Journalism portfolio of Alistair Welch

Month: January, 2013

Energy Engineering 44

Recent writing for Energy Engineering magazine:



Site simulator: Report on an innovative virtual training system for offshore wind technicians

Rates of return: Interview with Ian Nolan, chief investment officer at the Green Investment Bank

Capturing the market: The development of the UK’s CCS industry


Design’s Room 101

What makes design ‘bad’?

New Design 101 will address the question


‘You asked me once,’ said O’Brien, ‘what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.’

(George Orwell, 1984)


Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who took part in our ‘100/100’ promotion to mark New Design’s 100th issue.

Having celebrated the best in design, our mission in Issue 101 is to expose the worst – or, at least, examine work that splits opinion.

I am putting together a feature on ‘bad’ design: what makes it and how it can be avoided. I would like to receive your input.

The inflatable dartboard - the pinnacle of bad design?

The inflatable dartboard – the pinnacle of bad design?

We are looking for examples of design that make you shudder, design that niggles, design that makes you curse under your breath, or, perhaps, the complete absence of design where it is desperately needed.

It’s the fiddly lid of a ketchup bottle or an incomprehensible signage system. It’s the eye-catching packaging that endangers the planet or a gadget’s built-in obsolescence. It’s the rise of ‘free pitching’ or navigating intellectual property rights.

Of course, we are aware that good design is subjective and that one man’s Bugatti is another’s Sinclair C5: we are interested in what annoys you – work that might have been improved by better design; the irredeemably ugly; the near-misses; the over-rated; the ‘seemed-a-good-idea-at-the-time’; and the abject failures.

Is there any work from your own career in design that, although not successful, has taught you a valuable lesson?

Are there any business issues or client attitudes that make your blood simmer?

What would you find in design’s Room 101?

email: / twitter: @alinewdesign