Friday, January 22, 2010

New Year... New project's!

Happy new year folks!

Just been given our first brief of 2010!! (scary!)

Been asked to focus on natural design and over the course of the week, join with a few people and find out what it is!

Natural building materials and facts that are quite surprising...

-Straw bales used in buildings, easily shaped, assembled, cheap AND 3 TIMES MORE FIRE RESISTANT THAN A CONVENTIONAL HOME! (Because the bales are so tightly packed there is so little oxygen so if a fire breaks out it'll take a lot longer to burn than you would think!) Also can be treated with fire resistant chemicals and things...
I remember watching 'grand designs' where a straw bale house was built in the woods. It is totally energy efficient and runs off solar? and wind power? (i think...). At the time i thought it was a bit hippy-ish! but after reading and researching more and more Ive become fascinated! I think its amazing! So simple... Yet effective and cosy! (has very good insulation! + thick walls). Usually plastered with natural materials like lime and cob.

-Adobe! [A-do-bee] (NOT photoshop!) ... In fact it is a very substantial material made from clay, water, sand and straw to strengthen... Usually used in the African continent. Seen usually in poorer countries where bricks and other resources aren't available financially and physically. Adobe involves the mixing of these materials, it is then poured into square brick shaped moulds then left to dry in the sun. Some people say that the amount of clay in the mixture effects the strength... and that it could break up... this wouldn't be ideal for building if the wrong mix is produced...

There are so many more natural materials such as - Rock, Cob, Earth Covered Roofs... etc...


The next project involves working with a client! I am really looking forward to this project as it is something different and new skills can be gained. The brief is pretty broad and asks to make and design a book out of natural materials... it has to be handmade and can be in any format. For example it could be a physical book? or even a piece of jewelry or clothing?! (Could be anything really!)

So what makes something a book?! is it the writing? is it the cover...? is it the context? The Vocabulary? What is it?!

I really want to make something physical that i can keep and cherish... Particularly something i can wear and use! almost as a talking piece. I really like the idea of recycling coke cans/ bean tins and creating a really nice broach or even bracelet? What it is... is up to me.

But if it is a piece of jewelry or clothing... what can then turn that into a 'book'?! Is it bit opening like a book cover and revealing hidden text?/ Pictures?

I'm quite looking forward to how open the brief is and what i can produce in the short period of a week!

Updates to follow!!

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