The beautiful ugliness

These amazing photos showthe impact of industrys on the environment, some are just beautiful in their own way and very captivating. See the full set of photos over here:

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I love to see the making of a design

When I come across images like these I get really excited as I like to see how people make things. It always intrigues me to how they solve their problems, or even if it’s just a prototype how they can look so professional even if they don’t function at all. There is something about a 3d object that amazes me.

This is called an ‘ecooler’ you can read more on it over here at designboom

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Yes I am a snob a design snob at that

I am not really a snobby person, I am never quick to judge people and am more of an observer and am so indecisive I spend my life sitting on a fence. Though when I saw this design I thought to myself why…

These ‘water displacement objects’ are used in the bath tub in order to reduce the amount of water used. Its not that it’s really a bad design it looks elegant it’s just that how would use this product really? Talking a bath is an indulgent activity if you are talking a bath everynight by yourself with the water ruight up to the brim you wouldn’t suddenly want these stones to sit around.

It just speaks to me about people’s intelligence or lack of it…The use of water is still an issue after a 10 year drought needless to say there isn’t a lot of it, but as usual its politics and they decide that we have enough to lift some restrictions, but still we need to build a desalination plant its just to political and at times I get frustrated.

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Sustainable design what is it to be sustainable?

Sustainable design is something that always comes up within design, there are countless views as to what makes something sustainable from die hard hippies, to people that will compare just about every product to another with some amazing outcomes. Like stories of a paper cup being more sustainable than a ceramic mug as over the entire life cycle the ceramic cup uses more energy and materials, like detergents to wash it, hot water to clean it and if its in a dishwasher energy to power that too.I guess it depends on how long a ceramic mug can last too as they don’t survive a fall to well. How often you have a paper cup and are you happy to simply rinse out the mug with cold water and reuse it without cleaning it thoroughly after each use. I think though at some stage every consumer makes up their mind as to what is sustainable in their minds and what are the material intensive, environmentally draining products they just can’t live without. I hope to post up more about sustainable articles as I think they help me to get thinking about the impacts on what I am designing.

Over on core77 this article really got me thinking about it all again. Below are a few quotes that highlight what to think of it all. Also the impacts of our little paper cups.

The design response to a wash of green whole systems and life cycle thinking by Simon Lockrey

‘There lies the contradiction between designing for the consumption obsessed market and designing to the core principles of sustainability, where environmental, economic and social aspects are somewhat detached from a consumer driven market.’

‘Take design for disassembly. A designer in an appliance company designs a product for disassembly although there is no effective product stewardship scheme to collect the parts from reclaimed models. The design driven benefit is not delivered, rendering the methodology a waste of time. It is also well and good to reduce the weight of components and thus the embodied energy of the same appliance, however if the bulk of the impacts are generated during use from electricity (like an electric kettle), then the strategy most likely has negligible benefit in reducing environmental load. Likewise by making parts from commonised, recyclable materials, the likelihood is that there is no post consumer recycling stream or infrastructure in place to handle the majority of parts and materials, due to the commercial reality of recycling. This design for environment mentality has long been detached from the benefit it has aimed to deliver upon.’

‘One approach is for design to lower the user’s consumption, without degrading the consumer’s experience. The question is whether the new breed of ‘eco’ products adds to the crisis, or makes a real difference.’

‘The KeepCup compared to disposable paper cup (including coffee) sees a 36-47 % reduction in global warming, a 71-85 % reduction in water use, and a 91-92 % reduction in landfill waste annually.’ This is based off using a paper cup a day.

I hardly ever drink takeaway coffee/hot drinks anyway only once or twice a year, I am also cheap so always have a bottle of tap water on me as I don’t want to by drinks when I am out. Otherwise if in a work environment where you frequently get coffee, it makes sense to keep the cup on your desk and take it with you when you go get it I can’t imagine lugging a cup around with you in your bag for space issues so I can see why there is a big market, it fits in with your routine.

The hardest bit I think about sustainable design are the many critics and voices that have to have their say, it becomes easy to get disheartened. Some people don’t believe in stepping stone products that make some difference and some are extreme and say it result with no waste being 100% biodegradable. Well that’s all I have time for now as homework is calling me to stop being distracted.

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Growing up fast

Last week was a week where you have to grow and learn at a fast pace to keep up with life experiences. My Grandpa sadly passed away and I stepped up to help with the organisation of his funeral. The first part was the waiting game, thankfully it was quite fast sitting next to him as he deteriorated day by day the last thing he said to me was on Thursday, on Sunday it was his time. We all know he was better off, he realised that something was wrong with his memory and didn’t like the man he had became.

My Grandma is a deeply religious person so she is somewhat comforted by the fact they will meet again one day, but after sharing your life with someone for 65 years with almost 60 of them being married there is no real comforting messages. There is pain and the gratefulness of family.

So its fathers day today, and one full week, time is different somehow. We spent every family occasion together, and almost every weekend.

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My first design request from a friend of a freind

So I have been asked to experiment and come up with some designs to create a bead holder, as this person is into making jewelery and has a large collection of beads, it needs to be transportable and hold the whole collection together. I will only be getting paid for the final design of course but I am willing to self fund the project as it could have other uses to as if you are creative like myself you tend to collect a lot of stuff that may be useful at some stage, even things like sewing, material scraps and pieces of paper.

So now with a project in mind I am going to use my free time well, I have access to a sewing machine even though its somewhat old. (thanks to mum) so the only real cost is in my fabric choice so i have started to look through the internet at DIY on sewing that looks like my level as I only completed about one years worth of sewing back at high school. As the machine is old it will have imitations. I am looking at all sewing projects for ideas and techniques.

Here is a nice sewing project that is simple and doesn’t look to crafty and homemade. I am planning on making it look attractive and not just a plain black case that you lock away everything it. Plus I love handbags, I could never design my own as I think it would kill a lot of the joy I have for them, though who knows?

I like to get simple advice that I can find as I don’t have any knowledge of my own on basics so practice essential. Stay tuned as trough out the week if I can find some spare time I will put up my favourite sketch as I am getting my ideas out. I also aim to put up a few ideas of what people have done about portable bead/jewelery making cases.

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Moving forwards with a coffee and friends

Well after a hard month of figuring out things I think I have moved forwards even if only a little bit. I finally had the coffee with my two best girlfriends which was needed just for each other, as there are things that only a friend who knows you best can understand and not judge. We are an odd little group but all have a strong determination to do anything we put our minds to. One friend is now a qualified teacher, one is now at university after a long array of jobs and figuring out directions and well there is me, finished a degree and still figuring out things. Its been a hard journey as there has been a lot of financial pressures placed on my friend now here mother has passed away and her dad is about to be made redundant, it is making me try harder to sort out my own finances and to start thinking more seriously about my future and my career. The hardest part is there is money but its all tied up with bureaucratic tape as things move from one stage to the next, its the initial time gap to cover as bills don’t stop and a funeral costs $6000. So yes its time to see myself as more adult now and become more independent and make big decisions and choices.

So career wise I am going nowhere fast as I don’t know where I want to be but after 6 months of knowing where I don’t want to be I am starting to find some books about others to figure out their own decisions and motivations. I have always struggled to make decisions as I over think things to much and unless there is a gut instinct to listen to I fumble along. This gut instinct is great as it hasn’t let me down yet but when its not there which is most the time (it only kick in on big decisions) I wander around in circles aimlessly.

The hardest thing I have found is I found it embarrassing that I haven’t gotten anywhere yet since graduating, I admit its mostly due to my own lack of faith I haven’t had the desire to design or make or draw anything. Its as if my creative side just died on the spot and with it half my will power/desires. Though I have started dreaming about designing things again, literally I had a dream that I was designing chairs and interiors out of this magical material that glows, creates its own electricity and is sculpted like clay that my friend who happened to be from uni and where in a few of my classes created together.

Unless having a clear goal/vision I find that you get nowhere at all and this is where I am at nowhere at all professionally, personally and my creativity. Understanding whats happened, and how its happened and how to change it has given me more motivation to at least think about possible futures a good start.

My focus at the moment to kick start my creative thinking, is storage of stuff as things are just cluttered gathering dust and I just can’t find them when I need them. So I am starting on my own problem first. I want to do small things that make me happy and only me until I feel I can move onto others and their visions. I have stoppled listening to myself completely and found that I couldn’t answer the question are you happy? No I am not why as I am not listing to anything I want for myself I am listing to what others say I should do to be happy. I have decided that I may not have the personality to be a designer with the self focused somewhat egotistical strength to just listen to myself and ideas but it doesn’t mean that with some hard work I will get there. Just because I am not working within design doesn’t mean I am not a designer, and just because I reach a point where my passion died along with every creative fiber in my body it wont return.

I want something bigger from design but until I figure out something small of design I feel I am of little use, the design we all know and relate to is the design of objects and the physical so this will be my goal. Its going to be self funded and directed unless I can catch up with the rest of the bandwagon and can work within the industry. I know I have made a mistake of not chasing things and opportunities down, as I lack faith in myself, with the big shadow of Doubt chasing me down its become paralyzing so I am behind the game.

So I have started to learn more Mandarin a personal goal that might or might be useful within my career but I feel I need to return to China where the manufacturing is happening. I have started to do more 2D designs, and to help out the money situation work more. So now I am in an intensive language course, that is just that mindbogglingly and hard, but it leaves me little time to think on the negative side, with little time to think I can only think quality thoughts or I hope so at least. It feels good to do something for myself that is rewarding when something finally clicks its strait forward no gray only white and black, but so hard to go back to study amazingly hard.

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