Best Use of Material: Wallpaper* Design Awards 2021
Style, substance and sustainability: these environmentally-friendly and recycled designs are all winners in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2021
In a quest to manufacture better, designers, established brands and start-ups alike have channelled their efforts into material research, pushing toward a more sustainable and circular way of producing furniture. These are our favourite examples.
In its most responsible form, plastic is recycled and recyclable and can be moulded into stackable modular shapes. &New’s ‘Jää’ bench, designed by Jo Wilton and Mirka Gröhn, is made from 100% recycled post-consumer landfill waste.
Konstantin Grcic’s monobloc chair for Magis is created out of a patented polypropylene recycled from waste produced by the automotive industry and from the company’s own factory, and its design is ideal for stacking.
Dutch studio Plasticiet’s bold claim, ‘plastic is the new gold’, is backed up with a collection of building blocks resembling natural stone or mother-of-pearl, made from plastic waste.
Moving beyond plastic recycling, designers are exploring other alternative ways to fabricate. Studio ThusThat (a collective exploring industrial waste) has been experimenting, among other things, with overlooked copper byproducts, in particular with the impurities that get expelled during the material’s purification process. It created a strong, black geopolymer from slag with a carbon footprint that’s about 77 per cent lower than cement, and can be used to create furniture and objects.
Hong Kong-based Studio Ryte’s experimental flax stool uses a material that behaves like carbon fibre while being fully biodegradable. Light and stackable, it was created with modern nomads in mind. They say, ‘Faced with climate change and globalisation in the current era, the world needs new solutions to transform our current way of using resources and using products.’
Taking plastic recycling one step further is Supernovas, whose recycled plastic objects and furniture (the latest created in collaboration with Odd Matter) are available on a ‘stream’ model, and can be returned at the end of its life, or swapped for alternatives.