Design for good: Wildlife conservation with Egg Picnic

By Penny Craswell

Egg Picnic is a Sydney-based design duo devoted to wildlife conservation. A mutual love of both design and the natural world was the starting point of the partnership which began when Chilean graphic designer and illustrator Camila De Gregorio met Australian industrial designer Christopher Macaluso in Milan in 2009. They found inspiration in each other’s work, collaborating across 2D and 3D to create illustrations, characters, prints, objects and art toys – at first in Milan, then in Santiago.

Galah by Egg Picnic. Image: supplied


Now based in Sydney, the pair sell illustrations, art toys and objects depicting birds and wild animals, using simple lines and shapes to create characters that tread a fine line between art, design and cartoon, but also exude a serene stateliness that is utterly contemporary. Prints of individual species include the Hooded Plover, Australian Magpie, Galah and Spotted Eagle Ray (to name just a few), while larger prints such as Marsupials of Australia or Birds of Australia feature a line up of creatures. All prints are signed and include information about the species with the purchase. Read more

Royal Doulton celebrates 200 years of ceramics

By Penny Craswell

I knew that Royal Doulton’s celebration of 200 years in Sydney was going to be special from the moment I received an invitation printed on the back of a plate. With an image of a bowler-hatted gent standing in Sydney harbour painted by street artist Nick Walker, one of Royal Doulton’s most recent collaborations, this elaborate gesture was the first of a series of wonderful moments, especially for a ceramics nerd like me.

Royal Doulton's 200 year anniversary, Sydney. Photo: Penny Craswell
Royal Doulton’s 200 year anniversary, Sydney. Photo: Penny Craswell
Invitation on a plate! Photo: Penny Craswell
Invitation on a plate! Photo: PC

The event itself was spectacular, held in a cavernous space at Sydney’s Fox Studios, with a specially-built timber-gridded mini pavilion constructed inside, showing groupings of the work on each shelf. In the next room, a sit down dinner was held along five long tables – one for each designer/collection. Read more

Video: London illustrator Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton

Video: London illustrator Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton

London-based illustrator Charlene Mullen has collaborated with Royal Doulton, using her expertise in the fashion industry working with pattern and repetition to create two beautiful new ranges of ceramic tableware. In particular, “London Calling” provides a contemporary, architectural view of the city, while her signature red is dotted through the Blackwork collection.

More on Royal Doulton

 

Blackwork by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton
Blackwork by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton
London Calling by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton
London Calling by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton
London Calling by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton
London Calling by Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton

 

 

Bruno Munari’s children’s book Circus in the Mist

A couple of years ago, I contributed a number of texts to the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design which was my first book contribution and an amazing experience. The Phaidon editors selected every example they commissioned from me – from infographics, to fonts, to magazine covers – and as a result, I learnt so much about graphic design. Even though 26 of my entries were published, for some reason, a few stories I wrote on children’s books and toys were not published – they must have decided to leave these out. So, since it is just sitting there, here is one of the stories I wrote, on a beautiful book by Italian designer and artist Bruno Munari.

Circus in the Mist by Bruno Munari. Image via LOG
Circus in the Mist by Bruno Munari. Image via LOG.

 

Circus in the Mist – or Nella Nebbia di Milano – was created by Italian designer and artist Bruno Munari in 1968. With black illustrations printed on transparent paper, this is not just a children’s book, but an object of play. Read more

Video: Bjarke Ingels on architecture as fiction

“If documentary is to document our world as it already is, fiction is to fantasise about what it could be. In that sense, architecture is the fiction of the real world. Turning dreams into concrete reality with bricks and mortar. Architecture is the canvas for the stories of our lives.”

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has created an engaging and inventive video sharing some of his ideas about how architecture allows fantasies about the future to become reality. I like the mountain apartments in particular which create a pyramid-like stepping structure so you can have your garden apartment with views in a multi-storey residential tower. And the drawings are fun and well done.

Check out the video on archdaily.