Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mapping out the future of design

A huge hello to my fellow readers! I hope you all had a fab bank holiday weekend and made the most of it, I certainly did!

Today’s post is rather special and will definitely make you go “oooooooooo”. Ever heard of 3D mapping? Well  it’s something which is widely used in parts of Asia and is becoming very popular in the west, giving a whole new meaning to advertising with maximum effect. It’s basically like watching a 3D movie projected on the front of a building for the people who like it in simple terms.

A friend told me about this brilliant example of 3D mapping and it was just too impressive not to share with you all. To promote the launch of the 2010 adventure film “The Tourist“, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, a team of techi geniuses created a mind-boggling 3D video with super cool effects, that was 80′ x 80′ in size and projected on to the front of The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas.

Take a look for yourself and be amazed with how fast technology is developing and constantly pushing the boundaries of design!

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Design of the Day – Cosy accessories for your home

As it’s Monday, the doom and gloom day of the week, I thought I’d bring a bit of colour into your day with this super cosy, multi-coloured knitted lamp by Melanie Porter.

This piece is certainly fashion forward and the perfect Autumn/Winter accessory for the home. You may be thinking WINTER – ALREADY? Well, yes I am and we all need to get prepared because the leaves are starting to fall and the summer nights are slowly fading away. Harrods even has christmas decorations up – so I’ve heard!

That aside, this whopper of a lamp is hand woven by the Knitwear Designer herself and each piece is bespoke. The design comes in a range of colours with one named “Freya”, which has a white base and coloured flowers made from felted material around the shade. Simply gorgeous!

If you want to get your hands on one of Melanie’s lamps, prices range from £400 – £550 and are available from MyDeco or direct from her website.

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Design of the day, Designers, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, My Deco, News, Quirky, upholstery

Not got the A Level grades you wanted? There’s still hope!

Today for many students will be one of the most nerve racking times of their life. I went through the experience myself, driving the six miles to college to pick up my results felt like the earth had stood still for ten years. Butterflies were fighting in my stomach and my mind was racing,  just hoping I’d managed to secure a place at my first choice university.

Clearing was a thought a little to scary to ponder on! The worst part was seeing students from across the country live on television, opening their white envelopes and screeching the letters “ABB!”

The pressure young people are under to excel and perform within our education system is choking, especially with the prospect of our future generation leaving with an average of £50,000 debt strapped around their neck! It’s shocking to learn that over a quarter of a million students will be without a place this academic year and universities on average only offering 80 places through clearing. But there is hope…

The removal of government funding has had a positive effect in exposing alternative routes to higher education to students, which have been available for many years and arguably offer higher levels of support to students compared with traditional universities.

One of which is the National Design Academy in Nottingham, who’ve been providing Diploma to Degree level Interior Design courses through distance learning, for over twenty-two years! They’re also the first and only UK educational provider to offer BA (Hons) in Retail, Heritage and Outdoor Living Design. It’s also the last chance to secure a place with the NDA before all funding disappears.

So if you’ve had your heights set on studying interior design at university and haven’t quite got the grades, this could be the perfect, less costly and equally recognisable way to gaining that qualification you want. All you need is one A-Level in art to be able to enrol on the Degree program which consists of a Foundation Degree course (equivalent to years 1&2 of a university degree) and then the BA Hons level (equivalent to year 3).

There’s no need to panic, you will reach your goal! All the Degree courses provided by NDA are fully accredited by Staffordshire University, internationally recognised and delivered online. Not to mention that they have a team of highly skilled tutors available five days a week from 9-5 to give you advice over the phone or through email.

Studying with the National Design Academy gives students the opportunity work at a pace that suits them and also offers those wanting to gain valuable work experience the opportunity to do so. It’s widely understood that industry experience is highly regarded by employers as very important.

To find our more about how you can still achieve a Degree in Interior Design contact the NDA on 0115 91234 12 to speak to a member of the team or visit their website www.nda.ac.uk.

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Filed under BA in Interior Design, distance learning, higher education, home study, News, The National Design Academy, workshops, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – Bags of delight!

The team at The Design Hub are huge fans of this particular designer and certainly believe she needs another shout out. If you’ve read Laura Olivia’s interview on the blog you’ll understand why she’s getting so much attention from the design industry. Her vibrant prints and electric colour palette have attracted the attention of Jethro Macey who picked Laura to exhibit in his One Year On exhibition at New Designers 2011, as well as MyDeco who’ve added her designs to their exclusive online boutique store.

Today I’ve chosen Laura’s range of bright lavender bags which would look absolutely delightful scattered along a windowsill, hung on a door handle/wardrobe or placed on a dressing table. Oh, of course there is the benefit of making a room smell of delicious lavender as well!

You can get your mitts on a bag for £12 and order through Laura’s website, which features many more designs from wallpaper to lampshades and stitched art work.

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Filed under Design of the day, Home Acessories, Laura Olivia, News, Quirky, Soft Furnishings

Our Panasonic experience at Pinewood Studios

As the economy seems to falling back into decline and markets all over the world severely suffering, there is one sector which is lucky enough to have been given a recession-free pass. The technology industry is growing at a fast rate especially in parts of Asia and one brand, Panasonic has taken this opportunity to expand its “techi savvy” product range and sprinkle the UK with a bit of Japanese living star dust.

Based at the bustling Pinewood Studios in London, the Panasonic Experience Studio was set up 8 weeks ago to give businesses and people the chance to sample their latest range of retail screens, 3D televisions, interactive plasma’s and 2012 Olympics range.

The National Design Academy tutor team, Directors, NDA Private Clients Manager and of course myself (not wanting to miss out on anything exciting) made the trip to Panasonic’s studio to see first hand what all the fuss was about and how this latest technology would be stitched into the Interior Design industry.

As we made our way up to the studio, my camera was out and ready to get snappy happy and the group were becoming extremely excited to see what was in store. As soon as we stepped into the hallway before entering the studio, gasps and oooo’s were exhaled and a rush of bodies proceeded to the corner.

A brilliant sales tool on Panasonic’s part, they had cleverly placed a tall interactive screen in the corner of the room (above) that allowed a person to manoeuvre and manipulate what showed on screen – it reminded me of something from CSI Miami! In fact, this screen is similar to those which will be distributed around London during the 2012 Olympic games as information guides. Everyone was hooked by this point.

We were then ushered into the main studio which was nearly pitch black, except for spots of bright flickering screens lining the edges of the room. I was rather impressed with the trio of towering screens lacing the back wall, with what appeared to be the angels from the Lynx adverts trying to smash their way out of the screens.

The group were shown an rather impressive 103 inch plasma screen, fully interactive and used by Sky Sports presenters in the studio. This big boy has up to 6 points of contact, can use live feeds and uses infrared technology to follow contact, which means you don’t even have to touch the screen to use it! For roughly £50,000 smackers you could have one of these all to yourself!

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, James Pilling, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Outdoor Living, Technology, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Design your room in 3D for free!

Coming up with a completely new design scheme for a room in your home can be a little daunting, especially for anyone who hasn’t an ounce of interior design training. Trying to visualise a scheme from all those ideas flying around in your head is also rather difficult. But there is hope!

Online interior design website MyDeco, have created a “Fisher-Price” version of CAD (computer aided design software which professional designers use) that is super user friendly and offers amateur’s a wealth of products, wallpapers, paint, flooring,  and so much more, to help build the ideal room scheme.

I decided to try this software for myself, now bare in mind im not a professional and have never claimed to be, so this was like delving into the unknown! Firstly I picked a floor plan, (you also have the option to upload your own floor plan with specific measurements which is extremely helpful) I then chose a door and two windows from the side bar where you can pick and choose from a range of furniture, staircases, accessories or paint, which you want to include in your design. You can then plonk them into the diagram wherever you like, It’s basically a “drag and drop” process from there onwards.

Users can switch between the 2D birds-eye view or the super cool 3D view that shows you a more realistic representation of your scheme. However to move certain items on to another wall or turn around, I found I had to change from 3D view to 2D, although I only had an hour or so to get to grips with the software and didn’t read any of the tutorials which may hold the key to doing this in a more efficient way.

2D Birds-eye view

There is a mahoosive range of furniture for every room in the home to choose from and the best part is the products are available to buy through the MyDeco site. This brings me onto another handy tool, when you pick a product the size, price, colour and supplier are displayed, so you can work out exactly what will fit and if the flow of the room will work. If it does, then you can surf on down to the online store and get your order in! If you’re on a tight budget, that’s okay, the system will calculate how much you’ve spent so you  don’t end up designing a room for £10,000 instead of £1000!

Finished render of design with price list

Plus, when you pick a colour of paint for the walls, you’re given an option to request a sample pot of that colour direct from Dulux! The possibilities are endless!

But there are few little snags with the software, Interior Designer at the National Design Academy, Vicky Arbuthnot had a little test run, she said, “I find it a little frustrating the I can’t put stud walls in my plan or change the size of the windows, so this meant I needed to alter the size of the whole plan. That said, the software is great for beginners who want to visualise a design, see manipulation of space and traffic flow. It’s also a great tool for those who want to progress onto more complex systems.”

The image below shows the back view of my design, but what it doesnt show is there are two arrows, left and right,  underneath the simulation that you can use to spin the design around and view from various angles.

After faffing about for over an hour, I was sort of happy with my design and decided I could brave the storm and share my creation with the world. From the top menu, I could tweet, Facebook or blog the design which I now regret slightly as the design team here kind of ripped it apart, but I do appreciate they’re pro’s in their field and only say what they see (tears welling up).

Sharing your design

I jest, MyDeco’s 3D room design is a beneficial tool to those wanting to accurately see what their design would actually look like without paying a penny. The site also has a large selection of designs uploaded by other users that are perfect for drawing inspiration and ideas. I’d suggest you have a bash and see what you can come up with! Make sure you forward them on to me and I’ll post your scheme up!

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NDA National Design Award shortlist – Katherine Charles

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, NDA National Design Award 2011, The National Design Academy, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – Wallpaper that will literally brighten you’re day

This Design of the Day will certainly make your ears prick up and eyes open wide! Here is a revolutionary design by Swedish Artist Camilla Diedrich, that will transform any wall in any home into a glowing feature piece! Her fiber-optic wallpaper collection, Nature Ray Charles, is simply mesmerising with its subdude lines and feminine flower motifs, which project out the light.

Diedrich was drawing on her computer one day and accidentally slipped, knocking her keyboard and changing the appearance of the drawing making it extremely light. She then associated this with how blind people might view the world and the musician Ray Charles popped into her head. His name was then adopted as the collection’s title.

The are 8 different colours of paper to choose from so a colour to suit every personality! However, I’m struggling to find an explanation for how the light is sourced, powered fitted within the paper, so if anyone had a clue please give me holla, I’m dying to know!

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Design of the day, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky

Design of the Day – Polar bear rug speaks a thousand words

A team of designers have a taken one of the worlds most pressing environmental issues and created a piece which speaks louder than words. Designers Ricardo Casas, Alejandro Castro, Héctor Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy and Cecilia León de la Barra have produced a thought provoking rug, which contrasts it’s oft and pleasant texture with the prickly problem we have surrounding the rapid decline of the Polar bear and melting ice caps.

Ironically named ” Global Warming“, this statement piece is sure to make anyone stop and think whether its placed in a living room, waiting room or café. I’m very impressed with the rugs simple design and how it conveys this message with such impact.

I would definitely have one of these in my home as way of raising awareness of global warming.

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Filed under Design of the day, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky

Design of the Day – Mirror Mirror on the wall….

…Who’s the prettiest of them all? Show off your collection of beautiful snaps in a trio of vintage hand mirror picture frames from Urban Outfitters.

These elegant picture frames are perfect way to give the walls of your boudoir a splash of Louis XIV glam for only a tenner! I’ve just ordered mine and you best be quick before all the beauty queens in the land snap them up!

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