Industrial, product and textile designers continue to up the ante in terms of manipulation of materials, all to my delight. Often motivated by the movement to upcycle, or simply reconnect us with the objects we live with, designers are pushing the limits of their imagination and ability (and modern technology’s) to transform materials into some pretty amazing creations. Here are a few favourite examples.
I could wax poetic all day about the ingenuity behind textile designer Elisa Strozyk’s work with her “Wooden Textiles” series. Weaving it like- and with- fabric she’s created some stunning pieces, from furniture to carpeting and light fixtures. The final product is a sensory delight – hard and soft at once, looking and smelling like wood, but feeling, moving, and taking shape in unexpected ways. Strozyk says she wants to make surfaces desirable to touch to reconnect us with the material world.
Dressed Up Furniture
South Korea-based design team KamKam’s Dressed Up Furniture series is pure delight. A four piece range of furniture that’s dressed in felt and further accessorized with belts, buckles and buttons is just such fun. The designers say they want to renew our experience of opening and closing doors and drawers to form emotional connections with the functional objects in our life.
Taiwanese industrial designer Yu-Ying Wu was inspired by plant cells and her own mobility issue when she designed her “Breathing Chair”, a red-dot award winner for innovative design. While the outside takes the form of a block of tofu, internally the chair is constructed of many cells of environmentally friendly plastic foam of varying sizes. The voids these form respond to your size, shape and weight for an amazing and fully supported seated experience. When you get up, it pops back into block shape again. Cool!
France-based La Maison de Lena’s solution to the ubiquitous plastic crap for kids is this dinosaur chair constructed of eco-friendly cork. A perfect addition to the home during the dinosaur phase of childhood development. Its neutral colour will fit in with most design schemes.