Friday, June 4, 2010


Supertramp, by Lehman B, London, UK - "Inspired by a more minimal, fluid and socially aware approach to future living, the project seeks to promote and inspire leaner, more livable life forms. Exploring the practicality of microsized living and urban downshifting - Supertramp wagon will act as my permanent mobile home, while doubling as an agency and social-facility point as well." 

I'm finding it hard to find words to explain how great I think Jacob's new venture is.

My first day of work at The Future Laboratory, Jacob bounced over with his long blond hair, wide blue eyes and charming Scandinavian grin and began to show me the ropes at the lab. He always had such a fascinating perspective from the science/architecture/design world that I just ate up.  I learned bucket-loads from him. On the occasional lunch out of the office to the luxurious Waitrose grocery store,  he told me about his sailing trips at home in Denmark, and how like me, he missed the freedom of living somewhere with space, a slower pace of life, and enjoying the good life.

I had the feeling that he wanted to escape the London urban lifestyle and jump on a boat and sail around the world. And not just that he wanted to, but that he was close to making a drastic change in lifestyle. So when I got the email about Lehman B, a "do-tank", and the first project called Supertramp, I was ecstatic.  Lehman B is "based on the belief that the best way to embrace the opportunities the future holds is by living them and doing them."

 I still haven't figured out if Lehman B is a one man show, or if it's a team thing...all I know is that right now, Jacob is roaming around London, living in this beautifully designed bike wagon, holding workshops and discussions about design, the future, microsize living, urban flowmads, downshifting...and well lots of innovative and different ideas. I remember how obsessed he was with micro homes and caravans, and now he combined a million of his good ideas into one project called Supertramp. Congrats Jacob. You're my hero! To "doing", instead of saying, thinking and longing.

Check out Lehman B website for live map of his progress and details about what a "do-tank" does. Below is a shot of the interior of the Supertramp wagon. Merveilleux!

Above exterior, below interior of 'Supertramp' by Lehman B. Photography by Felicity Crawshaw

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lets Talk About Spirituality, Baby.

 So I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to a session with my summer roommate, Sara Mullin, who is an alternative healer. 

I didn't have many expectations going into it. I'm a fan of acupuncture, I've had a positive experience with a homeopath and I think reiki sounds really neat. And that is about the extent of my alternative healing solutions. Unless you think of yoga as alternative?

Anyways, I didn't ask Sara about what kind of therapy she does. But all the different training she has been doing over the years sounded really interesting. So I walked into it blind.

Her studio is a small comfortable room on the second floor at Main and 28th. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful batik fabric covering the massage/reiki table. And on top of that was a wood bowl filled with different stones, some vials, and about 8 different colours of sunglasses lined up. The frames and the lenses were tinted bright blue, red, orange...all the colours of the rainbow. Then there was a chart explaining more about Dr Darren Weissman's Lifeline Technique, and some other metal instruments wrapped in fabric that I could not identify.

I told Sara of a few of my physical and emotional ailments, and then we began. With some light touch, hand motions and verbal cues we got to a place that had a different energy.  The hour flew by with  some reflection, verbal reiteration, a few tears, a stone, some aromatherapy, a metal tool, some blue sunglasses and a couple of moments running on the spot (which somehow felt amazing). 

After I felt physically good and uplifted and my foot that has been bugging me felt noticeably better. She got me to think about feelings and images that I would not have thought of otherwise that I have reflected on since. And we didn't even talk that much....just a few words here and there that I recall. Trés interesant, oui?

I've only had one session, but Sara's practice seems to me to be tapping into a growing need for accessible, yet different therapy. You don't have to be spiritual or into alternative practices to go, and it made me think and feel 'out of the box'.  It combines some more widely accepted therapy such as positive thinking (bottled and sold as "The Secret") and combined a variety of interesting holistic/spiritual therapy.

I'm looking forward to my next session with Sara. I think she is right on the mark with her business. With austerity and authenticity at the forefront of popularity, more people are looking to add depth to themselves, rather than adding to their wallets and wardrobes.  'Self-help' is a dirty word, but the idea of making your life better than it is by adding dimensions and depth doesn't seem pathetic at all.

That said, there certainly seems to be another lost generation lingering about these days.  But maybe like the Beat generation, this lost generation will also end up being renown for their journey and be both super-spiritual and super-high tech. That sounds kind of neat to me.

"It's a kind of furtiveness... Like we were a generation of furtives. You know, with an inner knowledge...a kind of beatness... and a weariness with all the forms, all the conventions of the world... So I guess you might say we're a 'Beat Generation' - Jack Kerouac

"Beatitude" - the necessary beatness or darkness that precedes opening up to light, egolessness, giving room for religious illumination.

Images from top: Cool Blast, by Adolph Gottlieb, 1960 ;
Untitled, Carlo Villa, 1962.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Space Lab

One of my favorite places to hang out is Space Lab on 1847 Main Street and 3rd Ave East. It's the new kid on the block of Vancouver's Main Street vintage furniture stores. It was started by Clint Moroz whose personal collection of books, art, doodads and beautiful-things with a story, became too much for his home. So a hobby became a store.

I like to hang out and read the books and poke fun at Clint for how chaotic and dangerous the store is. (Today I was almost speared on a stray antler). I usually drop a thing or two by accident, meet a few interesting people, rearrange a table and sip the specialty beers that somehow seem to appear at the end of the day. It actually relates to my post about Raw Canvas and the need for more casual cultural spaces. I always learn about things I didn't know I had an interest in.

Clint's eclectic yet discerning selection of books, furniture and things have something beyond a designer name, or an 'artist collaboration', or super on-trend appeal. It's a selection of things that he likes, and finds interesting, and is more than happy to get into discussion about why it's important or interesting, quirky or classic. The space is somewhere to spend time, learn, be social, and shop of course.

For example, so far, I purchased a book on 20th Century Italian Design, and the "Underground Revolution of the Hippie, Yippees and Others", and some 50's porn for a gift. Yes actually a gift. In fact 50's porn is quite tame really.

Here are some a few more pics of Space Lab. If you go there tomorrow everything will be in a different place... gem upon gem, waiting to be discovered, discussed, dropped, polished, admired, home.