SHaC09 Exhibition opens today at Unitec

SHaC09 Unitec Exhibition opens today

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David Trubridge Workshop

David Trubridge who is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Design and Visual Arts at Unitec came up last week and long with staff member Roger Bateman ran a two day workshop with students from Product, Interior and Object design. Focusing on designing a more sustainable lifestyle, the students were challenged to research into the global hectares currently 'used' by the worlds inhabitants and find ways by which to reduce those hectares used to an equitable and sustainable level.

Day one of the workshop began with a talk by David within which he explained that New Zealander's (and other countries)  are currently inhabiting far too greater share of the worlds land mass and asked the students to calculate their current 'global footprint': after some research, one student revealed she was inhabiting 8.8 planets at her current use rate, other found 4.4 and 6.0 were common amounts.

Armed with the challenge student then looked into the areas of transport, food, accommodation, goods amongst others, and spent the second day work out how they might be able to significantly reduce their global footprint.

By the end of the first day students had got stuck into finding out measurable ways to 'make a difference'. Group presentations showed us that students had found that amongst other headings: politics, media community, survival, currency, education were areas they wanted to explore.

Day 2, students worked individually but shared their research on a gridded wall chart – thus creating a future resource for their own use. The the end of day 2 students presented their individual feedback to David and Roger. Clearly the workshop had posed more questions than provided answers, something David had planned for, but the end result left students feeling that there is a need for undergraduate design students to be challenged to find sustainable solutions to their project briefs. A more informed approach to sustainable design should be non-negotiable.

David and Roger will be holding a practical workshop later in the year.

Students were encouraged to join the DESIGNERS ACCORD

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The Context of ‘Low Product’: How designers can help articulate a new social language, by Ann Thorp

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R.I.P. – Rest in Pieces

Whilst walking around the Unitec campus I came across a bin with 3 broken plastic shelled, chrome plated steel framed chairs in. The obvious thoughts that come to mind are revulsion at the waste, the lack of thought to recycling and the wonder how they got to be in this state in the first place.

On closer inspection I see that 2 of the chairs are cheap copies of a chair called Gorka, designed by Argentinian 'legend' Jorge Pensi manufactured by Akaba of Spain.

The Gorka chair is made from high pressure die cast aluminium and injection moulded ploymide P6. The chair is now a 'classic' in the commercial furniture design world. Akaba offer the  distribution of high-quality design. They look for utmost originality, functionality and timeless aesthetics independent of fashionable trends. Both Pensi and Akaba understand that:

True quality stands the test of time

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Design an original chair that embodies and enhances a particular place, anywhere in the world but one you know and love, even if you don’t live there. We hope to see ideas from across the globe. Your concept might reinterpret local customs or start from scratch, but either way it should stimulate a tangible sense of belonging to its cultural and natural context. Demonstrate visually and verbally how your design springs from local conditions:

  • Identity of place
  • Regional ecology
  • Indigenous materials
  • Conservation of resources through form
  • Culturally determined notions of comfort
  • Social history

How does your design fit—right here? How does it create a good fit between people and place, a good fit for the body, a good fit for the ecosystem?

For more info click here.

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A wonderful source of Inspiration

Whilst researching for my BioChair project I came across this site today. I want to share it with you as I believe it is one of the most significant site that I have found in along time. If you are interested, sit down with a pot of tea and a whole afternoon and take the time to explore all the tabs:

Eco design

You will find excellent audio, great projects and a collective spirit that reinstates you trust in human kind.

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Pratt’s Design for a Dollar is Hit of the Show.

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