My newly designed website is now live and fully functional. I think this is probably the 5th iteration since 2000. I am really questioning what purpose a website has. It seems just to be a hub to allow people to see my work and media on other platforms, twitter, video, instagram and so on. Any comments as to how I can make it better understandable very much welcomed (my mum will check for spelling errors and typos so don’t worry about that).
The waterproof dip shoes are the first project in my book, and it seems that luxury fashion label Bottega Veneta has become the latest fan of my work. Their S/S ’15 mens shoes cost £620… this is more than my car is worth…wait… so now shoes cost more than cars? when did THAT happen?.
I show you how to do this project for about 1/50th of the price here. I find it super interesting how what luxury is defined and perceived as changes.
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.