Designers on your doorstep

Neal Haslem




Our work is exploring the concept of 'domestic production', which was always an ambiguous term, but is especially now after the experience of lockdown. We are interested in it as a new mode of production that offers opportunities to consider home as central to the conceptualisation of design work. The blurred line between home and work offers ways of design separate from market constraints and client pressure.

Home becomes a source of material and materials both inspirationally and physically. We own old and new means of production and we use them to create work that is future orientated but made on old things. Is it a cottage industry, the future or just an echo of what has happened before? Only time will tell. For Domestic production I ~ Means of production, we are using a Chandler and Price Letterpress to print design work on home made paper using 3D printed printing plates.

IMAGE > Commoners Press, Jan Brueggemeier, Rob Eales & Neal Haslem, Domestic Production I ~ Means of production, 2021, reclaimed paper, ink, 3D printed plates and photopolymer plates, 70 x 120 x 60 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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Our design collective, Commoners Press, explores the concept of domestic production, which was always an ambiguous term but is especially now after the experience of lockdown. Our interest in it is as a new mode of production, one that offers opportunities to consider home as central to the conceptualisation of design work. The blurred line between home and work offers ways of designing that are separate from market constraints and client pressure. Home becomes a source of material and materials both inspirationally and physically. We own old and new means of production and we use them to create work that is future orientated but made on old things. Is it a cottage industry, the future or just an echo of what has happened before? Only time will tell. 


Spending so much time at home has made us all more aware, and more part of, one another’s practices. I know more about what my daughter is studying and can try and help her to do that. I know about my colleagues’ pets. I appreciate and note our own pets’ nature in a different way. 

I think about humans on the planet and what we bring to the world and to one another.



I love the simple things. I love the park and its capacity to support so many people. I love a small waterfall that has been created unintentionally by a stormwater drain into our local viaduct. I like the old shopping mall and its very out of date typography. I love the old shops in Melville Road. I like our house and the feeling that I can sense the craft that went into its creation in 1926.



The kitchen is the heart of home life; the hearth as it were. We cook and eat together, this is important; giving sustenance on multiple levels.


Our front-room looks south towards the city. As a favourite design object I'll choose its bay window. I admire the way it collects light throughout the year, the stain-glass patterns and its graceful beauty. It has sash windows. I didn’t realise until we started renovating that the sash windows are really very finely balanced wooden machines.


My Mum's Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of spelt or ordinary wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup of porridge oats
  • 2 level teaspoons of bi-carb soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 500ml buttermilk (or yoghurt)
  • A good dollop of honey

Sieve the flour, bicarb, and salt into a large bowl, tipping in any grains that don't go through the sieve. Add rolled oats. Add in honey and buttermilk/yoghurt. Don't stir too much, just enough to mix together. Put on a greased tray in a lump. Cut the top with a X with a sharp, wet knife.

Bake in 200C oven for 1 hour. If not cooked turn oven down to 180C and cook further 15mins.




IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.


Designers on your doorstep

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