Biomaterials are a source of inspiration
Sitting on weeds, potatoes or leaves under a lamp of a willow vine? Carring bags of cow’s stomach? Or walking on the carpet of the woven roots of ordinary lawn grass? All this is possible thanks to the Earth and creative people. In the search of materials that conserve resources, designers discover natural gifts – as a source of inspiration – and create furniture with green criteria. Now we have the opportunity to get new information about biomaterials that could be reused.
Even our Ukrainian ancestors used biomaterials that helped them in their everyday life. To make the clay hut in winter warm, it was covered around with corn, for heating mulch (pine needles) and small branches were put into the oven, baskets were made from willow to serve as storage and transportation of things, and reeds were used to make the floor (to be an analogue of a modern carpet). In our country and in our territory there is a lot of wood, clay, cotton and various resources for weaving. Ukrainian biomaterials are unique. For example, willow can be used to create lamp frames.
FAINA presents their new collection, which includes hanging and table lamps from the STRIKHA willow. “Strikha” in Ukrainian is a thatched roof. The light of the lamp gently shines through the willow patterns, transmitting the warmth of the Ukrainian village in your home, giving you a feeling of dream and calm. The fabulous and mystical lamp creates the atmosphere of the past century.
Unwanted waste is recycled and then reused. Many designers are experimenting with plant, vegetable and similar organic waste. Take, for example, algae. Thousand tons of flowering plants are washed up on the coast. Designer Carolyn Perch uses them to create her Zostera chair. Vegetable wastes that could otherwise be turned into special waste are used as bioplastics for the seat of the stool. Jarrell Guo from Singapore has a similar approach to his chair, which is made from potato waste. Slovak designer Shimon Kern has created a Beleaf chair that uses a mixture of fallen leaves and bio-resin obtained from vegetable oil residues. This proves the fact that there is no such thing as waste – instead it is just new material that allows design to evolve.
An interesting example of using biomaterials was presented by the graduate of the Eindhoven Academy, Billy van Katwijk, who created bags from cow’s stomachs. This part of the by-products is usually considered to be waste, although it is strong and durable. Now the designer has launched her own brand and sells such bags at a quite high price. Billy likes that the process of making cowhide bags starts from the bottom and rises to the point when everyone wants to have and touch her creations.
The carpet of woven roots of ordinary lawn grass was designed by designer Diana Scherer. She planted the herb in special shapes where the roots filled all the voids and created a pattern. Then the lawn was pulled out, washed and flipped. It turned out to be quite an interesting carpet that attracts attention – beautiful, unique, and what is more, environmentally friendly!