Earth Day 2021- Lazerian and sustainable design
22 Apr 2021
Make everyday Earth Day
Since Lazerian was founded there was always an element of wanting to maintain some sort of sustainability objectives within my aspirations for the future. Vision, imagination and creative breakthroughs are all essential elements for the emergence of sustainability as well as being at the centre of the artistic and design processes.
I am proud to say that one of the main principles of Lazerian that I always reflect into my work is a commitment to environmental responsibility. From the material to the processes I use sustainability is a large part of the process.
Sustainability and looking at alternative materials that can help the earth or at the very least not hurt the environment is something that as a design practice Lazerian takes very seriously. Research into the latest technologies and materials that are sustainable is undertaken on a regular basis and one of our main goals for the future is to educate not only ourselves on this subject but also others.
Sustainable art and design may also be understood as a creative process that is produced with consideration for the wider impact of the work and its reception in relationship to its environments (social, economic, biophysical, historical and cultural).
For each of my projects I always try to factor in the consideration of each of these elements in a way that is sympathetic to nature.
Works are defined as sustainable if they are made up of up-cycled materials, found objects, and are made through processes that do no damage to the earth’s resources.
All of the suppliers Lazerian uses are as local as possible and offer minimal negative impact on the environment. Sustainable products are:
- Woods or other materials that come from renewable sources
- Minimal chemicals that can pollute the environment
- Local material and/or manufacturing to save on transportation
One of Lazerians first involvement with a large organisation who are passionate about creativity, sustainability and the education of both was when Lazerian was invited to take part in the ‘Waste Not Want it’ programme commissioned by Bloomberg in partnership with art and design agency Arts Co.
Back in 2011 Pupa was born. A huge structure created using reclaimed materials such as cardboard and pallets. Constructed in triangular sections Pupa utilises the structural and acoustic properties of cardboard. Constructed for the London office, Bloomberg’s waste was startlingly reinvented into technically innovative and environmentally responsible works for employees and visitors to experience
“Waste Not Want It is an example of Bloomberg’s commitment to supporting international emerging talent and creativity, while providing a sustainable, dynamic and surprising environment for our employees,” Jemma Read, who manages Bloomberg’s philanthropy programme in the UK
Although Lazerian already had experience of using recycled, reclaimed and renewable materials the experience with Bloomberg helped to put in place a long term sustainability plan that is still followed today. Not only is sustainability in business just good for the environment or society at large — it’s also good for the business itself. People view sustainability as a plus, and companies with green values are eager to showcase them because of that fact. Going green shows the world you care about more than just making money. Of course, this isn’t the reason why Lazerian is a sustainable business but it does help to express the ethic of the business as well as supporting the efforts to care for our environment.
Customers are willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims. This is obviously a win for businesses but also shows how seriously people are taking environmental issues. Alongside the importance of how well a product is made and how the process behind this has to not be detrimental to the planet.
Lazerian has numerous project, all of which are completely different but with one constant factor that is a high priority focus- sustainability. Below are a few example:
Angel @ Angel Meadow Park
Lazerian worked alongside the community of Manchester to create a recycling art project. The temporary piece was created from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Sustainability is at the heart of Lazerians ethos so it was of particular importance to communicate this within the commission. To create the structure from recycled bottles was an ambitious and resourceful task. Getting the community involved enhances the cultural aspect of the area and gives it a value of self worth.
The Meadow Park Angel was a symbol of hope, re-purpose and growth. It also defined and expressed a feeling of security and protection for the city in the form of being an angel who watched over Manchester.
The collection of recycled bottles had a massive community following. Through social media, company shout outs, blog posts and word of mouth all of Manchester came and supported by dropping used plastic bottles in various drop off locations around the city.
The importance to get all walks of life from school children to OAP’s involved was imperative to this project. It was essential to use the collection of the material and the sustainable manufacturing process to teach the community the importance of recycling and how creative you can get with ‘rubbish’
Theresa May- Washed Up
A political statement in the form of a 20ft sculpture of then prime minister- Theresa May, emerging from the British Seas, was one of Lazerians self initiated projects.
The figure of the politician was fractured and spilling out plastic waste in a protest against the governments actions (or lack of) regarding the UK’s ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment’, published earlier 2018. The beliefs of Lazereian were that the report falls well short of the urgent need to change consumer and commercial behaviours to save lives.
Although not directly a sustainable project (although recycled materials were used in the creation of the structure) it was a piece that sent a message on where Lazerians alliances lie.
Made predominantly out of recycled materials using 3D modelling technology and traditional hand-working methods, the giant likeness of Theresa May was transported to the Llŷn Peninsula coastal location before being symbolically fractured on the waterfront in a carefully controlled installation.
Erddig Hall installation- National Trust
A seasonal specific exterior project for the National Trust resulted in a collection of wooden sculptural tree formations created using locally crafted sustainable birch ply.
Working alongside the National Trust was a natural fit as they share a lot of the same environmental objectives as Lazerian.
Erddig Hall, which sits on a dramatic escarpment above the winding Clywedog river, was the perfect location for the wooden tree scultures. Dotted around the fully restored 18th-century garden, with trained fruit trees, exuberant annual herbaceous borders and avenues of pleached limes, the modern sculptural tree formations displayed the perfect paradoxical theme against the sympathetic Georgian landscape.
The trees are crafted from local, sustainably sourced birch wood which was key to the project and the ethics of both LAZERIAN and The National Trust.
Sustainability is also about creating new and better ways for humanity to meet its needs without destroying either the beauty or the integrity of nature.
To move toward a more sustainable future with great joy and enthusiasm, there must be something that we hope for, an appealing and alluring vision that draws us. If everyone played their part and made small but necessary changes in their day to day lives we can help save the earth as unfortunately there is no planet B. Celebrating Earth Day serves as a conscious reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it. Earth Day is celebrated to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives as well.