Design brought on to agenda at Davos

Design, Devon, London

It’s great that design has a voice at Davos this week. What with President Obama currently being lobbied for a Secretary for Arts & Culture (it’s hard to believe the US don’t already have this) maybe 2009 will be the year design finally gets the opportunity to flex it’s vocal chords.

But what is good design? At Davos, design critic and former Design Museum director Alice Rawsthorn will be curating two debates focused on design. The members of the panel will present one example of good design and one of bad design and discuss the reasons for their selection. Industrial designer Yves Béhar, founder of Fuse Project says he will compare two cars, the Hummer and the Smart car. He describes both models as ‘iconic’, but says the Hummer has ‘little insight into a changing world’.

However, I wonder if he’s been to Harrods recently. They have the coolest Hummer I’ve ever seen in the sports department. It runs on electricity, costs a little over £11K and has a range of around 70 miles on one charge. To me it’s a cross between the original Jeep but with that iconic Hummer grille. To the Americans it’s a golf cart. As I live in rural Devon I thought it might finally give me the upper hand over the farm tractors and sheep towing quad bikes that regularly stuff you into the Devon banks at speed.

Sadly Mrs E. hustled me out of there pronto when she saw me so glassy eyed and slack jawed…I dare not tell the kids or it could be a very expensive Christmas ’09.

WebTV DrinkUp – Cancelled

Business, London, New Media, WebTV

Apologies but due to the adverse weather in London the above event is cancelled.

We will re-schedule it in a few weeks at Century Club 61-63 Shaftsbury Avenue, London W1D 6LQ.

We are generously sponsored by Videoplaza and CEO and Founder Sorosh Tavakoli will be on hand to answer questions about their new video advertising service. They have managed to solve the big question of how to make online video profitable – so come along and find out how.

Manage Twitter Streams in Your Browser

Blogging, New Media, Social Media, Twitter

There’s another way to manage your Twitter streams – Monitter. You just type your search terms into the boxes at the top of the three columns and watch as they fill with tweets. You can add more than three columns by clicking on the plus option at the bottom right of your screen.

You can also do this on Tweet Deck but this is an application you have to download and install as opposed to monitoring Tweets in your browser. At last a way to manage your Tweet stream when you’re on an iPhone on the train!

Postcard Teas

Art, Food & Drink, London

Postcard Teas is Timothy d’Offay’s tea sampling shop. If you are based in, or headed to, London and like drinking tea treat your yourself to one of the best cuppas in town. I discovered it as I used to visit his fathers contemporary art gallery at 9 Dering Street in which the tea shop now resides. It’s exquisite and best described by Timothy himself:

Ten years ago in Taipei, a small cup of tea served without milk or sugar completely changed my idea of what tea could be. Its flavour and fragrance so captivated me that when the tea shop owners told me the tea came from a nearby mountain, I asked for directions and set off the next morning to learn more.

Journeys to other tea growing areas in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, India, and Sri Lanka followed as this appreciation of tea turned into a profession. First with East Teas which Alex Fraser and I started at Borough Market in 2000 to sell specialist green and Oolong teas imported direct from tea producers and experts in east Asia. And now with Postcard Teas which works with tea estates in the north east of India and the south of Sri Lanka to bring some of the world’s best black teas to Britain.

Teas from both companies can be tried and bought at the store or by mail order. We also sell tea accessories, ceramics, and postcards, some of which are reproductions of old tea postcards from my collection. Postcard collecting runs in the family – in the downstairs gallery, my father Anthony will be soon show early postcards from around the world.

Timothy d’Offay

WebTV Group

Business, London, New Media, WebTV

I run the London based WebTV Group, a loose collection of people working in online video. With broadband speeds increasing and innovative video serving platforms springing up such as Ooyala the barrier to entry for anyone who wants to create their own online TV station is lowered. We meet up onece a quarter to share a drink and network. If you would like to join us please register here and we’ll let you know when and where the next event is.

One Alfred Place – A club with your own office.

Business, Contact Me, Food & Drink, London, Music Industry

If you live and work outside Central London, but come in for business, you know the problem. Nowhere to make phone calls or keep up with emails between meetings and no office support. If you have a London office with nowhere special to meet important clients or just need to get away from the office to think – you also know the problem.

Welcome to One Alfred Place – a new kind of club that combines the best of a private members’ club with your own London office. A stylish, spacious interior filled with bespoke furniture and stunning contemporary art creates the perfect environment in which to hold meetings, get work done and relax. Excellent food and drink in a private dining club, and club PAs to provide the support you would expect from your own PA, make it a pleasure to spend time there.

Our investors include rock stars and City gurus. Our architects and designers created some of the hottest bars and restaurants in town. But what unites them all is an absolute belief that London has been crying out for a top class business club. Investors include Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Tony Smith, Genesis, Peter Wheeler, a former Goldman Sachs Partner and Managing Director, and of course Chairman Robert Devereux and of course our CEO Rob Shreeve.

Contact me to make an appointment to visit the club or arrange a free one day “experience” pass and see why there’s now a better way to do business In London.