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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Design’

At least they could’ve used real books.

July 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Design, Places No Comments →

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Photo by Juan Chua

At the W Hotel in Hong Kong, the design theme is “library”. This makes it difficult to locate the buttons for the elevator. Oh sorry, the lift.

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The books, though, are fake. Used books (which can be bought by the meter) would probably have been cheaper than fake books, but they’re harder to dust.

Ask this cat at a book stall in C.M. Recto.

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Photo by Uro dela Cruz

Famous First Words

May 16, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Design 7 Comments →

austen

We’ve asked Antiquary Anne to render some of the best-known first lines in literature in calligraphy. Coming up are the usual suspects: Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit. Do you have any requests?

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Not a first line, but a passage from the first page of The Age of Innocence, commissioned for Noel.

Carpets so gorgeous, we don’t want them to fly.

May 15, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Design, Projects No Comments →

oriental carpet
The classic handwoven silk carpet

We want them to stay put in our houses so we can walk barefoot on them, sit on them, sleep on them, and most of all look at them. They make furniture seem redundant.

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Tribal carpet in a medallion pattern

On Saturday, 17 May at 6pm, In Touch Community Services is holding an Oriental Carpet Auction at the Bahia on the 14th floor of the InterContinental Hotel on Ayala, Makati. This is an event they do twice a year to raise funds for the community services of In Touch, such as the free and confidential psychological counseling helpline whose numbers appear on the left side of this page.

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A highly unusual design, featuring cats.

You’ll see dozens of gorgeous pieces from the weaving centers of the world, and get a chance to acquire them at prices lower than you can imagine. The auction is not only great fun, but you’ll come away feeling like an expert on the history and traditions of carpet-weaving.

For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact In Touch at (02)893-1893 or (02)810-6233, or email intouch@i-manila.com.ph. If you’re from a media organization and wish to cover the event, drop us a line in Comments or email saffron.safin@gmail.com.

Cocktails will be served.

Our 100 Favorite Books, rendered in calligraphy

May 06, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Design No Comments →

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Behold our 100 Favorite Books (May 2014 revision) list, written by our resident antiquarian scribe Anne Tamondong.

Reading year 2014: A graphic design book that everyone must read

April 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Design 2 Comments →

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back
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Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd, Php749 at National Bookstores.

Because as Chip Kidd writes, you’re already a designer, whether you realize it or not.

example

Loaded with excellent examples. You know that you don’t have to use every font on your computer, right?

Replay: One of our favorite TED talks.

Every movie we see #42: Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel is a box of macarons

April 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Design, Movies 2 Comments →

40. A Handful of Dust. The book is hilarious, the movie is not.
41. Homefront. It’s finally happened. We’re tired of Jason Statham.

* * * * *

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Perhaps the word that best describes Wes Anderson movies is exquisite. They are beautiful, like well-curated museum exhibitions. The color palettes are carefully selected, as if the director had begun planning his movies not with notes but with fabric swatches.

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The compositions are symmetrical.

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The production design is elaborate (It makes you want to run home and redecorate).

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The art direction is meticulous.

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The filmmaking style is unapologetically mannered, that is, not particularly concerned with presenting life as it really is.

In short, the films of Wes Anderson are macarons. When the ingredients are fresh and mixed in the precise, perfect quantities, the result is delightful (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums). One miscalculation and the outcome can be precious, or cloyingly cute (We loathe Moonrise Kingdom with a passion. Granted, this is preferable to casual loathing). Balance must be achieved, or the audience goes home feeling slightly nauseous.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a lovely box of macarons, an affectionate look at a more civilized era where everyone could expect courtesy, decorum, discretion and consideration on the basis of shared humanity. The catch is that this more civilized era may not ever have existed, but the longing for it is universal (The same way people who have read a lot of Mitteleuropean literature are nostalgic for the Habsburg empire without ever having been part of it). The filmmaker acknowledges this by putting the story of The Grand Budapest Hotel in a frame within a frame within a frame: a girl in the recent past reads a book written by a former guest of the hotel, who recalls a conversation in the more distant past with a former hotel employee, who tells a story from an even earlier time.

Macaron is apt because while it may be argued that The Grand Budapest Hotel is no more than a confection, it is a wonderful confection. If we’re going to risk diabetes and heart disease by eating dessert, it had better be a sublime dessert. Otherwise we might as well spoon lard out of a vat.

Verdict: Enthusiastically recommended. We like the way Wes Anderson acknowledges the work of Stefan Zweig, whom we “met” through one of our all-time favorite movies, Max Ophuls’s Letter From An Unknown Woman.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is now showing at Ayala Cinemas.