At a time when the tide may be turning in terms of the sheer scale of plastic waste that is transported around the world, which countries such as China, the Philippines and Malaysia are no longer willing to accept, a house made of reusable plastic bottles made its appearance in Clerkenwell in London, a potential solution to reduce plastic waste and also create something while helps with other problems such as people sleeping in the street or temporary homes needed after natural disasters, having the advantage of the raw material being very light and therefore easy to transport. Apparently, 1 million plastic bottles are sold all over the world every minute, so the amount of the raw material is almost infinite!
Six Miles Across London Ltd in collaboration with WSP Design Studio have developed BottleHouse® using discarded plastic bottles as the basic building blocks for the design of temporary, but well-insulated, shelters, while BDP have created a lantern from recycled plastic bottles powered by the BottleHouse® integrated PV panels.
On show near BDP’s offices in Clerkenwell, BottleHouse® was one of the highlights of this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week where Design-explorers were to be seen maps-in-hand, following the magenta stripes on the pavement guiding people through the maze of streets, with banners outside the showrooms and art and design installations such as Scale Rule tucked into the historic arch of St John’s Gate, Once Upon a Time by University of the Arts London (UAL) students in six different locations, and contemporary candles created by different organisations and companies along the way.
The aim of course is to see what is new and innovative in the world of furniture, carpet, fabric and lighting design, with the sheer number of showrooms open, such as Jennifer Newman’s, reminding us what a hub of creativity and design, Clerkenwell has become. As usual, one of the best aspects of the adventure is exploring old, historic, and sometimes sinister, buildings including the dark and mysterious nightclub Fabric which, appropriately was showing new lighting to contrast with the dark environment and the glitterball, the hall spaces of the late 18th century church of Saint James Clerkenwell with a focus on British design with companies such as Ercol, Channels and designers Beatrix Ong and Samuel Chan, the dark underground spaces of the House of Detention full of work by new up and coming designers, and the Church of St John Clerkenwell, now the Chapel of the Order of St John, showing work of high craftmanship and luxury. Inevitable there are overlaps between all the different venues.
And, thankfully, there is an increasing focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability…., for example by Humanscale, with the Moth Pavilion designed by Studio DA, reminding us that, in the right weather conditions, seminars and talks can take place in the outside surrounded by grass and trees, creating a sustainable and enjoyable environment in which to listen to talks.