Ipswich & Woodbridge Districts
Your NEW LOCAL magazine for Smarthome living May 09
A pocket rocket info pack of home technology, gadgets, furniture, interior design and construction ideas.
This months features
George Chuter: England rugby starâ€™s gadget essentials Green technology for the home: 6 products that make a difference
In a different frame of mind: 3D framing & picture speakers The finest Al Fresco Dining: The ultimate outdoor kitchen
Insert your headline here ( We thought we’d let our hand-made furniture speak for itself )
Smartliving Now Magazine Publisher: Charles Woodthorpe Editor: Janine Rea email@example.com
Consultant Journalist/PR: Neil Farrow firstname.lastname@example.org
Smartliving Now Magazine P.O. Box 101, Ipswich IP7 9BE Please recycle this publication when finished with.
The paper used for this publication is from sustainable managed sources in North America & Europe only.
Design, content and compilation of this publication are protected by copyright. 2009 Smartliving Now. All rights reserved. While all reasonable care is taken to ensure the accuracy of information included in this magazine, the publishers take no responsibility for statements made by contributors or advertisers or for loss arising from non- publication of any advertisement. Smartliving Now magazine is in no way responsible for the outcome or quality of any business transaction between the advertised supplier and our readers or customers.
Download a Nick Bourne brochure at: www.nickbourne.com
Welcome to the first issue of your new Smartliving Now magazine. When times are somewhat flat it’s good to nestle down at home and think of all the comforting interior ideas you could conjure up that will make the media’s obsession with the doom & gloom pale into insignificance. How about getting your computer up-graded so it could become a media centre and feed your other rooms with sound and pictures via wi-fi? On the other hand you could fall for an iPod dock recessed in the wall of your bedroom linked to some speakers in the ceiling or a ground breaking new turntable for your record collection made from clear perspex that stands four feet tall? Too techy? Well how about some fun and funky new furniture and some uplifting, mood changing lighting? Apart from making you feel good, with house prices as they are, it makes sense to upgrade things internally thus keeping the value locked in. And if you can do it all with a sense of sustainability it gives you that extra glow of smugness that we all secretly desire. In the following issues we will be keeping you up to date with everything from new wave furniture and solar power to the latest gadgets, renewable heating, security, wine chiller's and bathroom technology. Quite a wide net I assure you, but all served up with a sprinkling of humour and a side of greens. So sit back, relax, digest and plan! Check out our new website www.smartlivingnow.co.uk and please feel free to contact our panel of experts if you have any questions about a particular element of design or technology.
t. 01473 322020 e. email@example.com
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Images: Lemontree studios, Ipswich
My Valentine Date with Hooker in Love Lane
You simply can’t make this stuff up!
Consumer Electronics journo Neil Farrow tracked down England (21 caps) and Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter and found, without realising, that the only time free to meet was February 14th. As if that wasn’t bad enough, George's address was Love Lane! Having been out of favour for a while George has upped his game and managed to force his way back into the England elite squad for the last few games of the recent Six Nations and has been the backbone of the Tigers surge for the premiership title and Heineken cup. After a long chat about his rise in the rugby arena from humble beginnings to England star I managed to push him on the subjects of music, gadgets and gaming.
George has the seemingly very individual habit of listening to country music before a big game. Yes, I did say Country. He has quite an eclectic taste, which includes Led Zeppelin and the Kaiser Chiefs, but he gets so wound up before a game he prefers the likes of Jonny Cash and Willie Nelson to calm him down. Now quite intrigued by this almost confessional secret I couldn’t help but ask about other players’ musical pre-match tipple and consequently found out that ex-Leicester’s Andy Goode (now with Brive) is in to his rap and hip hop, big Argentinian prop Martin Castrogiavani likes his native Spanish guitar and Flamenco music and Alex Tuilagi is in to his 80’s soft rock such as Survivor and Foreigner.
On the gadget front his favourite piece of kit is his iPhone. Knowingly in a somewhat privileged position he stated that all the England squad were given one at an O2 sponsors party.
In fact George is a fan of all things Apple.
He and his wife Katy have a couple of iPods each, they also have an Apple Hi-Fi (iPod music player) in the front room and George recently purchased a Mac Book which he is seldom without. “Apple products are so user friendly. Ok, you may pay a bit more for them but it’s worth it. You get what you pay for. They always have the style edge too. They all look and feel so cool”. George chuckled and then continued
“It’s not just me, the boys at the club like their toys too and Ben Kay is a complete gadget freak”.
Word of warning: Shop retailers look away now.
Unfortunately for bricks and mortar retailers it seems George and most of the The Logitech ONE remote control guys in the England and Leicester camps go online for almost everything. I asked about researching products and the touch and feel tests you can only get from a shop but he said that he does all the research online including specs and reviews so doesn’t need the touchy feely bit.
Big screens abound in the house, up stairs and down and George rarely lets a few days go by without logging onto Play.com and seeing what his next purchase could be. The sitting room has a big 42” Panasonic Vierra plasma with all the trimmings, Sky+, Sony Play Station and shelf loads of games. His latest toy is the brand new Logitech Harmony ‘One’ remote control, which can operate all his kit on a single touch screen unit.
“Like many family homes with children, you always seem to lose one of the vital six or so remotes just at the time you desperately need them most, so having a ‘one for all’ product is just fantastic” Logitech Harmon said George. y 1000 R
emote C ontrol
He has got the Logitech Harmony 1000 remote, the bigger brother to the ‘one’ with a larger 7cm touch screen in the bedroom but finds the slim line design of the new model ‘one’ better as a family product.
George continued “The kids have no troubles with it at all, in fact, being the mental sponges they are at that age, they tell us how to use it when we forget!”
George Chuter Quickfire Round Kaiser Chiefs or Kasabian? Kaiser Chiefs.
Pinot Noir or Pinot Griggio? Pinot Griggio.
Lee Evans or Jack Dee? Jack Dee. Thai or Indian? Indian.
Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig? Pierce Brosnan.
Skiing or Boarding? Don’t do either but want to go skiing. Heroes or Torchwood? Heroes. Dali or Davinci? Davinci.
PC or Apple Mac? I’m a Mac man. Sponge Bob or Scooby Doo? Scooby all the way!
WWW.ICONIC-HOME.CO.UK Please Call to arrange a demonstration at our showroom. Home Control and Automation. Security and Lighting. Multi-Room Audio. Music and DVD Servers. Home Cinema Installers. Unit F, Bristol Court, Betts Ave, Martlesham Heath, IP5 3RY Tel: 01473 611131
Recently, the four founders of Swedish internet file sharing company The Pirate Bay were found guilty of "assisting in making copyright content available." It wasn’t the original charge of breaching copyright, which was thrown out just two days into the trial, but a confusing precedent nonetheless.
Unlike the Napster ruling some years ago this is the first time anyone has been convicted of providing a conduit for others to break the law, rather than breaching copyright themselves.
Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents the UK record industry, said: “We hope that this decision will encourage British music fans to steer clear of these parasitic illegal download services and support the future of British music by downloading legally.” But will this ruling change anything in the world of illegal music and file sharing? Short term maybe... long term, probably not.
I think most people would agree that the artists need income to keep producing more quality music, and rightly so, but how many film and music executives have got to be fed Ferari’s and cigars before the sums just don’t make sense?
As for the judgement having a profound effect on other Pirate Bay like minded outfits, I think technology has driven us to a point where there are now no barriers and new ways will be found to ‘share’ entertainment without paying. But, just like the current governmental financial debacle, the law abiding consumer - the backbone of our society, will somehow always foot the bill in the end.
Simon Tweakerman He tweaks as he sleeps
If you want the latest inside information, Simon Tweakerman, the all-knowing Apple officianado, will take you through the stage by stage iPhone unlocking so you can use it with other networks. For ‘How to Unlock/Jailbreak Your 2.x.x 2G iPhone (Mac) [Updated 2.2.1]’ go to our website: www.smartlivingnow.co.uk
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Visit our new showroom at 12 High Street, Hadleigh IP7 5AP
Grooming Great o Essentials
Charlie Woodthorpe reports
As us men get older and wiser (well, older anyway) we aren’t as embarrased about grooming products as we once were. Gone are the sniggers about the poncy adverts and in are the ‘what have I got to lose’ shrugs at the tills! Take a butchers at some of these great new products and maybe even try a few. I did, and I was suitably impressed, especially with the Bulldog moisturiser. The Headblade and Friction Zone Advanced Skin Protectant will be tested & reviewed in June.
Sensitive Post Shave Balm using Rosehip oil to nourish and soothe sensitive skin immediately after the rigours of shaving. Vitamin E is also included for its antioxidant properties.(100ml, £4.99)
This sensitive Moisturiser using Green Tea as a powerful anti-oxidant and Green Algae as a natural skin moisturiser is fantastic. It’s non-greasy and has a cool subtle herbal aroma too.(100ml £5.99) All Bulldog products from: www.meetthebulldog.com
Call Steve Clark on 01473 657403 or 07850 326194 firstname.lastname@example.org
An endurance sports formula anti-chafing product that is both cold water and sweat resistant. Long lasting protection for any sports or adventure activity where chafing of the skin is a problem. The antibacterial formula helps prevent minor skin irritations. It contains no petroleum based ingredients and so is safe for wet suits. For cyclists this is a superior, extremely durable chamois product for hours of riding comfort, even in wet weather. For Triathletes it is safe and effective for wet suits and running shoes. For runners it prevents chafing caused by clothes and minimizes chances of blisters on the feet. Even works as an excellent barrier to reduce wind chafing for those pursuing winter sports. £ 12.50 www.carterandbond.com
HeadBlade Sport brings head shaving to a whole new level. The Classic Scalp Razor was the original but this improved version comes with wheels!! Put this thing on your rock and let it roll. The wheels give even greater stability and a smoother ride for a closer, nick-free head shave. With the Classic the rear pad is kept in contact with the scalp for a smooth shave but with this Sport model the wheels just roll over the head as you shave making it simpler, safer, smoother and fun! One triple blade included. £ 16.95. www.carterandbond.com
renewables heat recovery systems air/water heat pumps geothermal systems underfloor heating solar thermal
The 39 STEPS. Venue: Criterion. Address: Piccadilly Circus, London, W1V 9LB In this masterpiece action packed thriller, the protagonist is conspired under the gruesome charge of murder. Some of the most renowned and award winning scenes from the movies are also being performed, such as the immensely hysterical biplane pursuit. The talented four actors will perform astonishingly 150 different roles! Winner- Best New Comedy. Running all through May/June. SUNDAY 24TH & BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY 25TH MAY 2009. The two day Festival of the Air is undoubtedly the most spectacular event in Southend's calendar. Southend was the first seaside resort in the country to stage an Airshow and it's become one of Europe's largest FREE events of its kind, regulary attracting over half a million people to the seafront over the weekend. Whilst the skies over the Thames Estuary are filled with roaring and buzzing of fast jets as they zoom and flit at lightning speed, or formation aerobatic teams mesmerise the crowd with their manoeuvres, there's a non-stop action packed entertainment programme that stretches for two miles on the ground. Southend's Festival of the Air is a fun day out for all the family. THE COASTAL VOYAGER. River trip to Blythburgh from Southwold. Monday 25th May. 11.00. www.coastalvoyager.co.uk. Coastal Voyager was built in New Zealand in 2001 to a special design based on their Coastguard vessel. The 12 wrap around seats hold you firmly in place and the individual seat belts ensure you stay put! Naturally waterproofs and lifejackets are also supplied. . Protected by English Nature, you can regularly see Marsh Harriers, Heron and Little Gulls. Trip includes an hour stop at the White Hart on the river. Return trips - £22 adults. £11 Children. Please mention Smartliving Now magazine when replying to any advertisements
In a different frame of mind
These panels can be anything from two feet square to upwards of five feet tall and the beauty of the product is that apart from being a studio grade speaker they can be covered in an acoustically transparent material and adorned with images of your carefully chosen photographs, artwork or graphics.
We all have pictures on the wall at home and in the office and generally they are all flat images framed in various snap on glass mounts, wood effect plastics or luxury real wood finishes. But have you thought of framing something that isn’t necessarily flat or framing something to disguise what it actually is? It’s not a new idea but is one that seems to have been forgotten. The next time you visit a museum you will probably see the odd document, trinket, shoe, fish or rodent that has been boxed up and fixed to the wall. It’s been framed to give it maximum stand out from all that surrounds it. This idea can just as easily be used in the home to great effect. I was drawn to this almost victorian retro idea when passing Lemontree Studios in Fore Street, Ipswich last week. Alongside his wonderful photographic images, Glenn Brown the proprietor, has all manner of framed examples shown in his window. I saw framed vinyl records with their original sleeves which would look fantastic in a home cinema or music room; a montage of certificates, pictures and medals from the first world war, which would be a treasured family keepsake; and an Australian rugby shirt, which in my view, would look good locked in a dark cellar!
Image courtesy of Artcoustic Loudspeakers
Framing by Lemontree Studio www.lemontree-studio.co.uk
Moving on from actual framing but sticking with the aesthetic of images on the wall, a recent interior design concept herolded by certain quarters of the hi-fi and home cinema fraternity is the advent of speakers that are disguised as pictures.
Speakers generally need volume (internal space) for air flow which enhances the sound. The air space has normally been achieved by a large floor standing box design but over the last few years some designs have evolved into flat (about three inches deep) panels which can be hung on the walls.
Excellent sound quality as well as aesthetic beauty doesn’t come cheap but as with all great design, you get what you pay for. The added bonus is that your floor space is opened up and the chance of pets or kids knocking into them is minimised. See www.lemontree-studio.co.uk, www.signals.uk.com, www.iconichome.co.uk
eating everything In my book, to really kick back switch off from work and chill, you need to be outside, eating and drinking with friends and family. Meld this with a warm evening sunshine on your shoulders, natures own birdsong in the air or maybe a hint of mood music in the background to accompany the sizzling marinaded chicken or fish and you have the perfect British al fresco dining experience.
The concept of Al fresco dining is an appealing one... Words by John Kersley, Edited by Neil Farrow
Each year as the warmer months seem to approach earlier, the first few days of sun are the subliminal signal to dig out the ‘barbie’, brush down the garden furniture and invite friends and family to join you for some sausages à la charcoal. This year however, the attempt to recreate the long lazy outdoor evenings of our favourite holiday destinations will take on more significance as the credit crunch encourages many to take the decision to stay at home. With the banks offering no more than nano percentages for your savings, the focus is now on the value of improving your existing property. And where better to start than by looking at how you use your outside space to entertain?
There are many things to consider when developing your Al fresco area. Budget and space available will of course dictate just how far you can go but whatever resources you have, take this opportunity to think outside the box.
You need to think about the whole area and how it will be used, not just for cooking but also for entertaining and socialising before and after the meal. Seating is one of the primary issues as people would rather sit to eat than walk around precariously balancing a plate and fork in one hand and a beer or wine in the other.
For a relaxed layout, seating could be made up of wooden or concrete walls or even sturdy planters and needn’t be just free standing fold-outs from the DIY store.
There are now many systems that allow you to effectively control light, sound and vision inside and out.
From strategically placed simple candles and lanterns through to in-ceiling or in-floor lighting scenes in various hues changed by touch screen wireless remotes or wall pad sensors, you can make your garden, balcony or patio feel like Marrakesh, Manhatten or a mellow Maldives. Lighting can make all the difference.
As shown by designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the past couple of years even the table can incorporate water features or permanent planting to give added interest even when the space is not being used.
And here is the key, whatever you design it makes sense to have something that can be appreciated all year round and not simply for a few months of cloud dodging!
Obviously the catering facilities are essential and nowadays BBQs give you the option to do more than just cremate a few burgers. Prices range from about £100.00 for something basic to £10,000.00 for a state of the art built-in appliance with all the gadgets and gismos you can think of. You could choose to incorporate a griddle plate, wok burner, rotisserie or pizza oven as cooking outside becomes far more adventurous the more you think of possibilities. Where budget simply isn’t an issue you must have the obligatory fridge, wine cooler and sink; somewhere to keep the live mussels filtering before the white wine and garlic pot beckons.
Once you have delighted friends, family or colleagues with your culinary expertise but fallen woefully short with your wine facts due to the obligatory consumption during the food prep, you have to turn your attention to the apres cuisine.
When darkness falls, clever lighting, warmth and comfort are fundamental requirements to create a relaxed ambience. To a degree lighting needs to be functional to ensure that your guests can tell the difference between a bottle of red and a bottle of white but it is also a great way to transform the space into a subtly lit oasis under the stars.
When it comes to pure entertainment, for that all important wow factor, how about projecting a movie onto a white rendered wall whilst you chat and drink under the night time sky?
The design of the structure could incorporate a waterproof screen and even have a cable feed from the main building to supply your International rugby or Olympic 100m final. For the icing on the cake you will enevitably need the sound system to create the full effect, which could be wireless speakers, garden speakers that look like rocks or proper outdoor 5.1 surround sound. Anything is possible if you speak to the right people.
To accompany your glass of wine and sound & vision feast you will obviously need to be comfortable. Soft furnishings are a necessity; these can be all weather sofas and armchairs, simple cushions or massive beanbags which can be stored away. In the case of the latter you should again think about where you are going to Rockustic Planter Speakers keep them when not in use, perhaps integrating storage space into the design. To finish off the experience a bespoke fire-pit, chiminiere or even an outdoor fireplace will create a focal point and enable you to extend your soiree well into the early hours. The possibilities are endless but with a little creative thinking and some kind weather you really can do Al fresco at home. And to keep us in the mood for outdoor dining, Mark David from the Cooking Experience in Hadleigh and the two Jonathan’s from Wines of Interest in Ipswich have come up with these masculine Please mention Smartliving Now magazine when replying to any advertisements
but mouth watering delights; our seasonal first for BBQ and wine tips. ORIENTAL CORN-FED CHICKEN BREASTS (Feeds 6) 6 large corn-fed Chicken Breasts. 2 tablespoons fresh coriander 200 ml coconut milk 2 tablespoons sherry 1 tablespoon blended sesame oil 1 dessertspoon small diced ginger (fresh) 4 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
MARINATED TIGER PRAWNS (serves 4) 1 3 1 1 1 2
Mark David www.cookingexperience.co.uk
De-skin the chicken. Mix the marinade ingredients together and cover the chicken breasts with the marinade in a bowl. Chill 1 hour. Barbecue fast for 2 mins each side, move to a cooler section, and cook slowly for about 10 mins each side. Bring the marinade to the boil and drizzle over the chicken breasts.
kg frozen shell-on (head off) prawns (Cold Water), thawed. cloves garlic, chopped Mix the marinade, put the prawns onto tablespoon blended sesame oil barbecue sticks, with shell on. Barbecue tablespoon fruit vinegar. fast for about 5 mins each side. tablespoon sherry chopped chillies (or 1 teasp chilli flakes)
TURMERIC RICE (Serves about 6)
6 tablespoons basmati rice, washed thoroughly. Water to cover. Salt. 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric 1 dessertspoon groundnut oil
Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the onions, turmeric and garlic, fry 20 secs, add the basmati, fry 15 secs, stir all the time. Add water to cover, off the heat, leave a 1/2 inch float above the rice. Re-boil quickly and place in the AGA simmering oven (lid on) and cook for 30 minutes. Other cookers, simmer on lowest hob heat for max 20 mins until all the water is absorbed.
We understand your vision Award-winning landscape design and construction from a team of skilled professionals. To embrace a new way of living, on time and on budget, please call us on 01473 401279. Gary Jordan is a star South African winemaker and these two wines would work brilliantly with these sort of flavours
2007 Jordan Chameleon Rose, Stellenbosch ÂŁ8.95 Spicy, summer fruit flavours of Shiraz and Merlot - this is a brilliant, dry, fresh, fruity pink. Both at wines only at www.winesofinterest.co.uk.
2007 Jordan Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch ÂŁ8.50 Notes of Chenin honey and ripe fruit; dry yet succulent with tasty notes of oak. Gary Jordan takes this ordinary grape and turns it into a treat! Please mention Smartliving Now magazine.
LANDSCAPE & GARDEN DESIGN HARD & SOFT LANDSCAPING BESPOKE PONDS & WATER FEATURES TIMBER BUILDINGS SEMI-MATURE TREE PLANTING LIGHTING IRRIGATION MAINTENANCE tel/fax: 01473 401279 www.nascentialandscapes.co.uk 2009 Award Winner
Let us create the right environment for you...
Sustainable News Hoping We Can Wave Goodbye to Expensive Energy A new milestone for marine energy was achieved recently when UK based Wave and Tidal Technologies company Aquamarine Power Ltd signed a 1,000 MW (1 GW) Development Agreement with the renewable energy development division of Scottish and Southern Energy, Airtricity.
Aquamarine was the first marine Energy Company in the UK to develop both wave and tidal power devices simultaneously. Their Wave Power device, called Oyster, is a near shore hydroelectric wave power system. Still at the full scale prototype stage, the Oyster is based around a large movable buoyant barrier structure that is mounted on the seabed in depths of 10 – 12 m (33 – 40 ft) and pivots like a gate. The barrier looks like 5 large pipes stacked horizontally on top of each other to form a wall. As waves crash against the barrier it moves backwards and forwards pivoting at it’s base. The barrier is connected to a double acting water piston and by using simple hydraulic principles wave energy is converted into high pressure water that is pumped on shore to drive a conventional hydro electric generator to produce electricity.
The peak power generated by each Oyster barrier is between 300 and 600kw. The system can be deployed in arrays with several pumps feeding into a single manifold pipeline to drive a hydroelectric generator of up to 21 megawatts.
Air we go, air we go, air we go
Compressed air cars are well and truly on their way to mass production in India and America, among other places although they seem to be taking their time. But the cheap, environmentally-neutral compressed air engine also lends itself to other interesting urban and industrial transport concepts like the AIRPod. Intended both as a personal 3-4 seater city commuter and as a getabout for airport, train station and municipal workers, the AIRPod is cute and easy to drive with a joystick instead of a steering wheel and pedals. The three-wheel transport weighs around the same as a touring motorcycle at 220kg, so it only needs 5 1/2 horsepower from its lightweight air engine to reach top speeds a little over 40mph. Best of all, cheap compressed air refilling will take as little as 90 seconds and cost about EU1.10 for the AIRPod's expected 220km range.
...technical solutions for your lifestyle
DESIGN LIGHT AUDIO CONTROL
www.technovations.co.uk 1 email@example.com
G objects of desire The Apollo table by Stuart Melrose. Make a statement with this futuristic and fun design using Corian with coloured inlays. Perfect for a contemporary lifestyle. www.stuartmelrose.com 0118 982 0239
Michell Gyrodec Sublime turntable design & engineering that will reproduce the music from your vinyl like no other. www.signals.uk.com 01473 655171
Spinning Seats An innovative stainless steel seating platform with 8 sections each of which spins 360 degrees around a central post. The solid, curvacious and tactile piece of design by Noel Blakeman would be at home in a spacious hallway or even a hotel reception. As much a work of art as a sturdy seating system. www.noelblakeman.com
Please mention Smartliving Now magazine when enquiring about products or services
The Aamalfi from Victoria & Albert Baths is a design classic of the future. Awesomely sexy curves yet so strikingly simple. Made from QUARRYCAST, a rare volcanic limestone mixed with resin, the Aamalfi retails at about ÂŁ2,499.00 and comes with a 25 year guarrantee. 01952 221100 - www.vandabaths.com
Polk Audio VM series speakers. Sleek polished aluminium casings with a balanced, open sound. Go for the 5.1 option with centre, sats and a sub. www.iconic-home.co.uk 01473 611131
Sustainability Smartliving Now gets to grips with the latest in green products helping to save our souls.
What is Sustainable Design? Well according to the Centre for Sustainable Design - University College for the Creative Arts, it is ‘the systematic incorporation of life-cycle sustainability and environmental considerations into product design’.
Though it sounds more a governmental smoke screen statement, it’s actually very refreshing to see and hear of more and more designers (young and not so young) leaving college with distinct views on ethical design and an eagerness to embrace new techniques and philosophies based on helping the planet. That’s not to say they are all the tree hugging, hemp wearing, dreadlocked, air-ware stomping free spirits of yester year, far from it. Eco designers wind-up D are far more serious about their AB radio beliefs... and rightly so.
It takes a certain type of character to actually set up a design based business, one with bucket loads of drive and tenacity. Recent research sponsored by the Audi Design Federation found that of around 11,000 design graduates each year only 6,500 will get jobs “directly as designers”. So just making it to the bottom rung of the design ladder is a big achievement in itself. These new radicals are educated, enthusiastic and determined to make a difference and this attitude is bearing fruit. They are looking to the natural world for inspiration to address modern man-made issues and demands and are invariably coming up with sustainable eco friendly innovative commercial solutions.
One of the key starting points is researching and sourcing sustainable natural materials.
Materials like Bark Cloth, which can be harvested every year from the fig tree, Corn-Weave, a material from cornstarch and hessian, and Solanyl, a biodegradable plastic material made from potato starch and peel. All are now being used in the commercial world to great effect. Based in Queensland, Australia, Wambamboo designer Kent Gration has created a collection of sustainable furniture with an effective and extensive use of Bamboo. “It is a sustainable choice, as bamboo is biodegradable, has an outstanding strength to weight ratio and is a natural non-wood product. Bamboo can replace the use of plastics and synthetics in furniture, textiles and everyday products” said Kent.
Kent’s Lucille chaise lounge (above) is a marriage between natural unprocessed bamboo poles and modern design. Featuring a stainless steel frame to support the bamboo poles, the stylised shape of the lounge complements a reclining body, although possibly more for the younger more supple frame. For the slightly greying crowd, like me, a foam slip can be used to reduce the corrugations against the body if required. www.wambamboo.com.au.
Still on the furniture front, the TWIG from Pinch Design is a bench made from UK coppiced Hazel or Sweet Chestnut which is harvested without killing the entire tree. Perfect for a modern, contempory designed building the £1250 bench’s end cross section celebrates the fact that only in nature is it possible to have multiple pieces of the same material featuring a different colour, a different diameter and a different character, something that would be almost impossible to recreate in mass production. “It’s just a bunch of sticks” I hear you cry, but art and design are a fickle duo whom can illuminate some, whilst mystifying others. www.pinchdesign.com.
But sustainability isn’t just about eco friendly materials either. Technology can bring a heavy case of pop to the party too. Technology can conserve energy, assist in reducing emissions or aid new green construction and manufacturing L methods. Even more space-age ideas go into the regeneration of toxic waste! All help, however big or small, and a case in point is the recent range of products from the archetypal English professor Trevor Baylis. “My original windup radio pioneered a new eco technology that is as relevant and cutting edge today as it was sixteen years ago. A new generation has grown up with many electronic devices that were inconceivable when I created my radio. Now we have developed a range of products that combine the best of these modern ideas with the freedom and energy efficiency of windup technology” said Trevor. The BAYLIS Eco Media Player (left) gives you the freedom to listen to all your favourite music, watch dazzling movie clips, tune in to your popular FM radio stations, thumb through your treasured photo albums, and read text files – all without the need for external power or batteries! Technology giant Philips has just jumped on the eco bandwagon too and if its recent Consumer Electronics Show Innovations Award is anything to go by, it has a sure fire winner on its hands. Named the Eco FlatTV or the somewhat more romantic title of the 42PFL5603D, it’s deemed better for the environment than standard models because of its power saving features.
These include dimming technology, which is designed to lower the LCD panel backlight to reduce power usage "without compromising the picture quality", a builtin light sensor automatically measures the viewing room’s ambient lighting and adjusts the television’s backlight for power efficiency, and, additionally, when the display is switched to standby, the Eco FlatTV consumes less than 0.15 watts of energy.
Apart from the power saving benefits this handsome model uses lead-free components and flame retardant materials, which are safe to the environment, and as if that lot were not good enough, all the packaging and user manuals are made of recycled materials. Bravo Philips. It’s alright trying to save energy at every corner but how do you actually know if or what you are saving? Well, it’s elementary my dear Wattson!
At £150, the Wattson is a sharp looking, remarkable device that shows you in £’s or in watts how much energy your home is using. It can even show you by colour-changing light. With funky coloured mood lights which breathe and pulse, it changes colour when you alter how much electricity you use. Cool blue for small amount of electricity being used, warning red for high energy consumption. Austin Powers heaven. www.firebox.com. And finally a green solution for a green problem. Designed in Sweden and manufactured in England from 90% recyclable material, Husqvarna has just unveiled a new version of its Automower™ that not only allows you to maintain a neatly trimmed lawn without lifting a finger, but achieves it using combination of solar power and electricity. An area to mow is defined by an easily laid boundary cable that ensures the mower won’t run over any tows and according to Husqvarna, it only uses the energy of a standard light bulb. It’s virtually silent too, so it won’t disturb you at Pimms O’clock and with no exhaust fumes at all your un-shaven old granny with emphysema can safely snooze in her favourite chair without scaring the kids. Want to be featured in Smartliving Now magazine? Send us an email and we would be happy to discuss ideas. Check out our new website: www.smartlivingnow.co.uk
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Website & Email Hosting Microsoft Exchange Hosting Computer Sales, Support, Repairs & Upgrades Network Management WPK Systems 5 Lister Road, Hadleigh, Ipswich IP7 5JN
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Simply call us on 01473 823366 for friendly advice and quotations on any printed item You are welcome to call in at any time without appointment or, if it is more convenient, we will be pleased to visit you. Keith Avis Printers, 68 High Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich IP7 5EF email@example.com
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Expert Panel The Smartliving Now panel comprises industry experts from every corner of lifestyle design and technology. These people know their beans so if you have any questions be sure to contact them direct. Alastair Gardner from Signals in Ipswich has been designing and building hi-end hi-fi systems for more years than he cares to remember. A two channel (stereo) nut, it would take a lot to convince Alastair of any other medium available that would challenge his views on the purity of hi-end music reproduction. email@example.com
Graham Owens from Technovations in Gt Bentley, has designed lighting installations for theme parks and visitor centres worldwide. But, he also works in the residential sector, creating inspiring and relaxing environments and carrying out technical installations for homes all over the country. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Mackenzie from Iconic Home in Ipswich is an ex Army Air Corp Computer Technician who has had extensive training in Home Automation and Security. Since taking over at Iconic Home he has created award nominated home automation designs for private clients all over Southern England. email@example.com
John Kersley and business partner Julian Pawsey are working at the cutting edge of landscape design & construction. With 18 years of experience behind them they have also constructed gardens for various designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London. firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Clark from Heatsave Systems has become one of only a handfull of technical engineers to be trained on the new Swedish NIBE geothermal climate systems, heat recovery systems and air & water heat pump installations. email@example.com Stuart Melrose â„˘ has featured at New Designers, 100% Design 'Futures' part of London Design week, Grand Designs Live and Home & Interiors Scotland. Ostensibly working with Corian and using a bright colour palette, Stuart's work can add a fresh, fun and funky touch to any home. firstname.lastname@example.org
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