loved the site and wanted more! Has anything concrete been made yet, like a feature wall in a building? I know a Wim de Vos here in Toowoomba, Australia, an artist and teacher. Is he the same man in the credits?

Andrew MacDonald

Toowoomba, Australia

Hello Andrew,
I must say I was very happy to receive your email, the website has just been up in the air for a short time, and I haven't even sent the invitations to my friends and teachers to come and look at it yet.. Anyway, to answer about Wim de Vos first - he is a Belgium architect/interior designer living in Amsterdam, so not the one you know... .
And about the project - there has quite some samples been made already, more to explore visual qualities than real implementation. I was invited to do (indeed) a wall made out of printed plates, but we haven't started working on it yet.. . At the moment I am more busy with floors.. .and I’m also looking into possibilities of using the functionality (of for example keyboard) in a different context.
I will let you know when some results will be published on the site.
Have a nice day,
.. .u


Hello Ursula,
thanks for the email. No I haven't been to Denmark, or anywhere in Europe for that matter...although I would love to. Steve told me last time he returned to Australia that the whole attitude to art is different over there. Public art is everywhere and people expect it to be, something that is normal. Here, especially in regional centres like Toowoomba, it is unexpected, almost a shock!! When I designed and installed the large stainless pieces, Cloud Trees, there was a great outcry from the locals...of course now they have disappeared, become part of the streetscape, and are used in promos and advertisements. Stainless steel is about the only thing I would have dared build them in however, for risk of vandalism...such is the respect afforded the artist here! The larger cities are different, but I still think there is a predominant attitude that art isn't part nof everyday life. Anyway I'm raving. I agree there is an unexpected beauty within high tech artefacts, and it's not widely utilized. I remember years ago splitting open an IC chip, the ones with lots of legs like a cockroach that socket into a holder on the circuit board, and looking at the miniature circuitry with a magnifying glass...absolutely stunning in a visual sense, jewel like. I guess Apple have jumped on some elements with their transluscent bodies (how toxic does it look though, and are they using recycled or virgin plastics?) I came upon a wonderful looking material recently, the rubber keyboard liner, with raised nipples and sunken portions. Very tactile. I have a sample lying next to an aluminium piece I am currently working on and will probably line it with the rubber. (This is an offshoot of the Involvo Evolvo exhibition I have recently shown, a collaboration with textiles artist and good friend, Sarah Rayner. I have loads of images of this work on slide but only a few as jpegs. The latter are huge images and I have only limited experience working with computer graphics...just tried reducing them to send you and it didn't work. We predominately used recycled materials like old silk, innertube rubber, aluminium, timber and things like zippers and corset clips, even barcodes off beer cans. The imagery came from local plant and insect forms, especially from a nearby rainforest, but we interpreted them using our recycled artificial media. The finished pieces were displayed like old-style museum exhibits, insect collections and the like...timber and glass cases in a modular range of sizes, some pieces held by old retort clamps from a chemistry lab, and test tubes, all labelled in pigeon Latin. Some of it was sent to the US for the SOFA exhibition last year.) As for the desire not to fill the world up with even more crap I can understand that, and it is important to reconfigure the stuff that does exist. That way, if it is still recognisable, as at least you have tried showing the excessiveness of it all. And what you say about designers not wanting to know that their latest creation is trash, as a fashion item/style/statement it is doomed from its inception...almost defines fashion and trend: it will be scrapped, and it does have a limited life-span. And that's ignoring the normal pattern of production now, pieces will fall apart! My honours thesis was on "machines" in art, especially wind activated ones, and how they can be seen from an environmental perspective. Some of the people I read were Lewis Mumford, Jacque Ellul, Neil Postman and Carolyn Merchant. Are these familiar names?
It's almost 9am and I had better do a patrol through the studios.

Dear Ursula,
I looked at your website and was very amused by your Coke story. Impressed by your technical research. And I very much liked in your metro part "It is a never ending fascination to me how many pairs of eyes I can meet in just one ride" It all reminded me of my own recycling project B.YOND. Sweaters made out of recycled jeans and plastic bottles. The problem in the end was not the amount of material to recycle, but the price to produce them. I am looking forward to see your final interior designs!
Good luck,

Birgitta de Vos bv.
Identity Consultancy & Development


Dear Birgitta,
I am happy that you took time to realy read.. .And I am happy that you like the stories.. .
The price is allways the problem of reuse/recycling. I hope my designs would not acceed the price of normal (high end maybe) product of this kind.. But the fact that they are made of of recycled material should be seen as an added value and consumers might be willing to pay for it. I hope.
wish you a nice day,
.. .u