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