Tuesday 11 December 2018

Designers 'go bizarre' in quest for sustainability

DUBAI, May 3, 2017

In the ongoing quest for sustainability, more and more interior product designers are turning to a pool of bizarre new materials in a bid to help lower the environmental impact of their work and introduce interesting new textures and styles to the design world, according to experts.

With their alternative feel and cheaper cost, the materials are now superseding the more traditional for many designers, they said ahead of the Index Design Series, the biggest interior design exhibition in the UAE.

The annual event, to be held from May 22 to 25 at Dubai World Trade Centre, is this year exploring the theme 'Design for the Senses.'

Victoria Redshaw, the lead futurist at UK-based trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, pointed out that interior product designers were turning to unusual materials in the ongoing quest for sustainability.

"How would you feel knowing your sofa was once someones left-over dinner? As unusual as it may sound, the likes of discarded fish skin, peanut shells and rice husks could soon line the staple features of your home," she remarked.

"Fish skin leather, for example, is now finding uses in upholstery, furniture and across  accessories such as on  cushions. Rice and nuts can be found as base structure materials, while fabrics discarded from the fashion world are used to insulate, and waste magazines are becoming wall coverings," she explained.

Scarlet Opus is inviting visitors to its stand to experience both their Trends Hub and Trend Tour, which will look at the many different materials finding their way into the wider design domain.

"As consumer desire grows for makers to be more responsible about the materials they use, their production  processes and how they address waste in getting products to the market, designers are getting ever more creative and innovative in their search for eco-friendly materials," stated Redshaw.

"Sometimes the use of unexpected materials comes from a serendipitous event, but mostly its through the efforts  of niche-designers, younger creatives with a passion to design in sustainable ways and find waste by-product of  the food industry," she added.

According to experts, Fish skin leather has been used for some time in fashion, but is now finding its way into the hands of very good designers in the interiors world.

This is because the raw material is much more readily available to them and is using what is otherwise mostly  waste. Using them not only helps to reduce waste material disposal around the world – which in many countries  is very expensive – it also avoids the need to manufacture new materials or cause the partial use of yet more natural resources, they stated.

The Index Trends Hub will showcase eight products from around the world that have been designed and manufactured to achieve 100 per cent sustainability.

These include a salmon-skin drum table made, a pasta bowl made out of one million year-old slate, and a pair of sunglasses devised from shrub-plants.

Index director Samantha Kane-Macdonald said: "Our Trends Hub and Trend Tour will really open peoples eyes to  the changing of the guard in traditional material use."

Index prides itself on looking to the future of design and –  although it may sound outlandish – foodstuffs are now crossing into the textural and architectural sides of design and having a genuine impact. Not only does this present  major environmental and financial  benefits, but exciting new opportunities for design too," she stated.

To be held alongside Middle East Covering and workspace, the Index Design Series will explore design for the  senses; furniture, furnishings and décor that not only stimulate visually, but trigger a sensory feast, bringing  design to life.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: furniture | nuts | Interior designers | fish skin | Index Design Series |

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