November 2009

The birthday posters take on the lolly bags

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Some kids get a clown, our kids get birthday posters. Bike madness descended this birthday as the boys and the bikes came together on mass to create their version of Beijing traffic. Watch out, ring, ring.

Thanks again to Mr Geddes for printing our chaotic posters.

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Urban paradise or out of control eyesore

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pipandco_honkonggarden_09112701One of the great things about being a creative based business is that an aspect of life – creativity and creative thinking can be applied to anything and everything.

In such a space a creative idea or thought doesn’t have to be a finished thought or resolved outcome, in other words creative thinking doesn’t have a brand strategy or an abstract image or painting.

Many ideas and musings have no real purpose. One idea is of a jungle in the urban context – the wild nature of city living. Often you will hear referenced in conversations, even in music, that urban life can be referred to a jungle – it’s a jungle out there.

Sometimes this notion of city living becomes real. This house in the suburbs of Melbourne is such a place. It is a wonderful thing to encounter such a place and imagine what goes on within its boundaries. Many people would see such a place and want it cleaned up and brought back to normal. We like the idea that these places exist as reminder of how wild things can become when a human routine such as doing the gardening is overlooked or becomes unimportant.

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Several months ago this overgrown property was made normal again, the above image records its transition.

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A tea about extra/ ordinary and architecture

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The studio is busy developing event materials responding to the theme extra / ordinary for the up and coming Australian Institute of Architecture conference held in Sydney, April 2010.

This tea towel is one of the take-a-way items for architects looking for an extra/ordinary kitchen accessories.

For details visit the conference’s website

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Love tea, love you, buy thee

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Kere Kere, Melbourne Uni’s answer to coffee with soul, has produced a gift tea towel designed by the studio. For $20 per towel, decide where the profit goes either to a cultural, environment, social causes, or to the owner, and spread Kere Kere’ message to give with no expectations.

Visit Kere Kere at Melbourne Uni or the website here for your little bit of love

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Taking an Australian design story to China

Andrew’s presentation entrance

Andrew’s surprise presentation entrance

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Five minutes later the Koala suit is getting real hot

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Andrew dreams of lethal lazer eyes while posing with Brisbane design week poster

Delegates sampling design by Lancashire, Pip and Co and Pidgeon

Delegates sampling posters by Lancashire, Pip and Co and Pidgeon on day 01

Cultural clichés are aspects of a culture’s make up that many people involved in creativity and innovation avoid. A term has been developed to describe this process – cultural cringe.

When an Australian talks about graphic communication to an international audience there are many considerations to make when preparing the presentation – How can one present the idea of Australian design in a memorable and provoking context?

The presentations that appeal to the studio are outcomes where the speaker attempts to move beyond the typical ‘show and tell’ format to explore ideas, stories and contexts that attempt to engage the audience with unique narratives – It is compelling to be drawn into creative dialogues where one is taken on a journey. Lectures by Chip Kid, Irma Boom, Paul Sahre, Shigeo Fukuda, Tobias Frere-Jones, Sagmiester and Rick Poynor come to mind. These lecturers have made moments that make creativity compelling, funny, instructional, inspired, simple, seamless, curious and unique.

Our presentation in China for the Icograda World Design Congress explored many ideas which tipped upon – the make up of creative cultures, what are the icons of Australian culture, the perception of design in Australia, to shifts in the roles of producing the creative product.

We asked ourselves – how would a Chinese, Canadian, Brit, German or American respond when the idea of Australia, or Australian design, was presented to them? On mass we felt the idea of Australia was an obvious vision filled with Koalas, Vegemite, The Opera House and dangerous creatures. The idea of Australia design, in contrast, we felt may invite a long thoughtful pause which morphs into variations of Koalas, Vegemite, the Opera House and dangerous creatures.

We concluded that Australian design is a little known facet of the international community and that Australia’s top cultural icons and clichés have little reference to creativity and design, as compared to communities in Europe, the US, Japan.

Put this theory to the test – ask a friend what iconic internationally known American, French, German, English, Italian, or Japanese design they know? The typical response will probably quote a range of cars, buildings, fashion labels or products.

Then ask the same friend to – Name any iconic internationally lauded Australian design which comes to mind?

With this idea in hand, we felt that it was timely to embrace one of Australia’s great icons, the koala, and tell our version of Australian design in print and in presentation.

Thanks again to David Pidgeon, David Lancashire, Rita Siow, Tanja Hall and Sarah for their support prior and during the process of making this curious project real.

Read about cultural cringe here

Visit ICOGRADA here

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