Just received the most wonderful comment:

This house castle website is pathetic. it’s written with the arrogance of a spoilt teenager but with the knowledge of a ten year old. Your comments on a world of which you clearly know little are just sad little bleats.   For god’s sake leave this to a proffessional site like dezeen or design boom and get a real job.

We especially like the ironic typo … nice touch.

We’d just love to ask the bot that generated it where exactly they found the arrogance – apart from the fact we don’t like flash…..

But of course such bots can’t actually read.

Re-launch coming soon.




For non-natives they might be two mightily unfriendly words but their joint “COAST Festival of the Visual Arts” is certainly one of the friendliest summer festivals.
We’ll not be able to make it up to Banffshire this year, which is a shame as amongst the events is a “Rainbow Maze” being created by myhouseismycastle favourite Donna Wilson.

Constructed from coloured wool “spun” through  the grounds of Banff Castle, the Rainbow Maze promises to be one of the highlights of the 2010 COAST festival.

Assuming that is the weather doesn’t spoil the fun.

Full details on the COAST festival can be found at and details on Donna Wilson and her Spring Summer 2010 collection at

donna wilson egg cups

Egg Cups from the spring summer Donna Wilson collection

On Thursday the 2010 Leipzig Buchmesse begins, and with it Europe’s largest reading festival Leipzig Liest.

From both the Book Fair itself we will bring you our impressions on the new books and collections here in the myhousismycastle blog

And if you want to know which readings we are planning attending – and more importantly what we  thought of them – then visit our Leipzig Liest profile.

Just as soon as we work out how to make it public 🙂

leipzig buchmesse

Leipzig Buchmesse - who is watching who?

Greece, as we all know,  is broke.

Beggared, bust, dirt poor, flat broke, impoverished, needy, penniless, penurious, poor, ruined, stone broke, strapped, tapped out.


If you want to help the Mother Of Civilisation out of its current predicament, you should consider contributing to the current Athens Bench Mark competitions.

A joint initiative between the international NGO ‘The World of Athens‘  and the City of Athens, Athens Bench Mark aims to renew the benches of Athens – and in doing so improve life in the Greek capital.

Athens Bench Mark hopes to achieve these goals through two design competitions and a volunteer programme.

The principle competition is open to all designers and creative teams and has the brief of creating new benches for the public spaces in Athens.

The second competition Future Bench is similar – only without the technical specifications attached to the primary competition and so with a lot more artistic freedom.

But how does this help revive the Hellenic fortunes?

Simply put, society’s who have high quality public benches are more productive. That’s undeniable scientific fact.

More importantly, the winner of the primary competition receives no prize – other than the satisfaction and pride of seeing their design produced and installed on the streets of Athens.

The winners of the Future Bench competition do receive cash prizes… but you can always hand it over to the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

And finally there is the volunteer programme that is seeking volunteers to refurbish and repair damaged and worn benches in the city.

Linda Brothwell’s Repair Project showed just how wonderful and such a concept can be.

Further sources of inspiration could be Extrusion by Thomas Heatherwick Studios, Wheelbench by Rogier Martens for Weltevree or Easy Reader by Nils Holger Moorman

Closing date for both competitions is April 6th.

More information can be found at

Linda Brothwell Repair Project Lisbon

Linda Brothwell Repair Project Lisbon .. an excellent forerunner for the Athens Bench Mark Volunteer Programme

easy reader moormann athens bench mark

Easy Reader from Moormann .... A possible design for Athens Bench Mark?

Funny the things that arrive in our letter box.

And we don’t mean the dead birds a neighbourhood moggy likes to hide there.

Today we received a copy of Arno Camenisch by Sez Ner.

A novel that has nothing to do with design, furniture, furnituer design or architecture.

But rather describes the life of Swiss shepherds. Sez Ner tells the tale of cows, pigs, cats and dogs; of polenta and cheese; of alcohol and tobacco; wind weather, man and woman.

So, maybe not so strange that we received a copy after all 😉

Only available in German, Arno Camenisch Sez Ner is published by Sammlung Urs Engeler and costs Euro 19.

Furtehr details (in German) from

Arno Camenisch Sez Ner

Arno Camenisch Sez Ner

Given the fuss that was made ahead of the launch – and the number of journalists present at the press preview – we really did expect the opening of the VitraHaus to create a bit more, well … interest.

And even today, 23.02.2010,  when the official Vitra VitraHaus microsite should be launched…. it’s still only a redirect to the Vitra Campus page.

And we’re not even going to mention the number of hits “our” delicious bookmarks have received….

Which is all a bit disappointing because the VitraHaus is a true gem that really does deserve to be better treated.

We know it’s just a big shop.

We’re not daft.

But Macy’s is also a big shop, but who doesn’t love travelling up and down those wood escalators.

But your not likely to get quite as lost in Maceys as we got inside the VitraHaus.

Like Dr Who’s Tardis, once inside the VitraHaus the apparently relatively small building morphs into an endless stream of corridors, staircases and passages.

We loved it.

And we really liked that Vitra allow VitraHaus visitors to test, try out and use the exhibits.


All very good.

VitraHaus Weil am rhein.. organic shapes

VitraHaus Weil am Rhein.. good use of organic shapes

VitraHaus Eames Lounge Chair

VitraHaus... based on our living room. Honest

Vitra VitraHaus

VitraHaus very spacey

Vitra VitraHaus Weil am Rhein

VitraHaus ... exterior

Vitra VitraHaus

VitraHaus side elevation

Vitra VitraHaus

VitraHaus ... hanging in the Weil am Rhein sky

Vitra VitraHaus Weil am Rhein

VitraHaus entrance

Indebted to David Report for the info on the iLike event during this weeks Stockholm Design Week.

Design studio Bernstrand & Co have asked 100 “creatives”, plus allegedly politicians, to take a photo of their favourite product/event.

Design studio Bernstrand & Co will then display them in their studio.

In Stockholm.
So that only those in Stockholm can see them.


It’s like the internet never happened.
Or maybe it hasn’t in Stockholm

@Design studio Bernstrand & Co – Almost all photos will be taken with a phone that is only as popular as it is because of it’s internet capabilities and functionality.

Let us also look at the pictures on it.

Or at least on a normal computer monitor.


iLike #Stockholm Design Week

But since we can’t make it, it would be good to see what others enjoyed…..

iLIke Stockholm

iLike Stockholm - but to see pictures of it we have to go to Stockholm. Ain't technology great.

Thonet have announced the winners of their 214 x 214 photo competition.
We think.

Because what we can’t find is any indication as to who has actually won the trip to New York…

Suffice to say we’ll take it, if no one else wants it 🙂

In the meantime you can view the 20 “winners” plus the 16 “special mentions” at

And we’ve reproduced a couple of our favourites below.

Thonet 214x214 Competition Reginaldo Fernandes ... don't try this at home

Thonet 214 x 214 Competition Reginaldo Fernandes ... don't try this at home

Thonet 214x214 competition : Kay Block

Thonet 214 x 214 competition : Kay Block ... Just delightul

Helsinki in spring might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect holiday location; but we’ve tried it and can thoroughly recommend it.

And should it be colder than normal, from February 12 until May 9 the Design Museum is hosting a new exhibition: MODERN[ISM]

Although the principle focus of the exhibition will be the “golden age” of modernism from 1910 to the late 1930s, the exhibition promises to explore modernism in all its facets and to address the importance of modernism for contemporary design. Examples of Nordic, and for all Finnish modernism, will be showcased in the exhibition.

A series of lectures and a book on Finnish modernism will complement the exhibition.

In addition to exhibits from the Design Museums own collection, MODERN[ISM] also features exhibits borrowed from, for example, the Alvar Aalto Museum, the Bauhaus Archiv of Berlin,  and The National Museum of Norway.
Which all just sounds, well, thoroughly modern.

And certainly worth checking out if you are in or near Helsinki this spring.

Full details can be found at the Finnish Design Museum‘s homepage.

modernism design museum helsinki

Modernism at the Design Museum Helsinki

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