Thursday, 30 April 2009


Just been looking through some of my photos from India, and came across this one. The one thing you notice out there is the difference in the colours in everything.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

ATM for books

I have been meaning to put this on for a few days know. My father actually spotted it for me. The piece was written in the Friday 24th April edition of the Daily Mail by Daniel Bates. The machine known as the Espresso Book Machine is designed to print and bind books at a simple click of a button. In Britain Blackwell bookstores will be fitting the machines into a number of their stores over the next few months. 

For me this piece comes at a really good time as the question of making items onsite and to order as opposed to stack it high mentality, very similar to a piece my colleague Andrew found a month or so ago. It would be interesting to know if in the making of the book people become more attached to the volume in comparison to one just bought off a shelf.

For a quick description of how it works:

1. Customer chooses book on list or prints their own by inserting a cd or usb, they then click the 'Make Book' icon.

2. book cover is printed on thick paper and waits for rest of book to be printed.

3. printer prints book pages at 105 pages per minute.

4. pages are printed collated and clamped ready for glueing.

5. the spine is roughed up and glued together and cover is attached.

6. book is now trimmed to required size. 

7. Finally finished book is received with the whole process taking no longer than five minutes.

Friday, 24 April 2009


Picked up this post relating to Future laboratories findings about affluent people seeking minimal aesthetic. It seems to be a very similar trend/reaction to what we saw in the early nineties with the move towards 'NO Logo' type brands. In fact at that time in Britain it coincided in the rise of the Japanese brand MUJI. 

Friday, 17 April 2009

What to blog about???

I have been thinking about what to blog about and the nature of blogging for a number of weeks now. I have always thought of a blog as a mini diary/notepad where I can electronically upload what I have been up to. So here is a sequence of images from my recent trip to font. The climb is in the Franchard area and is an absolute classic.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Authenticity the key to brands future

Design Week (Vol24 No14 9/04) has a few really good articles in this issue and to continue to theme I came across an article about the recent findings by Future Laboratory regarding how post credit-crunch the differences we may face. 

One of the interesting aspects to the post-crunch world seems to the the lack of bling and a move to the authenticity of the brands being paramount. The concentration of the feel and the obvious quality of goods being much more apparent as an example they look at designers such as John Rocha with his very understated luxury feel. It also reminds me of MUJI back in the nineties with their understated style which while in no way luxurious, it has an understated quality.

SCP sustainable approach for Milan Furniture Fair

As you have probably noticed, over the last few months I have been writing and working on a project centred around cradle to cradle products, and making things as low impact as possible. I came across a piece in this weeks design week about UK furniture manufacturer SCP, who are launching a fully sustainable furniture range at this years Milan furniture fair, which runs from 22-27 April. What is interesting about the new range is that as well as the materials used to produce the furniture range has been altered (mainly changed to natural materials) there is also a part about the increased emphasis on hand crafting and manual skills to produce the work. This is another theme of unique and bespoke that somehow I believe could lead to added value way beyond the actual value of the product. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

My trip in fontainebleau

I was lucky enough to get a few days off over the easter break, and managed to get down to Fontainebleau just south of Paris. I managed to meet up with one of the guys I met during my trip in India earlier in the year and also some other friends from Boulders Climbing Wall. For those people who do not know Fontainebleau, it is one of the worlds Mecca's for bouldering. We went out there for 10 days and had great weather all in all. There was only one day that it rained and luckily it was one of our rest days. Apart from totally trashing my finger tips and injuring one of my muscles in my arm I had a great trip and managed to get up a good few problems that I did not think I would have been able to go.

What was really interesting for me though was on Saturday night at our campsite a traveling pizza van visits. The van goes to a different venue every night, and while in Britain we would think of this as being nothing new the amazing thing about the van was the pizza oven. It wasa real wood burning oven. This for me tied into a number of research pieces I have been looking into for a project I have been looking into over the last few months. It also answered a few other pieces and tied them together. I have previously written about story telling and authenticity but I have also been looking into the spontaneous and temporary as such I feel this particular example of the movable retail outlet. It had something special about it as well as have the basic delivery of a product and service it gave a experience and novelty and also in someways a story through the knowledge we all have about Italy and Pizza. 

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Recycling our gadgets

I came across this article in Wired recently which is really opportune for a project we are working on at the moment – which is centred around cradle to cradle products. While the biological cradle to cradle is fairly self explanatory the mechanical version of cradle to cradle relies on a service that should be provided by the supplier of the product. The design of the product should also make it (as easy as) possible for different components and materials to be separated and so no loss in 'contaminated' materials will be an issue, and so the materials will be able to continue at their same quality or and over again.

In Europe the WEEE directives touched on this concept. With produces and retailers now being responsible for the lifespan and so disposal of electronic goods, from memory it was initially quite a narrow band of products that would be covered in the directives, but it was a start. The above picture taken form the Wired article really put's into perspective the amount and variety of 'gadgets' out there and also how complicated they seem to be in terms of disassembly.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

New Retail experience

I came across this via's artefact's website, it's an interesting mix of online and offline retail. You have the ability to involve friends who can comment on products you're considering buying. Also you can bring other items next to each other to compare – just like you would in your bedroom before you choose what you are going to wear. For me what is interesting is the feedback of friends that are not present at the time of purchase the instant opinion if you like.