TED consults on Estethica guidelines

The TED Project has been asked to consult on the 2009 questionnaire which has been developed for Estethica, the ethical fashion initiative at London Fashion Week.

Fashion labels who wish to be part of Estethica are asked to fill in a questionnaire which details their sustainable practices and helps the organisers to choose companies who are in line with Estethica’s core ethical principles.

Filippo Ricci and Orsola de Castro (of fashion label From Somewhere) the founders of Estethica, have chosen the TED Project, to be part of an ‘expert panel’ who offer advice and expertise to the initiative. Other organisations involved include the Fair Labor Association, Ethical Fashion Forum and the Environmental Justice Foundation.

‘Second Life’ textiles

TED team member Caryn Simonson was recently part of a panel discussion at the ICA in London as part of the Textile Futures Research Group (TFRG) Salon series.

‘What Future for Living Textiles within the Built Environment’ was exploring how textile designers inhabit other design fields and cohabit with the world of science, particularly with the recent developments in nano and bio technology. The question being asked was how much is the textile design discipline changing and are we as designers and consumers ready for the next material revolution?

After hearing from architects Mark Gaulthorpe and Mette Ramsgard, Caryn Simonson presented the recent TFRG project in which work from the Group is being shown within the virtual space of Second Life. The Group have bought their own island on Second Life and have designed and built an exhibition space to show the work.

Top image: Mel Bowles
Bottom image: Kay Politowicz

The future of Sustainable Design Education

We were recently at 100% Sustainable at Earls Court, and saw an inspiring presentation of the DEEDS (Design Education and Sustainability) project, which was introduced by Alistair Fuad-Luke. Set up to promote sustainable design (SD) education to educators and professional designers, Fuad-Luke explained they are developing on-line tools for teaching and learning which include a glossary of SD terms, methodologies which can be shared and a space for contributors to develop ‘pods’, which are open-source, web-based case studies of inspiring SD stories. The aim is to get teachers and designers contributing and feeding back into the project so that SD can become fully integrated into design education and into the design industry in the EU.

Anne Thorpe, who wrote the The Designers Atlas of Sustainability, has posted her thoughts on the future of SD education on her blog Design Activism. Thorpe talks of the need for SD education to become broader in how it views eco or green design and to suggest to students more diverse models of design practise which may include working for social enterprises or public agencies.

Thorpe also believes that the latest trend is around ‘social innovation’ and that we are going to see a shift toward exploring how design can facilitate relationships and social capital, rather than just designing objects. But the question for education is what kind of training do designers need to understand and enhance social innovation? These are questions which SD educators are just starting to ask now, and here at the TED project we have been asking the question of how the textile deisgner can be a social ‘activist’.

Talking of ‘design activism’, Alistair Fuad Luke, who is the author of the well known The Eco Design Handbook, also mentioned that he is currently writing a book on this theme – seems to be the new buzz term within design.

The value of craft and the Slow movement

TED Research Assistant Clara Vuletich has been asked to contribute to an ongoing blog discussion about the value of craft and the Slow movement called Making a Slow Revolution, organised by Craftspace.

Originally focused around the issues of food and food production, the Slow movement has gradually come to represent a whole way of living which is a reaction to the fast-paced, disconnected world we live in. It’s core values are a respect for tradition and an understanding of the value of where and how an object is made.

These are values which are shared by craft and the blog discussion hopes to start a conversation about these issues.

Craftspace are working towards a national touring exhibition on these themes for 2009.

TED team member at London Design Festival

TED member Kate Goldsworthy was showing the most recent samples from her ‘Materials Recreation’ research project at 100% Materials at 100% Design last week. 100% Materials is a unique window into the world of materials for designers and architects that are looking to source the building blocks of the products and environments of the future.

Kate has been working on laser welding different recycled materials together and has created some inspiring new designs.

Kate also gave a presentation on Thursday 18th September on her latest upcycled material innovations at the Design Council’s Greengaged event, along with other sustainable materialists. Greengaged was a series of events and spaces dedicated to sustainable design, organised in conjunction with [re] design and the Design Council.