Monday, April 12, 2010

Another main reason things become obsolete is because they are no longer needed and once there function ceases they are useless. This is the same with buildings, for example many old working class suburbs have recently become popular and expensive, this changes what the suburb’s original purpose was, factories and warehouses.

The Hoffman Brick Works redevelopment is located in Brunswick in Melbourne. Brunswick was originally a working class district and the brickworks were the main industry with their factories taking up 18 acres. Brunswick has now become a popular suburban area due to its location so close to the thriving Melbourne metropolis. When the brickworks closed down the land and buildings were saved and redeveloped into popular apartments. This is a great example of changing something that was not serving its purpose anymore and creating it into a thriving community. Creating new life out of old.

This is the original brickworks, the character of the building would have been a shame to loose.

This is the brickworks today, as you can see from the photo's they kept some elements of the building, i think they also retained the character successfully.

I think this is a really good thing to do; these building already have a history and a story. It is a very sustainable thing to do, rather than tear them down because they are obsolete, instead make them fashionable again by changing their purpose, this is exactly the same principal that Gary Harvey uses to create his high couture dresses, taking something old to create something new.

The Walsh Bay redevelopment is located on darling harbour and was originally used and built to accommodate trade to and from Sydney harbour. This is no longer required so now it has become a thriving commercial, residential, retail and cultural place. This has become one of the most desirable and expensive places to live due to its picturesque location on the waterfront.

Walsh bay and the amazing location

Walsh bay Today

Changing Television...

With Australian television about to change to digital, the rate of televisions being thrown away has dramatically risen. Why is television changing? According to the Australian Government website it is to keep up to date with technology, to free up broadcast space and to improve your viewing experience. I don’t know about anyone else by my television works just fine at the moment.

When switching to digital you have three options; one, you buy a set top box, two, you buy a digital recorder or three, you buy a new television with a digital tuner built in. If you fail to do any of these things you wont be able to watch television once they switch over. The government suggests that “…it’s important that you plan ahead and, if necessary, budget for the change to digital.” I’m sure people have more important things to spend their money on when they already have a perfectly fine television.

Most people are using this as an opportunity to buy a new flat-screen television, last year alone more than 2.5 million people brought new televisions. What are they doing with their old ones? In 2007–08, 16.8 million televisions and computers were thrown out and 84% of these where sent to landfill. This statistic was taken before the decision to switch off analog television was made. The government had predicted that without a recycling system put in place the number of televisions being dumped could rise to 44 million at the end of 2028. The government are doing very little maybe they should have taken their own advice and planned ahead to implement new ways of disposing of old televisions.

Many older televisions have hazardous waste in the screens and other toxic materials like lead and mercury. A new recycling plant in Adelaide has recently opened and is the first of its kind, the plant will process more the 300,000 television and computer screens. The recycled glass will be used all over the world and largely for new screens. There should be more plants like this.

For information on where to recycle your television properly see:

More information;

Creative designs - A unique solution

'Our products are rubbish - building accessories by hand from recycled materials' is the motto for this great company known as Haul. They are a company who wants to make a difference through design, furniture, art and most of all innovation. The company has a great way of thinking about items which are usually thrown away.

Haul designs are created from both found and recycled materials and they turn these items into creations including installation art pieces, furniture pieces and also into lifestyle accessories including cd cases, cushion covers, shopping bags and dog collars to name a few.

My favourite pieces are seen in the images below and can be bought directly off their website.

I personally love the designs they create, I think they are so unique and original. To check out the other items on offer go to their website.
Their website is:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ecotourism - Just another fashionable trend?

So we have discussed ideas relating to architecture, fashion design, furniture design and the alike, but what about having a holiday and staying somewhere which has considered all aspects of nature, the environment and sustainability? It is known as ecotourism here in Australia and although I have not heard much about this idea, it does seem like a fashionable trend at the present time with a lot of different businesses catching on.

There is an abundant amount of places listed on this website:

The accommodation is designed around living in harmony with the environment. The various amounts of accommodation employs the latest technologies available to sustainable design including the use of rain water tanks, solar power, self composting waste treatment, and are recognised for their low environmental impact approach.

While I do think this is a great idea, I do have to ask the question of, are we going through another fashionable trend or will it succeed in the future for years to come?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another famous designer name is releasing an exclusive, limited edition range of clothes. Yves Saint Laurent is a very high profile fashion brand that is helping to spread the word about the importance of eco design and sustainability. Hopefully young up and coming designers will hear this message and be inspired to create beautiful sustainable clothing.

Yves Saint Laurent’s new range is called ‘New Vintage’. All clothes are made from remnant fabrics and scraps from their previous collections. The collection includes one of kind pieces, dresses, trench coats, sandals and bags. Everything is limited edition with a number.

The collection was designed by Creative director, Stefano Pilati and is sold exclusively at Barneys in New York

Sustainable design: gone to the dogs.

Founded by dog lover and landscape architect Stephanie Rubin California based Greenrrroof is a company that produces something rather unique, sustainable houses for Dogs and birds.

They offer a number of standard as well as 'couture' designs and will custom design a house to the client's tastes and needs. These miniature pieces of architecture are lovingly hand crafted and allot of effort is exerted to ensure the homes and the safest option available for it’s occupant. They use red ceder wood that is naturally rot resistant even without treatment, recycled woods, bees wax water proofing and non-VOC paints and sealants.

An important feature of the Greenrrroof designs is the planted roof based off green roof systems used in houses. This feature provides a natural from of insulation and also filters rainwater channeling it though pipes to provide a source of water for the inhabitant.

This company is a great example of the beauty and quality that is present when real passion inspires design.

greenrrroof home
Residential Green Roof Systems
An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality, VOC's

The Ultimate Little Black Dress…

The little black dress is one of the most timeless pieces of fashion a girl can have.

The little black dress by The Uniform Project was designed by Eliza Starbuck and is said to be the most sustainable dress on the market.

What makes this dress so special? The LBD (little black dress) can be worn a staggering 365 different ways. This LBD is reversible and multi purpose. The company says the “…LBD is more than mere fabic and thread, it is a symbol of individuality and responsible living.”

With this dress you have a different look for every day of the year, and if it’s as amazing as the company claims, this means you should be able to move with the changing trends and seasons. Sheena Matheiken put this to the test, wearing the dress for an entire year with 365 different looks; she showed that with the right accessories you could pull it off.

This dress is made to order meaning less waste in the production. The dress can also be women of any age; kids to grandparents would feel comfortable in this dress.