Last November I was asked to give a talk to some 6th form Product Design pupils at a school near Watford. They are lucky enough to have a small woodland on their school grounds, which is being steadily developed by their committed teacher, Mrs Taplin, into an outdoor workspace that can provide a huge amount of inspiration for the budding creative students.
I gave a talk about my work, and how I drew ideas from the woodland and traditional crafts in developing my hazel collection. I also talked about the importance of considering sustainability in design. It seems that the students absorbed some of my talk and have come up with a wide range of impressively creative and original products.
Here are some images of the pieces, and below those are some statements from the students.
Tree Lamp – designed and made by Tanatswa Borerwe
I am currently studying Product Design in sixth form at Queens’ school. We were fortunate to have Sebastian Cox come to our school and showcase his talented creations. During his visit, I was inspired to focus on sustainable design creating products that are simple in form, functional, durable, lightweight, modest or low-profile and mostly made from renewable materials such as wood. In addition, Sebastian encouraged us to search for a deeper meaning in the materials we incorporate. He demonstrated a close relationship with wood which was his inspiration; therefore, I learnt to search for a deeper meaning with the materials that I used. My main focus was to explore the elements of wood and how to craft wood sustainably. The lamp I designed mimics a tree or plant that I extracted from the art Nouveau design era. As you can see, I incorporated branches into the design and made the woven lampshades hang from the metal branches acting as the “flowers” and inside of the lampshade is the light source. The base is made out of acrylic and resembles a tree’s roots. Significantly, the lamp is held together with an elder timber. Elder wood was an advantage to use because it has a naturally soft core that can easily be picked out. Furthermore, the elder wood was accessed at the outdoor classroom in the school.
I designed the lamp’s features because I was interested in combining the art Nouveau elements with a contemporary style. In addition I appreciate the shadows and patterns created by the lampshade when the lights are on; this is why I designed the lampshades to be woven.
Steam bent wooden lamp – Designed and made by Laura McGarry
I am a student studying Product design, English literature, Psychology and sociology at Queens’ school sixth form. I thoroughly enjoyed designing and making my lamp and my idea came from wanting to incorporate steam bending into a design idea, spending a day with Sebastian and wanting my product to be a sustainable design. All parts of the lamp are made either from green or recycled wood. The only part of the design which isn’t is the electrics. Overall the feedback I have received from my desk lamp is that it is very unique and uses the exaggerated main stem as its main feature.
Aluminium and Birch Lamp – Designed by Steve Evans.
I am a student at Queens’ School sixth form, studying Maths, Physics, Product Design and ICT. I really like designing and making products and have designed a lamp for my main AS project, the lamp evolved from the idea of sustainable design delivered by Sebastian Cox. My design can be easily dismantled and recycled by simply loosening the wing nuts and removing the long lasting energy saving bulb and it wiring. The feedback for this lamp has been described as ‘unique’ and that it has ‘character’. I achieved this by steam bending the birch legs, forming the aluminium collar, riveting parts and joining the legs to the frame with wing nuts.
Tulip Lamp – Designed and made by Angus Chung
My name is Angus Chung, studying AS level in Queens School, Bushey. After the day Sebastian visited last November, I have since been inspired by his work and his knowledge of natural abundant wood that are great for furniture making. Inspired by his ethos, I had designed and made a lamp which uses reflects the nature. The main inspiration of the lamp comes from blooming Tulips, since Tulips bloom twice a year, I tried to offer a natural gesture which reminds of the blooming all year long. The lamp consist of recycled Beech from cupboard doors, old Mahogany table top, old tent poles… The lamp also radiates soothing coloured light from the pulp, creating a subtle mood around the interior.