Monthly Archives: March 2011

Earth Hour – 26th March 2011 at 8.30pm

I love Earth Hour. Last night we had a party to celebrate. Everything electrical that could be switched off was and the only light was by beautiful Queen B natural beeswax candles that filled the space  with their soft honey aroma. Bliss!

Eco-bulb Natural Beeswax Candles by Queen B for Earth Hour

At 8.30pm (local time) on the last Saturday in March, Earth Hour takes place – Continue reading

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

I love St Patricks Day. Not because it has anything to do with a Briton named Padraig, an ex slave who converted the clans of Ireland to Christianity. I’m certainly not about to kick the hornets’ nest debating Ireland and religion.

Saint Patrick

 

Most things that people associate with today’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations are in fact American… drinking green beer whilst wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “Kiss me I’m Irish”  would look a bit weird down the Falls Road, Belfast and certainly not a great idea down the neighbouring, predominantly loyalist Shankill Road! Continue reading

A Lesson in the Simplicity of Design by architect Jure Kotnik

It can be easy for a designer to get carried away as the flowing rivers of imagination and creativity run free. It is all too easy to leap over a simple solution in place of something far more complicated. There can be a notion that the added complication will somehow add to the overall outcome. Let’s face it, it rarely does.

Jure Kotnik, Architect & Designer

When architect Jure Kotnik got the brief to add an extension to Kindergarten Kekec, a typical 80’s style kindergarten in Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) he could have taken the design in any number of ways. Continue reading

Dalton Ghetti – A lesson in Patience & Perseverance

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Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish” ~ John Quincy Adams (6th President of USA, anti-slavery advocate)

 

Where once we sent a letter that could take days or weeks to arrive, we now send an email that arrives in seconds. Nowadays everything happens so fast – it’s all go, go, go. Everything appears hectic and stressful. We seem to have lost the ability to be patient. As a designer I think it is a powerful thing to be able to just stop and focus. It is as if that very act allows the creativity to flow and the solution to appear.

PatienceWhen I need to summon the magic of Patience & Perseverance I think “What would Dalton Ghetti do? I am fairly sure that if you were to look up Patience & Perseverance in the dictionary, there would be a photo of him. If not there should be. You see Dalton Ghetti has a rather unique hobby. Without the aid of a magnifying glass and with only the help of some homemade tools he carves petite sculptures into pencil lead.The Begining - A Lesson in Patience & Perseverance

I am in awe of his ability to create these miniature masterpieces. Imagine just how much Zen monk like level of patience and perseverance is required? Each piece takes months to complete and some have taken years!

Link of Chain by Dalton Ghetti

Heart on a Chain by Dalton Ghetti

The Key by Dalton Ghetti

The Saw by Dalton Ghetti

The Screw by Dalton Ghetti

Can you imagine how many times he would have nearly finished, when the lead snaps… and instead of going mad he just starts again. And what is even more amazing is that he has never sold one of his pieces. He gives them as gifts to his friends.

The Alphabet by Dalton Ghetti

 

I find his work so inspiring. It makes you realise anything is possible. You just need a little Patience & Perseverance!

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Goody Goody Gumdrops

I have just walked along a street littered with splatters of chewing gum slowly bubbling in the mid day sun. They wait patiently for some unfortunate to step on and there by immediately superglue onto the base of their sole.

The Attack of Chewing Gum I tell you what it messed with my soul as I tiptoed through the sticky minefield. Surely there has to be an answer that isn’t as extreme as the Singapore solution of banning chewing gum. Then again, it cost millions upon millions of dollars every year for it to be cleaned off streets around the world. Money that could be spent on... well there is everything from healthcare, education, public transport... the list is endless. Even if you are good and put it in the bin, it will just end up as landfill that takes forever to decompose.Chewing Gum

 

Frightening Fact: Oxford street in London – over 30,000 pieces of chewing gum will end up stuck on the street each DAY!

Oxford Street, London

 

Product Designer, Anna Bullus decided to find a solution. After months in a lab she has found a way to turn chewed gum into a rubber. From there, with the help of secret ingredients, she is able to extract a polymer that she has names BRGP (Bullus Recycled Gum Polymer).

Great, you say, but how does that deal with the gum that was on the street and is now on the bottom of my shoe?

Anna Bullus

 

She has used the polymer to create The Gumdrop Bin. These clearly identifiable bins would be placed at easily accessible spots throughout the city. When the flavour has gone from your gum you place it in the Gumdrop Bin. Now the real genius is that when the bin is full it is collected and it along with its contents are recycled into BRGP which in turn can create more bins. Over time it is hoped that this polymer could be used to create other things currently made from plastics or rubber like, ironically, shoe soles. It would certainly give new meaning to a pair of gum boots…

The Gumdrop Bin

 

Of course the system isn’t perfect as it relies on us making the conscious decision to place the gum in the bin and not spit it out onto the street. It does mean that people will have to be educated on what the bins are for (and of course what they are not for… i.e. other litter). But with potential millions being saved surely this is a monumental step (minus the chewing gum on the sole of your shoe) in the right direction. Fingers crossed the current trials under way in the UK work!

Gumdrop Bin In Use

 

And perhaps the guilty gum spitters could be encouraged… say held down and the offending gum put in their hair to help them get the message.

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