Wednesday, April 18, 2012

flatpack TV

I've always been a great believer in approaching problems and ideas from unexpected angles. One of the best examples of this I've come across recently is a new Ikea product, set to launch in the UK in early 2013. It's call Uppleva (which I'm reliably informed by my Swedish friends means 'revolution'). And it's not a sofa, or a new bed, or a potato masher, or even a fancy new type of tea light. It's a TV.

Ikea, making TV's? It doesn't make sense. Except it does: because Ikea have cleverly recognised the problem with TVs today. Its not about screen size, HD, 3D, smart or being able to download apps. It's the fact that most TV's today are bloated, oversized, badly designed monsters, which when combined with the plethora of boxes we now attach to them and all the associated cables that involves means our living rooms all have a proverbial (televisual) elephant in the corner.

Being a furniture maker and renowned for design, Ikea have identified this problem and produced a cleverly Swedish solution to it. A TV that doesn't compete on tech smartness and which doesn't compete with the rest of your living room. Instead, we can now consider it part of the furniture. It's very clever, and it will be interesting to see if it takes off. And if it comes in flatpack. Nik

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

our favourite {non-fiction} books

The next in our "a few of our favourite things" series, here are some of the non-fiction books we love...

• A Japanese series of creative/interiors books called Editions Paumes - hard to get hold of, and all in Japanese, but worth it for the lovely and inspiring pictures (here).
• London A-Z for the geek inside, I love the attention to detail and the story of its creator Phyllis Pearsal (here).
• Breathe on 'em Salop (history of Shrewsbury Town FC).
• A Year of Mornings: 3191 miles apart - a good coffee table book full of gorgeous photography where two friends, living 3191 miles apart, took photos every morning for a year to share with each other.
• A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes - heavy in both content and physicality, but epic and - incredibly - all true.
• A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - really gripping story.
• Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah - if China is going to be the biggest world power, we need to worry.