• Heart

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    Heart
    Have you visted Daniel Eatock’s website? Its worth a good nose around. Full of thoughtful and oblique observations and experiments, it is also built using Indexhibit which Eatock has pioneered as a community web project for promoting content focused websites.
    The matter of fact aesthetic of the site merged with Eatock’s off beat logic is addictive. If you’re inspired by his narative you can contribute to Thank You Pictures.

  • In praise of Double Sided Printing

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    In praise of Double Sided Printing
    This post is in praise of double sided printing. Did you know that paper makes up ?? % of office consumption in the UK. Thats a fact. So logic says that to reduce this by half you use half the paper, which leads nicely to printing double sided. Other benefits would include half price paper bills and half price labour costs on stapling. Just as Pret now do a slim sandwich, why not cut the fat wodge of paper in half and go 50% slimer in your office.
    If you’re not sure how to do double sided printing, ask you IT person at work, or if you don’t have one of them, check out info for Mac users and PC users.
    I also did this quick sketch to remind you. You can download and print it off (on scrap paper of course) here, and stick it up in your office if you like.

  • Gum

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    Gum
    This another great food innovation I discovered a couple of months ago now. I’ve seen quite alot of attempts at new ways of clearing up chewed up chewing gum. Its so refreshing to see a product that has cut right to the core of the issue and reinvented the stick of chewing gum. The name is Chicza and its organicly grow and 100% biodegradable. There are 3 keys points: the gum is made from all natural ingredients, the main one being being natural latex, tapped from rainforst trees which sustain the supply for up to 300 years; the gum production employs cooperatives of workers who receive a fair price for their labour; the gum is totally natural and biodegradable, free from sticky non-biodegrable polymers so will return to the ground with the fallen leaves.
    Available in 3 flavours at Whacca restaurants and also Waitrose, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and a few others. Check out the official Chicza website for the full story.

  • A glass and a half and 70% Fairtrade in every bar

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    A glass and a half and 70% Fairtrade in every bar
    It was all very controversial when Green & Blacks sold out to Cadbury Schwepps a couple of years ago. Well looks like some maya gold dust has rubbed off on one of the most established names in chocolate. What a nice suprise to see the new Dairy Milk packaging sporting the little green and blue fairtrade logo on the bottom left of the wrapper. A common sense appraoch to sustainable confectionary design I think. So now there is even more choice for the ethical chocoholic and for anyone else looking for a chocolate fix, their craving will be ensuring a good days work for the cocao bean farmers in Ghana.
    In fact Cadbury’s was an innovator in social change and workers rights its early years, so this a comforting reminder that their values are still in tact and turning wheels. Read more about Cadbury’s Fairtrade and other interesting stuff they have up their sleve on the Cadbury Fairtrade Blog.

  • In Residence

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    In Residence
    I have been helping out at the Design Museum office this week and been checking out the work of their new Designers in Residence for 2009-2010. I was snapping some pictures of Dave Bowker’s new wayfinding system for the museum which makes thoughtful reference to the architecture of the building, the images are here. Also interesting are Asif Khan’s dry freezing research and plastination experiments - his latest update is here.

  • Trains with a view

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    Trains with a view
    Just pulling out of Euston Station and even though I have a book in my bag I want to read and my laptop with work to do, I am compelled to look out of the window. I love going on the train. First off you get to go fast which is exciting. Secondly you get to see stuff you don’t usually see, like car parks and road layouts, the patterns that fields are ploughed and trees are planted, other trains and trucks, warehouses for highstreet shops and supermarkets in generic metal sheds with their logos badges to tell them apart. Thirdly, on a train your view of the world is often from a slightly elevated perspective, Not dissimilar from when you have just taken off in a plane. This slightly higher viewpoint allows you to see the often banal landscape slightly more objectively. The moving image is a bit like watching a movie for me, where I make up the narative with the thoughts in my head. Maybe a communting journey is more like a soap opera, rather repeatative, where you become familiar with the characters and scenery and it usually shows at the same time every day; after a while it becomes a little teedious. I find the good film scenario the most exciting, where you have a start point and an open ending which leads onto new adventures.
    The film above is a composition of 76 photos taken on the train from Brighton to London a few weeks ago. I’ve done this journey tens of times but I still look out the window.
    Please note that this post excludes underground trains. Maybe I will write something about them in another post as I think they are interesting for other reasons.

  • Show and Tell

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    Show and Tell
    I went along to a day of talks today going by the word ‘interesting’. And they were. During the course of the day it began to remind me of Show and Tell which we had at primary school. I used to really enjoy Show and Tell. I think we also had a session more on the lines of just Tell, where you didn’t have to bring anything in. But I much preferred Show and Tell. Age 5 or 6 years it was off course already a sort of Show Off and Tell, where people often bought in their new toys etc. But that was still interesting and at age 5 or 6 we started to formulate opinions about stuff in our lives. I think Interesting was a bit like this for me. It might have seemed a bit of a cliche geeky day, where arty types talk about stuff they find thought provoking, but I think this is a good thing. In fact I think it is something which a lot of us as we grow up loose touch with. The theme of one of the speaker’s talk, Asi, was children’s drawings and how revealing they can be in terms of semiotics, emotional prefernce, social stereotypes, bought the day full circle for me.
    Other things I liked about the day was the bunting, tea, cakes, sunny intervals and other interesting people.
    Big thanks to Russell Davies who organised the event. He is pretty interesting too. Read his blog here.

  • Elephant Bed

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    Elephant Bed
    I popped into Fabrica Art Gallery in Brighton on my way back to the train station this weekend and had a nice surprise. The interior of this converted church is currently hung with paper sculptures by American artist John Grade. Constructed from precise drawings, folded then pritt stuck together and hung in sections, these huge hollow funnels float serenely in the atrium of the church like lungs. Coincidentally the space rather remind me of the giant lily pad glasshouse I visited only a few days ago at Kew Gardens. Watch the time lapse video of the installation here and more images here.
    Elephant Bed is open until the end of August and on the bank holiday Monday, volunteers will carry the paper sculptures down to the sea where they will be taken in by the water.

  • Kew

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    Kew
    Making the most of unemployment, I cycled with two other recently jobless friends to Kew Gardens. Apart from the cycle there, my personal highlight was the lily pond glass house. We were lucky to go when there was only a couple of others inside. The atmosphere was one of complete tranquility and serenity, the dark still pond like a portal to parallel world. More photos here.

  • Now Boarding at Glastonbury

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    Now Boarding at Glastonbury
    At Glastonbury this year Greenpeace had done a great job at turing their small field into a parallel version of Sipson village, complete with skate park, climbing wall, solar powered hot showers and a lounge bar. They had made also a giant version of the bed of blunt nails that you can use to make a relief image of your face or hand with, from all the little silver nitrous oxide canistors. This was particularly satisfying for me as a litter picker at the festival this year, as these devious little bottles are perfectly adapted to boring their way into the mud and also fail to comply with any of the specified recycling categories. It looked pretty cool too and worked!
    On a more serious note, Sipson is the village which is earmarked by the government to disappear under concrete in favour of a third runway at Heathrow. The deal is 2.5km of concrete and 11.7 million tonnes of CO2 annually (estimate by WDM), equal to Kenya’s total annual output, traded for 700 homes, 3 pubs, village shop and school. I had heard about this on the news before but wasn’t quite aware how much will be lost in order to make Heathrow the UK’s biggest source of CO2. Cunning Greenpeace have made a stealth purchased of a small piece of land right in the centre of the proposed site in order to hold a stake in the land. By signing their petition you can become a beneficial owner for free. A nice way to feel like your support is more than just a signiture. Become a beneficial owner online and check the details at the Airplot website.

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