Design Anthology: A Magazine

Airports are great places to find new magazines. My latest discovery is called Design Anthology and is a (design!) magazine aimed at expats in Asia. Only a year old, it is published quarterly; the paper is luxuriously matt, and the layout is elegantly less rather than confusingly more. The feel is of leafing through a book and although I don’t travel (yet?) much to Asia it is nice to be updated on how design is perceived outside Europe

Little Luxuries


When travelling I find staying with friends is always nicer than staying in a hotel. If on top of that the friends in question prepare the room with little treats than you are one lucky girl! Tonight I found a beautiful packagef soap on my bed and the latest edition of Cabana Magazine.

Another brainchild of Martina Mondadori, Cabana is a large size, smart magazine with beautiful photography of interriors and some good writing (rare meechandise these days). So although you will not find it in your local newsagent, you either order it online or stay at a friend’s house!

A Christmas Kiehl’s Box


The best wrapping this year was done by my crafty sister in law, but the best packaging of them all has to go to Kiehl’s! Most of the (fantastic) presents I received were in un-spectacular boxes, so this one stood out a mile. I love the warm reds and oranges – it made me think of the exuberant african patterns – and the round forms are somewhere in between baubles and biscuits: all things Christmas without cliches in sight!

Texture Fixation


Textures can become a fixation, somewhat of an obsession. Textures is what things are made of and how they feel, they are what identifies the surface of any object. The roughness, the smoothness, the fine grain that repeats itself in a pattern. Textures are sets of points, lines and shapes that appear as a uniform whole and that rise from the surface so that you can feel them even without touching.

Food has texture. Music has texture. Of course, objects and furniture have texture, and those are the textures I observe verging on the compulsive. Lately I have spotted more texture than usual on architecture. Start looking around yourself: the buildings are being overrun by graphical textures like creepers on a garden wall.


November is Olive Oil Time


Of course we order our olive oil in Italy through friends. It comes in big green five liter canisters with nothing more than a little white label on which, only the most fundamental information is written. The fresh oil arrives sometime in November and by then our annual stock is usually gone.

So on Saturday I actually had to buy olive oil at the local supermarket! Blame it on my profession, but I just could not resist choosing the nicest labels. I think a hand written typography suits well a product which is still (partly) hand made. And being an expat I could not resist a label that reminded me of my childhood in Italy (clever marketing!). When I got home I wondered if I had been fooled so I did an oil tasting session: I genuinely believe oil tastes better if the label is nice!

Typography on Architecture


From the moment we learn to read we just never stop deciphering letters, words, sentences. We live in a boom for typography – some would argue it is a degeneration – and if I stop to think about it, it is surprising how much information different fonts can convey. A good font is clear, well proportioned, timeless and in my opinion had to have a distinguishing element. Also it looks great tiny and huge.

I love this house in Rio. I love the way the perfect typography has turned the straightforward functional architecture into a landmark. I wonder if Adolf Loos would consider even this ornament a crime…

A Chocolate from the Jungle


I have had the occasional craving in my life, but chocolate was never really my thing. Until I tasted Aquim chocolates: I have just been converted!
This Brazilian chocolate is made using only pure cocoa and cocoa butter, with just a pinch of sugar.

The flavour is so much purer and complex, it is a Brazilian explosion. For once you will be reminded that the cocoa seeds come from a tropical fruit. Even the beautifully illustrated packages, reminiscent of Rousseau’s paintings, will transport you to the jungle: bromeliads, armadillos and monkeys living on cocoa trees.