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Crane.tv is a contemporary-culture video magazine, focusing on arts, design, style, food and travel around the world. Launched in 2010, Crane.tv comprises a talented team of journalists, videographers, producers and digital marketers — gifted storytellers who present emerging and established creative scenes from around the world.

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The Lowline: Bright Lights (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 6:08 AM

In the modern city, space, as any over zealous estate agent will gleefully tell you, is at a premium. As city-dwellers fight for living space in the heart of the metropolis, pleading not to be put out to pasture in the suburbs - what a terrifying word that can be to some - they are also demanding an immediate environment full of public and green space; aesthetically pleasing as well as close to great transport links and amenities. Human beings, particularly urbanites, are a demanding bunch.

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Perhaps the answer is under our noses, or more accurately, under our feet. James Ramsey of the New York-based Raad Studio has hit upon a novel way of repurposing abandoned spaces, starting with an old trolley depot below the streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side that looks like a set from a Saw film. The project is titled the Lowline and is scheduled for completion in 2018. The idea is to channel sunlight from street level, illuminating the space below and providing natural light for photosynthesis, so plants can grow, creating "basically a cave with a science fiction garden".

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Ramsey explains: "As [cities] get more crowded we have to start getting a bit scrappy about how we can claim space we can use for public or green space. The basic idea of the Lowline is to use advanced solar technologies to harbour sunlight, send it down, almost like plumbing or irrigation, and redistribute that light... transforming this abandoned space into something for the public
good."

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Here's the science bit: the proposed solar technology of the Lowline involves the creation of a remote skylight, whereby sunlight passes through a glass shield above a parabolic collector, is reflected and gathered at one focal point, and directed underground. Sunlight is transmitted onto a reflective surface on the distributor dish underground, transmitting that sunlight into the space.

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Right... Ramsey admits he's struggled to identify exactly what has captured the public's imagination about the project. Could it be the cutting-edge green technology, or an element of DIY urban renewal (that's DIY in the loosest possible sense)? Perhaps it's the undeniable romance of discovering a secret space in a bustling and saturated city like New York?

James, it's quite simple: it's a really good idea.

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Röyksopp: The Inevitable End? (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 11:35 AM

''Röyksopp'' is Norwegian for mushroom cloud -- the result of an atomic blast.

It all started when two boys, with a shared passion for electronic music, met at a young age. Svei Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland were 12 and 13 years old when they first started making music together.

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Having grown up and spent their childhood in Tromsø, the magnificently untouched scenery of Northern Norway is often referenced as one of their main inspirations.

Since 1998, when Röyksopp was officially formed, they have been nominated twice for a Grammy and have won at the Spelleman Awards, the most prestigious ceremony in Norwegian music, an impressive seven times.

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Their distinct instrumental electronic sound began to receive international recognition through their songs being used by T-Mobile in a UK television advert, as well as their collaborations with artists such as Swedish export Robyn. Besides producing, collaborating and their elaborate concert performances, Röyksopp have also put their remixing skills to good use. Roots Manuva, The Streets and Coldplay are amongst those who have had some Norwegian electronica added to their sound.

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The latest and reportedly final album, 'The Inevitable End', may have fans thinking it's a farewell from the duo, but fear not, Svei and Tobjørn explain they are simply breaking with the traditional system of releasing music on LPs. For all we know, this could mean even more Röyksopp in the future.

Text by Kika Brockstedt for Crane.tv
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Rising Stars of Rap: Pearls Negras

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Three young women gesticulate towards a camera, rapping a cappella in Portuguese, so in their element they don't notice the hundreds of eyes on them following their every step, hanging on their every word, in admiration of their raw confidence. While most won't understand them, their message could not be clearer:

We are women, we speak our minds and we will sing and dance wherever we want.
Who is this trio who've been making so much noise on the international scene? Crane.tv met Alice, Mariana and Jennifer, aka Pearls Negras, a female rap group from Brazil on the London-leg of their first European tour.

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At first glance, the hard beats seem to be in direct contrast to their appearance. But they are, in fact, the perfect match. Their sound is trap-intense and base-heavy, the lyrics sometimes beyond their age, their look daring, confident and sensual. With a clear idea of who they are and what they stand for, they defy prejudice within seconds of being on stage.

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Inspired by their north American idols, such as Nicki Minaj, Ciara and Drake, they got involved in a youth programme a few years ago, taking their first steps in performing at the Nós do Morro theatre company and school under the instruction of Jecki Brown, who is now their music producer.

All three grew up in the Vidigal favela of Rio de Janeiro, in a country perhaps better known for traditional genres such as Funk, Samba or Pagode. Pearls Negras are trailblazing female rap in Latin America, something that's widely missing in the southern hemisphere.

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Long gone are the days where women were merely background accessories to rap videos. "Women can handle rap too, we're standing up for women's power." We're certainly glad they're doing so in our hemisphere as well. Welcome to modern Hip Hop.

Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv
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The Toymakers: Bill McMullen (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 2:37 PM

Bill McMullen has been involved in some pretty cool stuff in his time.

The artist/graphic designer started out making flyers for bands during his college days. After moving to New York from San Diego, he landed a coveted job as an art director at the legendary Def Jam, creating iconic artwork for some of the label's biggest records, working closely with the Beastie Boys.

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The next logical step says McMullen, was to start making objects -- toys that aren't necessarily meant to be played with but can still be admired for their inventive nods to popular culture. Examples include a doll based on Christopher Walken's character in King of New York and the AD-AT, a hybrid of the Adidas shell toe and the Imperial Walker from The Empire Strikes Back.

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McMullen: "I'm the type of the guy that does not open their toy. I don't need to articulate a toy and have fun with it. The packaging and the presentation... that's the whole thing for me. I always want to make something that's complete as it is. I do think, 'what would I do with this thing if I had it?' I'd probably put it on my shelf with the other objects... alongside an old pair of binoculars."

See what we mean? But even McMullen isn't cool enough to predict the future. "I'm not really sure where all this is going, but it's a really great trip," he says.

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Robbbb: Among the Ruins (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 10:55 AM

In the West it can certainly feel like street art has become so ubiquitous as to have come to, rightly or wrongly, something of a dead end. But in China, where at present there is no specific law against street art, the genre is little understood. Witness the puzzled looks Beijing-based artist Robbbb receives when pasting his creations on walls and ruins across this rapidly evolving city.

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Robbbb has been an active street artist since 2011 and believes ruins "mark the development of a city. Since the Olympics in 2008... a lot of culture and landscape has been destroyed. My works co-exist with the ruins and old structures. They disappear when the ruins disappear, therefore my works are part of the ruins and vice versa."

He documents his temporary works, many of which focus on social problems linked to Beijing's extraordinary development, using photos and video. However, he doesn't expect to be as free to use the city as a canvas as he is for too much longer. As Western culture floods China, it's only a matter of time before the authorities pick up on the subversive element of street art and attempt to suppress it.

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"The major difference with street art in China and in foreign countries lies in whether or not people understand what you're doing," reflects Robbbb. "Ruins are temporary, so are my works, but I hope they'll leave some marks in Beijing's history."

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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How Some of London's Biggest Fashion Bloggers Get Ready for the Party Season (VIDEOS)

(6) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Despite the festive season coming around again every year and there being countless occasions throughout the year to dress up and attend great parties, it does seem like party season always tends to sneak up on you and catch you in a moment of unpreparedness.

Sequins, fur, short, long,...

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Unbuilt: Gaetano Pesce (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 9:47 AM

Gaetano Pesce, like his ideas, is well travelled. Born in Italy in 1939, the architect and designer has, over a career spanning four decades, conceived public and private projects in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He's also taught in France, Italy, Brazil and Hong Kong and has had homes in London, Venice, Helsinki and Paris.

Since 1980 however, he's been based in New York City, so it seemed only natural that Pesce should put forward, in 2002, a proposal for the World Trade Center rebuilding project. Pesce's twin towers were to be supported by a heart-shaped structure, picking up on the famous t-shirt motif associated with the city. It conveys Pesce's love of his adopted hometown.

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"The two towers were more important than the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of this city," he says in thick Italian tones. "It was my duty." It remained unbuilt of course, but for Pesce, modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and hinting at a future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated: "Art is an expression of reality," he says.

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Pesce sees architecture as "king or queen of the arts" and says humour is vital: "I try to express the spirit of the place. To be always serious, like most architects are, is very boring. I like to see people express themselves without barriers."

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But it's curiosity that drives him. "Curiosity brings you to discovery and when you discover you are able to make innovation," [sic] he says. "I'm always discovering things because reality is continuing to provoke us... the importance is to pay attention."

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Radio Waves: Beats in Space (Video)

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 11:29 AM

The world was a different place in 1999. New York was a different place. But one constant in the city has been Beats in Space, Tim Sweeney's weekly mix of eclectic house, disco, hip-hop, techno and dance floor friendly anthems, broadcast through WNYU. The show has been on air every Tuesday night from 10.30pm to 1am since its debut. That's 15 years without missing a week. It's all for the love of music.

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"I don't get paid doing the radio show, but I love learning about music," Sweeney says. "I love having these guests on, hearing what they play. I just have a really good time with it. It's college radio anyway so I can do what I want and I love that freedom."

In an attempt to connect with the show's global audience, Sweeney established a hotline on which listeners could leave messages for him and his guests. However, a man calling himself Victor from Washington Heights, a potentially unstable character that veers between utter contempt for "little Timmy" and the show, and adulation, has now largely hijacked it.

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"They did start freaking me out at the very beginning," says Sweeney of the over 600 messages from Victor he has saved, which are now available online. "If I play disco or anything with other languages he gets more angry than you need to be. He's definitely a patriot. When he loves the show he says that he's having a house party with hundreds of people... I feel like [the show] is really a failure if he likes it because it means I didn't play enough different music."

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Will Sweeney be spending New Year's Eve 2014 in the company of his biggest fan then? "No, he's never invited me to a house party," he says.

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Yung Gleesh (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:06 AM

Yung Gleesh is not about to provide anyone with a step-by-step guide to success. "There aren't steps that you can follow to get where I got. I can't break it down," he drawls in a thick, smoky twang. "I can tell you my story, but it's damn sure not going to work for the next man."

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Success is something the rapper from Washington, D.C., is quickly becoming accustomed to, following a series of wildly popular mixtapes and collaborations with Chief Keef, A$AP Rocky and Gucci Mane. His latest, Cleansides Finest 3, is 18 tracks of rough and ready hip-hop incorporating Gleesh's own unique slang and swagger.

"It ain't hip-hop, it ain't rap, it ain't pop, it ain't classic, it ain't bass... it's shitbag music, for people who can relate to me and what I'm talking about," he says.

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Gleesh hasn't always been so self-deprecating about his music. As a teenager he was a member of TOB, a legendary group on the Go Go scene, the city's unique, funk inspired party music -- think DJ Kool's "Let Me Clear My Throat." "We were the Jackson Five of Go Go," he says now.

Taking Crane on a drive through his nation's capital, where the awkward juxtaposition of politics, power and poverty is all too apparent, Gleesh's motivations soon become clear.

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"Pennsylvania Avenue, that thing goes through the 'hood and to the White House. You see a big difference... I'm making music to feed my family... I'm trying to turn art into paper [money]."

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Unbuilt: Vito Acconci (Video)

(2) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 10:51 AM

Vito Acconci is a restless soul. The New Yorker started out as a poet, writer and editor in the late 1960s, before turning to performance and video art. His most notorious work, 'Seedbed', involved him lying under a large ramp at the Sonnabend Gallery and masturbating for up to eight hours a day, whilst expressing fantasies about the people walking overhead through a loudspeaker.

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Later, Acconci became disillusioned with what he perceived to be art's lack of standing in the real world and began, via permanent sculpture and installation, to explore architecture. "I always wanted art to have something to do with the world, but I don't know if it really can," he says. "[But] there isn't any place you can be where you aren't in the middle of architecture."

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Acconci Studio was established in 1988 with a focus on integrating private and public space. To date, completed projects or those under construction in Acconci's idiosyncratic style include 'Swarm Street' in Indianapolis - an interactive tunnel embedded with a thousand LED lights - and 'A Building up in the Trees' (2005) in Anyang, South Korea.

However, Acconci freely admits a mere 10 percent of his proposals are ever realized: "I don't know if I can say our goal is to have built projects. If that is our goal then we've failed. But I think what unbuildable stuff leads to is a possible re-examination, not so much of the past, but of what's to come."

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Acconci has also built a significant academic career and has taught at some of America's most prestigious institutions, including Yale and California Institute of the Arts. He is currently based at Brooklyn College.

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Peter Murray Advocates for Safer Cycling in London (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 12:00 PM

Self-proclaimed cycling aficionado Peter Murray has a thing or two to say about London's infrastructure, a city that's widely known to be not particularly cyclist-friendly. With his lifelong experience in architecture and as chairman of New London Architecture, he was one of three chosen experts to make it onto mayor Boris Johnson's design advisory board, alongside Roger Hawkins of Hawkins/Brown and Sunand Prasad of Penoyre & Prasad. All have been assigned one of London's boroughs, where they will provide design advice for the proposed projects bringing safe cycling to the UK's capital.

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Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest received the so-called mini-Holland status, each having been granted £30m for changes.

The plaza outside Kingston station will be transformed and new high-quality cycling routes will be introduced, potentially with a new cycling boardwalk along the river.

Enfield town centre will be redesigned with segregated superhighways throughout, as well as three cycle hubs delivered across the borough and the addition of new Greenway routes.

Waltham Forest will see a semi-segregated Superhighway route along Lea Bridge Road developed as well as a range of measures focused on improving cycling in residential areas and creating cycle friendly, low-traffic neighborhoods.

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Peter Murray is more than qualified to offer his professional opinion on making London a more cycle-friendly city, the avid cyclist goes nowhere without his two-wheeled companion, the Brompton.

"My favourite part of cycling in London is cycling on a road with the 94 Bus," he says.

Alongside Roger Hawkins and a group of around 30 friends, Murray rode across the US, from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, UK. During this month-long adventure they looked at how major US cities are addressing certain challenges cycling communities face in dense urban areas, and experienced the country from a two-wheeled perspective.

The most memorable revelation happened on Times Square, where they learned that one weekend, local government decided to paint cyclist lanes on the roads as a test. On Monday morning, New Yorkers welcomed this change and the test lanes were turned into permanent ones. It could be as easy as that.

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For Murray however, change is not only down to carefully designed infrastructure and road construction, but has to begin with the mindset of all road users.

"Consideration between road users is a key part of creating better cities," he says. "For the past half century we bowed down to the god of the motor car and have destroyed great city centres right across the UK. That now is in reverse, there are fewer cars coming into cities, some roads during rush hour, 70 percent of vehicles on the road are cyclists, the car should no longer be king on the road."

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Respect amongst road users in the UK and in London in particular will be essential to improving life on the roads in the future, for cyclists and drivers alike, and will also be the key to the success of the proposed changes in infrastructure.

Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv
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Work: Death by Audio (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 2:52 PM

In a busy former industrial space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Oliver Ackermann and friends are busy putting the finishing touches to another batch of handmade guitar effects pedals. Under the banner of Death by Audio, these are the kinds of pedals that cause neighbours to fall out. The name should be taken literally too, at least in terms of the equipment you're plugging into.

"We create really crazy sounds that people wouldn't be able to get anywhere else, because we build things that are maybe illegal for the electronics market," admits Ackermann. "A lot of the effects we build are potentially harmful to people's amplifiers -- that opens up this world of creating sounds where you can take it to places that other people wouldn't normally go."

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Ackermann regularly goes to those places with his band A Place to Bury Strangers. As well as creating effects pedals for sale, the Death by Audio workshop also produces sound equipment and stage props for the band -- "the loudest band in New York, or some baloney." The space doubles as a recording/rehearsal studio cum arts venue, though Vice are soon to commandeer the building according to reports.

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Death by Audio is a live/work space for Ackermann. He found the building on Craigslist and was instantly smitten, but others took more convincing. "It was totally raw," he says. "A month and a half in we still didn't have hot water and people were sleeping on the cement floor. Some people moved out... it's worth it if you're willing to dive in."

For Ackermann, every day is a small act of rebellion: "I feel like everything I've aspired to do is anti what my parents would want me to do. I guess I'm still trying to rebel."

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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How to Style Winter Boots With You Magazine's Amy E Wiliams

(3) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 2:30 PM

Perhaps it's just me, but every year with the winter season approaching and the hunt for a pair of boots beginning, I am stuck deciding what to go for. New cuts, new lengths, new shapes and a whole lot of choice.

YOU magazine's fashion editor Amy E Williams is discussing new and returning boot trends this Autumn, with tips and tricks on how to style your favorite Chelsea boots with the latest fashion, what to remember when trying out a new cut like the midi boot and how to work a splash of colour into your outfit. It's time to let your boots do the walking as well as the talking.

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Color Blocking in A/W 14 with Liberty London Girl (VIDEO)

(5) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 8:46 AM

With the darker and colder days glooming, it's normal to not want to let go of Summer, of the warmth, the brightness and the colors. It just so happens that one trend this Fall season will allow you to do just that: Color Blocking.

Color blocking is the combination of strong colors in a garment or an outfit. The trend has seen somewhat of a revival since its first appearance in the 60s, later again in the 80s as well as in more recent years. It's a reoccurring trend that is here to stay. Luckily designers, despite continuously going back to the basic techniques, have always managed to create exciting modern styles that that reflect personal styles and current times.

As it's sometimes not the easiest trend to pull off successfully, but Sasha Wilkins, editor of Liberty London Girl is an expert in what color blocking entail, how to combine neon tones and what to remember when incorporating this look into your wardrobe.

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There are different ways of working the trend, of course, depending on how comfortable one is sporting all the bright colors of the pallet. One option is to go monochromatic, focusing on one strong color throughout the entire outfit, such as the red scuba dress. Sasha decided to paired it with a statement necklace, lilac gloves and some simple black boots.

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To make life a lot easier, there are also statement pieces with color blocking already incorporated. In standalone looks like this, the designer has done all the work for you, you just need to wear it.

Complementary colors are opposite each other on a basic color wheel. Combining these colors will make you stand out, but it's up to you how far you want to take the trend.

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Modern Glamour: A/W 14 Party Season Trends with Fashion Foie Gras

(5) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 10:36 AM

For quite some time now, fashion bloggers have been well en route to becoming Fashion's loudest voices when it comes to bringing trends to the people. The American force behind UK favourite Fashion Foie Gras, Emily Johnston is an expert when it comes to identifying emerging trends translating from the catwalks into everyday life and high street fashion retailers, like traditional British Marks & Spencer.

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With party season fast approaching, the questions for tips and tricks around what outfit to choose become louder by the day. We caught up with Emily, to talk new trends, unusual cuts, faux fur and a lot of sequins. A regular at the Fashion Shows for years now, Emily rightly takes a stand when it comes to new trends: "I always fully support trying everything you can about a trend and then finding what works exactly for you. I love the idea of combining textures and having a little bit more fun with fashion," she says hinting at a selection of oversized faux fur coats on the rail.

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Despite modern glamour having been described as a take on the slightly darker, more mysterious goth look, the touch of elegance that has been added to the statement pieces of the collections are worthy of being given a chance this season, despite perhaps being out of the comfort zone, according to Emily: "It's all about opulence in your closet."

London's favourite king of sequins, Designer Ashish, has been spearheading this trend from his beginnings. With retail windows now bursting with sequins and embellishments, faux fur, armoury accessories and metallic colours, it seems the high street brands have finally caught up with the high end designers, just in time for party season.

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Neïl Beloufa and Theo Danjuma -- Artist and Collector in Conversation at the ICA (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 8:07 AM

When a young artist and a collector are in conversation, it's usually about one thing: art. Neïl Beloufa and Theo Danjuma are no exception. French-Algerian artist Beloufa works across a range of different mediums, usually incorporating video and sculpture, while London collector Theo Danjuma set up his family's art collection focusing on contemporary African artists. Having met at a show in New York a few years ago, both have stayed in touch, primarily through Theo initially following and eventually collecting Neïl's work.

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This year's Frieze in London was a benchmark for both young men. Beloufa had his first major UK exhibition, Counting on People, at the ICA, while Danjuma exhibited his collection for the first time under the theme One Man's Trash.

Beloufa's work is regarded as socially critical, investigating an audiences' conventional relationship with the digital screen and other information systems. He plays with the theme of rationalisation versus love and is intent on exploring affect in certain situations.

It's architecture, meets cinema, meets sculpture.

Despite being permanently part of the Danjuma collection, Theo admits that Beloufa's work is at the other end of the spectrum. To him it's "work you have to spend time with, think about, give something to."

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Beloufa's Vintage Series from 2013 is of particular interest to the collector, especially because of the way it was created. The artist carves shapes out of walls of MDF, medium-density fibreboard made from of broken down wood residuals and pressed and burned into fibres. It's not immediately obvious to the viewer what lengths the artist has gone to in order to create the work. "It was one of the hardest things I've ever [done] in my life. MDF is glue, you're [...] just burning glue, I think I've lost five years of my life."

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What is special about Beloufa's work is that it reflects his thought processes with restrictions on the possible audience, which to him is the only way of making original work. "Some artists are really good at it, at talking to an audience, and that's when we know the work is bad, [...] or you realise talking about the work is more interesting than looking at it." If they are willing to spend some time with the work, immerse themselves in it, they may discover some truth about how people spend time with each other and engage in a digital age.

Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv
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Zeev Aram (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:41 AM

What constitutes good design? "Imagination, originality, creativity, time and passion." So says Zeev Aram, founder of London design Mecca Aram Store, and he should know. Since opening his first showroom on the King's Road in 1964 Aram has been at the forefront of design retail in the UK, seducing the British public with the impeccable aesthetics of designers such as Eileen Gray, Breuer and Le Corbusier, amongst others. At 82, Aram is unwavering in his commitment to high quality contemporary furniture and lighting.

"Design is a very important thing. Although we do take it slightly whimsically and light-heartedly, I take design very seriously, because it affects our lives everyday," he says. "It can be enlightening, pleasurable or just mundane. You can sit on a rock and it's okay, but it's much nicer to sit on an Eileen gray chair."

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The London that greeted Aram on his arrival from Israel in 1957 was virtually a design wasteland. Whilst working for several architects in those early days, including the Brutalist Ernö Goldfinger, he began to notice an alarming trend amongst the well-heeled clientele: "There was this anomaly," he says now. "People were driving cars, they had televisions but when they went home they wanted reproduction antiques, which to my mind was complete nonsense. I decided to try my best to bring furniture to the public that was contemporary, correct for the time."

That was 50 years ago and the Aram Store can now be found in 20,000 sq ft of elegantly curated space in Covent Garden, with a gallery attached. But Aram's passion for emerging talent and appreciation of a well-designed object is undiminished by time, though through experience he as learnt to be cautious.

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"It can be a dustbin, a paper cup in a coffee shop - if it's well designed, it gives me pleasure. [But] one has to be very careful when pronouncing future stars, classics, and future classics - 'future classics' is the most ridiculous phrase I've ever heard. You or me as the buyer or detector, have to be able to look through, like mining gold in water to find the little nuggets."

Thankfully, Zeev Aram has been uncovering design gold for nearly half a century now.

Text by Tom Jenkins for Crane.tv
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Isabel Lewis on Hosting 'Occasions'

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 10:56 AM

Nightlife culture is constantly evolving, constantly changing. Event organizers and club owners are forever trying to get ahead by coming up with the next big thing, whether it's the most desirable party night or the unique bar experience.

Berlin-based artist and DJ Isabel Lewis has come up with her own concept that is refreshingly different, originating in her passion for several different areas of nightlife culture. Her musical background, appreciation for food and drink and love of theatre and choreography, has inspired her to host so-called 'Occasions', arrangements of these different elements that invite her guests to enjoy themselves under her hosting guidance.

"[In] the celebratory atmosphere, people feel relaxed, they can have a drink, and they can have something to eat,' she says of her 'Occasions', during which she aims to elicit the participation of her guests by simply being inviting.

She was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up on an island off the coast of Florida. As an artist she is interested in people's experiences, as a dancer she explores the influences of movement and as a DJ she loves the impact a set can have on the audience over the course of an evening. Reacting to the need for a specific sound, or a particular level of bass, and sensing when it's time for a drink, sparked the idea.

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She was part of the ICA's Off-Site project at this year's Frieze Art fair and hosted several 'Occasions' at the Old Selfridges Hotel. Different from exhibitions or live shows that work with the concept of audience observation, her 'Occasions' offer an experience that amalgamates all the senses.

"My interest in the last [few] years has been more and more in how can I create a type of experience that brings together the human sensorium, that doesn't just rely [...] on our visual sense," she explains, while sitting in her Berlin flat, holding up a small vile. To complete the sensory experience of her evenings she is introducing the sense of smell, working in collaboration with Norwegian chemist and researcher Sissel Tolaas. The idea is that at a certain point during the evening you break the vile to let a smell enter the space around you, in order to round-up your experience.

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With her 'Occasions', the artist manages to create a relaxed, communal space that allows people to experience whatever they choose, after being offered a hand-tailored, multi-sensory evening on a platter.


Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv

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From Flat Sheet to 3D Art (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 1:46 PM

Paper. We use it daily in one way or another; to scribble and draw on, to feed our printers or simply just to read off. But this material is capable of a lot more. This is where paper engineers like Lydia Shirreff come into their own.

"I guess I got a bit bored of seeing flat things on walls," she says about her beginnings in the design world. And luckily so, considering her already impressive, still constantly expanding, client list - ranging from Tatler, Vogue, Grazia and Elle magazines to De Beers, Harrods and Lush in the retail world.

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Considering this, the possibilities for paper art seem endless. Whether it's set design for a photo shoot, stop motion animation for a website or seasonal gift packaging, intricate, hand-made, three-dimensional paper design is the advertising approach brands opt for in order to stand out to bring a touch of traditional craft back into a predominantly digital industry.

It's the combination of approaching a traditional medium with modern techniques and being inspired by sculptural work of the likes of Jeffrey Koons that makes Lydia's self-taught craft exciting to look at.

A love for shapes, patterns, textures, and an unconventional approach to design, results in her permanently exploring the limits of working with paper.

"I usually start from a sketch, and don't really plan that well, it's more trial and error," she admits, as she sits surrounded by the beautiful results of her apparently uncoordinated work method.

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For Lydia, as for every artist, bouncing ideas off someone else is essential. It therefore comes as no surprise that she often collaborates with photographers and is also part of Sope Studio, a design collective consisting of five young creatives, each with a different skill set ranging from textile design, illustration and print to up-cycled product design.


Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv

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Behold, The Digital Revolution That's Sweeping The Contemporary Art World

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 10:06 AM

You don't just see The Barbican's recently opened Digital Revolution exhibition in London, you live it, breathe it, even make it. Including contributions from artists, musicians, video game developers and fashion designers alike, the whole experience is very diverse, and results in a genre defying exhibition that is more playground...

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