We have selected a number of pieces for the exhibtion that showcase the benefits of ash as a locally sourced sustainable material. Why use ash? In terms of sustainability there are number of reasons why ash is a good choice. As David Saunders Manager of Woodnet explained to us at the Summer Workshop, as a material ash:” is light, elastic, flexible and incredibly strong. A hardwood that is fast growing.The quicker a tree grows the stronger it is”.
It has a distinctive open crowned light foliage, it is late come into leaf, early to drop, a short growing season, that lets light through onto the forest floor, which has benefits in terms of biodiversity” These benefits are summarised by the Royal Forestry Society: “Ash woodland has a rich ground flora of dogs mercury, bluebells and ramsons. Often it is accompanied by a hazel understorey. The alkaline bark of ash supports numerous epiphytic lichens and bryophytes and also attracts snails. Its leaves provide food for many moth species including the barred-toothed striped, the coronet, the brick, the centre-barred sallow and the privet hawkmoth. Birds such as the bullfinch eat ash seeds.Upland mixed ash woodlands are a priority habitat under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and form one of the richest habitats for wildlife in the uplands. They support many rare woodland flowers such as dark red helleborine, Jacob’s ladder, autumn crocus, lady’s slipper orchid and threatened butterflies such a the high brown fritillary, the dingy skipper and the grayling.”
The scope of contributors to our exhibition showcasing work of relevance to the BRIDGE project is truly inspiring. Science and engineering research outputs, well established local independent practitioners, young entrepreneurs and design activists are represented. All intent on testing the real scope of materials and revealing new potentials in terms of sustainable practice. This is not just about green is good, but a delicious sensory experience that demonstrates that eco can be gorgeous, playful and provocative. Here are just a few:
We have a packed and thought provoking line up planned now for the BRIDGE Circus Symposium on 9th and 10th December. Speakers include Dr Joan Farrer Director of DR-i, our INTERREG partners Laurent Lecoure and Gwladys Lemenand European Project Manager from MIRIADE ,Beatrice Rogers, Deputy Director of Creative Industries KTN, Rob Holdway Giraffe Innovations(low carbon design and environmental management), Huw Taylor Professor of Microbial Ecology, Andy Cundy Professor of Geoscience, Dr Jyri Kermik , Tamsin Lejeaune Managing Director of Ethical Fashion Forum, David Saunders, Project Manager of Woodland Enterprises, Zoe Osmond Director of Green Growth Platform, Naresh Ramchandani Advertising and Communications Partner Pentagram and founder of Dothegreenthing to name but a few…..
In October the BRIDGE project enabled us to support students from the University of Brighton to travel to Rouen for 5 days. This was an opportunity for knowledge exchange with students from Esitpa. Hosted by William Edmonds and Nathalie Roguez-Villette , students discussed the meaning of sustainability from their different perspectives, visited agromaterials workshops and the school of architecture. They were introduced to sophisticated materials testing methods in the Esitpa labs and attended a lecture by a sustainable materials, technology & design business about flax and bio-plastics. They have returned with samples of agromaterials and are interested in exploring potential applications in their design work. Ideas include exploring the potential for biodegradable materials to reduce lifespans in certain contexts.
A focus of the BRIDGE Pavilion Summer Workshop was to consider both textile and timber materials and processes in terms of applications and construction. With the help of students from 3D, Textiles and Interior Architecture Toni Hicks (Senior Lecturer Textiles) demonstrated a traditional rope making technique to Glenn Longden-Thurgood (Senior Lecturer Interior Architecture), made easier by the use of electric drills from the wood workshop, and within half an hour created ropes strong enough to be used in the construction.
Participants in the workshop have referred to a ‘breakthrough moment’ in the collaborative process. On reflection, Shelley Stansfield BA 3D Design Graduate observes: “We realised, that we have done all these crazy experiments and worked out practically how we can apply the material to different things, but you could put them all together and it could look like one big mess. The breakthrough was when we took a step back, and worked through a concept and brought in different interesting elements of what we could apply structurally, rather than putting practical techniques together to form a structure. We have actually thought, if we form a structure, and then use these techniques in different ways, rather than just pushing them all into one shape. So that was a breakthrough yesterday to come up with the design of the actual structure“