Exciting things we've been up to recently...
Yes. We are nearly there. This is the completion of a three year project all about the future of The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. The Butterfly Effect is our first major project under the Creative Data umbrella. This exhibition in The Forum in Norwich shows off the amazing work done by ten primary schools in Norfolk. Through the creative learning activities in the bespoke education pack we made for them, these schools present variety of vibrant visions, including drawings, sculptures, quilts and animations. Their beautiful work shows how young people imagine their future landscapes.
In March I was invited by the newly formed Design Science Research Group to chair a debate called Parallel Processes, which asked how designers and scientists approach their work and what were the similarities and differences. It was hosted in the Louis Vuitton (ooh la la) lecture theatre in the new Central St Martins building in Kings Cross - a truly amazing piece of new architecture in London town. It was all rather exciting and I enjoyed meeting the fascinating panellists. On the science side we had Stephen Curry, a structural biologist from Imperial College and Geraint Rees of the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience. On the design side we had two brilliant interaction designers Daisy Ginsberg of E.Chromi and Joel Gethin Lewis of Hellicar Lewis.
There's nothing better on a grey and miserable february weekend than to get together with a whole bunch of brilliantly energetic people and tackle an inspiring creative brief. This was my third GFN event and it was as exhilarating as ever. This time I chose to work on the Pop Up Festival of Stories. Collaborating with so many brilliant minds is exciting, but also it's amazing how much you learn about running your own business while working on someone else's. As a team we designed a fantastic array of new strategy tools and products for Pop Up. Hopefully these will help them fund their event in July 2012 and future engagement projects.
I was delighted, in December, to be invited by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation to make a design proposal for Ellen's upcoming presentation at the Big Bang science festival in March 2012. The brief was to find an engaging and dynamic way of communicating the Circular Economy to an audience of teenagers. It was the perfect challenge and a great exercise in designing audience participation. We put together several exciting ideas which involved the audience creating the presentation content while Ellen took the role of conductor. Unfortunately our proposal was a little too ambitious for the timescale available, but we look forward to working with the Ellen Macarthur Foundation again soon to implement some of our ideas.
Joining other 'bloggers' on a panel entitled 'Does Social Sell?", at Mindshare's internal social media day, I spoke about my writing work for TreeHugger, Cool Hunting and Stylus. A great conversation was had about the various speakers' work with brands and it was universally declared, unsurprisingly, that we all hate the word 'blogger'. Thanks for a fun and chatty afternoon Mindshare.
The Green Awards are growing in size and reputation each year and I'm honoured to be part of the 2011 judging panel. I was asked to judge the 'Best Green Advertising and PR' and Best Green Service Innovation' categories and was able to take part in the judging process for the Grand Prix. It was an interesting process of evaluation with a group of brilliant people around the table. I look forward to the glittering awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum at the end of November when the winners will be justly feted.
After working working with Clare Brass on the RCA's IDE platform and as the Valpak communications design tutor in 2010 I was very pleased to be invited back as a judge for the SustainRCA Awards. Now in their 2nd year the awards mark the amazing cross platform progress being made on building sustainability in as a foundation for all good design work at the college. I was delighted by the high standard of projects in this year's Perspectives exhibition and am excited to see SustainRCA developing into an ambitious centre for design innovation.
I was very excited and honoured to be invited back to the Do Lectures this year with my reporter hat on. After my first experience of Do in 2009 I knew what was in store, but that didn't make it any less thrilling to be there. Again I met some incredibly inspiring people and have basically been bashing away at the keyboard ever since, trying to convey as much of the exhileration as possible. Have a look at these posts on TreeHugger.
We're delighted to say that we have now launched The Butterfly Effect Schools Project with 10 Schools in Norfolk. We have also enjoyed doing the first two introductory workshops in schools. The good news is the teachers loved it and the kids loved it. Result! Read all about it over on the Creative Data Blog.
I accepted the crazy challenge from Volvo to drive one of their cars from the UK to Austria on one tank of fuel. A feat commonly known as hypermiling. The Volvo Snowbombing Challenge is designed to encourage people from all over Europe to drive to their ski holiday rather than fly. It is a great example of research into real world low carbon living solutions. I must say it was an entertaining drive. Find out if I got stuck on the roadside with an empty tank...
Due to the wonder of Twitter Shelley Mannion, from the Samsung Centre at the British Museum, found out about our work on Creative Data. Consequently she kindly invited me to take part in the Samsung Digital Learning Adventures event at the museum. I spoke about Creative Data Projects as opportunities to display and communicate data in interesting ways.
The dynamic Tyler Moorehead of Big Picture TV was commissioned to make a film for WWF about sustainability and business to celebrate the organisation's 50th birthday. I was honoured to be invited to contribute my views on camera alongside some great names in sustainability. I was even more amazed that I made the final cut. Watch my blink-and-you'll-miss-me-appearance in the WWF 50th Anniversary video.
Last month I was lucky enough to visit the One Tonne Life project in Stockholm to meet the Lindell family, who've embarked on a low carbon lifestyle experiment to radically reduce their carbon footprints from an average of seven tonnes per year to just one tonne.
A new kind of freestyle creative collaborative event has been born under the title Good for Nothing. Due to the initiative, gumption and blagging skills of Tom Farrand, Tom Rowley and Dan Burgess (aka The Pipeline Project) GFN brought together an amazing bunch of creatives one weekend in chilly December to help develop communication, design and branding strategies for three amazing non-profits. I was delighted to work on the Global Generation brief: working with young people and businesses to create urban gardens. It was, all in all, an amazing, intense and very rewarding experience. I'm look forward to doing some more Good For Nothing sometime soon.
Our meticulously planned and scrumtiously executed event took place on Saturday. The five most prominent ethnic cultures in a mile radius from Guest Projects were deduced, and with the help of Alex Haw and his tasty touch of Latitudinal Cuisine the idea of everyone creating a dish from one of the local cultures came about. Yinka Shonibare was kind enough to have Guest Projects host the event, and the evening was a great success!
I found myself unexpectedly acting as understudy to Chris Rapley, Director of the Science Museum, the other evening, with barely a few hours notice. It was unfortunate for Chris who was taken ill, but fortunate for me to find myself lecturing 150+ Environmental Technology MSc students about the fun we're having developing CreativeDataProjects. A spontaneously good time was had by all - thanks Imperial!
The lovely Chauncey Zalkin was kind enough to invite me to take part in the What Women Make gathering at the Sense Loft in Soho during the London Design Festival. It was a great opportunity for me to think about what it means for me to be a female designer and its relative significance in Elio Studio's work.
We were delighted by the outcome of our exhibition design for Bioregional at Prince Charles' Garden Party to Make A Difference in the palace gardens of London. It was a rather magnificent event and we were excited by the brief of helping to visualise the 10 principles of One Planet Living - here are the photos from the amazing installation on Flickr.
Thanks to Amisha for inviting me down to glorious Goodwood for a fun day out at the fair and for the opportunity to interview her about the Think Act Vote campaign.
Thanks to Make Hay for highlighting Elio Studio's work and generally being awesome web developing bods - grateful.
We're delighted to say that the Creative Data pilot project 'The Butterfly Effect' has been fixed in ink on the pages of John Grant's (he of the Green Marketing Manifesto) new book 'Co-opportunity - Join up for a Sustainable, Resilient, Prosperous World'. It's all about how we need to work together at every level to find the right sustainable solutions for our future. Just incase you are wondering we feature on p.186! ;-) - get your copy from Amazon.
Cineforum - The Road To Ecotopia - creating a shared strategic vision for a sustainable future in a one day conference in London with speakers such as Hunter Lovins and Dianne Dionne Ridgley. Leonora presented in the Communities and Communication session, talking about the importance of engaging communities at both the global and local level to create capacity for change. Other speakers in this session during the day were eminent climate scientist David Wasdell and science-fiction expert Louis Savy.
Leonora travels back to UEA in Norwich to present the outcome of The Butterfly Effect at the Sainsbury Arts Centre to the Artists + Climate Change conference organised by Norfolk arts educational team.
Having been interviewed by Max Fraser on the DeTnk TV sofa at the 2008 London design Festival, the shoe is now on the other foot, so to speak, as Leonora takes the role of interviewer and speaks to a selection of designers whose work addresses environmental issues in some way. Watch out for the upcoming interviews with Jair Straschnow, Alessia Giardino, Miska Miller-Lovegrove, Maxim Velcovsky and the Keep Cup team.
"Dedicated to raising awareness about socially responsible business practices, HEC Paris is proud to host its 6th Annual Social Business Conference 'Our Decision Today, Our Impact Tomorrow' on 5-6 May 2009.
This event, hosted in partnership with Net Impact, brings together key corporate, not-for-profit and government decision makers, forefront philanthropists and the next generation of leaders from the international business school community."
Leonora took part in the panel discussion entitled 'Socially Conscious Services and Responsible Products: Sustainable design of consumer products' alongside Ralph Bremenkamp (Frog Design), Sara Pax (Blue Horse Associates) and Dr. Brigitte Monsou Tantawy, Associate Professor, HEC Paris. The moderator for the panel was Frédéric Dalsace, Professor, HEC Paris.
For her journey to Ethiopia with WaterAid + Ecover in February 2009 Leonora was commissioned by The Ecologist magazine to write an article about the sustainable development model that the NGO uses when working with communities out there. The resulting piece 'Lessons on Water' is published in the May issue of The Ecologist.
23.03.09 - Interview for The Watering Hole video
Friend of Elio Studio Jenny Poulter interviews Leonora for a talking heads video about branding and sustainability for new communications agency The Watering Hole. Leonora's in good company talking alongside Sophie Thomas (Thomas Matthews), Lea Simpson (Unchained), Cyndi Rhoades (Anti-Apathy + Worn Again) and Jules Peck (Citizen Renaissance)
20.03.09 - Ethiopia WaterAid Slideshow on TreeHugger
In April 2008 WaterAid and Ecover launched a partnership to work in Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest and driest countries. With Ecover contributing £90 000 of funding over a three year period they aim to help 14,750 people gain access to safe water and sanitation. These are the images of Leonora's extraordinary journey with WaterAid in search of clean water in a land of drought.
08/14.02.09 - Ethiopia with WaterAid + Ecover
Leonora travels to Ethiopia with WaterAid and Ecover to report on the progress of their safe water and sanitation projects. The trip is a once in a lifetime experience that takes the group to the most rural areas of northern Ethiopia to witness the daily journey to collect water undertaken by women and children and the new sustainable technologies being used by WaterAid to make access to clean water and sanitation much easier.
03.02.09 - Wise Women Speaker Database
Leonora is now featured on the Wise Women Speaker Database set up by wise women Polly Higgins of Trees Have Rights Too.
30.01.09 - Awarded Funding by CUE East
Great news as Elio Studio's first design proposal is awarded funding by beacon for public engagement CUE East. The CreativeData project is a collaboration between Elio Studio (design), Lorraine Whitmarsh and Saffron O'Neill (social scientists) and Paul Munday (climate scientist) at the University of East Anglia in Norfolk. The research project about the impacts of climate change in the Norfolk Broads will conclude with an interactive installation in Norwich at The Sustainable Living Festival in May 2009.
05.12.08 - De Tank TV interview at Tent London
Max Fraser accosts Leonora as she's walking innocently around Tent London during London design Week, lures her into a TV studio and proceeds to interview her on camera - well there's a first time for everything!
15.11.08 - Pecha Kucha Barcelona Presentation
Leonora presents Kallari Chocolate story at Pecha Kucha Barcelona Vol.3. 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide is the strict format of the talks at Pecha Kucha. It's more challenging that you would think! See photos of the event organised by Petz Scholtus on Flickr.
20.10.08 - Biomimicry in Design at Schumacher College
Leonora is invited to report on a course entitled 'Biomimicry: New directions in sustainable design' from Schumacher College in Devon. The course is run by architect Michael Pawlyn, business coach Andy Middleton and Professor of Biomimetics Julian Vincent. You can read Leonora's articles on TreeHugger:
10.10.08 - Grand Designs Live Birmingham
Leonora speaks about energy saving products in the home for Best (Eco) Footprint Forward seminar at Grand Designs Live, Birmingham. Leonora presents alongside Max Fraser (chair), Lucy Bertenshaw (WWF), Joanna Yarrow (Beyond Green) and Pooran Desai (BioRegional Quintain).
15.09.08 - Birmingham City University's Big Debate
Leonora takes part in a panel debate about green strategies in the workplace at the ICC in Birmingham. Entitled 'Young Leaders or Green Saviours' the event is an interactive discussion about how young people in business can positively impact their working environments through sustainable initiatives. Leonora speaks alongside Lucy Siegle (Chair) , Max Fraser (Design Curator), Patrice John (Journalist) and Adrian Gahan (Climate Change Policy Adviser).