On Greening Goldsmiths through Design with Nicola Hogan

Nicola Hogan is Goldsmiths’s Space, Environment &Sustainable Officer, and she is involved in various projects that work towards greening our campus, including the recent Go Green Week. I met her to find out more about the collaboration between her department, Greening Goldsmiths, and the Interaction Research Studio; Nicola helped place on campus one of the Energy Babble prototypes created by the designers.

The energy Babble
Photo courtesy of Nicola Hogan

The Energy Babble is a device that plays back messages recorded into its microphone by users, or sent remotely via text messages or computer; its purpose is to engage communities and to highlight the way people talk about environmental issues. Nicola was approached by Tobie Kerridge from the Interaction Research Studio and she agreed to the collaboration because Greening Goldsmiths is always interested in working with academic departments. With her support, one such device was placed in the NAB Building at Goldsmiths, where it has been up and running since September last year. The talk on energy is important because it’s affecting our lives as we speak, as made obvious by the recent floodings in the UK: in a nuthshell,“ the planet is overheating and can’t handle it anymore”. 

The energy Babble (1) (3)
Photo courtesy of Nicola Hogan

The Interaction Research Studio is not the only connection between Greening Goldsmiths and the Design Department: Professor Kay Stables is part of the Environmental & Sustainability Sub-Committee at Greening Goldsmiths; Niusia Winczewski a student on the MA in Design and Environment, is actively involved in greening activities on campus, for example a display in the foyer of the Lockwood Building which informed passers-by of the carbon footprint of the fruit they consume. (“We’re not telling people not to eat fruit, but they need to know where their fruit comes from”, Nicola explains).

_DSC0009
Photo by Nadia Barbu

How can Design students get involved with Greening Goldsmiths? They can become Green Impact Project Assistants and help the different departments in the University in greening their work. They can be the eyes and the ears of Nicola on campus and watch for anything going wrong. They can become green volunteers, they can turn the waste from the Uni into artwork- so many possibilities! Nicola welcomes ideas from students. Greening Goldsmiths and Design can come together: “if something isn’t cool and cutting edge, people won’t engage with it!”

Get in contact with Nicola at n.hogan[at]goldsmiths.ac.uk if you want to help make Goldsmiths a greener place!

Nadia Barbu