Tales of the Arabian Nights: A thief

Once upon a time, in far away country who’s name makes you dream, a marketing company needed street furniture and advertising panels to support its network. So it went in search of innovation.

The name of this company is KUC, whose chairman, Bashar Kiwan, won a tender in Kuwait in October 2010 and required the services of Prismaflex, a French manufacturer with whom we regularly collaborate. Prismaflex showed KUC a portfolio with many different designs. After much equivocation, they declined the offer, pretending the fees were too high. They had never the less chosen and focused on a specific design. Prismaflex, fairly, suggested that they could deal directly with the designer. With their agreement, we set up a collaboration system with KUC. Once the study phase was finished, our contact with Bashar Kiwan no longer worked for KUC and they proceeded to simply copy the various designs.

We thereafter never heard from them again… and the result is appalling, as far as quality and aesthetics are concerned.

Mr Kiwan is a thief and a storyteller. When he wrote in his CONCORD project «  …respect, innovation and integrity are central to its operation…  »
it is a joke and a funny sense of humour.

There is no conclusion or morale to this story but just wish to let it be known.
Who knows, it might be useful?


Swift Original
KUC copy
KUC mupi


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13 th Biennale of Architecture in Venise

We must first of all describe where this event took place : the Giardini and the Arsenal with its corderie. Pavilions from many different countries were built in the Giardini in the 1910s-1920s and are now used for the Architecture as well as the Art biennale. As for the Arsenal, it offers huge spaces and a special atmosphere, half derelict half rehabilitated.

Every year, for our greatest joy, the Arsenal gets new plots from the wasteland and unoccupied buildings. And year after year, the Biennales can be considered as a “ritual” which include the premises as well as the exhibits. More »


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Bloog at half mast

Eight months without writing. Eight months without any striking news…

Did anything happen which could have fueled a sudden urge to communicate about it?

Indeed, what can be said apart from the expected wailing which won’t allow us to go ahead…

On August 30th, an article by Guillaume Duval, editor of the French monthly magazine “Alternatives Economiques” said : « The economic situation does not stand any chance of getting back on its feet within the next few months. »

What does this mean : how do you get an economic situation “back on its feet”? How do you make an economy “recover”?
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Wishes for 2012?

To our politicians, our unions, most of our industrialists, our financial institutes, and others…

Wishes?  wish for a bit more intelligence…
Wishes?  wish for a bit less hypocrisy…

The latest news : buy French. OK!  But what?

We must first remember all the distributors who scoured the planet for their shopping. They did not search for new products or innovations but for bargains on products they later encouraged to be copied, therefore pulling down their quality without qualm.

Secondly, we can remember the industrialists who were “copied” and numbed to the point they couldn’t create and react anymore :  they  submitted to the distributors and followed the same tracks, using the same manufacturers, the same methods, the same products…

So, what is the problem ?
We have been buying “French” for a long time, but made in China, India, Vietnam, Poland, Tunisia…

An to be honest, the problem is not to buy “French” : it is possibly to “imagine” French, to “create” French, to “brainstorm” French.
We are far from it.
France has become a creative desert. Numerous skills have been sacrificed and nothing new has taken its place.

So we, French, will buy wine, cheese, perhaps some perfume… We’ll definitely buy books, music and entertainment. And for the rest, we’ll take whatever buyers from all sides have left us.

Or perhaps we’ll go e-shopping on the Internet where international shops are full of wonders whose origins don’t matter, because we desire them so much.

Meanwhile we’re waiting for the French Sleeping Beauty to wake up…



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La vie en rose

INTERIOR, at Courtrai, has always been an interesting place for discovering.
But now there’s a surprise; we have to receive lessons too.
PINOCCHIO in designland is the fair’s event (Jaime Hayon’s presentation).
It’s super. I believe that industrialists will not be able to resist any longer.
Less annoying than the Bauhaus theories and other any theories for pretty rather than ugly and, if possible, practical at the same time.
In the same line we also have Karim Rachid.
I conclude that it is a new (strong) trend that we have to follow.

I also suggest we adopt the Babygros suit as an identified uniform for designlander profession .

Jaime Hayon – PINOCCHIO in designland : De Standaard – DSM MAGAZINE 18 Oktober 2008
Rachid – www.karimrachid.com.tw
Interieur 08 – www.interieur.be



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Ralph CAPLAN (Rediscovered)

Hurray ! a book that hasn’t aged as nothing has really changed!

It is good and invigorating to know that people think.
People who allow you to situate yourself between what they say and what you do…
Ralf Caplan , a journalist, writer & design consultant clearly analyses, with rigour and humour, the stakes of design with BY DESIGN.

« … :the design process has more to do with your life than you may think. »

« The trajectory of design has been moving from the design of objects to the design of the situations in which objects are made and used »

It is remarkable to see that this “design of the situations”, in which the creation of objects has become legitimate, already had an evident meaning. This could be a real subject for today;
it is not at all the case, but almost the opposite.
It was 1982.
Read then and read again today it remains dramatically relevant as nothing has changed.

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letter to « Mister DINGTAO »

In the industrial world, it happens more and more often that we come across copies of products which we have designed, once they have been manufactured and commercialised with success.

The latest case : products developed by and for RIVADOSSI (Italy) copied almost identically by DINGTAO (China), which were discovered at Canton trade fair.

From the point of view of the designer, who came up with the idea in the first place, it might not be that important “in the form” (what is an idea after all ?) but it becomes unacceptable “in substance”, because we are actually dealing with spoliation ant a total lack of respect for other people.

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Flashfilm, interview of JPV

Interview of Jean Pierre Vitrac by flashfilm.com


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