1. From Now On at the World Design Capital

    April 9, 2014 by daniel

    The From Now On team is back in the studio after recent adventure in South Africa with the British Council Connect ZA team, where we took part in launching the Maker Library Network on the EXPO events stage of Design Indaba. and as part of the events opening the World Design Capital 2014.

    The project has developed exponentially since our small sketch last October. Six Maker Libraries across the UK and South Africa are ready to go as the foundation for a new open design platform that connects makers across the UK and South Africa. To do so, we’re setting up a series of stimulating creative environments that combine a makespace, gallery and library, and regularly collaborate with an online community of makers and mentors.

    The British Council team also launched an exciting Open Call in search of new librarians in South Africa to join and set up their own Maker Libraries and grow the network. If you are in Cape Town, come visit our librarians Heath Nash and Tetsuo Mukai from Study O Portable at Guild, or Thingking at Design Indaba. In the UK, please check out our MLs at Makerversity London with Candyce, at MAKlab in Glasgow with Richard, or in the courtyard of GRAS in Edinburgh with Gunnar and Stuart.

  2. Alright already

    January 26, 2012 by dee

    Let’s have a bit of calm here shall we? 2011 closed with a bit too much excitement; here’s to a nice, dull 2012. Not that January has started quite in that vein, with a studio visit to San Francisco closely followed by an outing to Stockholm, and any number of promising little projects in the works. But there’s 11 months left to the year, so we have hope!

    As to the causes of our excitement?

    Well. Power of Making closed just 2 weeks ago, with record visitor numbers now confirmed: 320,703 was the final figure (how they get it accurate to those 3 people we have no idea). This makes it the most popular free exhibition since 1950. That’s 1950. On a slightly shallower note, this means it beat the Kylie exhbition. Teehee.

    If that wasn’t sufficient:

    Long term client and close to our hearts, plans for London’s new Design Museum were unveiled this week and congratulations to them on how well received it has been. Though our contributions, in the form of interpretation policy, collecting policy and permanent exhibition curating are yet to go public, our report (possibly the most extensive and expansive piece of strategy work we’ve ever authored) has been submitted to hugely positive response from the client and wider consultant team. Phew.

    Now, among other things, we can get back to following through on the promise that was our Parliament experiment, which in spite of its forlorn and unloved appearance right now has been generating some interesting conversations. And yes, directing our efforts toward making 2012 as calm and low key as possible*.

    * Reserving the right to revisit this at any point during the year should it become necessary…

  3. Making hay

    September 7, 2011 by dee

    Well maybe the sun never quite shone but it’s been a busy summer, culminating in the opening of Power of Making at the V&A museum, curated by our very own Master Daniel Charny, just a couple of nights ago. What can we add to this and this and this? Maybe 3,000 visitors on the first day is sufficient!

    The other highlight of this summer has to be our recent appointment as Content and Interpretation Consultants for the Design Museum’s planned move to the former Commonwealth Institute in 2014. We’re tasked with drafting a new Interpretation Policy and we’re planning the permanent exhibition, as well as further work to their collection, all targeted on a Heritage Lottery stage 2 bid. We’re working with an extensive team including John Pawson Architects, Morag Myerscough and others. Did I mention we’re quite excited about this too?

    Other news in the works, including the next stage of Parliament of Owls, Dee judging the Design Fund for Growth (and, ummm, joining the luminaries of the Awesome Foundation?!). But another time. Until then, here’s hoping for that indian summer….

  4. Twothousandandeleven

    January 27, 2011 by dee

    We’re happily clinging on to a new year optimism (gone with the end of January, we know the rules!), even though our attention is divided at the moment between beginnings and endings…

    Our biggest ending: Daniel is stepping back from the Aram Gallery. Reluctantly it must be said; the numbers say it all: 8 years and 30 exhibitions, 210 unique exhibitors, close to 10,000 visitors in the gallery and in the past year alone over 120,000 visitors online. For a small gallery looking at new and experimental design it’s fair to say it punches way above it’s weight, and will continue to do so. Just without him. All together now – awwww. And press release here if you want to know more.

    Good for us of course, as the new year brings more From Now On consultancy work and new clients (don’t want to jinx with mentions but more here soon). We’ve also closed a stage of work with William Grant & Sons; we’ve been deeply involved in developing a creative strategy and masterplan for not one but two of their distillery sites, and it must be said have loved every minute of it.

    On the subject of masters and plans (smooth eh) we’re now booking in masters for a soft launch of our online masterclass programme. Yes, Parliament of Owls is now in (crude admittedly) beta. As we finalise the prototype through the springtime we’ll be running sessions on that very subject, with creative practitioners taking us through their own experiences of prototyping, trialling, testing and launching (note I didn’t include the subject of failing there – we’re not intending to – though it’s definitely a fun subject for another time:). So far confirmed we have Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh from Sugru on building her student project into an internationally selling product. And Asa Bruno, director and project architect for Ron Arad’s Design Museum Holon. More to follow and as ever if you’re interested in taking part mail us on hi(at)parliamentofowls.tv. While we’ll post more updates on this here eventually, you can also start to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more immediate news (and invitations)…. Wish us luck!

  5. New news

    November 10, 2010 by dee

    So Daniel has been working hard with the team from the V&A on a joint V&A Crafts Council collaboration. As guest curator, he’s to curate an exhibition (to open in Autumn next year) plus devise related activities and publications. I think ‘whoop whoop’ is the appropriate response.

    Meanwhile. Much work for a new client, William Grant & Sons, working closely with longtime collaborators and friends AllofUs, which we’ll be able to talk about sometime soon. We can share in the meantime that we know a lot more about whisky than we once did, no bad thing.

    And finally about to go live in a slow, beta-ish kind of way on our exciting, entrepreneurial enterprise entitled the Parliament of Owls. If you’d like to know more, be invited on the trials and prototypes we’re running right now, just drop us a line hi (at) parliamentofowls.tv. The more the merrier.

  6. Mid-summer magic

    July 21, 2010 by dee

    Mid-year, mid-projects, mid-life, erm anyway, we’re right in the thick of it here. As most of the studio hits the Highlands for some fresh air an update is overdue… What have we been doing then? Our usual work with the Design Council and the Design Museum, some project specific consultancy work, all of it interesting and good. I was invited to teach a Project Management module on the MDes Innovation and Creativity for Industry collaboration between University of the Arts and Cranfield which was a great back to basics rehearsal of the whats and the whys of what we do.

    But the things we really want to talk about we have to keep to ourselves, for now at least, though that Daniel is to curate something new and on a bigger platform than ever before is hardly a surprise. That we are in start-up mode for something self-initiated, risky and fun is something that’s been a long time a-coming too… And the proto-typing stage, due in September, will force us to update here sooner than before. Happy to share that we’re working with the fabulous Ben Stott as one of the first projects of his post-NB Studio life as well as the fast up-and-coming Kin.

    Last words I’m feeling the need to mention some sad news we had recently, that designer, tutor, all round irritant and dear friend Gerrard O’Carroll died early this month. I’m so happy I knew him, worked with him and even taught with him occasionally. There’s no one like him.

  7. Shortlisted!

    January 18, 2010 by dee


    Hurrah. The Incidental has been shortlisted for Designs of the Year at the Design Museum. “Recognising the best of contemporary design around the world” the little tiddler is in heady (and eclectic) company indeed. Which is one of the things we have enjoyed about the reformatting of the award from the previous Designer of the Year – we’re with Patrick Bourgoyne over at Creative Review who last year enjoyed the ‘the quirky and the controversial’ array on display…

    It’s been interesting though. Apart from our surprise at making it through to shortlist, there’s a couple of other things about the process that have left us scratching our heads. Not least the credit: The Incidental was a genuine, honest to goodness, collaborative project (rare as hens teeth in our not inconsiderable experience). We might have initiated and steered it but Berg, Abake, electronest and the client were key, and foremost of dozens who input not least the reporters and tweeters. Plus the category question – what exactly is The Incidental? To reference it as newsletter or a website is to underplay some of it’s more interesting aspects – in particular the novel production and dissemination processes which are equally part of the design.

    But hey we’re not complaining; very happy to be there and looking forward to seeing the exhibition (opening 17 February at the Design Museum).

  8. Now we are 1

    December 29, 2009 by dee

    Starting up is a funny phrase. ‘They’re starting up’ – oof – already I feel the tension. For us the founding of From Now On was less a startup and more a migration of existing projects into a new framework, making it easier for us to communicate what we do.

    So yes, we underestimated what a name can do. For us and for our clients. And looking back on a year of change, in retrospect we were starting up; happily perhaps we just didn’t realise it at the time. Here’s to more up in 2010. And thanks to all the people we’ve worked with and who have helped us this year, in particular our 2009 clients:

    ADI-FAD, Barcelona

    The Aram Gallery

    The British Council

    Conran Octopus

    The Design Council

    The Design Museum

    Estudio Mariscal, Barcelona


    Korean Design Foundation

    LTH, Lund University

    The Royal College of Art


    Tenerife Design Festival

    Urban Salon

  9. Late but better

    October 8, 2009 by daniel

    The Incidental/LDF/Issue 4

    O dear, whatever we’ve been doing recently it evidently hasn’t included updating this website. We’ve been busy busying ourselves with:

    • Grassworks at the Aram Gallery – utility driven, flat pack, exceptional design – one of the better shows of the London Design Festival? Icon thinks so.
    • And last but not least a growing number of consultancy projects see us advising strategy and delivery issues on a number of museum, digital and branding related projects.

    Now heads down and turn up the heating. It’s getting cold outside and we’ve got a top secret project to develop. More here (eventually).

  10. Super-duper-Daniel

    May 18, 2009 by dee

    Super Contemporary mark

    We’ve been working with the Design Museum in London for a couple of years now, looking at future strategies for their Collections. More recently in addition Daniel has been curating not 1 but 2 exhibitions due to open there this summer. Now we’re just counting the days until the first, Super Contemporary, “celebrating the fearlessly progressive spirit of London’s greatest creative minds, past and present”, opens to the public on June 3 (and our lives get a lot less hectic).

    For Super Contemporary (in spite of my pleading to be more sensible) he has commissioned 15 pieces of new work from London designers including Thomas Heatherwick, David Adjaye and Industrial Facility as well as a series of personal maps of London from for example Airside, Michael Marriott and Imagination. It’s really unusual to have all new work for a design exhibition of this scale (which usually would focus on existing material)… And the proof will be in the pudding, or actually in the Design Museum from 3 June til 04 October. More here and elsewhere soon I spect.

    In the meantime there’s a cool tool, also commissioned as part of the exhibition, which invites the design or close-to-design community to map their collaborations and locate themselves in the London design landscape. Check out The Collabregater. With a name like that how could you resist?