This is a small post before I go. I am leaving for Manchester Airport in 45 to spare so I thought this was time was best used for a mini blog post. This will be about my intentions for Dutch Design Week. My itinary looks something like this as of right now:
what I've planned
I downloaded the DDW app onto my phone which allowed my to browse through topics that I felt were relevant to what I am currently researching such as sustainability, bio design, nature, experience design and even a whole filter devoted to waste - my new obsession. There are even students looking at vegan or 'veganistisch' design and ones working with mycelium. I think I have a good list but with enough room for more, what I have listed as:
what I've not planned
It seems strange to plan not to plan but I am sometimes too over-organised with planning what I want to see I forget that this design show is as much a new experience as it is an educational trip. Experience one of my buzz words in design as of currently and I need to learn from experiences first hand. Although I have a list of things I want to see I also have a non-existent list of things I want to see. That list doesn't exist because I don't know what those are. I am currently focusing on a design agenda I am fascinated on but it is just as beneficial to understand what inspires others and how they interpret those inspiration into their design. We may not be looking at the same subject area, but I can still appreciate and learn from their interpretations. I want to have a wander as much as a hunt. I'm also exciting to be in a new country, a new city, new people and experience a new culture. I'm want to see how Dutch design differs to design I am more familiar with and how we differ from a cultural stance. As I am wanting to implement responsible, sustainable design that needs to be understood and read in an abundance of different cultures and I must understand and sympathise with cultural differences so that my design is truly success.
I will share my experience and research on this blog and on my other social media Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (all @chesygn). Until then, tot zeins (see you later)
'This world is cluttered with stuff, how would the world look like a few thousand years from now? The Arks ask the question what would be worth saving if this world would flood right now.'
Atelier Mark Sturkenboom designed a fluid, based on minerals, which allows objects to grow crystals over a period of time. We reclaimed antique French chandeliers and candelabra and created the perfect conditions to set a hyper-evolution in motion where every object grows out to be a unique piece.
I may have a strange interpretation of the story I see behind the collection, in that same respect, the aesthetic suggest something mother nature has tried to salvage even after we had selfishly betrayed her trust. Sturkenboom's unique crystallisation technique make's each of the pieces different and mimics processes within nature. Crazy post-apocalyptic views aside, the crystallised antiques are undeniably stunning and truly one of kind but with the cheapest at 850 euros I'm going have to pass. The collection makes me wonder: if we were to present to an audience what their life would be like in years to come if we keep acting the way we do, would they change for the better?
Marksturkenboom.com. (2016). overgrown – Mark Sturkenboom. [online] Available at: http://www.marksturkenboom.com/Works/overgrown-2 [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
Inhabitat.com. (2016). These amazing crystal chandeliers are alive. [online] Available at: http://inhabitat.com/these-amazing-crystal-chandeliers-are-alive/mark-sturkenboom-overgrown-crystal-chandelier/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
The Cradle-to Cradle concept, created by William McDonough & Michael Braungart, has expanded further than just the book. Products can now receive official certification for meeting the requirements outlined in the C2C theory. These come in three award levels: bronze, silver and, yes you've guessed it, gold. Following are a couple of examples that took home the gold and silver for inspiring greener design.
Textiles has often been in the firing line as firing in line where sustainability is concerned because of toxic chemicals used in fabrication and also ethical concerns with the sweatshop subject being addressed again and again.
'Braungart analyzed more than 8,000 chemical formulations commonly used in textile production, then selected a mere 38 that he deemed safe for human and environmental health.'
However, in the last ten or twenty years, the implication of green textiles has come into play. Winners of C2C Gold are Designtex have created a strawberry growing fabric.
'Following the “waste=food” principle, the upholstery was designed to break down and return safely to the earth after its useful life. In order to achieve this, every input had to be analyzed, from the raw materials (wool and ramie, a natural plant fiber) to the dyestuffs and other process chemicals used in weaving.'
McDonough and Braungart implement the idea that everything we take from nature we must replace, and then some. They believe success lies in mimicking an ecosystem as nature has no 'waste'. Therefore, as well as tackling the health concerns in conventional textiles, Designtex are making a statement in making sure for all the material they use they can give back to nature in the shape of strawberry growing aids and can proudly take home the gold for sustainable design.
The silver certified C2C product gDiapers describe the message beautifully stating:
'We imagine a world where all products are designed and manufactured responsibly. Where all products are created with the end use in mind. A world that follows the principles of Cradle to Cradle, the world leader in ecologically intelligent design.'
There's that world again: responsible. We need to be responsible. We have been irresponsible for far to long and it far time we design for more than just own on agenda, but that of our suffering ecosystem.
Lumsen, F. (2014). Cradle to Cradle: 4 success stories, from countertops to fabrics. [online] GreenBiz. Available at: https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/20/4-cradle-cradle-certified-product-breakthroughs [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
C2ccertified.org. (2016). Designtex Fabrics - Innovation Stories - Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. [online] Available at: http://www.c2ccertified.org/innovation-stories/designtex [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
gDiapers. (2016). Cradle to Cradle: better by design. [online] Available at: https://www.gdiapers.com/blogs/blog/106160070-cradle-to-cradle-better-by-design [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
'The furniture is raised by an artist following the nature and using local climate and natural resources to please people in winter. They connect the lake, the land, the air and the people and complete a sustainable life cycle with minimum environmental impact. Environmental artist wants climate furniture to raise awareness that we can make a sustainable world with less or without a negative impact.'
This is ultimate cradle-to-cradle design. As the surrounding climate gets warmer, the chairs, tables and bowls will melt and become a part of the landscape they were constructed from again. There is absolutely no waste. Ironically, the pieces had no impact whatsoever on their environment but have such a great amount on the people visiting as they experience winter fun of the raw, icy material. The overall design may be a little uninspiring but the emotion involved in making and interacting with the pieces speaks to users as the nostalgia of snow brings back memories of snowmen, snowball fights and, of course, Christmas.
Another irony is that, although labelled it, the pieces are not sustainability, longevity wise. I hope that this factor will allow visitors to make the connection between the devastating melting of the ice caps, caused by our impact on this beautiful planet. We must be reminded that the natural beauty we all claim to idolise and mimic is dire state because of our actions. The ice is melting, time is ticking and our future, as we know it, is certainly not confirmed.
Sykes, R. (2009). Ice and Snow Furniture by Hongtao Zhou | Dezeen. [online] Dezeen. Available at: http://www.dezeen.com/2009/02/12/ice-and-snow-furniture-by-hongtao-zhou/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2016].
'The beehive-inspired pavilion created by artist Wolfgang Buttress for the Milan Expo 2015 reopens in London's Kew Gardens'
This will be a short post but I couldn't help but share, especially when it's related to one of my favourite species, the bee, in one of my favourite places in the entire would, the Kew (gardens). Get the title now? Buttress' inspiration was 'themed around the lifecycle of a bee, The Hive features an elaborate metal honeycomb with an illuminated dome at its centre'. As if the overall sceptical of a giant bee hive in one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world isn't incredible enough, the interior is a sensory world as 'changes in sound and light intensity were triggered by a hive in Nottingham, but they are now linked to the bee colony inside a hive at Kew.'
"I'm not an architect, I'm an artist, so I was more interested in the experience and in how you could convey an idea and a feeling through an experience rather than an object or a building," Buttress told Dezeen in an interview last year.
"The Hive creates a powerful, immersive space for us to explore the urgent issues we face in relation to pollinators, their intimate relationships with plants and their vital role in helping us feed a rapidly growing population," added Richard Deverell, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The nostalgia of Kew Garden's in one thing but what I related to in Buttress' explanation was his description of making the hive an experience for the user and by mimicking the life of bee it would spark a emotional connection with his audience. Buttress' hive is undeniably phenomenal but it is an example of biomimicry inspired what these incredible creatures create and the impact they have on our world. Bee's are one of the greatest examples of a successful eco-system however, as we unfortunately do much to often, we are endangering the species that give so much and put our needs before theirs. Visitors of the Hive can now understand that by harming the bees we would be losing a lot more than our favourite breakfast spread.
Frearson, A. (2016). Wolfgang Buttress' Expo pavilion relocates to Kew Gardens. [online] Dezeen. Available at: http://www.dezeen.com/2016/06/16/wolfgang-buttress-milan-expo-pavilion-relocates-kew-gardens-london-beehive-inspired-hive/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016].
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