the Tomorrow Collective – inspired by the past, designing for the future…

Every day, across the world, we are creating more and more stuff. More stuff that we will use, discard and possibly never see again. Of course, some stuff we will continue to use, cherish and (hopefully) develop and repair throughout our lives, but unfortunately this is rather in the minority. This is one of the major problems with product design – how do we create new ‘things’ that people will want to use and want to keep – and that are relevant to the modern user? The Tomorrow Collective, a group of Masters students from the Lund University’s School of Industrial Design have been pondering this too – creating a range of products that address these issues…

‘In a time when the single person is becoming more and more distanced from where things come from, how they are made, what they are made of and where they inevitably end up, it becomes increasingly harder to see the consequences of our lifestyles and choices. We depend on fossil fuel driven transportation systems, monocultural large-scale farming and non renewable, toxic energy sources. Our economies thrive on productivity and consumption and we live like there’s no tomorrow. The Tomorrow Collective is about exploring ways of enabling us to live a sustainable life in the future. Inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be, the project presents concepts for modern tools and systems that can be used in a cyclic sense, within private homes or to share in smaller communities.’ 

From herb collecting kits, to sunflower seed presses, shoe making / repair kits and natural cleaning systems, the Tomorrow Collective have created a range of really interesting (and thought provoking) projects which are made beautifully too.

Even perfume has gone natural, with a kit allowing you to create your own fragrance from self identified and harvested wild herbs and flowers…

We think designers that think in this way are a delight – without this type of reflective practice, how can we ever start to reassess our current ways of living and bring ourselves in line with what will be required? However, these projects often remain in the beautiful but conceptual sphere – never making it to the wider, consumer based world.

Why is this? Is it a step too far? Do we not have the time (or inclination yet) to be so involved in the processes of our products? Or is now the time that we need to re-educate ourselves and step outside of the vast consumerist world and begin to create for ourselves again… Many ‘trends’ are pointing towards this as a distinct change in mindset, but with the recent apparent decline of the ‘hipster’ there is also the musings of whether this type of self creation will fade back into the self sufficiency past of whence it came.

We hope not. As designers we believe that the personal connection to our products is extremely important. This is the way forward, even though, as the Tomorrow Collective have shown, is discovered through looking back…

THE TOMORROW COLLECTIVE from patrik bruzelius on Vimeo.

in praise of the refurbished…

We are very lucky at the studio to be located along a very long road in Hove that can only be described as ‘eclectic’. With Portslade Station at one end, and well into the reaches of Hove in another, Portland Road is about a mile or so of houses, schools, a park and a variety of retail spaces (plus our little studio, based in the old public toilet). But theses are not any old retail spaces – they are all mostly small, independent shops and cafes – all very different. But what struck us recently whilst walking to the Post Office (6 minutes from studio) was how many great examples of repair, refurbished, service based industry and reclaimed goods shops there were on Portland Road.

dyson city

There are two launderettes. A sewing and alteration workshop, two computer repair shops, a cobbler, an refurbished oven place. A scattering of secondhand stores, a hardware store and the Bargain Vacuum Centre, to name but a few. And it was in the last store – the Bargain Vacuum Centre that we found the latest addition to our studio – an almost new, refurbished Dyson City vacuum cleaner.

Complete with all the bits and bobs – and a 9 month guarantee, this little vacuum only set us back £50. ‘Any problems and whizz it back’, we were told. ‘Sure, we replied – we are just along the road’. And this is what is great about this type of ‘High Street’ – the mix of people, skills and services – all independent and backlit acrylic sign free – offering the personable experience that is not found elsewhere. This is what we love and this is why we are very proud to be part of Portland Road.

We need to save these types of road, because there is very little that we are not able to access within a 7 minute walk of the studio – and we are very aware that this is a precious rarity. Chains have their places, but these are the roads that can offer us repair, reuse or leasing – on our doorsteps…

Here’s to the refurbished.

Structual Skin makes full use of leather waste…

As designers we are faced with daily choices. How to design something – what it is made of and how we source the materials are key to understanding the impact of our designs. This is why we choose to work with as much ‘waste’ material as possible in our work and we are delighted to see examples of how other designers are tackling the same issues. The Structural Skin project by Spanish designer  Jorge Penadés is a great example of very alternative thinking.

Jorge Penadés-Structural-Skin-1

Leather working, whilst very traditional, is extremely wasteful and inefficient as a process, so Penades has created a new method for using the scraps of otherwise discarded leather. The pieces, after being shredded, are bound and compressed to produce a material that looks rather like a bar of nut studded chocolate, but can be used to create new products – like the examples from the capsule collection which features a clothes rail and side table.

Jorge Penadés-Structural-Skin-3

Due to the natural quality of the material, it features a whole range of colours and patternations, adding to the individual nature of each of the pieces.

This lovely video shows the process…

Structural Skin from Jorge Penadés on Vimeo.

2014 recap – September – the narrative of the Jerwood…

September and May are always two of the busiest months for us at the studio, with the Brighton Festival and the London Design Festival, but we managed to have a day off – and we went to the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings…

first published 8th September…

Sometimes it is good to do things on the spur of the moment, and yesterday was one such day. The sun was shining – the last hurrah of summer – and so with nothing else planned, a trip was hatched to visit Hastings, and specifically, the Jerwood Gallery which had an exhibition by Quentin Blake – a personal childhood hero.hastings Jerwood 6Even though I had not visited Hastings for a very long while, I remember far back in the depths of my architecture education when I became obsessed with the tall, pitched roofed net houses on the Rock-O-Nore road. There was something about the honesty of their construction, both in terms of orientation, structure and materials that made them incredibly appealing. Like stretched sentinels they stand over the Old Town beach, with the fishing boats and fresh fish huts below. I loved them.

hastings Jerwood 4So when I found out a while back that the Jerwood would stand within touching distance of my beloved net huts I was a little wary. Without a deep connection to this site, the new building could stick out like a very modern and very sore thumb. However, when I saw the resulting building on the pages of architecture blogs and the design press in 2012 I was delighted. The building looked sensitive yet unapologetic and well, fitted.

hastings Jerwood 7But – architecture is something that you experience, not read about. A well composed photograph will tell you so much, but it is not until you are in any space that youdiscover the delights of the building as well as areas which perhaps do not work as well. Noise, smell, light, how the building copes with few people, masses of people. How the building feels in its skin and its surroundings.

I was not disappointed. HAT have created a delightful building. Passing the fading ‘No Jerwood’ signs on Rock-O-Nore Road towards the gallery, it felt a little sad that a few of the local residents felt this way – and enough to keep the signs up well after the gallery’s opening.

hastings Jerwood 2

The immediate appearance blends beautifully with the surrounding net huts – the monolithic building is certainly wider, but being clad in black shimmering iridescent tiles both the literal cues and the poetic cues to the fishing buildings and heritage are apparent.

Hastings Jerwood 1And the building is exceedingly clever. It is always a personal marker of a great building when I become obsessed with the structure and details perhaps a little more than the objects that the building contains. Details and junctions between flooring, the slatted walls looking up towards the rooflights, the cor-ten steel signage, the oak handrails that already feel polished, the shadows cast across the concrete floors…

hastings Jerwood 3But, one of the areas that I was most impressed with was how the building dealt with its location. The net huts surrounding the building are not hidden. They suddenly appear, framed within floor to ceiling windows in galleries – so much so that their height and scale can be fully appreciated in a way that is not possible at ground level. The building at the top of the East cliff lift is also framed and celebrated too, along with the low timber clad fresh fish huts at the rear of the Jerwood.

hastings jerwood 5Even in the courtyard area, the net huts sit nicely above the lowered fence line and talk to the oily Jerwood tiles beside beautifully. Like distant cousins, but with a similar family trait. Pitched rooflights on the top of the Jerwood also mimic the roof lines of the huts, creating another line woven in the contextural success of the building.

The art, is of course, wonderful. Interesting, well displayed and beautifully lit. But for me, the building is the real stunner.

(Photos by claire potter)

2014 recap – July – the Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts…

We were delighted to visit the beautiful Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts in July – both for the type and the architecture…

first published 1st July 2014…

Last week we trotted up to the rather beautiful village of Ditchling, which sits on the northern side of the South Downs just above Brighton to attend a lecture by Simon Garfield about type. As well as looking forward to the lecture, we were also itching to see the buildings of the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft.

ditchling museum of art and craft We were certainly not disappointed. The architecture was absolutely beautiful with the Grade II listed cart house and original building being stunningly connected with a new addition by Adam Richards Architects. A really sensitive adaptation of the existing in an honest way, using traditional materials has resulted in a space that is not only contemporary in feel but one which also feels very much in respect of both its location and heritage.

ditchling museum of art and craft

Exposed rafters in the cart house, which acts as the entrance, shop and cafe show the original structure of the building beautifully, plus the numbered tour of the elements are a clear and minimal way to engage visitors with the architecture.

ditchling museum of art and craft

The exhibits and collections at the museum are rooted with the artists who are connected with Ditchling, plus there is a substantial type influence, as Eric Gill, the designer of the Gill Sans typeface was a resident of the village. All signage throughout the museum is in the typeface, with both lettering and symbols used to great effect.

ditchling museum of art and craft

There is also a significant amount of both lettering and print based exhibits from all ages, all displayed with sensitivity in a variety of interesting ways.

ditchling museum of art and craft

The Ditchling Museum of Art and Crafts is not a huge affair, but it is bursting with clever architecture, character and heritage, not to mention wonderfully enthusiastic staff and fantastically stocked shop.

Plus, the museum is currently a finalist for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2014

A must visit for print and architecture junkies alike. Which we are both.

(photos by claire potter)

2014 recap – May – narratives in design…

In May there was lots going on. We spoke at a couple of events, ran a foraging walk in Brighton and visited stacks of Artist’s Open Houses for both ourselves and our clients. It was a busy month, but for our 2014 recap we are looking back to one of the talks we did – all about narratives in design…

first published 12 May 2014…

At the end of last week I was invited to speak at the first Interdisciplinary Narrative Symposium at the University of Sussex, which got me thinking generally about narrative. What do we mean when we talk about narrative as designers? Is everything we do concerned with the narratives of design? What exactly are the narratives of design?

narrative

With speakers from a variety of disciplines, speaking about the different forms of narrative, I was aware that my own application of the term was going to be very different to everyone else, particularly if you then start to think about the theoretical and practical references to the term…

So. I listed a few of the ways that narrative is used in our own studio works. Basically – the stories that we use and the stories we create. Vernacular references are key – ensuring that the projects we create are rooted conceptually in their places, using nods to historical elements, or site stories, or even the materials of the area – like the black tiles and forms of the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings by HAT which references the pitched roofs and blackness of the Old Town fishing net huts, which sit beside. Referenced, but with no pastiche.

Historical narrative is also key in our work, so our designs often are borne out of the fact that they used to be something else, but we try and ensure that this previous life is retained and respected, either within a site or within a product. Repair is championed here in the studio – don’t chuck something that can be repaired – and actually, this repair is an essential part of the process in the life of the product – be it a building or an actual product. It adds to the story.

Re-use is essentially a historical narrative of a previous life that we feel is important and should inform the new. Equally, the materials used in a product have distinct narratives that we use as designers, but are based deeper in the psyche of our own backgrounds and communities. For instance, a product created in wood has a very different feel, associated value and longevity compared to the same form in plastic…

Lastly, I spoke about the power of a strong narrative within a brand. And not just a story that is attached to a brand – a brand that is literally founded on a wonderful and meaningful concept. Microsoft PowerPoint - Design should tell a story - narratives i

Who Made Your Pants was the example that I gave – a wonderful company based in Southampton which reconnects the people who actually are responsible for creating your pants with you, the end user with a little name label in the pants themselves. No sweat shops, no hidden workers – the whole process is beautifully transparent and serves not only to educate us as the wearers of the garments, but helps those who are making them too.

Plus, the fabric that the pants are made from are end of line, past season fabrics that the fashion houses have declared as ‘last season’, but are of course, still completely beautiful and functional. And they are beautiful.

The pants themselves are not only stunning, they are highly finished, very comfortable and a joy to own. But the fact that they are so gorgeous does not a deep brand make. The strength of the ethical story ensures that we ask questions – as I did in the presentation, to a group of mixed age academics and invited guests. Unsurprisingly, I was the only one who could honestly say who had made my pants, which is what I expected. The disconnect between the makers of our products and ourselves is starting to be more of an open issue, which surely can only bring about deeper concern and a heightening call for all workers to be respected, regardless of their locations.

But, in the meantime, it is companies such as Who Made Your Pants who are starting to open our eyes. And how?

By telling stories. The best and foundational in the narratives of design. 

(slides from presentation, pictures on slides via Who Made Your Pants)

2014 recap – February – the markets of the future…

Today on our 2014 recap we are looking back to one of our Monday Musing posts in February, where we were talking a little bit about the future of the farmer’s market and where the markets of the future could be rolling…

first published 3 Feb 2014…

With the rise in both our wider interest in the origins of our food and our desire for easy, seasonal consumption, it is no real wonder that farmers markets, pop up food stalls and street dining have exploded over recent years. However – the static market – even if it just inhabits one street per week, can result in an infrastructure nightmare, with road closures, a limited amount of visitors local to the area and the rubbish generated at the end of the day.

La Petite Ceinture market, traveling markets, train market Paris,

But what could be the answer? A recent proposal submitted to the 2013 M.ART Opengap Competition seeks to address these issues with a market that travels along the decommissioned or underused rail lines in Paris.

La Petite Ceinture by Amílcar Ferreira and Marcelo Fernandes refocusses the concept of the market as a commercial space by organising it into a series of inhabited carriages which can literally pop up in various areas of the city for periods of time, benefiting not only a wider audience but also cutting out set up and shut down times.

The proposed project creates an interesting mix between local and tourist needs whilst also creating a travelling ‘event’ for the city. It also aims to rehabilitate the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (which translates into ‘the little belt railway) in Paris, which previously ran between the walls of the city.

If built, we think that this concept would be a very interesting development in the advancement of what we deem to be sustainable retail, as well as beginning to redefine what we think of as temporary, pop-up happenings within our city.

The High Line has used decommissioned rail structures in New York as an innovative public landscape area, but could areas such as these be re-enlivened with markets and travelling retail experiences?

We can only wait to see.

(image via inhabitat)

december wish list day 13 – conductive paint kit by bare conductive…

We are getting a little bit crafty for our december wish list today, with this fantastic conductive paint kit by award winning bare conductive. It is always great to get something to make each Christmas (if nothing else, to divert our attentions away from the mince pies), and we would be particularly happy if we received one of this sets to create.

So what is conductive paint? Simply put, it is paint that is conductive. You draw a line and the line will conduct electricity, which is like some sort of magic. And to coin a phrase, the possibilities are endless – from creative projects like the flashing card set above to technical applications. It is fantastic to teach children about how electricity and circuits work, and it has many applications in the maker sphere, where it can be teamed up with Raspberry Pi’s and the like.

And like all maker sphere products, there is a fantastic range of projects that people have created and uploaded to share. For us, it feels rather like Sugru, which is another firm studio favourite.

Plus, this magical substance is not expensive – at £15 for the three card kit, or around £7 for the electrical paint on its own, it is a nice stocking filler.

Electrical stockings that is…

(image via Bare Conductive)

december wish list day 12 – a bag from Freitag…

It has been said that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ about bags. If a ‘thing’ means that I am drawn to all manner of things satchel like… er, yes. Not bothered with shoes necessarily, but give me a new satchel and I am like a seagull with a chip. Tasty. And as tasty bags go, there is a particular brand which ticks our boxes of not only being creators of beautiful pieces of useful design, they are responsible and care for what they do. With each bag being completely unique from the next, and made from recycled materials, Freitag is a marvellous brand indeed.

F202 LELAND

Created from old transportation lorry tarps, the bags are hard wearing and individual – showing little glimpses into the previous lives that they had and little hints as to who or what they used to advertise. This material reuse is relatively standard now, with many manufacturers creating completely new products from old items – hence the increase of the term ‘upcycling’ in our vocabulary.

But Freitag has another term for this reuse, which fittingly they have also created – ‘recontexturalising’ – in the world of Freitag is all about the removing of a former life and putting a new context on a material and product.

Another element which makes us rate Freitag so highly is their complete transparency of creation, which is very hands on. The tarps arrive after 5-10 years on the roads, they are de-buckled, washed and laid on huge cutting boards where each bag is cut by hand – with the designers working on the floor to create the best combinations of colours, forms and lettering. Each one is highly considered and beautifully well thought out.

Their stores are just as wonderful, and we will be writing about them in 2015. How do you create a sleek store design where every item is a different colour? They will show you how…

This is recycling and reuse on a wonderful scale – creating great bags, laptop sleeves and accessories. Freitag is a pioneer of designing within the circular economy.

Day 12 of our december wish list – anything from Freitag (but we particularly like this one…)

(image via Freitag)

december wish list day 11 – a KeepCup Brew limited edition cup…

As many of you know, we are fully committed members of the reduce and reuse community. If we can try and reduce the amount that we consume and of course, reuse as much as we can, the little actions really do add up to a much bigger action. This is why, along with the fact that we tend to be running in between sites with our coffees, that we are huge fans of the KeepCup. We have one each, and not a day goes by when we do not use them to have our drinks on the go, so for today’s wish list, we have chosen one of the new KeepCup Brew limited edition cups…

KeepCup Brew limited edition cup

Now, this is a different beast to my black and lime green plastic KeepCup – a heavier and more sophisticated version in glass, plastic and cork, the KeepCup Brew is rather lovely indeed. But, like all KeepCups, the size is barista standard (8oz or 12oz), so you are able to hand your cup over any coffee counter and get it filled without any bother at all.

At some places we have even got a discount for using our own cup – double winner.

Plus, unlike many drink on the go cups, the KeepCup is easy to drink from. We know that this should be a standard requirement for a cup, but as many of us know, this is not always the case and many occasions have found us with spillages, leaks and drips.

So, as well as getting a cup that looks beautiful, is refillable (easily) and can be drunk from, the KeepCup has a low environmental impact. The plastic versions for example, contain the same amount of plastic as 20 standard disposable polyethylene lined cups and polystyrene lids. That is not that many lattes before you are ahead in the plastic stakes, let alone the fact that the plastic is staying firmly out of landfill. And when it gets the end of it’s life – each part of the cup can be split into separate parts – easily and quickly – for recycling.

And the KeepCup Brew limited edition also has a cork band – another great material not only for it’s insulative properties but also the fact that cork has to be harvested from the cork Oak for the tree to survive. Literally use it or lose it.

A great, useful, responsible present – and one that will do good and not break the bank too.

Check out the KeepCup website for details on the range…

december wish list day 9 – a personalised moleskine from Urban Cottage Industries…

Today, I was part of a photoshoot of ‘makers’ in Brighton, where we were all photographed in a portrait fashion with items representative of our craft. First off, I thought that this would be rather hard, but when I looked at the items I used on a near daily basis, there were a few that stuck out. My mechanical pencil, my hard hat and my little black moleskine notebook. 

 

And I am certainly not alone. Many designers become very attached to their notebooks even though we are also surrounded with digital devices that can record our thoughts, notes and musings. There is something special about a bit of paper and a pencil.

But what is more special than a black notebook? How about a personalised moleskine notebook, with your choice of message, embossed in the traditional way? Well. Our friends over at Urban Cottage Industries have just the thing…

Their personalised moleskine notebooks come in a variety of sizes, colours, plain, lined and as diaries or address books and once you have chosen your 30 character message, it will be embossed using a 1930’s sans serif font. They really are things of beauty.

Want to ensure that nobody steals the notebook? Or want to gift a creative a notebook with an inspirational message on? This is the place.

Plus, there is something even more special about receiving a personalised gift, as the giver really has to think about what to put. There is extra thought in there, and with this very traditional, hand-made process, you are giving something with history and tradition of craft also.

Really stumped as to what to put? Don’t worry. They also do gift vouchers

(images via Urban Cottage Industries)

SPOTTED – the Intrepid Camera smashes their Kickstarter project!

A few weeks ago we introduced you to the Intrepid Camera – a final year project by BSc Product Design graduate Maxim Grew that has been developed from a fully working prototype of a re-imagined large format camera to a production ready product. Joining up with fellow Product Design graduate, Eddie Garcia, the pair have worked over the last few months to ready the Intrepid Camera for a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds for the first production run. And back in October, we were delighted to announce that they had reached their £27k target in under two days. Incredible.

the Intrepid Camera Co

But, a Kickstarter project does not finish when (and if) you reach your target. No. It runs for the whole 30 day time period… so, if you are doing well, you are very likely to do really well by the end of the campaign.

And, last week, the Kickstarter campaign for The Intrepid Camera finished – raising a total of £63,158, with 495 backers from across the globe, which is incredible. It has also allowed the guys to purchase machinery and get the keys to their first workshop in Brighton to start the production.

We are all absolutely delighted for Max and Eddie – The Intrepid Camera is not only a beautiful piece of kit, it ensures that large format photography is available – and accessible for the next generation. Plus, the buzz that has been generated by this very personal form of fundraising ensures that there will be a whole raft of Intrepid Camera evangelists around the world when the cameras go into production for delivery next March – including me – when I will be taking mine to the Alps! I am determined to be the first person to take a photo on one of a mountain on one of their cameras that looks like their logo…

Take a look at The Intrepid Camera Project for more information – http://www.theintrepidcamera.co.uk/ 

(photos by Maxim Grew)

SPOTTED – picking our Christmas tree at Wilderness Wood…

We are suckers for a bit of tradition. Especially when it is a nice tradition – and really, we are heading full whack into one of the busiest times of year as far as tradition goes. We apologise in advance for using the C word in November, but hey. Christmas. Someone told me yesterday that there are only six weekends until Christmas. Six. Somehow that put the panic in a little bit, but we are safe in the knowledge that we have already bagged our tree. We went and reserved it at Wilderness Wood…wilderness wood 1

Some of you may know about our traditional trip up to the working wood, Wilderness Wood in Sussex – where every November (second weekend) we head up to get a tag, pay our £10 deposit and choose our tree in the Christmas tree plantation.

This year, was no different. We headed up on a sunny Sunday, boots at the ready, filled with excitement that was tinged with a little bit of apprehension. This was to be the first year that the wood was under new ownership after the Yarrow’s, who had founded the working wood in the 1970’s decided to retire. Would it be the same? Would the pots of tea be as huge, the cake so delicious and the atmosphere so friendly and welcoming?wilderness wood 2

Well, yes. We needn’t have worried. The barn was as packed as usual, the tea and the cake were both huge and delicious and the Christmas tree plantation was as we had expected.wilderness wood 3

With number 232 on our tag, there were lots of families and members who had reserved their trees before us, but there was still loads of selection available. Unfortunately, not the Douglas Fir that we have grown to love for its soft, fragrant, limey green needles, but still lots in the fir and spruce categories. Like the children in the plantation, we scooted up and down the hill, trying to find ‘the one’. There were a few contenders, but we eventually settled on one – a lovely Nordmann Fir – an excellent needle keeper, even when cut. Wilderness Wood has good Blue Spruces this year too, so if you are looking for one of these, ethically produced, then it is a good possibility.wilderness wood 4

Now, many of you will question whether driving to choose, then harvest a tree is perhaps the most ‘eco’ way to get a Christmas tree – and even if a real tree is perhaps the best choice. But we believe that this is not only about the tree, but the tradition of picking one – safe in the knowledge that it has been cared for in the right way. It is as ethical as possible. Plus, as we will compost the tree after, the tree becomes a biological nutrient for our own studio garden.

So. Full of tea, cake and with our tree reserved, we headed home. And we will go back in about a month and cut him down, bring him to the studio for Christmas. Ironically, we have named him Doug.

(go to the Wilderness Wood website for full details of their pick your own Christmas trees. all photos by claire potter)

SPOTTED – the Factorylux Eco-Filament bulb by Urban Cottage Industries

We are often faced with decisions as designers. Some large, some small – but decisions none the less. As we specialise in industrial styled interior design, we tend to favour the bare bulb aesthetic, with braided fabric cable and metal fixings and fittings. But, when we are working with a client to create a responsible space as well as one that is stunning, we are faced with the decision of what type of bulb to specify. For aesthetics, we would go for a traditional filament style bulb, but this choice is not the most eco friendly, so we usually plump for LED’s or the statement energy saving PLUMEN bulb. But now, we do not need to worry, because the clever and very lovely people at Urban Cottage Industries have created the Factorylux Eco-Filament bulb. And we are beyond excited.

factorylux eco-filament-with-boxThis is the first viable, energy saving alternative to the traditional filament bulb, and has a beautiful appearance. The Factorylux Eco-filament is available as a result of a partnership between Dutch medical, aerospace and avionic lighting specialist, NDF Special Light Products, and Urban Cottage Industries, the leading UK manufacturer behind Factorylux lighting.

eco-filament-close-upThe Factorylux Eco -Filament bulb is ‘A’ rated for energy use, is dimmable and yet looks like the bulbs that graced our lights in the early 20th Century. It is the perfect combination of the traditional aesthetic with modern technology – these lovelies will last 25,000 hours. If you are are building an eco industrial or steampunk interior, these are for you.

eco-filament-groupWant to know more about these fantastic bulbs? Look here…

(images courtesy of Urban Cottage Industries)

Monday musings – the power of fixing – again…

Today on Monday musings, (and tomorrow as we are splitting what would otherwise be a very long post) we have a little run down of the activities we took part in last week for the wonderful London Design Festival, which unsurprisingly all had a bit of a tilt towards sustainable design and fixing and the circular economy in general. With our Fixperts hat on, we did a whole range of fixes over the week, plus visited a couple of great exhibitions too…

Fixperts and Sugru fixing Party 4First up, on Wednesday evening, we were delighted to be invited to be part of the Sugru ‘Love Your Stuff’ party at Look Mum, No Hands in Hackney. It was great – a celebration of items that people had owned, looked after and loved (which were then drawn on by four fantastic illustrators) and a celebration of fixing.

Fixperts and Sugru fixing Party 5We were there with the purpose of fixing as many things as possible – on the spot with low cost, fast solutions that we could teach others. As with the last Fixperts fix station we ran, we had a great response with many people bringing items that needed a bit of attention, from bike lights to headphones, bowls to a unicorn. We fixed what we could on the spot, and for those things that needed extra care, we sent people happily on their way with a shopping list and instructions for how to fix something. It was great.

Fixperts and Sugru fixing Party 3Plus, we were sitting next to the great Restart Project, which help people fix all things electronic – teaching people how to do it themselves and not just doing it for them. We ended up building bits to help fix the insides of a laptop that had been brought along – nothing electronic, but a few bits of components and supports that had been broken and rendered useless. We sat and thought about it, and with a bit of lateral thinking, helped the guy fix his laptop. This was a common discussion throughout the week – how design is not just there to solve problems, but also to empower people to be able to add to, fix and hack their own products – gaining confidence and ownership of their belongings…

Fixperts and Sugru fixing Party 2

(tomorrow on Monday Musings part 2 we will be looking at the rest of our London Design Festival activities…)

photos by claire potter)