Carole Collet, a professor of Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins (C.S.M.) in London, has spent decades studying how biological systems might help humans create a more regenerative future—one that shifts the focus from merely lessening society’s negative impact on the planet to exploring ways in which art, architecture, and fashion design can actually help restore the earth’s biodiversity. Collet’s investigations narrow the gap between the hypothetical and the viable. Her project Biolace, for example, first exhibited almost a decade ago, explored the concept of modifying the DNA of plants to produce delicate, latticed textiles. Now, among other things, she’s looking into fabric-like matter that is naturally grown by trees. Her work generally falls under the field of biodesign, an emerging movement of scientists, artists, and designers that integrates organic processes and materials into the creation of buildings, objects, and clothes.
Collet also co-directs C.S.M.’s Design and Living Systems Lab, which she founded in 2013 with the aim of developing new ideas around designing using living organisms, and serves as the director of Maison/0, a creative platform developed with C.S.M. and French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which empowers emerging designers to experiment with regenerative practices in high fashion. Recent projects created through the initiative by masters students in C.S.M.'s biodesign program include Algae Palette by Tahiya Hossain, a collection of textile prints dyed with colors extracted from algae; Excessories by Cassie Quinn, a line of sequins and textile embellishments created from a pigmented biopolymer derived from the shells of seafood waste; and Hyphae Hues by Julia Jueckstock, a system for growing nontoxic textile dye, produced by fungi, directly onto textiles.
We recently spoke with Collet about the growing importance of biodesign and about her vision for the next chapter of textile production, which, she believes, will look to nature to teach us how to sustain it.
There are several buzzwords the clothing industry uses to describe its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. How do you think about the terms “sustainability” and “regenerative design” in relation to fashion?
Over the past twenty years, “sustainability” has become this very generic term. It doesn’t mean much anymore. It can include anything from designers using materials made from recycled materials, to designers saying their product is recyclable, to designers going fully circular. It’s become this very wide umbrella—a sort of “anything goes” word.
But at the same time, we’ve tripled our world population in seventy years. So, even though we’ve developed these “sustainable” strategies, we need to really look at a radical way of thinking. Doing “less bad” doesn’t work anymore, because the pressure we put on the planet—simply by means of our world population—is going beyond what the planet can sustain, both in terms of biodiversity and climate.
The idea of regenerative design is, instead of doing “less bad”—trying to cut down on our carbon emissions and our impact on biodiversity—what if we started designing with the idea to repair biodiversity and climate? Straight away, that different mindset changes the starting point and the creative process. I think the new generation of designers find that notion of “regenerative” really powerful.
Biodesign is informed by biology, by how nature works—it’s biomimicry. We’re trying to get closer to how nature makes—and adopt its principles. What can we learn from nature? If you look at an ecosystem without humans interacting with or distracting that system—think of a virgin forest—it’s in itself regenerative. Everything is produced using local nutrients and solar energy. There is no waste. The leaf of a tree falls on the ground and becomes a nutrient for the next season, nourishing the soil and the microorganisms within it. Nature makes in a way that’s inherently renewable. I think that’s why biodesign is very exciting for me. It’s not an established field where there are set ways of doing things. It’s a quest to try and see what we can biofabricate in the way nature biofabricates at ambient temperatures. We’re slowly trying, and slowly getting there.
How are designers choosing which organisms to use, or draw inspiration from, when developing biomaterials?
It’s about first identifying what you’d like to achieve, finding what animals exist that do that thing very well, then determining what we can learn from them.
For example, a lot of our waterproofing and stainproofing is done with chemicals. If you’re looking at developing a new bio-based coating to make a fabric stainproof, you could look at examples where nature creates a material that nothing sticks to. You could look at particular types of pitcher plants, for instance, that have inner coatings. This, again, is the notion of biomimicry.
Many recent innovations with biomaterials—such as glass created from mussels or leather made from mushrooms—seem to focus on replicating materials and textures we already use. Is this in the interest of creating a more seamless adoption of these new materials?
We have a human history that is inherently connected to textiles and how we relate to them. The first traces of fibers we’ve found are twisted yarn from thirty-four thousand, five hundred years ago. These humans knew how to turn bits of the environment into fiber, and then turn those fibers into fabric. That knowledge is so many thousands of years old but, up to the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, that’s all we did—there was linen, silk, wool, fur, and leather. There was not much innovation. Then, in the early twentieth century, we had all the petrol-based textiles—acrylics, polyesters, all the different coatings—created to mimic natural fibers.
I think the twenty-first century is about innovating new ways of doing things with biotextiles that are bio-based and post-petrol. There are biomaterials made from biowaste, like mycelium leather and algae-based fibers. I’m currently researching how some trees make an inner bark that looks like a woven cloth. Weaves have a warp and a weft, but some trees can actually create this woven-like “fabric.” Can we grow fabrics, as opposed to using fibers that are then turned into fabrics? These are more far-away questions. It would take a lot of time to get there, but to me, that could be the next level of invention.
When confronting the issue of the fashion industry’s enormous environmental footprint, we see two primary strategies. Some designers create products that are extremely durable and will last for generations, while others tout the biodegradability of their products as a solution to the incomprehensible volume of clothing produced each year. What are your thoughts on these approaches?
I think both are very relevant. This notion of durability or fast disintegration exists in nature, too. For instance, the oak tree is very long-lasting and sturdy, and can grow for a very long time. And then you have grasses that die and are reborn every year. It’s not about what’s right; it’s what is right for a particular context or use.
Even if a cotton T-shirt is in theory “biodegradable,” if it’s been dyed with chemicals, that’s a problem. You also need the right conditions for biodegradability. For instance, where can it be composted? Does it need to be heated compost? Or can it be garden compost? Unfortunately, we do not currently have an industry or system to compost fabrics or materials.
Biodegradability is one thing, but it’s more reusability that matters. We need to promote more reusing and reselling, and if it’s too damaged, then recycle it so that it can be formed into new fabric again. Cotton can be shredded and turned into new cotton fiber and reused. Every time you do that the quality of the cotton diminishes because the fiber gets shorter, but it’s better than letting it sit in a landfill.
What do you see as the pathway for bringing more regenerative materials to the consumer market?
For me, what’s really exciting—and it’s already here, but it’s only going to expand in the future—is regenerative agriculture, which explores how we can produce wool or silk or cotton in a way that is still very productive but that regenerates soil and biodiversity, and is carbon-negative. Cotton, for instance, is a disaster for the planet. Currently, it leads to the depletion of our soil, which in turn has a radical impact on water consumption—particularly with conventional cotton, which is very intensive in terms of pesticides, which deplete biodiversity. The two main fibers currently used in the textile industry are cotton and polyester, so if we could only have regenerative cotton farming, we would already have a radical impact on the planet.
Polyester—that’s where we go into circular thinking. Virgin polyester should just not be happening anymore, as it further incentivizes the need to extract oil. We’ve got so much polyester already out there, so instead of dumping it, we should reuse what already exists. Using recycled polyester or polyester made from ocean plastics helps incentivize removing plastics from our oceans and our rivers.
The key is to shift the way we think about designing fibers to ways that serve our species and other species. How can we make fibers that help replenish our insect population? If we stop using pesticides, we will not be killing those insects anymore. Regenerative farming, new biomaterials, and circular loops for anything that’s petrol-based—these are the three key directions I’m interested in for the future.
Nestled in a cozy pocket of Newburgh, in New York’s Hudson Valley, is an architectural gem designed in 1949 by Philip Jograppling with how to address Johnson’s legacy in the aftermath of his fascist views becoming more widely known—the property was purchased and restored by Jiminie Ha,With Projects, and art director Jeremy Parker. Determined to establish the residence as a symbol of inclusivity, the two have reimagiWolfhouse, a community-focused cultural space and incubator with public programming centered around art, architecture, and design
Squares, with their even proportions and sharp corners, evoke a sense of honest, hard-edged rationality. The shape has dKvadrat, the 54-year-old Danish textile company known for its forward-looking, often vibrant fabrics and artistic collaboration
The Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón’s repurposed plastic furnishings weren’t just born from a sense of duty. Whirecently deemed an epidemic—he also appreciates the material for what it is: a lightweight, flexible, yet strong substance that can be sculpted intACdO. “The problem is that the price and the value of the material does not match at the moment.”
If you look around your living space, there’s a good chance that all the furniture in it is designed for adult use and cNalata Nalata’s upcoming exhibition, “Starter Chair” (May 14–22), celebrates furniture that was lovingly made on a different scale—one specifically for children.
To speak with self-described “citizen artist” vanessa german about her creative practice is to talk with her about art as a means of revitalization and protection. Particularly for
In the late 1960s, Czech psychotherapist Stanislav Grof concluded, through his research on LSD at John Hopkins Universit
During a recent sort through my recycling—paper-towel tubes, condiment containers, and other receptacles—I noticed that
Growing up on the Italian island of Murano, Luca Nichetto was constantly around people who made things. The grandson of
Stefan Sagmeister is a contemporary polymath. Following his curiosity through many forms, the Austrian-born, New York–baobjects, installations, and participatory artworks throughout his decades-long career. (Sagmeister speaks about some of these projects and others on Ep. 8 of our Time Sensitive podcast, and on Ep.106 of our At a Distance podcast.) While his output, at first glance, might appear to move wildly between subjects, a closer look reveals a consistent i
On average, children grow seven sizes in just their first two years. As a result, parents end up spending an average of $3,000 on clothing—much of which ultimately joins the 17 million tons of clothing that finds its way into landfills every year—before their child reaches the age of 3. Considering these realities, aeronautical engineer Ryan Mario Yasin wondered: with them?
Tactility has been central to Omar Sosa’s creative practice for years. He developed a fondness for making books while working as a graphic designer and art dirApartamento, which has developed a cult following for its content—candid conversations with creative people from a variety of field
For Megumi Shauna Arai, textiles are universal indicators of culture and identity. Like 19th-century crazy quilts or the lively blankets that noren, traditional Japanese fabric dividers that are suspended in windows and doorways (seen in a Manhattan pop-up of Beverly’s Shop last year), and others laid flat, as was one particularly striking piece on a bed at the Eliot Noyes House in New Canaa2020 edition of the art and design fair Object & Thing—that invite viewers to consider the histories and techniques they represent.
From the looks of things, physical retail may well be losing out to e-commerce (and perhaps soon, shopping in the metaverse). But a comeback for brick-and-mortar stores appears to be on the horizon, and if the architects at the Paris-based firm Moinard Bétaill
For several years, artist Dan Colen wasn’t exactly sure how to talk about Sky High Farm (SHF), a nonprofit 40-acre regenerative ecosystem he created in New York’s Hudson Valley that, since its beginnings in Ep. 40 of our Time Sensitive podcast. “And the lightest touch seemed to be through products.” In 2019, he partnered with the international concept shop Dove
A cone is a many-splendored shape. Both aesthetically pleasing and functional, it can do everything from redirect traffi
The enduring relevance of jewelry in society and culture stems, in part, from its adaptability, but also from its intima
Clothing designed to endure such harsh conditions as sub-zero temperatures, damp romps in rainforests, or icy traipses tEp. 69 of our At a Distance podcast.
While fashion brands often design their garments based on fleeting trends, twin brothers and athletes Nick and Steve TidVollebak, with a more certain future in mind: one that involves environmental threats and the continued exploration of space, an
There is something universally comforting—deeply intoxicating, even—about petting a soft, warm coat, deep with pile. MayFuwa Fuwa ( “fuzzy,” in Japanese): “I reach out to touch the fluffy, soft fur, gently run my hand over the broad nape of the neck
2014 may have been the year of the booty, but it took me six cold and less-than-sterile more (plus 2020’s lockdown) to get mine into the warm seat of a Toto Washlet C200, my top pick in this rotund—or rather, well-rounded—assortment of bidet toilet-seat attachments—and love-letter the for
Green thumbs have long extolled the value of raised garden beds for their weed-reducing and water-retaining abilities, nPlanted—a New York–based company that provides resources and materials for cultivating your own food, including seedlings sourc
In recent decades, art has steadily expanded into the digital realm, thanks, in part, to copious new apps, tools, and tuForest Crayons, a series of prism-shaped drawing implements that are made from natural materials and that use wood as their sole sourc
In 2014, Eddie Cohen embarked on a 10-day silent meditation retreat to further his practice of quieting his mind. Sittin
Despite being among the most abundant tree species in Finland, pine has been largely overlooked and underutilized as a fVaarnii seeks to revive the use of pine in furniture making, and with it, forge a new era in Finnish design that celebrates the
While the bonnets and muskets seen in Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg—the early American settlement turned immersive ouCraft & Forge, a wide-ranging line of spare, everyday accessories for the home that will debut at the end of the month.
Before fast fashion became the norm, children typically learned how to make their own clothes, often from their parents Almaborealis, a line of D.I.Y. sewing kits that teach kids the value of creating garments that last.
A Digital Museum Tells Time-Honored Stories of the Indian Subcontinent Through Everyday Objects and Family Heirlooms
A gold dial Titan quartz wristwatch with a worn-out brown leather strap. A 32-caliber Colt pistol. A dekchi, or brass cooking pot for cooking the traditional rice dish biryani. A signed letter from Mother Teresa. An Imperial Bank of India checkbook. These are but five items in the collection ofMuseum of Material Memory, an online repository of objects from across the Indian subcontinent, dating from or before the 1970s, including books,
Those who have come to embrace CBD—short for cannabidiol, a chemical abundant in the cannabis plant that, unlike its sibEpidiolex, to treat rare seizure disorders; the majority of scientific studies on the chemical have been conducted on animals.) T$16 billion by 2025, fueled by users who report relief from afflictions including anxiety, depression, and stress. So it seems only natural
For Lorne M. Buchman, president of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, the creative process rarely conYves Béhar, Paula Scher, and Frank Gehry, as well as companies such as Apple and Tesla, attest to such experiences in Buchman’s neMake to Know: From Spaces of Uncertainty to Creative Discovery (Thames & Hudson), as archetypes that demonstrate the value of embracing the unknown as a way to unleash new ideas.
A Fashion Designer Transforms Deadstock Textiles and Upcycled Sleeping Bags Into Wearable Life-Saving Shelters
While producing a line of luxury outerwear, Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer learned that the homeless father of two ofSheltersuit Foundation as a means of producing the pieces on a larger scale. Since then, the organization has given away more than 12,500 Shel
La Samaritaine, a historic Parisian department store that towers over the banks of the Seine, spent the last 16 years unDior Spa Cheval Blanc—a collaboration between the hotel chain and the French fashion house—promises “happiness in the heart of Paris,” a tall
High-quality woodworking tools are beautifully crafted objects in and of themselves. Traditionally created by artisans,
At a Los Angeles Exhibition, “Almost-Dysfunctional” Japanese Pottery That Conveys the Circle of Life
In Plato’s dialogue Timaeus, the word khôra—the territory just outside the Ancient Greek city center—is used to describe a condition that serves as a womb-like spa
According to a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum, a full garbage truck’s worth of plastic flows into our oceans almost every minute. While e
The ingenuity of the Parentesi lamp, first released by the Italian lighting brand Flos in 1971, is most evident when it’s handled: Slide the nickel-plated
Elyn Zimmerman Created a Memorial to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing—Then It Was Destroyed on 9/11
Elyn Zimmerman will never forget the exact moment when, on February 26, 1993, a truck bomb exploded in the World Trade Center’s underg
“Berbere was the first design I did that had the ability to become a new classic,” Gaia Repossi says of her first collection for
“There should be as many clothing repair shops as there are gas stations,” says Satchel B. Moore, founder of the Saint PScience and Kindness. “After all, there are more pairs of pants in the world than there are cars.” Moore started the initiative, which he ru
One of the biggest challenges for any great brand is to evolve and remain relevant while staying true to its roots. JaegReverso timepiece, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, is a brilliant example of an accessory that is both immedia
“This is a new world,” says Cyrille Vigneron, president and CEO of Cartier, during a gala dinner he recently hosted on tSixième Sens (“Sixth Sense”), the luxury house’s newest collection. He continues, “High jewelry belongs to the world of sensory stim
The spareness of Scandinavian design is a school of thought—and a way of life—that’s responsible for the popularity of sTekla, the aesthetic approach means creating everyday pieces for the bed and bath that are high-quality and low-fuss, informe
Earlier this month, a stately structure covered in angled white bricks opened its doors in the East Williamsburg area ofAmant Foundation, a nonprofit arts organization that values a slow, focused approach in making and viewing art. (It has a sister locatio
“Sustainability” is stamped on so many products these days—having become corporate America’s go-to buzzword throughout tEp. 103 of our At a Distance podcast; he’s trying to tackle this issue head-on through data and analytics.
The archeologist-turned-goldsmith Loren Teetelli spent more than 100 hours hand-forging a single 22-karat gold cuff for Loren Nicole, in 2016. Jean Prounis is another millennial who’s mastered the time-honored craft of goldsmithing. The New York–based designer begins her pro
“I’m constantly looking for new links between light and color, but my collections always start as a dream,” says Claire Holographique, unveiled this week in Paris during the city’s fall/winter 2021 haute couture fashion shows, is yet another foray onto
Technology, especially when it comes to screen time, can simultaneously induce sensory overload and sensory deprivation.Google’s first retail store, which opened last month on the ground floor of the company’s Manhattan headquarters (just blocks from The Slowdown’s CEp. 11 of our Time Sensitive podcast) toward a singular goal: to create an environment that demonstrates “how humans and technology [can] come together,” as
In his 1982 book Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, the late futurist John Naisbitt predicted that people employed by technology companies would crave real-world social c
One year ago, entrepreneur Jaé Joseph and creative director Brianna Wise released a survey that doubled as an applicatioBlack Apothecary Office (BAO): a three-month-long accelerator program designed to help Black- and Latinx-owned beauty and wellness start-ups reBAO Universe, a digital marketplace offering goods such as velvety face oils, silky moisturizers, and hydrating shampoo from some of
“I don’t just look at stones. I need to touch them, and feel the life inside them,” says Lucia Silvestri, who sources geBulgari and serves as its creative director. “There’s sensuality in the energy of gems born in the depths of the earth.” Such v most exquisite pieces designed by the Roman jeweler to date. (Some 200 other items will be added to the collection later
Slow’s headquarters sits within Marina Marina, a sprawling multi-building campus located just outside Berlin’s city center. When it officially opens, next spring, th
When Louis Cartier designed the Tank watch, in 1917, its rectangular dial was a bold departure from the round cases of the era. Inspired by an aerial view of the
Kintsugi, the time-honored Japanese practice of using powdered precious metals to repair broken ceramics, has steadily gained poKintsugi: The Poetic Mend (Bloomsbury). In it, she interviews kintsugi masters, details various techniques, and considers potential grounds for the custom’s development. Here, Kemske discusskintsugi’s origins and why it resonates so strongly with people today.
A New Film Highlights Fashion Designer Margaret Howell’s Admiration for Understated Japanese Objects and Materials
In 1983, the British fashion designer Margaret Howell made the first of many visits to Japan, where she discovered toolsAffinities: 50 Years of Design, a new short film directed by artist Emily Richardson that celebrates the distinctive work that Howell—now 74 and with Ep. 44 of our Time Sensitive podcast). The film is on view via the brand’s website and, along with a presentation of drawings and artifacts from Howell’s pe
Yolande Batteau’s Latest Body of Work Reflects a Passionate Personal Investigation of Materials and Self
Over the past three decades, multidisciplinary artist Yolande Batteau has traveled the world to study age-old artisanal Callidus Guild. Yet while Batteau investigates materials, she’s simultaneously doing a similar kind of work within herself—an act thatYolande Batteau: Introspective,” on view at New York’s decorative arts gallery Bernd Goeckler through May 28.
Since ancient times, people have looked to the sun, moon, and stars to create a sense of rhythm and order in their livesLittle Lange 1 Moon Phase watch elevates the poetic movement with a copper-flecked, midnight-blue silver dial that shimmers like the night sky, a
Giancarlo Valle, a celebrated New York–based interiors and furniture designer with an artful, worldly eye informed by hiPlateau table lamp, created with self-taught Brooklyn ceramicist Natalie Weinberger, leans into that sensibility with a more craft-centere
The Proustian madeleine cookie is an oft-cited example of how our memories are intertwined with the senses. But just as Worn Stories, the new Netflix docuseries based on artist and writer Emily Spivack’s New York Times–bestselling book.
Vietnamese-American Stylist Beverly Nguyen Pays Tribute to Her Family and Friends With a New Pop-Up Shop
During a recent stay in her home city of Los Angeles, New York–based stylist Beverly Nguyen (a Vogue alum and the former studio director for Kate Young) was inspired to dream up her latest venture: a pop-up of homewares called Beverly’s, which opened last weekend in downtown Manhattan. The move home, prolonged by the pandemic, wasn’t intended to last mos
Artist Eric Oglander gravitates toward materials that collapse time and space, and holds an unwavering faith in the powetihngs.com, and plans to open a brick-and-mortar shop of the same name in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens later this year). IP.E.,” is on view through May 15.
When a loved one passes, the typical death care options are both limited and harmful to the planet. Conventional burial Recompose, an NOR funeral home located in a Seattle suburb and designed by local architectural firm Olson Kundig (whose principalEp. 37 of our Time Sensitive podcast). Last year, two other NOR companies were formed in the region, signaling that the practice isn’t a pipe dream, but a r
For many diners, using “biodegradable” or “compostable” takeout containers is one way of doing their part in protecting don’t break down in a backyard composting bin and require special conditions to degrade. The Canadian company Case has a better solution: a circular system for food receptacles.
Because of its ubiquity, it’s tempting to describe Emeco’s iconic Navy Chair, designed in 1944, as basic. But that would
As the vaccine rollout continues, previously closed galleries and museums have, thankfully, continued to steadily reopenWhen Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan,” on view through July 11, presents an ode to the tradition of Japanese architecture and handcraft. On display are an atōryō. The collection of beautiful saws, chisels, and planes demonstrate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Japanese joiner
Masayuki Nishimoto, founder of the Japanese creative agency En One, knew he wanted to develop an experimental culinary space in Tokyo long before he met Ghetto Gastro’s Jon Gray on the st
East Fork imbues traditional clay tableware with a sense of delight, resulting in pieces that are instantly recognizable. The commonth)—while its expansion into the lifestyle realm, with online recipes and carefully culled pantry items, such as black gar Your products often immediately sell out. A few months ago, an article in the New York Post called your passionate fans the “new potheads.” What makes East Fork’s pieces so covetable?
Recent studies attest to what the crafters among us have known for a long time: that the rhythmic, repetitive nature of knitting, crocCelia Pym, working with her hands is more than a stress-relieving pastime—it’s instinctive. She grew up in a family where repairi
Is our obsession with newness an ailment of capitalism? Kintsugi, the traditional Japanese art of mending broken pottery, has been around for more than four centuries—but its philosophkintsukuroi, meaning “golden repair”—sees breakage as a valuable asset that adds to an object’s history. Fragments are pieced back
Textile designer Anni Albers, who was born in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century, brought a modernist touch and expe“In a Slow Manner,” the first presentation at Paris’s Maison du Danemark since it completed an extensive renovation. Opening Feb. 3, the sh
Hand-wringing and hand-washing seem to be defining this time warp of a pandemic. When it comes to the latter, we’re partSlowdown hand-wash set from the New York upstart Dally Goods—not just for its name (which, to be clear, we’re not connected to), but its ethosExperts say fantasy can provide a way through difficult times; if harmless daydreaming can get us through this moment, we’ll happily indulge in a bit of wanderlust where we can find
Technology and industry often get much of the credit for fueling the United States’ development, but for curator, writerCraft: An American History (Bloomsbury), out next week, Adamson shows how skilled laborers shaped the nation, telling remarkable, often surprising
Dental grills might seem like a latter-day invention, but they’re actually anything but. Decorative tooth accessories weRi Serax, whose outrageous embellishments are worn inside the mouths of rap and R&B artists including Jpegmafia, Princess Nokia,
The culture of wellness tends to focus on trends, like meditation hacks or CBD gummies. But a new app devotes itself to Kama turns to leading neuroscientists, psychologists, somatic therapists, and other experts to help us better our bedroom hasaid in an interview with Forbes that she sees the company as a response to a “sex and intimacy recession” that’s happening around the world. “Our body
Wood boxes are something of a national treasure in Japan, where Buddhist monks began tucking stoles, prayer beads, and okiribako—boxes handcrafted from paulownia, a native tree with lightweight, durable, water-resistant timber—into the mainstream. Masuda Kiribako, which has been skillfully producing traditional receptacles since 1929.
Three years ago, French furniture and object designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance—whose clients include Baccarat, Bernhardt Made in Situ that champions the traditional crafts, techniques, and materials of the region through objects he designs and makes witsoenga. How did the idea for Made in Situ come about?
Imagine shopping a trove of objects that are at once elegant and ethically made—no post-purchase consumer guilt necessarGoodee, an online marketplace of homewares and clothing that make a positive impact on people and the planet. Founded by Montrundulating Pakurigo baskets handwoven by artisans in Ghana from locally sourced vetiver grass, vegan seaweed soap that cleverly uses coriander seeds and peppercorns as exfoliants, and the sought-after Goodee Hoodie, recently released in three new colors (dusty rose, Egyptian blue, and alabaster) and made from Egyptian cotton by the Kotn. There’s also a handsome German Douglas pine daybed from Danish B Corp Skagerak, topped with Kvadrat upholstery, and a Japanese windmill palm fiber “corner brush” designed to dust the undustable. Feel like decking the halls? Try these multihued Jipi Baubles tree ornaments, handmade from Jipijapa palm tree leaves by Colombian artisans in the Andes. For those on our gift lists, including the
That we’ve all likely considered relocating to another planet at some point this year may be no bad thing, according to In a recent study published in the journal PLOS One, the group describes their experiments with the organic polymer chitin that demonstrate its viability as a building matEp. 16 of our Time Sensitive podcast)—with a mineral equivalent to Martian soil. They used it to successfully construct an array of objects, including a worProject Olympus, a research initiative looking to develop structures that can be 3D-printed out of lunar dust. Working with the Austin-he recently told Fast Company. “It’s actually going to make construction on Earth even faster, even cheaper.”
Fashion brand Kilomet109, headquartered in Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi, is reviving the country’s textile traditions with each piece in its men’s
In the design world, Instagramable interiors get all the fanfare—but true aesthetes know that tactility is key to lastinIndustrial Facility, the London design studio co-founded by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin, created its Collection Objects product line, released this fall by Italian furniture company Mattiazzi, it went full throttle on the literal feel of things. “It suJulie Richoz, a stackable beechwood bottle rack by Max Frommeld, and a shallow box by Julien Renault that, at first glance, looks like an unassuming stack of two lumber slabs. The designs are “respectful of the material,
“Many people think play is just for children,” says London-based designer Michelle Rinow. “But it’s necessary through alTransforming Touch, a series of knitted lights that encourage users of every age to engage in a bout of old-fashioned fun. Rinow cleverly
Wonder Valley’s hinoki body oil—a cult favorite among beauty and wellness bloggers—is formulated around a simple moisturizer that’s been embraced by va
There are roughly 2,000 species of cacti found around the world. The speciality plant store Hot Cactus, run by a collective of creatives in Los Angeles, stocks some of the rarest breeds online and at its shoebox brick-and-Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia), is made expressly with the elongated napiform root of peyote in mind. For $70, you can nab one of Morris’s Peyote Pot grow kits: Each comes with four seeds so you can germinate your own Lophophora fricii, a cactus species that’s native to Mexico and commonly referred to as “false peyote.” That is—sorry to disappoint you—n
By now, it’s a well-known fact that the multi-trillion-dollar fashion and apparel industry ranks as a top polluter world10 percent of annual global carbon emissions. It is also the third-largest consumer of the planet’s water supply—exceeded only by the oil and paper industries—and is set to double its consumption rate by 2030. Much of this water is Living Colour, the duo experiment with pigment-producing bacteria as a sustainable alternative to artificial textile dyes, which are Design to Fade, the very first bacterial-dyed sportswear collection. “We see it as a collaboration with the organism,” Luchtman says,
Japanese culture is known worldwide for its meticulous approach to hospitality—and, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, thTokyo Toilet project invited 16 world-class designers to rethink this humble, often overlooked, piece of public infrastructure.
Abby Bangser, founder and curator of the art and design fair Object & Thing, shook up the New York scene last spring with a refreshing debut that freely mixed online commerce with curated, exhibi
Toilet paper, like so many everyday items, has become a political point of contention in this maelstrom of a year, one t$31 billion tissue-paper industry in North America, as designers Benjamin Critton and Heidi Korsavong, co-directors of the Los Angeles art and design galMarta, point out. And with their latest installation, “Under/Over,” on view through Nov. 1, they’re addressing this dark underlayer of the Big T.P. industry with a group show examining thPlant Paper (which makes toxin- and tree-free toilet paper using only fast-growing, FSC-certified bamboo), Critton and Korsavong in
When New York Fashion Week announced its anemic lineup for this month’s showings, the writing on the wall was as plain aEp. 69 of At a Distance, the fashion and apparel industry is a known top contributor to environmental pollution worldwide—and, as it grapples w
To an industrial designer, plastics and metals are typically a native language while natural materials are a foreign tonBradley Bowers didn’t touch them until graduate school, at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and discovered an approach to manipHalo, debuted this past spring. Bowers’s flair for transformation shines through each fixture, where sheets of cotton paper,
Getting a full-body exfoliating treatment is an experience, to say the least—one that will leave you feeling silky smootGoshi towel, made in Gunma, a prefecture of Japan touted for its textile and silk manufacturing, is no mere loofah. Woven wit
Finding a new exercise routine that provides total-body training can be a challenge, especially as we spend more time inWaterRower rowing machine, designed in 1987 by John Duke and carried exclusively by the MoMA Design Store, is built around a patented fly wheel tthe high-tech Hydrow.)
We’re living at work, working at home, and, on good days, working out somewhere between, in the same space every day. ItSupernatural, offers precisely that in the form of a VR exercise class. The next-level experience offers a range of cardio, upper-bo
From textiles to fashion to research and installation art, creative endeavors often take on varying forms for the VenezuFragmentario, in 2016, after stints studying industrial engineering and working as a fashion designer. Here, she tells us about her
Bicycling has seen a welcome boom in recent months, as the pandemic has made restless city dwellers wary of both public transportation and gyms, and in nAngell, designed by Ora-Ïto and currently available for pre-order, may be the most stylish and affordable e-bike option we’ve inflatable prototype) can tend to look a bit goofy, the Mate City eBike combines performance and style for the more serious cyclist seeking a longer-term investment. The Danish company also pthis high-performance model with fashion brand Moncler). If neither space nor budget are an issue, look to the Dutch bike-maker VanMoof’s S3, a top-of-the-line offering that boasts a near-silent electric mechanism and a distinctive frame that conceals the batt
A skilled gardener or houseplant parent is never without a good pair of quality shears. In addition to removing damaged Felco shears have remained virtually unchanged for decades, and for good reason: They get the job done, and are a worthwhile additiothese elegant Japanese gardening tools from the Beijing- and Hangzhou-based Fnji Furniture, made with solid-cast zinc-aluminum alloy that will accrue a pleasi
People have been bemoaning the decline of penmanship since the earliest days of typewriters, the once-newfangled, speedynote card and stationery sets from the Canadian startup Maurèle add an artful, personal touch to the analog communiqué, with a range of customizable designs and distinctive typefaces
Self-care is always a good idea—and given the anxieties and uncertainties of living in a pandemic, a crucial way to mainsake soaks by Basin take your home-bathing ritual to the next level. The bottled concoctions, made from Japanese sake and a blend of all-na
Anxiety and stress can take a serious toll on your health—and your skin. This may, in part, explain why the wellness worgua sha, a traditional Chinese medicinal technique for relaxing and relieving tension to aid in myofascial release. The method gua sha facials have garnered a particularly fervent following in recent years. You may have noticed, if you pay attention to tgua sha tools: small, handheld stone instruments that come in a number of shapes and contours, designed to smooth and scrape ovBrooklyn-based holistic healing studio Lanshin carries some of the best, carved from materials including rose quartz, jade, and nephrite. Founder Sandra Lanshin Chiu,online tutorials to get you started on your new favorite facial workout. Think of the small spatula- and spoon-like implements as doing