2010

Yeah I don’t really buy into the hype either, but as it’s THE gadget of 2010 so far I suppose it should be included here at the Fold. First aired during the 2010 Oscars, try watching this Youtube vid on one… oh. Ah well, never mind, I’ll send it you on a USB stick… oh.

Goddamn you Steve.

James

Style Society @ Orange Rooms, Sunday 14th March 2010

February 7, 2010

null

Southampton’s first fashion, design and music-specific event STYLE SOCIETY has tickets on sale now!

Plus, the lovely Hepwright’s, with its myriad of fabulous vintage fare are offering 20% discount to anyone who buys their STYLE SOCIETY ticket in advance, just take your receipt to the showroom!

Visit Orange Rooms website for advance tickets, and don’t forget to RSVP on the Facebook event page!

Just in case you’ve been living your life away from Style Files lately, here’s a little more info…

The blog, Sarah-Leigh’s Style Files, presents the first of its eponymous events STYLE SOCIETY. The party aims to bring Southampton’s (and beyond!) creative minds together for an evening of music, drinks, dancing, creativity and to raise some much needed cash for Oxfam.

From Solent’s Fashion and Design faculty, to our city’s designers, budding vintage enthusiasts and simply the downright trendy – all are welcome to Southampton’s very first fashion-dedicated evening.

There on the night:

• Live bands will keep us entertained, while later DJ Ryan B will be spinning a mixture of 80’s hip hop and funk

• An auction with a host of amazing gifts to aid Oxfam – Style Society aims to build a new classroom providing education to an under privileged community – look out for exclusive gifts from the likes of Reebok, Addict and Hepwrights

• Jam-packed gift bags for the ‘best dressed’ or ‘vintage fabulous’, to be awarded to one super-stylish guy, and one glamorous girl on the night

• A ‘surprise’ fashion extravaganza, courtesy of stylist Sophie Penn

• Resident photographers will be snapping your outfits and asking all about them around the bar and in our photobooth.

• An area of Orange Rooms gives way to the HEPWRIGHT’S VINTAGE LOUNGE – a chill out come dressing up area with the finest stock from Hepwright’s vintage emporium (store located on Queen’s Terrace, Southampton)

• Gallery areas and live art (from the likes of Iris Hill’s Lisa Jean) & DIY crafts, plus many an activity to get involved with! Not to mention a host of Oxfam’s vintage stock to rifle through!

For more info email stylesociety2010@gmail.com.

P.S. Pass on the time/date/place to your fabulous fashionista friends!

All design artwork done by me! Make sure you get down there, gonna be a big night.

James

Threefold Media Update – February 2010

February 4, 2010

Already we are two months into a promising 2010. Where does the time go? Is time perception something that changes during puberty because time couldn’t pass quickly enough back then! Now weeks flash past in the blink of an eyelid and I feel like a perpetually startled deer. Oh dear.

Anyway, I would like to apologise on behalf of the team for the lack of updates over the past month. Before we broke up for Christmas, Threefold Media sat down over a few cold ones and thrashed out the action plan for the New Year. Therefore, when we reconvened – fat and full of Quality Street – we diverted most of our energy and attention into kick starting our business plans off.

And I am happy to say, so far so good!

2010, I can safely say, is going to be a big year for us. From humble beginnings as a shared ‘concept’ between three friends to a sharp, professional creative agency, Threefold Media is growing stronger everyday – making contacts and steering projects in the process.

We continue to make moves in the Grime scene, a genre we are all huge fans of, and have a number of new media projects that we hope to start later in the year. Working with Dirtee Stank, Tim & Barry, Logan Sama, Butterz, No Hats No Hoods, MSM Studios and various MC’s, producers and DJ’s, we feel confident that we, and indeed Grime, will achieve new successes this year and that our shared cultural and financial capital will grow stronger.

To achieve this we will be stepping away from traditional Grime representations and stereotypes and promoting something fresh and original, that is still true to Grime’s roots, artists and fans. No more alleyways or paint splatters please! As a genre that’s often at the mercy of advertising companies and brands looking for a cheap way to ‘buy’ sub-cultural cool, we hope to demonstrate that Grime is a forward-thinking, innovative movement that deserves dignity and above all respect.

In fashion, another passion of ours, we have a number of projects and collaborations coming up, working specifically with young, fresh and talented designers and labels from both Southampton and London. In collaboration with Mpdclick Managing Editor Sarah Leigh, we are helping host a trend-setting fashion-themed event in March that will be the first of its kind in Southampton and promises to be a great success, building on the city’s growing reputation as a burgeoning cultural centre. More details on that soon!

The popularity of our interview with Logan Sama, as well as the growing demand for the visual medium, has led us to the conclusion that video is the way forward. Therefore we will be investing in video equipment this year – not only will this add further depth to our repertoire, but it will allow us to develop other avenues of creativity.

Having spent the past couple of years photographing and documenting our city, and working with a multitude of local council bodies, event staff and media outlets, I now have enough material to build my own exhibition. Scheduled for the latter half of the year, the exhibition will be called ‘Capturing Southampton’ and will feature Southampton citizens from all walks of life in their magnificent glory! As a passionate photojournalist, this is one project I am especially looking forward to!

As well as all this, we continue to photograph, design, write and publish work for clients looking for a new creative direction. We are releasing a PDF soon, profiling examples of our best work. If you would like a copy or simply talk further about our projects, message me on twitter (@threefoldmedia) or email me at Kristian at threefoldmedia dot co dot uk.

Here’s to a prosperous new year!

Regards,

Kristian on behalf of Threefold Media