One Eye Cat Meets People

辞职去旅行 – 骑摩托从上海到德国。Journey to the west – Motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany – Part 1

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最近我公司的俩老外同事,一个德国人一个母语是德语的意大利人,上演了一场辞职去旅行的时髦事儿。当然你也肯定会说这有啥时髦的,现满大街的都辞职去旅行,但这两家伙可是骑自己改装的摩托车从上海开去欧洲回老家呢,加入了今年特时髦的亚欧旅大军。就在几个月前,一意大利帅哥独自骑自行车从上海回威尼斯,身边还有两位荷兰大哥特别有想法,找了各种中国品牌的赞助开车回荷兰,赞助包括车与住宿以及各种电子产品。现在我们文章里的两位主角先生暂时被困在了乌兹别克斯坦,因为其中一位的摩托坏了,在迫切的等待着快递把从我们伟大的淘宝上购买的部件给邮过去,可惜中国邮政在他乡有点力不从心。。。他们这次旅行很多东西都是在淘宝上买的,唉,我当初就和他俩说应该去找淘宝拉个赞助什么的,你看现在阿里巴巴都上市了…哈哈题外话。

在他们还在筹备此次旅行的时候,我去参观了几次他们的摩托车改装现场,感觉特别有意思,这就是工业设计师的天堂吧!他们敢想敢做,不怕把手弄脏,想方设法做模型实验,一次又一次的改良装备,花了如此多的心思也得到了极大的乐趣,这将是一趟难忘的生命之旅,是他们以后当上爷爷之后可以和孙子作为炫耀的资本啊(笑)。

有兴趣可以去看看他们的旅行博客 Monkey Kings: http://monkeykings.jimdo.com/

下面有更多图片与Matthias的采访:

A Bavarian and a South Tyrolean guy met in Shanghai, and they gradually fell in love because of the common passion for motorbike so they ran away together for a big adventure back to Europe… Oh no no no, that’s not the real story,  just my fantasy, I always joke about it with them, hahaha.

So here comes the real story: In my design firm, I was working with Matthias the Bavarian guy from Germany and Chris the South Tyrolean guy from Italy. After few years living in Shanghai, they thought their adventure in China had to come to an end, so they came up with a creative idea for going back home – a journey to the west from China to Europe by motorbike.

Before they left, I visited their motorbike workshop couple times, it was super exciting to see how they did the modifications to the bikes. Think big, get your hands dirty, do prototype for testing, make modifications, get real connections to the process, and make things happen… and also most importantly have fun! That’s how they prepared it. It’s going to be a trip of the lifetime, and I am so happy I can be a very small part of it by documenting it.

Matthias and Chris are on the road already since end of July 2014, and now stuck in Uzbekistan temporarily because one of the bike needs some repair. They are waiting for some parts sending from Taobao in China. The famous Taobao… well, I used to joke with them that they should get a sponsorship from Taobao before, haha you see Alibaba just listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange few days ago, a good chance to propose them to enter Europe:D maybe…hahaha

Please follow their travel blog Monkey Kings: http://monkeykings.jimdo.com/

Here are some photos from their workshop and followed with Matthias’s interview:

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下面的小伙就是Matthias:
Let’s meet Matthias:

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下面的小伙就是Chris:
And let’s meet Chris:

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以下是Matthias在独眼猫的专访:
OneEyeCat’s interview with Matthias:

问1: 童年的梦想是什么?如今呢?
M答: 我小的时候从未想过将来会怎样,也不知道外面的世界是怎样的。我那时只关心我那下一个Lego积木太空船会长啥样。

Q1. What was your childhood dream? What about now?
M: As a child i didn’t think too much about the future and had no idea about the world out there. I was more concerned about how my next Lego spaceship would look like.

问2: 能说说你当年大老远从欧洲奔来上海的动力是啥吗?
M答: 主要是因为工作。我一直都钟情于亚洲文化,特别是有关日本的奇奇怪怪的事物。其实一开始我还以为上海是在日本,之后我又想这离得挺近的,应该差不多。结果你知道我是有多么的震惊,但我爱这点。

Q2. What’s your motivation of moving to Shanghai from Europe before?
M: Mainly the job. But I have always been a big fan of Asia and interested in Asian culture and stuff. Mainly weird Japanese shit. Honestly in the beginning I thought Shanghai is in Japan. Then I thought… Pretty close… Can’t be that different. Guess how surprised I was. But i loved it.

问3: 你怎么想到以开摩托车的方式从上海回德国的呢?动机是什么?
M答: 生活在中国,在我人生的轨迹里留下一个重要的痕迹,并且改变了我对许多事物的看法。从中国飞往德国需要12小时,我想难道12个小时就能结束我人生中这么重要的一程么?这听起来不太对劲。
一天我和Chris在聊此事时,我们提到为何不直接自驾横跨大陆回去。当时听起来像个玩笑,但我俩握手表示承诺这次一定真干,而不是让它又变成一个我们从未实现的愚蠢计划。一开始我们计划开汽车,由于那时我还没有摩托车驾照,也是考虑到骑摩托车十分危险。 之后我们去了一趟菲律宾的Palawan,经过了那一周的摩托车之旅后,我们就再也没提过开汽车这件事儿了。

Q3. How did you come up with the idea of this motorbike trip from Shanghai to Germany? What is the motivation?
M: Living in China made such a major dent in my life and changed my view on quite a few things. So leaving China and flying home in 12 hrs.. That’s it? Didn’t sound like the right thing to do.
Chris and I were chatting about this one day… Then we said, why don’t we just drive home over lands? Sounded like a joke at the time but we shook hands on it and promised to really do it this time… Not just have it one of our many stupid plans that never happen. First we planned to do that by car as I didn’t have a motorbike license at that point. Also because motorbiking is crazy dangerous and so on… Then we did a one week bike trip in Palawan in Philippines and the car was never mentioned again.

问4: 你们用了多长时间准备这次旅行?期间遇到什么最困难的问题,有什么意想不到或好玩有趣的事儿和我们说说呗?
M答: 差不多准备了一年的时间。就如我之前提到过的,我没有摩托车的驾照,所以最困难的地方是把两个国家的证都办齐了-一个德国的,一个中国的。办这些证件是否繁琐,期间也遇到不少麻烦,但这一切都是值得的!

Q4. How long did you prepare the trip? What is the most difficult part during the preparation; is there any unexpected problem or funny story to share?
M: Roughly it took a year. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have a motorbike license so the most difficult thing was to get both, a German and a Chinese drivers license. It took me quite some effort to get them, went through a lot of trouble, but all the hard work is worth doing!

问5: 你在上海最难忘的时刻是什么?
M答: 那太多啦。上海最棒的地方就是一你一旦出了家门就能被娱乐到,方式时好时坏,永远不会感到无聊。

Q5. What is your most memorable Shanghai moment?
M: There are too many. Best thing in Shanghai is that you are always entertained when u leave the door. Sometimes in a good, sometimes in a bad way – Never gets boring.

问6: 如果你能从上海带走一件东西回你家乡,你会带什么?
M答: 淘宝 – 我们这次旅行几乎所有的装备都是淘宝上买的。你想得到的他们都有,你想不到的也有。

Q6. If you could bring one thing from Shanghai back to your hometown, what would that be?
M: Taobao – we got almost all our gear for the trip from there. They have everything – and more.

问7: 说说你现在正在听的音乐/看的书/电影?你会带上什么一起这次的旅行呢?
M答: 音乐。我希腊朋友John给我制作了一个超大的歌单,超级期待的。我iPad上有几本我一直都想读的电子书。但我觉得可能时间不太够用。我驾车时有时会听语音书以及Podcasts。或许我能最终听完最后一集Game of Thrones的语音书。

Q7. What is your current album/book/movie? Will you bring any of them for the road?
M: Music. My friend John the Greek made me a huge playlist. Looking forward to that. I have a few books on my iPad that i wanted to read for a while. But i am afraid there wont be enough time… Sometimes I listen to audiobooks and Podcasts during driving. Maybe I can finally finish the last Game of Thrones audiobook.

问8: 这趟旅行你有没有什么特别期待的事儿?如果你有一个待办事项列表,什么事项是最重要的?
M答: Well, 这一次,我希望每一天都能够看见不同的东西,去不同的地方,遇见不同的人。我本身是个没有耐心的人,所以我希望这次旅途中自己可以学着变得更加放松,随遇而安… 但最重要的是进行一次大冒险,以及一堆小冒险。

Q8. Are you expecting anything particular from the trip? What is on the top of the ‘to do list’ of this trip if you have one?
M: Well. For once I hope to see different things and places, meet interesting people everyday. I am very inpatient. So maybe I gonna learn to be a bit more relaxed and just go with the flow… But mainly it’s about having a big adventure and a lot small ones.

 

One Eye Cat Meets People

何丽娜的生活哲学。Create a life that feels good on the inside – Helena Albrechtsson

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Helena Albrechtsson 有一个很容易记的中文名叫何丽娜,我记得和以前的中国同事们都叫她何总。Helena是瑞典人,自小就喜欢新鲜的事物,8年前独自来到亚洲开始了她的探索之旅。现在她是上海一家德国设计公司巍德设计(WILDDESIGN)的总经理, 是我曾经的老板。下个月她就要携爱人与狗离开上海返回故乡定居结束这8年的漂泊生活,这算是老外版的‘逃离北上广’么?

我曾在上海巍德设计工作将近3年的时间,写这篇博文我十分的感触,让我想起了这3年里的点滴生活。巍德像似一个联合国大家庭,有一段时间我曾是其中唯一的中国籍设计师。我特别喜欢这里的每一个人,他们年轻,有才华,有着不同的经历,喜欢冒险,都聚集到上海给这个蓬勃发展的城市注入了新鲜的设计血液。Helena是个很开明的老板,和她可以谈天说地。她会鼓励你勇敢的提出建议,支持团队创新。我认为团队作业在此是我学到最宝贵的经验,好的创意绝可不是由一个人来完成的。天下无不散筵席,我已离开团队,Helena也将回国。在她回国之前,我想和大家伙分享一下她在上海的落脚点,看看北欧人是如何感性的把设计融入到生活的细节中的。她认为生活如设计,都不能只是停留在表面的美观,而是要考虑到用户,也就是我们自己的真实体验。

Helena Albrechtsson is definitely an explorer, she left home from Sweden for adventures in Asia 8 years ago, and currently working as the general manager of a German branding & industrial design agency called WILDDESIGN based in Shanghai. Next month she will return to Sweden, back to the her root with her fiance and dog, also with lots of stories to tell.

Writing this post is very special for me, as I have worked in WILDDESIGN for almost 3 years before. The company has an unique charm, down to earth with the explorer spirit. I had lots of good memories there and I have learnt so much from working with the multidisciplinary team coming from different cultural background. Helena is a very open-minded leader and she believes creating a good life is similar to creating a good design – not just looks good on the outside but create a good user experience for yourself that makes you feel good on the inside. This time I got invited to her sweet apartment in Shanghai to find out more about her private life.

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问答时刻:

1. 一天之中你最喜欢哪个时刻?
早餐!我尤其喜欢周末里的超级丰盛早餐:)

2. 你现在正在听的音乐/阅读的书/看的电影是什么?
音乐方面,在Spotify上有一系列的音乐选择。在家通常听爵士,跑步时就听动感的disco。最近手边没有在阅读很多书,倒是每周都在收听瑞典的几个Podcast.

3. 你通常从什么渠道获得新闻?
博客,Instagram,还有Podcast。从报纸获取越来越少。

4.儿时的梦想是什么?目前的梦想呢?
我小的时候想成为一名兽医或者空中小姐…哈哈。现在我的梦想是能够保持健康,开心,以及身边充满着有趣的能激发人灵感的人。

5.是什么促使你来到亚洲的?当时这是否是一个很难下的决定?
我一个朋友打电话给我告诉我在台湾有一个工作机会。我当时并不知道台湾是什么地方,但我之前刚去过香港,我想台湾应该和香港差不多吧,于是我就去了。我那时喜欢冒险,反而随着年纪的增长我的胆子变的越小。

6.你最记忆犹新的上海记忆是什么?
是一段混合的记忆,包括当年疯狂单身派对到大清早的岁月,到每天的日常生活,以及与不同的人接触,例如与办公室楼下弄堂口买乌龟的大爷侃大山。

7.你最喜欢的城市是哪里?
我想我有三个喜欢的城市:一是纽约,因为她的艺术,设计与时尚;二是斯德哥尔摩,因为她的北欧风情,体现在大自然与设计上;三是上海,因为这里所遇到的所有很棒的人,以及这里疯狂繁忙的气息。

8.如果你可以从家乡带一件东西来上海,你会想到什么?(可以是食物,文化,音乐甚至是人)
接近大自然,森林。

9.作为一个国际设计公司的管理者,在你眼中什么是好设计?
通常我会说好的用户体验,但当我为自己家购买东西的时候,我都比较感性。我喜欢的设计有着好的材质或者细节。

10. 你认为在一个设计项目中最重要的环节是什么?
去了解清楚设计的brief, 搞清楚你为什么设计。

11.工作中哪个部分给你带来最大的成就感?
拥有像Roger那样的客户,给你信任与自由,同时也很多的乐子。

12.有何建议给年轻设计师们?
注意细节的同时不要忘了整体与你的设计目的,工作时尝试面带微笑,然后时不时来个咖啡休息时间:)

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INTERVIEW:

1. What is the best moment of the day for you?
Breakfast! I looove long excessive breakfasts preferably in the weekend:)

2. What is your current album or book or movie?
For music it’s a mix from Spotify. A lot of jazz at home, upbeat disco when running. Unfortunately too few books but listen to a few Swedish podcast on a weekly basis.

3. Where do you get your news from?
Blogs, instagram and podcasts. less and less newspapers actually

4. What was your childhood dream? What about now?
I wanted to be a veterinarian or a flight attendant…:) now I wanna stay healthy, happy and surround myself with inspiring people

5. What made you to move to Asia and is it a hard decision for you at the time?
My friend called me and said she had a job for me in Taiwan. I hardly knew what Taiwan was, haha. but I had been in HK the year before and though it couldn’t be too different:) I was not hard for me at all to leave, i loved adventures at that time. The older i get the more coward i get.

6. What is your most memorable Shanghai moment?
It’s a mix from of my wild and crazy single party years being out clubbing to early morning to the daily life and connection to the people like chatting with the “turtle man” in the little alley next to our office.

7. Tell us about your favorite city…
I think I have 3 favorites: NYC for the art, design and style. Stockholm for the Scandinavian beauty both in nature and design. Shanghai for the amazing people you meet here and the crazy buzz.

8. If you could bring one thing from your hometown to Shanghai, what would that be? (Could be food, culture, music or even people…)
The nature (forrest) and closeness to it

9. As an international design agency manager, what is a good design in your eyes?
Generally I would say the user experience but when I buy things for my home it’s also an emotional connection. I like design with either high quality material or where there has been attention to details.

10. What do you think of the most important part in a design project?
To understand the design brief and why you are designing.

11. Which part of your job has given you the most satisfaction?
Having clients like Roger where you are given trust and freedom while having lots of fun

12. Do you have any advice for the young designers?
Pay attention to details without loosing the overview understanding in why you design something and try to smile while working and take “Fika” breaks:)

 

One Eye Cat Meets People

The realm of tactile – a ceramic story with Dryden Wells

“I am a simple man” – this is what I overheard in Dryden Wells’s conversation to a student in his ceramic class, I think it has perfectly described his character in general.

Moving from America to China, only for one thing – ceramic art & design. Now Dryden is a professional ceramic artist based in Shanghai. He found himself in the realm of tactile, and his artwork follows his simplicity driven character in a sculptural and experimental way. Meanwhile, Dryden is also teaching at The Pottery Workshop on a regular basis sharing his great passion for ceramic to his students and guide them to find their own creative style.

By experiencing the class myself, I found it also very helpful for stress relief. The process of shaping clay by hands reflects your current mood, it allows you to slow down and gradually find out your hidden emotion. Clay is such an interesting medium which is flexible but easy to fall apart without enough care, it can become any form you want with enough patient and focus.  I guess it is the same philosophy when it comes to dealing with life…

The following photos are showing Dryden’s recently installation artwork making.

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Q: What was your childhood dream? What about now?
A: I remember being young and the feeling of “not wanting to grow older.” Wanting to enjoy my youth and that time of life. As life went on, I realized, whatever it is that I did in life, I wanted to be working with my hands. I spent a lot of my adolescence working with my dad and younger brother, painting houses. As a teacher, my father had summers off and would use this time along with any other free time, to pick-up extra jobs for supplemental income. The three of us working together continued on for years until I eventually left for Graduate School in Texas at the age of 25. In retrospect, I have always seen this part of my youth as critical to why I now work with clay. Whether painting a house, building a table or working with clay, I realized early on that I need to be doing something tactile, something that I could stand back from at the end of the day and appreciate. Working with clay and working with my hands continues to be the driving force in my life, but as years go on, my appreciation for family and the desire to someday have one of my own, only seems to grow stronger.

Q: What makes you to go back to graduate school studying ceramic design after being an Art teacher in elementary school?
A: After finishing my undergraduate degrees, I decided to teach elementary school art at a great school in an amazing school district…very supportive of the arts. I was very happy in this position. However, the opportunity to go to grad. school for Ceramics, an opportunity that had also been offered to me the year prior, was presented to me again during the Winter of that first year of teaching. My parents, while very supportive of my teaching career, encouraged me to quit my job and go back to grad. school to study Ceramics. They knew ceramics was my passion and being that I was not married, had no children and no financial debt, that then, that moment in my life, was a perfect time to do it. They told me, if after going back to school I was not happy and wanted to return to teaching, there would always be kids to teach…it would always be something I could return to if that is what I truly wanted. I feel very very fortunate to have such wise, loving and supportive parents.

Q: Is ceramic design popular in the States? Is there a big difference between the field in the States and China?
A: I don’t think Ceramic Design is nearly as popular in the States as it is in Europe. . There are many university Ceramic programs across the United States, however, very few of them teach “ceramic deign.” Most all are geared towards the fine arts or craft.

Q: Please share with us some details about your current project and where did you get the inspiration from?
A: As a variation of previous work, the chair or table leg form has recently become an important part of my creative process and vocabulary. The original old wooden forms that I have either been given to me, found or bought, not only are references of home and family for me, but also have markings that speak to their own individual histories. In this specific series of works, I use molds of the chair / table legs to slip-cast new forms in porcelain. Because of the softness of the porcelain when being taken from the mold, I am able to alter and stack the forms, blurring the original identity of the each object, taking something that is associated with being rigid and hard, and making it appear soft and flexible.

Q: Does ceramic design follow trends? Do you follow certain trend?
A: I think like any other creative industry, there are definitely trends in ceramics, often easy to identify. I never intentionally follow trends, however, this does not mean that I am not influenced by them. I, like most people, am a product of my environment, and as an artist, create work influenced by and in response to it. Working in the arts, specifically in the ceramics industry, I get to see a lot of exciting new work, ideas and techniques. I never intentionally follow trends but there are times when I realize aspects of them have appeared in my work.

Q: Please share your recent book or music…
A: I am currently reading, “What the Buddha Taught”(non-fiction). Previously, I read, “The Sex Lives of Cannibals”(fiction) and “Sex at Dawn”(non-fiction). I don’t have special interest in books about sex, just happened to be the way it worked out. I will say though, I prefer nonfiction over fiction. In regards to music, I have been trying out a new album by “Dawn of Midi.”

Q: If you could bring one thing from your hometown St. Louis, Missouri to Shanghai, what would that be? (Could be food, culture, music or even people…)
A: No question about it, I would bring my family. But if I were also able to get to bring a second thing, I would bring Cardinals Baseball (Hometown baseball team)

Links for more in other medias:
http://www.ceramicsnow.org/tagged/Dryden_Wells_Ceramics
http://www.dailyartmuse.com/2010/08/11/dryden-wells-ceramic-multiples-imply-movement/