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!