Tuesday, July 20, 2010

south of here!

A quick post... found an interview I really liked at Design Files with a very inspired guy... Joost Bakker. When In Melbourne In January 2009 doing a one month residency at Victoria University I was able to get along to the fab cafe that was temporarily set up at Fed Square...close by to the wonderful Ian Potter Gallery and much more.  

I have some photos I took ... but in order to post tonight and get some sleep...very quickly...these are from Lucy at design Files.. click above to go visit!

From design files:

An interview with Melbourne florist/event/installation creator Joost Bakker . His incredible sustainably-built pop-up bar/cafe The Greenhouse was installed at Federation Square over Summer. If you didn't get a chance to visit, you might remember my coverage and photos here. It was SUPER amazing. Like, Milan-Design-Week-style amazingor Marije-Vogelzang-style-amazing...! Temporary design projects on this scale rarely happen in Melbourne, which is why The Greenhouse won my heart (and so many more!).

Anyway as you can imagine, at that time Joost was super busy, but luckily things have calmed down slightly and he has kindly taken the time to do an interview! Yay! It's great to learn a little more baout Joost - he's been featured a lot in the media (remember that Vogue Living feature earlier this year showcasing his beautiful home?), but I feel in this interview Joost has really given us a more personal insight into his motivations and the passion behind his work. :) Aren't we lucky!?

For more background info about Joost check out his website - lots more photos of his stunning floral pieces and larger scale installations. 

Tell me a little about your background - what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now? 

Migrating to Aus at age 9 had huge influence on me. Learning the language and culture, but the most profound impact was from learning, watching and being involved in our family business- growing flowers. My father tried planting all sorts of different varieties of flowers, this was important to watch, this way of trying to make different things work, testing assumptions. They became successful and the business quickly evolved, I observed sheds, greenhouses, glasshouses being constructed around me. The most complex construction happened in '97 it was a glasshouse from Holland. That set my thoughts in motion about different housing, more efficient ways of doing things.

You have gained an incredible reputation and received many accolades for your unique approach to floral design and installation. What were you initial plans when you first embarked this career? Did you ever expect to be working on the great variety of projects you are now so well known for?

No I definitely didn’t expect to be working across the different variety of projects that I am now, and I definitely didn’t plan to be working as a florist. For as long as I can remember I've always questioned how florists worked and always thought about different ways of doing things and being true to the product/materials. Having an understanding of the effort that goes into growing flowers makes you aware of their total beauty. I began wholesaling flowers and the whole journey evolved from there. 

Also check out the current Joost venture:

The importance of Soil

Nothing is more important. Soil feeds us and everything else in this world. It filters the air we breathe. Its billions of microbes, bacteria, fungi and minerals keep us healthy!
Growing plants in healthy soil is simply logical. Creating healthy soil out of waste is even better. This is truly sustainable as 70% of our waste is organic.
By using compost worms and bio-char we’ve created healthy soil. Consider that one teaspoon of worm castings can contain billions of microbes, bacteria, fungi and minerals.
Combining this with Bio-Char (waste turned into carbon using pyrolysis) and compost made from green waste, pine bark and coir provides plants with all they need to be healthy.

Unlike most herbs and flowers, our Herbs and flowers, have not been harvested. They come with the root system intact which means they still have their life source with them.  Without this root system a plant is dead.  Our plants are alive, full of energy and nutrients.  Beautiful blooms providing you with clean air and herbs with nutrient packed leaves.
These plants are grown in Urban Crop soil. Not a fertilized soil that takes copious amounts of fossil fuel to produce. Urban Crop soil is full of life, so our plants go home with you, complete with their own little supply of soil.  This is their fuel so they should be kept in their packaging for the duration of their stay.
Our Flowers and herbs are not pumped up with water.  So they won't collapse into a shrivelled slimy heap within hours of getting them home. Urban Crop herbs will love to sit in your kitchen for a week or two, ready for you to harvest as you need them.  Urban Crop flowers will produce the most extraordinary blooms that will dazzle you for longer than any cut flower.
Urban Crop plants believe in an after life.  So when they have been consumed, or flowered as much as they can, you simply put the plant, packaging and all in your own compost. Or bring it back to us for composting. 


Anonymous said...

This whole installment was amazing! I am so inspired by you Australians right now.

The last shot of the herbs in their ubes was an art installation? If not it should be! I am so glad I found you Sophie!

Altoon Sultan said...

It's good to see a company making compost for their plants. Compost is magical stuff: using kitchen scraps and plant matter, layered with a bit of soil, a gorgeous rich material, full of nutrients, appears after the pile cooks for a year. This is a real 'something from nothing' gift.

Mlle Paradis said...

wonderful posts sophie! you'll always pull something wonderful and unexpected out when we think you're off on a completely different path. all i can say about the pop-up cafe is G-R-O-O-O-V-Y!!!!! LOVE all the holes! my cats would have a great time trying to figure out how to get through them.


hope you're getting some rest!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Mary,
thank you!
Have been meaning to post on this guy for ages.The herbs are part installation but also used or I imagine given away.... They did this at the pop up cafe... grew all the herbs and some veg for the cafe.
I do think a lot of innovation happens here. Melbourne seems to open its arms to it....thats for sure...but there is opportunity elsewhere too.
Same with New Zealand.
Small populations...young countries in terms of late colonisation (with all those issues) and the subsequent migration from many nations ...and so there is a recent historical tendency to innovation for survival and necessities' sake and then the fact that both OZ and NZ young people have left in droves for the past 5 decades for foreign travel and work experience where they stretch their comprehension of the world and what is possible beyond old habits and knowledge... to a greater or lesser extent.
Good to hear from you Mary,

Hi Altoon,
I think its fabulous to see a company educating and sharing their knowledge so that even visiting the website is a mechanism for new thinking. The inherent generosity and innovativeness of some this guy's projects and reach across the Melbourne landscape and beyond means many discover much more than they bargained for... which is plainly wonderful.

Hi Mlle Paradis,
lovely to read you great comments ... thank you! You and your cats would have loved to spend a little time in this cafe. I must post more photos because it was so exciting to be in a space where every last detail was thought of...we drank coffee from empty jars -the chairs were from packing crates... the building was made of recycled materials or ones that would be reused... it was a living ideas laboratory over a busy summer!
Trying to get rest... been so wired to get things done...must shift out of thatl... ready for some down time now -once a few things get sorted!!
talk soon....
Sophia xoxo

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. We share that new country status with you but, I am not so sure that innovation is country wide here. I know that I encountered it on the West Coast. Of course, I think the jury is still out on Iowa. We experienced/ experience a huge amount of young people leaving the state for jobs and opportunity. My generation seems to be some of the first that are returning to help care for elderly parents and reconnect with new generations. I see some progress here but, it is slow. We'll see!

Enjoy your rest! You deserve it.

Leanne said...

Hi Sophie...wow what beautiful work. Love the pop up cafe!
A little off topic but I have just discovered this artist who sells on Etsy (via another blog) and thought you would appreciate her work. I think it is truly amazing.
(you can see much more of her sold work if you click on *128 sales* underneath *Other items*).

Sophie Munns said...

Very interesting what you say about Iowa...i think that would be similar in here in parts for sure...country towns that are remote - some states or parts of states!
And in a way many creatives flock to Melbourne for the experience of living there... and to other places that are a drawcard.
The challenge is on the replenish the places that have experienced this enormous drain...and I wish you well with all your ventures... like to hear more!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Leanne,
have to add more photos on this cafe... it was so innovative...
Thanks for the link...I had a look... fascinating to see her point of inspiration. Think its great when people get more focused on a topic and learn from what they are drawing on... discover the complexities and characteristics of that particular visual world!
fabulous find leanne...thanks for sharing ot!


Il faut aimer la nature et les plantes pour les photographier de cette très belle façon.


Maggie Neale said...

Love this post on soil and herbs and flowers coming with roots and soil, alive! in the brown bag. Some people are really thinking. Thanks for all your sharing.

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Roger....
oh I do wish i could at least read french!

isn't it amazing.. as you say... really thinking about the whole process... people do like their cut flowers and florist purchases and gifts...but to make t eco-friendly is actually an eye opener in his industry which uses massive ammounts of disturbing products to put flowers on the table!
see you,