Read the August 2021 Issue of Wallpaper*
Welcome to our August issue, a continuation of our ongoing dialogue in how to design for a better world. What is often considered good design doesn’t always follow Dieter Rams’ commandments. But wouldn’t the world be better if it always just did?
Following the launch of Wallpaper* Re-Made in August 2020, we provide an update on the first generation of Re-Made projects currently in development. The inspiration for Re-Made is to bring together forward-thinking designers, makers, architects and engineers, as a catalyst for innovative and environmentally conscious work of the highest calibre. Our first five featured projects are Asif Khan’s biocement shelving unit, Jenkins & Uhnger’s travelling blade sharpener, PriestmanGoode’s zero-waste takeaway food packaging, Vollebak’s e-waste watch and the Konstantin Grcic electric trailer and trike – all absolutely groundbreaking.
Elsewhere in the issue, we visit landscape designer extraordinaire Piet Oudolf’s latest creation for Vitra, an immersive garden for all seasons in Weil am Rhein. We also feature the latest developments in sustainable architecture across Brussels, Ho Chi Minh City and Medellin, and journey to the Norwegian forest with BIG and Vestre to witness the construction of what they promise will be the world’s most sustainable furniture factory. In Paris, we discover LVMH’s pioneering digital platform to give a new life to deadstock fabrics, which improves efficiency, reduces waste and provides a resource for major and independent brands alike; while in Amsterdam, we find out how textile manufacturer Byborre is transforming its supply chain to create a new sourcing ecosystem. We also review the latest mushroom-derived leather alternatives and a collection of tiles made from eggshell, both excellent examples of a desirable, more sustainable material economy.
For our ‘Thinkers’ section, we celebrate ten creative leaders whose work addresses some of the biggest challenges and concerns of our time. From the Turner Prize-nominated Cooking Sections, whose research on salmon farming has sparked broader discussion of more sustainable food supply chains, to architect Fernanda Canales, whose social housing designs encourage us to reconsider the meaning of luxury; from artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen, who creates epic VR experiences to foster engagement with nature, to the newly minted Diversity in Design collaborative, which is working to level the playing field for aspiring and emerging Black designers in the US. Individually and collectively, these visionaries demonstrate the importance of art, design and architecture in leading the conversation and proposing solutions to issues of ecology and equity.
And finally, a special thank you to Tom Hingston, who, fresh from designing new visual identities for Serpentine Galleries and the ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ exhibition at the V&A, has created our newsstand cover. Embracing the themes of the issue, Tom has created a typeface that is more of an ongoing idea than a finished font. ‘Each letter consists of modular elements which move around a fixed grid, to which we then add or subtract. So, in that sense, it remains open and incomplete.’ We discussed this idea – an open framework – interventions – something that is incomplete but resonates and brings optimism.
This issue highlights the groundswell of ideas and creativity that is going on around the world, and I hope you feel inspired to join in the conversation.