15 December 2011
by Evonne Mackenzie
Many different words are used to describe and sell planet-conscious ideas but ‘sexy’, ‘aspirational’, ‘abundance’ and ‘high-tech’ are not traditionally among them. This new touring exhibition of design projects curated by Henrietta Thompson, aims to show that not only can these words mean sustainable but that for a new guard of designers - they already do.
The exhibition showcases contemporary design that pioneers sustainable values - technologies and techniques that promise to change our environment for the better, but without preaching or shouting about their green credentials. These are intelligent designs that aim to improve daily life and our relationship with the environment rather than compromise it.
Featured Projects include Wind Power Limited's Aerogenerator X wind turbine which had significant engineering input from two British research establishments whose roots go back to the development of the jet engine. With a design embodied by Grimshaw Architects this vertical axis turbine which draws inspiration from the spiraling motion of a sycamore seed.
Markus Kayser’s Solar Sinter takes the process of 3D printing to the desert, to exploit two abundant resources - the sun’s rays and sand.
Julia Lohmann’s Laminarium research develops the use of seaweed as a natural alternative to man-made plastics and endangered woods.
Bethan Laura Wood’s Stain set of teacups are designed to improve through use. Addressing the assumption that use is damaging to a product (for example, scratches on an iPod). Instead here the more the cups are used, the more they build up a unique pattern in response to the individual use.
The exhibition will open at the Thailand Creativity and Design Centre in Bangkok on the 8 February 2012 and will be exhibited alongside a selection of Thai design projects curated by Nutinee Karnchanaporn which reflect a similar ethos.