The True Value of Materials Exhibition

The opening of The True Value Materials exhibition on the first day of the Brighton BRIDGE Circus event (9th December 2013) attracted a huge crowd. Karen Norquay (Head of the School of Art, Design and Media) gave a welcoming address and thanked the organisers led by Dr Joan Farrer. Robert Penn, a journalist and author who is currently writing Touch Wood: the story of the ash tree gave a presentation and musical entertainers and performers accompanied the event. The exhibition  co-ordinated by Jonathan Swain and the Brighton BRIDGE Research Team at the UoB, located in the Grand Parade gallery, showcases  work in progress as well as a range of selected work by designers, practitioners, and Research Institutes in France and the UK, of relevance to the BRIDGE project including agro-materials, textiles, timber, locallly sourced materials, and traditional crafts exploring sustainable practice. The opening event, alongside the symposium was a perfect opportunity for to connect like minded contributors and attendees. The glass fronted gallery provides an excellent framed views of the display from street level.


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Brighton Repair Cafe at Brighton BRIDGE Circus

Brighton Repair Cafe were invited to occupy the UoB Grand Parade site, during the Brighton BRIDGE Circus event in December. Students, staff and attendees from the symposium engaged in a range of make do and mend activities against the backdrop of the map of the Interreg France (Channel) England area by Billie Mather commissioned specially for the event.

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The true value of materials: Why Ash?

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.”

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The true value of materials: 9th-20th December, University of Brighton

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:

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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…..

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Students trip to Esitpa: Ecole d’ingenieurs en Agriculture, Rouen

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.

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All hands BRIDGE pavilion

The images speak for themselves, a truly collaborative construction…

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