Month: May 2014

Book Review – 21st Century Lighting Design by Alyn Griffiths (Bloomsbury)

ISBN 978-1-4725-0313-8 21st Century Lighting Design by Alyn Griffiths Bloomsbury (published April 2014) Price £24.99 CONTENT: Acknowledgements Foreword by Ingo Maurer Introduction Three Parts to the Main Body (Form, Materials, Technology) Directory of Designers and Manufacturers Index (4 pages) Image Credits (2 pages) RANGE OF INFORMATION Industrial Designer, Ingo Maurer conveys an emotive message in his Foreword, in which he alerts the reader to the fact that lighting design is becoming somewhat ubiquitous because of being technology led. The introduction that follows, by the book’s author, Alyn Griffiths devotes little to what has been and he moves away from debating principles around Is it art? Is it design? He gets straight in to what it is that is influencing the industry and what needs to be considered in modern day terms. Each of the three main chapters opens with a page or two written by Griffiths, where he exercises his prowess as a curator in areas relating to: lighting and architecture, lighting and aesthetics; lighting around various materials and their properties; lighting and new developments/trend …

Review of PERSIAN CRESS & LUSCIOUS HERBY LEAVES by Steve’s Leaves

We are almost watering at the mouth when opportunity comes our way to trial new salads from Steve’s Leaves. We are not in a habit of pushing products we review, but we have to be gushingly complimentary of this new salad called PERSIAN CRESS & LUSCIOUS HERBY LEAVES. Note: keep the leaves chilled and consume by the Use By date to enjoy at its best. Our Editor has profiled in some depth Dr Steve Rothwell (Steve) in her post entitled Beyond Organic Gardening published on another platform back in Sept 2012, and, as we have all but declared before, when we have reviewed Steve’s Leaves products, is that their bagged salad leaves are the best there is, for reasons previously outlined in the video and in the bold text section here. This newly launched mixed bag contains frilly, Persian Cress (an ancient crop growing in popularity once again), together with Baby Green Batavia, the sour, slightly peppery Baby Red, Cos, Wild Rocket and the mild onion flavour in the Chives is the nearest you can get …

Ecover Product Reviews and the Observer Ethical Awards 2014

Ecover are in association with The Observer Ethical Awards 2014 and the SHORTLIST for the Ecover Young Green Champions Award has recently been announced. They are as follows: Andover Trees United – A community group based in Andover, Hampshire, aiming to design and create a new woodland area open to everyone in the local area Mama Margaret’s – A project that teams students in Thornleigh Salesian College Bolton, with women from the Dagoretti slum in Nairobi to make and sell a range of hand-made, craft items to support the families in the slum Roch Valley Educational Partnership – A group from Rochdale turning discarded green space and woodland into an educational resource for the local community and surrounding schools Well done to all three! To mark this moment in the award’s proceedings tssreviews have invited three Guests Bloggers to review Ecover cleaning products. The first product is Ecover’s Mango and Shea Butter Washing-Up Liquid Janet V (from Burton Upon Trent) says she uses Ecover Washing Up Liquid exclusively and this is why “I started using Ecover washing up liquid …

Stage Review – Catch 22

  OVERVIEW The novel, by Joseph Heller, Catch 22, was published in 1961. It has sold more than 10 million copies. It is often cited as one of the greatest novels of all time. Topical online, of late, as it was included in the recent Goodreads discussion piece entitled ‘The BBC Believes You Only Read 6 of These Books…’ This is a version of Heller’s own stage adaptation. The play, directed by Rachel Chavkin, is set in the closing months of World War II. Bombardier, Yossarian (Phillip Arditti), his comrades and commanders, are all trapped in the tangled web of war. Yossarian is the embodiment of someone who is cracking under the pressure from being part of a system that is largely corrupt and non-supportive. He, as most serving men were, is a non-combatant person by nature and so war is turning him neurotic and depressive. Yossarian finds the phrase Catch-22 keeps cropping up and it catches his attention. Most of the story is set in Italy, where the squadron are supplying aerial support for …

Review of ECOVER ALL-IN-ONE DISHWASHER TABLETS

We really did put the performance of an ECOVER dishwasher tablet to the test. Trial involved a full load of cutlery and crockery with some degree of soiling and food scraps present. We included an oven rack with sticky residue from spills, a silicone container in which a loaf cake had been baked, and a large saucepan. The area in which the test was undertaken is recognized to be a hard water area too. We ran a dish washing cycle according to the manufacturers instructions and we verify that it was an unwrapped, Ecover dishwasher tablet (all-in-one) that was fully dispensed into the wash, from behind the dispenser door of a standard home dishwashing appliance. There is no better example that we could have acquired, than this provision of photographic evidence to show the results following a wash cycle using the item under review. Photographing the clean cutlery and crockery items after trialing the performance of the dishwasher tablet was a nice thing to do. Not just because the geometric shapes to be found in …

Book Review – The Principles & Processes of Interactive Design by Bloomsbury (Academic)

ISBN 978-2-940496-11-2 The Principles & Processes of Interactive Design by Jamie Steane Published by Bloomsbury 30-01-2014 is a Course Reader under the Academic – Design category Paperback RRP £37.99 CONTENT Introduction 7 Chapters – colour coded Conclusion Glossary Bibliography Useful Resources Index Acknowledgements and Credits RANGE OF INFORMATION The introduction has two sub headings which are: What is Interactive Design? What this book does Chapters cover the following subjects relating to the Interactive Design industry: research (around ideas and concepts), user-based design development, colour/digital image, typography, screen based grids/layouts, interactive formats and ideas for presenting. Each chapter explores the subjects broadly with lots of examples provided and a large amount of points of reference made. Seven Workshop tutorials feature. 10/10 QUALITY OF INFORMATION The over-wordiness of the introduction gives way quickly and the writing is concise and informative on that which the title of the book conveys. This book is one from the Required Reading Range, formerly published by AVA Publishing, designed to support visual arts students throughout their time spent as an undergraduate. Author, …

Stage Review – DIAL M FOR MURDER

The stage thriller Dial M is, to a large extent, a memory play. The three key characters (The Wendices and Halliday) are involved in a dramatic triangle. All things the three have encountered between them previously, or any assumption any one of them had made in the past, is not just for the sake of the plot but to outline the history of their relationship entwinement. What has gone on is outlined in opening scenes during conversations held between these characters in the present. When Lesgate makes his entrance we are, more or less, equipped with the whole picture about what is going to happen and why, apart from how, exactly, Inspector Hubbard is going to catch the murderer out later on. Hubbard harbours his suspicions until his reveal at the end, but we are enlightened much earlier to the murderer’s motive. There is a dash of blackmail and a twist to the tale that shakes things up. The dialogue is artful in moving the story forward at a well timed pace. The stage set …

Stage Review – PYGMALION

It is a 100 years since Pygmalion had its opening night, and you do not need a text book to wise up to what Bernard Shaw’s ambitions for the play was, and to acknowledge the moral message about matters of social inequality that it conveys. As a playwright of independent mind, Shaw would support ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ principle in one hand, but this tale of a brash and common East End girl, Eliza Doolittle (Rachel Barry) being taught to pronounce phonetics by a specialist as part of a social experiment in order to better her social status, demonstrates too, Shaw’s belief in the ridding of accents in order to override prejudices. People did back then, and still do, base their opinions of others, when it comes to matters of social circumstance (one’s birth place and income for example) largely on the way someone speaks. If you like the comedy work of Alistair McGowan and find his send ups of public figures have you howling with laughter, then you would not be …

Book Review – USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (A Basics Interactive Design book by Fairchild Books)

ISBN 978-2-9404-9613-6 USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN by Gavin Allanwood and Peter Beare A BASICS INTERACTIVE DESIGN book by Fairchild Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing (published February 2014) Price £23.99 CONTENT: Overview – Introduction 5 Colour Coded Chapters (Each chapter includes a practical activity) Conclusion Further Reading Glossary Index Picture Credits Acknowledgements Chapter 1 – What is User Experience Design (UXD)? And in answer to that Question P26 states ‘UXD is a UCD (User Centred Design) approach that also considers the user experience’. Chapter 1 explores this in greater detail over 28 pages. Page 23 (1.7) shows a simple chart which sufficiently demonstrates how a multidisciplinary team can link and work together. Experiences and working practices are relayed as examples to help workers/leaders channel creative skills effectively, and straightforward methodology further demonstrates key points made Chapter 2 – Users Chapter 2 is devoted to the importance in identifying the target audience who will potentially be the users. It states that the two important questions to ask at the beginning of a new interactive design project are: …

Eco-Spa Moisturising Gloves by OPAL LONDON

    Our tester suffers from dryness to the hands. Her circulation is poor to the hands (and feet) and she is sensitive to soap products when in direct contact with the skin. The condition of the skin at the back of her hands is worse over winter months; when the drying affects of cold weather conditions and warm air heating in the house/car, combines. Our tester has used many hand creams and other treatments to try to improve the condition of her hands over the years. In the test she applied a hand cream that she knows helps to soften the skin. She put on the gloves just before bedtime with intention to wear the gloves overnight. She found she felt very hot wearing the gloves while sleeping and so removed them after wearing for a couple of hours. In the morning she reported that the redness to her skin had gone and the skin on her hands felt soft. Her hands remained in this improved state for much of the day until the …