The Innovation Alphabet

The A-Z of the creative world.

Be enchanted.
Be seduced.
Be inspired.
B is for … Building through Printing
So your house was printed off, and that little figurine which looks very similiar to yourself, was also printed off. No big deal. Well it is actually, because 3D printing has become even more advanced, and your printed house, that is a first!
Since the 1980s, 3D printing has been forming nicely, and is fast becoming a technology of the very near future. From the manufacture of jet engine parts to print-at-home weaponry, even the US Military are getting on board with a back-pack size printer to create spare parts whilst in action on the front line. 
Japanese company, Omote3D, is putting a new spin on the traditional photo booth by combining the printing process with 3D printing. Instead of a 2D photograph, you’re presented with a pocket-size, mini-me sculpture. For a 10cm mini-you, just dish out £160. If 10cm isn’t quite enough, then the 20cm figurine is £320. However, if you have glammed yourself up with your Chanel handbag and Vivienne Westwood earrings, you’ve wasted your time. It isn’t quite advanced enough to recognise small details, fluffy fabrics or shiny materials. 
Across the pond in New York, Makerbot opened a store offering a slightly more reasonable deal of about £16 for a head figurine manufactured from monochrome plastic filament. But don’t worry, if one head isn’t enough, then you can buy the printer for around £1,400. There is no price for vanity or insanity these days!
Dutch architecture studio, Universe Architecture, is coming up with an innovative way of creating a house using 3D printing. Printed in 6m x 9m sections, and glued using sand and a binding agent, the team are working with numerous geniuses around the globe to build the house which will take approximately 18 months to complete.
Coupled with the news of the 3D printed house, this does show that 3D printing is slowly going to start being integrated into daily life, as opposed to just being an inventor’s wet dream. 

B is for … Building through Printing

So your house was printed off, and that little figurine which looks very similiar to yourself, was also printed off. No big deal. Well it is actually, because 3D printing has become even more advanced, and your printed house, that is a first!

Since the 1980s, 3D printing has been forming nicely, and is fast becoming a technology of the very near future. From the manufacture of jet engine parts to print-at-home weaponry, even the US Military are getting on board with a back-pack size printer to create spare parts whilst in action on the front line. 

Japanese company, Omote3D, is putting a new spin on the traditional photo booth by combining the printing process with 3D printing. Instead of a 2D photograph, you’re presented with a pocket-size, mini-me sculpture. For a 10cm mini-you, just dish out £160. If 10cm isn’t quite enough, then the 20cm figurine is £320. However, if you have glammed yourself up with your Chanel handbag and Vivienne Westwood earrings, you’ve wasted your time. It isn’t quite advanced enough to recognise small details, fluffy fabrics or shiny materials. 

Across the pond in New York, Makerbot opened a store offering a slightly more reasonable deal of about £16 for a head figurine manufactured from monochrome plastic filament. But don’t worry, if one head isn’t enough, then you can buy the printer for around £1,400. There is no price for vanity or insanity these days!

Dutch architecture studio, Universe Architecture, is coming up with an innovative way of creating a house using 3D printing. Printed in 6m x 9m sections, and glued using sand and a binding agent, the team are working with numerous geniuses around the globe to build the house which will take approximately 18 months to complete.

Coupled with the news of the 3D printed house, this does show that 3D printing is slowly going to start being integrated into daily life, as opposed to just being an inventor’s wet dream. 

A is for … A Life Without Branding
Take a look around you, how many of your personal belongings are branded and how many of them did you buy because of their brand status. Did you buy the MacBook Pro as opposed to the Dell Inspiron? Was that because even though it stretched your budget to its’ limits, people would aspire to possess your belongings? Apple has a certain something that Dell just doesn’t have.
This is the case for most brands, and it’s engrained in our minds, particularly when we take to the shops. Even for a brand-lover, it’s tiring. 
Of all the companies to have taken branding away so that you see products for what they are as opposed to ‘who’ they are! Just in time for the ITV series ‘Mr Selfridge’ to hit our television screens, luxury department store Selfridges is running a two month ‘No Noise’ campaign. 
"In an initiative that goes beyond retail, the unique project invites you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds."
Take away the constant bombardment of information, stimulation and logos, and you are left with a purer approach to fashion and branding. It ties in quite nicely with the ‘low-fi’ living trend which promotes a simpler, less technologically run lifestyle. 
To decrease the stress of the shopping environment even more, the Silence Room is a concept initially dreamt up by Henry Gordon Selfridge when the store first opened it’s doors to the beautiful and the rich. A mobile phone ban and no-shoe policy is just the start of it. Delivered by meditation guru’s, Headspace, pods emit meditation messages to educate you with relaxing techniques which can be applied to modern life. 
Iconic brands including Levi’s, Heinz, Clinique and even Selfridges themselves, can be found in the Quiet Room. It is a bit of a guessing game in there, as they have created labels without branding. 
Labels without branding? Certainly a novel concept, which only lasts until the end of February for Selfridges, and there is a very small chance that this isn’t a concept which will become reality. Whether it be a love-hate relationship or not, we can’t get away from them, but to be honest, I don’t think we’ll ever want to. Let’s face it, we love brands, they make us feel a certain way and we have emotional connections with them.

A is for … A Life Without Branding

Take a look around you, how many of your personal belongings are branded and how many of them did you buy because of their brand status. Did you buy the MacBook Pro as opposed to the Dell Inspiron? Was that because even though it stretched your budget to its’ limits, people would aspire to possess your belongings? Apple has a certain something that Dell just doesn’t have.

This is the case for most brands, and it’s engrained in our minds, particularly when we take to the shops. Even for a brand-lover, it’s tiring. 

Of all the companies to have taken branding away so that you see products for what they are as opposed to ‘who’ they are! Just in time for the ITV series ‘Mr Selfridge’ to hit our television screens, luxury department store Selfridges is running a two month ‘No Noise’ campaign. 

"In an initiative that goes beyond retail, the unique project invites you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds."

Take away the constant bombardment of information, stimulation and logos, and you are left with a purer approach to fashion and branding. It ties in quite nicely with the ‘low-fi’ living trend which promotes a simpler, less technologically run lifestyle. 

To decrease the stress of the shopping environment even more, the Silence Room is a concept initially dreamt up by Henry Gordon Selfridge when the store first opened it’s doors to the beautiful and the rich. A mobile phone ban and no-shoe policy is just the start of it. Delivered by meditation guru’s, Headspace, pods emit meditation messages to educate you with relaxing techniques which can be applied to modern life. 

Iconic brands including Levi’s, Heinz, Clinique and even Selfridges themselves, can be found in the Quiet Room. It is a bit of a guessing game in there, as they have created labels without branding. 

Labels without branding? Certainly a novel concept, which only lasts until the end of February for Selfridges, and there is a very small chance that this isn’t a concept which will become reality. Whether it be a love-hate relationship or not, we can’t get away from them, but to be honest, I don’t think we’ll ever want to. Let’s face it, we love brands, they make us feel a certain way and we have emotional connections with them.

Z is for … Zooming in on Reality
Chances are, the first thing you do in the morning is check your phone for new messages, emails and social networking updates. You will probably do this a minimum of 15 times a day, whether you’re at work or not. The little device that fits so easily in your pocket, whether it be jeans or suit trousers, becomes an extension of your life. It saves time but makes us lazy, helps us communicate more efficiently yet causes arguments and compartmentalises our lives so that we become dependant on it.
To begin with, Apps were created for sole use, then development enabled multiple users to interact through the same App, for example Draw Something. It does mean that you become so involved with the digital world that you lose touch with the real world. 
Head of Google Maps, John Hanke explains that the creation of smart glasses, wearable computers and skin-mounted sensors which can “guide users around stores and airports means that the phone as an object kind of disappears.” 
"People are working on skin sensors and other ways of transmitting information to us in a way that’s passive and that doesn’t require us to divert our attention in the way that we do with the phone today."
It may be a few years or so before this kind of technology hits our transmitters, however there is no time like the present where technology is concerned. The question is whether the real and the digital life merge together at any point. Is the digital world actually reality now?

Z is for … Zooming in on Reality

Chances are, the first thing you do in the morning is check your phone for new messages, emails and social networking updates. You will probably do this a minimum of 15 times a day, whether you’re at work or not. The little device that fits so easily in your pocket, whether it be jeans or suit trousers, becomes an extension of your life. It saves time but makes us lazy, helps us communicate more efficiently yet causes arguments and compartmentalises our lives so that we become dependant on it.

To begin with, Apps were created for sole use, then development enabled multiple users to interact through the same App, for example Draw Something. It does mean that you become so involved with the digital world that you lose touch with the real world. 

Head of Google Maps, John Hanke explains that the creation of smart glasses, wearable computers and skin-mounted sensors which can “guide users around stores and airports means that the phone as an object kind of disappears.” 

"People are working on skin sensors and other ways of transmitting information to us in a way that’s passive and that doesn’t require us to divert our attention in the way that we do with the phone today."

It may be a few years or so before this kind of technology hits our transmitters, however there is no time like the present where technology is concerned. The question is whether the real and the digital life merge together at any point. Is the digital world actually reality now?

Y is for … Yuletide Spaces in Miniature!
In a world of minimalistic design, straight edges and plain colours, a bit of traditional design doesn’t go amiss. This programme made an appearance on our screens in October of this year, and I think that even this restoration guru was amazed by what people could do with small spaces.
From sprucing up an underground Ladies and Gent’s urinals in London to create a woman’s quarters to transforming a run-down bus to beautiful holiday accommodation overlooking the Welsh Valleys, which certainly is no bus man’s holiday. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces does what it says on the tin and squeezes into people’s amazingly small abodes. 
Utilising recycled, salvaged and raw materials seems to be the pinnacle of the majority of these projects, which is a breath of fresh air compared to steel, glass and concrete forged purely for each monstrosity. 
The programme has turned festive, with a Christmas special, and it certainly got me in a Christmassy mood. The programme lets you peek into a mysterious Ghetto decorated with approximately 4.6 million sea shells, a hidden gingerbread guest house with a dainty little wood stove to warm your cockles and the Welsh holiday bus decorated with fairy lights and mistletoe tastefully placed in every nook and cranny. 
This isn’t necessarily an innovative concept, people have been designing houses with natural and salvaged materials for centuries. What is interesting though is the fact that it is amazing how they fit a lifestyle into such a small space. It just shows, you don’t need to have a flamboyant, expensive house with lots of clutter to live a relaxed and magical lifestyle.
Taking it back to basics seems much more rewarding. What could be more festive than drinking mulled wine in front of a wood fire in a gingerbread style house nestled in a forest of spruce trees? You might have to leave your stocking at the front door mind, as the Big Man might not fit in!

Y is for … Yuletide Spaces in Miniature!

In a world of minimalistic design, straight edges and plain colours, a bit of traditional design doesn’t go amiss. This programme made an appearance on our screens in October of this year, and I think that even this restoration guru was amazed by what people could do with small spaces.

From sprucing up an underground Ladies and Gent’s urinals in London to create a woman’s quarters to transforming a run-down bus to beautiful holiday accommodation overlooking the Welsh Valleys, which certainly is no bus man’s holiday. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces does what it says on the tin and squeezes into people’s amazingly small abodes. 

Utilising recycled, salvaged and raw materials seems to be the pinnacle of the majority of these projects, which is a breath of fresh air compared to steel, glass and concrete forged purely for each monstrosity. 

The programme has turned festive, with a Christmas special, and it certainly got me in a Christmassy mood. The programme lets you peek into a mysterious Ghetto decorated with approximately 4.6 million sea shells, a hidden gingerbread guest house with a dainty little wood stove to warm your cockles and the Welsh holiday bus decorated with fairy lights and mistletoe tastefully placed in every nook and cranny. 

This isn’t necessarily an innovative concept, people have been designing houses with natural and salvaged materials for centuries. What is interesting though is the fact that it is amazing how they fit a lifestyle into such a small space. It just shows, you don’t need to have a flamboyant, expensive house with lots of clutter to live a relaxed and magical lifestyle.

Taking it back to basics seems much more rewarding. What could be more festive than drinking mulled wine in front of a wood fire in a gingerbread style house nestled in a forest of spruce trees? You might have to leave your stocking at the front door mind, as the Big Man might not fit in!

X is for … Xylographic Play
Whilst driving through villages or towns, the standard landmarks present themselves; post office, local pub, village store, red telephone box and a shabby playground.
It isn’t surprising that children would rather spend their play time indoors on their Xbox than outside in the playground which has a grand total of one slide, two swings and one climbing frame. Usually manufactured from the sturdy and durable material that is metal. The dull grey hues don’t attract children, and the general structure is a bit of an eye-sore for local residents.
Designed by Visiondivision, a Swedish studio, the Chop Stick utilises every part of a single felled tree from a country park in Indianapolis. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Visiondivision wanted to create a structure which exhibited it’s roots, taking the raw materials and demonstrating their various properties. Educational, attractive and fun!
The 30m Yellow Poplar tree, supports a row of playground swings, with a kiosk to provide information to visitors and retail Yellow Poplar Syrup extracted from the bark of the tree.  The timber which shaped the kiosk was carefully taken from the branches of the tree, with the dimensions of each board being carefully calculated.
Visiondivision have demonstrated that you don’t need to fell a whole forest just to create one structure, you just need some very mathematical creatives who contemplate their design choices. I’m not necessarily someone who would jump onto a swing (unless a child was with me), however I would happily marvel in wonder whilst swinging away. Play time outside has definitely not been felled!

X is for … Xylographic Play

Whilst driving through villages or towns, the standard landmarks present themselves; post office, local pub, village store, red telephone box and a shabby playground.

It isn’t surprising that children would rather spend their play time indoors on their Xbox than outside in the playground which has a grand total of one slide, two swings and one climbing frame. Usually manufactured from the sturdy and durable material that is metal. The dull grey hues don’t attract children, and the general structure is a bit of an eye-sore for local residents.

Designed by Visiondivision, a Swedish studio, the Chop Stick utilises every part of a single felled tree from a country park in Indianapolis. Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Visiondivision wanted to create a structure which exhibited it’s roots, taking the raw materials and demonstrating their various properties. Educational, attractive and fun!

The 30m Yellow Poplar tree, supports a row of playground swings, with a kiosk to provide information to visitors and retail Yellow Poplar Syrup extracted from the bark of the tree.  The timber which shaped the kiosk was carefully taken from the branches of the tree, with the dimensions of each board being carefully calculated.

Visiondivision have demonstrated that you don’t need to fell a whole forest just to create one structure, you just need some very mathematical creatives who contemplate their design choices. I’m not necessarily someone who would jump onto a swing (unless a child was with me), however I would happily marvel in wonder whilst swinging away. Play time outside has definitely not been felled!

W is for … Waking Up the Nation

Sustainability seems like quite a mundane subject to most people. And the reason why seems to be because their attitude is that their own actions won’t make a difference in their own lifetime, or even their grandchildren’s. So I might have a recycling bin AND a waste bin in just my bedroom, but I think that with the population of the planet exceeding 7 billion, as Tesco says ‘Every Little Helps’.

It is easy enough to hook a piece of equipment up to a generator, which most mobile food retailers tend to do. I say most because there always is an exception. Finnish designer Lasse Oiva and London Designer Amos Field, both RCA Product Design students, have created coffee brewed by pedal power.

It pretty much does what it says on the tin. 

Velopresso, the mobile Espresso bar, can grind enough coffee beans for a double shot with just five seconds of pedal power. The on-board camp stove heats the water, with the steam then being recycled to power the coffee machine. The invention doesn’t just stop there, the designers are looking into a way of generating their own fuel using the waste coffee grounds.

Sustainability doesn’t seem quite as boring with little inventions like this cycling around. Being environmentally considerate takes minimal effort with maximum effects, so wake up and smell the coffee!

W is for … Waking Up the Nation

Sustainability seems like quite a mundane subject to most people. And the reason why seems to be because their attitude is that their own actions won’t make a difference in their own lifetime, or even their grandchildren’s. So I might have a recycling bin AND a waste bin in just my bedroom, but I think that with the population of the planet exceeding 7 billion, as Tesco says ‘Every Little Helps’.

It is easy enough to hook a piece of equipment up to a generator, which most mobile food retailers tend to do. I say most because there always is an exception. Finnish designer Lasse Oiva and London Designer Amos Field, both RCA Product Design students, have created coffee brewed by pedal power.

It pretty much does what it says on the tin. 

Velopresso, the mobile Espresso bar, can grind enough coffee beans for a double shot with just five seconds of pedal power. The on-board camp stove heats the water, with the steam then being recycled to power the coffee machine. The invention doesn’t just stop there, the designers are looking into a way of generating their own fuel using the waste coffee grounds.

Sustainability doesn’t seem quite as boring with little inventions like this cycling around. Being environmentally considerate takes minimal effort with maximum effects, so wake up and smell the coffee!


V is for … Violating Social Networking
Whilst browsing through Flickr I came across an image a user had taken of a sneaky bit of creative street art inspired by the biggest Social Networking site across the globe.
I then found that Creative Guerrilla Marketing had actually compiled many more images of street art taken from Facebook’s features. It is hard to work out whether the art is mocking the business/brand/site or whether it is cleverly taking a global company which is purely internet based, and bringing it to the streets through physical print forms.
With over 845 million monthly active users at the end of last year, Facebook has it’s own entity. If you happen to forget when your friend’s birthday is, Facebook will remind you. If you want to broadcast your life, Facebook will happily assist. If you want to market your brand and connect to consumers around the world with just one post, Facebook is your platform.
Whilst this street art is comical, empathetic to users and cleverly executed, it’s real pull is the fact that it has taken an internet based brand to the streets. Beginning it’s life on the world wide web and throwing stones in the playground with Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook has always remained on the web.
This creativity has made the brand tangible, people can interact with it on a physical basis, not just tapping away at a keyboard or the touch of a screen. Whilst the internet revolutionised marketing, Guerrilla marketing will always create an interactive, entertaining and physical experience for passers by; a package which the internet still has not quite been able to top!

V is for … Violating Social Networking

Whilst browsing through Flickr I came across an image a user had taken of a sneaky bit of creative street art inspired by the biggest Social Networking site across the globe.

I then found that Creative Guerrilla Marketing had actually compiled many more images of street art taken from Facebook’s features. It is hard to work out whether the art is mocking the business/brand/site or whether it is cleverly taking a global company which is purely internet based, and bringing it to the streets through physical print forms.

With over 845 million monthly active users at the end of last year, Facebook has it’s own entity. If you happen to forget when your friend’s birthday is, Facebook will remind you. If you want to broadcast your life, Facebook will happily assist. If you want to market your brand and connect to consumers around the world with just one post, Facebook is your platform.

Whilst this street art is comical, empathetic to users and cleverly executed, it’s real pull is the fact that it has taken an internet based brand to the streets. Beginning it’s life on the world wide web and throwing stones in the playground with Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook has always remained on the web.

This creativity has made the brand tangible, people can interact with it on a physical basis, not just tapping away at a keyboard or the touch of a screen. Whilst the internet revolutionised marketing, Guerrilla marketing will always create an interactive, entertaining and physical experience for passers by; a package which the internet still has not quite been able to top!

U is for … Upping the Technology Bar

For quite some time, it has seemed as though technology has been stuck in a bit of a rut. The iPhone is a classic example of this. Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple, my family and friends describe me as an Apple Whore and I’m sure if the brand needed to employ ambassadors, I would be on their hit list. However, we are now onto the iPhone 5 and apart from being slightly longer and faster than it’s predecessor the 4S, it actually doesn’t seem to be that different. 

It has been a long time since a mastermind created something spectacular. The alcoholic brand which you usually tend to pick last at the bar when no other cider is available has created that spectacular something. It is usually Heineken or Smirnoff that you associate with experiential happenings. Well it seems as though Strongbow has popped it’s cap and shown us a snippet of the future of indulging in a trustworthy tipple.

If you’re a bit of a technology geek, chances are that you will be aware of the concept of RFID. If you’re like me and have not got the foggiest, here it is in layman’s terms. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, which enables small devices to transmit data using a small chip and an antenna.

Strongbow’s concept, ‘StartCap’, uses this technology to trigger the unexpected at bars and events. From turning the music on, to prompting projections and shooting fireworks. To fully understand the genius of this concept, you really have to watch the video. Words and images alone cannot express the ingenuity of this invention.

So as to avoid stumbling over in a drunken haze, the brand is currently scouring the world wide web using social networks to determine the most suitable environment for the product.

Strongbow have really upped the game when it comes experiential branding, so who’s going to buy the next round?!?

(Source: lsnglobal.com)

T is for … Titillating Creative Taste Buds
Just as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory was to Charlie, Hôtel Droog is a playground to creative’s. It screams fun, inspiration, and colour. If you are a fellow creative, these are words which are prime ingredients in 99% of your projects. The 1% is usually the paperwork!
Created by Dutch design brand Droog, Hôtel Droog is nestled in the heart of the cultural gem that is Amsterdam. Known for it’s racy Red-Light District, it is also a city which is knee deep in alternative music, fashion, cuisine, design and code and conducts. The hotel is a touch too alternative for London or New York, but sits perfectly in this quirky city. 
Step out of your room, attend lectures, visit exhibitions, spend your pennies in the shops or pop your feet up in the ‘fairy-tale garden’. Take note: you do not need to leave the hotel to do all of this, Hôtel Droog has all of your needs taken care of. True hospitality. 
Director of the brand, Renny Ramakers, formulated the hotel based on the concept of the hotel being a venue that “brings all of our activities under one roof, from curation to product design, exhibitions and lectures, and invites people to plug in as they choose. “
The dining room tickles taste buds with local recipes, the store exhibits a spectrum of products and the garden enchants with flowers and edible plants to attract birds, butterflies and insects.
Just as retail is having to consider the brand experience for customers to increase footfall and pique interest, hospitality is also having to explore alternative experiences for guests. Just as each room in Willy Wonka’s Factory held treats and surprises, Hôtel Droog has creativity spilling out of each room, leading you to another fun filled, inspirational space.

T is for … Titillating Creative Taste Buds

Just as Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory was to Charlie, Hôtel Droog is a playground to creative’s. It screams fun, inspiration, and colour. If you are a fellow creative, these are words which are prime ingredients in 99% of your projects. The 1% is usually the paperwork!

Created by Dutch design brand Droog, Hôtel Droog is nestled in the heart of the cultural gem that is Amsterdam. Known for it’s racy Red-Light District, it is also a city which is knee deep in alternative music, fashion, cuisine, design and code and conducts. The hotel is a touch too alternative for London or New York, but sits perfectly in this quirky city. 

Step out of your room, attend lectures, visit exhibitions, spend your pennies in the shops or pop your feet up in the ‘fairy-tale garden’. Take note: you do not need to leave the hotel to do all of this, Hôtel Droog has all of your needs taken care of. True hospitality. 

Director of the brand, Renny Ramakers, formulated the hotel based on the concept of the hotel being a venue that “brings all of our activities under one roof, from curation to product design, exhibitions and lectures, and invites people to plug in as they choose. “

The dining room tickles taste buds with local recipes, the store exhibits a spectrum of products and the garden enchants with flowers and edible plants to attract birds, butterflies and insects.

Just as retail is having to consider the brand experience for customers to increase footfall and pique interest, hospitality is also having to explore alternative experiences for guests. Just as each room in Willy Wonka’s Factory held treats and surprises, Hôtel Droog has creativity spilling out of each room, leading you to another fun filled, inspirational space.

S is for … Showcasing Tradition
It’s that time of year again, not the time to start your Christmas shopping, more to be amazed by creativity across the world. Fashion Week’s in various beautiful cities will be taking the lime light of the press for the next coming months. 100% Design will also be commencing mid-September, exhibiting talent from the arena’s of Product, Interior and Industrial Design.
Putting aside the large names in the industry, this event showcases the names which may not be as well known, but their presence commands your whole hearted attention. 
Designer David Irwin is based in the culturally thriving city of Newcastle upon Tyne (A.K.A The Toon to Northerners). Nestled within the city, David Irwin graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Three Dimensional Design. Moving forward, he became a Designer in Residence at the University and has designed for Habitat, Deadgood and Gardiner Richardson.
His M.Lamp, which he will be showcasing at 100% Design, takes inspiration from the various Mining Lamps of the late 19th - early 20th century. The sleek aesthetics combine iconic features from the various lamps, including a handle for transportation purposes and a spun metal reflector for directing light. 
Similarly to the flame fuelled lamp of the mining industry centuries ago, the M.Lamp is wireless, providing the user with 8 hours of bright light which can not only be focused in your chosen direction but also to be carried to your desired area within the home or office. The removable base enables the wire to be stored when not being charged, ensuring the stylish aesthetic isn’t compromised. 
The M.Lamp celebrates the North East’s Industrial Heritage by putting a contemporary twist on the polished aesthetics and practical function of the traditional Mining Lamp. 

S is for … Showcasing Tradition

It’s that time of year again, not the time to start your Christmas shopping, more to be amazed by creativity across the world. Fashion Week’s in various beautiful cities will be taking the lime light of the press for the next coming months. 100% Design will also be commencing mid-September, exhibiting talent from the arena’s of Product, Interior and Industrial Design.

Putting aside the large names in the industry, this event showcases the names which may not be as well known, but their presence commands your whole hearted attention. 

Designer David Irwin is based in the culturally thriving city of Newcastle upon Tyne (A.K.A The Toon to Northerners). Nestled within the city, David Irwin graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in Three Dimensional Design. Moving forward, he became a Designer in Residence at the University and has designed for Habitat, Deadgood and Gardiner Richardson.

His M.Lamp, which he will be showcasing at 100% Design, takes inspiration from the various Mining Lamps of the late 19th - early 20th century. The sleek aesthetics combine iconic features from the various lamps, including a handle for transportation purposes and a spun metal reflector for directing light. 

Similarly to the flame fuelled lamp of the mining industry centuries ago, the M.Lamp is wireless, providing the user with 8 hours of bright light which can not only be focused in your chosen direction but also to be carried to your desired area within the home or office. The removable base enables the wire to be stored when not being charged, ensuring the stylish aesthetic isn’t compromised. 

The M.Lamp celebrates the North East’s Industrial Heritage by putting a contemporary twist on the polished aesthetics and practical function of the traditional Mining Lamp. 

R is for … Radiating Functionality
Attractive aesthetics and the sheer simplicity of the nostalgic design movement that is Vintage and Retro has proven itself to be highly desirable over the past few years. Consumerism has changed from fast fashion to investment fashion in products, particularly home furnishings.
'The Sewing Machine', a Fashion Designer's best friend, an Interior Designer's worst nightmare. Unless it is a Vintage 'Singer' machine with a metal wheel and Mahogany base, the modern day sewing machine is not particularly attractive. Kept in it's original cardboard box under the stairs, the plastic monstrosity is kept out of view until needed, which is maybe to hem some trousers. This is one of the issues that Loughborough University Design Student, Sarah Dickins, needed to overcome when she pieced together 'Alto', which is in the running for the James Dyson Award. 
Taking issue with a generation who tend to throw clothes away as opposed to mending them, Dickins has designed a beautiful contraption which, due to it’s strong aesthetics, will hopefully encourage the owner to have it out on display, thus using it more frequently.
Aesthetics and the the underlying concept behind the machine aren’t the only issues addressed. From observations and discussions with beginners and even instructors, there are other aspects to people shying away from the sewing machine.
Confusion whilst threading the machine correctly is prevented by a metal guide running from reel to needle. Struggling to co-ordinate the stitching speed with the movement of the fabric is combatted by pressure sensors within the needle plate and the foot allowing a more fluid and natural speed. A flexible drive shaft allows for room to manoeuvre the fabric and poor visibility around the crucial stitching area is instantly reduced. 
This product demands an audience, not just to be looked upon, but also to be used every time a stitch comes loose or some trousers need tapering. Practical and beautiful, Dickins has brought back functional design with a touch of exquisite tailoring.

R is for … Radiating Functionality

Attractive aesthetics and the sheer simplicity of the nostalgic design movement that is Vintage and Retro has proven itself to be highly desirable over the past few years. Consumerism has changed from fast fashion to investment fashion in products, particularly home furnishings.

'The Sewing Machine', a Fashion Designer's best friend, an Interior Designer's worst nightmare. Unless it is a Vintage 'Singer' machine with a metal wheel and Mahogany base, the modern day sewing machine is not particularly attractive. Kept in it's original cardboard box under the stairs, the plastic monstrosity is kept out of view until needed, which is maybe to hem some trousers. This is one of the issues that Loughborough University Design Student, Sarah Dickins, needed to overcome when she pieced together 'Alto', which is in the running for the James Dyson Award. 

Taking issue with a generation who tend to throw clothes away as opposed to mending them, Dickins has designed a beautiful contraption which, due to it’s strong aesthetics, will hopefully encourage the owner to have it out on display, thus using it more frequently.

Aesthetics and the the underlying concept behind the machine aren’t the only issues addressed. From observations and discussions with beginners and even instructors, there are other aspects to people shying away from the sewing machine.

Confusion whilst threading the machine correctly is prevented by a metal guide running from reel to needle. Struggling to co-ordinate the stitching speed with the movement of the fabric is combatted by pressure sensors within the needle plate and the foot allowing a more fluid and natural speed. A flexible drive shaft allows for room to manoeuvre the fabric and poor visibility around the crucial stitching area is instantly reduced. 

This product demands an audience, not just to be looked upon, but also to be used every time a stitch comes loose or some trousers need tapering. Practical and beautiful, Dickins has brought back functional design with a touch of exquisite tailoring.

Q is for … Qualifying for Gold Innovation

It may seem as though I live and breathe Nike, and have been asked whether I have the slogan ‘Just Do It’ tattooed somewhere discreet. I haven’t, I am just fascinated by powerful brands. My last blog entry related to the brand and I was wanting this entry to be different, however it would be rather inappropriate to not explore an Olympic related event. 

Nike has featured in Selfridges on Oxford Street quite a few times with their cheeky pop-up stores. Known as a tourism hot spot and attracting a much younger target market than Harrods, Selfridges boasts a space perfect for guerrilla stores. 

On time, on the market and inspirational as always from the Sports’ Goddess, Nike have keyed into the event which is captivating and involving the world. And what better time to promote their Nike+ FuelBand, an innovative wristband which tracks your physical daily activity and uses data to inform and inspire the wearer to be more active. 

The pop-up shop, aptly titled ‘Nike House of Innovation’, combines physical and digital experiences in various ‘zones’ to encourage and reward users. Demonstrating Nike’s newest little gadgets and exhibiting Limited Edition Sports Inspired Lifestyle collections like NSW, the guerrilla store aims to get people of the couch and play! Just as Bill Bowerman wanted the brand to initially instil in its’ audience.

As with any Nike event, it is questionable as to how much of a product plug their events are. But with Nike, they want people to love the brand, whether or not they desire their products is up to their subconscious!

(Source: thetrendboutique.co.uk)

V is for … Violating Social Networking
Whilst browsing through Flickr I came across an image a user had taken of a sneaky bit of creative street art inspired by the biggest Social Networking site across the globe.
I then found that Creative Guerrilla Marketing had actually compiled many more images of street art taken from Facebook’s features. It is hard to work out whether the art is mocking the business/brand/site or whether it is cleverly taking a global company which is purely internet based, and bringing it to the streets through physical print forms.
With over 845 million monthly active users at the end of last year, Facebook has it’s own entity. If you happen to forget when your friend’s birthday is, Facebook will remind you. If you want to broadcast your life, Facebook will happily assist. If you want to market your brand and connect to consumers around the world with just one post, Facebook is your platform.
Whilst this street art is comical, empathetic to users and cleverly executed, it’s real pull is the fact that it has taken an internet based brand to the streets. Beginning it’s life on the world wide web and throwing stones in the playground with Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook has always remained on the web.
This creativity has made the brand tangible, people can interact with it on a physical basis, not just tapping away at a keyboard or the touch of a screen. Whilst the internet revolutionised marketing, Guerrilla marketing will always create an interactive, entertaining and physical experience for passers by; a package which the internet might not quite be able to top!

V is for … Violating Social Networking

Whilst browsing through Flickr I came across an image a user had taken of a sneaky bit of creative street art inspired by the biggest Social Networking site across the globe.

I then found that Creative Guerrilla Marketing had actually compiled many more images of street art taken from Facebook’s features. It is hard to work out whether the art is mocking the business/brand/site or whether it is cleverly taking a global company which is purely internet based, and bringing it to the streets through physical print forms.

With over 845 million monthly active users at the end of last year, Facebook has it’s own entity. If you happen to forget when your friend’s birthday is, Facebook will remind you. If you want to broadcast your life, Facebook will happily assist. If you want to market your brand and connect to consumers around the world with just one post, Facebook is your platform.

Whilst this street art is comical, empathetic to users and cleverly executed, it’s real pull is the fact that it has taken an internet based brand to the streets. Beginning it’s life on the world wide web and throwing stones in the playground with Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook has always remained on the web.

This creativity has made the brand tangible, people can interact with it on a physical basis, not just tapping away at a keyboard or the touch of a screen. Whilst the internet revolutionised marketing, Guerrilla marketing will always create an interactive, entertaining and physical experience for passers by; a package which the internet might not quite be able to top!

P is for … Personal Training; Virtual Style
Ever since the Xbox 360 Kinect and the Wii Fit became a world wide craze with varying age groups, the fitness industry has taken quite a beating. If you also take into account the fact that exercise has taken a back seat since the recession hit, then the fitness industry really has struggled to bench press as much as it used to. 
Now Nike has added a bit more weight to the bar with Nike+ Kinect Training. Its’ USP? Your very own personal trainer through your Xbox Kinect. No need to leave the house, show your face at the gym without make-up or have a muscle machine barking at you. 
The game has virtual personal trainers which assess your movements, strength and overall ability to create a tailor made programme. To top it off, the game itself will cost approximately the same as 1 hour worth of personal training at the gym. Is this the end of Personal Training as we know it?!?
No. The game taps into an audience who don’t tend to use the gym or probably don’t use a Personal Trainer to begin with. It takes away the fun of training outside in the fresh air with your muscle machine, or having a physical being to compete against. 
Technology does take away the personal touch with pretty much everything, and the personal touch is exactly what we subconsciously love. It reminds us that we’re not robots. Nike has made it a bit of a challenge for Personal Trainers, and a challenge is precisely what PT’s relish. 

P is for … Personal Training; Virtual Style

Ever since the Xbox 360 Kinect and the Wii Fit became a world wide craze with varying age groups, the fitness industry has taken quite a beating. If you also take into account the fact that exercise has taken a back seat since the recession hit, then the fitness industry really has struggled to bench press as much as it used to. 

Now Nike has added a bit more weight to the bar with Nike+ Kinect Training. Its’ USP? Your very own personal trainer through your Xbox Kinect. No need to leave the house, show your face at the gym without make-up or have a muscle machine barking at you. 

The game has virtual personal trainers which assess your movements, strength and overall ability to create a tailor made programme. To top it off, the game itself will cost approximately the same as 1 hour worth of personal training at the gym. Is this the end of Personal Training as we know it?!?

No. The game taps into an audience who don’t tend to use the gym or probably don’t use a Personal Trainer to begin with. It takes away the fun of training outside in the fresh air with your muscle machine, or having a physical being to compete against. 

Technology does take away the personal touch with pretty much everything, and the personal touch is exactly what we subconsciously love. It reminds us that we’re not robots. Nike has made it a bit of a challenge for Personal Trainers, and a challenge is precisely what PT’s relish. 

O is for … Optical Illusion Last year I wrote a piece for a Retail and Business Development Agency exploring Visual Merchandising used by Opticians. From both Primary and Secondary research, it became quite clear that there is a lack of creativity within the world of Optometry. It seems as though the reason for this is that because there is a need for spectacles and contact lenses as opposed to a want, then visual merchandising becomes secondary. When I stumbled across this little gem, it was almost as though I was seeing this industry through a new set of eyes. 
To market such a small product is a challenge in itself, but dedicating a whole store to something which measures approximately 1cm in diameter requires about as much thought as carrying out eye surgery. 
Designed by Lee-Ran Shlomi Gidron of Miss Lee Design, this little store in Tel Aviv connotes cleanliness,  clarity and minimalism, all words which were used as inspiration for the concept.
Once again, simplicity reigns supreme and it is the attention to detail which makes this store a spectacle. The embossed lettering on the wall conjures up images of an opticians’, while the concave mirrors which also act as the lighting simulate the contact lenses themselves.

O is for … Optical Illusion

Last year I wrote a piece for a Retail and Business Development Agency exploring Visual Merchandising used by Opticians. From both Primary and Secondary research, it became quite clear that there is a lack of creativity within the world of Optometry. It seems as though the reason for this is that because there is a need for spectacles and contact lenses as opposed to a want, then visual merchandising becomes secondary.

When I stumbled across this little gem, it was almost as though I was seeing this industry through a new set of eyes. 

To market such a small product is a challenge in itself, but dedicating a whole store to something which measures approximately 1cm in diameter requires about as much thought as carrying out eye surgery. 

Designed by Lee-Ran Shlomi Gidron of Miss Lee Design, this little store in Tel Aviv connotes cleanliness,  clarity and minimalism, all words which were used as inspiration for the concept.

Once again, simplicity reigns supreme and it is the attention to detail which makes this store a spectacle. The embossed lettering on the wall conjures up images of an opticians’, while the concave mirrors which also act as the lighting simulate the contact lenses themselves.

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