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Leaving a Light Footprint on the Planet

Erin Tallman
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Zero-waste design, upcycled materials and low-impact living are not only current trends, they’re reality. Consumers want it, manufacturers aim to deliver it and architecture and design professionals automatically expect to create it.

Alongside manufacturers, architecture and design professionals lead the path in creating more nature-based, eco-friendly products and buildings. They focus their time and energy on researching new opportunities for materials. At nearly every trade fair, such as NeoCon in Chicago last June and Maison&Objet in Paris this month, we learn more about recycled and upcycled materials, low-impact living and zero-waste design.

Reviving Materials from a Sad Ending

Developing new technologies and material production processes puts designers ahead of the line in innovation when it protects the ecosystem. At the same time, we’re turning back the clock to clean up the mess we’ve accumulated, so the generations to come will not have to do the same.

BentuDesign, an outstanding concrete furniture brand from China, earned the highest distinction in the Red Dot Award for the best of the best in product design for its concrete wall decoration tiles. Its Shadow tiles are made of recycled concrete that consists of 50% disused ceramic.

European wallcoverings company Omexco released its Rainbows collection made from bakbak (an innovative product of banana fiber), recycled sari silk and crushed paper. Squares of crushed paper, printed in faded shades and glued on a non-woven backing, are in perfect harmony with the bakbak and the natural silk. The non-woven wallcoverings are ecological, are FSC® certified (license code C001706) and are printed using solar energy.

Courtesy of Omexco
Courtesy of Omexco

Rainbows wallcoverings collection by Omexco

Domingos Tótora

SEA ME by Nienke Hoogvliet . Photography by Femke Poort

Courtesy of Sunbrella

Zero Waste House in Paris. photo: © www.StefanoBorghi.com

Made Again Challenge / Fab City prototype

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