As an accessories designer, I do frequently come across leather, but have always seen it as a commodity rather than the true form of art it can be. As a guy who tends to stay away from meat, I’m also conflicted when I realize that leather can also be viewed as a way to minimize the waste of our animal consumption. But when in Bangkok I met with Nauvarat Songsawaddichai, President of the Thailand Leather Association. She asked me about fish leather…fish leather?
Then I was asked if I had seen chicken shin leather…really? It’s also known as poulard.
But my imagination really took off when I was shown stingray leather. In fact I had to buy a wallet made out of it. The white eye shape is where the bony tail emerges from the top of the animal. It’s so tough you could sand wood with it.
Now I am determined to find out more about all of these resources and wrestle with the concepts of sustainability in harvesting and tanning the skins of these animals. Perhaps there really is a place for innovative and sustainable leather in our coming product line of shoes. Needless to say, the more I learn the less I know!
I’m jet lagged and stalking a shrimp under my bed.
The villas at Bambu Indah are re-assembled antique Javanese teak bridal homes…with some adjustments. Ours was put together with glass panels inset between the timbers and positioned over a natural pool. The green glow of the underwater light provides a wonderful night light for us above the glass and a magnet for insects in the water. The shrimp have figured it out but are too shy for a picture from above…so far.
Bambu Indah is but one testament to the sustainable design philosophy of its founder, John Hardy. Upon arrival to this bamboo architecture oasis, he scootered into the parking lot and had me sit with him to discuss my program and interests. He quickly took some voice memos, sent them to his assistant by his iPhone (in bamboo case), and I had compelling details waiting for me in email by the time I arrived to my room. He moves fast.
The accommodations at the Udang (shrimp) House are as much outside as inside. Glass tiles allow dappled light in through holes of the thatched roof, and teak panels swing out in a variety of ways to create enough windows as to make the room disappear. The food of the outdoor restaurant is all organic, locally sourced and excellent. In the middle of the small compound is a raised outdoor structure made from black bamboo which serves as a lounge and yoga space. Most of the space between the structures is comprised of running streams and vegetable gardens. I’m hard-pressed to find a piece of plastic in the whole place.