Farmer wants a wife, and the German spin off Baker wants a wife, I think we
should create a television series entitled Designer
needs a husband. What do you think? Wouldn’t it be a hit? Not only would it
be more gender friendly and express the closing gap of sexes (Thank Goodness
that this day has finally come), but also tap into the more alternative market.
there is an obvious yearning. I have talked to a large number of my designer
girlfriends, and they all agree that there is a need… but perhaps I am talking
to the wrong crowd here, those that are already converted, or perhaps I am
talking to an audience of Headstrong feminists who are seething under their
breath right now, thinking “we ain’t needing no men, na-ah!” In that case, I am
truly sorry, but honestly! We need more alternatives to be watching television.
Right now no one I know watches the TV, and that’s mostly because it is filled
with tacky reality TV; Jersey Shore and Eurovision. I mean Jersey shore is OK
for five minutes, and Eurovision is great for an evening, but we need more
content! Can I get an Amen from the audience? Give the people what they want. I
assume all of the TV stations have done their homework, and that the know what
the people want. Apparently it is reality TV. Anyway, that is my thought of the
you imagine what the show would be like? It would be amazing, not only would
the content not need to be scripted, but they would have intelligent girls,
which is what reality TV needs more of. Designers are great; they are radical,
quick witted, and are great entertainment. Plus, we dress well too, which is a
bonus. The contestants could create the videos themselves, and friends could add in illustrator and photoshop backgrounds, it would be trippy, and an educational experience for all.
I mean, I have seen a few eps. of Farmer wants a wife, and from what I understand a school mate even got married to a farmer from the show back in Sydney, but there is only so many scenes of milking cows and awkward conversations I can withhold. In the dutch version, I remember the ladies had to make a gift for the other contestants, they were hand made clay and photo montages of the contestant and the farmer... but can you imagine Designer needs a husband? Man, the hand made presents would be cool to the extreme, not to mention adding in a time limitation "Who can create a gift in 15 minutes". You'd come up with some pretty whacky ideas, but I am getting carried away with myself.
I am being too traditional – you’re probably thinking ‘Girl, you don’t need no
man’, I mean which working woman really needs a man these days anyway. Well I’m
not sure if I speak only for myself or whether I am going through a quarter
life crisis, but I am going to put it out there and say that it is pretty
natural to assume that you will end up with a dashingly intelligent man. Many of us are so extreme that we need someone to bring us back down to earth... But
with all of us women trying to pursue a career, part of me just thinks – I am
just so happy where I am, there really is no need for a man. Hanging out with a
bunch of single designer girls doesn’t help either… but when you go back home
and all of your friends are getting married, it hits you. A friend said it was
the symptoms of a wedding, perhaps he is right, but when I walked into the pet
store yesterday, I was struck by the number of couples that were around.
Anyway, I have heard that I am quite the matchmaker. Two friends of mine that I
set up 7 years ago just got married, so I think I have a knack for it. That’s
it! I am going to put a call out tonight for single males and females tonight,
network them, and the film it. Perhaps I will make a start up from it! An App
maybe? The possibilities are endless!
all of those lovely ladies out there, the Laundromat is definitely a great
place to start conversations. I had never been in one before, and stumbled into
one last night on my way home from dinner as I thought it would be interesting
to research what really goes on in there, and all that was sitting there were
about 15 young males.
any case, even if the TV networks don’t hit me up after writing this blog post,
I am going to set up a camera at my local Laundromat. I promise you, that is
where all the action is.
A compilation of observations that I have acquired in the past 2 years with
my time alongside my dutch friends, most things are dutch friendly, but a few
are city specific.
The dutch are a tall society,
there’s no denying that. It’s said that those from Groningen are the
world’s giants. There! I said it.
There is a very strong student
society & fraternity culture
Typical frat hair is longer on
the sides, slicked through with gel and topped off with a backward cap.
Christmas dinners or
Kerstdiners happen in February, April, or even July… not december
Sinterklaas presents are the
most important of the year, and from an outsiders perspective seem to be
more heavily thought out and detailed, more so than anything that could be
bought for a beloved
Bikes are ridden everywhere, no
The dutch are always weather ready
If there’s cheese at the table
and someone will pulls out what looks like a tiny cake cutter, don’t be
alarmed, it’s a cheese slicer, or kaas schaaf
A student house can have
anywhere between 3 and (at extremes) 21 people
They just love to dress up on
special occasions (see point 4)
‘Going Dutch’ I’ve never seen a
society so engaged in splitting costs, see Wiebetaalwat.nl &
eetlijst.com if you don’t believe me.
Sinter Klaas, who although
sounds like santa claus, isnt, comes once per year and gives presents to
kids. I mean, you’ve fooled me, I really did think he was Santa Claus.
TH of D? Ask a Dutchman to say “ Three thin thieves thought
a thousand thoughts. Now if three thin thieves thought a thousand thoughts
how many thoughts did each thief think?” and guaranteed they will pronounce the vast majority of “th” ‘s as a “d”
There is a strange man called
black pete or zwaart piet who is Sinta Klaus’ companion (see point 12), and helps transport bad children to Spain. I’m not sure why such a rainy
country sees this as a bad thing. Perhaps kids think they will get fat
from too much tapas, beats me.
Crème trousers are a thing,
ain’t no one gonna tell me different. This will often be seen sported with
a brown leather belt.
Bright pants are a thing
(maroon seems to be quite in this year, 2013-2014)
The amazing christmas treats, Papernoten
are available from August
Dutchmen love to party!!! By partying, I mean fist pumping in the air
The national delicacies include speculaas, Applestroop,
stroopwaffels, poffertjes, filet americain and schuddebuikjes, all of
which I approve of.
Hagelslag. It’s like 100s and 1000s for 20+ year
olds, the fancy version.
Dutch have a close relationship with their
Everyone drinks coffee, 4 times a day, 8 days a
I just need to emphasise, sandwiches are a dutchman’s
Leo’s is the place to be on a week day during
lunch (see point 25)
‘It’s fine, honestly! …as long as it doesn’t
Men don’t dance in clubs. Punt (exception of point 19)
I have never seen so many want-to-be DJs
Duchmans love their gel
Dutchmen have intense umbrella ready for the rain
The rainpants, oh the rainpants
The more serious a business meeting, the more gel
(see point 30)
Ingetogen they can be very restrained
in their emotions ingetogen
5 minutes too late deserves an SMS asking where you are (I must admit, I have come a long way in my
organisational skills thanks to this)
Efficiency is the key
Do you have a planning for this? Every project
seems to have to have a drawn out planning, this is very different from
Australian tertiary education where we just bumble along with assignments
It is amazing what you see on the back of bikes.
Can you ride no hands? Can you also be holding another bike? Can you also
be carrying a couch on the back of your bike? You must be dutch
Dutch are pained by the way international
students ride on the bike paths
Rowing & Hockey are the national sports
Koningsdag, or kings day is a national holiday
where everyone dresses in orange, finds a boat and sails down the canals.
I’ve never seen so much orange in my life (see
Can I have mayonaise with that?
Hot chips are served in something that suggests
to me that it should have ice cream in it judging by its shape, however I
must admit, the cone sure is handy.
The meats department at the supermarket sports a
whole lot of blended sausage liver meats, perfect for a dutchmen’s
favourite meal (see point 18).
Kokos brood, an amazing coconut cheese delight
that only the dutch could have thought of
It will take time, but once a dutchie (I have
effectionately decided to call them this) lets you into their home, you’re
good friends “friends fo life yo”
It takes time, but at some point you will realise
how much you will miss this country.
I am leaving
the last two blank. Perhaps there are things that I am still to learn.
From Artist, to Designer to Engineer. Where is the line? "the success of art is intrinsic to the art, where as the success of failure of design the ability to achieve some other goal". Listening to the podcast UXIntern with Guest host Jesse James Garrett, it has got met thinking, is a designer just an creatsive-engineer?
I'm am struggling through this podcast.
But at the end, Garrett gave young designers three pieces of advice: *Don't stay in one place one time *Try consultancy work *Maintain a variety of projects
Slowly ticking these three things off, and as i start my final thesis, I plan on definitely focusing on the third point.
I'd highly recommend Wesley's podcast to any designer, or anyone interested in the field!
This is Eglantine, she was a the faithful pet of one of my best friends, C during most of 2012. When I went to visit C for Christmas in 2013, I was blessed enough to make her acquaintance, however whilst I was verging on my 24th birthday, Eglantine was lingering on her last days. As we left for the swimming pool late one afternoon Eglantine came running over to us squealing affectionately. We patter her and said goodbye and trotted off to the pool.
A few hours later, we returned refreshed and relaxed with no Eglantine in sight. Walking past the garage, we saw the family pet hanging from the roof, blood slowly dripping out of her neck into a pool in a bucket on the floor.
As a part-time vegetarian ( I allow myself a hefty amount of meat on my birthday and at Christmas), I gagged a little in my throat seeing the bundle of joy that only a few hours earlier bid us goodbye on our travels down the road to the swimming pool.
However looking back on this experience a few years later, I am thankful that my french family raised their own meat and after butchering the dear pig, were also able to make use of each piece of the animal. In the future, I wouldn't mind raising my own cattle and herd of swines to eat with my family a few times per year.
I care about maintaining a sustainable earth for me and my family, and therefore have been looking into various initiatives that I could take part of to show my passion for sustainability. I have a few websites and companies under my sleeve that I have fallen upon in recent months. One of which is ShareNl, a social business that is in contact with all sharing economy businesses within the Netherlands including the likes of Peerby, Konnectid, Snappy and my favourite Shareyourmeal (or Thuisafgehaald in Dutch).
I got in contact with Jessica from Sharenl to talk about future collaboration possibilities.
Apart from this, I have started listening to some rocking podcasts this year, and am compiling a list of great innovation, sustainability and other podcasts...
Here's a thought. I have been in the Netherlands for the past year and a half. When I first arrived, I was taken aback by the Dutch toilet System. Let's look at the anatomy of a the toilet. The curvature of the bowl is shallow, meaning that any hershey goo that proceeds to fall from your backside will not give backsplash. I began to find this quite pleasant, however it can also leave smells that would otherwise be better covered up by our old friend, water.
In any case, I think the dutch's idea of a porcelain throne is one that I have come to appreciate.
Arriving back from Japan a few weeks ago, I have realised what Australia is missing. The perfect toilet. What if we were able to merge the bowl from a Dutch toilet, with the technology of a Japanese toilet.
I am thinking... pure bliss.
I have been wanting to write this post
since I first arrived in Beijing, so that I could get my true first thoughts
down on paper before they had changed too much.
Seven years ago, I travelled through China
with a family friend and her family. We were in China for 3 weeks, and were
shepherded through all the major tourist attractions that China has to offer,
including many in Beijing. In saying this, I didn’t get to appreciate many
non-touristy parts of Chinese life, and went away feeling like most 15 year
olds would after a trip to China. Seven years later, when conversations of
China come up, all that this conjures up in my mind, is memories of dense
populations, a lack of proper hygiene, and the air pollution that fills the sky
at any time of day.
Therefore when a good friend suggested that
I come visit, I must admit that I have been somewhat hesitant to come back.
However her persistence in the matter has paid off, and I arrived in Beijing
approximately 24 hours ago and plan to stay for approximately 4 days before
heading back home to Delft.
Passing by as a stopover on my way home, I
have spent the last two weeks in Japan. Now Japan is a decidedly civilised
community and if I were to put them on a scale of international etiquette and
manners, they would be scoring somewhere in the high 9s, close to a 10. On
entering a restaurant you will be undoubtedly be greeted with the typical Irasshaimase!
(Welcome!), and bow when you leave. People of every social class wear a suit to
work, from businessmen, to chefs, to builders. Their ability to hold their
poise when in a sticky situation is incredible, and I take my hat off to the
Japanese for their genuine hospitality skills into their country.
Leaving Japan, and entering China was a
large culture shock for my body, as I left a place that follows rules as part
of their daily life; politeness can go so far as to apologise before even
bumping into someone, to a country where rules just don’t exist.
Arriving in Beijing was hard. I will admit
it. The nature of China’s corruption can be seen everywhere, where people do as
they please on a daily basis. My first experiences began in the airport, where
we were lead from one booth to another as we had lost our bags at the airport.
From here, we had to enter the baggage carrousels through the exit (which isn’t
even possible in Australia), and collect our bags from an alternative meeting
I don’t want to complain about China, far
from it, and it may just be the cultural shock I was experiencing at the time,
however the cultural differences were difficult to deal with at first. The loud
nature of the Chinese compared to that of the Japanese was admittedly
challenging at first.
I was on the verge of tears upon meeting my
friend, and I will ashamedly admit that the first words I muttered to her were
‘I hate Beijing’. The chaos and disorganised nature of the city, coupled with
the air pollution were the biggest welcoming mat, however after 24 hours, I am
starting to think that Beijing is growing on me.
I have only met ridiculously ambitious and
interesting people in this city, full of stories, and who love to chat. I feel
like they are constantly on the move, thinking, living.
Coming from Chinese heritage, I am always
embarrassed to admit that I don’t actually speak Chinese, and my Chinese
cooking skills are far from perfect. However, on arriving here, I am met by
dozens of expats who are fluent in the Mandarin language, and who can (I am
scared to ask) probably cook much better than me. I realise how little I know
about my heritage, and how much the Chinese culture has to offer.
Not only culturally, but as a country
currently developing faster than any other, there is always so much room to
develop business ideas and create side projects, with resources available at
the touch of your fingerprints. Not here even one day, I feel as though there
is an entrepreneurial spirit within the city that is really drawing me in.
I ask myself where I want to be in the
future, and I am hesitant to type this down, but I would love to come and live
in Beijing, study Mandarin, and find a job here after I graduate.
It has been a year and a half since having moved to the Netherlands. I live in a small town on the west of this fair country; a quaint and for what seems 11 months of the year, quite a cold climate city that goes by the name of Delft. For the past year, I have had bouts of immersing myself in and out of the dutch culture.
On arriving, I joined a house with fifteen dutch girls from my university and lived there for six months. My plan was to stay in the country for six months on a cross cultural exchange from my home university in Sydney, Australia. However as I slowly got to know the people and culture, I felt my time passing quickly, and extended my exchange period to a full year.
I had joined my university's student rowing society and dedicated much of my free time to rowing training and competitions. Rowing is a large student sport within the netherlands and I learnt much of the dutch culture by participating in one of their national sports, and made most of my good friends here.
At the end of this year, I am not sure if it was the co-curricular activities, the new found love of my studies, or the thought of having to again uproot my life, but I attempted to transfer my course from Sydney to Delft. After numerous months of waiting and stressfully biting my nails, an acceptance letter came through, and I was admitted as a full time masters student at the University Technology, Delft.
By that time, I felt as though I knew much more of the culture. I'd found love at the rowing club, I'd moved in with new housemates that I could called my family, and I had even acquired a bike collection.
However, learning a language is one of the most difficult aspects of the Dutch culture that I am still yet to accomplish, and I feel that until I can communicate in dutch with my housemates, I will never completely understand the dutch culture or its people.
For the most part, we get on quite well, we eat dinner together each night, we share breakfast together, and we go on house outings. Most of this is done in dutch, and I am quite happy to sit and listen to my housemates, however after a year of listening, I feel that I am getting fed up with living in a country and only just-getting-by with the language.
For the next few months, I am going to try and improve my dutch, and I guess here (there is no place better than the prying eyes of the internet and those that don't know me) to vent about how the results go.
It is November, and therefore clearly the Christmas season... which means our house has had its first Kerstdiner.
In the second year masters program at TU Delft, Design students have to work in cross-(design) master programs. Together with 4 other boys, our group is travelling to India to work on a rickshaw project in Varanasi. This will be done in corporation with the Rotterdam based organisation ENVIU. Over the next 6 months we will create and build a working prototype.
We touched down this morning in Delhi, and will be here for the next few days. Jesse from Enviu is putting us up in his house, and we had a great time exploring Old Delhi today. People warned me about culture shock, and shucks, i thought i was prepared. However, it isn't until you arrive yourself, and experience riding in a rickshaw on the wrong side of the road, or are tempted to eat street food, that you only begin to realise that you are in India.
Here are some snaps from today.
Cooling off at the Jama Masijd.
Saree on a Motor
Indian Boys holding hands.
Influence is you. It's what creates you. People might look at you and think "damn, that girl is original", but the person you are, is the people that have influenced you. Each person that you come into contact with, changes you whether it be for the better or worse.
Imagine with me for a second, will you? We'll use a situation that everyone encounters. The Supermarket... Say that you're going to the supermarket and you bump into someone. She smiles at you, and says "don't worry about it". She's wearing brown boots, and has hair half way down her back, a t-shirt that comes just above her belly button, and tight-ish jeans on. You can recall her outfit years later, it was so cool. To this day, you want to dress just.like.her. For me, it might be that way that people put a piece together.
There are two people that come to mind, that have influenced me in a strong way. I am saying this because whenever I am in a sticky situation, I think "what was he do.."
I'm not saying that there aren't more people, but these three, but let's call them two, people, have influenced me more so than others. Perhaps it was their personality, but looking back, I think what I loved about them most, was their intelligence, humour, and quick wit.
Tomorrow is Valentines, hence the photo. I snapped these two via what my friend Suze calls the "hip" shot... It's simple, Point, and shoot... But from the hip. No idea what will come out, but i was lucky with this one.
I've now been in the Netherlands for 6 months, and i have been inspired in so many ways. I am currently taking a master program in SPD. It consists of learning how to design, as well as how designers get to that final product and the many stages which are incorporated into the process before the metal is taken into the warehouse for cutting.
When moving to a new country it is a whole new process. Everything starts all over again, a complete learning process. You find out a lot about yourself, and i can definitely see that myself. Especially working in groups. You find out how you would act in a work environment, and it has definitely helped me grow as someone who voices their opinions etc.
The language, once something filled with plenty of "ggggrrrrrrs" and throat sounds that i found next to impossible are (perhaps unfortunately) becoming less of an effort to pronounce. I enjoy practising what little dutch i know.
Something that i have picked up on here though, is the high intake of small chocolate sprinkles. In australia, we have Fairy bread, which for those of you that don't know, is buttered (generally white) bread. This is then dipped in 100's and 1000's which are coloured pieces of sugar. Yet no person would pull out a 100 and 1000 sandwich at a work place, or university for that matter. In fact, i think this meal, or perhaps afternoon tea snack for a better phrase, is only given to 5 year olds and younger. I think i was a let bloomer, and sneakily ate this at the age of 8, but by 10, if you're still eating this, you wouldn't tell your friends about it.
Yet here in there netherlands, many of my friends casually pull out their lunch box during the break, and break open a chocolate sprinkle sandwich. At first i was overwhelmed at the number of people that found it more than usual, but now i just chuckle.
On coming to the netherlands, i didn't think the culture would be as different from Australia as i have found it, but it is refreshing all the same.
I hope to keep seeing small cultural differences like this...
Well, I have arrived in Delft, and am currently taking courses in Strategic Product Design at the University of Technology, Delft. Travelling the world, seeing what is our there in other parts of the planet, ideas from designers from anywhere from Taiwan to Columbia. I've met so many people, and am slowly expanding what I know as well. I've been able to discover that the possibilities within Industrial Design really are endless.
Strasbourg, in the heart of Alsace, was where i have spent the last two years. Coming home after a life changing experience, has made my unsettled in my surroundings back home, but is allowing me to see just how much i have grown as a person. I believe that my design work has benefited as it, as I am a much more focused person now, who loves their degree.
As for Petit France itself, its hidden character is seen through the cracks of the boardwalks and the running water of the rivers underneath your feet. The creamy colours blend together, and when walking through this mini paradise, you are the sheer details of the houses and feel of the cobblestones underneath you remind you of how lucky you are to be able to walk these streets.