Category Archives: Inspirational

Whatever next?

Well, there goes the final pillar of trust – the media, along with politicians, police and banks, really are corrupt (as if we didn’t have a slight inkling in the back of our minds already) Apparently, even the Queen was overheard at a party spouting forth about how the Banks need to buck up their ideas too. Seemingly, this western world re-think is approaching quicker than anticipated, I mean GAWD, people are even trying to make #ResignCameron trend on twitter. Imagine if that worked; I can see the tabloid headlines now ‘Twitter Takes Down Toff”, except by then there probably won’t be any newspapers. So, as the universe as we know it falls apart at the seams what are other people up to?

Well.

For a while now I’ve been waiting for a reason to shout as loud as humanly possible about this place. And now my time has come. Reality is, with frequency of posting on this blog, it could well have the impact of a fart in the wind, but know, dear readers, that I’m shouting, really loud at my computer as you read. Like the late, great Michael Jackson said, it’s time to make a change. And some people are.

Now I feel a little awkward. I’ve hyped you up far too much with that intro. So i’ll start with what you can get in return for reading this post and following its links. So, in order of greatness, for reading this post, following the link through and donating as little as $1, you can recieve:

– A thank you

– A postcard from Sweden

– Some coasters made from trees

– A lamp

– A birdbox

– A tree with a bird box in it

– Some moose antlers

– Some screenprints

– A holiday

– Your own sustainable mini house (or Friggebodar as they are known in Sweden)

Pretty awesome, right? well it’s a pretty awesome project. Floda 31 is a design innovation laboratory, situated in one of the last remaining wilderness’ of the world – northern Sweden. I haven’t made it out there yet, but  have encouraged plenty of my friends to go and help, with varying levels of success (one got a little big for his boots in their back garden/ snowboardpark and wound up being airlifted out) Other than that, they’ve all returned with a look of serene calm, and confidence in their creative abilities.

Anyway, so it’s been there for a little over one year now and is headed up by Rich and Marije – two incredibly inspiring people who sold up their shares in a very successful design agency to pursue this project. They’re latest ‘mini project’ Friggebodar, is in collaboration with students from the Bartlett school of architecture, and looks at the development of a completely sustainable mini house that is suitable for temperatures ranging from -30 to +30 degress centigrade.

It’s brilliance is twofold, the funding for this project comes through one of the new bastions of collaborative consumption, Indie Go Go – which means that everyone, from all around the world can contribute as little or as much as they want, circumventing the need for an investor or funding. Once complete, the design plans will be open source and freely available to anyone who wants (or needs) to use them. So, if you’re one of the people affected by the squatting laws that are being rushed through whilst we scream and shout about phone hacking – you may just have a solution here.

It seems particularly apt to be writing about this for Fearless, as the two key components to this project are what Fearless and COMMON’s mission statements seem to be about – change for good, the old model being broken and supporting the people out there who are trying to fix it. Go forth and make it happen!!

Indie Go Go: http://www.indiegogo.com/Floda-31-Friggebodar

Floda 31: http://floda31.com/news/

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Filed under creativity, crowdsourced, Design, Inspirational, Technology, Video Gods

Dagenham BMX pool

This is the second cycling related post in as many weeks. Please don’t start to think, dear readers, that I only post about bikes;  I don’t, but they have always been a big part of my life and probably always will be. One was a really big part of my life, until it was half-inched from my back Garden. Now traditionally, as those of you who reside in London will know, whenever your bike is pinched, you hotfoot it down to Brick Lane Market as early as your hangover will allow on a Sunday to look for the toerag that stole it trying to peddle (!) your beloved Velo on to an unsuspecting trendy. So, bleary eyed and at a keen half seven in the morning, I rocked up to one of the only places in London where the archetypal London ‘Geezer’ and his arch rival, the lens-less glass toting hipster blend into a melting pot of madness and money spending.

But apparently this has all changed now, the bike thieving toerags of our fair city frequent a different hole: DAGENHAM. Oh, bloody marvellous thought I. Not wanting to spend my next Sunday in Dagenham, I started looking into other things I could do to make the trip worthwhile and it turns out, that there is infact something wonderful there; Dagenham BMX pool.

It’s a project somewhat similar to the Tunnel Jam that some friends of mine built last year, and put on, again, by Nike 6.0, but this time it’s not in a tunnel, it’s in a disused swimming pool. I’m not a BMX’er myself, but know lots of people that are, and know that the quality and style of the build that they’ve put on here will please them greatly. And best of all? It’s free until June 12th. So, not only do Dagenham residents get to see world class BMX’ers risk life and limb, they get to have a go on world class ramps in a building that was otherwise going to be demolished. And there’s a bloody BRILLIANT video to promote it too:

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Filed under Bikes, fixie, Inspirational, London

Union Cycle Works, Deptford

Considering how many times i’ve been to this place, and how long i’ve known about it, I feel a little ashamed to be only just posting about it, but then again, I am looking into rebranding atomicpinball to something like ‘betterlatethannever.com’ as it seems to be the case with most introductions to most posts. ANYWAY, point is, there’s a bunch of guys, on my doorstep, doing something genuinely brilliant and  innovative and I want to shout about it, from the top of a mountain. Except there aren’t any mountains nearby. There’s Telegraph Hill, which is more of a hill, but that just won’t do. So I guess i’ll have to stick with the internet, so imagine this as my soapbox, perched precariously on top of Telegraph Hill. Fitting, as it was also the site of one of the first Semaphore Telegraph Stations in London, and the internet enables one to shout about whatever we damn well please, to millions of people the world over (so it’s a good soapbox in case you missed the reference)

Anyway. Since hearing of the honeybee network out in India, my younger brothers fascination with the internet of things and the way that consumerism is changing at such a rapid rate; I’ve been unable to avoid being interested in the socially aware businesses that are popping up almost as quickly as the traditional marketplace is falling down. It’s time for change, and these guys have captured the zeitgeist; nail. on. head.

Not only is their business’ product bikes, an inherently green and sustainable mode of transport, they also recycle said bikes, and restore them to their former glory. ‘Loads of people do that!’ I hear you say, and yes, you are right, I am indeed one of them! But loads of people don’t take the time out of their lives to teach disadvantaged people how to do this, so that those disadvantaged people can go on to build better lives for themselves, as well better bikes for other people. But these guys do. And they work in Deptford, which is near my house. So ha.

The project is circular in it’s brilliance, it contributes to solving about a billion (well not quite that many) issues in one fell swoop. They take old, broken bikes, that would otherwise need to be recycled, and breath new life into them, collaborating with disadvantaged people whilst doing so (so that disadvantaged people learn the skills required to do this for themselves) Therefore eradicating the need for a shopper to go into a shop, buy a bike and increase his/her carbon footprint with one that’s been made in China, shipped over here and then bought from a great big warehouse that is killing five polar bears an hour. These bikes are sold through a process of consultation, and personal interaction, something we screenagers are increasingly bereft of. In doing so, they increase social interaction, which subsequently has twofold benefits; the disadvantaged person gets social interaction in a professional context, and the consumer gets some social interaction as well as a pleasant shopping experience, something that he/ she is probabaly lacking in (on the assumption that he/she is a London-based commuter) And as if that wasn’t enough, for the price of an ‘off the peg’ cycle, you get a lovingly restored one, which teaches the customer the value of beautiful, quality products with a story.

At this point I wish I was a graphic designer, so I could make a circular diagram to show you this, but you’re a creative enough bunch, i’m sure you can figure it out. Anyway, enough eulogising; you should go there, and buy a bike there, and help make the world a better place whilst doing it.

Union Cycle Works , Deptford Project, 121-123 Deptford High Street, SE8 4NS,

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Filed under Awesome, Bikes, creativity, Design, fixie, Inspirational, London, Screenager, Social Media, Technology

March 26th Protests – The Morris Liberation Front

The hype and debate surrounding the misinterpreted March 26th Protests seems to have died down somewhat now, but this video, fresh outta the Henry Flitton stable is absolutely awesome. There’s been plenty of other people who’ve posted their own filming of it on youtube etc, but this is, if you like, the ‘official’ edit. Sporting handmade kits, and a week’s worth of Morris Dancing practice, they gave it their all to some awesome tunes provided by the Ukelele Society.

I especially love the part where they’re told they need a license to dance on Trafalgar Sqaure…

 

 

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Filed under Awesome, Design, funny, Henry Flitton, Inspirational, London, March 26th, Matt House, Morris Dancing, Morris Liberation Front, Protest, Trafalgar Square, UK UNCUT

Film of the year so far…

Hands down, this is the coolest video i’ve seen all year. I’ve posted lots about people from across the pond making incredible films (california is a place et al) but this is homegrown, and does absolute wonders for the British Surfing Community. I’m afraid I can’t take credit for rooting this little beauty out, it was my bro who stumbled upon it. Oh, and it was IdeasTap that inspired me to write it, after a very complimentary tweet about my very out of date blog. Hope you like it!

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Filed under Awesome, British Surfing, creativity, Inspirational, Video Gods