This past week marked the annual London Design Festival, a weeklong celebration that promotes London as the design capital of the design world and gateway to the international creative community. The festival highlights site-specific installations that showcase the top contemporary designs of our time. Some of our favorite sustainable design displays are:
- Studio Swine’s Hair Highway speculates on future sustainable materials. As population growth explodes and natural resources diminish, human hair could become an increasingly viable alternative. The hair used in Hair Highway is sealed within bio-resin to create surfaces that evoke rare and endangered materials such as horn and tropical hardwoods.
- The Rise of the Plasticsmith: Imagine it’s 2052, all the oil’s gone, or we’ve sensibly decided to leave fossil fuels in the ground to avoid climate meltdown. Designer Gangjian Cui looks to his hometown Daqing in Northern China, currently a large hub for plastic manufacturing, and its possible post-industrial fossil-fuel-free future. He suggests how new skills will have to be developed for working with this now rare material, and has produced some pieces of furniture using a hand-operated extrusion machine.
- Unknown Fields Division spent time at China’s rare earth mines to study the impact of our lust for electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and even green technologies like solar panels. They condensed their observations into a fascinating augmented-reality-style video and three ceramic pots that represent the amount of waste produced in the manufacturing process of a smartphone, a laptop, and a smart car battery.
Read more about London Design Week at Inhabitat.
Image courtesy of Gangjian Cui