Author Archive: Maya Davies

Maya joined It’s Nice That in 2011 as our first ever events manager as well as writing for the site, in particular about architecture. She left in the summer of 2013.


136 articles
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    Last weekend we were at Tate Modern running a two-day zine-making workshop with our friends Zine Swap and Patrick Fry for Hyperlink festival. Thanks to everyone who came down to say hi and got stuck into making zines. We were bowled over by how many visitors we had – over 2000 people visited us in the Tate Tanks Transformer Gallery 2 and a couple of hundred of those made a zine. 

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    Given everyone’s capacity for making mistakes (royal screw-ups) we thought that it would make a great theme for a Nicer Tuesdays, so we invited along four speakers from different parts of the creative sphere to entertain us with their stories and share the lessons they’d learnt.

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    Feeling like you could do with a dose of inspiration? Well, our creative symposium might just do the trick. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic, fast-paced day of inspirational talks, experiments and live elements from some of the best creative folk in the UK and beyond.

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    It wouldn’t be right for March to come and go without having another Nice Wednesdays. Don’t worry if you missed out last month, we’ve got another cracking evening planned at Shoreditch Studios and we’d love for you to join us. 

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    Over the last few weeks we’ve released a selection of videos from last year’s Here to whet your appetite for Here 2013. We can now reveal our creative symposium is back, bigger and better. On Friday June 21 (hello, summer solstice) we’re bringing together a vast array of the best practitioners and creative talent from the UK and abroad for a one-day, fast-paced festival of creativity.

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    Here at It’s Nice That HQ we’ve been looking for an excuse to get together a whole heap of interesting people for regular meet-ups. Given that it’s been cold here in London (any excuse will do), what better way to lift our spirits than by launching our first monthly event, Nice Wednesdays?

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    Last Friday, we were back at the Barbican for our In Progress conference, an all-day affair featuring over a dozen speakers from across the creative spectrum looking back at key themes and projects from this year and forecasting how they might shape 2013 and beyond.

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    If you’re a fan of the incredible timber net houses in Hastings or you’ve been to Dungeness then the architecture of this temporary experimental spa and bar will be right up your street. And even if you haven’t seen any of the above, but you DO like relaxing and drinking then the Barking Bathhouse is for you.

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    We’re big fans of Studio Weave – their narrative-led design approach to architecture has resulted in some wonderful gems including furniture, follies, buildings and landscape interventions all richly embellished with stories. Their latest offering is this wonderful Paleys upon Pilers (palace on pillars) on the site of London’s historic Aldgate (literally a gate with rooms above in which Chaucer resided in the 14th Century – now that’s a good fact).

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    We are thrilled to announce that the multitalented and hugely influential British designer Thomas Heatherwick will be delivering the closing keynote talk of Here, our one-day symposium. He will join a stellar line-up of over a dozen brilliant creatives from the UK and abroad speaking about their practice and process, as well as sharing their insights and expertise, in our biggest event to date.

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    Let me introduce Henrik Vibskov – he seems like a very cool guy, a modern day polymath, if you will. I recently came across his menswear spring summer 2013 collection, a mixture of sharp tailored pieces and jazzy day wear having a love affair with polka dots.

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    Take a closer look at Jill Sylvia’s work – it’s hard not to be impressed. She painstakingly hand-cuts out the negative spaces between grids on ledger paper to amazing effect (and scale). By systematically subtracting elements, the surface is transformed into a lattice; a material language that runs throughout her art.

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    American artist Victoria Haven evidently loves geometry. Her composite shapes and web-like, skeletal works take the form of paintings, photography and sculpture. They remind me of abstract landscapes or imaginative geology formed out of strips of tape, thick painterly lines of ink and watercolour, or solid steel struts. Playing with perspective, she manipulates 2D and 3D space to create elegantly simple but bold pieces that float in space, and are, well pretty captivating. I find myself trying to follow the lines, and untangle the puzzle of interlocking shapes. Each time I look at them, I almost see a new combination of projecting and retreating surfaces.

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    Sometimes it’s harder to write about work that you love; with each word you want to convey how brilliant it is to do it justice. I felt this seeing Grayson Perry’s latest exhibition The Vanity of Small Differences, newly opened at the Victoria Miro. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from the flamboyant artist – a visual feast of whimsy, colour, and provocation. 

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    These intriguing polymer clay sculptures are part of an on-going series by Melbourne-based artist Matt Hinkley. Colourful and weird, the irregular shaped fragments float in front of walls, demanding closer inspection. Exhibited from inconspicuous white fittings, they appear like small, intricate pieces of retro ceramic or the soles of wacky shoes worn in Saved by the Bell.

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    Now, if you were paying very close attention, you would have seen that Alexander Lis was recently featured on the site for his After School Club collaborative project with Hort but, the German-based designer definitely deserves a post all of his own. A skilful visual communicator, his solid portfolio of graphic design entices with its blend of playful media, bright colours and a strong aesthetic style. It’s bold, experimental and feels contemporary without trying to be too trendy.

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    If, like me, you’re not too familiar with the Central Eastern European photography scene, then you might not have yet come across Rafal Milach until now. Not only has he has captured a wonderful cross-section of people, and place, his work offers a fascinating insight into the culture and conditions of Russian speaking countries and the CEE regions. From stark, pantry landscapes depicting harsh climates to abstract still lifes or intimate, portraits and snatched moments, it’s easy to see why he’s exhibited internationally and won several awards for his striking photographs.

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    Bergen-based architecture practice Saunders were invited to design a collection of six artists’ studios on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. These dramatic geometric structures act like beacons set against the landscape, while referencing materials from the existing vernacular architecture. A celebration of the island’s art and culture, they look like pretty inspiring spaces to work/procrastinate/relocate to. Where can we sign up?

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    Future Cinema (sister company to The Other Cinema) have become well-known for expanding films beyond the screen and bringing them to life through large-scale events, recreating scenes and settings to dizzying effect. They’ve done it again with a 360 degree live cinematic experience of Bugsy Malone that’s currently running in London.

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