BIG thanks to all our presenters at the first SustainLab Pecha Kucha night in the ArtBar this week! We had a great turn out in the audience, including some guests from outside the RCA which is pretty exciting! Plenty of good conversations were overheard with beers after the talks, so we’re excited to see who might want to speak at the next one… get in touch if you want to share your project.
Here’s a round up of what we heard about – all projects happening at RCA right now:
Aran Dasan talked us through Safety Net‘s deceptively simple piece of technology which can be attached to trawler fishing nets to ward off unwanted fish species which often get caught unintentionally only to get thrown back into the sea dead. The colour changing devices are attached to nets and could potentially save thousands of fish from being killed unnecessarily every year. Aran is also a tutor on the IDE course at RCA.
Davin Browner-Conaty from the MA Service Design program followed up on the wildlife theme with his collaborative project Eavesdropping on Nature: DIY Bioacoustics (also with Filippo Sanzeni and Minwoo Kim). Its a radical look at what we could learn from listening to nature, literally. They are developing technology to listen to the calls of the leafhopper insects, in order to see what they might tell us about the health of plants and crops. A really humble and critical reframing of what intelligence is.
Eddie Hamilton from the MA Design Products program bought us up to speed with his research into stuff – and the reality of the amount of stuff we designers have been making. He’s looking at the connection between stuff and happiness, and how as designers we might be able to transition people to a different model of collaborative consumption, shared ownership and happiness derived form experiences over stuff. Watch this space!
Becky Miller – I finished off the presentations with a speculative project that proposes a new tax and subsidy system to replace VAT (or GST in the states). It would wipe the slate clean and create a new transparent Plant Impact Tax, completely visible to consumers at point of purchase, which taxes more heavily things which are damaging to people and the planet, and subsidies those which have a positive effect, creating a trickle-down effect to nudge producers to act more responsibly.
Aran Dasan talks us through smart fishing with Safety Net technology.