Éléa Nourand-Apisoap


Another fellow graduate from 3D Design is Éléa Nourand, her whole degree show work was centered around localism, biodiversity and recycling, one project, TRUC, features products created from recycled plastic shopping bags. The range includes a bag, egg carrier and even her business cards are made from plastic bags! However it is her range of ethical and natural cosmetics that I loved. Although Apisoap isn’t technically edible it’s still bloody lovely. It is a range of locally sourced, ethical and environmentally sound soaps and cosmetics that combine flax and bee products to make yummy yummy products.

The project was a response to the lack of questioning that goes on with our cosmetic products, nowadays we question everything in our food, we want to know where it is from, what it contains and the names of the farmer, pig or carrot. However if you attempt to read the back of a shower gel or soap packet I doubt many of us would know what the hell is in them! Even supposedly ‘natural’ products contain long sciency technical names. If these were food products we’d be demanding more clarity. Surely the same rules should apply for things we put in ourselves and on ourselves!

“People use soap everyday but do not question what it is made of. I have created a soap made of local bee produce and locally sourced ingredients such as Flax oil, rapeseed oil and hemp oil. I have attempted to engage people in the process and make-up of the product through the composition of the material and its form. The ApiSoap is a ‘well-being’ product, made to respect the human body and promote a bio-diverse, local environment.”

The series of soaps made from natural ingredients, including bees wax and flax extracts, are all hand made by Éléa herself. They smell yummy and the ingredients have be touted as gentle natural alternative for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions. The products also serve as a reminder to us that we often forget the cocktail of chemicals we slather on our selves day in day out with little knowledge (or perhaps care?) about what exactly is in these products, where the contents have come from and the negative impact such ingredients can have on the environment. Its an interesting and innovative idea to transfer concerns about ethics and locality usually associated with food products, onto cosmetics.

The soaps themselves are beautifully presented, each piece hexagonal in shape mimicing the bees hives where many of the ingredients have come from. The different ingredients and images of the production process were display too, presenting the manufacturing process with a transparency not usually associated with cosmetics manufacturers! The bee element is also extremely relevant at the moment, Éléa has tapped into a worldwide concern about rapidly declining numbers in the bee population and the subsequent collapse of our fragile ecosystems. I think the soap is subtle in its intent but also just a really nice, well made product that smells amazing and is kind to both your skin and the environment.

I intend to place an order for some lovely hand made bars of soap immediately, I would pay a high price for a product like this, like I would pay a high price for quality, local and organic food. I wish Éléa the best of luck in all her future endeavors and hope to see Apisoap on (local) shop shelves soon.




Freya Collingwood-Encased

choc wasabi strawberry 1 wrkd

”Encased’ are a collection of dark chocolate suitcases with mystery fillings, just as luggage is personal to each individual, so is taste. Each case has a different filling such as; chilli, strawberry, coffee, white chocolate, almond, wasabi, pistachio..’

The project concept by a another coursemate from Brighton, Freya Collingwood. Freya’s entire final project was a discussion about luggage, it’s history, its present, how we use it, and what it says about us. Encased was side project that didn’t make it into the final show, but as a self confessed Gourmand/fatty with a lust for chocolate this is probably now one my favorite projects of hers.

However I don’t just like the project because it’s food and/or chocolate (though that is a good reason). I also think it’s very clever and quite lovely. I wonder whether the suitcases could be eaten Russian roulette style, so you don’t know what your going to get? It could evoke a personal memory of lost or switched luggage. Or perhaps they could be customisable? Perhaps a particular combination of flavours reminds you of a loved one?

The creation of a chocolate version of a suitcase is an intersting oxymoron, luggages is designed to keep the insides hidden and together, the suitcase has to be sturdy enough so it doesn’t break open and secure enough so things don’t spill out. With the chocolate the whole point is that you get inside to the contents, if the outer shell was strong enough to stop the filling coming out you’d break your teeth!

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance yet to taste these suitcase shaped delights but I will report back if and when I can convince Freya to let me try a few, if only for ‘professional’ purposes.

choc pile 1 wrkd


New Designers 2013 – Looking Back

Hot, sticky, knackering, interesting, fun, tiring, hot, all words that could describe the week spent exhibiting at New Designers 2013. Its been almost a week since it finished and my feet still hurt from standing around for 8 hour stretches.

As much as I complained in moments of boredom and foot soreness it was a really interesting and even educational experience. As much as the 3D Design degree show was a crash course in display and idea communication for me, we did have tutors and technicians on hand pretty much all day every day to advise and help us put it together. At New Designers, compared to some courses we had very little input from the university, they didn’t help us pay for the stall in any way and the two tutors that dropped in to help did it out of the kindness of their hearts rather than because of some course related obligation. Therefore we were pretty much left to do it ourselves, which means we learned far more about organising and putting together such a big group show ourselves as we’d had to do it ourselves. Although there was some flaring tempers and curtness with each other at times, we did get it done, on time and without any major hiccups or fuck ups.


The previous post was about the first day of ND and the private view so I’ll continue from there. Thursday was not so fun in the morning, minor-ly hung over but determined to go in there were a few decidedly pale and drawn faces hanging around for the longest day of the week. The next three days were spent in the hottest building known to man on the sunniest days of the year so far! But we all soldiered on, taking it in turns to rest our feet in the few chairs we managed to purloin from a nearby cupboard. Every time someone came over to look at some ones work they would have to jump up and corner them for a chat. Every time you did this you were pretty much guaranteed to lose your seat to some one who had been hovering. As it got nearer and nearer to the end of the show and we were hotter, stickier and more tired, people became less inclined to talk to people, taking longer to get up as they deliberated whether talking to another disinterested school child or person who wasn’t that interested in the first place was worth losing a seat for.


Some exciting things did happen during the week, it wasn’t all boredom and sitting around fanning ourselves with spare catalogs. One of our own, Joshua Barnes, won a British Design Council Future Pioneer award for his Augmented Quilt, a quilt designed to relieve loneliness for children staying for long periods of time in hospital. The quilt is covered in patchwork images which can be linked to messages from family and friends which can be viewed on a smart device. Like QR codes but with images.
The award ceremony itself was really fun, not only as there was free booze and Bompas and Parr jellie, but because the judges presenting the awards read like a whose who in the design world. Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh creator of Sugru was there, Jay Osgerby of Barber Osgerby and Mat Hunter, Chief Design Officer from the Design Council. We were all delighted for Josh and I got to eat amazing Bompas and Parr jelly!


The jelly was brilliant, I ended up having to eat mine with no hands, face straight into plate, as my spoon holding hand was occupied with a glass of wine. They were truly delicious but we couldn’t quite figure out the flavours, even though they were really familiar, all we know is there was a blue one and one that was definitley alcoholic. Yum. And of course there was the decorative display of gelatine heavy display jellies in all kind of weird and wonderful shapes and sizes.


So there were highs and lows of New Designers, the lows being how knackering the show was, the heat and my personal expectations being so high. Although I wasn’t expecting to land a job, sell everything, have a billion commissions and win all the awards and I did make a couple of contacts I think you can’t help compare yourself to what has happened to your peers. Awards were won, work was sold, jobs and internships were offered, all to other people. I suppose one thing I did learn, specifically about my work and where it ‘fits’ in the world, is that it weird and needs explaining. Although not having my wall graphics there meant I was forced to talk to people about my work having the info there does mean people engage with it and ‘get it’ much faster. So that’s something to remember for the future!

So we’ll see what the future holds with shows now, there’s been vague murmurs about doing something together at London Design week but it’s highly likely that most of us will never see each other again, let alone show together! So I wish everyone the best of luck in all their future endeavors, well done us for pulling off a great show and I will see everyone at graduation!


New Designers Day One

Day one of the show: So the University of Brighton 3D Design stand is finished and we’ve opened shop today. We completed the build yesterday evening after some frayed tempers and minor setbacks but it looks brilliant and is very different to the other stalls at the show. This first day (Wednesday) has been extremely long, we started at 9am and weren’t out until after 9pm, as we had the judges coming round in the morning and early afternoon and then it was press o’clock from 3, lots of hovering near our work, smiles and in depth explanations.

There hasn’t been much chance to have a wander about yet but the little that I have seen is really interesting. The nearest stalls to us are Northumbria University and The Cass. It’s an interesting mix of work, ours being a mix of conceptual mental bits, The Cass full of woodwork and furniture bits and Northumbria with a selection similar to The Cass but more product/design like, less craft. And we figured we were right next to both the cocktail bar and the awards ceremony! Result.

The private view was fun, Absolut is one of the sponsors so there was a queue a mile long for their three freebie drinks, original vodka and cranberry (the best one), mango vodka and apple and raspberry vodka and lemonade. Yum. There was also the various awards. Unfortunately our lot didn’t win anything this year but it was an interesting evening, there was a talk from Dick Powell of SeymourPowell design consultants (I was a teeny bit disappointed as there were rumors it was going to be Sir Terence Conran presenting) and it didn’t drag on which is always good. No Oscars style acceptance speeches. And although alot of the winners’ work weren’t my kind of thing (more on this to follow) congratulations to them all anyway.

Post shmoozing we were fairly sedate, a few drinks at the pub and then home, Ihink the 8am start the day before finished every one off. It opens proper like tomorrow so we all need a good night’s sleep before we meet our adoring public.

New Designers is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday so do come and visit. We’re at stand number FP34 at the back of the mezzanine so come and say hi. Below is a picture of the whole crew post set up. Happy and knackered. See you at the show.