Category Archives: Art/culture

Food & Beverage packaging design competition


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 for more information. (Information courtesy: Grapheast Computers Dubai)


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Visit The Louvre and it’s free!


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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Egg3 sale in Singapore


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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New Year greetings from Atelier Hapsitus


Beirut-based internationally-known architect Nadim Karam and his studio have sent this beautiful greeting, which I must share with everyone. When I interviewed Karam who is also an acclaimed artist, earlier this year at International Design Forum, I asked him why a well-known architect and artist like him wouldn’t want to practice in Europe or other more well-established places.  He said he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but Beirut because it’s one of the most creatively provocative cities in the world. I suppose he is right.

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Cool hotels-part II


Here are some more cool hotels that are on my list for 2008.

Top: Dar Beida is a restored Moroccan House and is undoubtedly is one of the coolest places to stay in the hippie-chic town of Essaouira overlooking the Atlantic ocean, where Jimi Hendrix wrote the hit song Castles in the sand. The house-turned-hotel has been featured in Elle decor magazine and is kitted out in modern-retro style.

Middle: The Serinn House in Cappadocia, Turkey designed by Turkish architect Rifat Ergor and owned by Eren Serpen is one of the hottest hotels to make its debut this year (2007). Serinn, that means cool temperature in Turkish is a super stylish cave hotel inside a fort-like structure.  Inside it’s a modern minimalist haven with designer furniture including Chair One by Konstantin Grcic.

Bottom: Beit Al Mamlouka is Syria’s first boutique hotel located in Damascus’s old Christian quarter. With only eight rooms and tastefully-rendered traditional decor, with a central courtyard adorned with trees, the hotel is steeped in luxury and charm.

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Barcode and graffiti buildings in Russia


Top and Middle: Graffiti-painted public housing blocks

Bottom: Shtrikh Kod (barcode in Russian) in St. Petersburg

Today we are travelling to Russia. Check out this cool barcode building called Shtrikh Kod in St. Petersburg by Vitruvius and Sons. Built in a large centre next to the Volodarsky Bridge with grey public housing all around, the bright red barcode building really livens up the place.

Also check out the graffiti-clad public housing in Moscow which is anything but drab. Apprently, the Moscow Municipality gets aspiring graffiti artists to practice their art on these otherwise ‘grey’ buildings. It’s fantastic and economical way to dress up the drab.

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Sheikh Majed Al Sabah turns blogger!

I’m a huge fan of Sheikh Majed Al Sabah and I even told him so at the International Design Forum, the only time that I ever met him. He is the man who brought edgy haute couture labels to the Middle East. I was sad when the Villa Moda store in Dubai was no longer called Villa Moda but only until I heard that he had roped in one of my favourite designers Jaime Hayon to design a new Villa Moda store at Festival City that will have a lot more than fashion.  And I am also excited about my absolute favourite designer Marcel Wanders desgined Villa Moda store in Bahrain. 

Sheikh Majed’s concepts have turned the West’s perception of Middle East on its heels. Check out this link on New York Times T Magazine’s blog where Sheikh Majed is this week’s guest blogger. Blogging would never be so fashionable!


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