Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Challenge of Writing/The Tipping Point

Today I had a lecture on The Challenge of Writing given by Dr Kathleen McMillan. She talked about the formal ways of writing and referencing using the harvard system and tips on how to avoid plagerism. She also talked about the differnt steps to writing from defining a question, researching your topic, to drafting and redrafting. I found her guidence on structure and to clarify what you are saying as well as how to compose an over all piece of work very helpful as I am not always good at getting to the point in my writing.

To gain some (much needed in my case) practice and to find our voice in our style of writing we have been set the task of reviewing or rewriting our proposals for the MDES course. We have to define our topic, explain work already undertaken, why our topic is an addition to our knowledge and how it will be valuable. All in 200 words! This will be tough.

I found this afternoons lecture given by Jonathan Baldwin on the book the Tipping Point was very informative and made me question who I am in relation to the conectors, Mavens and salesmen talked about in the book. Do I posses any of these qualitys and how can I use them to make a small change but possibly a big difference.

He also talked about The Mind Map Book which I am going to have a look at as my note taking skills leave a lot to be desired. Below is todays attempt.

where I am now...

Here is how I organise my thoughts at the moment at the start of my masters year...

... I like to use pictorial mind mapping to gather and focus my thoughts, surrounding myself in photos, images & colour. Bold flat images, simple shapes & layering interest me and are a recurring theme in my design work.

Below were my initial thoughts on an area of study for this year...

...I would like to find a way to ease the problem of mass consumption, targeting the idea of fast fashion and how I can bridge the gap between our 'want' over 'need' society, in a way that we can still keep our identity and fufil our underlying need to belong which we can get from our connection to the fast fashion industry without putting more pressure on the environment and the people producing these cheap wear once garments, as the current phase of our throw away culture cannot be sustainable long term. I propose to look at creating a design model of a fully recyclable fashion that has a personal connect but that can be discarded after a few uses. Can Fast fashion have an eco twist or is it all ultimately damaging to the planet?

Monday, 29 September 2008

Natural Dying

Ive found a Sky bassed company who use natural dying processes, www.shilasdair-yarns.co.uk I would like to go on a placement to see how its done and the benefits of natural over chemical dyes... are there many or do they both have an un-safe side. Natural dies use heavy metals as mordats. which is the lesser evil? Does anyone know of any other copanies who use natural dying processes in their production?

Style will Save Us


Check out this site:D an online mag full of loads of interesting articles and interviews.

Other Useful books

This is a fab little book by India Flint, she documents and shows how to dye textiles using natural dyes and dying processes which is less harmful to the environment the designer and the wearer of the finished product.

India says 'The instructions and suggestions offered here may not always lead to permanent colours. On the other hand, you will have the satisfaction of being an explorer in your own backyard...if a colour doesn't last forever, the cloth can simply be dyed again. After all, our bodies change with time as well; our skins wrinkle and our hair goes grey. Faded cloth is more easily restored!'

Green is the new Black!!!

This book shows us that eco fashion doesnt mean tye dyed smocks. It has some georgous collections by Amerian Apparel and People Tree to name a couple.

Eco Chic - The Savvy Shopper's Guide to Ethical Fashion by Matilda Lee

Thought provoking book that outlines who makes the cheap fast fashions of today and under what conditions they work, why are the priced so low & so easily obtained. What fabrics are being used and what chemicals are used. Reasons why we should buy organic clothes as well as food, as the chemicals and pecticides used in our fast fashions can be harmful to us long after they are bought & laundred. Matilda Lee opens our eyes to these socking truths & gives sencible advice on how to be not only an ethical consumer but how to look good while making a difference!:D

She also tells of the sad truth that if our non-ethical over consumption slump continues the second hand/recycaling clothing trade will seice to exist. It will not be feasable to continue to recycle garments as the quality of the textiles being prodused will be of such a poor quality that they will not be reusable or recyclable anymore. They instead will go into landfill. I find this so sad so I am going to try to shop with an ethical concience so when buying products or garments in the future, I will try to choose something with natural, organic, recyclable fibres or fabrics or better still second hand.

There are some great vintage sites like Whats mine is yours an online swapshop or check out ebay or your local charity shop for great finds.

If new is your thing then there are lots of fantastic companys doing their bit like people tree, terra plana, edun, howies, green threads etc

See the stock list at the back of Eco Chic for a full and very concidered choice of eco friedly companys and desigers.

The Wottle

My favorite designer Irish born Orla Kiely has come over all green. She has done a range of refillable water bottles for Brita. Not only stylish hopefully people will get into the habbit of using items like this rather than buying mineral water everyday. Think of all the plastic bottles you no longer need to throw away.

The Times have written an article all about the new Wottle

and they can be purchased from Brita or the Ethical Superstore

It is made from 100% recyclable materials the plastics used are:

HDPE (High-density polyethylene) - in the bottle, the HDPE, is from 'closed loop recycling', this means that Brita use the reground scrap material from the factory.

TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) - in the finger grip

PP (Polypropylene) - in the closure

Concider whether the plastic used in the recycling process are upcycled or down cycled.

Orla on the Wottle

'It was exciting to concider the environment alongside practicalities and aesthetics. Thinking 'reusable' instead of 'disposable' is a great place to start becoming environmentally friendly, ut style should never be compromised.'

Brita's marketing Director Neal Jones on the Wottle

'Instead of producing an exclusive limited edition batch for publicity, our aim as a company is to help change people's consumption habits and reduce waste by making the Wottle generally available. Working closely with Orla Kiely means we've achieved that goal, but also created a unique product for style conscious consumers."

here here I hope to do the same one day with my work.

'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, comitted citizans can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.'

The above quote by Winston Churchill inspires me to make more ethcally sound choises in my own work as this can influence others and make a real difference.

My Sunday in Battleby

I went to a textile/craft event yesterday in Battleby (just outside perth) I listened to a few lectures and met some interesting people...

The lecture that really inspired me was by Ingrid Tait of Tait & Style an Orkney based textile copany. She does lots of interesting and unique work with traditional felting and knitting techniques and designs. www.taitandstyle.co.uk

Currently Ingrid has done a collection being sold on www.treetwist.co.uk Tree Twist is all about environmentally trying to make a positive change however small.
They plant a tree everytime a treetwist is purchased-helping to restore the Caledonian Forest & to highlight the everyday damage we are doing to the planet.

I think these would make quirky gifts that would appease your eco concience:D

Every little helps!

'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little'
Edmund Burke

So check out Buy a Twist & Plant a Tree it also gives useful tips and hints on making the plannet happier and links to differnt events or other relevant sites.

Here are some examples...

Learning to use vidio...

My first blog!

Hello and welcome to my page...