RSS Feed

  1. 1

    Old designer at New Designers!
    Staggeringly good AGAIN.

    I went with Sadie MillerMaggs 🌱 BDES (hons) - one of my two brilliant mentees - who is in her closing weeks of her Masters in Interior Design (... who will be quickly snapped up I'm sure - she's excellent at designing, 3D models, with the same passion for innovation- especially regenerative vegan materials as me - she's also been guest lecturing and wants to help design practices with their specifications).

    The standard was so high again at this show. What talent we have in the UK!

    As always I love to visit my own course - Furniture & Product design at Nottingham Trent University - consistently great work on show again.


    I also LOVE to see the output of Claire Potter 's cohort at @Sussex University's Product Design BSc. So impressive - you can see and hear Claire's passion to teach them well in both their work and how they speak about it.  Oh to be a student on her course!! By the way this was easily the best looking stand of the show - counter top made from recycled face masks, recycled PET screens, urban mined unwanted exhibition display, and the students from last last year - when the show was cancelled - were thoughtfully represented 🏆💚


    Great to see all the shortlists and awards spread around The Business Design Centre - especially yours Creative Conscience Chrissy Levett ðŸ˜

    Here's my FIVE TAKEAWAYS:
    Much to take in but some stand out designs for me (in no particular order) .....

    1.  Desk and desk lamp by Bob Conforth - so carefully designed and specified. Designed for disassembly, no animal products, glues or finishes. A beautiful design!


    2.  Jasmine Nicholson's clever regenerative and modular contract mattress using mycelium and linoleum.


    3.  Beautiful organic forms from the 3D design & craft degree at the University of Brighton. Including a design & campaign on periods, reclaimed and rescued spalted timber stools


    4.  Rescued climbing rope turned into a beautiful chair on the Kingston University stand - climbing rope just has a 10 year life.


    5.   And last but not least - Mona Marina's experimentation with waste materials to create decorative finishes and art - Christmas tree needles, cabbage, tangerine and lemon peel.


    This show never disappoints. I'm looking forward to next year - which will be 30 years since this Old Designer was a New Designer herself!

  2. Interior Design Declares


    Interior Design Declares - one year in!

    The end of March '22 marked the end of our first year as a community working together to improve our industry's shocking impact on the climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

    "The UK construction industry contributes 25 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year. Worldwide, the construction industry contributes to 50% of all climate change, 40% of drinking water pollution, 23% of air pollution and 50% of landfill waste." *  

    Interior Design Declares is a community of interior design practices - small and large - as well as suppliers of goods and services to our industry.  We recognise we need to share learnings and learn together encourage our supply chains to improve.

    The great news is we have just had our 150th signatory.  

    It's been a wonderful experience to be a Founder member and see the whole thing set up - and working with fellow interior designers who are also passionate to improve our industry.   We're a voluntary group and meet monthly.  Our group has evolved into a Steering Group now as people have shifted around.  Our objective is to get the maximam impact - by attending panel discussions,  talks,  podcasts - whatever we can to extend our reach and influence others.  

    We’ve taken part in successful, well attended events – which generated new members and lots of debate – at WasteBuild, Planted, Surface Design Show,  FutureBuild, BIID Annual Conference ‘22 – Sustainability Showcase,  Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP)

    We’ve given interviews with The Interior Design BusinessQuietmark and The Edge podcasts

    We’ve continued to contribute to the Built Environment Declares steering group – and have done another funding round to raise money to expand the information on our website - which is live now and where you can read more on the UK Declaration.

    We are also running the Global declaration and encouraging other countries to join us.  So far we have been joined by Finland.  Declarations from Egypt, USA and Australia are in the pipeline. 

    If you are reading this and want to join or help to set up a declation for the design industry in your country - we'd really welcome you!  Please apply here.



    * Source: Hawken, P., Lovins, E and Lovins, H, Natural, Capitalism – Creating the next Industrial Revolution, Little Brown and Co., 1999 369pp. 

  3. 5 takeaways from Footprint+


    What an enlightening time at FOOTPRINT+ the inaurgural Built Environment event held in Brighton, UK.

    Here's my FIVE TAKEAWAYS:

    1.  Take a look at what's happening in Leeds During the Lockdowns the city council collaborated with business and existing planning applications to 'green up' the city and make it a pleasant place to visit, work and live with less emphasis on car use. It's proved to be very successful and will provide template for other cities, towns, communities and neighbourhoods to follow. It was brilliant to witness this knowledge sharing in progress... with so much care and passion for better by all involved outside and inside the council! Thank you for coming to Brighton to tell us about it.

    2.  MMC = Modern Methods of Construction Off site pre-fabricated modular systems are reported to emit 45% less carbon. In different talks at the event we were shown a number of successful schemes. Timber is very much the solution to the efficient production of Passivhaus standard MMC homes; with the addition of triple glazed windows, air source heat exchangers, ventilation louvres and PVs (photovoltaics).

    3.  VAT continues to be applied to refit, yet new build is VAT exempt. I listened to Lord Callanan's speech on the Government's plans to achieve Zero Carbon. I have to say the huge concern of many in the zero carbon/circular economy community is the positioning of VAT exemption. It rewards demolition to build new (0% VAT) - but doesn't reward REUSE and the circular economy where construction reuses existing buildings. I had the opportunity to ask what the progress on this was and was not given a clear answer.

    4.  Hydrogen Something I knew little about - so I wanted to listen to this talk. Used more and more for buses - which is working well. There was great enthusiasm for its future uses for homes, communities and even rail transport - but it's going to be some time before we see it more widely used.

    5.  Where to start working with better materials? Use databases that already collated to help us. The Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design has this one low embodied carbon materials - both for building + fit-out.

    The next Footprint+ event will be held 6-8 June ‘23.