KNQ Associates bring you fresh ideas on designing and rejuvenating your home.
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Jul 31, 2007

WALL CHAIR


Here's something to make me lose sleep over again. This wall-mounted perch in teak wood is beautifully made, and is superb for the outdoors or baths. Link


Stan


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LOOK WHAT THE JAPANESE HAVE DONE AGAIN


It's my pleasure to introduce to you here Vinta and the wonderful creations of Kouhei Okamoto and Toshitaka Nakamura. The Wooden Clock explores the idea of tracking time rather than reading it from a conventional clock. The pointed wooden vessel slowly revolves via a concealed motor located at the base, allowing time to be sensed by the tilting of the vessel's stem. The Wooden Clock is designed in two sizes to provide differentiation for hour and minute rotations. On the other hand, Loop mandates the user to feel the flow of time by a change of an object form. The looping of the hour and minute hands into one single element represents that idea.



The concept for the Butterfly light was derived from the simple task of folding a piece of paper. "The function of its adjustment of light and the space created by that are a result of simple action of one surface (the panel) being divided by two. The two panels with slight shifts to each other at its closed position remind a user to open this object up. This light gives the poetic theme to the space like a butterfly flying around with silence."

Head on down to Vinta's website for more details and videos of their works.


Stan


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Jul 28, 2007

ACQUAGLOBO


Have a pool at home? These Acquaglobo floating lamps from Slide, the Italian lighting virtuosos, make for a romantic night out in the water. Seven different sizes allow you to make a solar system of safety-ensured lights. If you don't like the idea of running electricity over water, garden versions are available too.

Stan


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Jul 27, 2007

MORE DESIGN BLOGS TO VISIT

Thanks to those who shared with us their favorite design blogs in our recent post. On reading the comments left behind, I've decided to to take this opportunity to add a few more design blogs hailing from Singapore. Enjoy!

ImedaGoze

Nest

Laissezfaire

Design Sojourn


P.S: If you live in the Asia region and writes a design blog, we'd like to invite you to leave a link to your blog in the comments section of this post. Hopefully we'll get to know more like-minded people in no time!


Stan


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STICKLEBOOK


As recently seen on The Style Files, this bookshelf is going to be a hit with people who don't like... bookshelves. You see, Sticklebook is a truly original alternative to book storage that creates the illusion of a line of books hanging unsupported on the wall. It consists of an aluminium bracket and combed strip that grips the cover and pages of paperback books, holding them in place.

Now, all you need to do is think of what books to get to match the decor.


Stan


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RATIONALITY AND AFFECTION IN INTERIOR DESIGN

The catalyst for this post came about when I read an insightful article 'Rationality and Affection in Interior Design' by Taiwanese interior designer D.Z Zhao in an interior architecture magazine last weekend. The article left a deep impression on me because of how true his points, as summarized below, are.

Nowadays, people expect a lot for themselves, especially when it comes to the design and renovation of their homes. Even as budgets and spaces are, in most cases, constrained, the tastes and needs of the occupants are usually unlimited. Thus, the interior designer is always tasked to work their magic around restricted budgets and spaces. We've heard enough stories about projects that went awry, because of unmet expectations and things not turning up the way they should 'rightfully' be. The fine line between who is right and who is wrong has been blurred in the reality of all the factors that come into play during the entire construction process. Were certain criteria set in the very first place? Clients need to be rational and ask themselves truthfully: are the expectations of the end-product in line with the budget, the time frame and space constraints given?

On the other hand, a designer also needs to fight a constant war against his or her personal affection towards every project. As Zhao muses, "which designer wouldn't want every single project to be his or her masterpiece?" and "which designer wouldn't love the idea of an unrestricted regimen?" But the fact is, unlimited budgets, zero interference from clients and an infinite work duration (so the designer can think through every aspect and detail to perfection) can only remain as that – dreams that designers think of. Interior designers need to be rational enough to not go overboard with their design under all circumstances. Blown budgets and angry clients are the last things a designer would want.

A client-designer relationship is a delicate one which requires careful handling. Setting priorities and expectations straight from the beginning is often the key to a blissful outcome.


Stan


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Jul 26, 2007

IKEA'S SMART MARKETING LESSON


This is really smart marketing, isn't it?


Stan


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Jul 25, 2007

MAKEOVER YOUR HOME IN 8 EASY STEPS


I'd like to thank our reader Jenny for pointing us to this blog post 'How To Give Your Home A Makeover - 8 Easy Steps'. Ready for a Home Rejuvenation?


Stan


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10 DESIGN BLOGS TO VISIT

Having assumed the role of a blogger for close to 1½ years now, I have only the most wonderful things to say about the whole blogging phenomenon. Suddenly, we have one new medium, other than magazines and TV, to get our daily fix of the latest design news and development. But blogging is so very different from the rest of the mediums. For one, it allows the publishers, or bloggers, to connect with their audience on a personal level. And with the rising demand for up-to-date information on the go, you can be sure that blogs are here to stay.


KUS and I have 'studied' hundreds of design-related blogs over the years. Some are started years before ours, while others got into the game much later. With so many design blogs around, it's no wonder we often put ourselves in the shoes of the average reader and ponder, "Which ones are really worth my time?" Thus, KUS and I have come up with a list of 10 design blogs we think you simply have to visit. We have to stress that we do not mean blogs which are not listed here are nowhere as good. It's just that we love to visit these blogs regularly for the inspiration and entertainment they provide. We've also made it a point to not include too many well-known design blogs because we wish to bring your attention to the lesser-known (or should I say overlooked) ones. Moreover, chances are you may already have known about or visited the more popular blogs before.

The following blogs offer most elements of a good design blog which we are looking for. In no particular order, I give you this somewhat subjective list:

Decoesfera
Not that I can read Spanish, but the beautiful images on this blog alone convey everything I need to know. Of course, Yahoo's translator will help a lot here.

An Indian Summer
Bhavna's blog is a collection of great design ideas and inspiration, with a special focus on India.

Desire To Inspire
There's no way to leave this blog out. Before this, there's no way gorgeous interiors from all over the world can come so happily together. Their desire to inspire really shows...

MoCo LoCo
This is the place to get your regular dose of reports on cutting-edge design. Highly recommended.

Design Milk
See above.

An Eye For An I:nterior
This lady has an eye for anything that is stylish, not just interiors only.

Better Living Through Design
Better Living Through Design is an e-magazine for anyone interested in great modern design.

The Mid-Century Modernist
This blog is a celebration of everything that made the 1940s to 1970s era such an important one in design history.

Reluct
Feast your eyes on the latest design products here.

2Modern Design Talk
With topics ranging from architecture to interior design to home accessories, Deanna's design talk is anything but boring.

Do you have any more good design blogs to share? Leave me your comments.


Stan


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MADE-IN-SINGAPORE DESIGNS

I seldom blog about product design originating from Singapore. And I really need to be hung for that, given that I'm based right here in Singapore. But in case you don't know, there are many industrial design talents to be discovered in our country.Take for example Patrick Chia from Squeeze Design. His work has been discovered and chosen by design maestro Philippe Starck for his Mondrian Hotel a few years back. From then on, Chia's curriculum can pride itself with numerous shows and publications all over the world. He currently designs for B.R.F. too.

Kudos to the Singapore Furniture Industries Council for churning out numerous local up-and-coming designers via its annual Furniture Design Award competition. I've seen some great stuff coming out from the competition every year, and the shows just get better and better with each year. So far, nothing beats the beautifully-sculptured Crater table from then-student Han Kiang Siew in 2003. Inspired by the varied topography of our natural landscape, this is one of many designs that lingers long in my mind after I first set eyes upon it. Crater is currently carried by homegrown furniture design studio and retailer Urban Foundry.


Meanwhile, TRIBE is another creative studio in Singapore 'created out of the necessity to inject colour and life into everyday products'. Their designs can be described as quirky at best, while never straying from the main objective of design - that of serving daily functions while looking good (or in this case, fun). Their whimsical wall hooks are worth a look or two.

We'll cover more on made-in-Singapore designs as we move along...


Stan


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Jul 24, 2007

A MOMENT FOR APPRECIATION

Many thanks to my new blogger friend Deanna from 2Modern for the shoutout about our blog. Like her, I love the internet community, and adore the whole experience of blogging about the best thing on earth - design! Plus, to have the opportunity to make more friends (albeit online) sure doesn't hurt...


Stan


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TEXTURE COLLECTION FROM OLYMPIA CERAMICA


With such juicy colours and vivid patterns, these wash basins from Olympia Ceramica will definitely perk you up for the day ahead. Who still needs plain white basins anymore?


Stan


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Jul 22, 2007

WAVEFORM BY PLOBES STUDIO


Mathematics has never been anything you would relate to design. But the Waveform shelving system is in fact inspired by representations of waves and pulses in a math diagram. Designed by Houston based Plodes Studio, these shelves combine conceptual, scientific form with practical household functions.

Hmmm... for once, mathematics can actually be fun.


Stan


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ICON MAGAZINE ON PHILIPPE STARCK


I thoroughly enjoyed Icon magazine's article on Philippe Starck. Click here to read.


Stan


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Jul 20, 2007

CREPAX



Maybe you think a comic themed design is strictly reserved for teenagers. But we're not talking about Superman and Batman here. Designer Giuseppe Canevese decided to pay homage to one of the most influential comic artists, Guido Crepax, by incorporating the latter's black and white comic strips into his design for the Crepax range of cabinets. Kadhorn's most famous storyline features the character 'Valentina' and won many fans with his erotic and dream-like storylines.


Stan


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TIPS FOR LIVING LARGE

I understand that many people do not have the luxury of living in large spaces. Not even if you have the money to burn! Come on, new condominiums and HDB flats are getting smaller by the day, and even private houses are not spared these days. But for those who are lucky enough to reside in larger spaces, there can be a lot of challenges in terms of design and layout too. If things are not done quite right, the space may just overwhelm you and makes you feel extremely uncomfortable.

Based on my (humble) opinion, the first step is to break up the entire space into sections and create the feeling of a series of functional zones that link to each other cohesively. For instance, designate an area in the living room for TV watching and another as a casual work corner, linking to a third zone - complete with settees and all - for spending some quiet moments with guests who pop over. Put on your thinking cap and put up screens or partitions to break the space up where suitable.

Next, consider setting up several points of interest in the room. The TV is obviously one. Other focal spots could be a display unit on the other side, or simply something like an oversized lamp shade. If not, an artwork or a mirror on the wall will also do the trick. Meanwhile, I can't stress enough how handy area rugs will come in, especially in a house where floor area is ample.

Yet, while you are doing all these, remember not to lose your insanity and congest the space with too many furniture pieces too. Leaving some empty spaces in a room is still necessary, and its importance cannot be ignored.


Stan


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Jul 19, 2007

MAD LIKE HELL...


I obtained a skimpy furniture catalogue while I was at a certain furniture mall the other day. In it, right before my eyes, were blatant rip-offs of several design classics. Seeing how crudely made the furniture are, my blood literally boiled. And then, there's the supposedly 'new' designs in the same catalogue, which are actually nothing more than bad derivatives of the classics. I call this kind of act 'indirect thievery'. While I wouldn't stop people from buying these design fakes - not that I have the power to - it simply pains me to see people spending money on poor-quality stuff like these.

Granted, the Real McCoys cost a few times more than the fakes. But spare a moment to think about the hard work poured into the design of every single design classic that we've come to know of. Think about the passion put in by people like Le Corbusier, Philippe Starck and Stefano Giovannoni , just to make our lives better. Think about the well-deserved royalties robbed from them.

I'm sure there are always good solutions for every given price point, but buying fakes is obviously not one of those.


Stan



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Jul 18, 2007

A HANDFUL OF FUN



Product designer and yoga enthusiast Harry Allen's collection of home products is a handy affair. The polyester-resin casts of his own hand come available as an incense holder, a candlestick holder and wall hooks. Those looking for an element of fun and whim will love these to death...


Stan


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Jul 17, 2007

HANG A TV (NO, NOT THE ONE YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT)


Are you one of those who loves greenery in the home? There's no doubt about the fact that plants lift spirits and make one feels good. Obviously, Italian firm Teracrea knows it better than anybody else, and has invited a number of designers to come up with "greenery that organizes the space around it".

TV, designed by Fabio Bortolani, is one of those innovative projects. Basically a wall fitting that holds and frames plants like a beautiful picture, it is made from polyethylene and can be lit up from within with optional internal lighting. This has got to be one of the best looking planter box around which you can find.

I'm itching for one already...


Stan


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RETHINK...


I firmly believe that good design need not be overly complicated or expensive. Sometimes, the most simple concept can make you go 'WOW!'. Think about it, any 'brilliant' idea you can think of now has most probably been thought of by someone else before you. It's how one builds on or rethink about those earlier-conceived ideas that really matters. And the good news is: great ideas don't necessarily need to come from a professional designer.

So, why not rethink about the way you live life now? Rethink about why something has to be done in a certain manner. Rethink about the way shoes can be stored...


Stan


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ILLUPILLOW



Most people will find the illupillow, designed by Oliver Schick, cute-looking. But looks aside, I find this big, soft pillow (or mattress or lounge or whatever you call it) very functional too. The integrated 1 watt lamp guarantees about 10 hours of lighting - definitely sufficient to finish Tuesdays With Morrie at one go. Via Frame.


Stan


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2MODERN

Based in Southern California, 2Modern carries and sells the works of the most talented and innovative designers of modern furniture and homeware on their website. Carrying familiar brand names like Magis, Blu Dot, Nurseryworks and Inhabit Living, this company is always dedicated to identifying the best in modern design trends by visiting small artisan studios, attending the industry's best trade shows and discovering talented, emerging contemporary designers. From what I've seen on their online catalogue so far, I can only say that hard work definitely shows.



First of all, I have a thing for clean lines, which I feel will never ever go out of style. Hence, the Charles sofa from Desiron, with its graceful lines and softly tapered arms, really pleases my eyes. Same goes for the equally gorgeous Euclid Ottoman and Clinton Sectional sofa from Gus* Modern and the finely-constructed Wishbone Desk (my, that timber top!) by Skram. Simple and understated nonetheless, the designs of these pieces exude classiness and sophistication all over.



Similarly, the comfortable and modern looking Surf Chaise from Teys amazes me with its surfboard-like design. Made of a steel frame finished in epoxy paint and stuffed with polyurethane foam wrapped in synthetic fiber, this chaise looks as good in the study as by the poolside. Other great stuff to look out for include the Field Grass Slat and the Timber Triptic Slat room dividers from Inhabit, made from 100% sustainable recycled polyester handprinted with environmentally-friendly inks. Consider quirky products like the Spike Pool wool rug and the cushy Dot Circle chair pad too.

A check with Deanna from 2Modern suggests that their products are only available in the U.S at this moment. Plans are in place to ship their fantastic furniture and home accessories to the rest of the world though. So if you stay in within the U.S, you're in luck.


Stan


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Jul 16, 2007

FABRICS GALORE!





Jek, our helpful window treatment specialist, brought in a heavy stack of drapery and upholstery fabrics today when I told her I needed to look at some stuff for a new project. Among the sample books, these fabrics caught my eyes with their sharp colours and interesting patterns.


Stan


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CHANGES

Here it is. As part of our self-imposed commitment to make Home Rejuvenation to be more than just a regular 'write-a-post-daily' blog, we've decided to do something more. As you scroll down the right sidebar, you'll noticed that we've rolled out an entirely new section which will no doubt be helpful for those currently on a lookout for stylish home furnishing stores.

We've spent a reasonable amount of time consolidating a comprehensive list of furniture and home accessory shops in Singapore under this new 'Shops To Visit' section. So from now on, you'll need no Yellow Pages and can finally save your breathe checking around with friends on where to shop. We've done the homework (and legwork) for you, and you'll find much of what you need for your house here. Though we could not include here every single shop in town, we'd like you to believe that those which are here are among the best out there. Because we understand that only the best will do for the home.

Lastly, you'll also start to discover the wonderful world of blogging by clicking on the tags found at the bottom of every post, starting from last Friday. You'll find a whole lot more related information on Technorati. So, enjoy!


Stan & KUS


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Jul 13, 2007

INTERMISSION

We've worked hard enough this past week, bringing you people our favorite finds from the net, and will be giving ourselves a good two day break over the weekend. Ha, come to think about it, we've never posted so consistently and 'aggressively' for a few days running ever since we started to blog. Hopefully we'll keep up with the momentum of things next week...

Till then!


Stan and KUS


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TONE


Su Ling of Laissezfaire points us to Leif-designpark's Tone collection of chairs, 'an attempt at producing furniture using effectively materials and skills established in the Japanese culture'. The diverse colours and grain patterns (that result from the absorbsion of the numerous nutrients within the soil) on show are simply stunning.


Stan


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THOUGHT-PROVOKING INTERVIEW


It was with a barrage of mixed feelings when I watched an interview of Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando on cable TV last night. Now, interviews seldom leave an impression on me. To me, these are just well-planned marketing or PR tools. But this one is really different to me, and you'll see why.

During the interview, Ando talked about his life, his works and his unique approach to modernist architecture. This architect is truly world-class. Hearing this man talk about architecture was such a joy. I was most affected when he discussed about the relationship between men and architecture, his genuine concern for the impact of construction on the environment and his thoughts on the 1995 Kobe earthquake. The programme went on to showcase some of his most famous buildings, with Ando seriously explaining the concept behind the design for each.

And then came the most thought-provoking part of the show.

Ando was asked about his famous "Row House in Sumiyoshi" (Azuma House), a small two-storey house completed in 1976. It consists of three equally sized rectangular volumes: two enclosed volumes of interior spaces separated by a central courtyard. Access to every room requires the resident to pass through a bridge over the courtyard. And hear this – this central section is completely roofless, and the residents must carry umbrellas to move around their home on rainy days.

What?! I hear you asking.

But as Ando puts it, "Direct contact with nature is the height of luxury for a city-dweller.". And even though I really like his concept of getting in touch with nature - good or bad - I also began to wonder just how many clients would be willing to accept such a radical idea and give the go-ahead for the design. Be it in 1976, 1996 or 2007. For a modern home dweller used to all the luxuries of life? Slim chance, I thought...

Indeed, I can readily relate this one seemingly unimportant matter to a common predicament of almost every design industry. You know I'm talking about the importance of supportive clients. Someone who will give the designer all the support the latter needs to see his or her vision through. Think about this, Ando is only starting out at that time, and he sure isn't world-famous then. To sell the idea of lugging an unbrella inside the house during bad weathers is no easy feat. Especially so without an open-minded client.

But what happened in the end? The Row House was lauded by critics and firmly established Ando as one of the leading architects of our time.

Just my two cents worth.

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Jul 12, 2007

ENOOK


They call this eNook, a charging/ storage station for electronic gadgets like cell phones, ipods, PDAs, and laptops. I think this will be perfect for keeping away those messy cords and gadgets scattered all around the table.

Stan
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INSPIRING...




Fancy building your very own hanging table? As seen on the Dwell Blog, this hundred pounds table is suspended by Ike Bahadourian and his friend Sevak Karabachian of Michael Maltzan Architecture using ropes, and comes with light attached below.

Look for tree stump stools to match.


Stan

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GETTING IT RIGHT

I went to a prospect's home this afternoon, and I can't help but feel how badly the family NEEDS to engage an interior designer. Sorry I'm not being mean. And seriously, that interior designer doesn't necessarily have to be me too (because I'm sure any designer can work some magic on this apartment). Inside the apartment, I look left and I look right, and everything just doesn't seem quite right to me. Most of the furniture pieces are way too big for the rooms - I wonder how they managed to squeeze their way through the house daily all these years - and there's absolutely no planning for storage to keep away the clutter in sight. And hey, I haven't even started talking about the four overwhelming colours screaming for attention on the living room walls...

But perhaps what's more 'worrying' is that this family is not alone.

Though taste is totally personal, I can't stress enough how important scale and proportion are in an interior. Even more so for practicing restraint in whatever things that we do.

Stan
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Jul 11, 2007

ART PRINTS BY ARTIST LEE MAN FONG

I haven't been to a function for a long long time. So it was pretty exciting but downright nerve-wrecking when I attended one last night. Why, you've got to dress up and 'try' to look your best. And don't even mention striking up conversations! Definitely not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, once I got past those issues, I eventually enjoyed myself during the whole event as I get to reconnect with old-time pals whom I haven't spoke to for ages, as well as to meet new like-minded friends. Amidst the good music and endless flow of wine, we talked about work, people and common passions. It was a good evening all in all...

Talking about common passions, pretty much of our conversations centered on art and the art scene. You see, a lot of my friends at the event (old and new) are in the art and framing business, or are avid art collectors. We talked about our favorite artists and the up-and-coming ones from around the Asia region. Needless to say, being the art bug I am, I was totally immersed in it all.

Anyway, back to the main subject, my good friend Martha has a collection of well-maintained art prints (which dates back to over a decade ago) of the beautiful works by famed Southeast Asian pioneer artist Lee Man Fong (Chinese, Guangzhou, Canton, China, 1913 - Jakarta, Indonesia 1988). She is planning to sell off some of these prints, each of which is personally signed by the late artist himself, and asked me if there are any takers among my clients. Lee Man Fong is one of my favourite artists, and is widely considered as a master painter who integrated traditional Chinese and modern European elements. He was skilled in ink, pencil, water color, charcoal, pastel, gouache on paper, oil on canvas and on hardboard. He created graphic works with etching and wood cut, and his themes varied from plants, flowers and landscapes to objects, old buildings, animals and humans. I especially love the details that goes into each and every painting of his.

I upload and share with you guys here the pictures of some of the gorgeous works she emailed me this afternoon. Click on these images for a closer look. If you are interested to get any of these prints for your home, do contact Martha at marthac777@yahoo.com.sg.

P.S: Martha told me she'll be keeping the prints very affordable, so no harm checking with her !:-)


KUS

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