Commision fom London Design Museum, exhibiting at the Designers in Residence 2012 exhibition at the Design Museum from 5 September 2012 – 13 January 2013. The brief of ‘Thrift’ really caught my attention; it’s an important concept. Careful, innovative and commercially viable use of our resources is a great and exciting challenge. This project has been purely material led: I went through, and am still in, a long period of pure experimentation. Wool is a sustainable, biodegradable resource, it’s naturally flame retardant, breathable, absorbent and the native British fibres are particularly hardwearing and durable. My starting point was wool fibres that are produced as a by-product of the British Carpet industry, providing a reliable material stream ready for use in industrial manufacture. It was so exciting starting with such a wonderful resource, cheap and sustainable, words that far too rarely go together. My initial interest was wet felting, an ancient fabrication technique dating back to 600BC, to form soft, natural pouffes without needlessly consuming petroleum-based foam. These worked really well but I wanted to push it further and find an entirely new application, I went on to discover that I could use a very simple bioplastic made frompotato starch to bind the fibres together to form a new British composite material. The native sheep breeds in the UK produce a particularly durable, course fiber; perfect for use where strength is needed. It has been an incredible experience finding out what the Starch Bound Wool can do, from thin, hollow structures to strong, light boards. During the show I won’t be able to resist continuing my exploration.