23 Apr Aesthetics of Sustainability
Material Experiments in Product Design
For a long time, sustainable products had the reputation of being unsexy, aesthetically somewhere between a tie-dyed T-shirt and a haystack. But these times are fortunately over. Sustainability, longevity and circularity are not only in demand as properties, but also their visibility within the material.
At ECAL students of product design, established materials specialists, manufacturers and researchers came together with the aim of exploring and defining the aesthetic potential of a new generation of sustainable materials. The result of this research-through-design project is a series of fourteen case studies involving the development of materials made from textile waste, recycled paper, rubber granulate or vegetable fibers such as algae, rice husks, hemp, flax and wood. The resulting new materials can be shaped, pressed, woven or welded and offer future designers a range of practical tools and applied knowledge about the methods of analyzing and processing seminal materials, utilizing their advantageous qualities and developing functional, yet aesthetically intriguing objects.