Imagine starting your internship in London and then arriving at the office and the only thing that you see are three chairs and a table. That’s exactly what happened to me when I started at BIOHM. After two weeks of quarantine once arriving in the UK, I was full of excitement to get out of my flat and start working at BIOHM’s brand new facility. At the time I joined them in November, they had just signed the lease on their new facility, a warehouse in South Bermondesy and a major national lockdown had been announced. I started working with Aaron, to assist the development of the new site by helping him create new content for the social media, by writing posts and newsletters. But the most exciting part was filming and editing shorts videos about the evolution of the new space.
Image: Empty BIOHM HQ on my first day
As the days went by and the space gradually gained life, the rest of the warehouse began to turn into a construction site with the meeting rooms, labs, studios, and workshops, all under construction. After that, new top-of-the-range machinery, giant pieces of equipment, more chairs, and tables began to arrive. By the time I came back in the new year, following another period of UK lockdown, the space had been transformed. We had an inauguration of the new facility, and it was one of my best day at BIOHM. It was an amazing day, where we could all be together and have fun.
BIOHM value a circular approach, reusing and repurposing waste from the economy. Much of the material and equipment that we sourced was second-hand, and with reclaimed wood we created some nice furniture, new tables, and a brand-new workshop area. At the workshop area, I helped to finish small orb panels by using a sanding machine. The result was amazing!
Image: Sanding an Orb panel
With the warehouse being almost ready, something was still missing. Guess what: we still had to decorate the space, and nothing is better than plants! In early April, following a change in the Coronavirus restriction in the UK, I had the opportunity to go to one of London’s biggest wholesale spaces, and choose some of the plants.
To give the office a final decorative touch, myself and Karin, another intern, began working on a moss mural and BIOHM sign. The idea began as a ‘living logo’, which BIOHM founder Ehab designed. As we worked to fulfill the brief, we adapted the design and made a moss mural using foraged moss which we preserved, along with dried flowers and mushrooms. The office and warehouse gained another life, growing into some essential personality.
Image: Orb panels, made from orange peel
If at first, the warehouse was an empty space, it is far from that now, full of machinery and a very comfortable environment. If at first, we were just four people working at Bermondsey with everything quiet and calm, now that everyone has moved in, it is just crazy. The space is always full of activity with the buzz of machinery, as new materials are produced every day. For me, it is much better, especially now it is warmer! Now it looks like home!
Looking back on all these months at BIOHM, it has been impressive to see the effort was well worth it, despite the challenges of the pandemic. During that time BIOHM has been part of the World Economic Forum’s global Circulars Accelerator, are now also finalists in the Ray of Hope Prize and have collaborated on several different high-profile projects, including a sculpture with Lucy Tomlins for the London Design Biennale and on the construction of a pavilion at the Glyndebourne Opera House with renowned architects BakerBrown Studio. It has been a pleasure to cover all that news. Thanks for this wonderful experience!
Image: Me and Karin adding final touches to the moss mural