Food & Beverage packaging design competition

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StockFood and The FAB Awards, the world’s only creative awards programme specializing in Food & Beverages have opened a unique new competition for 2008, especially designed for young creative individuals: the “FAB Futures Award” sponsored by StockFood. Young creative talents worldwide under 30 years of age are invited to create either a print ad (advertisement or poster) or packaging for a fictitious Food & Beverage brand, using one of 10 chosen StockFood images. Closing date is the 15th March 2008.

The winner will be invited to the celebratory award presentation in London in May 2008, where the participant will attend the awards dinner as a guest of StockFood and The FAB Award in and will be honoured in front of an international expert audience. Log on to www.stockfood.com for more information. (Information courtesy: Grapheast Computers Dubai)

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Visit The Louvre and it’s free!

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For a change the French are imitating arch-rival Britain by introducing a free admission policy to 18 French national museums including The Louvre (above), in a bid to encourage more French people to visit them. (I suppose they are so busy with food and fashion, that they have forgotten all about the museums). Normally the entre fee is about 6-9 Euros. This is an experiment by the French Government that will run until June 30 this year for French nationals as well foreign tourists.

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Foster+Partners’ projects in China, Russia and Middle East

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Living Wall in Jordan, the high-rise buildings will rise out this quarry-looking space.

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Russia Tower in Moscow will be Europe’s tallest tower and another ‘sustainable’ architecture project. 

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Pushkin Museum extension in Moscow

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Central Market in Abu Dhabi (left) & Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana, Kazakhstan (right) reinterpret the traditional market places with cutting-edge technology.

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Khanty Mansiysk in Siberia, another futuristic looking sustainable project.

I have to make a correction- I’ve been referring to Lord Norman Foster as ‘Sir’, when he’s actually a title bigger- that is ‘Lord’. From the number of projects that Lord Foster is doing, it would seem like he would hardly have the time to bother about titles anyway, or would he? Here’re a few more projects by Foster+Partners in three of the biggest boomtowns in the world- the Middle East, China and Russia.

With the word sustainable being used (rather abused) by all and sundry, I would like to know what it really means or doesn’t mean! Futuristic is another over-used term. Perhaps sustainable means futuristic or is it the biggest spiel of 21st century?

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Norman Foster’s Crystal Island in Moscow

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Top: Entertainment Centre, Kazakhstan

Below: Crystal Island, Moscow

Is Moscow trying to overtake Dubai as the capital of superlative architecture? I’m not sure where this Russian money has suddenly come from (you’re always hearing stories of Russian billionaires and tycoons flashing their stash of cash) and now they have enlisted none other than Sir Norman Foster to design- get this-the world’s biggest building in Moscow called Crystal Island. Sir Foster has given us a Gherkin, an Armadillo and now critics say he’s designing a ‘dahlia in a string bag’. Other have likened it to a giant Christmas tree, Volcano and space-ship. Crystal Island, meant to be, surprise surprise, a city with in a city and an energy-efficient building (do they build any ‘non-energy efficient’ buildings these days?), covered in a smart-skin to regulate the extremes in temperature. Sir Foster does seem to be pre-occupied with volcanoes these days. Check out his design for a new Entertainment Center in another contestant in the league of flash cities- Kazakhstan. Now beat that Dubai!

Critics in Russia aren’t too pleased with the design. Here’s a story in the Guardian with a few quite hilarious comments. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/story/0,,2235256,00.html

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New RTA HQ in Dubai by Zwarts & Jansma Architects

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Dutch architect firm Zwarts & Jansma Architects have won the competition to design the new headquarters of the Road & Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai. RTA HQ will be built on an artificial lake on Marrakech Road in the Al Garhoud area, adjacent to the Business Bay Bridge and neighbouring the new interchange of Rabat Road.

RTA HQ will stand as a watchtower overlooking a landscape of infrastructure embedded by the natural beauty of the Dubai Creek and the green zone of Festival City. The crossing of waterways, highways and subways has been a key-factor in the development of both the architectural concept and the landscaping. The building is designed as a huge canvas of glass crystal embellished with Venetian blinds. The angular surfaces of the building further accentuate the sharp structure. The reflection of sunlight changes the appearance of the facades during the day. The façade facing the Business Bay Bridge will be covered with a grid of LED-lights: a ‘billboard’ showing images, animations or information to the flow of traffic crossing the creek.

During office hours, different features will make the water swirl and turn, in the evening the surface will become quiet. The light-effects then take over, reflecting the building and the city’s traffic. The level of the lake is slightly above that of the surrounding area. Underneath it are a publicly accessible exposition space and a congress facility.

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Egg3 sale in Singapore

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If you happen to find yourselves in Singapore in the next couple of days, do go to this wonderful store Egg3 who are having their end of season sale with discounts of up to 50%. It’s a treasure trove of unique and quirky homeware, tee-shirts and gift accessories. Whenever I go back to Singapore, this is one shop, I never fail to visit. Besides the original shop at Erskine Road next to the ubercool Scarlet hotel, they have now two more sister shops at Haji Lane called Salad and another Egg3 in the Eastern suburbs in Joo Chiat.

Call 0065- 6536 6977 for more info.

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Jessica Kagan Bangles at S*uce

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Inject some sass into your wardrobe and make an artistic statement with these gorgeous Jessica Kagan bangles available exclusively at S*uce. The ivory bracelets that have some cheeky phrases and quotes from old movies or books are hot amongst Hollywood stars such as Lindsay Lohan.

S*uce at the Village Mall, Dubai 04 344 7270

S*uce at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi 02 681 8650

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