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Spotlight | 5 future proofing designs and the designers behind them.

After watching Netflix's documentary "Abstract: The Art of Design" - where I came across the huge talent that is Neri Oxman and the MIT media lab, I decided I wanted to find more designers, engineers and architects who were collaborating with each other to create innovative materials with the mission to future proof our environment.


So here is what I found:


1. Neri Oxman x MIT Media Lab



Starting with the queen herself - combining her education as a doctor and a architect, Neri Oxman is leading the way in material experimentation. Inspired by nature, she looks to spiders describing them as natures 3D printers. The Silk Pavilion is just one of many discoveries she and her team have uncovered. Exploring the relationship between digital and biological fabrication.


Find out more here: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/silk-pavilion/overview/


2. Totomoxtle x Fernando Laposse


Currently on display at V&A museum in London as part of its latest exhibtion Food: Bigger than the plate, which explores the future of food. Mexican designer Fernando Laposse has developed a material, that has not only tackled the waste agenda but has produced jobs for local mexican natives. Totomoxtle, is a material made from the colourful husks of heirloom corn. A rare species of corn that was once near extinction, if it were not for Fernando Laposses. With support from local farmers and indigenious mexicans, Fernando is helping to repopulate the species from a collection of seeds that have been stored for almost 50 years. The production is simple, the husks are peeled from the cob, ironed flat and applied to a backing textile. I particularly love the use on wall panels, it can also be used in furniture such as tables, lamps and vases.


Find out more here: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/05/30/totomoxtle-fernando-laposse-mexico-corn-circular-economy-design/


3. Bio Iridescent Sequin x Elissa Brunato



Designers are increasingly trying to find new ways to tackle fast fashion. Elissa Brunato has discovered the secret to all our sparkly festival wear. Who would of guessed trees were the answer? We're hearing huge calls for more sustainable fashion, which some, including myself avoiding high street labels and turning to charity shops, ebay and depop to find their next fashion fix and re-home unwanted clothes. With recent bans on sequins and glitter from brands and events - Elissa Brunato is at the forefront of discovery. Instead of using petroleum based plastic, she has developed a way of creating these iridescent beads from a bio plastic based on cellulose extracted from trees. It seems as if more and more Designers, Scientists and Engineers are looking to nature to solve all our environmental issues.


Find out more here: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/08/02/bio-iridescent-sequin-elissa-brunato-sustainable-fashion/?li_source=LI&li_medium=bottom_block_1


4. Pinatex x Carmen Hijosa



As a designer, with a drive to design ethical spaces I have always been adverse to using animal bi-products. I simply refuse to use real leather and the alternatives are often plastic based. So when I heard about the development of plant based leather, I was immediately interested. Pinatex, is manufactured from a by-product found in the harvesting of pineapples. With minimal impact on the environment and commitment to social communities - Hijosa, discovered that the pineapple leaves left to waste were a perfect base for a non-toxic and sustainable alternative to leather.


Find out more here: https://www.ananas-anam.com/about-us/


5. Kaiku x Nicole Stjernswärd




The future of colour is food waste! I am fascinated by this invention, the designer, artist and all round creative in me is so excited to see this discovery applied to not just the paint industry but home furnishing and fashion industry. Nicole Stjernswärd has designed a filtration system that takes the colour from food waste such as beetroots and turns that into a pigmented powder that can be used in textile dyes, inks, printer cartridges and much more.


Find out more here: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/09/02/kaiku-nicole-stjernsward-design-food-waste-pigment/


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©2020 by Sophie Louise Mosley.