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Student Fiona Hobson Tutor Gabriel Solomons Self-Directed study Oct 2013


Subjects I could write about Recycled crafts Up-cycling Destruction Urban Decay Do-It-Yourself Renewable materials Sustainability Living off grid Limited to three subjects Do-It-Yourself Up-Cycling Urban Decay

Processes Screen-printing Photography Lazercutting Knitting Linocut Etching Machine Embroidery Fabric Design Illustrator Typography

Recycled crafts Up-cycling Destruction Urban Decay Do-It-Yourself Renewable materials Sustainability Living off grid


Processes Screen-printing

Recycled crafts






Urban Decay




Renewable materials

Machine Embroidery


Fabric Design

Living off grid

Illustrator Typography


Urban Decay Disrepair Decrepitude De-industrialisation Depopulation Economic restructuring Abandoned buildings Crime Desolate Inhospitable Slums Metropolis Blight Condemned Dangerous Poverty Suburbanization Manufacturing Economic change Vulnerable Industrial Decaying Broken down Housing shortages Ghost Towns Death of a city Ruins Rot Mental Hospitals Workhouses Photography Cracks Riots Earthquakes Tornadoes Tsunami

Up-cycling Converting waste materials Useless products Environment Recycling Down-cycling Reclaiming Scrap Consumption Raw materials Energy usage Air Pollution Greenhouse gases Emissions Hybrid Structural weakness Poverty Reuse Inhabitation Etsy Found objects Salvage Scrap metal Ephemera Robert Rauschenberg Romuald HazoumĂŠ Jeff Wassmann Consumer cycle Cradle to Cradle Commodities Waste hierarchy Trashion Scrap-stores Looptworks Textile waste New life An increase in worth

More Up-cycling Terracycle Upcycle Living Enviroglas Environmental responsibilities Global warming Great depression Make do and mend Carbon footprint Unwanted Worn Revamping Fresh Repair Craft Renew Decoupage Vintage Eco-living Re-purpose Rebagz Resurf Thrifty Energy efficient Restoration Innovation Renovation Discard

Do-It-Yourself Building Modifying Repairing Produce Transform Reconstruct Landscaping Economic benefits Lack of availability Customization Craftsmanship Empowerment Uniqueness Home improvement Crafts Zines Arts and Crafts Consumer culture Bitcoins Distressing Jeans Customizing clothes Jewellery Carpentry Masonry Knitting Instructables

Questions for Urban Decay What is the future for the planet? Will humans be the death of the earth? When will animals take over? Would the earth be better off if they did? What could other uses for ghost cities be? Can you blame individuals or is it Governments? Should buildings really be left to rot? Should Urban Decay be left for historical reasons? Do cities have more beauty when nature takes over? Is your city killing you? Is there a correlation between Urban Decay and crime?

Questions for Upcycling What is upcycling? Can upcycling improve your well-being? Could the earth be saved through upcycling? If something had been upcycled would you buy it? Would companies make less money if everything was built to last like it used to be? Is consumer culture what’s wrong with the world? How does upcycling affect the world? What is the difference between recycling and upcycling? Is it better to recycle or upcycle? Who started the upcycling revolution?

Questions for Do-It-Yourself When did the craze for DIY start? Should DIY be taught from an early age? Should instructions to create things yourself be more available? Would workshops in your area give a better sense of community? Would areas be looked after better if the community created them themselves? Should materials to create your own things be cheaper to encourage learning skills? Should everyone be taught DIY or should it be left to the tradesmen? Is consumer culture what’s wrong with the world? Would companies make less money if everyone was taught DIY or could they incorporate that it into their business? Could teaching DIY from a young age have an impact on crime?

The art of finding another use for something that you have finished using for its first purpose.

What do you think upcycling is?

Cheap, easy, innovative, planet, sensible.

What five words come to mind when you think of upcycling?

Could the Earth be saved through upcycling?

No! But every little helps.

Could upcycling improve your well-being?

I suppose it could by making you feel better. Things were not built to last it’s a myth. Companies could charge more for robust things if they were backed by guarantees.

Would companies make less money if everything was built to last like it used to be?

How does upcycling affect the planet?

Very little but it has a chance to do something I guess.

Is Consumer Culture what’s wrong with the world?

No, wanting something for nothing, or believing you have the right to something is what’s wrong with the world.

To recycle involves change, collection and energy. It takes time and companies only use recycled goods if it makes them money. Upcycling is a much more individual or small business thing.

What is the difference between recycling and upcycling?


Who started the upcycling revolution? Who knows! Piltz, Pauli, McDonaugh, Braungart.

Is it better to recycle or upcycle? Neither, it’s better to use less. But recycling is larger scale, (such as in the construction industry) so could have more impact globally, upcycling can be better for individuals. Is giving blankets to the homeless recycling or upcycling for example?

Taking something old and revamping it.

What do you think upcycling is?

Useful, necessary, cheap, sustainable, important.

What five words come to mind when you think of upcycling?

Could the Earth be saved through upcycling?

No, I wouldn’t say the world could be saved, but it might help with being more environmentally friendly.

Could upcycling improve your well-being?

Suppose, it could make you feel better, getting better use out of something that was broken. I would think so yeah.

Would companies make less money if everything was built to last like it used to be?

I wouldn’t say it was what was wrong with the world, everyone wants a bit of luxury sometimes.

Is Consumer Culture what’s wrong with the world?

Lowers the amount of rubbish going to landfill.

How does upcycling affect the planet?

Recycling is returning something back to its raw state, whilst upcycling is taking something thats a bit worn, and taking something else thats a bit worn, and putting them together to create something that’s usable again.

What is the difference between recycling and upcycling?

Upcycling Who started the upcycling revolution? I really don’t know.

Is it better to recycle or upcycle? I wouldn’t say either one was better than the other or beneficial.

Urban Decay research Amelie Riis photography Http:// “I am passionate about abandoned and unloved buildings, particularly lunatic asylums. I spend as much time as possible photographically documenting these rapidly vanishing architectural masterpieces before they are lost forever.�

Some photos I have taken

I have chosen to base my research project on Upcyling. Upcycling in the process of turning unwanted items into something else, giving it a new life. If upcyling became a way of being then it would improve the planets sustainability by reducing the energy used in the manufacturing process and reduce the amount of raw materials used. Upcycling yourself gives personality and unique outcomes. The process of recycling, for example plastic, can downgrade the material. Once plastic has been recycled once, it is generally unable to be recycled again. This is called Down-cycling and all it does it delay the time it takes for that plastic to end up in landfill. Manufacturers still have to source new plastics. I will base my investigation on how Upcycling is used across the world in different cultures. I will look at when its been used successfully and also when it hasn’t really worked.

India Http:// may/17/hendzel-hunt-upcycling-india/

The South London Design Studio Hendzel + Hunt went over to the Unbox Festival in New Delhi, India. Once there they created and ran an upcycling workshop.

“Back in New Delhi a colonial style bedroom becomes the site for debate and plan of action. We have three and a half days to turn a pile of objects in to a table and chairs. We assemble our ingredients - bike chains, bike chain ring, a sheet of ply, a door, motor and push bike. After plentiful food and drink, a heated discussion and the gentle squeeze of pressure, we confirm the table and as many stools as we can within the festival’s time frame. Three days of sourcing then gives us three days to complete the challenge. Technical drawings assist the compound angles within the table and stools. The decision for compound angles added a greater difficulty that if successful would showcase our technical ability whilst producing a beautiful object.”

“Hendzel + Hunt use their local area as an open resource. Waste materials are sourced from the streets and yards of SE15 and transformed into elegant and highly desirable furniture, which are imbued with their own stories informing the design process. The results hold intrigue and character, alongside a high level of craftsmanship, showcasing what can be achieved within small batch production.”

Conserve Dheli 2010 Conserve Delhi created a series of bags made from the waste left over from the Commonwealth games. The material that they used was called Tyvek. This material is made with finely spun high density polyethylene. This is a plastic derived from petroleum. This material is very lightweight, strong, water and stain resistant and was used for signage and banner systems. Conserve Delhi came to the conclusion that it was a perfect material to upcycle.

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games ‘Breeda’ bag (sample) - Games banners and tyre tubing

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games messenger bag (sample) made from athlete flags

China Http:// htm The British Embassy began its campaign to raise awareness of Up-cycling in China by launching an annual competition consisting of designing up-cycled products from industrial waste and surplus products at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, collaborating with universities and the Guangzhou Low Carbon Industry Association. The competitions aims were to provide solutions for a low-carbon economy. The exhibition was held at the EMGdotART centre in the Guangzhou’s art area.

America Boris Bally- Boris Ball’s work involves creating various items using old street signs, weapon parts and various found objects.

Hipcycle upcycled products Http:// Hipcycle is a dedicated online up-cycling store. Its aim is to help address the global waste problem through up-cycling.

Bag made from reclaimed fire hose,

Exploring processes case study Textile artist: Julieanne Long “Julieanne is a textile artist based in Cambridgeshire. Her textile art uses a variety of techniques ranging from knitting, needlelace, tapestry weaving and basketry. Her materials are usually recycled or found items. Inspiration is taken from the natural world, looking at plant collections from the Eden Project, Wisley and Kew. She is also interested in historical textiles with particular interest in those in the V&A.�

Full Fathom Five Basketry, weaving, hand and machine embroidery, mixed media including Funeral service book, fishing net, flotsam & jetsam from various beaches.

Rockpool Recycled & found materials.

Flower Garland Commission piece for the Hannah Preschar Sculpture Garden in Surrey. Made from knitted fishing line with flowers made from plastic bottles.

Ice 2 Commission piece for the Hannah Preschar Sculpture Garden in Surrey. Made from CDs stitched together with fishing line and then cable ties attached. Approx 1 metre.

Fountain Commission piece for the Hannah Preschar Sculpture Garden in Surrey Made with knitted plastic bottles and fishing line.

Spring Made with recycled & found objects stitched to acrylic panels.

Traffalgar Seas Commission piece for Portsmouth Naval Museum Made from knitted plastic bottles and fishing line, dyed silk net, muslin & rope. Approx 3.5metres. The piece was inspired by reading eye witness accounts of the battle of Trafalgar.

Exploring processes case study Lotta Jansdotter Lotta Jansdotter uses processes she learnt as a child such as printmaking techniques and simple sewing to create sophisticated pieces. She uses traditional methods and a DIY approach to create products for a busy city life.

Exploring processes case study Craig Fellows “Craig Fellows is an award-winning textile print designer with a passion for colour and illustration, combining his fine art talents with his love of fashion and textiles. Using traditional, contemporary and digital printing techniques, Craig transforms his illustrations into beautiful fashion and interior pieces. Each piece is designed, printed, made and hand-finished in Britain. Every piece in Craig’s collection is completely unique and can truly not be found on the high street.�

My experiments with photography

My experiments with photography

My experiments with photography

My experiments with photography

Exploring processes case study Mark Langon: mark Langan is an artist from Ohio who creates sculptural work using reclaimed materials such as corrugated boxes. He believes recycling and sustainability are important and tries to make an impact on how much ends up in landfill. He believes he can inspire others to do the same. “My personal interpretation to the term “Corrugated Art” is the celebration of the unique properties of a highly visible manufactured product for which it was not purportedly intended. Striving to artistically focus by highlighting those aesthetically characteristic qualities which otherwise would be unknowingly ignored”.

Exploring processes case study- Laser-cutting Rachel Ashe- Translating paper cut designs onto laser cut wood.

Exploring processes case study- Embroidery & Knitting Ana Teresa Barboza - “Ana Teresa Barboza uses embroidery and knitting to compliment her graphite illustrations, creating a parallel between the process of manual crafts and drawing. Barboza’s imagery is just as astounding as her process, depicting scenes of women kissing lions and people embracing among a milieu of the natural and sewn. This work is an incredible exercise in creating hybrids, challenging the strictures of contemporary content and the purpose of certain artisan crafts.”

“Waste doesn’t exist in nature. One species’ waste is another species’ food. When a tree falls in a forest, it creates the nutrients for more trees to grow. Dung beetles feast on faeces and contribute to improved soil structure. Dead matter gets processed by microbes and ultimately becomes food.”

Exploring processes case study- Photography Simon Larbalestier-

A fragment of a clock laid abandoned in South Korea.

Mr Grieves, London, 1988, Sleeve artwork for the Pixies “Doolittle�.

Bad Shoes, London, 1988, Sleeve artwork for the Pixies “Doolittle”.

Close up detail of a Lotus leaf

Exploring processes case study- Reformations Craig Anthony “Glass canvas art retro modern funky groovy lit feature pieces amazing colours�.

Laser cut notes 2 kinds of images can be used to create laser cut pieces. One style uses vector graphics created using Illustrator, this is quicker and you can produce engraved, and completely cut through areas. Photo realistic imagery can also be created using JPEG or TIFF formats. JPEG’s must be changed to grey scale and ones with a high contrast work better. It’s important to reduce the range of greys to get the best appearance. Half tone images can also be used to great effect. Make sure files are the exact size you would like to print them at as resizing is more difficult on the laser cut computers. If using live trace on illustrator make sure you ignore white in the preferences. Make sure extra material is bought to practice on. Book session at the reception in the fabrication department up to two weeks in advance.

Sara Loveridge

“I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as I use a lot of collage and drawing in my work. My artwork reflects many personal experiences both past and present. Recent pieces have been inspired by walks along the Sustrans Route 33 cycle path between Chard and Ilminster and also along the Jurassic Coast, particularly Charmouth. The organic patterns found in these landscapes often appearing in the form of trees and fossils - have resulted in a series of drawings and collages that evoke personal journeys undertaken in these environments.� - See more at:

Recycled teddy bears become rugs loaded with stories. Agustina Woodrite

“The inspiration from the project came from her relationship with her own teddy bear but also oriental rugs. ‘I’ve also always enjoyed the symmetry of oriental rugs, and I had just discovered that they tell stories about people lives. In that matter, they’re like a book. You read them. This notion inspired me to take on the design in a more personal way. Every child in the world has a special relationship with a stuffed animal or a toy, and this relationship grows throughout time. We ascribe meaning to these objects, make them come alive, and they all have stories’ Augustina Woodrite says in the interview by Sight Unseen.”

Stephen Sagmeister Things I have Learnt in My Life So Far. I am taking inspiration from Sagmeisters work to create large Typography pieces out in the environment.

I attempted to sew a plaited plastic bag onto fabric, spelling out every plastic bag buried in landfill takes 500 years to decay. Cant say it was the most successful mission so have decided to try another direction.

Constructed from melted plastic bags. I will later photograph this out in the environment.

Constructed from melted plastic bags. I want to photograph this in water to give some impact. i used different shades of blue plastic bags to make it look more like water.

This isn’t finished yet but the letters have been hhand sewn onto card. It reads nature doesn’t know the concept of waste. The only species capable of making something noone else desires is the human species.

I found an old lampshade on the street and had this idea that if I cut letters out then when the lampshade was used it would project the letters onto the wall. On the original lampshade though I cut the letters out back to front (classic school boy error I hear you say) So I constructed another lampshade from paper and cut the letters out of that. It didn’t work like I had planned now its time for plan two. Cutting the letters out a flat piece of card and shining a lamp through it. Will this work? I hope so...

Plan 2

How I have used Up-cycling. From scrap and donated fabrics, fabrics from clothes swaps and charity shops I have created a series of patchwork bags.

Final proposal

Fiona: If you could explain Sew True Collective in 3 words what would they be? Danny: Hi Fi, It’s a bit hard to describe it in 3 words how about 4. DIY fashion clothes swap. Fiona: Where did the idea for Sew True Collective come from? Danny: I got funding for the event from UNLTD and UEA, £500 in total. Fiona: How many people are involved in the creation of one of these events?

Danny: I planned it all myself, organising volunteers, the venue, material buying, equipment, designing and printing the logos. The idea came from Swaporamarama. org but I wanted to call it something else in-case the format didn’t work, which it didn’t really the first time. At the moment I am re-branding the event to Sew True (Collective) and making it free entry but you pay to participate in the event. It is the volunteers that made the event

happen, without them there would be nothing. Fiona: What tips would you give to someone wanting to do a similar event? Danny: I recruited volunteers from the local college, uni, Charity Shop Volunteers, and people who were generally interested in participating. I think it’s a great idea to set something like this up in Bristol! Interview with Daniel Godfrey founder of Sew True Collective.

This was my first attempt at making a wallet using the techniques i have practiced. I was pleased with it but thought it looked a bit basic so decided to have another go, pictures to follow.

This is a purse made from fusing plastic bags. I removed a zip from an old top and took the button from a box that had been donated to me. All the thread used is random scraps from my sewing box. I covered the outside with pink bubble wrap to add some pattern to it.

This is the finished purse, I decided to change the button to a much smaller one as the one pictured on the page before was very bulky and made it difficult to take the purse in and out of your pocket. Using a scrap piece of acetate I added a pocket for photos etc.

Newer module file for research project  

An updated version of my module file for my extended research project