HOT: Roll-Up

No, we’re not talking about those nasty fruit rubbers! Roll-Up is a new bicycle valet parking service which is launching at State of Design.

Instead of locking your bike up to the nearest lamp post, cyclists can get their bike valet parked for free by the fun-fair themed Roll-Up crew. It’s a great initiative as the provision of safe, secure and convenient bike parking will hopefully encourage people to take active and sustainable transport to festivals and events.

Melbourne is an official bike city, after all :–)

HOT: Made to Measure – Treadlie Handmade Bicycle Show, Design:Made:Trade, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

As you all know by now, the theme for this year’s State of Design Festival is ‘design that moves’. So it’s fitting that part of Design  : Made : Trade this year is an exhibition all about bikes.

Specifically, Treadlie magazine contacted bicycle builders, from professionals to amateurs, and put together an exhibition of eighteen bicycles – from cargo bikes to elegant step-throughs, cruisers to single gears. Each bike comes with a story….

Here are some of my favourites:

Bumble Bee – Mick Peel, Busyman Bicycles – Concept and Leatherwork Design, Dan Hale, Shifter Bikes – Assembly and Wheel Build.

Can you believe that this bike was salvaged from a rusty old frame lying in the gutter? Mick’s eyes were drawn to the fancy key-lined lug work and pinstriping. He then set about repolishing and chrome-plating the handlebars and stem, adding new parts and finishing off the details with a beautiful customised leather seat with a bumblebee motif.

Big Mama. Whoa get a load on that bike! David Bowan from Bobo Bicycles was commissioned to build a load-carrying courier bike and while his frame building jigs were set up for that project he took the opportunity to build a load-carrying bike for child transportation and urban family use.

This bike can carry up to 3 kids with easily removable seats to give flexibility in either child or load carrying. Who needs a Toorak Tractor-style SUV for the school run?

Aemilia. Such a pretty name for a pretty bike. By Nigel Venning, Mrs Fairweather – Bike Spotter and Millwright and Connie Kosti – Storyteller and Opinionist. Aemilia was first spotted by Nigel in someone’s shed. He dressed her up with some new colours, some beautiful hand-drawn, laser-cut, wooden-veneer spats, matching timber handles and leather trim.

Dandenong Tea Cart. A gloriously decorated Christiana bike from PS Bikes. A Christianna No Box bike was purchased by RMIT’s Department for Art in Public Spaces. They then commissioned artist Aslam Akram to collaborate on the design and decoration of a traditional Afghan tea bike.

The Tea Cart is to serve as a micro-business for an existing trader making tea in the Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct in the Dandenongs. It also aims to promote Afghan culture through social practice and aesthetic impact.

Design Made Trade is on 21-22 July for trade and 23-24 July for public entry, 10-5pm all days.

HOT: Design Made Trade, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

My favourite event during State of Design is Design : Made : Trade. It’s a showcase and market for small manufacturers and designer / makers, some local and some from interstate. Lighting, furniture, jewellery, stationery, ceramics, household goods – it’s all there.

Some of my highlights this year:

Karton. Living with a cardboard box never looked so good. I LOVED the low-lying Paperpedic bed (solid and very comfortable) which packs flat and can be stored in a cupboard or under another bed for lucky houseguests, the shelving units which you can paint in all sorts of colours and most of all their ram, part of their ‘Barnyard’ method of storage. I went online to buy a ram and it’s sold out already! But I’m told that new stock will be arriving in about a week.

Write to Me. I love the fitout of this stationery stall, especially the miniature typewriter that was apparently sourced from a store in Doncaster. Sadly, the machine doesn’t type teeny-tiny letters.

Edible Islands. Being an apartment dweller and quasi-green-thumb I like the idea that these planters designed for growing plants and veges on roof gardens, backyards and urban areas. Even better, they can be fit into lifts, through doors and up stairs. The planters are designed in Melbourne, made in Pakenham from 100% recycled plastic and come in a bunch of different colours.

DesignByThem. A Sydney-based design studio with a naive aesthetic. The cute StemTree brings a little bit of the outdoors to your indoors. It is gorgeous but unfortunately out of my price range.

Acewood & Mejo‘s Emotion Machine. Strap into their bike, start pedalling to power the car to play the music. As you pedal faster, your heartbeat increases and the music becomes more intense. The motion of your head and your mood’s brain waves are transformed into visuals on screen.

Chandelier and lamp by Jorge Criollo-Carrillo for Jam Factory. Jam Factory is a studio/gallery/shop in Adelaide which provides Associate training for tertiary-educated artists and designers. Staff and Associates work on Jam Factory products and commissioned pieces as well as their own work and commercialise it under the Jam Factory umbrella. I loved this chandelier by industrial designer Jorge Criollo-Carrillo made from unvarnished wood on the outside and smoked wood on the inside, barely treated with varnish. The lamp is made from walnut and oak and shares the same organic texture and shape as the chandeliers. Simply breathtaking.

The Traveller. Gift packaging for wine that’s safe to post! The cardboard is produced from recycled board using a  minimum of 95% post-consumer waste and is printed with various designs, including some specifically Melbourne ones like Federation Square and Southern Cross station. The packaging has been tested to the same extent as Australian wine packaging and has been dropped from 7 storeys just to check your bottle of wine will be ok in the gentle hands of Australia Post. There’s a space to write your personal message so it’s your greeting card as well. I loved it much I bought one ($6) even though I couldn’t think of anyone I was going to be gift-giving wine.

Design Made Trade is on 21-22 July for trade and 23-24 July for public entry, 10-5pm all days.

HOT: Look.Stop.Shop, State of Design 2011, Melbourne

Look.Stop.Shop, a popular event from State of Design 2010, is back again this year with more looking, more stopping and more shopping!

To refresh your memory, Look.Stop.Shop is a free, self-guided tour of window displays and in-store installations of some of Melbourne’s favourite retailers, from the flagship Melbourne Myer store to little independent boutiques hidden in laneways. They’ve all taken the State of Design theme for 2011 ‘Design that moves’ and intrepreted it in their own unique ways.

The best way to start the tour is to drop into the State of Design festival hub at Melbourne Central’s Shot Tower Square. There you can pick up a map and guide from some customised cargo bikes from PS Bikes (more design that moves!) and the hub will also be running various events, from parades to pop up shops, during the period of the festival.


From there, you can choose a short path, long path – or make up your own path!

From a total of 29 shops, here are some of the windows designed for Look.Stop.Shop this year:

RMIT Visual Merchandising Students designed the window for Kookai (Shop 134 Level 1 Melbourne Central) with a carnival fair theme.

Melbourne knitwear label Otto and Spike have constructed some giant knitting in the window of Wilkins & Kent (372 Little Bourke St). It’s real knitting – 2 people had to cast on the ‘needles’ made from discarded fabric tubing!

Sportsgirl‘s theme was ‘which side of the bed did you get out of this morning?’ (Shop 18-23 Centrepoint Mall, 283 Bourke St). Two videos were shot in East London – one on Super 8 and one on VHS, denoting the fabulously organised morning and the haphazard alarm-didn’t-go-off morning. The mirrored structure at the entrance of the store reflects the floor, the people and the store in a constantly moving tableau.

Finally, this year the program includes The Scale of Things, a mobile cart showcasing designs from some of Melbourne’s artists and crafters.

You can vote for your favourite shop here and to be in the running to win a pair of Brooks running shoes (pun intended), with the winning shop announced on 8 August.

You can become a fan of Look.Stop.Shop on Facebook.

HOT: Chasing Kitsune, State of Design 2011

Winter in Melbourne can be pretty grey, cold and miserable but it does bring with it some joys – festivals galore!

One of my favourite festivals is State of Design, Victoria’s annual design festival. So get ready because from 20-31 July I’ll be bringing you lots of State of Design related blog posts. I’ve got my online Festival Planner all sorted and diarised!

This year the theme for State of Design is ‘Design that moves’. Interpret that in any way you wish – design that moves you emotionally, design that moves you physically. One of the events which falls into the latter category is Chasing Kitsune, a Japanese food truck – otherwise known as a  Yatai – designed by Melbourne architecture and design firm HASSELL.

Chasing Kitsune has been cunningly fitted out inside a Budget rental truck by another design firm Schiavello and it will be moving amongst various inner city areas during the period of the festival, with outdoor seating set up in each location. The Japanese street food is courtesy of Mopho – finger-licking-good chicken yakitori, okonomiyaki and pork ramen feature – and drinks are a choice between Asahi and Robot Ninja Sake.

Melburnians love their food and love a pop up, so I’m guessing that Chasing Kitsune will be a hit. You can follow Chasing Kitsune on Twitter or  Facebook or download the State of Design iPhone app to receive Chasing Kitsune location hints.

Thank you to HASSELL for inviting me to the launch.