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Illustration of newspaper front page with 'The Good News #20' written on it
August, 2020

The Good News #20

We’re preparing to head back into the office and that means no more working in pyjamas! Fortunately, whether we’re working from the kitchen table or from our lovely spin chair, we know there’s still plenty of exciting news in tech, innovation and creativity. Read on to discover some of our favourite news bites.

Tokyo Toilet Project

‘Transparent’ and ‘toilets’ aren’t traditionally two words that work well together. However, Japan has recently installed seventeen innovative see-through toilets in Tokyo’s Shibuya district as part of the ‘Tokyo Toilet Project.’

The idea behind the revolutionary restrooms is that people will be able to see how clean and inviting the toilets are before stepping inside. Japan is known as one of the cleanest countries in the world, however the use of public toilets is still limited there because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly and scary.

‘These public toilets are being designed by 16 leading creators and will use advanced design to make them accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age or disability, to demonstrate the possibilities of an inclusive society,’ explained the Nippon Foundation, which is responsible for the project.

If you don’t fancy yourself an exhibitionist, there’s no need to panic. The glass walls of the toilet turn opaque as soon as the cubicle is occupied, to give the user some privacy.

We’re not sure whether we’ll see these toilets installed everywhere any time soon. However, we’re always thrilled to see a new innovation, designed to tackle a common problem.

Three transparent toilets, lit up from within yellow, orange and lilac with a woman entering the centre toilet

Sustainable hand sanitising with Soapstone

Something we might not have anticipated a year ago, was just how important hand sanitiser would become. But you’ve probably noticed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, that while sanitiser has become a priority, sustainability has fallen to the wayside. Fortunately, a British design duo have created a solution.

Soapstone, was created by Eli Heath and Pete Barr as a sustainable way to keep germ free. You can use it with just one hand and disinfect in under 2 seconds, by pressing a button. You can either squirt the product directly into your palms or press the button and rub the Soapstone dispenser like a bar of soap, to disinfect both your hands and the product simultaneously. It even has a handy loop so you can attach it to your bag or belt loop!

You can choose to fil the dispenser with whichever sanitiser you like however Heath and Barr have also developed their own WHO approved 70% Isopropyl Alcohol Gel supplied in recyclable aluminium bottles. It’s non-sticky, unscented and contains Aloe Vera to keep your hands soft.

The project has been funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

As a design agency we’re really excited by such a fantastic response to a pandemic that can not only help people but also reduce waste and save the planet.

Image of Soapstone hand sanitiser dispenser and large metal bottle of hand sanitiser

West of England Combined Authority Creative Scale Up scheme

We’ve made no secret of our love for the West of England’s incredible creative community. The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is made up of three of the councils in the region – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The Creative Scale Up scheme is a two-year pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport of WECA. It aims to help creative businesses in the West of England access finance through an intensive sustainable growth support programme.

WECA have recently welcomed another 20 creative companies to the Creative Scale Up scheme. The scheme will provide online peer mentoring support, helping the companies to the respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

As the creative sector needs support now more than ever, the scheme has changed the focus and delivery of its programme. The delivery has moved online and mentoring sessions and participation in the Peer Support Network is taking place via telephone and video-conferencing.

The themes for peer support discussion and the training have been developed with scaling businesses in mind and include leadership, business strategy, access to finance, innovation, and communication.

Recruitment for the third round of the programme is open until 28 August, and offers support for firms across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire including:

  • £6,000 grant to spend on mentoring
  • Dedicated peer support network
  • Training tailored to the specific business development needs.
  • Business development grants of up to £2,000.

Email creativescaleup@westofengland-ca.gov.uk to request an application as soon as possible. The deadline to apply is 28 August!

Image of group of people who have benefitted from the creative scale-up programme

Cheers Drive

We couldn’t let this story drive on by… Bristol Light Festival staged its first event in February this year. To say thank you to the people of Bristol for looking after each other during this difficult time the festival, along with Bristol City Centre BID, has gifted one of its most popular installations. The giant ‘Cheers Drive’ sign which was originally installed by Watershed during the Bristol Light Festival, now has a new home in Bristol Bus Station where it can brighten the day of bus drivers and passengers.

Image of illuminated 'Cheers Drive' sign in Bristol Bus Station with three bus drivers looking at it

While we go and dig out the jeans that haven’t seen the light of day since March, why don’t you dig around our blog for some of our wonderful previous pieces?