3rd April 2014
The brilliant Daan Rooesgarde who has already brought us light up highways, glowing trees as replacement for street lamps, opacity changing modesty dresses and anti smog parks in Beijing has unveiled his latest project - a luxury ring that is a bi product of his fight against urban pollution.
Still in its design phase, the ring will be a metal band housing a clear central stone that will house smog particles that have been extracted from Beijing city air in the smog parks themselves.
The black dust, which is made up mostly of carbon soot from coal will symbolise a cubic kilometer of smog that each ring has cleared from the skies.
In addition he wants to develop a higher end version whereby he presses the dirty air particles and turns them into a valuable stone that resembles a diamond.
Playing with notions of luxury and tackling an issue head on this project is both poetic and practical.
2nd April 2014
"Mount Etna is a mine without miners – it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials."
Having been tantalised by their volcano project for a few months now Studio Forma Fantasma, in collaboration with the brilliant Gallery Libby Sellers are unveiling their De Natura Fossilium collection during Milan design week next week.
An investigation into the culture of lava in the Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Sicily, two of the last active volcanoes in Europe, Studio Forma Fantasma have been exploring the material possibilities from the volcanoes themselves.
Gathering stone as well as using re melted lava to produce glass that has then been mouth blown they have created a series of beautiful objects.
In addition they have also investigated volcanic fibres that have been woven into two wall hangings that depict the Greek mythological gods of Mount Etna and the microscopic views of the volcanic rocks geological strata.
1st April 2014
The brilliant Studio Glithero are to show their latest project in Milan next week incorporating an organ music book re purposed into punch cards for a jacquard.
Commissioned by the Zuiderzee Museum in the Netherlands
they have taken influence from two different industries to bring them together with a new design narrative.
Taking the music code from the organ book, Glithero have translated it directly to a punch card for a traditional jacquard loom which then translates the design into the woven fabric.
When played in an organ the holes denote a note and on the jacquard hooks fall through the holes creating the pattern.
Working with weaver Wil van den Broek and master organ maker Leon van Leeuwen to produce the fabrics the chosen colours reference the craftsmen's workshops.
26th March 2014
Danish designer Nikolaj Steenfatt is another designer who is exploring material before form. His IMPASTO project is a self invented biodegradable natural fibre composite made from leftover wood and coffee.
Mixing the raw materials together he treats the material like a dough which is then pressed and rolled into flat sheets. Added pigments mix up to create an organic and fluid aesthetic.
The sheets can be vacuum formed to create shapes such as demonstrated with his chairs and lamps
Similarly to lots of young designers, Nikolaj was driven by sustainable materials research to find a biodegradable material that was easy to work with and scalable to an industrial level.
The outcome is both beautiful and sustainable and imperfection adds a uniqueness to each product which is important in the push back against the homogeny of technology.
20th March 2014
Cabinets of curiosity - 'Wunderkammers' have fascinated people for centuries thanks to their wonderful collections of objects and collected oddities from all over the place and this is celebrated in the exhibition Wunderkammer 2014 at Tetem, Holland from today until mid May.
Presenting a contemporary view of the age old cabinet of curiosities from artists and designers who create utopian and dystopian wonderful worlds from their work, it is an engaging mishmash of unexpected, playful and serendipitous ideas.
Across a wide range of medium of sculpture, drawing, photography and paintings we are introduced to mystical creatures and clouds that float around inside our homes.