Nina+Co builds MONC's store with easily portable eco-materials
by Almas SadiqueFeb 23, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Amarjeet Singh TomarPublished on : Mar 06, 2023
For the interior design of their flagship store in Las Rozas Village in Madrid, Spain, Ecoalf—a multiple award-winning sustainable design and socially responsible fashion brand—collaborated with Nagami design studio. Using additive manufacturing, Nagami sculpted the store's interiors to imitate a melting glacier, bringing attention to climate change. The project brings forth a particular type of exchange between design and the complex climate crisis. One in which designers are figuring out new ways to make this complex phenomenon comprehensible, with the use of technological tools.
Design, as a discipline, has been at the forefront of narrating visual stories that depict society’s aspirations and attitudes. Materiality in design, then, tends to reflect that story of progress—albeit ending up glorifying that, which might later become a symptom of an ailing planet. Nagami and Ecoalf, both, share similar sensibilities in their critically informed practices, making exclusive use of recycled plastic in their business.
Following Ecoalf's values of innovation, design, and sustainability, the interior is completely printed from 100 per cent recycled plastic, sourced mainly from hospitals and then used to create translucent surfaces that resemble melting glaciers. All the elements have been produced in Spain to reduce CO2 emissions and the entire space is recyclable at the end of its lifecycle. The installation wraps around the 90 sqm space, with recycled walls, shelves, and display tables giving a second life to 3.3 tonnes of plastic.
The walls are meant to represent a glacier that is cracking, and the sculpted texture represents the way the wind erodes ice over time. It is done in order to recreate the sensation one might have when walking inside a glacier. The experiential installation facilitates the emergence of an intimate interaction with glacier as an hyperobject1. Not denying that the materiality and building process adds a hint of subliminal irony somewhere in this conversation but as an informed effort in design, it is a remarkable action whose importance can not be overstated. Recycled plastic 3D, modelled as glaciers points out a certain attitude and aspiration too. One of bringing attention to making the invisible visible. While navigating inside the space, the intangibility and phenomenology of the space becomes the medium for the message that it carries.
Committed to NetZero emissions by 2030, Ecoalf Foundation started 'Upcycling the Oceans'—an attempt to remove marine debris from the bottom of the oceans through collective efforts of more than 4,000 fishermen, and have recovered more than 1,000 tonnes of waste, so far. The project expanded to Thailand, Greece, Italy, France, and continues to expand throughout the Mediterranean Sea, converting ocean waste into high-quality garments. "We love to collaborate with those who share our values and vision, and Nagami is at the forefront of sustainable architecture. This project brings together design and technology to raise awareness about climate change and inspire a real change,” says Javier Goyeneche, founder and president of Ecoalf.
Nagami as a design brand explores industrial design in a new technological realm. Claiming an 'outstanding role' in investigating ideas of 'Singularity'2, with research and innovation foundational to their practice, Nagami redefines the concept of design, production and consumption through robotic 3D printing. Founded in Ávila (Spain) in 2016, the brand aims to establish new and more sustainable production cycles based on a circular economy, allowing the transformation of plastic waste into furniture, sculptures, interiors and medium-scale architectures.
Their practice revolves around exploring new ways of creating objects and environments which push the limits of imagination to unseen territories, while letting us envision a more sustainable future. Manuel Jiménez García, co-founder and CEO of Nagami suggests, "We urgently need to rethink the way we produce and consume to provoke a real change in the industry. Today, 3D printing allows us to bring to life spaces that before were unimaginable, produced locally not only by using recycled materials, but establishing production chains that are cleaner, more sustainable and flexible. And this is already a reality.”
The design of the store in Las Rozas stands beyond just stylistic idioms, reflecting on the ethos of the practice that is governed by an interest in exploring, questioning and researching in radical ways. Venturing into materialities and processes, seeing things in a new light, they generate ideas and concepts of critical design.
1.A hyperobject is a concept introduced by philosopher Timothy Morton to describe phenomena that are massive in scale and distributed in time and space, making them difficult to comprehend and experience directly.
2.The technological singularity-or singularity talks about human-machine civilisation, a hypothetical future point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilisation.
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