Climate change is on the rise and the effects of the untold usage of fossil fuels is becoming ever ending. Renewable energy resources are the next step for us to start contributing to resolving these issues. Pavegen is a sustainable company that created a technical new solution to sustainability within the built environment. Their new paving slab design stores and uses the kinetic energy produced by ourselves daily. The paving slabs utilise the power of our footsteps to contribute to a greater environmental goal. All of their innovations are contributing to the smart cities. The weight of footsteps causes electromagnetic induction generators to vertically displace, resulting in a rotatory motion that generates off-grid electricity. The tiles allow for real-time movement data analysis, whilst also producing power when and where it is needed. ‘footfall harvesting’ could become a thing of future generations. Think of the un-told footfall over Oxford Circus and the extremity of the ever growing population within the city. This resourceful energy solution could become the next step for cities energy solutions. Imagine the shops that could be partially powered by just the energy used in our day to day lives. Walking is a motion that doesn’t require a conscious feedback response, we do it naturally. So why not take advantage of the energy we already use. Pavegen have completed projects for educational purposes, promotional and event installations. Their projects range in style and purpose one of which is a pop up stand at a festival that charges phones form the festival goers dancing vibrations upon the tiles. This green promotion utilised the energy the festival goers already exhibited and shown people the benefits of such technology. They also provided a lighting solution for the London Olympics that used the energy from the Olympic visitors to light the way over the bridge from the station to the Olympic park. Each slab produced and stored energy, a small led spot light on each slab lit up with every step and the rest of the energy was transferred into larger led lights that ran parallel to the bridge to the park. It was here that the slabs really served a function. People were able to realise their effects by acknowledging the small led light transmitted from their step. Each of Pavegen’s designs are experiential they utilise fun innovative ideas to raise awareness of kinetic effects. They have done work across the cities so maybe soon this will become a more frequently used concept. What Pavegen have done themselves makes you think just how much more could be implemented into our day to day life that will have a direct impact on our environment. Utilising more of these design methods will help us as a society contribute to saving and restoring the environmental issues.
The Kings Fund Trust is an independent charity that works to improve health care in England, they undertake research and analysis in order to support and develop teams and organisations all contributing to improving the health care system. Some of their projects work directly with hospitals around England to help them develop and restore their current facilities. When undertaking regeneration projects they don’t just ‘chuck’ designers into a project, they involve and work directly with the nurses upon the ward who have thorough understanding of what the patients requirements and needs are. The trust helps to train and educate the nurses on processes of design that could help the patients. This company is of great interest to me as I believe their way of working has the potential to make further permanent changes amongst the system; educating during the design process will have a lasting effect that nurses can reflect back on. A project I looked into was one carried out among the Dementia Ward at the Alderney Hospital in Dorchester. Dementia is an illness that unfortunately is gradually effecting more and more people. People suffering from dementia get effected by overwhelming colour changes and patterning. Before Kings Fund went to the hospital, the ward had a very high fall rate amongst the patients. Kings Fund acknowledged that it was the pattern on the flooring tiles causing this disorientation. Patients suffering from dementia visually see lighter tones of the pattern as raised areas which causes cognitive exhaustion when manipulating the pattern. Once the hospital removed flooring patterns and replaced it with natural wood that was not light reflective avoiding the creation of pools of light, their were immediate decline effects on the falls of patients. They also created a colour coding application around the hospital to help the patients become more independent and manipulate the ward themselves. They applied primary colours to door rims, toilet seats, and hand rails which stood out from the rest of the pale cream walls and meant patients could identify between different rooms. The Bright red handrails were of the most interest to me as they reached for the colours automatically balancing themselves before becoming consciously aware of it. The ward felt that all of these attributes helped to prepare the patient for life on their own outside the ward.
I thought it was really motivational how design had such great effects on the patients and allowed for such changes. This makes you think how can we take some of these ideas and contribute them into everyday life. Create an environment that is inclusive for all, allow people suffering with the illness to continue their life as long as possible with lower difficulties. Maybe it’s something public spaces need to think about more especially with the rises in percentages of suffers. Colour sensory design can create great effects on illnesses and well being.
Through reading a lot of Oliver Wainwrights work already in the guardian, this talk was of great interest. The talk was made out of a debating panel of representatives from councils and designers all currently involved in contributing to the issues of housing in London. Each have their own view on the problems and solutions to housing, It was really interesting to see different perspectives. Things read in the media can be very mis-leading this talk allowed for information to be discussed first hand and a chance for each individual to show their personal opinions. Affordable housing is a very large question amongst the urban city livers, I agree with Oliver when he says that the housing crisis is mostly down to the affordability and access of properties. There are many empty new builds around the city that sit stagnant and empty due to the extremity of prices attached to them. This space can then be argued as a waste of space. Barbara who is part of the housing association of Westminster council discusses that lots of these developers who knock down social housing in order to start fresh and provide more facilities, actually end up providing a lower number of flats, which really isn’t providing an answer to our problems. She ended the presentation with “the real problem, is that we believe were entitled to a 3 bed house in the centre of this urban city”. This amusing comment really knocks the nail on the head with how expectations out way the reality. The talk then went on to discuss the RUSS community run project that focuses on involving the community, claiming some of the council’s public space and setting out a ‘Self Build’ Project that encourages new development of skills, a sense of empowering the local people. His concepts are very interesting, through building what the community needs ourselves we develop key skills and characteristics which also open up knew future aspirations but at the same time resolving the lack of housing. Now pocket living work on a very different strategic method to housing. They have realised intermediate housing for city makers, of which goes against the square meter planning and provides a much smaller space for individuals. Marc stated that generations have changed and no longer hold precious object belongings, books or CD’s we live in a technological age which requires minimal space. Pocket living and the collective both have very subjective designs that work for the percentage of single, young professionals but are un-adaptable for when their lives progress. This poses the question is this a solution; Aim specifics of a design at certain target groups and suit their needs, then when needs change they move on, at least housing is answered for a majority of the time I guess. Collective similarly designed a co-living space which supplied communal facilities. Living facilities were small as they supplied access to larger communal areas for ‘life to take place’. They worked upon the idea of meeting and socialising with others in your own apartment.
This lecture briefly covered many strategies to London’s housing, some of which you may agree with others you may not, but it was one that was very interesting and current to today’s issues which I think is important. It was also very helpful to get some facts about today’s issues from people themselves and not just the media.