Welcome to the Phab* People blog.  An eclectic collection of inspirations, thoughts, influences and news from the design world in general and from  the Hoxton, Shoreditch and Brick Lane area of London.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Tripping the Light Fantastic

The work of lighting designer Bruce Munro is truly fantastic and most special of all is the "field of dreams" installation at the Eden project. Conceived during a tip through the Australian outback 15 years ago his realised idea has been set in the perfect surroundings

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

London style

or for something closer to home this great pad was designed by some friends of mine. They liked it so much they stayed and opened an office in the building. If you want to buy the penthouse its now available from the excellent The Modern House agency

smart homes

this is super cool architecture. Hutchison & Maul Architects designed this Washington State lake house.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Vintage Ads

just because old advertising can be interesting for all kinds of reasons. This was found on flickr, dates from 1960

Monday, 13 October 2008

We enjoyed one of the best week ends of the year weather wise down in the west country with friends in the forest of Dean. This great view is from Symonds Yat, reminding me that this country has some fantastic scenery. A walk in the wood and a Sunday lunch overlooking the river Wye was a welcome respite from a busy week in London

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Bum Candy!

I am loving both these ideas seen on designspotter.com

Mademoiselle is a stackable chair. The structure is made in chrome and the seat - in Metacrylate with or without silkscreen.

Designer: Stefano Bigi (Italy)
Manufacturer: eXde by Cattaneo (Italy)

LED illuminated acrylic bubble with stainless steel ring and fixings. Engraved INSA artwork. White fur cushion for comfort

Designer: Rousseau x Insa

lets hear it for the boys

sometimes design can have a confused sexuality but there is no such issues with the work of ANTREPO which is unashamedly masculine even with something as feathery as a pillow. The clock is somewhat elegant too

Thursday, 25 September 2008


It seems no place is a destination these days without a landmark signature building. Bilbao has Gehry's Guggenheim museum , Paris has the Pompidou Centre. But my childhood home town of Gravesend in Kent does not boast many attractions. The burial site of Pochahuntas and the new Ebbsfleet station being the main tourist pulls!... until now that is. Plastic Architects have put the town on the cultural map and built probably the most stylish public toilets in the county if not country with this impressive new build in the Parrock Street car park.


Being a Spurs fan the name of this photographic duo caught my eye while strolling around my old manor Ezra Street but Hott & Tottenham Photography is a new Public Gallery and Portraiture Studio dedicated to portrait photography. Some familiar locals have already has their souls captured to make interesting viwing on the website.


In their words "From fine art print sales, bespoke portraiture sessions with award wining fine art photographers Hott & Tottenham to enjoying our 18 years of knowledge, experience and dedication Hott & Tottenham is committed to offering expert advice and professional service in a welcoming environment. The Bookshop stocks a discriminating selection of photography books with an emphasis on portraiture and fine artists, including some collectable and rare editions. Come and enjoy photography and complimentary tea in our intimate studio, gallery and bookshop space furnished by the creative force behind The Trois Garcons."

Thursday, 31 July 2008

DIY stripes

while away those hot summer evenings designing your own pattern with this fun, stripe generating tool at stripemania.com

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

street art

There is always  something interesting cropping  up on the way from home to work. A little while back this skip appeared decorated with flowers. It turned out to be part of an ad for Nike. Yesterday passing the basketball court on Brick Lane  I saw this decoration of plastic cups applied to the court fencing. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

fashion illustration

I love this work by one of the best fashion illustrators around-
Marguerite Sauvage

Friday, 4 July 2008


Ok we have all been there. You wander into a shop attracted by the meticulously arranged merchandise. Casually you tug at a neatly folded top laid out with precision on an island shelf. You realise its not for you , but you were magnetised by the beautiful colour and texture so you toss it back on the shelf. You become aware of the beady glared of the shop staff so you make a lame attempt to tuck in the corners and restore the display to its original state, but you fail miserably so skulk out of the shop leaving a pile behind that resembles Mount Vesuvius.

So check out this video, and never feel retail intimidation again!

Thursday, 3 July 2008


some more of Fabien's


The french seem to be really into their decals so maybe thats why so much good offer comes from there. I love the graphic work of Fabien Barral so was delighted to see the addition of these products on the harmonie-interieure.com website.

Thursday, 26 June 2008


I recently decorated Harveys room with a giant Elmer the Elephant mural. I might have to find space to add one of these cool wall decals from online french supplier e-glue.

Choc a block

I love the look of these, from Japanese company Meiji. Combining two of my obsessions type & chocolate. Make up your own box to spell out a personal message

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Women on Film

following the Women in Art video check out this one. Not quite as polished but fascinating , none the less

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Film "The Escapist

My friend and neighbour Philipp Blaubach is the cinematographer on the British movie " The Escapist" which is released tomorrow. It was well received at Sundance so go see it and support independent film makers

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Animal Nightlife

When we first moved to the area there was  just one pub that any discerning local would go to, The Bricklayers Arms on Charlotte Street. Nowadays, it seems  a new  drinking establishment opens every day. The Hoxton Pony  on Curtain Road is the latest temptation employing a sleek and shiny fit out to attract the (not so) locals in.  The reason I mention it here is a couple of days ago two glamorous envoys from said bar knocked on our studio door bearing gifts. The rather large  box contained a simple selection of scones and jam.  Someone less kind than I commented that the bites were as stale as the bar's decor. However, I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Art History

If you thought the words "Art" and " Morph" only come together in the mind of Tony Hart think again!  This little  3 minute video by Eggman is quite captivating and tells a story about  images of  the fairer sex better than several hours of art history lectures  "WOMEN THROUGH THE AGES"

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Paper Clip Envy

           I guess you have got to be  a bit sad to be excited by paper clips but I once brought back from San Francisco a small pot of spiral paper clips which were the best paper clips in the world, however I love these more. They are  by Juta Kan for japanese design collective "h concept", pronounced "ash concept"  after the french pronouncement of the 8th letter.  As they explain ' Happy , Harvest , Habitat, Holy, Heart , Ha-Ha all begin with "H" and exemplify our way of thought'
Perfect for hanging Harveys' pictures,then!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Bridging the Generation Gap is a new exhibition at the Forster Gallery on Rivington Street Shoreditch, featuring the work of Julie Cockburn. The artist works in mixed media using found objects combined with familiar imagery.  I like this piece which  alludes to two eras of  personal significance.

Forster Gallery
1 Chapel Place
Rivington Street
London EC2 A 3DQ
020 7739 7572

Sunday, 8 June 2008

They come from the Future

This time of year sees the advent of the art & design college degree shows. These are always a mixed bunch but luckily as most of them are on my door step at the Old  Truman Brewery, Brick Lane,  organised under the umbrella organisation Free Range. I do take  the time to visit. Each week a whole new set of fresh graduates descend upon the complex with the intention of pitching their wares, skills or ideas. We are into week 2 of 8 but so far I have seen little that has got me excited. However, this morning walking along Dray walk I popped into another little exhibition running alongside the shows. An organisation called Create to Learn , whose aim is to  get young people involved in the arts, were showing the work of local primary school children who, under the guidance of students had generated a beautiful and innocently brave body of work.
Also among these pics is  a display from a  Middlesex University's textile student, which almost attains the same level of appreciation

Saturday, 7 June 2008


I  was lucky enough to be invited to a talk last night by Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia. Since 1998 she has been at the magazine carving new trends in fashion  imagery and was instrumental in promoting the concept of the super model. Its hard to imagine anyones position having such longevity in a UK magazine.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Art on the day of Thor

As ever on the first thursday of each month in the east end I am going to be spoilt for choice of where to go to see some great art.  Nearly all the galleries  in the area will be open late for  launching new shows. 
So much choice , so little time. Think I will head down to Vyner Street E2 and will report later.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Todays the day that..

Stereo Types

Following the thread from the last couple of posts its worth mentioning this book as an inspiration- "An Alphabet by Peter Blake" for which the artist  produced the collage illustrations.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Tales of Typographic Notions

 ...so the poster was for an album by Alphabeat, a group of Danes now living  local in in East London. The music  is light 80s retro pop if you are into that kind of thing. I do like the artwork, its in a good tradition of popart after Peter Blake and Jamie Reid and using Eines work is a shrewd move.

As I was driving under the bridge at Shoreditch High St/ Old Street junction tonight I noticed a poster on the billboard with some cool graphics. The designers had used the letters  from graphitti artist Ben Flynn (A.K.A Eine )  and pasted  them in  a blackmail /Jamie Reid-esque way. So absorbed was I in the graphics I failed to take in who's bands album was being promoted! However it reminded me to post a bit about Eines work. Anyone who has been to the east end will have noticed random letters sprayed on the roller shutters of unlikely shops.  No lesser celebrity than Dave Gorman set about tracking down the whole set and posting on his Flickr page as have others before him. Read more about the  artist  in his own words in the piece from Swindle magazine and check his own website for other work including  some highly desirable canvasses. >>Einesigns.

I will go back tomorrow and photograph the poster.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Interiors.. a site for sore eyes

Each day when I take the walk from home to the studio I like to vary the route and on each route there is a variety of interesting shops to stimulate the senses.  Going via Redchurch Street is one of my favourites, not only are there many new galleries with something  new to look at  but  a glance into Squint a always brightens the day. The colourful patchwork upholstery well lit in the dark interior really pings out at you and since they moved to the larger premises  there  has been more offer to enjoy.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Train(er) Spotters

Heres a site  for anyone that gets excited about lacing up your boots..