Charlie

januar 8th, 2015 — 9:25pm

A-Charlie-Brown-Thanksgiving-peanuts-26552738-500-375

“The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.”

Nelson Mandela 10/5-1994

The speech Nelson Mandela gave in 1994 when he was elected President of South Africa was very much about forgiveness, and this theme is just as relevant today, as it was in 1994. Back then, in South Africa, apartheid divided the world in two colours, and different cultures and believes made it seemingly impossible to ever unite the two worlds. A past of tragic events made it even more unlikely that neither part would ever be able to forget about them, put it all behind and move on.

Our sympathy most likely lie with the Black, and the unfair treatment of them. It’s easy to feel with the suppressed, and indeed it was really unfair. But try for a second to imagine being White back then and having been brought up believing that you were different – and rightfully needed a special treatment. It was simply just the way things were, and how life was presented to you. Perhaps it wasn’t so difficult and abnormal to believe in.

With much the same reasoning, I try to put myself in the shoes of everyone involved in the recent event in Paris, where people were shot dead because of what appears to be just a funny little drawing. If for a moment we don’t focus on the fact that violence and killing are never ever a good solution (period!), and the fact that the drawings could perhaps just be an excuse for violence (and I do realize that these matters often become the main topic, as they infuriate us, and our feelings about them are strong and clear), I believe we’re left with a much bigger issue to find a solution to: How can we resolve problems and live peacefully together, when people around the world fundamentally don’t understand each other?

Because how does freedom of speech live in a world with respect for other peoples’ feeling? What certain people find humorous, other people find deeply insulting. When I look at a satiric drawing, I only think it looks fun, and this is most likely due to my culture. I’m Danish, and here we joke with everything. Nothing is too holy; not our Queen, God (the one we don’t really believe in by the way) or our own mother. Therefore I personally don’t see the big deal, but I know the feeling of feeling insulted, and I do accept that it’s the way certain people will feel about this matter.

When we love and care about someone, we try to be kind and nice to them. This is the opposite of provoking them regardless of whether it was our purpose or just a side effect. Even when we don’t always understand them, we try to accommodate their wishes for a peaceful life for both parts. What a nice strategy. Don’t tease the Bull.

It may sound like I sympathize with the people committing the killings, but this is far from true. I just refrain from expressing my opinion about them. My thoughts, actually, are not so much about a minor group of terrorists’ unacceptable behavior, as much as society as a whole. I do believe in Freedom of Speech. But I also believe in respect towards other people, and especially in things they feel strongly about. What I certainly don’t believe in, is, that the world is black and white, and that we (whoever we are) are always right, and the others are just crazy people.

If we look at the bigger picture, it worries me deeply living in a world, where little respect and comprehension are being shown to one another, and provoking and violent wood is being added to a fire that will become always harder to put out. Hatred is building up and becoming rooted in culture. As I see it, it can end with two things: war or forgiveness. Hopefully the first hasn’t begun. Surely the second will be a Hell lot harder. And this brings me back to Mandela’s words about forgiveness. He was a wise man. May he rest in peace.

#JeSuisCharlie

Kommentarer slået fra | Essential concepts

Denmark – the happiest nation in the world

april 19th, 2014 — 3:28am

img_5764_carlsberg

On Thursday, the 10th of April, I arrived in Denmark, and I hadn’t even left the baggage claim area, before seeing three young tourists, on what looked like being their first time in Denmark, taking a photo in front of a big Carsberg beer add claiming ‘Denmark, the happiest nation in the world – that calls for a Carlsberg.’ The reason for the pay-off is that Denmark has recently been elected the happiest nation in the world through the World Happiness Report, and apparently in no other place are the people happier than in Denmark.

When you fly into Arlanda airport, Stockholm’s airport, you will be greeted by a big sign welcoming you to ‘Stockholm, the capital of Scandinavia.’ So the peculiar thing about this statement is that no democratic election ever took place

as to who would enjoy the privilege of crowning themselves the capital of Scandinavia. It was merely the branding savvy Swedes, who one day decided it would be a good marketing strategy to name themselves the capital of Scandinavia. Very clever indeed. So here’s an important lesson to learn for the laid-back, relaxed and humble Danes from our more aggressive neighbours: we, the Danes, have OFFICIALLY been elected Paradise on Earth. Let’s just bang it out to the world. Especially because the Happiest Nation selection is taking place once a year, and next time we may not find ourselves winning the gold medal and being overtaken by a country, where the weather is even worse and the tax even higher.

My thought about using this fine title in a more structured way came to me on a recent trip to Ukraine. I went there for Kiev Fashion Days (muusings.muuse.com/mbkfd), and I was going to give a talk to some of the young and up-coming designers and students of fashion design. Prior to my departure, I had done some research as to what the designers would be like, what I could perhaps expect to see, and how Kiev, an unusual country in terms of fashion compared to the more famous Paris, Milano etc., was perceived as by foreigners. I asked some young Russian designers, and what they more or less all said was that Kiev designers are very creative.

So what I proposed to the Kiev designers was to kind of unite under the flag of being the New Creative Ones on the Block. Needless to say, each individual designer should follow his or her own taste, style and path, but repeating the message of being creative when asked during interviews would make people becoming accustomed to this, and, I believe, most likely starting to see and recognize just this. The industry would have a crucial role to fill in backing up this image, and actually this marketing strategy is more intended for them than each individual designer. If I didn’t spread my message to them, it was because, it was the designers, I got to talk to. What I’m trying to say is that a joint group of people saying one thing is stronger than individuals giving different messages. It’s like a brand always repeating the same pay-off. Also, I would say that as a new fashion city, you hardly have any other choice than to play the We’re the Creatives card.

To be honest, I don’t know if we’re the happiest nation in the world. I’ve lived many years in Italy, and I have to admit that it’s a place where people are very good at getting the best out of what they have. And I’ve heard similar stories from other countries, where people have even less in terms of material goods. Perhaps in Denmark, we’re happy in a different way sleeping tranquilly at night knowing that we live in one of the safest places in the world with peace and an important social security system. But regardless of whether we are or not, just like questioning if Stockholm is indeed the Pearl of the North, the thought of what would happen if we started using the message on a national branding level is indeed, I believe, very interesting.

(image is from pursuing.parisian.com)

Kommentarer slået fra | Essential concepts

Academic Magic

februar 12th, 2014 — 7:51pm

Hodja

I recently told a facilitator on the FDOL141 course about Flexible, Distance and Online Learning about my reasons for signing up for the course, and what my interests are. Regarding the last-mentioned, I expressed that “I’m interested in creativity, innovation, the energy of working with great people and what you can create together.” As I’m new to learning via the internet, I will start out with my account of what the above-mentioned statement means to me in a normal learning environment (face-to-face), and hopefully in due course be able to attempt how this could be obtained in a setting of distance learning.

To escort your students on a journey to ‘where the magic happens’ (in a creative and forward-thinking subject as a facilitator), I believe the following criteria should be met:

1/ A charismatic leader/facilitator. This will make people go to the end of the world and can move mountains. The challenge is that it’s not possible to implement into an academic program/course, as the key lies with the facilitator rather than in the program.

2/ A suitable learning environment. This to me means a respectful and non-judgemental space, where students can express themselves. I have had very good experience with highly international environments, as local habits and customs are being erased in an international context, and the ground becomes neutral meaning impossible to judge from prefixed view points. As I teach creative subjects, I believe it’s fundamental to feel comfortable and safe in order to express everything you may feel or have an intuition of.

3/ Students. Needless to say you need students in order to co-create together. Gifted, curious and confident students are easy to work with, but if you have a minimum of time, you can create with almost everyone. The pace may be slower, but you will nevertheless be able to move everyone.

4/ Creativity. I haven’t spent any time researching the meaning of this complex word, yet alone looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary, but from a gut feeling, I would explain it like something along the lines of the journey to the unknown with the acceptance of not knowing what the end result will be, and at the same time mastering many separate elements and make them come together in a new constellation. This will either be a journey of fear or a celebratory one.

5/ Innovation: As above, I haven’t research the word and will again just pull a definition out of my sleeve. I would say it’s rooted in creativity, but has an extra dimension of a starting point of what the current situation is, which is used to come up with new solutions for the future. For this apparent reason also more challenging. What do you say when the founder of this new concept called Skype calls you up in the early days (on a normal phone invented by Mr. Bell) and ask you if you want to invest? My friend back then said no thank you. He has hugely regretted it, but thought making phone calls on the internet sounded too crazy.

6/ Creating together is more meaningful and magic than creating alone. It’s just like eating a pizza.

7/ Creating something beautiful is more meaningful and magic than something ugly. I would say it’s our responsibility as human beings and double up as teachers. Jane Goodall said that “We are spiraling downwards – everything is interwowen.” (Financial Times, House and Home section, 8/2-14), and I agree that it sometimes (often?) seems like she has a point. At the same time, though, this is also very much nothing but just a starting point for a potentially wonderful future in a place called ‘where the magic happens’.

(Image is from the Danish movie for children ‘Hodja from Pjort’. It’s about a boy, who finds a magic carpet that can fly and sets out to save the imagination of children from a mean sultan.)

#FDOL141, #wherethemagichappens, #education

Kommentarer slået fra | Education, Essential concepts

Happy Chinese New Year

februar 2nd, 2014 — 8:37pm

pony

A couple of days ago, it was New Year in China. We left the year of the Snake, and went into the year of the Horse! Bye bye Snake, Hello Horse. Today I was researching on the internet about what this means. My findings are below.

So, the Horse is a social animal. This means there’s plenty of space for love and friendship. This, of course, goes hand-in-hand with communication, and the very obvious colour: red. As a pragmatic Dane, I’m of course skeptical of all things Chinese; Iphone 8 is already on the market, Dolce&Habbana has something odd about it and dead, smoked, small funny fish with eyes isn’t really a snack as potato chips and peanuts would for instance be considered as. But, Proof of Heaven, I had the sign this Horse thing is the real deal earlier: my dad who lives in Denmark received my mail, as I don’t really live anywhere. Kind and precise as he is, he scans all my mail and send to me electronically. This morning there was an email from him with a PDF file of 27 pages, which happened to be the specification sheet of my Danish cell phone used by myself over Christmas in a two-week period. He’s a very discrete man, and furthermore not very nosy, but he nevertheless permitted to express a comment about the fact that it was a bit long. This to me is the proof that the Horse was on its way.

Freedom. What a proud word. It tickles something deep, deep inside us that most of us rarely feel but still intuitively understand perhaps on a spiritual level. If it’s going to be translated into something, I would say it’s about the freedom of eating Nutella from the jar, the freedom of disliking vegetarians (especially women with cats who do yoga and Pilates), eating your students’ candy (I’m a teacher, they can’t really say no) and listening to your favourite Eurovision song from 1983 on Youtube – loud and on repeat.

Passion. Another Horse word. And another great one. The nature and flavor of the word changes notably depending on what the passion is for, but on a conceptual level it can be understood as All the Way, Live Stong and Carpe Dias 4-ever. It’s linked to focus, as it’s simply impossible to do too many things 400% at the same time. So about selection, knowing oneself and saying no to unwanted things. Very grown up but clearing the road to Freedom and Passion. If we take the examples from before, this means eating all the Nutella in one shot, telling the Vegetarians you don’t like them to their face, eating ALL the candy of your students and choosing one song on repeat for a couple of days. And if you’re really passionate – which I for instance find myself to be in this equestrian Year – then you can play the Eurovision song to your students in Fashion Design, while they’re at school to work in class, and don’t have the possibility of leaving. On repeat, needless to say.

To round of, it sounds to me like the year of My Little Pony and Black Beauty could be quite a lot of good fun.  Carpe Happy Chinese New Year Dias.

Kommentarer slået fra | Essential concepts

4 x 100% = 400%

november 28th, 2013 — 10:00am

80s-fashion-twins

 

There are many cool things in life. Being called baby by a student (I’m a teacher), having a friend who’s also a fuzzy eater with whom you can discuss eating volcanic ash and the benefits from it, singing karaoke with yourself from Youtube videos and asking people you don’t like to close their eyes and make them eat a chili.

Another cool thing, I reckon because I unfortunately don’t have the possibility to try it out, must be to have a twin sister and date a man, whose twin brother is dating your twin sister. All of a sudden getting dressed has a whole new dimension, as the aspect of coordination sets in. The closest I ever got to this experience was on a holiday in Bali with four other girls, where the three of us managed to wear white hot pants and a black top without deciding it together. We thought it was so fun, we made a small photo shoot before going out (and kidnapping an Italian man – the only one in Bali). These pictures are now on FB, and look awfully ordinary compared to the striking appearance of the people above. They always have, to be fair, but we just had so much fun with our ‘look-we-are-wearing-the-same-thing-isn’t-that-just-so-much-fun’.

I used to dream about being Asian in my next life; a Hong Kong girl to be more precise with long, black, straight hair unto my waist and being able to wear fake eye lashes from 8 am in the morning. At this point I think I would rather be a twin with a voluminous, retro hair style. I just see endless possibilities.

(picture is from www.designcatwalk.com)

Kommentarer slået fra | Fashion

University of Texas

november 26th, 2013 — 8:55pm

university-of-texas.UT-L072-1.1.3056x1854

 

So I studied in Marangoni in Milano. Nine years after I finished my degree in Fashion Design I realize, I should perhaps have gone to University of Texas!! I love these boots.

Kommentarer slået fra | Fashion

Rock n Roll vs. The Desire To Live

august 4th, 2012 — 12:00pm

What is it with Rock’n’Roll that’s just so goddamn tempting? Why is sex, drugs, driving fast, loud music, spontaneity and no obligations so alluring? Living as there was no day tomorrow. Fuck. That. Tonight is the night. Don’t worry about anything. Just flying. And breathing. With every cell of your body. We all know the feeling, and we all know that it’s worth it. At least, if our life has been any meaningful. Flirting with danger.

And with jobs, educating, career, steady relationships, mortgages, expensive furniture, kids, family and long-term plans – which are all things we desire and happily sign up for from 30yo and onwards – on the other hand all of a sudden so dull? And how on earth do you find a balance given that that’s what we want the most – if the two can be combined at all that is?

Let’s assume that you want 70% steadiness and 30% R’n’R. At least that’s what I imagine, I want. First thing to avoid is probably to fall into a role that’s expected from you, just because you have reached a certain age and socio-economic segment. Secondly you must chose your partner carefully and make sure that your better half has R’n’R running in the blood. This is unless you have decided to be R’n’R on your own, which is the easy solution. But nicer to be R’n’R alone, it’s nice to be it together with someone. And if you can be R’n’R, and have a healthy relationship that means, you pretty damn cool. Who doesn’t want to be cool?

Third, a good way to keep being R’n’R is to see your friends often. They will most likely have an eternal way of tickling the R’n’R in you, as you met them when you were young, crazy and fearless. Memories of dancing on tables with a bottle of cheap white wine in your hand, sneaking into strippers backstage and listening to loud music until the neighbours complained is still what I see, when I many years later look at them. And a part from the memories there are the dreams of important futures and achievements with a perfume of naivety, optimism and endless power. Your friends are the ones…

Fourth, some vision is good – in various important matters. The other day I discussed motherhood with my dear BFF, which is an inevitable matter given our age. I have the following criteria for becoming a mum: It has to be in a hot place, as I don’t want to fuzz around in snow and rain with sick kids. I want to wear long maxi dresses, which are quite unpractical, but look really beautiful. I want to keep my really long R’n’R hair, which is also unpractical especially with kids – the reason all new mums get a shorter haircut. I don’t want to rise early, just because the kid is awake. Someone must deal with that. I don’t mind being covered in puke the entire day, but at least I want to look rested. And I want the evenings alone with my man. These are the criteria.

Fifth, continue the whole life to do unexpected things. I used to rent the endless amount of flats, I changed in continuation until one day, I got really tired of myself and decided to buy one – against all reason. I don’t know if I will live there forever. I have a mortgage the next 22 years. I don’t know if it was a good investment. But I got pretty damn tired of myself. I also happen to be really bad at organizing holidays, and continue to circulate between London, Copenhagen and North Italy. I have done that for a decade, if not more, and was unbearably tired of myself. Then I decided to go to Bali, Singapore and Shanghai in two weeks time. Try something new. Studying a new thing is another excellent way and one I have lately (four days ago) taken to myself. The truth is out there. Maybe I’m not going to be a fashion designer my whole life?

Sixth, do something that stirs the waters. I have this improbable blog without a theme or marketing strategy. It’s just a Carpe Dias blog for thoughts. Then I’m writing an erotic book. That also has nothing to do with my life as a fashion designer and responsible teacher. But it’s quite a lot of fun and I hope it turns out really well. I was also part of a dating show in national television some years ago, which was also something I would have never done. My friends told me, it would ruin my reputation, and it probably did. If not, I can still count on the erotic book. Stirring the waters always feels a little bit dangerous, which is why, it’s so goddamn nice. The possibilities are endless.

Writing this, I realize that there’s a new R’n’R in the air. An alternative to drugs (which can kill you), random sex (which can kill you) and speed-driving (which can kill you and others). It’s a Desire To Live rather than to die, but that doesn’t mean, it has to be boring. Nobody said that. It’s an alternative to drugs and bourgeoisie, and a golden and hard-fought balance. My list is not complete, and has many alternatives. I can only say it works for me. R’n’R are for losers – DTL are for winners. Like myself. And you if you want. Happiness is an active choice.

Carpe Dias.

Kommentarer slået fra | Carpe Dias, Essential concepts

Cognition, Meta-cognition and the Ontological one

august 1st, 2012 — 3:16pm

I have decided to become really damn smart. Or rather; I’m going to try. As we speak (read: I wrote and you read) I’m signing up for an MA in Goldsmiths University in London. It’s somewhere in Greenwich, which I don’t know very well, but my friend Alexandra lives there so I imagine coming around for gourmet food& chit chat about what happens in the world of fine jewellery.  She happens to work for my favourite jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels. But anyways; back to the MA.

The MA is one of these wonderful courses that can be flexibly knitted together around jobs, obligations and business trips to the Far East. It starts in September with Entrepreneurial Modelling and then I will take things from there. 30 M credits. Only requirement is that it’s completed within five years. That should be possible.

As with most other things in my life, it was a string of apparently random incidents that made me sign up for this. As with most things in my life, on the other hand, it happened with the speed of light. When I get bored in my life, I take to two things; looking at real estate at the French Riviera and MA courses in London, where I’m resident. In the short run, it’s cheaper than net-a-porter – in the long run rather the opposite. So for two years, I have been looking at MA courses mostly in Fine Arts, as the rival to Fashion Design BA, which I started studying at 20yo. Unable to decide on anything, nothing happened.

Then Friday I finished a post-graduate course in Academic Practice. This means, I can officially call myself a teacher. It was required from the university where I teach Fashion Design to 1st and 2nd year BA students, and not anything I would have ever chosen myself. In retrospect, it made a lot of sense, as I learned that I could study and learn things. This may seem as a poor discovery to someone who has studied before and is nevertheless a teacher, but I studied and learnt something very creative with most of the time involved having a drawing pencil in my hand. The post-graduate course was about the 3Rs: researching, reading and reasoning.

Cognition means learning, Meta-cognition learning about how you as an individual learn and Ontological Cognition refers to changing as a person in base of what you learn; becoming what you know. The levels of sophistication are evident – it’s the last we’re after. Incremental theory versus Entity Theory means that knowledge is not based on a stabile thing such as talent or skills, but on the other hand that you can learn what you want. Nothing can stop you except yourself.

Wednesday (Milano): My mum text me and asks what I’m going to do when the post-graduate course is finished. My answer is reading books and biking.

Thursday (Milano): Studying.

Friday (Milano): Finish post-graduate course at 10 pm two hours before deadline. Spend the night drinking a bottle of prosecco with WM (Wonderful Man). I tell WM that I’m planning relax with reading and biking in CPH. WM suggests that I read the biography of Steve Jobs. I agree that could be interesting.

Saturday (Milano): Didn’t move from the bed even though WM wasn’t there.

Sunday (Milano): Lunch with uber-cool Prada womenswear designer GF + watched Harry Potter 18755 with WM.

Monday (Milano): Had lunch with uber-cool GF (all are cool, this is Milano) and if someone happens to remember the gossip going around 10 years ago about Ferre’ having thrown a seat after one of his employees, yes, that’s her. Passed a book store on my way home to WM and managed to buy the book about Steve Jobs.

Tuesday (Copenhagen): Flew home to my native city CPH and started reading the book. Didn’t do much else the whole day. He’s pretty cool. I need to learn something new and do something with my life. It has to be NOW!

Wednesday (Copenhagen): researched on the internet about MAs and found this one, called the course leader and had a chit chat, downloaded the application form and filled it out. Just waiting for my Referees to confirm and that’s it.

I guess education is like with languages and real estate. The first are the most difficult to acquire, and after that it becomes awfully easy. Short and concise application to get into MA is shown below:

‘I chose the course as part of a bigger plan because it’s flexible, in my area of interest and will develop my skills. I believe that the prerequisite for success in the future will be creativity, innovation, vision, execution and being prepared for the unknown. I have the first three and as the fifth can’t be acquired a part from generic skills, a high level of stress and a good network, I would like to enhance number four; execution. I would like to improve my skills and understanding in business, management, analysis and execution.

This may make me sound more driven than I am, but first of all I think that making projects built on valid concepts are a lot of fun. Mission/Vision is outdated and Desire is the new thing. My mind is bursting with projects looking for gaps in the marked and imagining the future and in consequence the brand identity and communication. This is regardless of them being in food, fashion, literature, blogging, fine jewellery, travelling, trend forecasting etc.

I believe that you can learn anything you want and be anything you want. I chose to study Fashion Design when I was 20 years old. Today I’m 32yo, and I have realized that my mind works best on a conceptual level and in all areas as listed above plus some extra. Starting an educational path will hopefully make me understand what to do with all my ideas that – if executed properly – could maybe be part of writing the future. In any case, I don’t want to spend my life at least not trying.’

Considering the time efficiency, this is very Carpe Dias. Meanwhile Steve Jobs continues to have an influence on the future.

Kommentarer slået fra | Not categorized

Why is it that listening to your neighbour having sex is so annoying?

juli 16th, 2012 — 12:21pm

This morning I was talking to a friend on skype (instead of studying pedagogy as supposed to) who told me about being involved in some erotic affair – or rather 7 erotic affairs in the arc of a day&night and from what I can assume in a castle bed as the flat is not enormous – who resulted in a note slipped under the door from the neighbour the next day. The content was an explicit explanation about closing the window and fan (!) next time they decided to f*** as it would be less disturbing. Thank you! My friend was very embarrassed but also surprised as she has lived there for numerous years and thrown numerous parties and never gotten any complaints for that. Apparently sex is more disturbing than Flo Rida ft. David Guetta? This may be a highly religious South European country but if an intercourse is approx. 11 minutes according to Paulo Coelho , 7 intercourses will be 77 minutes excl. 7 “I’m coming” expressed in the native tongue of the young gentleman and 7 trips to the loo (up and down the stairs of the castle bed). A total of maybe 90 minutes. A party is normally a lot longer, or at least the parties that I attend and therefore annoying for a longer amount of time unless you like the music.

I comforted my friend and told her not to be embarrassed as another friend of mine, in an equally religious South European country, once got a ticket of 280 euros from making love, having sex, intercourse or whatever it’s called when a ticket from the police is involved. Knowing the people involved, who were actually only two, it has probably been quite wild. Having said that, 280 euros are quite a lot of money in times with crisis where also the IMU (property tax) has gotten up.

I guess you’re left with a choice in this situation; to be really embarrassed or enjoying the fact that you have a healthy erotic life as maybe opposed to your neighbour(s). You’re of course also left with the choice to remember to close the window if you are thinking to do some hanky panky with the zizi which is a more pragmatic part of the conversation. The saying ‘Silence is Gold’; does that go in all situations or only some here in life? Last but not least how much attention you will pay to your neighbours in flats and houses where rents or mortgages are high. Or maybe that privilege is not included in the price per m2?

The thing is that the acoustic of the involved act is quite odd when you’re not actually taken part of it and even sometimes when you are, it can still be odd. A silent lamb or a screaming monkey, I don’t know what is to prefer. Probably somewhere in between – and the windows and fan (!) closed.

Carpe F****** Dias .

Kommentarer slået fra | Carpe Dias, Essential concepts

LV’s Speedy 25 Carpe Dias bag SS12

maj 12th, 2012 — 12:48pm

Am I the only one who thinks this would be pretty super cool??! The brand is famous for collaborating with big artists… Speedy Carpe Dias 4-ever!

Kommentarer slået fra | Carpe Dias, Fashion

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