News

July 2014 – DesignAge Hong Kong Club

Collaborating with Studio Hato, I have been developing a logo and identity for a Hong Kong based social design project. DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) is an international network of design research labs that support sustainable change and are behind the DesignAge clubs, founded to inspire young designers to respond to the ageing of our populations and connect them to senior citizens interested in creating a better world for themselves through design.

We ended up using an owl and a rabbit in our final designs as we felt they symbolically fitted the DesignAge ethos best: Owls are classically seen in many cultures to represent wisdom, knowledge, age, status and intelligence. They are often mythically represented as the guides to help us uncover our hidden potential and abilities. Conversely, rabbits are primarily associated with abundance, creativity, playfulness and new beginnings - the symbolic circle of life - and remind us to examine and utilise the tools we have within us.

These meanings felt like an empowering way of representing age and the gifts it brings - tho of course in a playful way!

Photographs by Meng Lau.

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June 2014 – Re-Learning the Land: A Story of Red Crow College

This is a poster I have been working on for one of the short films we have been developing for Enlivened Learning. The film, ‘Re-Learning the Land: A Story of Red Crow College’ explains the history of Red Crow Community College, how it arose from the oppression of the Native Blackfoot Indians in Canada and the role it is currently playing in reconnecting the Native people to their land and stories, healing the wounds of the past and moving forwards into the future with the new wisdom this has brought. It raises controversial questions about how knowledge is sacrificed when educational institutions become businesses, how universities are designed to maintain and create the middle classes and the challenges of creating a pedagogy that combines both traditional and modern ways. It also explores Native verses Western views on ecology.

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June 2014 – Abundance

I’ve been designing some magazine inserts for Abundance – an ethical investment firm specialising in renewable energy initiatives. The brief was to work with their existing branding style to communicate the theme of win/win to their target client base. Illustrations by the talented Mr. Jim Le Fevre.

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March 2014 – Brighton!

So I’ve just relocated to sunny shores of Brighton town! Looking forwards to exploring seaside life and the creative communities here!

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February 2014 – Knowledge Mandala

Working with Enlivened Learning has given me a platform to indulge my curiosity in indigenous artwork, creating posters and animation for the film. This is the first piece of artwork I’ve created for the project: The Enlivened Learning Mandala. This Mandala is a visual attempt to capture the bringing together of global indigenous knowledge and ways of learning. The imagery was inspired directly by the places the Enlivened Learning team have visited on their travels and the four ‘Trees of Knowledge’ represent the four corners of our Earth (North, South, East and West) coming together with heart and connectivity at it’s centre.

Mandalas are symbolic representations of wholeness and universe, and are traditionally tools for teaching, learning and the focusing of attention and intent.

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November 2013 – Defaced!

So I just found out my business card has been defaced by the talented Ellen Wilkinson!

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October 2013 - Enlivened Learning

I recently met two very inspiring people, Kelly Teamey and Udi Mandel, both professional academics who took a brave step out of their institutions to pursue the question of what knowledge and learning really is, or should be. Their quest has taken them all around the globe, interviewing and exploring revolutionary higher education initiatives born from social and ecological movements and indigenous communities. This led them to create Enlivened Learning and to develop a feature length documentary that explores their learning journey. I have been fortunate enough to be asked to join in the venture, alongside an inspiring international collective of like-minded creatives from all different backgrounds to help develop the project.

Universities are quickly becoming profit driven, bureaucratic business and students are increasingly becoming dissatisfied and disillusioned by what they have to offer. Are they really helping us to answer the questions our world is now presenting, to create and connect, and if so how? Enlivened Learning seeks to explore and give voice to the mostly silent revolution occurring through independent initiatives that are challenging us to question what it means to learn and connect with knowledge, self, land and each other through our creativity and passions.

You can see the first trailer for the film here.

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June 2013 – The Art of Storytelling

Here are some experimental drawings from my sketchbook. I have long been fascinated by the art of storytelling, both visual and aural, and am a dedicated collector of graphic novels and literature. Since the beginning of human civilisation, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods and I am particularly fascinated by the use of narrative when working within a therapeutic context, having been inspired by the work of people like Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Erica Helm Meade, who walk the line between psychotherapy and storytelling.

Why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear/see a narrative around events and why can stories have such a profound effect on our learning and growth? According to science, listening to stories activates a much bigger part of our brain then other modes of communication, not just the language processing centres, but any other part of our brain we would use when experiencing the actual events of the story too (including the sensory and motor cortex), putting your whole brain to work. Apparently hearing stories about how others have transformed their lives and thinking can have the same effect on the listener – as the brains of both teller and recipient literally synchronise. By simply telling a story we can plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into someone's brain. We are hard-wired to link up metaphors and literal happenings automatically – constantly looking for the cause and affect relationship of something we’ve previously experienced.

So if stories have so much potential power to stimulate change, do the creators of them not have some responsibility towards what they put out in the world? Stories can inspire or constrict us and I have begun to question my own aspirations and responsibility as a visual storyteller. I look forwards to continuing to explore how I can express this both as an artist and someone interested in the psychology of transformation. As Erica Helm Meade suggests:

“To be human is to have a story… If you want to change your life, change your story… The stories we tell ourselves shape our perception of the moment, influence our actions, set the tone for the future, and even have the power to self-fulfill… For this reason we need positive self-stories that are just, compassionate, forward-looking and true… When our self-stories are based in compelling truth, and when they follow a viably optimistic arc toward meaningful outcomes, then they help to energize and inspire us.”

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May 2013 – A Journey of Transformation

Here is a recent illustration I have been working on around the theme of transformation. Each item symbolises both a personal and collectively shared cultural wound that, once healed and transformed, becomes a precious gift to be used in the world. The piece is about moving from a place of lack to a place of abundance in the psyche – as each challenge is overcome a new dimension of wisdom and understanding is gained - transforming the wounds of the past into gifts of the present. Through this process of transformation, greater perceptual insight can be brought into being, allowing a higher potential to be realised.

It is also a meditation on power – what it is and what it isn’t – and perhaps rather than it being about how much power we can have over others, a truer definition is the ability to transform – to consciously change one energy into another, or to help guide others though this process. I hope it is also a visual reminder of how even the planet's deepest traumas can be brought forth for release using playful expression – why can’t this process be fun?! If you're interested in exploring the relationship between playfulness, creativity and purpose in life then I highly recommend the work of the talented 'Fun Expert Coach' Thea Anderson.

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January 2013 – The Future of Publishing

Amb:IT:ion Scotland, a programme for the development of digital technologies within the arts, heritage and cultural sector held their latest roadshow at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre this month, exploring the future of publishing, interactive entertainment and digital storytelling. Like all good seminars it raised many questions within my own practice and the context of my work and it was inspiring to mingle with people from variety of disciplines, including writers, theatre producers, gaming developers and artists. As Simon Meek of The Story Mechanics explained: love of story is universal, but a love of reading isn’t and the digital sector can be both inclusive and alienating depending on it’s execution and context. He showcased his latest project, a digital interactive version of The Thirty Nine Steps (originally written by John Buchan) that highlighted the divide between the gaming industries and more traditional literary/visual arts, and the rapidly growing number of people who are positioned between the two. Markets are also changing: people who aren’t necessarily interested in the ‘gaming’ label but savvy users of digital media have an interest in storytelling too. Digital interactive media may have a role to play in getting people curious in things they wouldn’t otherwise be interested in, however, where it falls down is when it is used for it’s own sake (the seduction of new technology) rather then because it is the best mode of communication for a given outcome and outreach.

Chris Meade from if:book uk, raised issues within the e-publishing world: people have an affinity to books as a physical artefact/souvenir of their journey with a narrative, and the e-publishing industry has scope for developing creative solutions around this through, for example, social networking. With more and more outlets for self-publishing, do we still need publishers? Do they help maintain quality and excellence, or do they restrict creativity to fit into pre-conceived commercial models? Do we still need libraries? Statistics show that visitor numbers have decreased significantly because digital technologies have directly or indirectly allowed different forms of access to literature, or do they have a future role to play as hubs for social/intellectual/creative collaboration? Of course the important thing isn’t how we publish, but that what we publish still finds a way to touch people’s hearts and minds, whether it is through traditional or technological modes of expression.

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January 2013 – Enneagram of Healing

I have been experimenting with information design and the example above is of an ‘Enneagram of Healing’. The Enneagram is a piece of sacred geometry brought to the west by the Russian mystic and philosopher George Gurdjieff. Its original use (as opposed to it’s role in modern psychology for charting personality types) was as a powerful mapping tool for any process of transformation, where weaknesses and stumbling points can be anticipated and overcome. In this case we used it to explore the transformational processes associated with healing from the levels of Organism (Function), Mind (Being) and Spirit (Will).

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December 2012 – Art School work to feature on Book Cover!

We are very excited to announce that artwork from some of our students at Hackney Children’s Art School (frames illustrated by myself) has been chosen to feature on the front cover of a new publication titled ‘Teaching Primary Art’ by Jean Edwards. The book, to be published by Pearson, will be about the underpinning philosophies and pedagogy of teaching and learning art and will be full of practical suggestions, ways of linking art and other subjects, and teaching and support strategies. We can’t wait to get our hands on our own copy, and to show our students how gorgeous their work will look in print! We also hope that it will be a step closer to writing our own book, sharing our learning journey and helping teachers and students develop their creative abilities. Above is a mock up of what the cover will hopefully look like.

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November 2012 – A Shiny New Website!

I am proud to announce the new look website for Hackney Children’s Art School that I have been busy working on! We’ve had hits from all over the world (83 countries to be exact!) and we’re super proud to be spreading our message so far. Our first year has been such a journey; Kate and I (and hopefully some of the kids!) have learned so much from the whole experience. From this year we were able to create a template for teaching art in primary schools and plenty of wonderful lesson plans to help both teachers and students in these schools, to develop their artistic talents, confidence and perception. Please enjoy our site and feel free to contact us if you like what you see!

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November 2012 – 21st Century Life

Here is another illustration from the series I recently created on mindfulness and meditation. This is what happens when 21st century life takes over us and we are unable to practice mindfulness!

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October 2012 – Over the hills and far away…

I recently made the decision to re-locate myself back to Bonnie Scotland, and although I am still regularly in London and various other locations (I’m a very seasoned rail-traveller!) it has been wonderful and inspiring to explore some of the rugged wilderness of my homeland. Here are some of my recent photos!

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September 2012 - The Journey

Life is a journey! Here is an illustration I did of what it can feel like when that journey gets a little out of control!

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August 2012 – NLP as a Cybernetic Design Process

As part of the Therapist Training course I have been attending, we have been exploring the role of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as a modality for understanding how people create their experience of the world and how this can be changed through an exploration of linguistics. This work has ignited me to re-examine my understanding of cybernetics (the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems) and its application to social and language based systems. The original definition of cybernetics was coined by the Greek Philosopher Plato as: ‘the study of self-governance’. I would argue that NLP is a cybernetic design process, where action is taken to change the behaviour of a complex system (a human) in order to achieve specific goals (i.e. a happier more effective human) and a better understanding of cybernetics may be useful in attempting to understand how the human system can learn and correct problem behaviours and beliefs through, for example, therapy. I have been particularly inspired by the work of Gregory Bateson and his ground-breaking book ‘Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution and Epistemology.

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May 2012 – The Monkey Mind

I have been experimenting with inks again and created a series of illustrations about mindfulness and meditation. This is my interpretation of the ‘Monkey Mind’ and it’s ability to trick us into thinking we should give it authority over our actions!

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March 2012 – Comics Club Exhibition

We celebrated the end of our second term at Hackney Children’s Art School with a great exhibition of the kids work at the Old Studio. The theme for this spring term was comics, and Kate did a great job of helping them explore narrative, scale, typography, texture, the difference between observational and imagined drawing and how a combination of the two can create ‘graphic art’. This term the children enjoyed a trip to the Arcola Theatre to draw the beautiful vintage tables and chairs, and an excursion to the new library at Dalston to learn how to ‘research’ for a drawing. I created a Comics Club book to sell at the exhibition that contained the children’s work and was inspired by some of the outrageous conversations had by the children (“this is an Art Club not a Biscuit Club!”) Some other highlights included badges (made with our new badge machine!) cards, prints, matchbox comics, and our own D.I.Y comic kits. Next term’s theme will be architecture so watch this space…

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February 2012 – Therapist Training

I have recently been accepted to do a years part-time Therapist Training course at the renowned Optimum Health Clinic in London who specialise in the support of conditions such as M.E., CFS and fibromyalgia. My reasons for joining the course are many: hopefully opening up possibilities for the future and my interest in working with people and communities, designing new ways of living and being together as humans. I believe learning to share and understand our feelings and thoughts can engage us in more meaningful relationships to ourselves, others and our environment. I hope attending the course will continue to full-fill my curiosity of the human condition, and I believe now more then ever we need people who understand people to deal with the challenges our planet is facing.

I also have a personal research interest in the field of communication and it’s design - the link between interior experience and outward expression, and my work has always revolved around the questioning of ourselves and our reality. I also believe the re-design of our cognition can ignite changes in our reality that go beyond what we could imagine and influence our world for the better. Good design is a combination of intuition and methodology, and hopefully this course will provide me with some new methodologies!

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January 2012 – The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

I finally made it to see Grayson Perry’s exhibition ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ at the British Museum. The show sees Perry expertly and humorously curating a collection of pieces from the museum, alongside a selection of his new works, paying tribute to the unknown craftsmen and woman of history. It explores a range of themes connected to notions of craftsmanship, sacred journeys, identity and contemporary culture: holy relics and shaman’s tools are placed amongst Perry’s ceramics, tapestries, sculptures and of course that custom motorbike.

The skill and detail of his workmanship felt marvellously refreshing in the context our contemporary throw-away consumer world and it was surprising to watch the public spending so much time pouring over the details, a hard thing for an artist or curator to achieve in the digital age where the instant gratification of screen based media and entertainment is the norm. I think Perry successfully and unpretentiously reframed the importance of ‘skills’ in the 21st century by boldly placing himself next to the craftsmen of old, and in his own words: ‘The craftsman’s anonymity I find especially resonant in an age of the celebrity artist.’

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January 2012 - Comic Club is Back!

The kids have decided that they want comics to be at the heart of Hackney Children’s Art School’s second term of classes, so Comic Club is back! We aim to produce a collaborative book for the end of term exhibition containing work from each child that cumulatively illustrates their journey exploring the discipline of graphic art and narrative. Kate has been working very hard to help them understand the difference between perceptual and imagined drawing, and how a combination of the two can create something new, and I have been busy coming up with ideas for generating stories and helping them develop style. I look forwards to showing the results soon!

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December 2011 - HCAS Christmas Exhibition

We proudly had our first exhibition as Hackney Children’s Art School this month, and all the children’s hard work over the first term was revealed to parents and friends, with original paintings, prints, sketchbooks, gift cards and portfolios all on display. Chocolate biscuits and glasses of wine (for the grown ups!) where plentiful and we even managed some quiz questions covering what the children had learned over the term. We would like to thank all the parents for their support and feedback over this first test term, all of which has been invaluable learning for the future of Hackney Children’s Art School. We would also like to thank all our first Art School pupils: Linus, Billy, Alice, George, Mia, Joseph, Ben, Alex, Teddy and Hardy. Kate and I have learned a lot from them!

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December 2011 – Ready For Anything

The book ‘Ready for Anything: Designing Resilience for a Transforming World’ by Anthony Hodgson has just been released by Triarchy Press. It introduces the World System Model as a holistic methodology for dealing with our complex world predicament, and is a perfect example of how the visual design of the World Model can find what I would term the ‘Profound Simplicity’ that allows us to develop the resilient and adaptive solutions we so badly need to achieve ‘one-planet living’. Anthony Hodgson, the founder of Decision Integrity ltd, and co-founder of the International Futures Forum is also my dad and I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity of helping him with the graphical development and application of the World Model, some of which can be seen in the book. ‘Ready for Anything’ also discusses the Calthorpe Community World Game I was involved with designing back in April 2010, and how the World Game can be used to help communities improve resilience. For more information on the book please click here.

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December 2011 – Bags For Sale!

We have just got our first Hackney Children’s Art School product hot off the press: 100% cotton bags with our ‘More Art For More Children!’ slogan, fantastically coloured by our first class of kids – they’ve had as much fun as us trying to remember who coloured what! Hopefully we will get them up in our online shop soon, with proceeds going towards helping us to connect the creativity of practicing artists and the children of Hackney.

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November 2011 – The Gane Trust

I have kindly been awarded an arts grant from the Gane Trust to produce and exhibit some work of my choice. The Gane Trust was started in 1954 by the Bristolian Crofton Gane (see above), a pioneering furniture designer and advocate of forward thinking creative design and craftsmanship. He was also known for working along side the Bauhaus designer Marcel Breuer while he was a refugee from Nazi Germany. I have plenty of work in progress waiting to be developed so I’m looking forwards to putting the money to good use!

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October 2011 – More Art For More Children!

With the present economic issues the arts are always high on the list of cuts and children’s art is especially venerable, particularly at primary level where there is no dedicated art teacher. Financial and time pressure means there is little budget for teachers to get outside art organisations in to help, if they can find them at all. I am therefore excited to reveal the latest social enterprise I have been involved with setting up: Hackney Children’s Art School. The project is currently based in the London burgh of Hackney, and is a collaboration with my sister and fellow artist Kate Hodgson. It’s purpose is to connect the creative educational needs of children to the skills of practicing artists, and to also provide lesson plans and opportunities to help primary school teachers. We believe helping to empower children to use their inbuilt creative abilities is beneficial to all, plus it’s fun! You can follow our progress and weekly classes on our website, we have some exciting developments planned and we’d love to hear from any interested parents, teachers or artists so feel free to get in touch!

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September 2011 – Out of this world!

What does it mean to be a human being? Who do we share our universe with? What is reality? What are we doing to our world and how would we like to live with each other in the future? These are just some of the questions touched on at the ‘Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As We Know It’ exhibition at the British Library in London. I went to visit the exhibition which is full of fantastic books and artwork, old and contemporary, curated to provoke new ways of looking at the genre and it’s influence on exploring new paradigms of politics, science, society, ecology and reality itself. This has been one of the main reasons I have been inspired by the creators of science fiction and I believe these artists and writers have always paved the way for pushing the boundaries and inspiring the world to think about the bigger picture.

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July 2011 – Fragments

My spare time in the past 6 months has been spent on the collaborative development of a graphic novella titled Fragment. The project, conceived and curated by Edinburgh based Lucy Dixon, is about collecting and translating peoples dreams into short stories, then getting selected artists to turn them into a graphic form. The story I have been asked to work on is loosely based on a couple of warring Gods and their relationship with the inner and outer worlds.

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August 2010 – Relocation!

A lot has happened in the past few months and I’ve re-located from London to the West Country! Next to the sea and close to Bristol, there’s a lot of interesting things going on here with design and environmental projects, although I’m in London (and hopefully Scotland!) regularly to keep an eye on what’s going on there. Watch this space to find out what’s next!

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July 2010 – The Poundshop is back!

Organised and designed by the wonderful Sara Melin and Household, the second instalment of the Poundshop appeared at the Shorditch Festival in East London this weekend. A pop-up designer shop with everything on sale for just £1, a couple of my products including the RecessionEze tea bags made an appearance – guaranteed to sooth away those money blues!

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May 2010 – Gaza Beneath the Bombs

Organised by contemporary jeweller Claire Pouget Wright, ‘Gaza: Beneath the Bombs’ was a fundraiser event held at Goldsmiths in London to raise money for her MA project in partnership with the participatory media initiative Voices Beyond the Walls, providing partnership with youth centers in Palestinian refugee camps. It was a great night featuring readings from ‘Gaza: Beneath the Bombs’ by Sharyn Lock and Sarah Irving, and a performance of the Palestine Monologues, as well as an art raffle which I was invited to contribute a couple of my prints to.

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May 2010 – Felting

I have recently been experimenting with felt making as a new media for mark making. This is my first attempt and I have been making a series of images based on my research on network theory and interconnectivity. The pieces are made from 100% wool and a combination of dry and wet felting techniques.

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April 2010 - We Are The World!

Thursday the 15th was the unveiling of our first pilot version of the IFF Community World Game hosted kindly by the Calthorpe Project, London. A collaboration between Nazreen A. Subhan, Jennifer Williams, Rebecca Hodgson and myself, it was a family day for people of all ages, a day of play and stories for exploring our worlds and how they connect. Alongside the actual World Games we played in a circle, we also ran a World Game themed treasure hunt and drawing competition. The day was an opportunity for participants to discover and learn how we all depend on each other and the natural world.

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April 2010 – The PoundShop

April Fools day saw the opening of the PoundShop in its first venue at 253 Hoxton Street, London. A project by Household and Sara Melin, the PoundShop is a pop-up designer shop selling everything from cutlery to jewellery for just £1. I was invited to contribute to the enterprise and came up with some recession themed products including tea and notebooks. The shop will be open from the 2-5th of April from 12-6pm so if you’re in the area go pick up a bargain!

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March 2010 – Climate Impact Patterns

I have been doing some more information design, using the IFF World Model to depict possible impact patterns that climate change could have on different parts of the world. The work is part of a larger project that is being done in an attempt to understand how these impacts will affect the UK and the subsequent policy development required to deal with these changes.

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January 2010 - MagTies

I have been busy the past few months working for MagTies, a bespoke men’s label specialising in neckwear. The brief was to completely re-brand the company from the logo right through to the website and clothing labels.

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October 2009 - The Teach-In

The Teach-In kicked off this month at the V&A in London, with the aim of embedding ecological and sustainability literacy in design education by 2012. The event was broadcast live to Universities across the country and the event itself was attended by both students and tutors from a range of different design disciplines. Organised by Jody Boehnert of EcoLabs, speakers included John Thackara (Doors of Perception), Richard Hawkins (Public Interest Research Centre), Andrew Simms (nef), Emma Dewberry, Jonathan Crinion, Stephanie Hankey (Tactical Tech) and more. Videos and more info on the event can be found at the Teach-In website.

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September 2009 - Hats at Highbury Estate

The second Neighbours Fair held at Highbury Quadrant Estate was a big success – and to help the local community celebrate the restoration of the statue “the Neighbours” by Sigfried Charoux on the estate, I ran a hat making workshop for the children throughout the day.

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August 2009 – The New Website!

The new website is up – hope you enjoy it!

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July 2009 - IFF World Model Graphics

For the past few months I have been working on a development proposal for the International Futures Forum on possible applications for their IFF World Game in a community setting. For part of this I have been developing possible graphical applications for the IFF World Model and created a visual representation of Herman Daly’s Future Scenario: ‘Life in a Land Without Growth’ (from Issue 2678 of New Scientist Magazine). The idea behind it was to push the ideas in the article though the World Model to give an instant visual representation of Herman Daly’s proposal.

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June 2009 - Here Comes Trouble

Here Comes Trouble is the fantastic video created for Ill Ease (Parlour Records) by George Wu. It tells the story of Mr. Peg and his dreams of buying a house and the trouble he had getting a steady job so he can afford it! I have been helping with the puppetry and it’s been a hectic few days but I think the end result makes it all worth it - you can watch the final cut here.

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June 2009 – Futures Analysts’ Network Seminar

This month I have also attended the Futures Analysts’ Network / UK Node Millennium Project Seminar held at the Royal Society, London. The seminar focused on recent developments in futures research methodology. Futures studies is the conceptually challenging but relevant practice that engages people to consider a range of interconnected driving forces that are changing the world – from globalisation to climate change. Through strategic and specialised techniques futures studies can help individuals, organisations and communities become more adaptive and creative at facing change. The futures field is underpinned by concepts of complexity and uncertainty and I believe visual communication has the potential to play a massive role in its development, use and accessibility.

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June 2009 – The Climate Roadshow at BASH Studios

We have been busy hanging the second stopping point for the Climate Roadshow at BASH Studios, with an exhibition running from the 18th to the 27th of June. Three bodies of work visualise possible futures through the perceptions of science, permaculture and economics.

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June 2009 – The Climate Roadshow at The Art Car Boot Fair

The Art Car Boot Fair at Bricklane saw the launch of EcoLabs’ Climate Roadshow, and issue 1 of EcoMag: Future Scenarios. The Climate Roadshow is a travelling exhibition, examining possible future scenarios (within the context of climate change) through the use of illustration. At the fair we where selling copies of EcoMag (also available through EcoLabs) and despite the heat it was a great day out!

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April 2009 – IFF City World Game

I have been involved with the production and design of the latest version of the IFF World Game, and its use at a three-phase workshop hosted by the International Futures Forum. The game was played by representatives from Learning & Teaching Scotland and Abertay University, with the aim of producing advice about strategic priorities for city resilience to an imaginary European council.

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February 2009 – The Methods Lab II

I have again been working with designer Selina Swayne to produce the promotional material for the second Methods Lab workshop run by the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the RCA. We produced flyers, name badges and a fold out poster to be used by the participants, outlining the sequence of design steps to be followed during the two-day workshop. I was also involved in some of the team activities during the workshop, which was focused on the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis.

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November 2008 – Christmas Art & Design Fair

In preparation for Christmas, I have collaborated with designer/maker Ann-Marie Faulkner to produce goods for a stall at the Abney Hall Christmas Art & Design fair in Stoke Newington. The event was organised by Oggleverything and we sold everything from prints and badges to cuffs and gloves.

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November 2008 – The Methods Lab

I have been working with designer Selina Swayne and the Helen Hamlyn Center for the past few months developing a new identity for their student program, now titled The Methods Lab at the RCA. This was unleashed at the first of the two-day workshops, where I was also joint-team leader for one of the four student teams. The interdisciplinary workshops for design students and tutors at the RCA where to encourage engagement with social change, and participatory and inclusive design methods. The conclusion of the workshop was the college wide presentation of the design solutions developed from the experience of working in partnership with a disabled artist or designer.

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October 2008 – Leeds Schumacher Lectures

This month I attended the Leeds Schumacher Lectures on ‘transforming the Global Economy: Solutions for a Sustainable World’. Speakers included Susan George, chair of the Planning Board of the Transitional Institute, Ann Pettifor, executive director of Advocacy International, and Andrew Simms, Policy Director for the New Economics Foundation.

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September 2008 – Hats at Highbury Estate

A community event on Highbury Quadrant Estate I was involved with running, culminating in a competition for the local children to make hats for “the Neighbours” by Sigfried Charoux. The event was the launch of a local history project and a successful campaign by the tenants and residents association to get the grade 2 listed statue, which is in a state of grave disrepair, restored.

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August 2008 – Clay Pride

Despite the rain, we ran a dough-based workshop at the Dolphinstock Festival in Lancaster, complete with life model and fig leaf!

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July 2008 – IFF World Game at the Big Tent

Version one of the IFF World Game, developed by the International Futures Forum and Decision Integrity Ltd, was played at The Big Tent festival, Fife. We encouraged participants to place a ‘pet project’ into the World Game with the aim of getting them to engage and internalise their project within the broader context of the world and its complexities through the medium of play. A 12-sided dice was then used to generate random combinations of trends, challenges and opportunities to strengthen the integrity of their ideas.

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July 2008 – New Views 2

I had the pleasure of representing EcoLabs and presenting a paper by Jody Boehnert titled ‘Design & Ecological Literacy: Part of the Solution’ at the New Views 2 conference. Held at the London College of Communication, it had the ambitious aim of defining graphic design for the future with emphasis placed on informal conversation and collaboration between participants.

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June 2008 - RCA Show

The completion of my final Masters project entitled ‘Endgame’ culminated in its unveiling at our graduation show at the Royal College of Art and winning the Design For Our Future Selves award for Inclusive Communication.