Sunday, 2 October 2011

Aesop Thinking- October 2011

October 2011


To make anything of worth requires intelligence, imagination and persistence. The people we celebrate this month have those qualities in spades. We encourage you to read about architect Berthold Lubetkin and listen to Stirling Prize winning Zaha Hadid speak on design and social responsibility. Then, consider those who create the built environment when visiting Grupo Habita's Hotel Americano in New York's Chelsea. The hotel is designed by Enrique Norten, principal of TEN Arquitectos; the interior is the work of MCH. Ponder your own projects while swimming outdoors at the Bronte Baths in Sydney. In Melbourne, let your thoughts take shape as you drink a short black at Market Lane Coffee at Prahran or Victoria Market. Should you prefer to think at home, morning grooming offers the ideal opportunity. For those who shave, we offer our Moroccan Neroli Shaving Duet to make the experience all the more pleasurable.

Dr Tara Shears, particle physicist and Reader at the University of Liverpool, joined a team working at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in 2004 to work on an experiment exploring where the universe's antimatter has gone. On 19 October Ms Shears will speak in London about the latest findings. Also, read Jennifer Jacquet 's essay on shame and its relationship to our misuse of the world's resources. Ms Jacquet is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and a member of the Sea Around Us Project where she researches conservation issues and their association with human emotion.

When in Hong Kong, we source our magazines from Mr Wong, Proprietor at Chaip Coin, Shop 233, Second Floor, World Wide House, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong. The tiny shop (which does not have a website) is in a less-than-salubrious location, sitting in a crowded, shabby mall, but the depth and range of foreign titles it stocks is irresistible. Among the many magazines Chaip Coin carries are Finland's Kasino A4, Italy's Fantom, the journal of the Palais de Tokyo, Palais, and UK publication .Cent. While in Central, visit Aesop at 52-60 Lyndhurst Terrace. Our two other Hong Kong stores can be found in Causeway Bay and Sheung Wan.

Enjoy the Baroque tracks of Jan Dismas Zelenka. Infused with the lively spirit of eighteenth-century Bohemia, counterpointed by dark and brooding undertones, they have somehow made our days seem more intense. Zelenka's sheet music was long hidden away by the Dresden court after his death, for reasons which remain unclear to this day. This may explain why he fell off the radar for nearly two hundred years, and was so unjustly overlooked by Monty Python in their ode to the world's great Decomposing Composers.


Since opening our first standalone store in the United States at 232 Elizabeth Street, Nolita (yes, we have mentioned this before, but we're terribly proud of our newest progeny), we've been seeking out the best of New York. Trusted locals directed us to 15 East Restaurant in Gramercy for fresh traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi as well as slow-poached octopus and home-made tofu. If choosing seems impossible, just say omakase and the chef will do it for you. The floor space is small and the sushi bar seats only nine people, so go early. Should you live in New York, visit our Thirty Views blog for the inside take on other hidden delights of the city.

We're looking forward to viewing David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. Set shortly before the First World War, the film examines the real-life relationship between Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and their shared patient Sabina Spielrein. The story focuses on the tussle between the two ambitious intellectuals on how to treat the 19-year-old Russian girl, diagnosed as 'hysterical'. History records that Spielrein goes on to be a psychoanalyst in her own right, though details about what happened between her and Jung are foggy. The film features Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender, and is written by Christopher Hampton.

David Lynch
creates intriguing work across many mediums, as a man of his talent is wont to do. The writer, director, painter and furniture maker has released his first album, Crazy Clown Time, on which he sings and plays guitar. Lynch's music can be heard in the Paris-based nightclub he initially dreamed of as a set for his film Mulholland Drive. The private club and salon Silencio is now a real venue where celebrated artists can relax and meet. Despite Lynch saying, 'I don't want to appear like some all-round talent... I just inevitably get involved with different things,' we would describe him as uncommonly versatile.

William O'Brien Jnr's Boston-based architectural firm has created a private haven in upstate New York. In the clearing of a woodland area, the firm has built two houses for two brothers and titled the constructions Twins: Houses in Five Parts. While the buildings aren't exactly the same (one is a hexagon, one is a square), they echo one another internally, based on the mathematical principle of dissection. Both homes are clean-lined and confident, appearing to float above the ground despite their thick black stucco exteriors and squat shapes. When your life is most stressful make time to look at these photographs – they offer thoughtful, serene and original examples of the human mind working at its best.

We have all read about the horrific situation in Somalia. The only response is to recognise our own good fortune and assist in whatever way we can. For most of us, that means contributing to a legitimate charity. We suggest you give to any or all of these worthy groups: Médecins Sans Frontières, CARE International, Oxfam International, SOS Children's Village, Aid for Africa, World Food Programme, Unicef and The Red Cross. Everyone has a preferred charity, but the important thing is to act with generosity and compassion.

Broached Commissions creates limited edition design collections based on events in Australian history. The company, founded by Melbourne-based creative director Lou Weis, has three permanent designers in Trent Jansen, Charles Wilson and Adam Goodrum. The Broached Colonial collection, the company's first release, will include work by guest artist Lucy McRae, who is also making a short film for Aesop later this year. The Broached Colonial Collection can be viewed in a temporary gallery from 27 October in Melbourne and 10 November in Sydney. Their website contains venue details.


Until we read 'Writing Up a Storm' in the Wall Street Journal we'd been unaware of the 1703 storm that shook London. In this article, John J. Miller argues the event is responsible for the beginnings of modern journalism. In brief, writer Daniel Defoe almost died during the storm when part of a house collapsed around him. He decided to write about it and called upon other survivors – through newspaper ads – to share their accounts, all of which he compiled into a book. This may seem a commonplace form of publishing now but in Defoe's life it was extraordinary. There's more to the tale than that, so we recommend you make time to read the piece in full.

'Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.' William Plomer

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