Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Beyond plastic: Design world goes green and 'meaningful'
By Catherine HOURS
Paris (AFP) Sept 22, 2016


Plastic chairs are sold around the globe. But today, that "plastic" might actually be a vegetable compound as the design world increasingly embraces "green" and "meaningful" production, experts in the field say.

"For both consumers and creators, interest in 'the sustainable' is growing each year," said Franck Millot, director of the annual Paris Design Week -- a huge showcase for the latest trends in global furnishings and decoration.

"A designer doesn't just create beautiful objects, they also think in terms of improving daily life," he told AFP.

Typical is French architect and designer Patrick Nadeau, a pioneer in urban hanging gardens and plant-based design.

"Plants, vegetable material, with their colours, their matter, their translucence, they help create awareness, a living, evolving framework," he said.

In France's Champagne capital of Reims, he won kudos for an environmentally friendly social housing project.

Despite strict budget constraints, the homes were all made of wood and incorporated plants and sloping earthen walls -- as well as optimal orientation -- to enhance thermal insulation, lighting and harmony with nature.

The concept harks back to the 1920s, when visionary US architect R. Buckminster Fuller advocated that "less is more" and that design should be "anticipatory" to help solve world problems.

- 'Energy transition' -

Fuller's notions hit home with the 1970s oil crisis. The embargo the Organization of the Petoleum Exporting Countries slapped on industrialised countries over US involvement in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War suddenly cut back supplies.

As a result, these nations began to rethink their dependency on oil.

For Nadeau, the post-oil "energy transition" is also a responsibility for designers and architects.

"We must embrace these questions, if not we'll resign ourselves to old standards rather than consider new ways of living."

One who has taken up the challenge is Kartell, the high-end Italian design firm that has upheld plastics as a "vector" of modernity for 70 years. In April, it launched its first "biodegradable" chair made from plant-based waste and microorganisms.

"Such eco-design allows you to produce without destroying, it's part of our strategy for the future," Kartell president Claudio Luti told the French daily Le Monde.

The switch often involves a high-tech reinterpretation of age-old plant matter like linen fabric from flax, hemp, jute, seaweed and vetiver, an easily woven fibrous root common in Madagascar now much in demand in Europe and the United States.

Centuries ago, resistent linen was pressed in successive layers to make armour for Alexander the Great and painting canvas for the world's great masters.

Today it is mixed with resin to produce snowboards, chairs, helmets and car doors -- an eco-friendly substitute for products once reliant on fossil fuel-based carbon and plastic-based fibreglass.

Similarly, tough jute is used to produce the solid hulls of boats.

Other materials find a second -- often classier -- life through "upcycling", a movement to repurpose old or discarded objects so they do not add to the world's garbage mass.

One specialist at the Paris Design Week was a Dutch firm with the motto "from waste to wonderful". Called Rescued, it offers everything from paper chandeliers made of printshop waste to chair cushions fashioned from old blankets.

Luxury firms have also joined the trend, like Hermes whose "Petit h" laboratory recycles its high-end scraps for resale as mug holders, bracelets, even leather pinwheels.

One French designer adds modern bells and whistles such as wifi and bluetooth to big old vintage radios.

- 'Slow design' -

Along with "upcycling", another mantra these days is "Slow Design" -- which took its cue from the Slow Food movement -- "a holistic, sustainable approach that emphasises the long-term benefit of products and their impact on the well-being of consumers and the planet", said Design Week director Millot.

With "Slow Design", "there is renewed interest in old-fashioned knowhow and craftsmanship, objects that have a history, where there is a human touch and a desire for reasonable consumption," he said.

Millot concedes that touting ecology in what is basically a product-driven sales sector may be contradictory, but says he feels the young generation of designers are more "aware of the stakes".

They include French industrial designer Julien Phedyaff who in 2014 created a washing machine dubbed "Unbreakable" -- which won him the prestigious James Dyson award, named for the British inventor best known for his vacuum cleaners.

Designed to last a half a century, the machine comes in a kit to be put together and taken apart when parts need replacing or repairing -- Phedyaff's direct challenge to "planned obsolescence" in high-tech items and household appliances whose manufacturers are often accused of deliberately limiting the lifespan of their products.

Two years on, he is looking for partners to help commercialise his product.

cho/ns/gd

HERMES INTERNATIONAL


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
TECH SPACE
PPPL researchers test device that analyzes components within a vacuum
Plainsboro NJ (SPX) Sep 19, 2016
Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have successfully tested a new device that will lead to a better understanding of the interactions between ultrahot plasma contained within fusion facilities and the materials inside those facilities. The measurement tool, known as the Materials Analysis Particle Probe (MAPP), was built by a consortium ... read more


TECH SPACE
Exploration Team Shoots for the Moon with Water-Propelled Satellite

Space tourists eye $150mln Soyuz lunar flyby

Roscosmos to spend $7.5Mln studying issues of manned lunar missions

Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

TECH SPACE
A Mixed-reality Trip to Mars

Mars 2020 rover to produce oxygen: NASA

Opportunity Heads Toward First Waypoint of its Next Extended Mission

Mars hosted lakes, snowmelt-fed streams much later than previously thought

TECH SPACE
Taiwan's summer slump as Chinese visitors stay away

Entropy

Goddard space center mission-critical for ISS astronauts

NASA's black female mathematicians hit the big screen

TECH SPACE
Tiangong 2 initial tests proceeding well

China's space lab Tiangong-2 enters in-orbit test track

China's Tiangong-1 space station to crash into Earth in 2017

Tiangong-2 "another significant step" for building China's space station

TECH SPACE
Manned launch of Soyuz MS-02 maybe postponed to Nov 1

Russia cancels manned space launch over 'technical' issues

US astronauts complete spacewalk for ISS maintenance

Space Station's orbit adjusted Wednesday

TECH SPACE
Rocket agreement marks countdown to New Zealand's first space launch

Parallel launch preparations put Ariane 5 on track for next launch

Vega orbits "eyes in the skies" on its latest success

Russia postpones Soyuz MS-02 ISS launch due to electrical glitch

TECH SPACE
Stellar activity can mimic misaligned exoplanets

ALMA locates possible birth site of icy giant planet

New light on the complex nature of 'hot Jupiter' atmospheres

Discovery one-ups Tatooine, finds twin stars hosting three giant exoplanets

TECH SPACE
Beyond plastic: Design world goes green and 'meaningful'

Scientific breakthrough reveals how materials break down

Magnetic sensors made to measure

Foam stops sloshing liquid




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement