In the second of our posts that look back to our favourite features from 2012, in the hope that they’ll continue to shape trends, themes and influences for creativity in 2013 – we’re highlighting the pioneering spirit of doing it for yourself, eccentric haberdashery and unbridled innovation. Whether it was Swedish designer Erik Olovsson taking his Designbuss studio to the people, the brilliant Patrick Stevenson-Keating making a homemade version of the Large Hadron Collider, photographer Shantanu Starick using his website and photographic skills to travel the world or entrepreneurs Edward Godden and Joseph Lewis delivering gin-based cocktails on the back of a retro bicycle – getting out there and getting your hands dirty was big news in 2012, and we’re positive it’ll continue to grow and grow.
Sure, sustainability has been big news for some time – and the likes of East London Furniture, who document the history of each piece of found material they use in their products, were some of our favourite finds in the last twelve months – but the return of a sneering, gung-ho punk spirit was something that really made us sit up and take notice. The Photocopy Club running exhibitions of work posted to them from around the world (in anything from cardboard tubes to bust-up cans of beer), Battersea’s Doodle Bar putting toilet wall scribblings centre-stage, and Print & Paste – a group of Manchester creatives taking billboards back for the people… the growing cynicism that commercial output is met with, the discontentment that the lasting effects of the global recession has caused – whether embracing technology or disregarding it in the name of reviving creativity, these are exciting times.
And what of technology? Lo-fi and DIY are not natural bedfellows of the most important factor in our daily lives, but the likes of East London’s Technology Will Save Us with their DIY speaker and synth kits, Out of Print fusing high-end tech with letterpress techniques and Doug Rickard re-photographing pages from Google Street View have all wowed us with a refusal to tow the line of the status quo. And it’s that fear of convention that we’re hoping to see more of in 2013 – toying with technology, embracing extinct techniques to revive laboured creativity, sticking two fingers up to the man and a stringent reluctance to play it safe. We can’t wait.