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Xp// EU Conference on Plastic

What an experience! The EU Conference of Plastic was a crazy fast few days. Will we have an impact on the EU strategy on plastics? I hope so, check out my blog on Think Beyond Plastic’s site. Thanks to Enviu and Think Beyond Plastic for getting us there!
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Life// Sayonara, Japan

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Come 12th February 2016, Comp-A-Tent officially becomes a two-person operation – hurray! Despite having my crotch doused in a fine ale during my first meeting, my journey with Comp-A-Tent is official, marked by my resignation and migration from Japan back to England; Sayonara, Japan! I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Japan, with my adventures in learning the language, making new friends and generally living my life up here! It’s a crazy place, but definitely not in the way those uninitiated imagine it to be. Jumping before I’m pushed, I would have left Japan come August in order to avoid becoming a jaded ex-pats who loses sight of the positives of living here. As I mark the one month countdown to my departure, even the mundane has a hint of a rosy glow, coloured by the knowledge that the sands of my time here is down to the last teaspoonful – anyone for a cuppa?
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Interview// Confessions of a Design Geek

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After my success with the Design Council’s One to Watch Award, I spoke with Confession of a Design Geek’s  Katie Treggiden to discuss the project, and my design life. Read the article!
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Press// The Graveti of the Art

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Some how one of my language learning blogs ended up on the sports section of this blog. Go figure… :S  
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Press// Loughborough Univeristy

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Thanks to Loughborough University for their help with my project, and for supporting my fame! Ha! Article here.
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Press// Design Council’s ONES TO WATCH

It’s Official! The UK Design Council has selected me, James Molkenthin, as one of it’s up and coming designers to watch, chosen as part of the Design Council’s 70th birthday celebrations! Back in July I entered my final year design project, Iungo, as best representing me as a designer. Since December I’ve had to keep it secret, but the 2nd February marks the official announcement! I can’t what to see the other British design talent! The showcase is available here – under ‘Rethinking Reality’. Check out my winning project here.
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Life// Design +日本

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Why live in Japan? Japan has traditionally been both a geographically and politically isolated place, especially from Western influence (it never experienced an invasion of foreign power until WWII). The Edo period (1603-1868) further separated Japan from the rest of the world by limiting the number of foreigners entering the country, alongside the eradication of Christianity, primarily adopted by the peasant classes, perceived to be part of a first wave to military conquest by European powers. In part due to these reasons, Japan has an enormous sense of solidarity and generally homogenous population and has developed a markedly different culture and national psyche; especially when compared to the highly cross-pollinated cultures of Europe, with its connected and turbulent past. From this has spawned a unique view of the world that in turn goes on to form incredibly divergent solutions to problems – socially and in terms of graphical and product design. As part of my on-going mission of international exposure; to develop my thinking as a designer – combined with burning curiosity of Japan; sparked by a passionate teacher when I was 16 – I have chosen to live and work in Japan for the next two years. ありがとうございました!
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Molkie Design Travels – New Blog

Check out my new site, Molkie Design Travels, for design insights, travels and analysis of my adventures in Japan, and other travels.
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Life// Farewell Loughborough!

It finally happened! The Loughborough days are done, though James Molkenthin, Bachelor of Science, First Class Honours, has a certain ring to it! After a fantastic four years, filled with RAG, Action and Hall Spirit to Handball, Surf and Design societies, oh, and studying for a degree in Product Design, I’m both pleased and sad to say goodbye to Loughborough University and the Loughborough Design School. The memories, the friendship and the hangovers are and will be something I always remember fondly, especially my fellow Mechaneers!Onward to Japan and the start of my Design Career. May the force be with you!
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Press// Degree Show 2014

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Full brochure here. Well that’s it! My time at Loughborough University officially finishes with the end of the degree show – what a crazy few month leading up to the event, on top of just working on my degree. We had some victories, some losses, and I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out – it was distinct compared to the whiteness of the last few years. It goes a long way towards being decisive; I always said I wanted it to be hated or loved, but not to be in the middle ground! Thanks to all the committee for giving up their time to pull everything together, to all the pizza consumed whilst putting everything together. A huge thanks to Karen for all her ideas and direction from a brand and marketting viewpoint, and the biggest thanks to Steve Summerskill for everything, I dread to think how many hours he spent proofing the copy and moving text by a couple of pts!
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Global Service Design Jam ’14

“The Global Service Jam is a non-profit volunteer activity organized by an informal network of service design afficinados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience” Our proposal is for a disaster relief scenario where innovative packaging has a continued second life beyond the immediate aid response. The service connects charitable organisations with a wider, engaged consumer base and create new partnerships with other organisations. The team consisted of fellow designers Kate Saunders and Jake Amies, along with Phd student Helen, local business man Upesh and mentor Kostja from Fjord. Together we spent every waking hour of that weekend designing our service, products and business model, as shown in the above video and photos. The weekend was highly success, earning a mention as the project that would produce the greatest social impact and teaching valuable skills in working with non-designers during ideation and presentation preparation.  
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Xp// Fresh Blood (Sweat & Tears)

Last month saw 24 plucky, young students from That Awesome Design Association (TADA!), of Loughborough University, tackle two unique briefs to design consumer experiences – one for a future cashless society, the other tackling rising energy prices. Fresh of face and wide of eye, the TADA members (an eclectic mix of artists, designers and engineers) and I had no preconceived notion of what was actually ‘done’ at an Experience Design Agency. However, it was most reassuring when spotted, the sheer volume of Post-It notes that adorned the walls. Welcomed to Foolproof by Polly, Lauren and Jude, we were taken through the steps and concepts that Foolproof use to generate their service solutions for their clients. Feeling ready and raring to chomp at the metaphorical bit, we split into teams to undertake one of two design challenges. The design challenges Brief one saw two teams looking into their crystal balls, exploring the possible uses of the spaces left by ATMs as society chose to become fully cash-less. Brief two saw the other two teams look into how energy monitoring and wellbeing could go hand-in-hand for the older members of society. The day was spent narrowing down specific users, environments and utilising this […]
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Xp// Visiting Joseph JosephH

Joseph Joseph opened its doors wide last week to welcome TADA, the Design society at Loughborough, and I  through their doors for an afternoon of what Joseph Joseph do, how they operate and their design process. Arriving, we were ushered into an immense room lined with every Joseph Joseph product you could imagine! From their infamous chopping board, to their floating spoons and garlic crushers, all laid out for us to play with whilst we awaited the presentation. The session started with Daniel Barnes, Design Manager, talking us through the Design process at Joseph Joseph, how they develop products for market and the timescales they have to stick to in order to hit the timetables of the retail outlets. Daniel emphasised the Joseph Joseph brand values, that ‘functional point of excellent’ combined with the ‘delight factor’ to create products that people what and buy, but also have ‘givability’ – the ability to be given as a present. The presentation was followed with a Q&A with one half of Joseph Joseph’s big cheeses – Anthony Joseph, whom took questions on all manner of topics, from product specific, to the model making process and gleaning consumer insights. All in all, it was an […]
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Xp// Workshop with the Design Council

Coming soon! Design Council’s official article of the event. TADA’s Official release.
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Xp// TADA to London!

From Thursday 31st October to Saturday 2nd November saw TADA (That Awesome Design Association, Loughborough University) take on London and shake up its Design Scene. After arriving bleary eyed Thursday night, we took over the Design Museum, looking at the collection of contemporary design pieces, and a great exhibition on the theme of Identity, I especially liked THOMAS THWAITES work on how personal data collected online could be used to better the user (but who gets to decide what ‘better’ is?). Early afternoon was spent working with Ella and Mollie from the Design Council, who gave us an understanding of how they used Design in the real world, followed by a workshop session to tackle some of the issues that had been raised in the Knee High Project – a project looking to improve the health and wellbeing of young children in the South London areas of Southward and Lambeth. Finally, we spent the late afternoon at Joseph Joseph, being taken through their design and management process by Daniel Barnes, followed by a Q&A with Anthony Joseph, one of the founding fathers. Naturally a few beers followed. Saturday saw TADA partake in a full days workshop with Foolproof user experience […]
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Xp// A Year with Unilever

As part of my degree course, I took a year off to go out and work in the Design Industry. After several rounds of interviews, I was offered a position working with both the Deodorants Packaging team and the Open Innovation team. As part of the in-house design team, I worked on projects involving agencies on front end design, ensuring the outputs aligned with the brand DNAs of Lynx, Dove and Sure, through to back-end CAD, developing both surface model of new designs and technical CAD ofheavily engineered parts ready to be sent to tool makers and moulders. Designer in Open Innovation, using start-up mentality to develop disruptive products. Responsible for design, stake-holder communication, business modeling, project & business management
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