18 Hewett Street London, “Design Beyond Making”

The current selection of work on display in this exhibition was really engaging. 7 designers (Miriam Ribul, Amy Congdon and J.J Hastings, Lauren Davies, Ann-Kristin Abel, Jeongwon Ji, Lorenzo Oggiano, Paul Ferragut) present their research into innovative and sustainable materials and processes for making. The projects are all unique and look at inventing completely new materials and reinventing existing resources that are plentiful.

Reference: – 8/11/2013, http://www.18hewettstreet.co.uk/, website


Lauren Davies project “The Alchemist’s Dressing Table” was an elegantly presented display of tools to make scented oils, creams and cosmetics at home. She demonstrates the simple and easy processes that can make organic and natural beauty products. By making our own cosmetics we understand their content, reduce the demand for un economical mass produced products which can often contain chemicals and being localised, there is no need for excessive packaging or transportation. the work look at connecting with materials and how how we use them, and appreciating the resources that nature offers.

Reference: – 8/11/2013, http://www.dezeen.com/2013/08/27/the-alchemist-s-dressing-table-by-lauren-davies/, website


I also loved Miriam Ribul’s “Recipes for Material Activism” which shared 5 methods for creating your own alternative and sustainable materials at home and how they can be applied to making products. I think the work highlights that being innovative with materials doesn’t have to mean using extremely advanced technologies that are inaccessible to most people. The range of ideas are impressive, and as the project develops will hopefully be published in a book.

Reference:- 08/11/2013, http://miriamribul.com/2013/11/01/recipes-for-material-activism-2/, website

02 Disquiet Luxurians by Emilie F. Grenier_1044

Emilie F. Grenier presented “Disquiet Luxurians”. The work questions the notion of “luxurious” materials- generally a scarce resource and very expensive like Gold, Diamond etc, and puts forward an alternative- selecting plentiful materials and developing processes that can make them seem luxurious. The emphasis becomes about “craft and provenance”. Grenier has been working with feldspar, a material that makes up 60% of the the earth’s crust. She has made beautiful artifacts, transforming an otherwise neglected resource into something beautiful and useful. This concept is one that I would like to explore in my own work. I would like to develop a process that allows me to use alternative building materials that are simple but effective and beautiful.

Reference:- 8/11/2013, http://commedesmachines.com/projects/disquiet-luxurians/, website

All projects were inspiring and the way in which ideas and methods are openly shared and accessible for people to try themselves is refreshing. The aim is to spread the knowledge that the designers gained during their research so that people can start to adopt the ideas and behave in a more sustainable way.