Design Shanghai recently opened to over 40,000 visitors - and Inhabitat was on the scene to bring you a first look at the city's largest international design festival! Read on for some of the best green designs on display - from an urban garden to an innovative bamboo sound walk and a wealth of handcrafted eco furniture.
In a unique collaboration with Sennheiser, artist Kristjana S Williams takes visitors on an audio tour through a bamboo forest. Each visitor is given a set of headphones and a portable player and as they move around the “forest” sounds are triggered by sensors. The sounds are soothing and natural, evoking a real-life forest. Suspended overhead are hand paper-cut sculptures draped in traditional Chinese silk printed with Williams’ designs. This ethereal sound art installation was inspired by the landscape Williams passed over when she flew from her native Iceland to China.
Young & Norgate‘s “slow furniture” is handcrafted yet modern and stylish. The whole collection is designed and made in their workshop in England by local artisans, and each piece is a one-off limited edition. We were particularly drawn to their stylish Animate bedside table, which is made from a combination of American Black Walnut and Formica.
At the festival’s Casa Casa pavilion – a local showroom for some of the city’s most innovative interior design – we found these awesome interior gardening bags from Authentics. The designers have made a series of textile sacks that can be planted and hung in a window, creating a flourishing little garden in your kitchen or living room. It only takes three steps to start your own mini garden: plant the roots into the interior sack filled with clay granulate, zip up the drainage felt, and place the plant inside the watertight outer textile skin. And voila – a fantastic suspended indoor garden!
Utopia and Utility make everything by hand, combining contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship to make a wide range of intriguing items. Their pavilion is dotted with artistic shapes and fragile forms that make it seem more like a sculpture exhibition than a showroom. Their colorful Harlequin Processed Paper Furniture is made from a mixture of birch wood and paper.
Angus Ross Furniture
Angus Ross Furniture uses steam bending techniques to create curved forms that really look as though they were molded, folded and sculpted with love. The Scotland-based studio sources their oak and ash wood from their very own local forest, further connecting them to their designs and making them highly aware of their materials. This also incentivizes them to replenish the forest to keep their materials sustainably sourced.
Morosof is a Belgian company located in China that has become a well-established name in the field of hand-crafted classical furniture – however their offerings this year had a distinctly contemporary feel. Morosof works with Chinese artisans to employ traditional craft techniques and ensure their hand-made furnishings are of the highest quality.
Photos by Helen Morgan for Inhabitat