Monday, May 30, 2011

The Architect Barbie

We've seen Barbie as a princess, a fashionista, police woman, tennis player and as various glamour personalities. This is the first time ever that Barbie explores the field of architecture, all thanks to the partnership between Mattel and American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Architect Barbie
Barbie Architect via Design Milk

Even though Barbie traded in her couture gowns for practical work clothes, she still looks ever so glamourous with a hard hat, blueprint tube casing, a model house, chic work outfit and black rimmed glasses.

This has got to be my favourite Barbie, way better than haute couture Barbie and a million times better than the ones by Louboutin that come with a set of the red soled shoes. I mean, come on! Don't get me wrong. I love Louboutin shoes and wished I could afford to own more of them. But, what is the blatant marketing of a high fashion brand to young girls supposed to achieve?
Barbie by Christian Louboutin - how are young girls supposed to relate to this? via Barbie Collector

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Combating the Heat

Those of you living in Peninsular Malaysia will agree with me that the dry spell, heat wave and haze earlier this week was becoming close to unbearable. Malaysia is supposed to be a tropical country with plenty of rainfall throughout the year but there has been little of it recently. We need it so bad right now to bring down the temperature and clear the haze that has turned our skyline grey.
Blurred visibility of KL skyline earlier this week via The Star

I work from a little study in my home with large windows and a gorgeous view of a communal garden that I share with other residents in my gated community. Sounds lovely, but I suffer tremendously from this west facing room. Starting from noon each day, the sun fully exposes herself into the room. Whilst the windows are shielded by thick blinds, it is also absorbing the heat from the sun and radiating it into my room which produces more heat.

What are the solutions to fend off some of the sun rays without blasting the AC all afternoon? You could plant a tree to shade your window or you could tint your windows. I'm going for the second option. From my brief research, I found that automotive tinting companies such as LLumar and Huper Optik are able to tint your home windows with the same type of film that they use for cars.

There are many other window shield and tinting brands in the market so choose wisely. Go for those with warranty and understand the components in the films. From what has been explained to me, those made with china and ceramic are superior. If you have a different opinion to this, feel free to comment in this blog or email me. I'm speaking on behalf of Malaysians when I say that we are all looking for ways to keep our cool in a most energy efficient manner.

* Some images are from unknown sources. Please email me if it belongs to you and I'll happily credit you for it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raiffeisen Bank in Zurich

It's been a pretty crazy few weeks and I'm finally able to find time for my beloved blog. I'm anticipating that the pace of things will spike very soon and I if I do neglect this blog again, I promise you it's for a good reason and I will reveal the secret once things are in place.

While perusing through some design blogs, this office space of a bank in Zurich caught my eye. I'm not one for modernist designs but I really liked this non-conformist approach for a bank.

Pictures of past members of the bank are etched into the Hi-Mac walls using digital production. It's a far more interesting way to keep the memories of an individual than putting their photos up on walls.
Skim Milk: Raiffeisen Bank by NAU
Portraits milled into Hi-Mac walls

And get this high-tech security solution...robots access and retrieve safety deposit boxes! I wonder what they'd do if they came upon an intruder. Are they also trained to fire at them?

Computer terminals are neatly concealed into furnishing elements. It's a cool idea and I'm all for seamlessness between technology and interior furnishing but what happens when it's time for a technology upgrade?

Skim Milk: Raiffeisen Bank by NAU
Concealed terminals

Nothing in this office is really straight. There are curves in every corner including the ceiling. The pendant lights by Tom Dixon add a touch of fun and glamour to the space, and ironically rejecting the impression of banks being unstylish. Adding to that, the nude-tan-earthy colour of the chairs is very today yet very timeless.
Skim Milk: Raiffeisen Bank by NAU
Meeting room with Tom Dixon's Mirror Ball pendant lights

Skim Milk: Raiffeisen Bank by NAU
Round edges and organic curves consistent throughout the design and furnishing

* All images are from Design Milk

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