I write about inspirational people, places and things: arts, design, architecture, crafts, travel, food, nature, lifestyle and wellness.
With a background as a curator, exhibitions and projects manager, I have travelled to over 20 countries to visit museums, galleries, artists and writers houses, historic houses, palaces, World Heritage locations, archaeological sites, gardens and spas.
Lee Alexander McQueen's astounding clothing designs have been the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London. Known for breaking the rules, McQueen's design philosophy finely balanced the creative and destructive forces of the designing process.
Ahead of Salone del mobile 2015, Catherine Sidwell viewed Brodie Neill's Alpha chair prototype just after it was delivered to his Made in Ratio London studio. While the Tasmanian designer continues to work on private commissions and limited edition pieces for international clients the elegant Alpha chair is the latest of Neill's designs for his furniture and lighting brand Made in Ratio, which he founded in 2013.
Maker communities have poped up in Sydney and all over the country supporting creative networks, helping them to connect with one another and to industry. Not just a local phenomena, Catherine Sidwell, based in the UK reports on Makerversity and the London scene: I met with Paul Smyth of Makerversity at the 3,000 square metre site adjacent to Waterloo Bridge and Victoria Embankment.
The Director of the London Design Festival (LDF) has a contemporary office space in red and white, in keeping with the festival's visual identity designed by Pentagram. Catherine Sidwell met Ben Evans to find out about LDF14 as the new festival guide went to print.
David McCandless is a London-based author, data-journalist and designer. He investigates complex topics, delves into data and designs elegant and engaging info graphics. He blends facts, makes connections and puts information into context without a lot of words getting in the way. I caught up with McCandless after the launch of his new book Knowledge is Beautiful.
Now in its fifth year, Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) has established itself as the UK's leading independent design festival. Whilst a relative youngster in the international design festival calendar, exhibitors from over 20 countries participated and 32,000 visitors attended from 20-22 May 2014.
It's nearly 10 years since Thomas Heatherwick's 'Plank' first featured in the Great Expectations: new British design stories exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Alongside his work were also works by Tom Dixon, Stella McCartney and Marc Newson. I recently met him at his London studio in King's Cross.
There are now more design weeks and festivals across the world than weeks in the year. As the creative industries have been identified as important to economic development, more countries and cities are hosting annual design festivals. And in August 2014, Sydney Design, one of the world's longest running design festivals, turns 18!
Since meeting Brodie Neill in 2012, he has moved his London studio to the penthouse of a smart converted warehouse in the design district of Clerkenwell. In April 2013, he launched Made In Ratio, a small production brand for his sculptural designs which merge state-of-the-art technologies with traditional techniques of making and manufacture.
Neill quickly attracted attention with his visually dynamic designs in a variety of materials. He has worked on a number of collaborations for prestigious international clientele: Jet table, in carbon fibre with a graphite surface, studded with dark Swarovski crystals and the E-turn (eternity bench) produced in Italy by Kundalini in lacquered fibreglass.
Timed as Iceland emerges from long, dark, cold winter nights into spring, Reykjavik has just held DesignMarch 2014. Hundreds of designers from Nordic and Scandinavian countries, Europe and the US participated in the sixth DesignMarch festival organised by the Icelandic Design Centre. One tenth of the nation, 30,000 Icelanders and visitors from overseas attended.