Medieval wooden objects, if they have not burned or decayed, are usually in a pretty decent shape even 600 hundred years later. Those, which had been destroyed joined the natural cycle of nature and fed the next generations of trees adding to their growth. Plastic, discovered in the previous century is not doing that well. Its usefulness is much shorter; it does not decay and produces toxic substances when burned. After hundred years it is obvious that synthetics are a real threat to the environment but attached to comfort and ease we produce and consume more and more of them.
We need a change but we cannot step into the same river twice – we will not return to the medieval ways of manufacturing. We constantly want things done faster, harder, move further but the climate crisis and the growing population do not allow exploiting the natural resources the way we have done it so far.
Designers seeking the answers observe nature and are interested in unutilized resources, all these things, which seemed useless up to now. They try to understand and use the natural mechanisms of growth and regeneration. Designing they move the focus from the product itself to its life cycle from creation through distribution, consumption to recycling. This thinking concentrates especially on materials and their sources. They observe the Nature not for an esthetic inspiration but in an effort to find renewable materials. They find inspiration in water, on land, in plants, animals and micro organisms.
They ask vital questions why the refuse could not be reused. Can an object be grown rather than manufactured? How long will it take to grow a chair, a lamp or a bowl? Are we ready to wait for the coveted object? Probably we could if now we can wait for weeks to get a chair or a lamp from a catalogue. Would we wear longer or take better care of a shirt made of insects’ scales? Specialists of human body and soul tell us to slow down, to listen to our senses, nurture rituals and pay attention. The designers are doing it already. They observe animals, collect leaves and wood shavings, process algae, look at the colours and shades of soil. On a small scale through their cottage industry they search for what scientists and industry try to find engaging huge resources.
In the center of attention now is what grows, multiplies and renews and what disappears without a trace and returns to the natural life cycle.
Participating designers:Simon Kern (SK), Nikolaj Steenfatt (DK), Gavin Munro (UK), Adital Ela (IL), Nienke Hoogvliet (NL), Spyros Kizis (GR), Yoav Avinoam, Gil Sheffi (IL), Tobias Trübenbacher (D)
Exhibition was powered and presentet within a frame of Gdynia Design Days 2018