Alessandro Azzolini is a young Italian Architectural Design student at Politecnico di Milano. He designed a lounge chair which is completely made of recycled cardboards.
Here the interview we had with him!
SOYC: “Alessandro, can you talk about your project and its sustainability dimension?”
Alessandro: “My project consists of a lounge chair completely made of regenerated corrugated cardboard sheets that are laser-cut and assembled together with interlocking joints. Carboard is a very eco-sustainable material since it comes from renewable sources and can be recycled. The interlocking joints make the structure stable and allow to completely avoid the use of glue in a way to keep the 100% recyclability. It can be assembled in a quick way directly by the final user and it can be easily disassembled and stored flat in a way that occupies the least amount of space.”
SOYC: “Why did you decide to design your chair?”
Alessandro: “Because it is very economical since it uses waste material that can be obtained for free and because overall the chair has a very low environmental impact.
The choice of material and the easiness of (dis)assembly make this product perfect as a temporary furniture. When the chair’s lifecycle has ended, either because it has been damaged or the user wants to change it (since the contemporary world is very fast in consumption), the cardboard can just be thrown into the paper trash bin without problems and without worrying about the impact on our planet resources (since the reused cardboard of the chair would in any case have headed to the paper waste).”
SOYC: “What did inspire your design concept?”
Alessandro: “The design takes inspiration on one side from the shape of those ergonomic plastic seating that are meant to maximise comfort and on the other side from the metal grid-structure chairs, which I was sceptical about but after testing them in my life I realised they were comfortable indeed. The seating shape is lofted to form a circle, that in the base forms an elliptical footprint.
The chair components can be made out of 16 sheets of cardboard measuring 1x2m or either from 34 sheets of 1×1,2m. The dimension of sheets used is flexible and the number of sheets depends on it.”
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Alastair Brook, Jack Lehane, Jason Ladrigan and Seán Conlan-Smith are four design doctoral students which decided to found the DSGN Movement (Design Student Global Network), a new project pioneered by an international network of student designers and social communities. Read the interview to find out what their project is about!
DSGN: “Our first major project is located in Pejarakan, a village in the northwestern region of Bali– nestled between mountains and the sea. Despite this, the inhabitants are often from struggling families and live on the poverty line. To combat this, we have partnered with a local community development organisation and are building a self-sustaining Innovation Hub to educate Balinese youth on environmental and economic security.”
SOYC: “The project you are going to create, the Innovation Hub, it’s your property. But what about the designers and authors of the project?”
DSGN: “This Innovation Hub has been designed by Hanna Haczek and Ewelina Andrecka, two Polish Architecture Students who won our recent architecture competition!”
SOYC: “Can you told us what they said you about their project?”
DSGN: “Yes, of course. Here their words: The hub is designed in such a way that it gives the impression of a perfect balance with the surrounding nature. It is divided into three sections by mobile walls – frames filled with bamboo, a sustainable material – that are arranged to the users preference. the heart of the facility there is an installation which cools down the inside by using stored rainwater and natural airflow circulation- saving on unneeded power. Simplicity is key here- and usage of local building materials and plain environmental solutions play a significant role in achieving harmony with the environment.”
SOYC: “What did inspire you to produce such an important project and make it reality?”
DSGN: “Our first project in Bali began when we met the Five Pillar Foundation. Its leaders, I Putu Wiraguna and Alan Yu, have a dream of creating a sustainable and self-sufficient Innovation Hub, where the local community can teach each other craft and design skills and boost their local economy.
This Innovation Hub will overcome a shortage of education and knowledge in the local community. A lack of social collaboration has meant there are many jobless people. The future development of Bali will come through re-connecting with our local culture and our environment. The project connects students of architecture and design from around the world with local youth, allowing freedom of design thinking that will spark new and exciting entrepreneurial opportunities – creating a sustainable community in the heart of the island.”
The other project we are going to present today is that by Clementina Chiarini and Nicolò Cellina. They designed a craft-made bike which is made of wood and perfectly fits with your body and your preferences.
SOYC: “So, can you please talk about your project, which is close to the green mobility cause?”
Clementina: “A wood bike is what you need to move around the city: no traffic, no pollution and no sedentary people! It is a special bike because it is craft made. It is a prototype based in a digital model that you can customize according to your body and your tastes. The bike fits you and you fit your bike. This design object is useful and it is the symbol of green mobility with zero emission. Moreover, it is made of a renewable material: wood. In particular, it is a wasted wood in very good condition that we recycle and combine to make a beautiful bike.”
SOYC: “Where does your project take its origins?”
Nicolò: “Everything begins whit a question: How can we recycle wasted wood with small dimensions from carpentry? Of course, making a bike! Promote a green way of life also when we move it is very important for us and for our planet. Using multilayered wood, it is the answer. This technique allows to recycle small pieces and different types of wood. For the shape, the main source of inspiration for the project is the shape of the bikes used in the early nineties. The study of the shape and the geometry of one of those frames have been taken as a base configuration to develop the shape of our frame.”
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Emanuele Matteucci, Giovanni Silvestri and Michele Tunzi are three Design of the Industrial Product students in Bologna, Italy. They created Akabei, a metal stool starting from one single scrap of metal found as a reject in a mechanical workshop. This is where the sustainability of their project stands. Here the short interview we had with them!
SOYC: “Can you talk us about your design project and its sustainability?”
Students: “Our stool, Akabei, is truly sustainable for many aspects. It is made from a single rectangular sheet of inox steel of only 2 millimetres in thickness. We need only two machineries to produce it: one for cutting the sheet and the other one for bending it. This way we save resources both on material, because there is no waste, and on industrial treatments.
Furthermore, we built Akabei starting from a scrap of metal found as a reject in a mechanical workshop therefore we can say that it is 100% recycled from other processes’ waste. Akabei is built to resist, it is nearly indestructible and it is perfectly safe: it can bear more than 200 kilograms without losing its shape so it is clearly not a single-use product at all.”
SOYC: “Why do you choose metal as your project’s material?”
Students: “We wanted to revalue metal as a material to sit on. We made it comfortable and relaxing by making it wave slightly when someone sit on it and light as it weighs just as the other wooden chairs in commerce. The metal plate bends a bit in the middle to adapt itself to the person who is sittingon and the absence of a backrest guarantees a correct posture. Moreover, the characteristic saddle form will cause no tingling if someone decides to sit for a long period.”
SOYC: “What did inspire you?”
Students: “For the name, we took inspiration from Pacman’s ghost, as our stool’s form reminded us of its shape. Moreover, by looking at it from the front view, it seems invisible just like a ghost. For the shape and functionality, we took inspiration from the swings found at the park and from the work of Ron Arad.”
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Alessio Gentile is an Italian artisan who, working in the Restoration and Craftsmanship Association Laboratorio Ennio Gentile, had the idea of creating a 100% sustainable tool which can amplify the music reproduced by our smartphone. Its name is “Filofono” and below you can find the short interview we had with its creator.
SOYC: “Alessio, can you please talk about your project, explain us how does it work and focus on its sustainability?”
Alessio: “Filofono is an acoustic speaker for smartphones. There are no cables or wireless systems, the sound of music gets louder and warmer just because of the shape and the materials that we use: thin wood, water based colors, nails and glue. The production is completely handmade, it takes a week of work to complete one Filofono. The project is focused on sustainability for two main reasons: Filofono is a great choice to listen music in a domestic environment without buying a wireless/bluetooth speaker. That means, of course, energy saving. The second reason is the material: wood is a good alternative, especially when it comes from certified forests, if we want to reduce our plastic use for technology tools with low-life term.”
SOYC: “Where does the idea of Filofono take its origin?”
Alessio: “The idea was to build a beautiful object, with a vintage touch, meant to be useful and not only decorative. Only at the end of the creation we realized that Filofono had this natural feeling of a non-invasive design; a good, colored, sustainable alternative to the black bluetooth speakers that we see everyday. A natural amplifier that will never run out of energy. But also a nice item that invites everybody to play with it.”
SOYC: “Why did you decide to create that tool?”
Alessio: “Because I wanted to create a peculiar object, completely handmade, to represent the local craftsmanship and to celebrate the spirit of the people that are working there. I think that we need to start again to care about the importance of manual work and to understand how it can be useful to answer the urgency of finding new solutions for a sustainable design.”
SOYC: “What did inspire you and your idea of creating ‘Filofono’?”
Alessio: “Filofono is built following the shape of the old theatre speakers of the ’30’s. These models were huge, because they were meant to spread the sound of the first talking motion pictures. The horns were positioned behind the screen, so the effect must have been very impressing. We reduced the size and studied how to adapt the width of smartphones inside the speaker, keeping attention to balance the weight of the Filofono with a semi-circular foot. The shape reminds, also, the old gramophone bells, and that’s very close to the sound effect that generates.”
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Italian designer Sara Vignoli, who really care about improving people’s quality of live, was searching for a way to bring nature home. She has found it and called it MO.NAT!
We asked her to explain us how it is possible and this is what she told us:
SOYC: “Sara, can you explain us how you made it possible to make our lives greener and more eco-friendly?
Sara: “Living and working with plants improve air quality, make people more creative, more productive, and reduce stress. Pots and green walls are the most usual solution to bring nature in our lives, MO.NAT was born to create an innovative way to solve this problem.
Its system is based on two complementary elements, designed for plants and flowers in order to furnish your own “place” in a green and healthy way. MO.NAT: “Your Place, Your Nature”.
MO.NAT’s strengths are:
Modularity and simplicity: It allows free combinations of modules;
Flexibility and customizability: It allows connecting modules, potentially creating infinite combinations;
Sustainability: It makes everyday life ‘greener’ as it is made by recycled and recyclable materials.
“Smart” component: It is also possible to equip the elements with a lighting and irrigation system.
“Modular Nature” allows creating different combinations that can be adapted to the particular needs of each customer because they are flexible and easy to use.
The vision of MO.NAT focuses on sustainable design, for the choice of materials for each modular recycled and recyclable element and the whole supply chain.”
SOYC: “What is the importance of MO.NAT?”
Sara: “MO.NAT ‘s vision is to bring well-being to people’s lives through a combination of the beauty of Made in Italy design and the nature of plants as a decorative element.
“Modular Nature” wants to give to everyone the possibility to enjoy of green, even when limited time and spaces avoid taking care of it. MO.NAT makes nature modular with the aim to be easy, adaptable, flexible and customizable, according to the needs and availability of everyone’s space.”
You can see this and lot of other projects at The Youth Design Day in Osaka, Japan. To find out what the other projects are about and be up to date to the latest news, visit our website and our Facebook Page!
Let’s go on presenting the design projects which were selected to participate to The Youth Design Day in Japan 2018 and talk about the project by Vincenzo Sorrentino, an Italian designer who deals with concept concerning food. This kind of concept is called Food Design. What is it?
Food design is a recent term that encompasses the process of design studies and research leading to the emergence of new products related to food. This discipline is due to industrial design and deals with the design of food, parts of food products and products related to them in some way.
The Food Design project meets and mixes various disciplines such as biology, genetics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, food sociology, social research and social mediation, not least the history of kitchen systems and of forms of conviviality.
Below a short interview we had with Vincenzo, who we asked to speak about his design.
SOYC: “Hi Vincenzo! Can you explain us what your design project is about and how it is sustainable?”
Vincenzo: “Hi! So… I called my project ‘Next Pot’ and it is a set of experiential tableware made of clay, the production is based in an artisanal craft workshop and we developed the production of the collection by mixing different techniques that allowed us to recycle the clay during the production. Moreover, we based our model on demand production in order to be more efficient. Every product that we realized introduce new eating rituals.”
SOYC: “And why did you decide to create your ‘Next Pot’?”
Vincenzo: “I decided to work with the food of my native place (Naples) and I re-create the eating experience of some iconic recipes such as ‘Caprese salad’ using new tools and plates that are made in collaboration with an artisanal ceramic workshop. My first goal was to promote the culinary heritage and local products with Food Design and another goal was to collaborate and empower traditional artisans with a new design and sustainable production.”
SOYC: “Where did you find the inspiration to create that design?”
Vincenzo: “I got inspired by observing the eating gesture of every day and after several reflections and tests on people around I developed new rituals and object. For example, the eating jewels were inspired by the facts that in Naples years ago people were used to eat with hands and so I recreated that gesture and designed something that was making that possible but without any contamination of food with hands.”
SOYC: “Vincenzo, we thank you a lot for explaining us your concept and we are sure the people who will visit the exhibition in Osaka will really enjoy your ‘Next Pot’!”
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Some time ago we talked about a young Belgian designer whose name was Florian Van De Voorde. We told you that he was participating to The Youth Design Day in Japan within our Switch On Your Creativity contest. But we did not tell you anything about his project so we are going to do it now.
We asked Florian to answer some questions concerning his design, which is deeply sustainability driven. Here the interview!
Switch On Your Creativity: “Florian, can you talk about your project and its sustainability?”
Florian: “In Belgium and other countries around the world a lot of parishes and churches feel compelled to get rid of the church interiors and chairs because they are out of date. With the Church Chairs concept, I tried to approach this in the same way: I took old church chair parts and make something new and more contemporary out of them. The outcome of this are two pieces of furniture: TheChurch Stool and theChurch Bench.”
SOYC: “It really sounds a good opportunity for a lot of communities around the world to make their old churches and parishes pieces having a new life! Where does your concept take its origin and why you think your idea could play a significant role in our society?”
Florian: “Last year I did my internship with ONBETAALBAAR. This is a community of craftsmen (and women) who like to invite people to think about a more sustainable way about throwing away things and redefine what is thrash and what could be re- or upcycled.
This experience formed the base on which I made these pieces. I started to realize that sometimes I don’t need to design or create things from scratch. Sometimes forms or shapes of classic and iconic pieces of discarded furniture can start a process of redesigning or reimagining new ones. By doing this I try to shine a light on our current consumer-driven society. Taking these chairs and turning them in some new and more contemporary pieces, I play with my countries own cultural heritage thus making something which is typical from Belgium.”
SOYC: “Florian, can we ask you one last question? What is, in your opinion, the connection between Design and Sustainability?”
Florian: “Of Course you can. I think it is important to rethink the way we design objects, furniture, buildings and our surroundings. Reusing and recycling materials are very important topics when we are thinking of sustainable design nowadays.
If we start designing and thinking about a purpose after the lifecycle of these things and objects won’t be harming nature and her resources as we do now. Asian Studies Group and Switch On Your Creativity chose a very important theme that will become a standard in Design practices all over the world.”
SWOYC: “Florian, we thank you very much for your inspiring words and we wish you will, one day, make all your beautiful ideas become reality!”
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Making a thousand-year-old culture like the Chinese one new and sustainable? It is possible.
And that’s what these three young Chinese designers did.
They are Xijing XU, Tian WU and Yue LIU. They respectively are 23, 24 and 24 years old and all study at China Academy of Art.
Fascinated by the traditional production process of some typical dishes of their Country’s cooking, they looked for a way to build something that could, in a few simple steps, illustrate and physically explain in a new and sustainable way, how are produced some foods usually found on Chinese tables.
Their project has been proposed and welcomed by Switch On Your Creativity for TheYouth Design Day 2018.
These are the words explaining from what does their idea originate:
For us the sensation of the taste is deeply connected with the other feelings, which influence our understandings of culture and even our relevant feeling to a special culture group. This inspired us to present the traditional productive process of [..] into a modern ritual, which makes the eater (or in this context also audience) come closer to the food history.
If you want to discover which production process these three young designers have worked on, follow the Switch On Your Creativity Facebook page and stay always up to date to the news concerning the projects that will be presented during The Youth Design Day in Japan 2018!