An Overview of just some of the quirky London Design Festival offerings

It was a busy and interesting last week where, as covered in Sustainable Tents and Talks, London got even more design focused with designers new and old exhibiting their new designs. Meanwhile Birmingham was home to Resource Waste Managements three-day conference and exhibition showcasing the latest thinking, practices and technology to recycle or get rid of stuff…….

I’m not going to go into a discussion of the seemingly opposite ends of the design spectrum where these currently sit (although gradually moving closer) but just do a quick showcase of some interesting events, moments from the week where these ends of the design and product life begin to merge.

Love Your Stuff Party

This was not your usual night out. Pack your trusty toaster, reliable vacuum cleaner or hairdryer in your bag, add some broken electronics as well and it was off to join the Sugru Love Your Stuff party as part of Waste less, Live more week 2014.

You could get your toaster engraved, yes engraved by a talented illustrator (or in my case my hairdryer) and then chat and learn with electronics fixers as they diagnosed your broken remote. Did you know you can use your phone camera to tell if it is giving a signal when you press the button as it detects the infrared, nifty!



Tent London

Probably the hottest place to be was Tent London. Yes it was really HOT in there, especially on the top floor. Poor exhibitors melting away…. but there were lots of snippets of sustainable inspiration to be found dotted about the building. Each seen a few times due to getting lost………..

Material of choice of the show seemed to be Paper everywhere (hope recycled), on the walls, origami wallpaper, lampshades, layered tables, chairs….

Notes on Tent
Notes at Tent

Tent London disassembled electronics


Natures Influence on the Design process

I managed to make it along to one of the interesting talks in the Design Exchange Cubicle – Also seemingly made from paper walls. Here with an Interface Human Nature carpet underfoot the architect, writer and presenter Oliver Heath did a great introduction to Biophilia and Biomimicry inspired sustainable design as well as the economics for it.

This was followed by an interesting presentation from Yaniv Peer, an associate of exploration architecture, looking at the usage and links between designing from nature alongside 3D printing. Also highlighted an interesting principle or formula  from nature that can be used to define ratios for strength and stability – Murray’s Law. The other speaker focused primarily on evidence and activities for using this thinking in the workplace, so interior design. The findings from this suggest the best way of approaching this for productivity is for designers to facilitate and advice but let the workers create their own spaces.

RSA & Great Recovery FabLab launch

I’m afraid this was a fly by visit on my bike to the new FabLab in East/ Central London and a quick whip round to check-out what looks to be a great emerging facility for makers, fixers and sustainable thinkers alike. I recommend taking a look yourselves and there will be experts on hand to support CNC machining, electronics tinkering, 3D printing, prototyping and more. Then it was back on my bike to the West of London.

Global Design Forum – RCA Sustain show 2014 & Ideas to Kickstart a Sustainable Economy

If you go to one thing before it closes i recommend this! The Sustain Show and Awards always showcases so many interesting concepts, issues and approaches from across disciplines to both raise awareness and take action. From the secret world of the cut flower industry, the after life of the North Sea oil rigs and the flat plate aluminium keyboard, these are all great examples of the crossovers between science, tech and art. Also the importance and the power that the merger of these have in creating a call or an idea for positive change. Here are just a few below:

and finally a beautiful short animation using plastics found in the sea and on the beach to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in our seas. A sad but hopefully inspiring ending – Plastic Shores from Alice Dunseath.

then back it was back on my bike again to the East……

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