Earlier this year I attended some workshops on sustainable design. I have always been passionate about the environment but wanted to know whether I could be more sustainable within Hall Creative. Little did I know that this would lead to changing my whole approach to design and taking Hall Creative in a different direction.
I have worked with a few environmental companies in the past so I thought it might be good to combine some good ethical and sustainable processes with good design practice.
After attending the workshops we were informed about an EU funded initiative to take several design and design related businesses over to Delft in Holland to learn how the Dutch do sustainability.
I was chosen to go and after wondering whether they were going to put us on a plane we were informed that we would be travelling over to Holland via Eurostar and Thalys trains.
On the 4th November a group of us (product designers, sustainable architects, ethical marketers and a few Eco graphic designers) met at St Pancras and embarked on an exhausting but exciting journey to find out where our businesses could take us in the future.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to find on this adventure. I knew that the environment is important to me and that I want to do as much as I can whether in the workplace or at home.
We arrived in Delft, Holland a little later than planned (even Europe has delayed trains) and joined other sustainable businesses from France and Holland for an afternoon of learning. I went to a workshop on ‘social marketing’ . I thought this would be more for people who worked with the health service and any one in the public sector. However I feel I can use some of these techniques for my own practice especially when I am designing for the green industries. I felt the whole point of this course was about changing peoples perceptions for the good and if I can do this in my design work then brilliant.
After food and a quick drink in the centre of Delft we headed for bed for some well earned rest in preparation for another exhausting day ahead.
The Friday was fantastic as we were put into groups and spent the morning working on tasks which really helped us focus on the way we think about things and how we view our businesses. I’m a designer so putting what I learnt into words is something I find difficult but I came away from the trip knowing that everything I do has an impact. From where I have my web hosting to where my clients business cards are printed I need to think about all of this carefully.
Since I have been on the course I have changed my web hosting to Eco Web Hosting and I will be thinking more and more about what I buy and do and the consequences this has.
I also met some amazing people on this trip who all do their bit for the environment – Louise Fenwick – Coalition Communications, Claire Potter – Claire Potter Design, Elly Boulboul – Strawberry Soup, Diane Simpson-Little – Sussex Uni, Laurel Miller – AM Packaging (if I’ve missed anyone out then get back to me).