Designers can make the difference, is the message. For example, through innovative experiments or by drawing on ‘forgotten’ knowledge. They invite us to look at materials in a radically new way and offer us design that is both responsible and aesthetic, comfortable and accessible.
Eighty selected projects by designers and companies from around the world shed light on a range of strategies that explore innovative uses of materials. The exhibition also examines how soil depletion is linked to practices of colonialism.
Algae and cow’s blood
Designers recycle all kinds of waste materials for new products and use the power of nature to create unusual materials. For example, design studio Bentu makes furniture from ceramic waste, Tamara Orjola manufactures textiles from pine needles and Basse Stittgen came up with tableware from cow’s blood. The innovations range from experimental research to new applications of old craft techniques. Claudy Jongstra introduced medieval natural dye recipes into the fashion designs of Viktor & Rolf, and Seok-hyeon Yoon used the traditional ottchill lacquer technique to make recyclable ceramics. Maartje Dros and Erik Klarenbeek experiment with diatoms (micro-algae), which bind CO2, to make glass. Other projects focus on generating energy in ways that are less harmful to the environment, or foregoing the addition of materials by switching to a loan economy. Yet other initiatives are aimed at enticing users to think differently. All the projects on display give new impetus to the industry and make us more aware of our footprint.
The exhibition can be visited from 26 May to 4 September 2022. For more information, please visit the website of the Stedelijk Museum.