The areas that we work within are developing daily – circular economy designing, positive behaviour change, environmental activism and our decade long specialist area of ocean plastic recovery and material re-use, therefore we feel it is our duty to do our own research and help drive the movements forward. Sometimes this research is linked to studio projects with clients, sometimes it is self initiated, however it ensures that we are at the leading edge of the knowledge in our sectors. We love learning.
Project Net·Worth This project was a 6 month feasibility and product design investigation between Oct 17 and March 18 that was led by Claire Potter Design, working with The Centre for Sustainable Design and MCB Seafoods and co-funded by Innovate UK. It was also the first marine litter based research to ever receive a grant from the UK agency. The project investigated which was the most prevalent form of ‘ghost gear’ to be found on the South Coast, along with gathering data on different material concentration, material types and the public awareness of the problem itself. Working directly with the fishers themselves was a key element of the project.
The first half of the project also included multi-stakeholder design and brainstorming sessions to explore the possibilities for the selected waste net material (polypropylene). The second half developed the designs into feasible products that could be injection moulded using a specially amended project specific small scale injection-moulding machine from the open source Precious Plastics project. The resulting product was a very utilitarian cabinet handle named the EL Handle, after the Emma Louise trawler whose net had been used in the new product. This handle was launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 and can be made to order at the studio.
The project is now being developed to encompass new products made from recycled PP trawl nets both in the UK and abroad. Our full report will be launched here soon and if you would like to discuss the project please get in touch.
We are active members of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative – a global cross sectoral organisation made up of governments, NGO’s, charities and industry who work together to tackle the issue with lost, abandoned or discarded fishing gear – the most devastatingly impactful form of of marine litter. As part of the ‘Replicating Solutions’ working group our research helps create potential global solutions to end-of-life fishing gear. https://www.ghostgear.org/
We are also on the BSi committee for the British Standard BS8887 – Design for Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End-of-Life Processing, helping write the standards which influence sustainable design practices for industry. You can read more about the series here.