Archive for the ‘thought’ Category

[France X Tokyo] macaron haute couture

February 23, 2010
macaron from Fauchon and q-pot

FAUCHON X Q-pot Crossover Design

Macaron is like an art form of its own with the colorful palette- a real eye-candy, serving more than the joy of our palate.

Being in Paris provides an experience to truly immerse in the culture and  the art of french pastry. Initially, it feels very different and strange see the salesman behind the counter of some pastry shops in a high-end department stores dressing up like selling jewelry. But I think that Fauchon, Pierre Hermé, Ladurée and other brands might even have such high status.

QPot - macaron mobile strap

QPot - macaron mobile strap

The macarons are gaining popularity as pastries in modern time and also become trendy icons and are featured on many fashion items such as t-shirts but most notably made into macaron-shaped pendants, earrings or rings that are all the rage in some French and Japanese cities among girls and women alike.

We’d love to do some cross-over design and collaborations between macaron and another medium.

You may check a few posts by 8tokyo on the collaborations by Japanese clothing label Fauchon and q-pot, Pierre Hermé and lipton (the later one didn’t seem to go well together from design perspective but certainly fine as a combination of food & drink).


Languages and the Olympics (Vancouver 2010 or London 2012)?

February 18, 2010

Yes, languages and Olympics go hand-in-hand – how?

Vancouver 2010

Just came across a great post (by The National Centre for Languages, UK) in regards to the value and importance of languages to the success of the Games (London 2012 and with great relevant to the undergoing Vancouver 2010 ).  It’s so true that language skills not only is critical to the execution and smooth running of the event and help bridge the communicate gap for people from around the world gathering in one place where the Games and actions are but also dramatically improve the experience and appreciation of the diversity, Games spirit, city and culture.

Vancouver 2010It’s refreshing to see that the British and London officials place great emphasis and recognizing the multilingualism in their planning and preparing for the Games 2012, even though English is statistically considered as the most commonly-spoken language in the world.  They see that language capability as a way to boost the tourism and enhance “global brand position” – so languages are a game changing secret tool for the British  now so-to-speak 😉

Not only the British government see language capability (in communicating with visitors in their own languages) as a vital way to leave lasting legacy of a thriving, innovative tourism industry but also plays a critical in the Arts and in making the Games a truly global celebration.

We can’t agree more.  That’s truly in line with LangLearner’s aspiration and mission in helping and contributing to the language learning for traveling, cultural exchange and much more.  It’s what we do and think about day and night (even while we sleep 🙂

So, prepare yourself for a great experience, conversation and company with people from around world at the Games by learning  a few new languages now.


p.s. Leave you with an interesting abstract image…  so glad to see Canada hosting such big event. Go Go Go.

Vancouver 2010


two suitcases – one love

September 18, 2008

moonlight and love

Here is another mooncake festival inspired art… this is rather a quick sketch done out of the blue while working on a design.  it’s somewhat sketchy but fun.   Perhaps, it’s a cliche but somehow moon and moonlight give a very warm touching feeling that calms you down and makes you feel loved (from family, friends or special someone).  The bright and round moon seems like a big street lamp illuminating the sky and dark corners.

So, two suitcases ends with one love, how?  Serendipity plays an important role in our life.  As somone logical and analytical, it’s uncommon to live without a plan.   Yet, not everything can be planned.  We should all give life a chance and perhaps to set free sometimes.  Have you ever watched a movie “Holiday” (starring Jude Law Cameron Diaz, Kate Winston, Jack Black)?  Although it’s not x’mas or holiday now, the story is quite interesting.  Believe it or not, something dramatic like the story can happen (not an expert, but can say it’s true).   Whether things last or not and for how long are another questions.  Perhaps being in a new city or new place bring new perspective and give you an exceptional power of excitement, curiosity and openness to try not only new food, custom but also accept new friends or relationship.  Enjoy the full moon and all the happiness it brings.

p.s. to the beloved
Like someone in love, Chet Baker

lehman brothers vs. hundertwasser

September 16, 2008
hundertwasser painting

hundertwasser painting

um… why would lehman brothers be related or relevant to hundertwasser?  in fact, they aren’t comparable and belong to completely different domain.  so why mentioning both in one entry?  initially, i wanted to write about hundertwasser since i came across his art work and book again recently.   i’m always aspired by the imaginative, impressionist architectural design.

however, after hearing the news about the fall of lehman brothers, one of the world’s top investment banks, i got a mixed feeling about it.  i feel like ignorant and lucky at the same time.  in fact, the news would be relevant and make somewhat a big impact on my previous life before i made the change.  however, i felt indifferent as if i were immune from the world’s economy decline, while most people i know or around me expressed concerns and worries.  the truth is that the ripple effect will wriggle down to the micro-level and affect average citizens.  the analytical side of me led me into thinking about the situation further.  however, i feel lucky in a sense that i don’t feel the immediate impact.  although it’s true that no matters what we do, the declining economy will affect everyone on micro level.  yet, working in design seems to see things differently.  it’d be beneficiary to maintain a neutral mindset.  as i once read john maeda mentioned in his book or blog, he deliberately avoid reading news as those could very be noise and prevent one to have clear mind and focus on design (more on john maeda next time).

hundertwasser architecture

hundertwasser architecture

on to hundertwasser….
i first encounter the art of the master in Vienna, Austria during a trip in Europe.  I immediately fell for the liberating free-form building designs.  To some, the shapes and designs appear to be irregular; yet the non-conventional and non-rectangular shapes of building and interior are in fact inspired by the nature – the trees, flowers, colors, sky, and so on.  I’m particularly inspired by his keen eyes and amazing work in combining basic graphic forms and colors into architecture.  To him, if one loves architecture, what’s true of people is true for buildings.

Hundertwasser contends that ruler-drawn straight lines make people sick because, not occurring in nature, they incessantly subject people o an irritation for which the organism is unprepared.  In modern city, the insult of the straight line is relentless, and capable to the assault of chemical carcinogens,  of pollutants that cause fearful diseases.

At a basic level, Hundertwasser is well aware that “We are made up of cells, organically built up into humans.  So when these seeing cells perceive something that is alien to them, alien to organic forms, they transmit an alarm signal to the brain.”

let’s keep up the spirit of art and design and maintain a peace of mine to get through this down or upcoming downturn period.  Before sunrise there is dawn.

To family and friends…

September 12, 2008
mid-autumn - childhood memory
mid-autumn – rabbit lantern – childhood memory

The initial idea of this blog was to capture the design works, progress and little and big things we observed and come across. In general, the focus is on design. Over time, there is a second thought. Regardless the nature of our work, be it design, art, science, music, etc, is the result and the synthesis of an individual or collective mind, experience, relationships, and finally knowledge. We are who we are primarily influenced by the people we relate to and interact with. It’d make sense to dedicate some time and space to the people whom we cherish for and everyday life we enjoy.

However, as we grew up, it’s hard to say every little things and thought to your friends and family due to lack of time, mental space, or physical distance even though technology such as email has made it much easier. Sometimes, it’s just easier to express; record it and let it be. Hope one day the letters will find its way to those that the letters belong to in this cyberspace.