In a bid to raise awareness around the impacts the design industry has on the planet, the event will look at designers, manufacturers and innovators who are working with revolutionary materials to push boundaries to strive for a better global future. In its third edition, Material of the Year spotlights new discoveries taking place within the industry. With last years’ focusing on the recycling and re-using of plastic within design, this years’ event looks at the role and versatility of bio-based ingredients.
Jimmy MacDonald, the founder and director of London Design Fair, is keen to uphold the presence of sustainable design in response to current climate issues. “We have a massive captive audience of decision-makers that both exhibit and visit the fair.” he states, “By showing what is possible and new with Bio-Materials for example, we can influence which materials designers choose to use and expose our audience to new options they should be looking for in their next purchase.”
London Design Fair, the Shoreditch-based exhibition, was first launched in 2007. Since its inauguration the event has brought together a vast array of international designers and brands. This year will see 550 exhibitors from 40 countries displaying within the Old Truman Brewery across the four days it will run. MacDonald continues, “Fairs are temporary and intense spaces in which we need to influence, engage audiences and create real demand for change.”
The Second Yield exhibition will look at four examples of design which utilise bio-based resources and materials. Dutch product designers, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven will be showcasing the use and application of PalmLeather. Derived from the areca palm tree, locals use the areca betel nut as food and every October, the leaves shed and are then castoff as surplus. Utilising this natural waste, Tjeerd softens the hard and brittle leaf to give it similar qualities to that of leather. Since 2010, the studio has set up a variety of local factories in India, Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka to create rugs and other products from the material.
Fernando Laposse will also be involved in the exhibition with his creation, Totomoxtle – a veneer made from corn husks, which are a by-product of staple Mexican food. A large number of native corn varieties are being threatened by globalisation and Laposse is keen to preserve as many as possible. By encouraging the re-planting of mixed varieties, he is working with the local community of Tonahuixtla, in the state of Puebla, to reinstate traditional farming methods and supporting farmers within that area.
The third studio included in Second Yield is High Society, an Italian design brand working with materials including hemp and tobacco. Based in the Dolomite mountains, the company was founded in 2015 by Johannes Kiniger and Giulia Farencena Casaro. Again, the company uses by-products leftover from nearby industries. Using discarded hemp, pomace (the excess residue from winemaking) and unwanted leaves and stalks from tobacco farming, the brand has created a range of lighting for the home. Simultaneously, a portion of their profits are dedicated to local initiatives against drug dependency, encouraging a positive impact in their local community.
Chip(s) Board is the final bio-based project as part of the exhibition. The UK-based studio works with the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, McCain, to transform potato waste into materials which can be applied in many scenarios when adopting circular design processes. Resulting in materials such as Parblex™ Plastics, the team are constantly looking at new innovation to create further developments in cradle-to-cradle design solutions.
Highlighting materials in this way helps consumers, designers and makers to challenge their current design decisions and, by doing so, steer towards a sustainable and circular economical future.
Second Yield will take place within the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch from 19th-22nd September.
- What are Bioplastics and Biopolymers?
- Bioplastics Brands
- Bioplastics Awards
- What is the Difference Between Biodegradable, Compostable and OXO Degradable?
- The History and Most Important Innovations of Bioplastics
- What are Drop-In Bioplastics?
- History of Cellophane
- The History of Elephant Grass Bioplastics
- Bioplastics Companies
- Top Bioplastics Producers
- Polylactic acid or polylactide (PLA)
- What is Bio-BDO?
- McDonalds and the Polystyrene Connections
- The Future of Polystyrene
- Bioplastic Feedstock 1st, 2nd and 3rd Generations
- Palm Oil and The Bioplastics Industry
Published on Forbes.com