The Designersblock exhibit took up residence in The Old Sessions House at this year's London Design Festival, displaying a new score of items that utilize natural materials and functions in new, innovative ways. From chairs draped in leaves to lamps that mimic the sun's natural movement, these pieces showcase their designers' creativity, as well as their affinity with the natural world. Read on to check out some of the most fascinating creations they have on display this year!
Artist Laura Daza is intrigued by how color has been used throughout the ages, and has used both the rituals and techniques used in ancient times to create authentic pigments. Such knowledge is disappearing in this modern era, where color is mechanically made, rather than as a sacred, magical process that affects people through all their senses.
Creating items solely from found materials requires a certain level of panache; it’s about integrating those waste materials into elegant designs. Salsabeel Amin makes lamps from found objects normally found on the street, elevating them to works of art.
Terri Ng suspends wood scraps, acrylic slivers, fabric off-cuts and sawdust in resin to create beautiful decorative homeware pieces.
Fallen lacewood tree leaves gain a new life as a composite material, used by Meital Tzabari to create lampshades and furniture. This laminate material creates no damage to the trees they’re sourced from, as the leaves are gathered after they’ve already fallen; an untapped resource that replenishes itself every autumn.
Artist Yangzi Wang is fascinated by people’s interest and attraction towards fearful situations, from horror movies to freak shows, intrigued by what draws or repels a viewer to a certain experience. In these pieces,textures and patterns that are normally associated with phobiassuch as insect eggs and tentacles) have been re-created in such a way as to inspire fear or revulsion, but also have an alluring, attractive aspect… especially when the materials are used to create clothes!
Rice husk ash is an agricultural byproduct that’s common found throughout Asia, and has been used throughout history to clean utensils and pots (as well as teeth), and even for water purification. Since research has concluded that large quantities of this ash threatens the environment, as well as the health and well-being of those who work with it, Shubhi Sachan has chosen to revive traditional practices to transform this ash into a product that can have daily use and applications.
In the venue’s grand ballroom, Plumen created a stunning display of low-energy bulbs draped all over an oak tree.
Remember when you were told not to play with your food? Effie Koukia wants you to disregard that with her edible painting and printing products.
“Biomimicry of the Sun” is a piece inspired by chronobiology; the study of the internal clocks within all living organisms. Made from a brass structure that houses Fresnel lenses and LEDs, the piece rotates one full turn every day, illuminating and changing color temperature to coordinate with sunrise and sunset at the Greenwich Observatory, UK. This lamp is an interesting commentary on our artificial world, and how it influences our health and wellbeing by interfering with our natural internal clock rhythms.
Imagine a cookbook dedicated to using waste materials to whip up delectable functional objects for your home? Cooking Objects used reconstituted cardboard egg cartons to create planters and candlesticks, among many other items.
In “Imminent Body”, Daniela Toledo examines the concept of artificial intelligence as a trait of future materials. Could materials actually have consciousness sometime in the near future? As such, will those fabrics be able to be programmed? What ethical implications might arise from this kind of AI consciousness?
Virginia de Colombani examines the relationship between people and objects in today’s rampant consumerist culture. She has taken package cushioning, which is normally discarded, and transformed it into artifacts that could have come from any fascinating archaeological dig.
Reusing items takes a lot less energy (and resources) than recycling does, often with startling effects. Destructive Creative used all kinds of waste materials for this year’s show, including this shelving system made from PVC plumbing pipe.
Photos by Charlene Lam for Inhabitat