Mobi Des at the launch of Look.Stop.Shop.

The Scale of Things made an impact at the launch of Look.Stop.Shop 2011 at Melbourne Central on Monday 18 July. Here’s some of our quick snaps and behind the scenes moments, taken by our very own photographer Imran. We were also on of six “shops” interviewed on the day and the video can be found here in this post.

It was a real grown-up moment for us here at The Scale, and the start of hopefully many more events as part of the State of Design festival.

Simone is interviewed by Melanie Hopgood-Bould of the City of Melbourne about The Scale of Things and Mobi Des at Look.Stop.Shop.

” Look.Stop.Shop is an around-the-clock exhibition that takes you on an exploratory journey around Melbourne’s city centre. You’ll experience a series of installations by 29 design-minded businesses.

These are the stories of six participants who’ve created installations for this year’s Look.Stop.Shop theme ‘Design that Moves’.

‘The Scale of Things’ is a collective group of design-savvy entrepreneurs. They’ve created ‘Mobi Des’, two innovative mobile units and one stationary unit featuring handmade designs by emerging Melbourne artists. These units will be popping-up unexpectedly around the city during Look.Stop.Shop.

Paper bubbles overflow from Geyer’s creative studio into the bustling Centre Place laneway. Bubble decals flow onto the pavement and shop windows. This eye catching display has already caught passers-by as they explore the laneway, dine and shop.

Pieces of Eight Gallery in Russell Place is showcasing contemporary jewellery and small art objects made by over 50 Australian and international makers. The installation has been created from recycled cardboard boxes with the theme ‘We are family’, depicting Melbourne’s close knit design community.

Little Mule is just off Little Bourke Street in Somerset Place. There you’ll discover a bike shop voted as one of Melbourne’s best places to enjoy a brew. Little Mule have transformed their cafe and shop with an exhibition featuring ‘high-brow low-brow’ fine art.

In Little Lonsdale Street you’ll find the Design Dispensary, a quirky store selling home wares and gifts. RMIT visual merchandising students have created a installation which features miniature hot air balloons, with Crumpled City maps. They’re handy, lightweight, 100% waterproof maps which can be easily crammed into your pocket or backpack.

Some of the most interesting cities around the globe are available. Design Dispensary owner Samantha Sivarajah has commissioned a Melbourne map and will be asking customers to nominate their favourite spots in Melbourne which will be considered for a list of ten ’soulsights’ on the map.

RMIT Interior Design students searched the city high and low to gather 8,000 ping pong balls, 3 kilometres of fishing wire and other materials to transform the Euroluce logo in their Russell Street store.

This is merely an entrée to what you’ll find during this year’s event. So grab your Look.Stop.Shop map, walk or run the trail. View more about Look.Stop.Shop on What’s on.

The event is presented by the City of Melbourne and is part of the State of Design Festival from 20-31 July 2011. “

Di Tan – Design and Vision

Di Tan’s vision is spellbinding. She has a natural ability to capture the most beautiful aspect of anything she photographs, especially her own object work. Her visual communication skills are unparalleled, in The Scale’s view. Having worked with or along side Di for several years now, we at The Scale are constantly stunned by the visuals she produces. To see Di’s photos are to see what she sees, and it’s all beautiful. Oh, to live in her world!

This is what makes Di’s object’s so interesting – via Mobi Des, she gives us things to touch, to feel, to look at, but do we see the same as she does? Take a glimpse into her world via her blog and her folio and grab one of her beautiful pieces of jewellery during our Mobi Des days this State of Design festival

  • The basics; where are you from? What lead you to Melbourne? What keeps you here? What are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

I’m originally from China and now I’m a Melbourne-based designer. I came to Melbourne to study in 2004. Over the last 8 years, I’ve grown to love Melbourne even more than my hometown Beijing. I love the people here, the old buildings, the weather and of course the coffee and scones:)

I’m preparing an online shop at the moment to sell my own hand-made objects which will be opening soon (in September). I’m also open for industrial and graphic design free-lance jobs.

Dezira brooches and necklaces - photo from

  • How would you describe your design/maker style?

I’d like to describe my design/maker style as Freedom and Colour. I love to use colour on my designs and I often do it randomly, so that I can catch the unexpected moments. I love suprises😛

Dezira Brooch - photo from

Dezira necklace - photo from

Another Dezira necklace - available via Mobi Des. Photo from

  • Where did the name Dezira come from?

Don’t laugh please ): It’s actually my first WoW character’s name… (yes…yes…I play WoW… lol)

  • Time for some figjam – what’s your favourite piece of your own work, and why?

My favourite piece of design is my 3rd year studio project – Transition object. Once again, I love colour~ and it was also my first time working with clear acrylic sheets.

Di's Transition Object. Photo from

  • Who or what inspires you and your work? Who would sit at your fantasy dinner table?

I’m usually inspired by things and people around me. If I had to invite someone to my fantasy dinner table, I guess it would be all my friends! Ha! Beccause they are my support, they offer me help and I just can’t do anything without them!

  • What does ‘design’ mean to you?

I design things so that I can be myself. Most of my designs are the reflection of myself. I learn, improve and discover more about myself through design. I believe every design has its own story behind it, no matter if it’s about the maker or the user.

  • What are the best and worst things about what you do?

Best: lots of ideas

Worst: over do things

  • Your 2 favourite tools of your trade

2 favourite tools: Stanley knife and Copic markers

  • If you could work on any project, or with any designer/artist/maker, what would it be?

Slip cast ceramic!

  • Any parting words?

Thanks ‘The Scale of Things’ for giving me this great start! And I hope my little Dezira will end up big~

You’re very welcome Di! We hope so too. Inspirational answers – many thanks to Di for her beautiful objects, and for her time in chatting to us. We love your work, and hope to see more of it in the future. Keep us in your loop, Di!

Jaimie and her Nana Thursdays

Nana Thursdays had its humble beginnings as a group of friends sitting around a TV with tea and Tim Tams knitting on a Thursday evening. All involved loved getting in touch with their Nana side – we all have one (you too have a Nana side, oh reader), and every now and then it just seems right to sit, knit, and have a bit of a chin wag with good people. Jaimie, Nana Thursday’s creator, saw an opportunity in these Thursdays, and Nana Thursday’s etsy shop was born!

Jaimie is a graduate from psychology at RMIT, and is currently saving for a round-the-world trip. She loves knitting – anywhere, any yarn, any time of day – and the objects she produces are to die for! Her passion for what she does is enviable. Teach us to be like you, Jaimie?

  • The basics; where are you from? What lead you to Melbourne? What keeps you here? What are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

I’m from Birchip (three-and-a-half hours north-west of Melbourne). The lights, life and uni were calling me to Melbourne long before I got here. Friends, family and Cyclone Yasi are why I’m still here. At the moment I’m working like a crazy lady, saving money to go travelling!

  • How would you describe your design/maker style?

I like to think that the stuff I make is simple and easy to wear. As a maker I love the repetition of knitting without stressing about counting stiches and rows and changing colours.

Nana Thursdays sample - such beautiful textures!

Ah, we like this one - so Melbourne!

  • How do you juggle your making and working? Or is it one and the same for you?

Oh how I wish it was one and the same! My dream job would be to be paid $50 an hour to knit. However, at the moment I knit in my free time.

  • Time for some figjam – what’s your favourite piece of your own work, and why?

My favourite piece is a mustard neck warmer that tucks into itself. I made it after being in the eye of Cyclone Yasi; the resort island I was working on was destroyed and all the staff had been relocated to Carins. It was quite a stressful time. Knitting reminded me of the simple things in life and allowed me knit out my anger. I also love mustard!!

Jaimie and her mustard neck warmer. Looks cosy!

  • Who or what inspires you and your work? Who would sit at your fantasy dinner table?

A desire to relax and make yummy things is what inspires my knitting.

After spending A LOT of time thinking about who would sit at my fantasy dinner table, what we would discuss (would the artists/designers be able to talk to politicians about anything useful?) and who would talk to who (would Julia Gillard and Barak Obama actually be able to answer my questions or would they just feed me babble all night? How about Tim Costello and Bono?? Would Sandy Jeffs (one of the most inspirational people I know and also a schizophenic) be the right person to convince Julia about the importance of mental health? Is Julia even the right person for Sandy to be talking to? etc etc) I’ve decided that I’d really like to have dinner with all my friends, because the discussions will still be amazing AND I’d have fun too!

  • What does ‘craft’ mean to you?

Making cool stuff while relaxing.

Cool stuff! Jaimie and her entrant into the 2011 Scarf Festival (Geelong)

  • What are the best and worst things about what you do?

Best: It’s relaxing and fun. Worst: I don’t do it as often as I’d like to.

  • A pair of pairs: your 2 favourite tools of your trade, and 2 links everybody should see

Knitting needles and yummy yarn.

Post Secret and Nana Thursdays!

  • If you could work on any project, or with any designer/artist/maker, what would it be?

I’d really love to work with Collette Dinnigan on knitted evening wear…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  • Any parting words?

People were made to be loved, things were made to be used. The world is in chaos because things are being loved and people are being used.

Oh, so true! Thank you to the lovely Jaimie for her words, and her beautiful hand made goodness. Think of us here in Melbourne when you’re discovering the other lovely places of the world… and knitting their yarns. Good luck and happy travels!

Angelina Russo and the Importance of Being Conscious, Capable and Crafty

Here at The Scale, we’re big fans of human-powered movement. We love the theatre of movement, the joy of locomotion and the passion we see mirrored in other movement-enthusiasts (and here we’re talking about sportspeople, dancers and transportation designers). We know that sustainable transportation is the way of the future, and we know that we need pioneer designer/makers to lead the way to this future. One such pioneer is Angelina Russo.

Angelina is an avid cyclist, researcher and crocheter, who has found the opportunity to combine these three talents into her project, CultureCycle. Travelling the world exploring the bike paths and cycling systems of metropolises such as London, Edinburgh and New York, Angelina calls Melbourne home, and sends back her insights via her blog. She has created a range of products for the urban cyclist – crocheted high-visibility, high-design wear – that synthesise her findings into simple, beautiful, functional objects. The Scale of Things is privileged to have Angelina and her hand crafted bike wear as part of our Mobi Des project.

  • The basics; where are you from? What lead you to Melbourne? What keeps you here? What are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

I’m originally from Adelaide though apart from a 4 year stint there about 15 years ago, I haven’t actually lived there for over 20 years. I was offered a job here in Melbourne and moved down from Brisbane where I’d been for 7 years. I stay in Melbourne for the culture, the fantastic cycling and definitely not for the weather. I’m getting ready to launch the new range of reflective crochet cyclewear! It’s an exciting time! I’m really looking forward to the response to the range! If it goes well, there’s no stopping me! Who knows, I may even be able to give up my day job!

CultureCycle - Where Cycling meets Design and Culture

  • How would you describe your design/maker style?

I’m a designer, at least that’s what my degrees say. I’m also a maker and always have been. I grew up in a large Italian family at a time when knowing how to knit, crochet, cross stitch etc. was part of the arsenal a young woman took with her into life. I’ve been a practicing designer in the fields of interior, film, communication and interaction design for over 20 years. Now I can add handmade design to that cache!

  • How do you juggle your making and working? Or is it one and the same for you?

Everything is making for me. I’ve managed to carve out a working life which includes opportunities to allow different activities to converge. That’s why CultureCycle is so exciting for me. I can write about the links between design and social media from a theoretical perspective and then design a piece, document the pattern and make it! I crochet at night and write during the day and I try really hard to keep it in that order. I have to admit that the Melbourne winter makes it difficult sometimes. In my old age I seem to get more arthritic each year!

Angelina's crocheted hand warmers - we need them in this weather! Photo: Brad Triffit, Model: Ruby Forrest


  • Time for some figjam – what’s your favourite piece of your own work, and why?

I love my crochet stockings. I think they are the Bugatti of the stocking world. They’re so smoking hot that I can’t wear them! I designed the pattern and have made them in a fantastic cotton lycra and also in wool. I’m thinking of making a pair with reflective elements but I’m not sure anyone is ready for that!

  • Who or what inspires you and your work? Who would sit at your fantasy dinner table?

Ah yes, the fantasy dinner table! To be honest I am utterly inspired by ordinary people. I love cycling through the city of Melbourne in the morning and seeing people brave the elements while doing something that is good for them! I’m inspired by running around the Tan in the mornings. You see so many people who are obviously in pain and yet there they are! I love funny, articulate, uncomplicated people. Most of all, I’m inspired by people who don’t promise what they can’t deliver and deliver what they promise.

  • What does ‘design’ mean to you?

Design is a wonderful phenomena. It blends sophisticated technologies with extraordinary creativity and does so for a purpose. Without a purpose, it’s art.

Design with a purpose - be seen and be warm while cycling. Sounds good to us! Photo: Brad Triffit, Model: Ruby Forrest

Design with a purpose - reflective by night. Photo: Brad Triffit, Model: Ruby Forrest

  • What are the best and worst things about what you do?

Being able to translate an idea into a finished product which is replicable is probably the best thing about what I do. The worst would be trying to cope with people who have no interest in finishing anything!

  • A pair of pairs: your 2 favourite tools of your trade, and 2 links everybody should see

My two favourite things? My bike of course and my camera. Together they can get me to far flung places and document them to share with others. Two links? TEDX talks. As my friend in Austin says, TEDX makes us smarter! and Adam Savage’s website (from Mythbusters). It hasn’t been updated since 2003 because he became a megastar on Mythbusters and no longer needed to promote himself as a “maker of general things”. One day I’d like to have a website that I no longer need to update!!!

Angelina and her bike (via her camera) in NYC

  • If you could work on any project, or with any designer/artist/maker, what would it be?

I’d really like to spend a few years creating an end-to-end program of cycling, research and handmade design. I guess I’ve started the process with CultureCycle. I’ve met so many interesting people online and have been truly inspired by their work. I hope that one day I can inspire others.

Inspiring designs. We love this piece! Photo: Brad Triffit, Model: Ruby Forrest

  • Any parting words?

I really believe that if you have a skill, you can never be unemployed. I see so many people who have outsourced every part of their lives. They can’t cook, can’t make things, have opinions about doing really simple things like taking out the rubbish. If the electricity, water and phone went off, they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. Learn to do something with your hands. Make it a priority. Enjoy the process and share the results. What more could you ask?

Ah, yes! We hear you. Thank you Angelina for taking the time to talk to us.

Melbournians, look out for Angelina on the bike paths of this beautiful city, and look out for her products at our Mobi Des stalls this July.

Meet Your Makers, Round 2

Hello Scaley Friends!

Yes, it’s time for the second round of Meet Your Makers – The Scale of Things’ series of interviews with the lovely designers, craftspeople and artists who are participating in our Mobi Des project.

Round 1 featured Ellen of Elpple, Ivan Adhiteja and Youssef Tayeb.

Head on over to their interviews for a sneak peak into their head- and work-spaces, and a first look at what they’ll be selling via Mobi Des.

Round 2 features:

Angelina Russo of CultureCycle fame – Read her interview here

Jaimie Smith and her Nana Thursdays – up online here

Di Tan aka Dezira – here it is

Getting excited? So are we! Keep an eye on The Scale’s site for updates in the lead up to the launch of Mobi Des. Woo!

Youssef Tayeb; Beautiful Digital

Youssef Tayeb is hands-down the coolest designer I know. Aside from the (in our field, somewhat mandatory) skinny jeans, Ray Bans and muted wardrobe, as a designer Youssef has it all: a keen sense of aesthetics, an appreciation for cutting edge manufacturing techniques and a love for hand-finishing, but most importantly, a social conscience. Youssef consistently produces good design (and here we mean design that works, that looks amazing and that considers its processes and outcomes thoroughly) that engages his audiences on more than just the aesthetic level. His work connects with the viewer emotionally – cognitively and, dare I say, approaching spiritually – and the result is unerringly stunning.

And it’s always been this way; The Scale has had the pleasure to work with or along side Youssef for the better part of the last four years, and we have to say, we’ve all been in awe of his work at some point. Now he has his own range of beautiful objects, showcased via his aptly-named site Side Project One, and available via The Scale’s Mobi Des project.

Not sure what we’re on about? Get to know Youssef a little better below, and get your hands on some of his designs at the end of July.

  • The basics; where are you from? What lead you to Melbourne? What keeps you here? What are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

I guess the right term to describe me would be TCK (Third-Culture-Kid, look it up). My Mum’s French-Moroccan and my Dad’s Saudi Arabian and I mostly grew-up around the Middle-East.

I pretty much moved out to Melbourne on a whim and have stayed on since finishing University here because I’ve inevitably fallen in love with the place.

I’ve got no concrete plans for the future. Right now, I’m working on a couple of freelance Industrial Design projects and making some jewellery on the side.

Youssef Tayeb

  • How would you describe your design/maker style?


  • How do you juggle your making and working? Or is it one and the same for you?

9 to 5 Monday to Thursday is my ‘working time’, anything outside of those hours is ‘making’… at least that’s what I tell myself. That self-imposed red line tends to bleed either way, a lot.

  • Time for some figjam – what’s your favourite piece of your own work, and why?

Whatever I’m working on at the moment. By the time I’m finished with a project, I usually feel quite jaded by it. More often than not, the next project I take on tries to remedy that.

Examples of Youssef's current work - Wishbone Pyramid Earrings

The Shallow End pendant of the same series

A third example - Klein's Bagel Brooch. Find more at

  • Who or what inspires you and your work? Who would sit at your fantasy dinner table?

Experiences I’ve gathered when travelling have heavily influenced my work. I really like using design as a method of offering a response to issues I have come across when I am outside my comfort zone. A good example of this would probably be my final year university project where I looked at producing low-cost, open-source, prosthetics for developing countries. That came about after a trip to Sri Lanka in 2010.

Youssef's Honour's year project - Low Cost Prosthetics

Off the top of my head, my fantasy dinner table would have Khalil Gibran, George Harrison, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Charles Darwin, Janis Joplin, Shirin Neshat, James Randi, Tom Waits, Frida Kahlo, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bob Dylan, Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry, Sam Harris. If I keep going on I’ll just get carried away!

  • What does ‘design’ mean to you?

I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Youssef's Studio Space - where his designs happen

  • What are the best and worst things about what you do?

I think this pretty much sums it up at the moment:

  • A pair of pairs: your 2 favourite tools of your trade, and 2 links everybody should see

Hands down my two favourite tools have to be my Wacom tablet and a 3d-printer. They have both been endless hours of fun.

Two Links:

  • If you could work on any project, or with any designer/artist/maker, what would it be?

I’d love to design and build tree houses for my own little tropical beach getaway. That’s the endgame…

  • Any parting words?


Melbourne, nay Australia, is lucky to have him, and we at The Scale are luckier to have his work as part of our Mobi Des project. Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule Youssef, we appreciate it!

Design to make you smile: Ivan Adhiteja

Ivan Adhiteja is going places, people. He’s on the cusp of greatness, and about to get very famous, very quickly. His designs are intelligent, quirky, beautiful, and they make sense. Good design sense. He’s a talented industrial designer and design writer who juggles a hectic online life (co-managing Design Territory as well as his own blog and various side projects) with visits to the Milan Furniture Fair (2011), The Melbourne Movement and his own design career. At The Scale, we’re proud to be the first to compare him to the likes of Karim Rashid, Marc Newson and maybe even Japan’s Nendo. But, (not necessarily) unlike those power houses of design, Ivan’s a nice guy. And, unlike the above, The Scale is fortunate enough to be having Ivan design and produce some beautiful objects for Mobi Des. Wow. Look out Melbourne.

Not convinced? Check out Ivan’s folio and blog and his side project Design Territory. Still not convinced? Get to know Ivan below:

  • The basics; where are you from? What lead you to Melbourne? What keeps you here? What are you doing now?
INDONESIA!!! I planned to continue my study in Perth after I finished my Diploma in Singapore. However, there were some people telling me that Melbourne is a better place for design, and that’s also why I’m still here. I’m planning to put my final year project into production, so just wait a little longer and you can buy the super awesome stool… hahahaha…

Ivan's Shima stools - 'Shima' means 'layers' in Japanese. Click the above link to see why...

  • How would you describe your design/maker style?
I like cartoons, I love simplicity, and I worship products that make my life easy. So, at least one of these inspires my style of design.

Dombaaa - look out for this sheep during Mobi Des!

  • What are your plans for the future?
I’m not really planning my life, so I just live my life and do what I can do now.
  • Time for some figjam – what’s your favourite piece of your own work, and why?
A silver pendant in pig’s snout shape from 2007. I won a design competition with this design and that’s the only design competition I’ve won in my life so far. However, this piece became my favourite because that was the first time I experienced many people appreciating what I’ve done. It made me excited to design more.
  • Who or what inspires you and your work?
 I am usually inspired by problems in my daily life, mostly by problems with products that I use.
  • What does ‘design’ mean to you?
Design is one of those activities that can only be done by humans… It will not be replaced by a computer or a robot.
  • What are the best and worst things about what you do?

Best: problem solving.

Worst: planning.

  • What are 2 links everybody should see?… to see all the news about what I’ve done, what I’m doing and what I’m going to do…… I check this website twice a day…

  • If you could work on any project, or with any designer/artist/maker, what would it be?
I designed toys and furniture before… I would like to design kids furniture, I guess…
  • Any parting words?

THANK YOU “THE SCALE OF THINGS!!!” By the way, teach me some Aussie Slang… Lol

No worries Ivan, we’ll try our best😉

The Scale thanks Ivan for his time completing the questions above, and for his lovely design pieces for Mobi Des. We can’t wait to get them out to everyone in Melbourne this July. Stay tuned for your chance to take home your very own Ivan Adhiteja original.

Japan, My Parents and Moerenuma Park


This is the Scale’s first international post! I’ve been in Japan for about 3 weeks now and been from the middle to the bottom to the top and back to the middle!

This isn’t my first journey to Japan, at age 2 (1989) I first lived in Kyoto for 1 year – for those of you who can remember 1989… I’m sure it was a good year, I had a great time!

Around the mid 90s I was very involved with Aikido and Kendo. It was around this time I went back to visit Kyoto when my dad was there. My mum has been a big driving force behind my Japanese experience. Having studied Japanese in her Undergrad and going on to study Japanese management in S.E. Asia her love of Japan runs deeper than mine. She has introduced me to many things related to Japan, specifically around martial arts.

Noguchi interests me for two reasons. Firstly his sculptures and secondly he is a mixed kid (just like me!), his mother is American and father is Japanese. His work really engages the moment.

Whilst in Sapporo I visited one of his last efforts as a Sculptor, Moerenuma Park (wiki). It is a park that is considered to be “one complete sculpture”, and they nailed it! I spent a solid day exploring most of the park. From the peak of Mt. Moere to the Forrest of Cherry Trees to the Glass Pyramid. As you walked along and looked into the distance you could see each individual sculpture blend with another and forming a larger piece. Everything is deeply considered and deeply connected.

Here are a few images I took of the Park:

[click on image for original]

IMG_0501 IMG_0521 IMG_0577 IMG_0677 IMG_0697 IMG_0914 IMG_0887 IMG_0953 IMG_0941 IMG_0844 IMG_0599 IMG_0803

If there is anything you get out of these Friday link post’s, I hope that it opens at least one path of investigation, which hopefully will lead to many many more.

All the best from Osaka Japan,