At the end of August I travelled to Copenhagen and Malmö to attend The Conference – a five day extravaganza of workshops, talks and excursions all hosted by Media Evolution. The title of the event was ‘Power, Disruption and Lies’, which propelled a dramatic deep dive into social and antisocial behaviours around media and technology.
The photo above is of the wonderful Ruth Daniels of Un-Convention. She made the most of the rapturous conference crowd by executing her first ever stage dive. As you can see, she pulled it off in style.
You can watch all the talks online and I wrote two pieces for Cool Hunting on the highlights:
The Conference, Part One – “Power, Disruption and Lies” in Malmö at Scandinavia’s largest technology and innovation conference, presented by Media Evolution
The Conference, Part Two – Phones with feelings, our multiple media personalities and more at Scandinavia’s largest technology and innovation conference
At the end of May I was invited to join a group of designers on a tour of a pulp and paper mill in France, owned by paper manufacturer Arjowiggins. Excited to learn more about another type of material manufacturing, I went along to document the visit for The Great Recovery Project.
It was a fascinating couple of days getting an insider view of how recycled paper is made. We witnessed every step for the process, from the moment the post-consumer waste arrives at the pulp factory, to the point where the freshly recycled paper is packaged up and piled high, ready to ship off the UK and around Europe.
You read more about the experience and see my photographs over on The Great Recovery site, where I wrote a blog post about the tour. The photographs are particularly interesting as I got a rare permission to photograph inside both factories, which a visitor has never been allowed to do before.
I also produced some accompanying interviews, with insights from both the visiting designers and our hosts, on the importance of learning about materials.
You can read Siôn Whellens’ account of the trip on the Calverts’ website. It is thanks to Siôn, who brought everyone together, that we all got to learn more about paper manufacturing. Thanks must also go to Julian Long and Angela DeVorchik of Arjowiggins Graphic who were our wonderful hosts.
After seven months travelling around the UK documenting The Great Recovery project for the RSA and the TSB, then another month distilling all the collected content into a beautiful document, I’m delighted to say The Great Recovery report has been published.
All in all it has been a fascinating process, I’ve learned so much about manufacturing and design while working on this project and I have loved visiting every factory. It’s quite thrilling to see all my photographs, interviews and writing on the designer’s role in the circular economy brought together into such a good looking publication. Thomas Matthews did a fantastic job on the report layout design.
On June 4th, project directors Sophie Thomas and Nat Hunter launched the report at a reception in Parliament hosted by the APDIG, in conjunction with both the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group and the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group.
Policy Connect and the Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group has now included the report in their ‘Ten of the Best: Design 2012/2013’ saying,
“The Great Recovery is an impressive case study in how design can contribute to solving some of the most complex challenges facing the economy and society.”
You can download the report here.