This morning I read an article about the melting of the permafrost in the arctic. The vast decomposed ancient forests of the arctic tundra are awakening as the ice that kept them inert is melting at an exponential rate. The butterfly effect of this melting is that all of the trapped carbon dioxide is now being released into the air. And accelerating the heating. Which in turn is accelerating the melt.
Why? Because for last 100 years our economy has become addicted to fossil fuels. Not only as an energy source, but also as a material we use to cultivate our crops, store our goods, transport us from A to B, sit on and clothe us.
I live at the other end of the planet where climate change has just sent us two cyclones in the past month. We never get cyclones this far south. We are now discussing what to do with all those cute seaside communities that will soon be underwater. Like everyone on this planet (unless they have their head down a hole – in which case they may get drowned by a flood or roasted by a drought) I am acutely aware that my home environment is changing and this is happening now, not in 50 years. This is the home I want to be able to sustain my kids, my grandkids and my friends’ grandkids.
There are no options. There is no debate. We have to sever our addiction to fossil fuels in all its forms and transition to a new economic model based on renewable energy and materials (check out Jeremy Rifkin’s documentary The Third Industrial Revolution). This transition will happen (actually it’s already underway) and will bring with it new jobs, new opportunities and our natural inclination for innovation will be nourished.
Why are we focusing on natural fibre composites? It’s not to bring you a bunch of beautiful images from our end of the planet, or wow you with our designs. It’s because we feel that this is the future of technical materials. Developing materials that stock some of that CO2 rather than releasing it. That uses none of the precious water resources, apart from rain, needed for plant and animal life to exist. That takes 50 times less energy to produce than its fossil fuel equivalent. Because we have no alternative.
For investors, businesses and consumers focused on ephemeral tech, IOT, or digital gadgets that are going to break in two years - get your noses out of your bellybuttons and focus your energy on the real world and solving real problems. This is not the Digital Age. New communication forms are just the toolbox to speed up the transition to what will be known as the Green Revolution. Let’s start creating an economy that will sustain us for the next 500 years and beyond. Focus on what we can do to accelerate this transition, rather than sit around talking about the latest environmental disaster to hit our shores. While one person alone has a tiny impact on the planet (think butterfly), collectively we can change anything we put our minds to (who would have thought 100 years ago we could have changed the climate?) We have at our fingertips (literally) the power to transcend borders and get our message out. So let’s use it for good. Get the message out. Transition now.
Permafrost, exposed and thawing near Longyearbyen, Norway. – John Shaw photography.
by Arna Craig
In my former life, I was a cyclist. Our junior team were among the first to have carbon composite bikes – the same year that Greg LeMond (my all-time favourite cyclist) won the Tour de France on a full carbon fibre frame in 1989. This was a revolution in cycling and from only a handful of carbon fibre bikes on the pro-circuit 30 years ago, now 100% of competition frames are made from carbon fibre. Lightweight, strong and rigid, carbon is a great material for competition bikes. Urban cycles are still predominantly made from steel or aluminium.
While my bones tell me I am no longer an athlete, my love of cycling has endured throughout my career. I have seen the evolution of cycling from a sport to means of transport. It is the most economical, ecological way to get from A to B. It’s health benefits are incredible and, as I saw the other day when I was riding up a 7km pass and saw an 80 year old on his bike climbing it as well, it is an activity that transcends generations. More and more of my friends living in big cities are ditching their cars and cycling instead. And local authorities are coming to the party, increasing the number of cycle paths and encouraging cycling.
Why a bike? No need to fight for your place in the overcrowded public transport system, quicker than a car in a traffic jam, strikes are only when you don’t want to get out of bed, and no need to find a car park at the end of the trip.
So I ask myself, why not an urban bike made of composite flax fibre? A Revology bike inspired by the past using innovative materials and technology.
Greener, less toxic, using a material that stocks CO2, stronger than fibreglass and lighter than carbon fibre so you don’t even feel it when you have to carry it up to your apartment on the third floor...
What do you think?
When I ended my cycling career in 1994 age 23, I did not go far from this two wheeled world. I founded my first company, BIRD, on the invention of the worlds first resin injected bike frame, which I sold to Peugeot Cycles. My first attempt to bring new materials to this industry.
Last time you made a big purchase, did you think about what materials were used to manufacture it? The energy needed to create it? The social impact its production had on communities that manufactured it for you? And the impact that has on the planet?
As consumers, we have the power to make an impact on the planet, either positive or negative, through our consumption patterns. If we continue to buy more, without regard for what it’s made of, how it’s made or who makes it, we are going to run out of natural resources within our lifespan. The population is currently consuming our non-renewable resources faster than they can be reproduced, leading to a negative social, environmental and economic impact. According to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, if the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050 as forecast, we would need almost three planets to provide the natural resources needed to sustain our current lifestyles.
We have not choice but to turn our focus to the development of alternatives, using renewable raw materials, to replace those sourced from the ever dwindling supply of non-renewables. To think about materials from day dot of the design process, not designing objects then finding the materials that conform.
This is what Revology is trying to do.
We are focusing our energy on developing materials of the future using European flax fibres. Our fibres come from farms that have signed the European Flax Charter guaranteeing ZERO IRRIGATION, ZERO GMO, ZERO WASTE. Composites made from these fibres are non-toxic to humans and use up 10 to 20 times less energy than other technical materials such as fiberglass, carbon fibre and polycarbonate.
While we know that we are not perfect (yet), we have to start with what we know and can do and build from there. We know that we can progress on energy consumption, developing even cleaner materials, and finding innovative ways to recycle/reuse/reimagine old product. At least we feel that we are doing more positive than negative.
The simple act of making more thoughtful and responsible choices each day has a ripple effect that cannot be underestimated. Next time you make a big purchase, take a bit of time to consider what you are buying. Not just the object, but everything that it implies – social, environmental and economic.
It’s your choice – Consume sustainably – Make an impact.
Philippe shares with us his values in design and the Revology project.
Creating meaningful and behaviour changing stories.
For Arna it is about collective change. She shares with us why following your instinct is the right thing to do. Not just for you, but for the next generation and the future of our planet.
What fuels Monique’s passion for the Revology project?
Alex shares what inspired him to start Revology
We are often asked…. Why a chair?
A first glance people might think that we are just about a chair, a material possession, just another object. But that is a mistake.
Yes, our first object is a chair, coming about through an inspired moment of reflection and love for icons of the past. But design #1 bears the weight of so much more.
THIS IS WHY VIDEO SERIES
Over the coming weeks we want to share our values with you, in our “This is Why” video series. We have teamed up with our cinematographer to visually express the Revology 7 and what we stand for. Seven videos that help us share with you what inspires us, what pushes us to defy the limitations of technology, and most importantly why we exist. We are not here to change the world. We don’t believe any one person can change the world. But we can change how we behave.
We are a small team of Revologists, inspired by nature to design sustainable objects for the next generation.
7 videos, 7 values, 7 sources of inspiration.
New Zealand based design tech start-up Revology has won the JEC Asia Innovation Award for Innovation in Design.
Revology’s tribute to the planet has scooped its second international design award at this years JEC Asia, an international composite event in Singapore this month. Design #1, the bistrot chair for the 21st Century, was chosen from a selection of international finalists.
JEC is the largest composite organization in the world.
Design #1 uses revolutionary molding technology to transform composite linen fibers and bio-based resin into the iconic bistrot chair.
JEC Asia is an international trade show that focuses on the latest trends emerging in the composite industry. The JEC Innovation awards program has been running for 15 years and has international recognition from the global composite community. To win this award is recognition in technical excellence, exemplarity in our partners, market potential and originality.
“The chair that breaks the mold.”
Design #1 is a world first. The first of it’s kind to combine natural flax fibre composites and sugar based resin.
Revology is being hailed as the one to watch. They are a fine representation of the emerging ‘slow design movement’. In a world that is too often dominated by what is fleeting and virtual, Revology’s dynamic co-founders, Alex Guichard and Monique Kelly, are setting out to create iconic objects by combining planet-friendly materials with design and tech know-how.
This is the third award for Revology and their second international design award.
“Our goal is to create beautiful, timeless objects that have a soul and that you’ll be proud to pass on to your children and grandchildren. We are designing objects for the next generation,” said Monique Kelly, Revology co-founder. “However we also want to make sure we design objects fit for modern, urban lives that will look good anywhere and are as edgy as they are timeless. This award is further affirmation that we are on the right track.”
Design #1 will be available for sale in 2017.
You can pre register your interest in purchasing the chair below.
PRESS CONTACT: Arna Craig firstname.lastname@example.org PH. +64 220684968
Register with us and you will be notified first when we launch in May! We will reward your support with exclusive early supporter pricing.