I appreciate that our situation is a total privilege:
we can work from home and are used to it
we are also used to be 24/24 with each other in a small living environment (a car)
we have a nice flat
we are not getting tired of each other
we are lucky enough to be less than a kilometre from most of the touristic and iconic Edinburgh’s spots, making our rare walks precious moment to enjoy the city free of people
1km radius around the flat
500m from the Castle 650m from the Meadows 800m from Princes Street 600m from St Giles’ Cathedral 1.5km from the bottom of Arthur’s Seat
Because there is not much to say about being at home, I have decided to describe our confinement in data:
35 days since we decided to stay home (few days before the beginning of the official confinement in UK)
7 short walks around the neighbourhood
6 yoga sessions with Adrienne
3 local grocery shopping
1 grocery delivery
1 time getting vegetables with the van from a farm
3 apple tarts
2 batches of crepes
1 batch of cookies
3 masks used from our China stock
1 mask lost
15 Disney movies
6 new remake Disney movies
5 studio Gibli movies
6 movies on Mubi
3 graphic novels
66 work related emails
1 zoom meeting (I am lucky)
3 online lectures
25 facetime /phone calls with family
6 skype / zoom with friends
5 drawings & paintings
2 sewing projects
We tried to avoid going out of the flat for the 2 first weeks, but as some of you know, the amount of natural light inside is limited, so we were getting a bit depressed + we were starting to have back/neck pain from working from the sofa and the lack of ‘exercise’ – so we decided to do short walks once in a while. To immortalise this situation and the beauty of the empty city, I took my camera with me and shoot the (almost) blank streets, parks and squares.
Looking back at the pictures of the week-end we did for the past two years in Scotland, and so grateful that we choose this country and make it home.
Why do we love Scotland so much ? After planning to stay for 4 years, why are we still there after 10 ?
the nature: it amazed us how wild and beautiful this country is, and after all these years we are still not tired of it. The variety of landscape is a gift we know how to appreciate: from the highlands to the islands you can’t help being caught up in the drama and light on the hills and Loch. It is a photographer’s dream. And don’t forget that Scotland has some of the most beautiful beaches of the planet.
the people: Edinburgh is home and the kindness of the Scots is definitely one of the main reason for it (+ we love love love the accent).
where we live: beautiful human scale capital, where we feel safe, where we can do everything by foot or bike: 30 min cycle on one side and we are on a beach ; 30 min on the other side and we are on the hills – where we feel not stressed (like we do in London or Paris).
we come back to family after 1h30 plane journey and 1h30 train – even if we were living in south of France we would not beat that.
should we talk about the weather ? You get used to it 😉 – in Edinburgh it is not that bad actually, it is rarely raining all day, and we have blue sky at least once a day. (to be honest we are only missing being warm).
they have deep fried mars bar, sticky toffee pudding & haggis
and finally, Scotland’s Highland Coos are the cutest.
Bellow the latest selection of pictures we took the past 2 years during week ends.
If you want to discover Scotland through our lenses – there are some other albums:
I did not do Deer Stalking ! I was Yves Gellie assistant on one of his trip to Scotland for his deer stalking project. I had to go there with an open mind as it is something I am very not confortable with and kind of despised. I discovered the job of being Ghillies/ pony boys. These guys love their land with big harts and are very respectful of nature. One of their role is to make sure that the ‘stalker’ (the rich person paying to kill the dear) will only kill an old and sick animal. They are protecting the estate and its wildlife.
I designed this stand for Edinburgh College of Art with sustainability and usability as the core concepts.
Recycled & Recyclable Core
The core components (paper tubes and plastic sheets) are already recycled materials, linked together with paper clips and screws, making it easy to assemble, dismantle and reuse in another configuration. This also leaves the materials clean, free from glue or paint that would end their recycling cycle. The coat hangers are also made out of cardboards, except for the metal hooks and clips obviously.
Taking the concept further, additional storage boxes and decoration of the stand have been made from Graduate Fashion Week 2018 waste, collected on site from skips.
The different heights of the tables make the stand accessible, as well as the shaping the space. This is enhanced by the lightning which brings up the portfolios and creates a unique, warm, boutique atmosphere. The petals have different heights to showcase different length of garments, and also giving every students equal opportunity to showcase their work.
The design was though through to limit the amount of waste & lost raw material to a minimum; every millimetre counts!
The left over of the tubes used to create the hangers have been used to make the ‘heads’ of the mannequins and the lamps are designed using the centre of the petals.
Almost every elements of the stand will be repurposed for next years’ event or donated to local charities at the end of GFW18, and when the time comes, they can be recycled again at a local waste management centre!
Kalico Plastic sheets UK based company converting waste plastics into colourful, aesthetic boards 100% recycled , 100% recyclable
Paper tubes UK based company 100% recyclable
EDIBLE plants Origin UK Will be donated to the community garden at the Edinburgh Royal Hospital
SCRAP MDF-BULBS-HOOKS-CLIPS EU based companies, local shops To be reused in the build of 2019 stand
Thank you to
Mark Kobine for your help, advices and sharing pains aux chocolats. Emily Ford-Halliday & Mal Burkinshaw for the opportunity and trusting me.
Linda Wilson, Juliet Dearden & Claire Ferguson for your support.
Wendy Bruce for your kindness and making everything easy. Design Informatics for letting me use the studio and workshops.
In 2016, The Design Informatics Pavilion was designed by Biomorphis, an Edinburgh-based architecture practice led by Pierre Forissier. Interested in how digital technology can be efficiently used to design an affordable modular structure, Biomorphis developed an algorithm to test and generate different cellular divisions to form a self supporting lightweight building envelope. For this 2017 edition I have been employed to give it a facelift, inspired by the 70 years anniversary of the Edinburgh Festivals starting from the launch of the first festivals in 1947 to 2017, by the Design Informatics research topics and data from Edinburgh.
The graphs painted on the pavilion give the local context in which the festivals and Design informatics are taking place: the top line graph represents rainfall in Edinburgh in August in 5 year periods between 1947-2017. The bottom of the pavilion represents the elevations of Edinburgh during a walk through the cities most popular venues so starting on George Street and going to the Castle, the Meadows, The pleasance etc.
Then, the idea was to situate the history of the festivals in an international context, represented by technological breakthrough: each panel of the pavilion represents 5 years, creating a time line where icons (vinyls on acrylic) representing carefully chosen innovations, as well as some of Edinburgh festivals. Moreover, it established a link to Design Informatics, where students are trained and researcher worked on developing tomorrow innovations.
The pavilion become a time travel vessel: the outside is displaying the past of innovations, leading to the inside with the exhibition where you can imagine what the future might look like.
To realise this project, I worked in collaboration with Sigrid Schmeisser, to designed the icons. She realised the exhibition graphics, panels and brochure.
I invigilated Reciprocity exhibition by Patrick Stevenson-Keating and jewellers Jonathan Matthew Boyd and Adam Hendersonat RBS West End Branch in Edinburgh for two weeks this summer.
It was unlikely to have it in a Bank when the topic was about imagining a different way of banking, imagining the future of banking in a quite subversive way.
Description of the exhibition from Design Informatics web site: Can the most mundane of financial transactions be used as a force for good? Designer Patrick Stevenson-Keating tests the possibilities through his imaginary bank with its own notes, debit card and cash dispenser. Highlighting our normally passive role within the global economic system he shows that money and finance are not just tools for buying and selling but for shaping society. Reciprociti was commissioned through the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence programme 2014 and will be the first time it has been shown in Scotland. Alongside Patrick’s installation will be the work of jewellers Jonathan Matthew Boyd and Adam Henderson which questions the perceptions of innate value by considering the materials, processes and concepts which determine it. Curated by Saltmarket Design, the exhibit explores these dynamics by displaying the use of current technologies, questioning physical form and how individuals use technology to create social dialogues.
After the first day of the exhibition one of the jewellery piece has been censored, as a customers argued that it was not appropriated for a bank. The piece is called WEAR A JONNY (gold brooches in the form of unused condoms):
The artists described it as follow: “JONNIES are the strangest commodity. The ultimate one-use product; their use can save lives and prevent disease. They are a cheap and effective product which despite their visual aesthetic should be celebrated. GOLD a commodity, which we hold in the highest value. A gold JONNY, question your values and wear with pride.”
For this idea I looked into the concepts of ‘creating your own border’ and ‘staying in your confort zone’, resulting to refuse to see in the other side of the road how people are living or even your closest neighbour ?
This observation started with the living lab project, where the two cycle paths going through Inverleith divide the neighbourhood into three different parts. This division coincides with the level of deprivation of the area, resulting in the path acting like a border within the community (see picture bellow). The journalist Anna Minton, claims that divisions in the cities are a key factor behind rising fear of crime and that the link between security and discrimination is most distinct at the extremes of ‘the social spectrum’, in very wealthy or very deprived areas. (2009, pp. 139-140 – Minton, A. (2009). Ground control. London: Penguin Group).
My feeling is that it is very easy to stay on a routine, ‘bury ours head in the sand’. It allows us to not called into question our behaviours and the impact of our actions in the society.
I believe that developing empathie, be open to others would help to create a better word. Experience, relate and understand others could help to be more open on the world surrounding us (on different scale) and try to ‘be in the shoes of someone else’. In a sense brake the borders we create.
That is why I had this idea to visualise the invisible borders within the city. Where are these streets which divide a ‘healthy’ neighbourhood to a ‘deprive’ one. How can you make people aware of these ‘invisible’ borders ? And by visualising them, could it help to awake about these disparities. Also, are people from one side of the road go to the other side or are they staying within their territory ?
I fist superposed the deprived scale map of Edinburgh on a satellite screen shot of the same territory. Then I traced in top, the road which separated two area with very different colours (a healthy area to a more deprive one).
It gives a different vision of the town. When you see the maps with the colours, you see the territories. When you only have the lines, to is about seeing the borders, and make reflect on the fact to ‘cross borders’, ‘walk in the territory of someone else’, ‘being curious of what is happening in the other side of the road’.
The final step was to convert these lines into ‘cloud’ or smoke, in order to make the borders visible but also fog and mist blur boundaries.
I made an image, trying to represent how it would look like.