In November I was invited to take part in Hong Kong Design Institute‘s first Open Design Forum, organised by Desis Lab which concerns itself with social design research. It was an opportunity to ‘scale up’ the Sellotape Chandelier and to see what would happen when it was ‘opened’ up. First of all we had generous support from Megaman lighting who suppled 100 LED bulbs and fittings.
The first set of participants were 50 fine art students. I explained the process and we got down to work on the first stage which was making the moulds. I think that the students were more ambitious with the forms than product design students might have been because they were not primarily concerned with mould making. they approached this stage like making 3D collages.
At the end of the first day after having worked in smaller groups and had made some tests, all the ‘resource’ was laid out and categorised so we could see what the possibilities for forms would be if we pooled resources. The categorisation was done with specific rules in mind as to what material, form or type of object. All the plastic bottles were lined up in height order, all the blocks of material were grouped together as were balls, boxed, bowls, cones, and circular things. This gave everyone more confidence to just choose a few objects to turn into their mould or former, and it started looking a lot more promising.
The second day people started working on their own designs but everyone seemed happy to help others make their chandeliers look as good as they could and people started to display different skills, be it meticulous making, grouping together interesting combinations of objects or in some cases speed of production.
On the third day, we all worked on different things, a photo shoot was set up so that everyone had a record in the same way of their chandelier. Others worked on the installation of the 120+ chandeliers whilst another group passed on their knowledge to some invited citizens who wanted to participate and make their own chandelier. The photos show the diverse age range.
There was a lighting ceremony which was spectacular, and a lot of visitors and media came to look at our Open Light installation. I was very proud of how hard everyone worked on this and I really learned a lot also. thanks to everyone involved.
Every Autumn, I get asked to chair an event called Inspired by Design where I chair a day dedicated to design and inspiring 1000 A-level students to start thinking about becoming designers as their career. This year the range of speakers was excellent, Sebastian Bergne, Emily Campbell, The RCA boys (Ed and Bobby) that did the paper pulp helmet and Wayne Hemmingway. All very different but all inspiring. I also got to talk about my work a bit but the fun part is always doing the creative exercise with everyone. This year we thought about materials and sheet sizes and I decided to try out making a 30m x 50m megasheet, making it textured with 60,000 paper uprights. There wasn’t too much hair that got caught and the scary whale noises were a bit too quiet, my camera didn’t focus properly (so the time lapse is a bit fuzzy), but the UV cannon worked well and even the flash from all the phone pictures made the whole effect extraordinary.
Here’s some photos and a video the participants shared
more on instagram #megasheet
For the book we (Mark Vessey and I) took over 10,000 photographs. It was a big editing job but that’s what designers often get paid for. This was one of the first photos we took and when we started to get enthusiastic about the humour in the book.
It’s a miserable weekend. “HEY! let’s go to Ikea! (I bet no one else will have that idea). So, I have worked out that kitchen manufacturers make money from the doors not the cabinets. I bought all the cabinets I needed then used as many non marching different doors as possible from the bargain corner (£1.50-£5) each, then painted them all matching grey.
Kids seem to have a lot of options these days. Many of everything. A bike and a scooter and roller skates and a skateboard. How will they get really good at one thing? Parents talk about the screen time their kids have. Too much, limits and time doing other activities. It was nice to see the Loom Band craze this summer where children seemed to love making artefacts for themselves and for others. There are four projects in my book aimed specifically at children. The hair clips projects uses excess to maximum effect. More is more. Happy Half term!
Caffeine makes me go a bit #funny and #weird sometimes. I think I’m sensitive to that stuff. Drugs. Too much puts me on a bit of a downer and negative so I just have to watch it. This project is super easy and fail safe. Coffee cups are great to cast into because they are tapered with a ready made release angle and coated with a polymer that ensures the coffee doesn’t leak out of the cup.
What do you see here? A dove or a skull?
“I see, I sink you are a very very komplexe perzon!”
You might just see some blobs of ink on a folded sheet of paper. Lots of things fold in half and we can use this as a print method.