While making the rounds at this year's Salone Del Mobile, we came across a wonderful show by design group Belgium Is Design exhibited at the Triennale di Milano. Their exhibition, "Perspectives", showcased a range of smart, sustainable, and well-designed products for daily life. Reflecting on both local and global contexts, the narrative of the exhibition draws on five different scenarios: industrial design, self-produced design (the designer/craftsman), design art (one-off series), social design and design as an ‘open work’ (opensource, rapid prototyping). But what struck us most about this show was simplicity of it all; whether in aesthetics, usability, or just simply the thought behind the product. Without any marketing frills, these pieces are practical with a forward-thinking view of their environmental impact -- we must say we quite like that perspective.
For us, the highlight of this exhibition the Nomad Portable Solar Lamp by Alain Gilles. The lamp provides a safe and eco-friendly substitute to the dangerous kerosene lamp that is often used in developing countries where electricity is scarce.
Another example of a fresh perspective on green design, Papilio’s Cyclo is a rug fashioned from discarded bicycle inner tubes. No chemical or finishing products are used in the manufacturing process, and the recycled rug can also be used outdoors.
Changed Values by D’Hanis and Lachaert is a collection of brooches cut out of old coins made obsolete by the introduction of the Euro.
Size 27 by Linde Hermans is a laser cut sheet of leather that comes delivered flat. The user can make themselves a shoe by folding the cuts and slotting them into the incisions by following numbers. The only concern is the waste caused by this particular shape, but nonetheless it’s a great concept.
Stone by Kasper Hamacher is a low standing coffee table carved out of the trunk of a solid oak tree.
Following the natural pattern of a rope, Looping by Limited Edition is an indoor and outdoor carpet with some 1,600 handmade attachment points per square meter.
Diaphragm by Michael Behain is a stackable stool made of bent plywood.
Maarten De Ceulaer’s Mutation Series is collection of radical foam pieces that look like an organic growth.
The series Stratigraphica was designed for a ceramic 3D printer that Unfold has developed. Each piece in the series has its own source code, referring to the number of facets from which the object is constructed.
Made using LED lights, Algue is a lamp by Xavier Lust that represents the ocean’s darkest depths.