In a city they describe as the â€œEuropean heart of design,â€ two designers are creating products at the intersection of modern life and utter classic cool. Black+Blum (otherwise known as Martin Black and David Blum) are the creators of the hot pot bbq and the thermo-pot, two products that we thinkÂ make sustainable living more accessible.
Martin and Dan met while they were studying product design at the same university. Their partnership is a classic story of collaboration: â€œWe did many group products together and quickly worked out that the end designs were always better when we both had an input,â€ they said.
Now theyâ€™ve built their own company together, and their products themselves are the perfect example of what design can accomplish. They think of design as a tool for problem solving. â€œLife has so many products that we interact with every day, but which are in some minor (or major) way annoying,â€ they said. â€œBecause the human being is so good at adapting to make bad design work, they are not always easy to identify.â€
Black+Blum talks openly about how London influences their work as a melting pot of cultures. The relationship between cultural diversity and enterprise is not only vibrant, but inspirational for these designers who are, in some ways, building a movement through their products. â€œLondon is also a creative hub in terms of the number of different businesses in this field that are based here and we are constantly being exposed to all these creative elements,â€ they said.
Products like the hot pot bbq and thermo-pot demonstrate how good products can reduce waste and make us think more about sustainable food movements and low-carbon-footprint living.
Plus, they show that theÂ Path to Green Citizenship (something we made up) can be lighthearted. The hot-pot bbq is a place to grill your kebab â€“ and grow the herbs to season it, too. Itâ€™s a barbecue concealed inside a terracotta pot, with space to grow real herbs on the top. It takes local cooking to a whole other level â€“ by adding herbs literally grown on top of your kitchen appliance â€“ without the maintenance.
â€œWe strongly believe that if an item functions well, then people will enjoy using it and keep it around,â€ wrote Martin and Dan, the designers behind hot-pot bbq makers Black+Blum.
What if sustainability functioned well? The environmental movement is definitely a movement worth keeping around â€“ but we should also enjoy participating in it.