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Product Design
Published: 17 Mar 2014

Sustainable Designs: Forces of Nature

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Forces of Nature, the latest exhibition at London-based design gallery 19 Greek Street, showcases seven designers taking an innovative approach to sustainability through the use of renewable materials or energy sources. 

  • London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) graduate Merel Karhof harnessed wind energy to power the manufacturing of her furniture range – from cutting the wood, to grinding the natural fabrics dyes and knitting the upholstery fabric. Discover the full process in our profile Knit Like the Wind: Merel Karhof.
  • The Natural Grain Kite Stool by Australia-based Blakebrough + King is made from heavily compressed wheat or rice straw – byproducts of food production. The graphic geometric form contains approximately a bale-and-a-half of straw. See Biomaterials for other designers embracing biodegradable and non-toxic materials.
  • In her project Glass Lab, RCA graduate Diana Simpson Hernandez has developed a collection and processing scheme for waste glass in the local area. Used glass bottles are crushed and mixed with materials such as resin or wax to create new composites. The designer’s model demonstrates the potential of designing systems that can facilitate recycling and sustainable change.  

Looking to create positive and sustainable change, many brands are embracing sustainability as a way of pushing innovation, and understanding the importance of addressing this issue from the very beginning of the design process. See Closing the Loop: Future-Proofing Design and Design Democracy: Slow for more examples of this. For more inspiration, look out for the A/W 15-16 Design Direction Intervene, publishing later this week. 

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