Éléa Nourand-Apisoap

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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.

eleanouraud.com

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

joshuabarnes.co.uk/augmented-quilt

Creative Review Blog Features FFFOTD

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Fun Food Fact of the Day has been featured along side other graduate project on the Creative Review Blog, Talent Spotters.

“Clare Plumley visits this year’s Brighton shows…Poppy Wilson St James presents a series of objects which bring into question the origin of the food we consume and how those products impact on us. She has made jelly moulds of pigs trotters, sweets in the shape of rotting teeth and promotes the nutritious value of bugs and insects.”

Creative Review Blog

Seoul National University of Korea Award for FFFOTD

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Fun Food Fact of the Day was Nominated and chosen for the Seoul National University of South Korea Award for Innovation in 3D Design. Thanks to Professor KyungChan Paik of the university. The certificate is proudly framed next to my space. Thanks also to Nick Gant who nominated me for the award.
Photos to follow.

Buglery

Cutters

Tongs

Global meat production is already considered unsustainable and with the world’s population set to hit 9 billion in 2050 we simply do not have the space or the water to continue producing animal protein as we are currently doing. Therefore in the future it is envisioned that we will be reliant on ‘mini livestock’, or insects, as a main source of animal protein. 80% of the world already eats insects in some way, shape or form, especially as a delicacy. In the West however where the demand for animal protein is at its highest we are yet to embrace the thought of eating bugs. I have created a series of specialised utensils for eating insects thus elevating their status from creepy crawly pests to delicacies, as with lobster or oysters.

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Nell and Billy trying the cutlery out on salt and vinegar dressed fried crickets. Using the cutlery helped me explain the issues surrounding meat production and food production in general. They also ate all of the crickets. And licked the plate clean…

A Spoonful of Sugar…

Chamber Spice

Wormwood

Throughout history it was more commonplace to see sugary foodstuffs on the shelves of an apothecary rather than in the windows of confectioners. Sugar was very expensive and used mainly as a ‘spice’ for the wealthy and as a preservative for medicinal spices. I have looked at the cures of old and attempted to bring them into the 21st century to compare with the sugary treats and medicines of today and see what has changed; for example medicines no longer contain sugar as an active ingredient but still have to be kept away from children with their candy like appearance. By reforming historical sugary cures into the forms of modern day medicines, such as pills and caplets, we are invited to question how we perceive sugar in contemporary culture.

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Nell pretending to eat one of the pills. The pills opened us discussions with her and her brother Billy about the history of sugar, sugar in medicine and modern medications.

Real Gummy Teeth

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Sugar has been portrayed in recent years as the root of all current health problems and crises. There are different studies and arguments about whether sugar plays a part in causing obesity, heart disease and other conditions, however it is universally accepted that sugar causes tooth decay. Consumption of sugars, of all kinds including those in dried fruit and honey, leads to acid attacking the enamel on our teeth causing decay and cavities. So why are perfectly straight, white, pristine teeth shaped sweets sold in sweet shops everywhere? I have created ‘real’ gummy teeth, cast in silicone to mimic gummy sweets from two real mouths, to demonstrate the one definite result of over consumption of sugar- decay and tooth loss.

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Nell and Billy again, playing with the silicone gummy teeth, as well as ‘real’ edible gummy teeth from the same mould. Playing with the silicone teeth as well as eating the sweetie teeth opened up discussion about dental hygiene, sugary food including fruit and how sugar should be a treat food.

Pigs Trotter Jelly Mould

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In the kitchens of history gelatine was created by boiling the bones of animals, especially pigs and cattle. Nowadays gelatine is still made from the hides and bones of cows and pigs but is industrially extracted, pigs are specifically used for the production of food grade gelatine. As highlighted by the recent horse meat scandal we are increasingly unaware of what exactly is in our food and how it is treated before it arrives in shops and on our plates. By creating a jelly mould in the shape of a pig’s trotter I am reminding consumers of the origins of their food, specifically the intensive industrial processes and subsequent synthetic nature of jelly that removes us from the reality of its source. The product succeeds by creating a trotter shaped jelly, the final food product taking the form of gelatine’s original source.

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Nell and Billy, two primary school children, learning about the origins of their food by using the jelly mould. It opened up a discussion about processed food, animal products and what else gelatine and pork products are used in.

Sugar Light

The final project from my first year was eat+design. The brief was literally eat+design and we had to come up with a design and prototype from the title. The majority of students in my class looked into food storage and products for eating, dining, food etc. I was one of the few who actually made a product out of food. Specifically a light from sugar (well with some aluminum, plywood, steel wire and acrylic…).

I originally started off by experimenting with jelly, melting various soft sweets such as gummy bears, haribo mixtures and making my own agar jelly.

Agar Jelly- tastes disgusting, has a watery texture and disintegrates very quickly.

Gummy Bear Blog- Great colour but literally stuck to everything and took a paint scraper to get off the kitchen surfaces

Hartley’s Jelly- Best light refraction out of all the tests but another gooey melting mess.

However the best result was from hard crack candy/sugar. Boiled sweets basically.

The idea was to buy the lamp base with two looped top rods and a recipe for creating your own shade for the lamp. It’s therefore a customizable, playful object that you can create at home.

The recipe I used for the final result I have annoyingly lost but these recipes also served me well…

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/19868/orange-sweets.aspx

http://kidzcoolzone.com/how-to-make-boiled-sweets/

Surprisingly easy to make however you will need a jam thermometer and be warned hot boiled sugar burns really really hurt!