Friday, 28 September 2012

Create an iconic chair for Oxford University

Calling all Interiors & Lifestyle Futures’ designers and furniture manufacturers . The Weston chair design competition is a wonderful opportunity to create an iconic reading room chair for Oxford University’s world-renowned Bodleian Libraries.

“Three reading rooms, one of which is an entirely new space, will play host to the winning chair design and will be used daily by readers from across the university’s diverse faculties and from around the world.”

Open to British-based designers working with a British manufacturer, design credentials must be submitted by 7 December. The shortlist will be announced 31 January 2013 with design development starting in February.

For full details of the competition please see here.

Any ILF member interested but needing to find a potential  partner for collaborating on design or manufacture should email

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Let’s innovate our way out of trouble.

Forget austerity or stimulus, innovation is the best solution to the UK’s economic woes. This is the firm claim in a report by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).  The group is calling for a “new conversation” about economic growth and points out that “the UK has experienced a lost decade of innovation, damaging long-term growth.”

NESTA's 12 step plan for an  innovation-led return to economic prosperity

  1. Financial architecture:  A £200m fund for early-stage ventures; freedom to raise money for the Green Investment Bank, and a new business banks to lend to growth sectors including advanced manufacture and life sciences.
  2. Rebalance government spending towards innovation: Invest the proceeds of the forthcoming 4G spectrum auction - estimated at £4bn - in science, technology and innovation.
  3. Government innovation procurement: Establish innovation spending to channel £1bn of government procurement through innovative businesses.
  4. Infrastructure investment: Relax planning restrictions around innovation clusters.
  5. Collective intelligence: Higher education funds for radical inventions around knowledge creation - putting design thinking at the heart of the new Catapult centres.
  6. Incentives for innovation: A £25m 'challenge prize' fund to inspire the nation to tackle big technological challenges.
  7. Measurement, data and standards: Reshape the tax credit system to recognise hidden innovation and R&D.
  8. Boosting innovation across the UK: Supporting innovation clusters where they are already thriving.
  9. Innovation in the labour market: Link procurement to local jobs, training and apprenticeships and encourage innovation around micro-jobs and micro-franchises. Support innovative projects such as Studio Schools/establish norm of one apprenticeship per £1m turnover.
  10. Public and social innovation: Demonstrate the most effective models and approaches to tackle the severest social challenges, with cross-government funding commitment for public service incubators to share the most effective models.
  11. Education: Create the next generation of digital makers, giving all teenagers the chance to make, code, design and program.
  12. Remove barriers to entrepreneurship: Change the immigration cap to welcome skilled foreign graduates and entrepreneurs, and recast regulation to encourage new market entry.

See here for full details of the NESTA report