Seven Uses of Unconventional Materials at Lake Como Design Festival

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Unconventional Materials Shine at Lake Como Design Festival

The Lake Como Design Festival is currently hosting the Contemporary Design Selection show, featuring an array of products that showcase the use of unconventional materials. This year’s festival theme, Natural History, pays homage to naturalist Pliny the Elder, and the selected products explore the transition towards a world of change.

The show, curated by Giovanna Massoni, is held at the magnificent neoclassical Villa Salazar until 24 September. Each piece in the exhibition is available for sale through the collectibles auction platform Catawiki, a partner of the festival.

Here are seven standout uses of unconventional materials at the Lake Como Design Festival:

1. Monk Chair by Cedric Etienne

Belgian designer Cedric Etienne created the Monk Chair using slabs of charred cork. The monolithic chair exemplifies Etienne’s belief that proportion is the only ornament. The chair can be found in the Still Room, a contemplative space curated by Etienne.

2. Plinio Lamp by FMM Design

Italian studio FMM Design presents the Plinio Lamp, an extraordinary creation made from steel and covered in basalt, a black volcanic rock. Crafted to evoke a pyroclastic flow, the handmade lamp hides a bulb within its top and rests on a base made of blocky basalt.

3. Sarasara by Genevieve Levivier

Designer Genevieve Levivier explores the potential of hemp fibers in design with the delicate Sarasara textile. The fibers are combined with polylactic acid (PLA) derived from renewable sources. Levivier employs laser technology to create micro-perforations, resulting in a soft and tactile piece inspired by natural landscapes.

4. Redemptio by Pulpas Studio

Pulpas Studio gives new life to non-biodegradable acrylic partitions with Redemptio. The Spanish design studio crafted a glass-like side table using a single folded piece of recycled polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The table’s subtle pink hue adds a touch of elegance.

5. Riflessioni Cielo-Mare by Giovanna Latis

Riflessioni Cielo-Mare is a tapestry made from i-Mesh, a textile with its origins in various natural fibers and man-made yarns. Italian architect Giovanna Latis employed basalt, fiberglass, and a man-made fiber called Technora to create the tapestry. i-Mesh claims that Technora is eight times stronger than steel.

6. Giraffa Alta by Jonathan Bocca

Jonathan Bocca’s Giraffa Alta is a giant papier-mache lamp created from paper waste sourced from Lucca. Bocca’s design, inspired by three years of research into paper recycling and upcycling of industrial waste, resembles the form of a giraffe. The lamp is exhibited alongside a pink coffee table, both part of the Restless Objects collection.

7. Knoturalia by The New Raw

The New Raw presents Knoturalia, a series of vases with intricate and looping surfaces resembling knitted fabrics. Contrary to their appearance, the vases are crafted through 3D printing with plastic waste. The innovative design aims to give new life to waste materials through design, robots, and craftsmanship.

The Lake Como Design Festival proves that unconventional materials can be transformed into extraordinary design pieces. The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate the creativity and innovation of designers who are reimagining the limits of materiality in the world of design.

Please note that the Lake Como Design Festival runs from 16 to 24 September 2023. For a comprehensive list of architecture and design events worldwide, visit the Dezeen Events Guide.

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