12 may. 2020

Working from Home: Biophilia

We spent time at home more than we have ever and somehow we have this urge now to bring the outside inside.
The biophilia hypothesis (also called BET) suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. So this urge of buying plants during the lockdown might have its scientific explanation. 
House in Ho Chi Minh City

Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hyporthesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as the "the urge to affiliate with other formas of life".
Biophilic spaces have been defined as spaces that strengthen life and support sociological and psycological components: being able to unburden our cognitive syste,, foster the optimun of our sensorial system in terms of neuro-motorial influence, induce a strengthening in emotice and biological terms, support the neuro-endocryne and immunological system.There are some studies that connect speed recovery of patients in hospitals having plants in the same room, there are clinincal evidences of strength.


PSLab Store in London

Decimo Restaurant in London

Office with a Patio by Shogo Onodera & Tsukasa Okada


In recent years we have seen this trend of introducing plants not only in our households but as well in the workplace. Plants and greenery has been a recurrent tool by interior designers and architects to make spaces more appealing and probably mr Wilson theory is right and we have a natural instict to be drawn towards nature.

Some very cool flat interior with lush greenery florishing during this lookdown:



If you are looking to a place where to get your plants from I will highly recommend Conservatory Archives.... beautiful selection of tropical and indoor plants and amazing hand crafted pots.


If you want to save money you can always go to Patch or check within your local neighbourhood.  In my case in the south of London Walworth Garden is a unique charity dedicated to imporoving lives through horticulture. 

4 may. 2020

The Haçienda

I am currently updating my Portfolio and remembering a project that I did with Ben Kelly... I started to question: When are we going to be able to go out to enjoy music and dance again?

Ben Kelly is one the UK´s most influential designers. He is best know for his interior design of the legendaty nightclub, The Haçienda in Manchester.




The Haçienda opened in 1982 and until it closed in the late 90s it was a reference in acid and house music.



Following the spirit of the Haçienda and putting Manchester again as an epicentre of the electronic music is Depot Mayfiend

Last summer I went to Homobloc a queer festival with one of the best line ups ever! Organised by the founders of Homoelectric, Manchester.






28 abr. 2020

Working From Home: Buying a Desk

Most of our homes have to be addapted to this new situation in which we have to work from home. If the previous post helped you to decide where to locate your new working station, now I am going to help you to decide on what to buy to set up your home office, starting by the desk.

Recently I have to go through the process myself and I am going to list all the options I considered.




The Orson Compact Desk by Mathew Hilton. This is a quite robust design that as it name states it is very compact with the only porpuse to fit in in the living room of our homes. What I like about this design is that it has a lot of compartimens allowing you to keep your work station tidy. It is an elegant design that does not stand out so it fits perfectly with any style. On the negative side it is an expensive piece of furniture but a good investment for the future.



Calamo Desk by Gabriele Rosa. If you are a fan from Italian Design this is your desk. Very elegant and minimal furniture piece that almost looks like a console and not a desk. Its main adjvantage is that its minimal proportions makes it very easy to locate in any place of our home. However, its price might not be a match for you if you are looking for something more economic.



Stockholm desk by Mario Ruiz. If you are looking for a piece of furniture that is less conventional but still very practical, this is your option. What I like about it is the idea that when is not used it does not read like a desk.



Georg Desk by Skagerak. For those who are fan of the scandinavia style and they do really have a lack of space, this is your choice. The desk rest in just two legs and it is cantiliever from the wall. As an extra you can buy a drawer to use as storage. It is price as it is size it is not much.



CPH90 Copenhague desk by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, this is another cheap option that comes in many different finishes options. It is as well a very robust design made in very durable materials. Dimensions are the minimum required for a work station in any office 1300mm by 650mm.

If all these options are too expensive or you are looking for a more temporary option that is afordable, IKEA has some interesting options for you. Personaly I went for the option of making my on easel table as I needed a long table to suit two people sittinng together. With two black tresles and a 2m long white table top



Another option I considered was the easel desk by Wellindal. It comes with a glass top, which will help to make your room look bigger as it will disepear in the space. A more up lifted option from the traditional workshop table.



20 abr. 2020

Richie Culver


Thank you instagram and your random algorithm for taking me to the super cool work from Richie Culver




Born in the north of England this London based did not go to school and trainned himself as an artist. His canvases are autobiographical and based on english culture. He started collaborating with fashion brands, but was social media what consolidated him as an artist.

Worth lisening to his interview at Art Proof Podcast
Worth reading interviews at Abstract Mag and Delfian Gallery

17 abr. 2020

Working from Home: Space Planing

For many of us it has been a month already since Covid 19 has afected our lives in a way we could not imagine it before. In some countries people are expending 24h 7 days a week at home. And most of us living in flats where space is an issue (according to the RIBA the average one bedroom flat is 46sqm).

The challenge is how to addapt the space and make it flexible so it could be our work environemnt as well as our rest/leissure space? The aim of this post, and more to follow, is to tranform your house into a friendly workplace that is able to coexist within your home set up.


But let´s start from the begining and working form home needs some SPACE PLANING.

The first issue that we all have is the lack of space and the need to have a dedicated area for the home office. This is an issue when we do not have a spare room that we can use as an studio.

My first advice picking a space that is as far as possible from the bedroom. To be able to incorporate a routine we need to diferenciate these two spaces. We want to recreate the feeling of comuting, going to the office even if it is just walking 5 metres. Some of you may have jobs which, have to take a lot of calls and if you are two in the house that might make that difficult. Then use the bedroom as a conference room, but always come back to your desk space.

Where can this desk space be? Most of the popullation concentrated in big cyties lives in 1 and 2 bedroom flats. This leaves with only two options of space to use as a work station: the living room or the kitchen.

Let´s study the different possibilites within these two spaces, of course each case is unique and it is impossible for me to give a general rule that applies to all but by giving you general advice you will be able to decide, find that space or help you to decide what you need to set up your place to work at home.

If you have to work in the living room:
- Do not work from the sofa or lounge chair. No sitting up right is not only bad for your posture but it shortens the breathing patterns which will make you feel more tired. So please avoid the launge area from your living room. May be use it to take calls or to check emails while having a cup of coffee.
-Do you have a dining table? This would be the ideal place for you to sit. It has the ideal height and you would be able to sit correctly with good ergonomics to avoid future back problems. This is not a luxury that we all can afford in terms of space, so may be is the time to re think spatially your living room and order a desk.
-We are runing out of options. If you have ever practiced yoga or pilates, you will notice that the more you imporve your practice the more confourtable you feel in your squat position. Many curtures and tribes do not use chairs. Porbably this going to the extreme but you could give it a go. It is worth having a read at this post https://ekaminhale.com/blogs/news/standing-desk-vs-floor-sitting , which includes many inspirational quotes including one from the movie World War Z, quite ironic that the blog entry is dated in 2015 and 5 years later is so relevant.

If you have to work in the kitchen:
- Standing sometimes helps with concentration. Have you thought about working in the kitchen counter? In my previous workplace we had a hot desking approach and wvery morning you could sit anywhere. I normally picked a standing desk. I suffered from neck pain, back pain and more recently from knee pain due to excersicing and this really helped with my recovery. Also it is very good for multitasking, as you can cook at the same time you are working.


Finally we need to have the feeling that we are leaving the office, we have to be able to disconect and re set our minds thinking we are in off from work and in leissure mode eventhough we are in the same space. How can we do this if we work in the areas of our home where we do the cooking or watch tv, the two main activities during the lockdown. The answer is put your work things away. Put them inside a box, inside a drawer. If it is a pain for you to set things up again in the morning pile some books on top of the laptop, make it inaacessible. The key is to be able to to disconnect and to not have eassy access to your work.


What if your laptop ois your way of entertainment? Then change the set up, move from your work space and go and lay in the couch with your computer but do not watch your favourite series sitting as if you were working. It is important to set the boundaries and somehow tell the brain that work is over.

Finally when we talk about desingning spaces is not only how we phisically approach to them. Our perception of the space can be conected to other senses like sound and vision. When is the time to leave the office and to close down, why don´t you dim down the lights? Why not lighing up some candles. Set the the correct mood for you to relax and switch off. May be you change the music. Create a playlist that helps you to stop thinking about work, may be is chill music or may be is the opposite and it is your time to transform the living room into a gym blasting the latest pop hits on your Sonos.


In the next entry I will list some of the links worth having a look is you are thinking of buying a new desk and new work setting that will work with the style of your home without standing out too much.

#workfromhome

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