Tag Archives: social design

Limp to Bling – Upcycling gone UBER Luxe

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” – Wikipedia

If you have ever flown on a plane, you would have seen the ubiquitous airline trolley. It has the uncommon notoriety of being one of the most standardized things across the plethora of airlines out there. IT. ALL. LOOKS. THE. SAME.

Sort of like this.

Naked Airplane Trolley
Naked Airplane Trolley – un-bling, un-designed, un-upcycled

Naked Airplane Trolley – un-bling, un-designed, un-upcycled

Enter a dose of German Design genius via Founder and Creative Director, Peter Jorge Fischer and it becomes this:

Swarovski Crystal Trolley - BLINGED and SUITED UP!
Swarovski Crystal Trolley – BLINGED and SUITED UP!

BEHOLD : Swarovski Crystal Trolley – BLINGED and SUITED UP!

See the shiny shiny sparkly sparkly swarovski crystals? It’s like it comes with its own halo and glorious soundtrack…like this…

THAT, folks, is a fine lesson on how to pimp things out. Skypak’s gots it right.

Skypak’s bling bling airline trolley is customizable and is exclusively available here.

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When your Craft is Fashion Design, it is also your Voice.

Fashion Designer, Aries Sin.

 

Fashion Designer Aries Sin wears her own Double Breasted Onesie in Khaki.

We chat with one of FUTURE NOTION’s featured Fashion Designers, a wee 27 year old Hong Kong native, Aries Sin, to uncover how she uses her passion for Fashion Design to create social change in her home country. 

In the 1960’s – 90’s Hong Kong was the epicentre of garment production, and many had family members working in factories as production assistants and sewers. In 2005, the Multi Fibre Arrangement  – a short term measure introduced in 1974 to allow developed countries to gain a domestic advantage in garment production – was lifted and China asserted her dominance and multiplied its production for export many fold. Hong Kong saw a natural decline in garment manufacturing.

FN: So, tell us about your label, MODEMENT.

Aries: I started MODEMENT back in January 2010 after a year’s stint in a Leather Wear Company.

FN: Nature vs Nurture – did u have family in the design business or were you influenced by factors surrounding you growing up, for example mentors, creative energy of Hong Kong, creativity of friends etc

Aries: My family background is pretty average and my mother was the catalyst that sparked my interest in fashion. Ever since I was a child of 7, my mother who worked as an assistant in a garment factory always took me along and it was there that I watched and learnt garment construction, fabric and fabric textures. In my young eyes, fabric swatches were the basis of couture for my Barbie dolls! It was also during those years that my interest in deconstruction and pattern making were sparked.

So I would say it’s probably my childhood environment and my innate inclination towards design.

Additionally, Hong Kong is quite an interesting city. Although small, we are really cosmopolitan and media reach is so fast and deep, but at the same time, this metropolis also possesses a special character and cultural history that is established and entrenched. I never run out of inspiration and ideas here!

FN: Do you see (your label) MODEMENT as a voice or a statement of sorts – a response to the situational factors of hongkong, for example, the bustle of the city, constraints of living in a landlocked country – do you see your work as a response to that…is it only for one collection or is it a running theme in your career?

Yes, MODEMENT is the shadow of Hong Kong.

In our previous collections, we used our home as a reference for “The Place We Live” Collection & our food for “The Eggette We Eat” Collection as a running theme for each collection. We make use of different factors and ideas from our home-town and It is our secret wish that people would not only wear Hong Kong design, but feel our culture. This is our direction.

That’s also why we carry different messages from each collection as opposed to just designing what the market needs.

FN:Describe some ups and downs – what are some of the joys of being your own boss, creative director, one woman super power and what are some of the challenges? We can imagine rising costs would be one of it..

Aries: Being a one-woman show (& bank!) isn’t easy, especially since we don’t have any financial support. But being able to work in what I am passionate about is really such an amazing thing.

Yes,  rising costs are definitely a concern, and it’s a constant tight rope to strike a balanced relationship between technique, quality & costs.

Although the cost of labour is rising in Hong Kong, my team and I keep to our stance of using workers in Hong Kong as our manufacturers because of their professionalism and the respect they have for technique and fabric. You know, almost 90% of Hong Kong  factories had been moved to mainland China for production, and tons of skillful sewers are left behind.

There is a social enterprise that was set up to faciliate a collaboration between these sewers and up-and-coming designers, and we choose to work with them for our manufacturing to keep MODEMENT of a high quality and contribute to our society at the same time.

We are really proud of our concept and aim to keep it up!

We hope people from all around the world could experience Hong Kong’s fashion language and feel confident in wearing our designs.

You know, whenever we see people wearing MODEMENT, our hearts always feel such a rush of joy! It’s almost like the heart of a mother making clothes for her children, with love and care.

FN: So, if you weren’t a Fashion Designer, what would you rather be?

Aries: Probably a chef! I think cooking and fashion are both art forms and so creative. In fact, whenever I see a beautifully presented dish, I can feel the passion and creative energy from the chef!

FN: Thanks for your time, Aries and have a great day!

Aries: You too! 🙂

-end-

Click here to discover & shop Aries’ SS12 Collection at FUTURE NOTION!

*this article has been edited for grammer and length.

What does Design mean to you – a frou frou consideration or an antidote to a problem?

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Mifuku Colored Necklace

Mifuku Colored Necklace -$40. Made from recycled magazines & newspapers & varnished to a high shine.

Sorry for the long silence, but we were so busy with the launch of FUTURE NOTION that we simply didn’t have the time to post. Do check it out, mak a coupla comments on your favorite items and do share , tweet & tumble.

However, we have so much to share it will take several posts to spill everything..so, in typical all over the place fashion, we’d like to start with something dear to our hearts – how design can solve a problem, add value and enrich.

One of the designers that FUTURE NOTION is showcasing is Mifuko. Meaning “pocket” in Swahili, they have a really special story and are a shining beacon of the good Design can accomplish.

Based in Finland, the brand is helmed by Creative Directors and Co-founders Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen,  working on a Helsinki / Kenya axis. -To put it simply, accessories & lifestyle product is conceptualized and designed in Finland and manufactured under Fair Trade terms in Kenya.

The brand’s main aim is to preserve traditional Kenyan artisanal techniques & handicraft while injecting a Scandinavian sensibility into product design. Oftentimes, the artisans might be skilled, but they lack design sophistication which results in cannibalization of sales between very similar looking products. Thus, Mifuko saw the opportunity to use design as a differentiating (& winning!) factor so that goods produced can stand out from the run-of-the-mill souvenirs.

Check out one of our favorite products, the Mifuku Necklace. Bright & Colorful, it looks like its made of beads or ceramic, when in actual fact, it is crafted from  from recycled magazines and newspaper. The paper beads are rolled from recycled paper and each bead is different and unique & the colours and tones vary according to whichever magazine is used. Once the beads are varnished, they shine beautifully and the small glass pearls between them add extra sparkle.

How awesome is that – upcycling, Scandinavian Design sensibility, enriching lives and sustaining a business. This is what Design is supposed to be about!

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FUTURE NOTION IS LAUNCHING SOON!

FUTURE NOTION IS LAUNCHING SOON!

So we have some extremely exciting news –  we are launching soon – end of this month to be exact!

So, if you’d like PRIORITY ACCESS during our private beta launch, do send us an email at info@futurenotion.com

If you are a DESIGNER looking to sell on FUTURE NOTION, do drop us an email at designers@futurenotion.com.

Send us a few pictures of your work, with a little bit about yourself and we’ll hit you up with our designer kit.

But in case you’re wondering WHY FUTURE NOTION, here are the top 5 reasons why we rock:

1. We are a low-cost & economical way of launching your brand, selling your collection & publicizing your work. We want you to succeed.

2. We focus our resources on digital and social trends so that you can concentrate on what you do best – create, design and innovate. Leave the selling, marketing and tedious social strategies to us. Already working an online store? No worries, think of us as an additional sales channel to reach a global audience.

3. Expose your brand to a design-centric community. Our huge database is chock-full with architects, stylists, interior designers, media/PR professionals, retailers and design-savvy customers – take advantage of it!

4. We understand branding, more importantly, we understand how selling in a well-designed social store can contribute to the image of your brand. Thus, FUTURE NOTION will never misrepresent your brand’s image, because we too, have standards. We believe in winning by adding value, constantly innovating and looking to the future, NOT pushing for price reductions.  Did we mention we prefer to build a strong brand proposition over bargain basement prices and throwaway goods?

5. We truly believe in the value of Design to Solve, Simplify & Inspire.

Most of all, tell us what you need – we want to hear from customers, designers, educators, artists, writers, and your neighbors.

Have a happy Monday & hope to hear from all of you soon!

Design you never would have thought of.

These are a series of glued pvc tubes assembled in a perfectly proportioned installation, and exhibiting a killer sense of color, perception and estimation. (see that littlest hint of lime green near the waist area?)

Conceptualized and conceived by Korean artist, Kang Duck Bong, our jaws literally dropped when we saw this. sometimes, we have difficulty estimating how much money to bring on a shopping spree.

Conscious Design.

Tonight, my parents put a thought in my head that anybody and everybody can consume great design, great value & contribute to social good at the same time.

Instead of going to a shiny new store to replace worn, tired living room furniture, they traipsed off to a halfway house founded and managed entirely by reformed & rehabilitated ex-prisoners needing a fair chance at life.

On top of a lovely solid wood sofa set, they also provided a job, supported a small, much needed business venture & boosted some severely deflated egos. Let’s not even go into the monetary rewards.

The next time you might need something, go the Salvation Army, or support an emerging designer or a halfway house supporting abused women. Make like Sarah Cihat who salvages crappy plates from Salvation Army & turns them into something entirely delectable.

The less we consume mass, cheaply produced product, the more we are saving & contributing to the world.