Friday, December 10, 2010
Tonight is the launch of the Alphabet furniture launch at Ebony & Ivory in Designopolis. I'm really excited to see how things will go, not just because these will be my first ever manufactured furniture designs, but because what the designs actually are. Knowing how unorthodox they are to what's out there in the furniture market, I'm quite surprised they were picked up by Alphabet. Not just that, but Mohamed Said, owner and manager of the company, says he's really happy with how they turned out. I hope other people feel the same way.
Here's the printed invitation we sent out to people by snail mail:
I'm also really looking forward to seeing Cherif Morsi's collection. Judging from the 3D models that I've seen alone, he's got a nice line of very basic, lightweight, practical, bachelor-oriented type furniture. Can't wait to see it in the flesh (or, em, wood?).
The only thing I'm not looking forward to is the journey to Designopolis, I must admit. But hey, maybe some familiar faces could help ease the pain? If you're reading this and you have the time to show up tonight, that would be great!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
A trail of mystical smoke isn't so bad to wake up to. The kind of smoke you see trailing out of incense sticks or a cigarette from an authentic noir picture. The smell of school-bus exhaust quickly reduces the sight of mystic smoke to thick translucent airborne particles, floating into my peaceful nostrils from the open window above the bed.
A step out onto the street, however, proves that the source of this thick vapor is not a bus or two, but something far more grand.
It is the first day of Cairo Smog Season, where the capital city is attacked by thick smoke resulting from the burning of excess rice straw in the surrounding villages. As if the 453 Square Kilometer megacity wasn't polluted enough.
What's sad is that these photos were taken in the district of Heliopolis, often referred to as a suburb of Cairo, which may have been true when it was first built in 1907 by the Baron Empain's Heliopolis Oases Company. Much like the suburbs of New Cairo today, Heliopolis was built on a large stretch of unused desert and promoted as a town of sheer luxury and leisure, and indeed it looked it, which can't really be said for the architectural catastrophes of New Cairo.
Today however, Heliopolis is anything but a suburb, and indeed anything but a town of sheer luxury and leisure. Even Heliopolis can't escape the thick "Cairo Smog" that prevents the rays of the sun from penetrating through to the streets. Dominated by thick blocks of gray buildings, horrible traffic congestions, narrow-to-no pedestrian pathways, building-high bridges, and the car-horn soundtrack of Downtown Cairo, I wonder why people think the promised luxurious future of New Cairo will be any different.
Cairo is a diseased force of nature that infects everything in its vicinity. Having a foot in and foot out will never save us from its sickening wrath. The pollution and psychological discomfort the city is creating must be directly dealt with, but to cope with it in the meantime, I've come up with this:
Protect yourself from pollution & noise. New from Ganzeer - The Astounding Protective Suit
I think its important that everyone knows about my Astounding Protective Suit, which is why I'm putting these stickers up wherever I go.
So far I've only managed to stick some around Heliopolis, Maadi (with the help of my buddy Adham Bakry), and Downtown Cairo.