Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Entrepreneurs (and designers) can change the world

Inspirational or overly sentimental ?
You decide.
Personally I'm stuck between the two, but it is very effective and pretty to look at . . .

experimentadesign '09

I've been invited by the RSA and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to participate in a week long interactive design workshop in Portugal as part of Experimenta, the Lisbon design biennial. The workshop is to examine the role of designers in addressing some of the complex challenges, and the exciting opportunities, presented by an ageing population and we will be working alongside a group of Portuguese designers and design students.
The RSA also have a new, short Design Directions project based around healthy workplaces with particular attention to the ageing population in our workplaces. If you're at a loose end you can see the brief here.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


I have been putting up my photographic experiments in blog form, please check it out here.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Design Directions - Online Exhibition

My work is part of the RSA's online exhibition - you can see it here. I have also been asked to join a group called 'Action for Age Collective' and we have a blog that you can see here. As a group we hope to be able to work together on issues surrounding ageing and design. KS

Monday, 4 May 2009

RSA - Action for Age

Back in March my design for the RSA Design Directions Project was shortlisted and I went on to the next few stages - a mentoring session with ThinkPublic, running a workshop at the RSA for potential users of the service and finally an interview.

The brief asked how designers could help to tackle issues of loneliness and isolation in the older population and I responded by exploring how two different groups of people could be bought together to provide a multi - generational network. I made a quick, short animation to help explain my concept to both the workshop participants and the interview board.

The results of the competition have yet to be announced, but in the meantime my project is moving forward. I was approached after the RSA workshops by a Community Centre in Tower Hamlets who are interested in piloting the scheme and I'm looking forward to meeting with them to discuss how a service, such as The Hub, could be designed to meet their particular needs. KS

Monday, 27 April 2009

All Inclusive Sarajevo

From May 25 - May 29, 2009 I will be part of an inclusive design project in Sarajevo, developing desirable designer goods together with disabled expert makers working for different organizations in Sarajevo.

The idea for the project came from designers of the Sarajevo-based Kulturanti association, which hosts the workshops together with the Helen Hamlyn Centre (HHC) at the Royal College of Art in London. The project was awarded a grant under the Creative Collaborations project fund of the British Council.

Local partners and workshop participants are the following companies and organisations: Librag, Association of Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Canton Sarajevo, Pismolik, the Center for Self-Reliance and the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Sarajevo, as well as the Association of Blind of Canton Sarajevo, Association of Paraplegics and Persons with Infantile Paralysis of Canton Sarajevo and Kulturni Front from Belgrade.

I will post again after the workshops, in the meantime you can find regular updates here.

If you know of similar projects that we can refer to as case studies, please post them as comments. Thank you! GG

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Green Bucharest

I'm not very impressed with a new programme run by the Bucharest City Hall. It's called The Green Capital and, as far as I could tell, it involved placing "monsters" made out of household waste all around the city.

I do like the logo though - a map of Bucharest over a tree trunk.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009 is a newly launched social support network, with an online presence, for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. It was designed with the full involvement of 'Ms'ers' and most of the information, news etc. is user generated, making it a bit of a great example of co-design. With my growing interest in how alternative and 'designed' communities grow and are sustained it will be interesting to watch how develops and in what direction.


Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Oven - part one

As my house is made of mud and I sometimes imagine that bits of it are going to collapse I thought it was a good idea to find out more about cob, how it's made and how to use it if indeed my house did start to fall down. Having a home made of clay, straw, sand and earth felt a lot safer after my Autumn trip here to spend a day learning how to make a pizza oven. Making a pizza oven was great - but seeing their cob extension was better - I've been dreaming of building an extra room on the side of our house ever since.
However - the general opinion around here seems to be that I need to start with something that requires less structural integrity - so today we started on the oven instead.
We've begun by making the base - scrapping together all the bricks and rubble that we could find in the garden, using some leftover sand and lime and praying that we haven't broken any golden rules of bricklaying ( I consulted books - but none of them told you how to build a circle!) . It looks alright - it's sort of straight and the top is level. The next step is to backfill it with rubble and find some suckers
who want to come and tread mud in return for the promise of a pizza - one day soon.

And btw - the base is straighter than it appears in the picture - I hope.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Jan van Toorn

The MaD team hopped on a train to London to see Jan van Toorn give a lecture as part of the D&AD series. Check out the footage from the lecture here.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Include 09 Inclusive Design Conference

This conference might be interesting:

Include 09
, the Fifth International conference on Inclusive Design hosted by the Helen Hamlyn Centre and held at the Royal College of Art, London, 5th-8th April 2009

Include 09
will feature Breakfast Design Debates from leading designers and design commentators, interactive workshops lead by designers that focus on Inclusive Design, paper presentation on current research in the area and research workshops lead by leading academic research teams in the field.

Evening events include:

Gala Dinner with guest speakers Professor Roger Coleman and Professor Patricia Moore and a Private View of the Healthcare on the Move Exhibition

More information on Include and Include 09 registration GG

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Your Design Radius / TEN

After we talked about 'reading the lay of the land' and seeing the design potential of your immediate surroundings, I thought further about establishing a sourcing and design radius around your home. I had a chat with Julia Lohmann. She said that there is a collective called TEN who are interested in responsible sustainable design. They did a project which was based on sourcing design materials, production methods, contacts and networks within a 10 kilometre radius. The design outcomes should not cost more than £10. The group includes Tomoko Azumi, Stephen Bretland, Carl Clerkin, Gitta Gschwendtner, Chris Jackson, Sam Johnson, Michael Marriott, Hector Serrano, Onkar Singh Kular, and Nina Tolstrup. They exhibit their work at 100% Design at the London Design Festival and you can read about their 2008 exhibition 'Wood', supported by the Crafts Council, here. GG

Friday, 27 February 2009

Crystal Growing

Following up from our crystal growing conversation, here are a few projects done in 2008, part of what felt like a sudden wave of experiments using the same medium: You can see Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka's 'Second Nature' chairs and benches here and a film of artist Roger Hiorns' Jerwood/Artangel-commissioned installation 'Seizure' here. GG

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


I was thinking about bones and remembered that I wanted to show you this toy that a friend bought us from Iceland. It's a reworking of a traditional Icelandic game by designer Lóa Auðunsdóttir and is made up of a set of tactile bone shapes that each represent a different animal on a farm. There is an official website here. - but I think is better explained here.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Important One.

I'm driven mad by the Post-It notes that collect around my home - especially when I can't find the exact one that I need. The Very Important Post-It Note solves this problem by sticking out like a sore thumb.


Julia Lohmann Lecture 19 February 2009

MA Design presents

Artist/Designer Julia Lohmann
on Thursday 19 February 2009 at 2pm
in Seminar Room DS2 in Duke Street, Norwich

Julia Lohmann is a multidisciplinary designer. She is interested in unusual and undervalued natural and man-made materials. Lohmann probes our attitudes towards the world that sustains us. Her work is exhibited worldwide and part of major private and public collections, e.g. the MoMA, New York. She teaches at the Royal College of Art in London and is part of the MA Design team at NUCA.

Julia Lohmann will be speaking about her work, followed by a Q&A session. For more information see

Introducing the new blog (and another Flickr account)

Newspaper earrings

I'm posting all my newspaper objects at Yesterday's Evening News, a new one every Tuesday and Friday, while higher resolution photos and other projects go on my Flickr account.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

On Flickr

I've made a home for my images, work in progress and other things that need a place to reside.
Find them here.
I've also started a flickr group for all things recycled, repurposed and remade - you can find that here.
Please feel free to add things you make and things you find.


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Green Gadgets Competition

Check out some of the results from Core 77's Green Gadgets Design Competition. There are some really interesting sustainable ideas. Like this idea for an air filtration system


Monday, 26 January 2009

Measurements: American Rationing during World War II

Last week we talked about various units of measurement. I found some information on a topic we haven't covered yet, measuring the amount of food a family can receive in one week:

Tokens and stamps were traded for food and these coins were given as change. This website has a lot more details.


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Solar Lights

These Solar Powered LED lights are a great idea, really nicely designed, with fantastic packaging too!
Thanks for this image.