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Being someone who likes to keep up with all forms of creative startups, there was no better way of seeing the most successful in all in one place, it’s Makegood Festival. Exhibitors are dotted about the Old Selfridges Hotel site opposite the new Selfridges store. The whole event is put as a form of graduation for the businesses that took part in the School for Start Ups and all backed by people who are genuinely passionate about their product or company and who are, for the most part looking for collaborators and contributors. On the website they go on to say,

Makegood Festival is an extravaganza boasting a vast, indie pop-up market of over 200 brand new creative businesses. Alongside this, Makegood will play host to a series of punchy talks and debates from an unexpected lineup of the world’s most fascinating creative minds. So why not pop in to our big, beautiful melting pot of culture, creativity and entrepreneurship.

 

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As well as hosting some really exciting projects there were a number of talks and workshops. One of the talks was demonstrating the work of  ‘Voltz’ (image below) which was chaired by Jason Bradbury of Channel 5’s the ‘Gadget Show’. Their work certainly was eccentric with their ‘wildcard’ contraption being a motorised trike that has the ability to drift, sadly I cant find an image, but there will be a clip somewhere on the Voltz site or Gadget Show archives.

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 Doug Richards (‘Dragons Den) was also floating around and interviewing the various startups.

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It was a great opportunity to speak to likeminded people about my little venture (type bombs) and about future collaborations. This was really exciting knowing that very soon I’ll be on my own, after I graduate and that finding work will be totally independent but these kind of events are really encouraging. I’ve made some in-roads with a few people the most exciting of which was for a gallery taking part in the Folkestone Fringe who are looking for volunteering artists and designers to create furniture in response to the festival. So I’m holding out for that and a couple of others which sound interesting, heres to more venture like this.

 

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Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

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This has to be one of the best examples of re-appropriation of graphic ephemera I’ve ever seen. The work, a side project by the talented mayor of Scarfolk Dr. R. Littler, very cleverly exploits imagery typical of 1970’s Britain which capture dark storytelling and an even darker sense of humour…

scarfolk remexec1The right honourable mayor mentioned in a interview for CR,

Reimagining the 1970s is a very subjective thing, of course – many people think only of flares, disco and the Fonz – but I do think there were some quite outrageous societal attitudes toward race, gender, and children during that decade.

He goes on to say,

When I started creating the images, being funny was not actually the primary objective. Perhaps I was more after an anxious laugh, but not always.

I’ve been trying to recapture a fleeting feeling I had as a child during the 1970s and to find that narrow border between humour and horror, comfort and discomfort. I don’t mind so much which side of the border each post falls as long as there is a bit of both, in whatever ratio. And it’s subjective: it’s inevitable that some won’t see any humour in it at all, just as the references will be alien to some; they’re quite specific.

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This post has been a few weeks in the making, well the content has been even longer. As well as all the fun, fun, fun of designing on our course there is an academic side, which is completed in the form of a dissertation. This can be written on any topic, readers can find out a little more about Me, Myself and A.I on the dissertation section of this blog. However, I’m hoping many can guess from the title of the post the nature of the work. I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing about A.I and the future of robotics, it’s such a fascinating topic, if I may say so myself. As highlighted in the introduction, it’s not a case of if the robots will come but when.

Very briefly the work assess how we as humans are fascinated by technology and the personification of our machines. Through this proposing that both the inanimate and animate worlds are seen as being connected in some way which goes someway to ascertaining why we have this relationship with technology, especially robots. Ultimately the work debates the likelihood of a conscious robot, along the way discovering a lot about what it is to be humanly conscious and what it means to be a sentient being.

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Full copy of disseration here – FINAL

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Well I can’t let Christmas fly by without making an attempt at a semi-festive post. If you’ve not already heard of Bompas & Parr then you should check them out here, they’ve done some pretty amazing things with all sorts of food and drink, most notably their wacky and crazy explorations with jelly.

‘Bompas & Parr lead in flavour based experience design, culinary research, architectural installations and contemporary food design.’ They often describe themselves as the ‘jelly mongers’ stemmed from their fascination with the wobbly stuff.

In typical Bompas & Parr style they’ve gone all out in their most recent venture, constructing a huge, edible ginger bread mansion for Selfridges Christmas window display (my attempt to post about at least one thing festive is now evident). Heres their making of video. Bam!

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‘Nelly Ben Hayoun has been called the “Willy Wonka of design and science” and she is on a mission to bring chaos, subversion and disorder into the design and the scientific world. An award-winning director, performer, and experience designer from France, she works with leading scientists and engineers to devise subversive events and performances. For the International Space Orchestra, she assembled and directed the worlds first orchestra of space scientists from NASA Ames Research Centre, Singularity University, International Space University and the SETI Institute.’

This short yet very insightful explanation of Nelly Ben Hayoun helps to slightly comprehend her madness but having the opportunity to see her discuss her most recent project was one I could hardly refuse. Here’s the epiiiic trailer for the documentary of the project.

So as well as getting to view the whole documentary, which when it comes out is most definitely worth a watch, Hayoun took part in a good old Q&A session. I think the overwhelming thing about Hayoun is her infectious enthusiasm, theres one particular section in the film when she is trying to persuade the head of NASA’s Ames Research facility to take part in the orchestra despite not being able to play an instrument, he clearly isn’t that keen yet she manages to pull it off after he remarks ‘you could be a con artist…there somebody who can convince anyone to do anything’ and its true she really could.

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Presentation slide 1

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I mean this slide above is pretty out there – RED BOLD CAPS UNDERLINED – she really is this enthusiastic. Literally the list shows it, she approached the project with the mentality ‘so what… MAKE IT HAPPEN‘. The Q&A proved really insightful into her practice, which combines science, nature and design which as it happens is the region where I see myself heading. So as well as really enjoying the project and seeing the outcome I found that design is what you make it and is in many ways who and what you are. I mean I’ve known this donkies but actually seeing someone like Hayoun its amazing what one designer can actually accomplish. Some more images from the film (taken from here).

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….Did I forget to mention that the ISO is now transmitting its sweet, sweet melodies out into the vast Universe whilst orbiting above your very head using this amazing new nano satellite… Impressive.

(skip to 47.37s for t-minus 5 seconds).

As always a really engaging talk from TED. This time exploring the potential for future airplane construction. The highlight for me is the potential for large bay and ceiling windows which sure will prevent any confrontations between who gets the window seat.

‘Designer Bastian Schaefer shows off a speculative design for the future of jet planes, with a skeleton inspired by strong, flexible, natural forms and by the needs of the world’s, ahem, growing population. Imagine an airplane that’s full of light and space — and built up from generative parts in a 3D printer.’