10/07/2017Comments are off for this post.

Bang Saen — CHIC episode 3

On leaving Bangkok, we finally managed to catch a real public bus to the minivan for Bang Saen, where stopping the bus is just extra precaution for getting on and off, but not necessary. After correcting the tiny hiccup that the minivans leave from a different place than advised, we slept very well on the way.

Bang Saen is the closest beach to Bangkok, easy distance by car, the Balaton of Budapest. Which meant we were practically the only whites around among wealthier locals and the students of a fairly good university.

The beach and the sea has the magic ability to shut up critical thinking and more generally the mind. And if I see water I have to go in anyway. The first day was not ideal — high tide, strong wind — but the second was beautiful.

For some reason, everyone goes in wearing sports clothes, no one wears a swimming suit.

We also went (after our regular local-style dinner) to a local hip place, where we picked a drink by pointing at the menu randomly, and quickly discovered that organic here is not a trend yet. Matcha tea is not green tea! And what we normally consider breakfast food, like jam on toast, that’s fancy-fun food.

Still Jim Thompson’s house.

I love the spirit houses that are next to most regular buildings and look like doll houses. They provide home to the spirit in the ground that was disturbed by the construction and needs a new home. The family also has to feed the spirit. Some even have LED lights — they use that also in temples though, e.g. to highlight the donation box. Here LED is holy enough.

The money can be spent here in many ways: on oil, flowers, candles, or just throwing it down the hole. And buying clothes.

On day 2, we went to see the only monument around, a temple that had something to do with monkeys (Khao Sam Muk) but also functioned as a clothing store. It was not entirely clear, though many people came there to pray. The living monkeys (and I assume the statues too) were used to humans and were rather assertive in getting food from us, they were only scared of locals with slingshots.

We also found the pier where our last consumed fish probably died. It looked beautiful, if slightly dissolving.

And then we were humming our way through rice fields and forests to Chiang Mai. The train was in no hurry to get there, so we could really see everything where we pass, like the different, non-European shapes of leaves and all the green with some yellow and brown dots.

In memory of all the mangos we eat and drink, especially there, here is a song for those who follow us.

06/07/2017Comments are off for this post.

Bangkok — CHIC episode 2

Bangkok–CHIC episode 2

The greatest trick to Thailand (anywhere, but here it’s absolutely vital) is to treat each part of our day and our stumbling around as part of the sightseeing and not try to get from one place to the next.

Because we won’t, surely not how and when we imagined. Public transport is still a mystery, and the distances are huge, bus stops are rarely signed, and no itinerary or timetable is to be found. Uber was so far the most reliable, as the price was clear and the car had AC, even if that meant giving up consumer ethics for this week.

Real planning is not efficient here, so our days are mostly series of images and moments, like when the history museum was already closed (it was open, but there were no more guides), which left us snacking and talking about how stupid are passports and borders (imagine M.I.A. — Borders in the background). Or when we found a lovely bookshop, run most probably by someone who lived for a while in the US based on his accent. 3 monks were peacefully and quietly drinking their coffee there, which seemed like a good recommendation.

Our biggest luxury spending here is coffee, which equals to our lunch meals, as it’s approximately the same price as in Italy. There are some local variants of course, but I reserve my experimentation for the numerous street food places where we usually eat, the spices probably disinfect us too.

The evenings were spent either at the couch surfing meetup (where are the girls?), the evening market for tourists with blasting music and cheap clothes, or a high-end bar with live music and local guests, who did not appear to be of legal drinking age.

And we had our first huge rain that got us stuck at Jim Thompson’s House, which is a museum. Thompson revived international silk trading in Thailand. He seems like a beloved figure, if a little eccentric. As a businessman, he sticked to cottage-based production, mainly by women, and as an architect, he built his home here to live among his Asian art collection.

After the formidable rain, we also had our first success with public transportation: we took a boat — we already got soaked, it couldn’t get much worse. The canal gave a view of backyards and half-open rooms of haphazard construction, which clashed with the view of the skyscrapers behind them, which was how I visually imagined Bangkok. What I did not see before was that almost everyone operating the boat would be a woman. They were effortlessly jumping-gliding in flip-flops between the shore and the boat at stops. And how we found a boat? A nice gentleman in military uniform helped us out, as Google and local signs failed us, though I still love the Thai alphabet’s typographic rhythm and pattern.

Don’t show your feet to Buddha — or don’t ride? We will never know

Of course we went to the Grand Palace, it would have been really awkward to come here and miss it. Due to the intense heat and the even more intense crowd we just followed the short version with crowds of Chinese tourists, while avoiding the mourners of the king. Next to the palace there were places of real prayer and worship, and the Emerald Buddha (from jasper) also drew real believers, but I hope to find places that still feel sacred and I don’t have to navigate between so many selfie-sticks.

They had an interesting business model at the entrance of the Palace, where they sent back nearly all tourists to buy some more clothes to cover up: a shirt with longer sleeves, long skirt or pants, hats, etc, and some stores were conveniently located just there. Apart from the sarcasm, we could have thought of this ourselves beforehand if our heads were not melting off our necks in the sun, and this gave some kind of uniformity to the crowd.

Chinese and Thai Buddhist temples

And there were other places where Buddhism is still practiced. Amid the noise and easy-to-follow beat of Chinatown we found a Chinese Buddhist temple where people drop by to pray to a massive amount of cheap-looking Buddhas in different sizes and shapes, some still from the ascetic period of the prince.

In a Thai Buddhist temple an extended family was taking pictures with a distinguished-looking monk, in different group settings and alone, with 2 professional cameras. The temple was beautiful with an authentic look and soul, and it’s still used apparently.

The touristic Golden Mountain’s main attraction was definitely the view of the city. The altar did not command silence, did not feel spiritual, however the mountain itself was impressive. The first time we accidentally tried going up the wrong way, so we also saw the tiny cemetery behind it, which turned out to be a dead end (pun intended, sorry). Also I’ve met the biggest insect of my life, the Godzilla of centipedes.

My biggest question though: what are the mirrors for in the temples?

The Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace was, among many other things, placed between two huge mirrors. Instead of being a tool for vanity and more at home in palazzos than churches, does it stand for self-reflection here? Anyone?

03/07/2017Comments are off for this post.

Geneva–Bangkok — CHIC episode 1

Today, I’m leaving the 'Western world' for the first time. I have been across the ocean in the US, but never on other continents— after 25 years it’s about time. With some fellow students, we had the amazing opportunity to develop a prototype for a connected device (smart object/gadget/talking plant/flying giraffe/just kidding) in Hong Kong and Shenzhen (http://chi.camp/). We prepared, planned, and now it’s here. Although not yet, as us girls leave a little bit before (thanks EPFL for the flexible plane dates!) to stretch out our sore keyboard muscles in Thailand before the last sprint.

Looking back, there were probably many things we could have done better during the year, the teamwork, timing, quicker iterations, more testing, etc, but I feel we did a pretty good job nevertheless. Throwing together 5 random people with no fixed idea is a rocky start, and we handled it pretty well. Also a big thanks to our supervisors and coordinators at HEAD and EPFL — we have no complaints. And of course to the team members, who did their best not just for themselves, but for all of us.

All we want now is some extra confidence and energy (about 120%) so we can fully take in and enjoy the crazy ecosystem that is Shenzhen, the pitches, the iterations, no sleep, no English. And we will. Have fun, Team Geneva!

14/05/2015Comments are off for this post.


For years, I have been capturing observations of strangers, friends and objects aimlessly with drawing. The common point is what is not seen – me.

Creating a picture normally means introspection, steady advancement and using previous impressions. However, these drawings are the results of a different state of mind: being present, catching chance moments, and making mistakes. They contain less or different information than a photo. They capture not the accuracy but the essence, as there is no time for more – the objects of observation finish their coffee, get off the tram or leave the show.

exhibition photos: Bianca Gombás

19/03/2015Comments are off for this post.

3rd and 4th grade textbook illustrations

3-4th grade textbook illustrations

04/03/2015Comments are off for this post.

Picture-book about a rather confused cheetah

Short picture tale of a long journey.

20/06/2014Comments are off for this post.

Erkel theater

The Erkel-theater (Budapest) wanted to decorate its bare walls. Our proposal for the brief took the mix of mediums that is present in an opera-house or theater as the starting point and depicted it in different strokes - the western wall (1) is for music, the southern (2) is for literature and the eastern (3) is for dance. They touch at the edges, and sometimes flow on the pavement as well. The project was a collaboration with Zsuzsi Benyovszky (fellow student of graphic design at MOME), from the first ideas to the last retouches.

Az Erkel-színház szeretett volna megszabadulni csupaszságától, ezért kiírt egy pályázatot, ahol a három fehér fallal lehetett valamit kezdeni, hogy az új metró felől érkezők felé is vonzó látvány táruljon. A operában-színházban megvalósuló műfaji keveredést kalligrafikus jelekkel képeztük le, a nyugati (1) fal a zenéé, a déli (2) az irodalomé, a keleti (3) pedig a táncé, a délnyugati saroknál össze is érnek, és helyenként az aszfalton folytatódnak.
Benyovszky Zsuzsival közösen készítettük az első ötleteléstől az utolsó retusálásig.

MOME Budapest Graphic Design BA 2014

17/02/2012Comments are off for this post.

Hommage à Tibor Kalman

A poster in memory of the famous graphic designer Tibor Kalman. I chose to represent all the colleagues and clients around him, who were influenced by his unique attitude towards design and thus carried on the "Tibor Kalman-meme" (like Stefan Sagmeister, Adbusters, the colleagues at Colors magazine, including Oliviero Toscani). The casual handwriting and manual execution is chosen with the same attitude that Kalman advocated for: "undesign". Each name is researched and checked.

MOME Budapest Graphic Design BA 2012