Monday, 28 March 2011

there will be blue cabinets over the white cliffs of Dover...

Yet another busy week in the studio. A week of sourcing old bits of furniture, 100% recycled paint, lumping about reclaimed scaffold boards and putting them all together to form something new.

A true exercise in upcycling.

And why? Well we were commissioned by BSK CiC to produce a new from old statement piece of furniture for their new eco Build 4 demonstration centre in Dover and we were very keen to explore the possibilities of utilising old stuff.

So after a week of jiggling, chopping, adjusting, filling, drilling, painting, varnishing, wire brushing and sanding we went from this:

through this:

to this... our 4m long, upcycled cabinet...

we were really pleased with the result, and are now taking further commissions for similar, reinvented and upcycled furniture!

The cabinet will stay at the centre for the next two years as a showcase for upcycling to compliment the other sustainable building methods on show.

So no bluebirds over the cliffs, but we have made a blue cabinet instead and an eco one at that.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

striking an Accord...

Last week was another of those busy ones in the studio.

Lots of projects on and a couple of events to attend to boot. We were exhausted but it was great fun.

First up on the events front was the Brighton and
Hove 10:10 first birthday party at the Sallis Benney Theatre in Brighton. It was great to meet up properly with all of the other Brighton and Hove businesses who have signed up to the campaign - from people that I know well to people that I have never met before.

We had a glass of bubbly and chatted, then wandered into the theatre and listened to a series of inspirational speakers about their own actions over the past year in the campaign and what they are planning for 2011 - just because it is called 10:10 doesn't mean that you stop in 2011!

For those of you not sure what 10:10 is - check out the main website here, and the Brighton and Hove campaign website here (and Brighton and Hove were the first 10:10 city!!!).

Brighton and Hove has been described as 'by far and away the most determined and dedicated... we are using the examples of Brighton as the model for other cities ' by Eugenie Harvey - the 10:10 national campaign's international director - so we were pretty chuffed!

Next up on the event front was the FIRST EVER UK meeting of Designers Accord - situated at the University of Brighton. Now many of you will be aware of the 10:10 campaign, but not many of you will be aware of the Designers Accord....

To sum it up nicely, the Designers Accord is:
'the Designers Accord is a global coalition of designers, educators, and business leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact'

After finding about the Designers Accord and making sure we were going to be there, I did a bit of reading up and realised that the DA guidelines for design firms are what we do here - and stuff that we are passionate about. And so I am very proud to say that we have now become a proper design firm adopter of the code. But more of this in another post...

The night was great - fantastic mini lectures from MA students in Sustainable Design to visiting lecturers from London and further afield...

We had some snacks and then broke into five or so groups to fully discuss sustainability issues - what we felt was the most important to us, and how we can implement a change.

It truly was another inspirational night, and one that will not end here - hopefully we will be involved in more DA Brighton events, including an action group....

Monday, 7 March 2011

Delft green...

As you may remember dear readers, I was one of a very lucky few who were whisked off to Delft last November for the wonderful EcoMind conferences where like minded individuals congregated on the Engineering and Design department of TU Delft for two days and investigated the advancements of eco technology and business. It was wonderful.

And now TU Delft has got another beautifully green feather to their well designed cap - a stunning green roof to the library.

It is well documented that the benefits of green roof systems are multi faceted - from increasing the local biodiversity to the extremely effective heat regulation of the building below. Water can be harvested and indeed, slowed right down, which aids the reduction in sudden flash flooding - a very large problem in cities where surfaces are not permeable.

Plus, they look wonderful, but most can only be appreciated from the bird's eye view, and this is also what is lovely about the TU Delft library roof - it is inclined so as to become an artificial hill in a land of flatness, and a meeting and recreation space for locals - something which can be rare for green roof systems generally.

And as well as being a fantastic example of an architectural feature which is yet to be fully explored, it would make a cracking snowboard jump...(add a few rails and I would be in heaven...)

(story and images via inhabitat)