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Painter's studio at Hackney Wicked.
4th August 2017

The GOOD List #29

Grab your flamingo lilo, holiday season is here!

Stuck in the office? Stop refreshing your Instagram feed (you know you resent all those pool pics) and stock up on GOOD news instead.

Katie’s GOOD news  

I've often noticed a colourful mural on the 106 bus route but have only ever had a quick glimpse. Last week, the 106 stopped directly beside the wall painting, entitled Talk to Someone About Anything, and I spotted the #SurvivalTechniques signature. Naomi Edmondson has spent the last couple of years painting positive slogans on the streets of London with the aim of shining a little light into dark days. | Follow Survival Techniques' Instagram feed to find more positive paintings.

Katie's GOOD news. Photography by Survival Techniques.

Emily’s GOOD news

Festival season is well underway and with that comes a piece of festival-orientated GOOD news. A number of festival organisers have begun working with local police and councils to allow free on-site drug testing without fear of arrest or reprisals. The Loop is a not for profit Community Interest Company that was founded in 2013 to provide drug safety testing, as well as welfare and harm reduction services, at nightclubs, festivals and other events. 

The Loop also takes extensive legal advice regarding all aspects of their services to ensure that it operates wholly within the law. The tested substance is not returned to the individual but by allowing festival goers to know what is in their drugs, they can make a more educated decision about what to do next. | Read more about the initiative on Vice.

Emily's GOOD news. Photography from the Debrief.

Anya’s GOOD news 

I’ve just spent nine idyllic days in Anglesey, a remote island right at the tip north Wales. People don’t believe me when I say there isn’t a glimmer of phone signal there, but trust me 3G ain’t going to happen! This gives you the perfect excuse to disconnect from everything and just indulge in being there. The scenery is truly beautiful (think empty beaches, rugged cliffs, and a backdrop of mountains) and the days were filled with walks along the beach, games and evenings by the fire. There may have also been some Pimms involved. Basically, it was really good for me. Switching off is a luxury but it’s also really important. Ignoring an email for a few days won’t kill you and the world won’t end if you don’t update your Instagram feed.

Anya’s GOOD news

Dorothy’s GOOD news

Last Saturday, I went down to the Hackney Wicked Festival to visit the open studios. It was great. It really bowled me over how many studios there are hiding in those warehouses and the variety of people in there. My highlights included Wilfrid Wood (who told me that there are more studios per square mile than anywhere else in Europe >> great fact), Alessandra Genualdo and London Centre for Book Arts. It was raining for most of the day so we opted to dry off with a drink at Howling Hops. | Discover how wicked the Hackney Wicked Festival is.

Dorothy's GOOD news, Wilfrid Wood

Jess’s GOOD news 

Recently as I walked to the bus stop, I spotted a plastic bag storage “thing” strapped to a lamp post. I looked up the website and, because the website asks for feedback, sent a message. I got a nice response from Onni Aho, a Finnish designer based in London. 

“I am a product designer interested in challenges of sustainability and how design can facilitate behaviour changes both locally and globally. Wasting Matters is my MA thesis project for Royal College of Art where I created interventions in public space and experimented with different ways to reduce waste.”

Jess's GOOD news
Laura's GOOD list

I’ve been doing a lot of research into diversity in the design industry this week for an upcoming feature, and although there’s a hell of a long way to go to making our industry more inclusive (see the headline stats from this report released last week for example), I’ve been totally inspired by the designers, thinkers and activists fighting to make creative careers accessible to everyone. As you’d imagine, there’s a lot of chat about what needs to be done, but not a whole lot of doing, so the companies that have really impressed me are those that have sat down, worked out where they’re failing and totally overhauled how they do things. Shoreditch digital agency ustwo – the folks behind the totally beautiful, totally addictive Monument Valley – get a special mention here. In the past year they’ve reduced their gender pay gap from 13% to 3.5% – doing this by going deep into the figures, really working out why the gap existed and then shaking things up. You can read a great blog about how they did it here. Also in March they announced that male and female employees can now both take the same maternity leave – a whopping six months paid time away from their computers to start their families. This shouldn't be rare but it is. Next step is increasing racial diversity within the team. The company has undertaken unconscious bias training (it highlights the tendency to hire and support ideas by people who come from your background), altered its recruitment strategies, and worked with local schools to address the pipeline issue, inspiring kids from lower-income families that they could have a future in tech. All the while transparently documenting their progress here. They haven’t solved the problem, but they’ve made a huge start. 

More please! And if you’re interested in some of the campaigners working in this area, check out We Are Stripes, The Other Box, Let’s Be Brief, Pitch It, SheSays and CreativeEquals – all doing great work.
Laura's GOOD list
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