by STIRworldJun 08, 2022
World Environment Day 2022 (June 05) is thematised around 'Only One Earth', with the focus on 'Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature'. Within the design industry, while all eyes are on the world’s biggest design exposition – the upcoming Milan Design Week - to bring forward the most innovative ideas and technologies rethinking some of the most pressing issues of today, here is one of the showcases from the fair which is all set to present intriguing ideas to counter the environmental impact of industrial waste. Aptly titled No Space for Waste, to be hosted within the Isola Design District, the exhibition is an ode to circular design and creativity. It comprises works by various international architects and designers who have transformed different kinds of environmental wastes - ranging from upcylced fishing nets, construction debris and glass waste extracted from the 2020 Beirut Port blast - into beautiful everyday pieces of use.
Here are STIR's five picks of works to watch out for at the showcase:
1. The fight to keep a tradition alive
Entre Redes by Amalia Puga
In A Guarda, a small fishing village in Galicia, Spain, designer Amalia Puga collaborated with a collective of local women called ‘redeiras’ whose livelihood as well as the economic growth of the town depends on the art of net making. In view of the generational renewal, their craft which utilised recovered fishing nets was not getting the visibility it deserved. Puga, whose own Galacian roots inspired her product design journey to create objects that empower the local communities came up with Entre Redes. She involved redeiras and devised a process that married the collective’s artisanal techniques with possibilities of design and innovation. Using recycled nets from the sea and weaving it with traditional fishing knots, the result was a set of three products: Bolina (chair), Volanta (lamp), and Saia (basket).
2. Recipes for the future
Appropriating the Grid by Irene Roca Moracia
The practice of Spanish architect and design researcher, Irene Roca Moracia, rethinks abandoned European structures to create spaces and furniture pieces that test complex ideas around sustainability. Presenting this year at Salone del Mobile, Roca Moracia is showing a series of stools that are designed in response to the proliferation of contemporary ruins resulting from the overproduction in construction industries. Drawing from her design research that took her two years, she made use of discarded construction materials from legal grey zones to conceive her collection. The ensemble composed of 11 modular elements proposes a series of ‘recipes’ to create domestic solutions.
3. A story to tell
A Waste Epiphany by Macarena Torres Puga
Chilean designer working in The Netherlands, Macarena Torres Puga upcycled two of the most abundant waste materials from the construction industry – brick and concrete – to create pieces that narrate "a story, a memory, a moment impregnated into the walls through time". With A Waste Epiphany, she brings together a set of planters and small tables in a layered aesthetic, closely looking like rammed earth moulded into domestic forms. In view of the largest contaminating and waste producing construction and demolition industry in the Netherlands, the project seeks to reduce their negative environmental impacts by bringing back forgotten pasts through uniquely designed pieces.
4. Let’s come together
The Common Table by Zavier Wong
Singapore-born maker and thinker based in the Netherlands, Zavier Wong, creates a contemporary version of the love feast – the communal meal that people from all backgrounds used to share on one table earlier at the church. In this edition of Milan Design Week, Wong is presenting a similar table which comes with a twist. It is made of five separate tables in independent materiality, using scrap wood, steel, brick, Styrofoam, and plastic broken down into smaller aggregates. For Wong, each of the smaller pieces of waste material being used in the making of the table represents a common feeling of devastation and sadness that all of us go through in life. The manifestation of the form from a single aggregate, according to the designer, attests to the fact of life that even crushing experiences carry the seeds of growth.
5. Renewal and resilience
Fragments of Hope and New Vision by Karma Dabaghi
Architect and product designer Karma Dabaghi presents a collection of hand-blown vases by artisans of Sarafand, Lebanon. The glass which the vases are made of is collected and recycled from the 2020 Beirut Port blast. While New Vision comprises six tumblers, Fragments of Hope features a series of eight vases made using smokey glass obtained from the blast debris. Interestingly, their outer surfaces reveal intricate detailing formed by broken glass shards that carried traces of graffiti from Lebanon’s October 2019 Revolution.
STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.