Posts filed under Design

The Food Guide - Product Launch

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It has been a really exciting week with the launch of my very first product - Vitamins & Minerals tea towel.

The product is an infographic tea towel that helps you choose foods high in vitamins and minerals, as well as being a handy 100% cotton tea towel! I was first inspired by David McCandless’s book ‘Information Is Beautiful’, this design is a fusion of my love for food, design and well-being.

Thanks everyone for such a great response so far.

If you would like one for your kitchen, they are available at www.lahlastudio.com

Posted on August 16, 2012 and filed under Design, Food, Green Living, London, Uncategorized.

The Painted House

Some of our recent work...

Photography, Film and Web Design for The Painted House at Latitude festival 2012.

Back at The Faraway Forest, Iworked again with set designer Samara Tompsett and curator Imogen Eveson to document The Painted House.

Inspired by Versailles and a fictional Marie Antoinette character, Samara created an intriguing, arrangement of gold greenhouses, pastel ribbons and coloured smoke bombs. The set acted as an interactive venue for a host of fashion related workshops and talks over the Latitude weekend.

I collaborated with Torquil Jones to produced a 5 minute film following the weekends events.

Posted on July 21, 2012 and filed under Design, Fashion, London.

GF Smith: The Beauty Of Making

A lovely exhibition by GF Smith celebrating the beauty and skill of paper making and print. It was nice to see some of the old school equipment used. See gsm scale below.

It's Nice That had a little more to say here

Posted on May 9, 2012 and filed under Design, London.

The Power Of Making 2011

A few designs from The Power Of Making exhibition at The V&A - 6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012 'Power of Making celebrates the role of making in our lives by presenting an eclectic selection of over 100 exquisitely crafted objects. Curated by Daniel Charny, the exhibition is a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world, presenting a range of skills with imaginative and spectacular results.'

Fingerprint Suspension Lamp by designer Dan Yeffet

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Edra Cabana cupboard by The Campana Brothers

The Campana Brothers have played with the concept of flexibility. Aesthetically, I don't think the Edra Cabana cupboard is a success but there is something intriguing about using a pliable, changeable material in an object that conventionally embodies solidity.

Posted on October 10, 2011 and filed under Design, Global, London.

London Design Week: EAST Highlights 2011

Sunday 25th Sept 2011. Brick lane is packed. A few designs that caught me eye... AF Designs

Glass fish lighting from London based AF Designs. www.af-designs.co.uk

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Naomi Paul Textiles

www.naomipaul.co.uk

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Bagalight Old School - Available in 8 different designs.

www.liquidesign.co.uk

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One of the more interesting displays at TENT. A design collective from Florence, Italy. Designer Niccolo Raffaelli explores concepts to reduce domestic water use. Effective or not, I liked that this was not another shower timer - BUT not as extreme as Elisabeth Buecher's shower curtain I spotted a few years ago!

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Holey Roket Stove

Posted on October 3, 2011 and filed under Design, London.

Made in the UK - thoughts on textile manufacture

pdf version

designtap's onsite green guide for Latitude festival goers. A brief and far from conclusive reflection on UK Vs Global textile manufacture for high street fashion.

MADE IN THE UK

A current hot topic, I keep encountering a renewed desire for British design and that all-important ‘Made in the UK’ garment label. After reading countless defra reports and having worked with one of the UKs leading textile upcycling companies, I am still undecided whether a shift back to UK production IS the best option for the fashion industry.

When talking about global Vs local textiles and particularly fashion production, there is no definitive right answer. My question really is whether the benefits of small-scale British production really outweigh the benefits of manufacturing with a global workforce. As a society we are constantly pushing for a globalised planet, we enjoy working and travelling around the world, we read, watch and eat, ‘foreign’ books, films and food. It therefore seems odd that we place so much emphasis on a garment being ‘Made in the UK’. For a long time I too loved the idea of reviving the old English textile industry and I still think there is room for a partial revert.

For me it is about considering each factor of sustainability, the effects on people, on the economy and the environment. Firstly, you can look at a country like India, one of the largest exporters of textiles to The West. The industry directly employs 35 million people in India and has established the necessary infrastructure to provide for a global market. What will happen to these 35 million people if their jobs become obsolete? It would be preposterous for me to think that there will be an over night shift from foreign to UK production.

However, if their exports become less desirable, there will be a reduction of its scale and a loss of jobs. It is a question of global wealth distribution, I feel that deciding we like things made in Britain would be pulling the rug from under their feet – Your next thought is probably, poor working conditions and bad pay? This is an area we can all make a big difference to and I think this is where the fashion industry should look to expand its influence over the manufacturing process. As the customer, fashion brands have the power to demand that factories are run under certain conditions (many big brands have started to do this). It is also their responsibility to give a fair price to the factories so that they don’t need to cut corners to produce a garment on budget (low staff wages and child labour). If you were after a ‘sustainable’ fashion product, pushing for legislation that improves manufacturing conditions would be far more beneficial than boycotting foreign imports.

Many people will point out that aside from the people involved, shifting manufacture to Britain is about reducing a garments carbon footprint. That is the amount of carbon emitted when it is shipped or flown across the globe (in some cases several times) before it reaches the shop shelf. Without a doubt there are some absurd systems currently in place e.g. cotton grown in India is shipped to China to be made into fabric, the fabric is then transported back to India for dying, then over to Portugal to be made into a garment and sent back to India for finishing (zips, buttons). This is the sort of journey a lot of the clothes we wear makes before it is finally shipped to the UK and into our stores. Bizarrely enough in most cases all these processes could occur in neighbouring factories but it works out financially cheaper to zig zag a garment across the globe – but with a high environmental cost.

My view is that we need to refine the manufacturing process to ‘single country’ production. I figure that it makes little difference if this is the UK or India as the materials we use in clothes production nearly all originate out side the UK so, there will always need to be one journey made (unless there is a sudden UK cotton boom!)

If you fancy exploring where your things are made further, author Fred Pearce provides an intriguing read, as he traces the life journey of everyday products found at his London home in Concessions Of An Eco Sinner (2009).

Posted on July 24, 2011 and filed under Design, Green Living, Third World, Uncategorized.

designtap is going to Latitude!

designtap will be working with The Paper House team at Latitude Festival this year, as they present The Chronicles Of Latitude.

This year will see The Faraway Forest transformed into a Narnia wilderness, with hidden secrets. The Chronicles Of Latitude will be the 'alternative' festival guide sporting daily news, interviews, music reviews and an onsite lonely hearts column. Come and see us there, at The Chronicles Of Latitude central hub, a magical space designed by fashion set designer, Samara Tompsett.

www.chroniclesoflatitude.co.uk

Posted on May 10, 2011 and filed under Design.

Life in Miniature

Recent work at Postcarden.

New product range will be launched in June. Come and see us at Pulse Trade Fair 5-7th June at Earls Court, London.

Illustrations created in Adobe Illustrator CS5 by Lahla Smart.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZdQ9Lk-dq8&w=420&h=315]

Posted on May 10, 2011 and filed under Design, London.

EcoBuild 2011 | Sustainable Urbanism

Passive Housing and Sustainable Urbanism seemed to be the hype at this years EcoBuild.

The Landscape Institute sponsored a program of seminars focused on 'Sustainability and The City'. With only two hours to spare before dashing back to the other side of London, I stayed to watch a discussion by Wulf Daseking, Head of Planning in The city of Freiburg, Germany. Having written The Freiburg Charter For Sustainable Urbanism in 2010, Wulf had some educated thoughts on urban planning, with a particular focus on  infrastructure and development of the suburbs.

The City of Freiburg (European City of the Year 2010) has been an inspiration to urban planners across Europe for the past decade, as a successful working model of what strategic, people centred planning can deliver. The Charter published last year outlines 12 basic paths towards sustainable urban planning. A major consideration the charter flags up is, building around public transport links to create thriving suburban districts and reduce traffic passing through cities. Wulf emphasised the need for 'short distance' development where residents can walk or travel quickly by public transport to the city centre. This enables consumers to shop locally, therefore retaining wealth in the district; rather than losing trade to large out-of-town supermarkets. Have a read through the charter for more information on, mixed wealth neighbourhoods and land purchase for living rather than development.

A point that stayed with me and that is applicable to most challenges in politics and design, is the idea of " orientation towards long term objectives". In essence, solutions can be found and maintained by looking at the bigger picture. By anticipating change and growth planners can optimise their resources and create a long term strategys that can be sustained over time.

View from the impressive Excel conference centre in East London's docklands.

Posted on March 6, 2011 and filed under Climate Change, Design, Global, Green Living, London, Sustainable Design.

EcoBuild 2011 | Vertical growing

Amongst the chaos at The Excel Centre, I found great examples of raw, natural materials being used and a real shift towards low-tech sustainable building. In previous years, I had always been impressed my the 'techi' solutions for solar and hydro energy generation and sci-fi style insulation. This year there were a number of advocates for back-to-basics and a running theme of traditional craftsmanship and  'localism' (for want of a better word). I have always had an interested in vertical growing and living buildings so, I was pleased to see a huge increase in resources available.

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An example of a growing wall can be seen on East Road just off Old Street roundabout, on the new developments next to Urbanest student accommodation.

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Thoughtful walls, built with nooks and recesses to encourage insect biodiversity.

Posted on March 6, 2011 and filed under Climate Change, Design, Green Living, Sustainable Design, Uncategorized.

Netil Market in TIME OUT

Netil Market has been featured in Time Out magazine this month. We helped them develop their market brand and new cafe space.

 Visualization of cafe space at Netil Market

Visualization of cafe space at Netil Market

 Affordable furnishing suggestions

Affordable furnishing suggestions

Posted on February 28, 2011 and filed under Design, London.

Eastern Curve Garden

This week by complete chance, I visited the award winning Eastern Curve Garden.

Having been surrounded by billboards for months and located amidst the chaos and building developments at Dalston Junction, I had failed to spot this great project. The Curve Garden is a shared vegetable garden and workspace for Dalston's local community, built on a former railway plot.

The space is free for anyone to use between 11am-4pm. There is a sheltered classroom area hosting a variety of talks and a weekly gardening club held on Saturdays.

The project was funded by the London Development Agency/Design for London as part of the 'Making Space In Dalston' project and  is supported by Hackney Council.

Due to limited space this is not a traditional allotment, everyone involved works to grow vegetables for the group, they are then shared out. Rather than being completely responsible for your own patch. This is great for someone like myself, who is far from a gardening expert and can only visit once a week!

Check out events going on at Curve Garden

 

EVENT: 2nd May 2011 The Pizza Oven launch party

Posted on February 8, 2011 and filed under Design, Green Living, London, Sustainable Design.

Netil Market > 29th Jan 2011

Today was my first visit to the recently launched Netil Market. One minute’s walk, from the legendary Broadway market, Netil is a hidden gem. Sporting fantastic jam (for only £3!) and lots of fresh, creative talent. I have been working with them to set up the market brand, marketing and cafe space for the past month.

The artists, designers and performers based in Netil house design studios have come together to bring E8-ers, ‘Not Another Chuffin’ Market’ . Located next door to Netil House, an ex-community college turned creative studios.

Every Saturday  11am-6pm

Moko
Moko
Elvis is KIng
Elvis is KIng
Nik Noks
Nik Noks
Posted on January 31, 2011 and filed under Design, London, Uncategorized.

Worn Again 2009

Some recent work @ Worn Again

Worn Again is an resource efficiency business, specialising in the re-circulation of corporate waste materials. By diverting valuable materials from landfill, Worn Again is able to reduce the need for new and environmentally costly, virgin materials manufacture.
Posted on February 28, 2010 and filed under Design, London, Sustainable Design, Uncategorized.

The Bigger Picture 24/10/09

The Bigger Picture  

The HUGE queue this weekend at The Bigger Picture Festival @ The Bargehouse. London.

A series of talks, performances, workshops and exhibits discussing, what life could or must be like  if we are to live sustainably - outside of our current economic system.

'We know that we’re living in a period of converging crises: there’s little doubt that we face a daunting array of social, economic, politcal and environmental challenges. But we don’t always see how inter-related these challenges are, nor the solutions which them into opportunities for positive change.' (www.thebiggerpicture2009.org)

NEF (New Economics Foundation) director, Stewart Wallis aptly described how society is caught in a 'hamster wheel effect' - we are fearful to make big changes to our economic and social models and so the cycle continues...re-creating the same problems we are striving to repair again and again.

There was a huge turnout for Saturdays event, leading to an hour long queue to even get inside!  However, the queue formed a captive audience for a number of weird and wonderful performances by poets & activists.

 

For more info: www.thebiggerpicture2009.org

Posted on October 26, 2009 and filed under Design, Green Living, London, Sustainable Design, Third World.

TENT Sept '09

A Balancing Meal A Balancing Meal By NorthMAGI

After finding that TENT seemed much smaller this year - I tried to root out some of the low key, exciting projects. I quite liked this quirky idea by designers at NorthMAGI (www.northmagi.com), a collective of design graduates from Central Saint Martins, London.

"This product fosters a positive eating experience by making meal times more interactive. In engaging people and taking the first step towards the slowing down of modern day hectic lifestyles, it is hoped that the simple pleasures of enjoying a meal is once again discovered. The rocking structure encourages its users to eat with care and at a similar speed. In trying to establish equilibrium, the users' focus is directed towards interacting with each other."

Probably not that practical however, a good place to start building sustainable design solutions.

 

Library Chair

The Library Chair By Groupdesign

Simple, practical design!

 

keepcup

Keep Cup By Keep Cup Austrailia (www.keepcup.com.au)

This cup is only about aesthetics & greenwashing - It was quite obvious that its existence is pointless. The reason people use disposable cups...is for that very reasons, so they don't have to carry a cup around with them!?!

I'm not buying this one!

 

.....Its worth checking out the graduate work from Central Saint Martins this year: www.creativesupermammals.com. Some really inspiring ideas...

Posted on October 21, 2009 and filed under Design, London.