Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Posted: December 4th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Miscellaneous, Press coverage | Comments Off
One of the delights of working with the Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton is that many of the tutors are talented artists, makers and craftspeople in their own right.
Gareth Neal, with whom I have been working on our Designing for the Future project, is no exception and it is fantastic to see his Orkney Chair, a collaboration with traditional Orkney chair maker Kevin Gauld and The New Craftsmen, on the front cover of House & Garden’s Christmas Edition. Gareth’s design merges the thinking and knowledge gained from the Bodging project and the traditions of the Windsor chair, combining it with the unique straw work of the Orkney isles.
You can see Gareth’s work at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His George III chest is now in the permanent collection at the V&A’s 20th Century Gallery. The chest was acquired in September and first went on display during London Design Festival in the New Acquisitions Gallery
Posted: May 28th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Designing for the Future Competition - University of Brighton, Health, Miscellaneous | Comments Off
Real Gummy Sweets by Poppy Wilson St James
Poppy Wilson St James is another of our “Designing for the Future” alumni and her final year health-related project is concerned with communicating relevant, but sometimes inaccessible facts about food in original and engaging ways. All very topical in the light of the various recent food scandals.
I was particularly struck by the idea of the pig’s trotter jelly mould. Historically, gelatine was created by boiling the bones of animals, especially pigs and cattle. Nowadays gelatine is still made from the hides and bones of cows and pigs but is industrially extracted. As highlighted by the recent horse meat scandal we are increasingly ignorant of what exactly is in our food and how it is treated before it arrives in shops and on our plates. Poppy believes that by creating a jelly mould in the shape of a pig’s trotter consumers can be reminded of the origins of their food, specifically the intensive industrial processes and subsequent synthetic nature of jelly that removes us from the reality of its source.
Equally striking are the “real” gummy teeth sweets. Sugar has been portrayed in recent years as the root of all current health problems and crises. Whilst there are different studies and arguments about whether sugar plays a part in causing obesity, heart disease and other conditions, it is universally accepted that sugar causes tooth decay. Consumption of sugars, of all kinds including those in dried fruit and honey, leads to acid attacking the enamel on our teeth causing decay and cavities. So why, asks Poppy are perfectly straight, white, pristine teeth shaped sweets sold in sweet shops everywhere? Poppy has created ‘real’ gummy teeth, cast in silicone to mimic gummy sweets from two real mouths, to demonstrate the one definite result of over consumption of sugar – decay and tooth loss.
Both projects raise interesting questions about how much we know about the food we eat – where it comes from and what affect it has on our health – and how we go about communicating that information. Poppy’s fun approach may well be a good start.
Poppy Wilson St James’ work can be seen at the Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton Graduate Show 31 May – 12 June 2013.
“Designing for the Future” run by The Future Perfect Company in conjunction with the University of Brighton is now in its fourth year and encourages student designers to think about the challenges and issues affecting our ageing population – and to create innovative and attractive and designs which allow older people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives
Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Miscellaneous | Comments Off
I was delighted this week to be invited to the East Sussex Women of the Year Lunch 2013 held at the Amex Community Stadium in Brighton.
The aim of the event was to celebrate the enterprise and achievement of women working in professional and voluntary roles in East Sussex. And what a diverse and inspirational group of women they were – judges, Mayors, councillors, chefs, GPs, Deans, directors, lawyers, charity leaders, business women, judges, policewomen, magistrates…
Outside the various domestic arenas, it is really unusual to be surrounded just by women and such successful women at that. The event was a fantastic exemplar of what women do and can achieve. All the women I spoke to combined professional roles with some sort of voluntary or community role. And all to a woman were extremely modest about their contributions.
I came away with the impression that behind many businesses, charities, organisations, communities (and indeed families) is a whole army of capable, talented, passionate women determinedly and purposefully saving the world.
Posted: April 8th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Fashion, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »
One of the biggest gripes I have heard about getting older is finding shoes that not only fit well but are fashionable and stylish.
Regular readers of this blog will know that for some time now I have been compiling a list of suggestions which have come my way. Is this the definitive list of stylish but comfortable women’s shoes or do you have some more favourites?
1. Marks & Spencer Footglove range
These are a firm favourite. Comfortable shoes in smart designs at reasonable prices. http://www.marksandspencer.com
Hotter shoes are made by a family company in Lancashire and are all about “delivering comfort and style”. Having only been available online, Hotter have recently been opening more and more shops. I had the chance to try out a pair of Hotter’s Valettas and was impressed by both their comfort and style.
Recommended to me by a friend awaiting a foot operation, FitFlops are part of the new wave of footwear promising exercise whilst you walk. FitFlop sandals wearers have apparently also reported relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, chronic back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, RLS (restless leg syndrome), scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. I’ve not tried them myself but they may be worth checking out if you have problem feet. http://www.fitflop.co.uk/
This is a Dutch company (which delivers to the UK) and its shoes are not cheap – but they are by far the most fashionable range of designs I have seen for so-called “comfort” shoes (shouldn’t they all be?!). And their boots look great too. http://www.wolkyshop.com/12-Home.html
5. Josef Seibel
Shoes which I am told are “stylish – no good for wearing with a floaty summer skirt, but look great with a denim or cord skirt. Soooo comfortable too” http://www.josefseibel.co.uk/ They are also sold through other shoe retailers (They did have a flagship store at 37 Neal Street, London and two factory stores at The Bishops Centre, Taplow and Meadowland Retail Park, March but when I last checked I could not find these again).
Specialises in “well fitting shoes” and offers sizes 2-9 in 3 foot widths and 3 fitted boots styles available in foot size 2-9 and in up to 21 calf fittings http://www.duoboots.com/products/shoes/
Some of you love ‘em, others loathe ’em http://www.crocs.co.uk/
8. Cinderella Shoes
An independent company run by Gina Hennessy which carries a variety of styles ranging from size 8½ – 12 and more importantly different width fittings. ww.cinderellashoes.ie
9. Katie Long Shoes
Also caters for women’s larger shoe sizes (from 7) and has a selection of wide fittings- www.katielongshoes.co.uk . For bigger sizes, try also www.amberandjade.com
Hanna contacted me to say : “Having just bought myself a pair in the sale, I can highly recommend Camper shoes. They are expensive, but really comfortable and well made. I think they are fashionable enough to appeal to younger and older generations” http://www.camper.com/en
11. Chie Mihara
Kate Codrington via Facebook says: “I’d go for shoe genius Chie Mihara every time, e-bay or sales”
12. Clarks – NEW ENTRANTS – High street vetrans, Clarks seemed to up their game last year also. They have a great range of widths and sizes. Check out the Clarks Plus dual density cushioning and their fantastic collaboration with Liberty’s http://www.clarks.co.uk/
So, is the ultimate list or have we missed some? Where did you buy your favourite pair of shoes from? Let us know.
Posted: February 5th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Grandparents, Miscellaneous | Comments Off
Forget the flowers. This Mothers Day buy your mother and grandmother something that they will use every day and think of you!
£10 and under
KTWO To Do Notes – A clever little notebook that makes sure you don’t forget those important errands and bits of shopping.
Or how about an OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowl with easy grip handle and non-slip bottom – a super all purpose mixing bowl.
Our signature handmade double handled mugs have loads of personality and solve that age old problem of how you pass a hot cup of tea to another person without one of you burning their hands! (These are extemely popular so order early!).
For the keen golfer, Bionic golf gloves are as good as they get.
The KTWO Garden Journal is perfect for planning this year’s planting scheme.
It has to be our lovely double handled teapot. Note that these are extremely popular and you will need to order one well in advance!
Healthy Back Bag in beautiful purple microfibre – yes, it’s good for your back and makes it easier to find your keys but it is also original, stylish and on trend.
Natural Dot Shopping Trolley by Typhoon – shopping trolleys have come a long way in the last couple of years as wheeled luggage has become the norm. This stunning number from Typhoon won’t disappoint.
£50 and over
How is it that as we get older everything gets harder to see, particularly when we change to those energy saving lightbulbs? Our Alex table lights are eco friendly as well as being the best reading lights we have ever experienced. If your mother is a keen reader, crossword puzzler or hobbiest, this is the ultimate present.
Don’t forget the card and wrapping paper this Mothers Day. Our lovely range from artist Rachel Goodchild will make sure your gift stands out this year for all the right reasons!
Posted: January 23rd, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Miscellaneous, Press coverage | Comments Off
We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated in two categories in this year’s 50+ Awards!
The 50+ Awards are organised and presented by the 50+ Show, and are solely based on the internet nominations and votes of those who are aged 50+.
The Future Perfect Company has been nominated in two categories – Best 50+ website and Best 50+ Small Business.
We are up against some fierce competition (Facebook, Google!) and we would be really grateful if you would vote for us.
Many thanks – we will keep you posted!
CLICK HERE TO VOTE IN THE 50+ AWARDS
Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Miscellaneous | No Comments »
Three years into the latest chief executive’s reign, Marks & Spencer has once again reported poor Christmas trading figures, reigniting the debate about the decline of this great British institution.
Marks & Spencer, M&S, Marks, Marks & Sparks, St Michael’s – call it what you will, this retailer has anchored our high streets for much of its 129 year history inspiring deep loyalty in its customers despite not always delivering on its brand promises. The residents of our small Sussex town, for example, flock to M&S despite universally believing that we have been fobbed off with a “second tier” M&S which is much inferior to the larger, smarter stores which grace the bigger towns around us. (Can that be true?)
And when M&S reports falling profits, we all have something to say about it. But why does it matter?
For one thing, M&S would be a huge loss to high streets and shopping centres everywhere, particularly now when so many are struggling. Often an anchor tenant and always with a huge footprint, a M&S store guarantees footfall for neighbouring shops and gives a town a badge of quality.
And as the Sunday Times pointed out this weekend, M&S’s top investors are the fund managers who run billions of pounds on behalf of pensioners. Another very good reason for the retailer to succeed.
M&S also has at least tried to address the needs of the older population. Whilst much of its womenswear aimed at older women is rather frumpy, its Footglove comfortable shoe range is definitely a step in the right direction. The staff training and good customer service means that M&S provides an enjoyable retail experience for older customers. And of course the food is great, if expensive.
So here’s a thought. Rather than chasing the younger market, why doesn’t M&S celebrate its core customers, the 50+ ? But not the “pensioners” of old. Today’s older people are smart, style conscious and choosy. They don’t want “old lady” clothes although they do want fashion that reflects changing body shapes. Shoes need to be comfortable but they should also be stylish. And some consistency would not go amiss also. The Per Una Range started well but seems to have gone off the boil. What’s with the matching necklaces? It’s bad enough in a small town M&S that there is a limited choice of tops but we don’t all want to go around sporting the same jewellery as well…!
It’s very easy to get into a rant about M&S. It feels like a store which belongs to us and as such should reflect how our society is changing. Perhaps Plan A should mean “Age”.
Posted: January 4th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: Legal - employment, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Miscellaneous | No Comments »
Flo walking stick
It’s always fascinating to find out which topics have most caught your interest. In 2012, our 5 most-read blog posts were:
1. Can small dogs save your life – Bel Mooney’s book about her rescue dog Bonnie has proved a perennial favourite.
2. “Salvador Dali” standing and walking stick set to launch – Good to see such interest in the innovative Flo walking stick which I understand from designer Ilsa Parry is going from strength to strength.
3. Good care guide launches - a “TripAdvisor” for care homes – Opinions are divided as to whether a TripAdvisor ratings scheme will work for care homes but with the recommendations of Dilnot still to be implemented , there is no doubt that the quality of care homes will continue to be a hot topic during 2013.
4. To what extent to people with dementia have the right to control over their own lives – This blog post about the experimental care facility, Hogeweg in the Netherlands has prompted much discussion over the past year about the treatment of people with dementia.
5. Former Countryfile presenter wins BBC ageism case – This post by legal expert Catriona Watt of Fox lawyers suggest that ageism is still an issue.
Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »
What do you think makes a classic Christmas film? Something comforting and heart warming maybe or something which will make you laugh?
Here’s a list of our top 5 Christmas films. Do you agree? What would your top 5 look like?
1. What a Wonderful Life (1946) – An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman (James Stewart) by showing what life would have been like if he had never existed. Christmas classic.
2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947, remade in 1994) – When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus (Richard Attenborough in the later version) is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. Best line: Kris: If you can’t learn to accept anything on faith, then you are doomed for a life dominated by doubt.
3. Little Women (1994) – Based on the Louisa May Alcott novel, this film starring Winona Ryder and set around the holiday period, focuses on the March sisters growing up in Massachusetts during the American Civil war. Expect drama, tears, love and family.
4. Home Alone (1990) – 8 year old Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Whilst initially relishing time by himself, he is later greeted by two would-be burglars whom he eventually manages to outwit with a series of booby traps. Good family fun.
5. Elf (2003) – Will Ferrell stars as a man raised by Santa’s elves at the North Pole and sent to America in search of his true identity. Oddly endearing.
Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Health, Inclusive design, Miscellaneous, Retirement | Comments Off
Eastbourne - Designed for All
The seaside town of Eastbourne might not immediately spring to mind as a centre of innovation but last night its business leaders gathered to launch a quiet revolution in business thinking which may well have implications for the whole of the UK.
Whilst reputed to be one of the sunniest places in Britain, like all major towns, Eastbourne has felt the gloom of the economic downturn. But rather than using traditional strategies for boosting local economies, Eastbourne plans to regenerate the town by encouraging local businesses to adopt the principles of Inclusive Design in order to improve their competitiveness and increase customer numbers, sales and satisfaction.
The Eastbourne Designed for All campaign team believes that by principally targeting working age adults most UK businesses unnecessarily restrict their own potential to serve a larger number of customers. Inclusive Design – Design for All – proposes that attention to the needs of all ages expands market size and that a town and individual businesses offering excellence in meeting the needs of all will stand the best possible chance of thriving and attracting further wealth and investment.
Eastbourne has a greater than average proportion of older and retired people. Experience shows that products and services which take account of this older population can make life significantly better for everyone. The Prime Minister has applauded the development of businesses and towns becoming more sensitive to customers with dementia, mental health issues or hard of hearing. Many towns have proudly branded themselves as Dementia-friendly towns. Eastbourne, on the other hand, proposes that it will be Designed for All.
We have been hearing about the business potential of the older market for some time now but the Eastbourne business community is the first off the blocks in putting together a strategy for exploring how this might work. It is a hugely ambitious campaign but equally has huge potential to make Eastbourne an exemplar town for a different way of thinking. The EDA team has support from the local council and the University of Brighton but the fact that this is an initiative driven by the business community rather than local government or the third sector sets it apart and it will sink or swim on purely commercial terms.
We are tremendously excited by this new campaign which has the potential to transform product and service design – and ultimately a town, making it more attractive and user friendly for all its residents. We have joined Eastbourne – Designed for All and will be posting regular bulletins from the front line of Inclusive Design!
For more information about Eastbourne Designed for All and how to get involved, visit http://www.eastbournedesignedforall.co.uk/ Or contact me at Philippa@thefutureperfectcompany.com