70s values

70s values

Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Picture above from: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/events/leading-business-design-summit

Leading Business by Design Summit :Check overview and information in detail, at the Design Council official website. One thing is certain: summer opens its curtains to the design world, with an exquisite event, made to stir the [design] manufacturing world and beyond. On the 18th of June 2015, the heart of design beats in Birmingham city center, UK. Profit of the early booking discount, until the end of March! (today;-)

Be well, enjoy and learn!

Friday, 20 March 2015


Picture above: Dimitris Kartalis and friend!!!

Dimitris Kartalis lives and works in Thessaloniki, Greece. For more than 10 years helps paralyzed or/and amputated animals, to live a happy, active life by designing and constructing special wheelchairs. This is a fragment of his amazing story and his concept about medical design, destined to non-humans, but still as …humanistic, elaborate and inspired as you could ever imagine. Enjoy!

All4design-design4All: How did you start designing and making wheelchairs- kinetic aids for domestic animals, who have been through amputation or (partial) paralysis?

Dimitris Kartalis: In 2004, our little dog Lisa got her two back legs paralyzed , from a spinal cord injury , caused by a cat attack . That very incident was extremely frustrating and quite unfortunate for our family. Our Lisa was super-healthy and suddenly she could not use her back legs, therefore she could not walk. We proceeded, under our vet’s instructions to a very difficult and eventually unsuccessful operation. Then I realized I needed to find a way to help our little dog, since euthanasia was not an option for us. I started looking for animal wheelchairs on the Internet and I found exactly what I needed, in the USA. Unfortunately the specific wheelchair was extremely expensive, but I could not give up, since I was watching Lisa so eager to walk and live. I was always a maker and a craftsman, that’s my hobby, so I started copying relevant wheelchair-constructions from photos I found on the internet. This is how, after a certain amount of effort , I ended up making my first wheelchair for Lisa. Lisa was not afraid of the trial, she was strong and confident and so happy to walk under the support of her new accessory. We were all so happy to witness Lisa “driving” her new wheels!
People on the street started to express interest and asking me questions about the wheelchair, during  our walks. The first orders started to line up.

A4D-D4A: How many wheel chairs have you made approximately, up to this day? For what kind of animals (dogs, horses etc)?

D.K: I am not aware of the exact number, it’s been more than 10 years  now  I keep up with this type of activity-try to help disabled animals, so they lead a happy life,-like any other healthy creature. One thing I am certain of, is that the number of animals suffering a paralysis, steadily increases. In my opinion, there are two possible reasons for that: nowadays the animal owners are not ashamed of walking out their handicapped animal. Furthermore, people in general, started to realize that disability is NOT a disease. It is a difficulty, for the animal and its family, that we can all deal with. I cannot stress out enough that euthanasia is NOT a solution in these cases. Can you think of a similar situation, where you would have to put a family member, a human being to “sleep”? Please consider the answer to that “option”.

A4D-D4A: Have you in mind any type of education-training, seminar, school or university- specializing on that specific field: medical/industrial design for animal prosthetics /kinetic aids?

D.K: You will surprised but I do not have any academic qualifications directly related to  animal-wheelchair design. As I mentioned earlier, I started copying similar constructions from  the Internet and I slowly elaborated on technical details, ex. assembling different components or designing a better seat etc. This way, I evolved my technique and my design, so I facilitated the owners of animals addressing to me for help , together with improving my own skills.

A4D-D4A: Is there a specific construction, tool, object, garment, application or other- you discovered recently and got really impressed by its design?

D.K: The most important part in the construction of an animal wheel-chair is balance and durability. You need to carefully adjust all the different parts together, specially the central axis with the  side extensions.  This is where special components are needed, mostly custom-made in heavy machinery , so the safety and strength of the wheelchair are reassured. While surfing on the Internet, I discovered a big company’s new release, a state-of-the-art machinery, where one can produce special components, like the ones I use for my own wheelchairs , in a quick and effective way.

A4D-D4A: Which you consider the most difficult step in design, construction and maintenance of a wheelchair for an animal?

D.K: The most complicated stage is certainly the design of the seat, which is the part supporting the animal’s abdomen. It is vital because it has to provide horizontal support to the whole upper body of the animal. Also in male animals, further design process is needed, regarding the lower abdomen area, the genitals etc. The rest of the construction is as easy as it can be. I have created a guide, featuring  outlines and explanations, concerning the measurements the owners need to provide (how and where they should measure their cat or dog), in order for me to design and create the wheelchair  that will accommodate the animal needs.

Thanks so much Dimitris Kartalis!

For more information and advice, you can send an email to: anapirikakarotsakia@yahoo.gr


Monday, 9 March 2015

MINEHEART: Watch your steps- a Minefield of Creativity!!!


Picture above: MissChester sofa in yellow

Mineheart is a Cambridge- based studio, specializing in Home Decor design and more than that. Starters and crafters of pioneering ideas, such as lamps from recycled materials (bottles and wooden clothes pegs )- soon they expanded their scheme on soft furnishings and print. Past and present projects compose an entirely impressive portfolio, currently paying off with the company showcasing in important events and exhibitions of the international design trade, ex. Maison-Objet n Paris, France. Vanessa Battaglia, co-founder and head designer (first among equals;-),kindly illustrates for A4D-D4A, some key elements of a wonderful, cosmopolitan design puzzle.

Enjoy even more of Mineheart wonders, on their thriving website: www.mineheart.com and on :
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lovabledesign
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lovabledesign
Or subscribe to their newsletter: http://mineheart.us4.listmanage.com/subscribe/post?u=008a75965d6e35a61298bb207&id=872a72b63fn

All4Design-Design4All: You started a business, your design studio Mineheart in the U.K, you being Italian- what was the reason for you, choosing to operate from a british "platform”?

Vanessa Battaglia- MINEHEART: Honestly speaking I deeply love Italy but it is not the easiest place to start your own company. England is a great place to work from, it has lots of opportunities for young people (when we started 15 years ago;-) and has lots of support and appreciation for new creative businesses.

A4D-D4A: Humor, eco-friendly approach, futurism, graphics and perfect execution-finishing. Please define how these notions can be combined in the final product, throughout all years of your work experience.

V.B-MH: Humor or a twist is essential to our work,  it is the spark to our creativity, the stating point. Eco-friendly is a great aim but often difficult to apply.The perfect finishing is really important, we always try to find and use the right finishes for the right products and is a journey of trials and experimentations. When we manage to combine all of those elements in one product is great!

A4D-D4A: Which is your biggest influence as a designer-maker?
(It can be from design or any other field of your choice)?

V.B-MH: The creative people I love most are Leonardo Da Vinci (ideas and drawings are amazing),Tim Walker (I just adore his photos) and Alexander McQueen (early years creations).

A4D-D4A: Europe, as well as the international markets go through some major changes right now. In your opinion, how a massive, key- event such as the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, can positively influence a possible stabilization, and eventually, growth of the design market, today?

V.B-MH: This is an interesting question, I really don't know how any big event like the Salone del Mobile could possibly stabilize and even grow the design market but I really hope that it does! In the last 15 years since my degree, the design scene has changed so much but I like the direction that is taking, we are going back to the basics: appreciating craftsmanship and uniqueness.

A4D-D4A: Would you like to express a personal dream or aspiration, as a designer and citizen of the world?

V.B-MH: I would love immensely if more people will start enjoying what they do every day.

Thanks a million  Mineheart!!!

Albert rug
King Edison pendant lamp

Milking stool


Sunday, 1 March 2015


Picture above from http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/dongdaemun-design-park-plaza/

Design identity: Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, South Korea. Architect: Zaha Hadid. Project duration: 2007-2013. Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Purpose: "...Vision “Communication of Design·Creation Industry”
DDP will become to be multiplex cultural space communicating design·creation industry by exchanging and cooperating with citizens, world's citizens and experts.
Mission “Design making and enjoying with citizens” - Design with People
DDP has been made together into communication center of creation industry, study center of future talented people and open space for working by pursuing new thought, various talents and more advanced life....."

(source: http://www.seouldesign.or.kr/eng/plaza/summary.jsp)

When you see projects like this, days like these, you end up dreaming of different possibilities. Also, as it is inevitable, you end up making comparisons. Like all normal human beings, design-savvy or not, you can simply distinguish the difference between the great, the adequate and the mediocre. Have a lovely month and a blissful spring start-up...;-)))


Piraeus Port Authority Central Building, by architects Giannis Liapis and Ilias Skroubelos, born in 1922 and 1942 respectively,  http://www.olp.gr/el/the-port-of-piraeus/image-gallery. Nice picture but...yet an uncontemporary building?