Pentagram recently hosted a private view of ‘Everyday Things’, a collection of 19 objects by artists and designers curated by Do The Green Thing and WWF-UK to promote Earth Hour 2015. During the evening, 200 people filed into Pentagram’s front room to enjoy the exhibition and hear Naresh Ramchandani – the co-founder of Do The Green Thing and Pentagram partner – speak about why it was put together.
This is the third time that Do The Green Thing has teamed up with WWF-UK to create a campaign for Earth Hour. In previous years, the campaigns have been poster-based, featuring submissions from the great and the great, including Sir Paul Smith, Sir Quentin Blake, Marion Deuchars, Neville Brody, Rankin and Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Marina Willer, Domenic Lippa, Harry Pearce, Natasha Jen, Abbott Miller and Angus Hyland.
This year, Do The Green Thing and WWF-UK wanted to do something a little different. As Naresh Ramchandani explains, “We wanted to create pieces that could be in the real world rather than on a screen; that could be physically worn, touched, held, sat on, used; that could give a better sense of what a sustainable life and would actually look and feel like.”
Naresh Ramchandani tells the journey of an idea, from conception to execution.
This month, Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity I help to run, launched Everyday Things, a wonderful collection of everyday objects made by artists and designers to act as inspiring canvases for sustainable messaging and inspiring examples of sustainable design. The collection was made in collaboration with WWF-UK and celebrates Earth Hour, the worldwide lights off event.
We received many brilliant submissions from many brilliant creative people, including Flower Glass, a beautiful vase made from a wine glass and a coat hanger by Daniel Weil, Marina Willer’s handmade Sketchbox sketchbooks made from recycled cardboard and paper, wonderful badges made from old bottle tops by Ron Arad, a working record player made from paper by Simon Elvins, lights made out of Hawaiian beach litter by Sophie Thomas, and many more.
Inspired by these submissions, my team decided to turn try and create our own Everyday Thing. We’d noticed a slew of pencils in Pentagram London’s studio, discarded before they had been sharpened very far. To combat this wastage, and celebrate the creative potential of the humble pencil, we decided to challenge ourselves to create a set pencils that would encourage people to use them to the very end.
It turned out to be way harder than we first imagined, and took us nine attempts to get to something we were happy with. So you can enjoy our pencil highs and lows, allow me take you on our pencil journey through the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly to our final idea, Pencils To The End.
Great protests need great placards. They are an essential part of direct action, hoisted by modern-day standard bearers, proclaiming a stance to the world. But all too often their messages are lost in the throng, amongst earnest messaging and scrawled angst.
For the People’s Climate March in London last Saturday, Naresh Ramchandani and team created a unique set of placards that would be able to stand out from the rest. They needed to reflect how social media has altered protest, allowing dissent to take place online as well as on the streets.
Creativity is an incredibly powerful tool that can inspire, seduce and provoke people into action. This is the basis of Do The Green Thing, an environmental charity co-founded by Naresh Ramchandani. It’s an online inspiration feed, filled with posters, videos, podcasts and objects by brilliant creative minds that use positivity to inspire people to live more sustainably.
After many conversations on how she could contribute to the cause, Marina Willer has developed a new identity for the charity, which encompasses the simple steps we can all take to living a greener life.
Naresh Ramchandani explores how every piece of creative work can do good.
Stuck to my psyche is a post-it note reminding me of the kind of work I always want to do. On the note are the words ‘… and don’t forget to change the world.’ It’s a pretty big phrase for a small imaginary post-it but it’s there to remind me that, every time I make a piece of creative work, I have the choice to make the world a little better or a little worse with that work, and the second option is not an option.
In collaboration with Google Labs and Grumpy Sailor, Naresh Ramchandani and his team conceptualised and named a fun, engaging, shareable concept to raise awareness for the event.
“We wanted to create a kind of galactic creative Avaaz,” says Naresh Ramchandani. “We wanted to create a canvas on which people could express, in constellation form, their support for Earth Hour and the Earth in general.”
How do you get people to live more sustainably? You inspire them. That’s the principle at the heart of Do The Green Thing, the environmental charity co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani.
This month Do The Green Thing is partnering with WWF to release 29 Posters For The Planet, 29 pieces of inspiring creativity published daily in the run up to Earth Hour on March 29th. Contributors to the 29 Posters include Pentagram partners Paula Scher, Harry Pearce, Abbott Miller and Natasha Jen.
Paula Scher, in her poster above, sees a satanic side to our over-plugged lives, so she has created a devilish image and message, adopting the idiom of a 1940s civil action poster to inspire us to use less energy.
Last Thursday evening, Pentagram hosted an event for Do The Green Thing to mark its first five years of creativity versus climate change. Co-founded by Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani in 2007, Do The Green Thing is the charity that uses world-class creativity to inspire as many people as possible to live more sustainably.