#44 - Reworking Hospitals

Unearthing Materials for Natural Design

Ostraco by ©Lucile Viaud

The use of recycled and organic materials in design remains prevalent since our coverage in “Leaving a Light Footprint on the Planet”. From ground coffee to ocean plastic, the range of eco-friendly materials in design continues to expand.

Young designers often have the drive to explore and experiment, and this is no exception for French designer Lucile Viaud who, through research and testing, develops halieutic materials such as sea plaster and opal marine glass. Early in 2016, after testing her marine glass Glaz, she launched her own brand called Ostraco to produce artisanal home objects made from marine by-products such as fish scales, shells and seaglass.  

Learn more about the project through its crowdfunding campaign here.

Another useful material rising in the design market is flax fiber. When successfully industrialized, flax fiber can be used to fabricate very lightweight furniture. Winner of two Dutch Design Awards, the Flax chair by Christien Meindertsma is made of flax fibers combined with PLA—biodegradable polylactic acid made from sugarcane or corn starch. All of the leftover composite is used to create other sections of the chair, leaving no material wasted.

Similarly, the Jin Chair is a feather-light, super-strong and 100% biological flax fiber chair created by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto for Swedish manufacturer OFFECCT. The chair won the Editor’s Choice Award at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2018, and is another example of how unconventional materials can be successfully used to create objects and furniture.

The JIN chair by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto for Swedish manufacturer OFFECCT. Courtesy of the designer.

About the Author

Born and raised in the concrete jungle of NYC, Allyson is passionate about languages—she speaks, reads and writes in five. She has a double degree in art history and communication and currently lives and works in the South of France.

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