Monday, 29 March 2010

Brighton is Green with Architecture...

The last week has been quite hectic here in the claire potter design studio.

First off, last Saturday, we were delighted to be exhibiting at the Brighton Green Architecture Day, organised and run at the Sallis Benney Theatre by the wonderful people at the Brighton Permaculture Trust.

We were one of a number of exhibitors who merrily talked to the lovely people who attended about eco design, solar panels, composting and timber building.

Our stand was, well, as could be expected, quite quirky.

We split the services we provide into three strips (exteriors, interiors and product design) and zoned the table with a little recycled cardboard box sculpture.

For the exteriors, we had a little picket fence holding back an explosion of cress,

for the interiors, we had a little house with an LED inside.

and for the products, a little flat and pop up cut out of lights, desks, chairs and general stuff was created.

And because we were not able to put anything on the wall, we utilised an old hospital privacy screen that had been salvaged from somewhere and been kicking around the studio pleading for a new life by attaching scraps of timber, painting them up into blackboards, attaching some bulldog clips and scribbling all over them with our markers. (watch out for our 'wardy board' at other events ecospot spotters...)

There were fantastic talks on the day (including by our chum Tim at BioTecture and Ben Law of Grand Designs fame) and my exhaustion was remedied by the lovely contacts I made and by drinking fairtrade coffee.

If you are local and did not attend, put it in the diary for next year.

Saturday done, Sunday beckons, and by a spritely 10.00 I was on the Brighton Seafront Arches stretching my legs to run my 6 miles for Sport Relief.

11.00 I started, and I finished at 12.20. Pretty slow, but there you go - I did it, and it is the furthest I have EVER run. I could have done it faster, but I have made the mistake of training at night (at around 0 - 6 degrees) and our Brighton run was in lovely spring sunshine (at around 16 degrees). This blistering heat wiped me out until my body woke up and adjusted after three or so miles.
THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN to everyone who was able to sponsor me wandering around the course - it means stacks to both me and the reams of people your money will help support, both here and in the UK.

A video will follow of my meanderings, so watch this space...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

stick it in my sock...

As an addition to my last post all about running, I can now announce that I am running the full 6 miles for Sport Relief on Sunday 21st March - all along the (hopefully) wonderful Brighton promenade.

If you are able, and indeed would like to, you can stick some of your hard earned pennies in my little sock on my online donations page.

click here to get to the sock.

And remember, all the money trapped in those toe warmers will go towards helping people in need in both the UK and overseas...

thanks all.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Bring back the Green Goddess...

The first post I wrote in January was all about the dreaded New Year's Resolutions and how I was putting together a small plan for my 2010. And two completed months in, I am still smiling to strangers, have been to the farmers market and I have only been caught out without a bag once.

I have also started to run. Now, for many, this will be an 'and?' moment, but this should be understood - I have not done ANY running for about 8 years, and have a very dodgy knee courtesy of relentless damage from ambitious snowboarding activities over the past 10 years.

So, even in the bitter cold and white out conditions of January, I have been donning my running gear and venturing into the sharp night air - determined to get fitter with good old Mother Nature.

I am now up to 3 miles a night, which is not a massive amount, but I am progressing at a steady pace. I have lost weight and my continued sinus aggravations have lessened. I love it and I am set to run (I think) 6 miles for Sport Relief later this month and 10K dressed as a super hero (exact one to be decided - suggestions welcome) in May.

But when it comes to the bits and bobs and gadgets for runners, are there any green options? I think the fact that I am pounding the pavements rather than in a stuffy, expensive gym is a start, but when it comes to renewing worn out kit what is about?

Let's start with the feet - we all know that trainers are never going to be high on the green front, but a few companies are trying to find eco solutions for the construction of components. One such company is Brooks who have developed a degradable midsole which breaks down when consigned to landfill and form each one rather than 'cookie cuttering' them out of a single sheet, so reducing waste. They also have an outsole made from a sand based rather than oil based compound, so pretty good.

Next - socks. Organic cotton is obviously an option, as is bamboo - which is super soft, helps to draw away moisture from a sweaty tootsie and are, well, lovely.

So - onto the trews - Organic cotton again is an option (these look nice), but you can also find options in hemp and soy fibres. Good companies to look at include Patagonia and LuLuLemon, good old Howies and the lovely Gossypium.

T-shirts are based on a similar vein, but you can also get recycled polyester versions as well as the organic cotton and bamboo sisters.

And you can even wet your whistle with a reusable and recyclable aluminium drinking bottle from Sigg, or with a recycled plastic one such as these from Orla Kiely.

Post run? Pampering can come in many forms, eco, naturally formed and ethically sourced.

Want to do some good when you run? Well, how about Eco Running - get fit and clean up the streets.

So there are - no excuses - get out there and make the Green Goddess proud!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Oh I do like to pootle up to Malvern...

I do love winter - I can be quite a solitary character and the hibernation suits me quite well, but I cannot help but get a little excited when the first snowdrops pop their head above ground and the sun makes a welcome (if not slightly watery) return.

But what really makes me excited, and if I am brutally honest, a little tense, is the realisation that the wonderful Malvern Spring Gardening Show is but a figurative stones throw away.

I have blogged many times about how much I adore Malvern and what we get up to there, such as here and here, and 2010 is to be no exception. It is truly a wonderful show, with a backbone of wonderful people and we are delighted to be involved once more.

So, what are we up to this time?

Well, the official reveal can be found here courtesy of the Three Counties website, but we are part of a small design team who have the fantastic responsibility for producing a large, semi-permanent show garden feature to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Malvern Spring Gardening Show.

So, claire potter design, Alex Bell Garden Design and James Steed of Outdoor Living Space have joined forces to create a conceptual yet (hopefully) beautifully lyrical space based on the history, present and future of Malvern and the inspirational ripples that have extended from the show into the wider world.

The build has already begun (as reported here by the brilliant Meet at Malvern blog), and you will be able to follow the progress of the space here on the ecospot, here on the Three Counties website and on the Meet at Malvern blog, where I will be doing a series of diaries and guest blogs.

Just a taster post really - so watch this space...