It's time to say.......

Cocoa Christmas card

to all of you :)


Let there be LIGHT

planter pot on spot sunlight

Imagine if we were living in a total darkness, no light, even a tiny sparkle of star light, what will happen? There will not have any meaning to DESIGN !

Light,  not only help us to visualize but create dramatic effect to all creatures. Without light,
there is no silhouette, color, texture, sensation to everything around us. 

Lighting design of what we are talking about is not only the outlook of the light fitting, the most important is the arrangement and color temperature of the light bulb that can enhance or spoil an interior within seconds. 

A simple rule to remember, "Kalvin" is the color temperature unit that we will come across when purchase a light fitting, i.e. 'K". 

2700-3000K = warm white light, make us feel like seating next to a cozy filament light bulb.

2700K is more yellowish, i.e. more antique

3000K is in lighter yellow, I will say more comfortable, but at the end it is still subjected to what atmosphere you would like to create.

4000K = white light, I rarely recommend especially for residential because it makes
the interior look "pale".

5000-5500K  = day light, like the feeling of what we are walking under a sunny day. 
Also rarely used for residential unless you want a special effect, because it feel good at outdoor but too bright for interior in such a comparatively small space.

So, pay a bit of attention to the color temperature when you choose a new lamp for your home next time, it really matters.


做個懂得"let go"的設計師

自古以來, 無論邊一行嘅設計師都係比較執著, (雖然我唔知而家重有冇咁嘅設計師?!) 無論係比例、物料質數、燈光效果、結構細節等.....都會有某程度嘅標準同要求.

好多時會聽到啲客話"唔緊要啦!差少少色,分別唔大, 係你先覺得啫, 其他人唔覺嘅,冇問題喎!"又或啫師傅會話"個圓位大咗少少啫, 椅背又矮咗啲啫, 都係凳一張, 唔好改啦!".......等等. 以前我都會堅持要改番好, 唔知就話啫, 又唔係做唔到, 樣樣差少少, 成個設計最後未走哂樣? 改!

又例如好多時客人都會有啲個人喜好或者情義結,好似唔理有冇空間都要擺一張"水牛肺"梳化; 即係高背,極大張, 造工極粗糙, 毫無細節,連基本梳化型都維持唔到; 總之係一大堆牛皮嘅嘢.(對唔住! 激動咗少少, 因為眼見有太多人跌落呢個陷阱.)勸極都唔聽, 幫佢搵咗張又平又靚又唔會過時, 大方得體嘅梳化, 結果都係要買番"水牛肺". 如是者......我開始自我反省.

今日, 我仍然會好慎重, 好認真咁對待同提醒我啲客人, 好堅持咁要師傅改嘢, 但係堅持到某個極限我就會"let go"! 好似有啲悲哀, 不過如果唔放手嘅話, 一個膠著狀態都係做唔成事, 維有盡力而為啦!

但係偶爾都會有奇蹟出現, 就係客人見我"let go"果一剎那, 佢哋會突然清醒咁同我講 "都係跟你意思做啦!" 到今日我都唔係太明白點解會咁突然, 唔通係我個樣太似想"放棄"佢哋? 唔, 又要反省吓啦.......


Yahoo Blog

Knowing that Yahoo is going to close their blog service by the end of this year, although I don't actually have a blog there, it's still not a good news to those who spend their time writing their blogs in Yahoo for yearssssss.

Yes, it is absolutely the right for Yahoo to provide any services they think is profitable or competitive to other social media, but if all effort of the writer & their support can be ignore within minutes, will it be too "money oriented"? No matter how, they are not only user but "client" as well ; hopefully this will not happen in other rapidly expending social channels.


Too much "Traffic" !

Night street in Wuhan
After a long day's work, walking from site to my hotel, basically hungry and tired, a hot shower was what I had in my mind. While crossing a bridge, a night breeze woke me up and I was attracted by the tranquil of this view.......I stopped and stayed for a while.....

Wuhan, a city in China that you may say it's trying to develop as the third or even second line commercial city right after Beijing and Shanghai. But same as other cities like Chongqing, there is always a modern corner with a rural or undeveloped street just right next to it. I hate this feeling, it seems some one or some place are being abandoned and sacrified. So, when I was visiting China more frequently, the urban dress up becomes out of my interest.

But, I've remember the night when I was there, I was being attracted again......no huge signage, minimum neon light; a great portion of sky, concrete street path and buildings; no shopping mall but small local shops, passengers are walking in slow rhythm......a corner of tranquil !

Design can bring joy & added values to human life, but can also destroy our treasure when they are overdone......something that have already exist with us in million years ago. Could we bring the tranquil back to Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay in Hong Kong?
Or...... leave it , let them "melt" into all those "neon trap" and just regret!


East meet West?

Chinese shop door with American Express tag
East meet West? nothing new! but rarely match, exactly the same feeling as, when I saw this "closed" signage of "America Express" hung onto a very traditional Chinese bi-fold doors in Beijing.

Like "Starbucks in the Forbidden City", although we love coffee very much, it's still awkward to see a western culture located inside a 101% Chinese architecture......is this what we think?

Is it a matter of design issue? historical reason? or cultural difference that creates the discomfort which spoil the harmonize of the overall environment? I don't think so. 

In fact, there should not have any conflict of having a relaxing coffee moment while taking the exploring trip in the mysterious Forbidden City..........but if we treat this as a commercial or western cultural intrusion, then it's not difficult to understand the leaving of Starbuck which was suggested to be combined as part of the beverage outlet inside.

Is there a way that East meet West can be succeeded? In terms of design field, some designer claim that they've made it, but in my memory, I still can't name one, can you?!



smiling face on coffee"咖啡拉花" :好玩又有成功感的手藝. 不少愛喝咖啡,自已又擁有意式咖啡機的朋友, 除了學習品嚐不同產地及研磨的咖啡之外,也會渴望學會一招半式的拉花技術,

既可自娛,也可逗朋友高興, 甚至嬴取女朋友芳心也未非沒可能; 看看他們拉出各式各樣的"心心"圖案便得知.

說真的, 不少行內的 barister 對咖啡拉花尤其著迷, 除了苦練之外,更有專程上課學習, 由最基本的心形, 蘋果, 樹葉到同心圖案, 天鵝, 羽毛等等. 

其實在一個小如咖啡柸的空間內, 要拉出圖案,而在圖案比例,奶泡絲滑度, 圖案幼細及複雜程度要控制得恰當, 也絕非易事. 參加本地或海外的拉花比賽而取得殊榮更是他們的終極目標.

由於拉花最基本需要, 除了有一柸適當抽取的espresso之外, 絲滑的奶泡是另外一個重要的關鍵, 太厚、太薄、太多空氣都注定失敗; 所以成功打到合格的奶泡又變成拉花的基本工了.

曾經在網上有位資深的barister導師給了我們這些新手一個小貼士 :如果每次都用鮮奶練習, 一天內不知要浪費多少鮮奶 = 金錢; 又要增加雪柜內的儲存量, 很不化算.其實只要在水中加一滴洗潔精,直接打泡, 同樣可以當鮮奶般練習, 信不信由你? 檸檬、西柚或蘆薈味更適隨尊便, 但請別問我練習後如何清洗奶咀?!

不過, 如果出盡力也打不到泡, 拉不到花, 何不輕輕鬆鬆喝柸自家製即磨咖啡......冇泡、冇花一樣可以開心過一天!