I am truly aware that the blogosphere is awash with the ramblings of both exhibitors, visitors, spectators etc, etc, so now that Chelsea is completed, I thought I'd do a little post about recycling, and the many forms that I saw when I visited last week, rather than my previous offerings.
Firstly - the best sort of recycling - the recycling of stuff. I was extremely pleased when I saw a mass of products, available to either buy at the show, or commission for future delivery. Planters made from old tyres, sculptures made from rubbish and re-made fabric shopping bags. Many lush things, but my vote has to go with the beautiful wares on show from Toby Clayton of HME, which included some re-configured recycled metal planters. Nice.
Secondly - the recycling of waste. At last, there were large bins throughout the show for combined yet recyclable rubbish, from paper to cans to plastic. As shown by the BBC on their coverage, these bins were taken to a large depot to be sorted and split - great stuff, and I only hope that the bins were used responsibly by all and contamination was not an issue. I was also massively impressed by the recycling bins in place during the build up period for the general and varied construction waste, and I only hope that the same were in place for the breakdown.
Lastly, but perhaps the most frustratingly, was the intangible, yet quite obvious recycling of ideas. Some things excited me at Chelsea, were wonderfully executed and conceived and made me whip out my camera in a bout of 'ooh - nice'. Unfortunately, I'm afraid a lot did not. As I wandered around, there were a lot of things that I thought I had seen before, either at Chelsea or other shows over the last few years. And not just little bits, but a lot of things. Some were still done extremely well, but I'm afraid it was been here and seen that.
As a designer, I know that it is incredibly hard, if not virtually impossible, to create something so brand spanking new that it has never been seen before, but I think we should all be trying to push this boundary as far as we can at all times, to progress our profession. There were not many boundaries being nudged at Chelsea this year.
Maybe the blessed 'crunch' has a lot to say for this, as we all hark back to better times when we felt more comfortable in our lives (have you noticed how many ads are reminding us of how long a company has been established, or how many 'retro' graphics are being employed?). We all want the comfort of yesterday, not the uncertainty of tomorrow.
This is sad, as without a tomorrow, there is no hope and excitement left for anything.
And with that in mind, I'll leave you with a picture of a Chelsea recycling bin. (yes, I did get some funny looks as I took it)
Remember - recycling is great, but thinking should be done outside of the kerbside box...