This year marked the 52nd edition of Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, or Milan Design Week. The event showcases some of the most innovative and eye-catching home designs on the market, from LED lighting to hybrid furniture. However, April is also the "green month," which means thirty days of environmental awareness. Aside from the expected brilliancies, this year's event event also included incredible strides in earth-friendly design. Take a look below for a few of the eco-minded creations that showed up at this year’s design extravaganza.
Photo Courtesy of Nicola Dalla Costa
The love child of the design group, Slowd and designer Nicola Dalla Costa, the collaboration represents a group devotion to creating sustainable, manufactured products. Slowd craftsman teamed up Costa to design a line of wooden stools and tables held together by suspension rope. Slowd will also be debuting the first diffused furniture factory this summer, which hopes to keep prices low by removing designer royalties and communication costs. Their goal is to also bring passion back into the creation of furniture and remove the "commercial" aspect of manufacture.
Photo Courtesy of Think in Cycles
While this is still a concept, Think in Cycles, an Italian design company whose mantra is “the cycle of life,” debuted their idea with a 3D projection of a chair. In true eco-fashion, the company will wait to produce the design until they have 1000 units sold, saving time and materials. Once produced, the chair will be created from a corn product called opla. The company says that corn is “the cornerstone of human life and brings to mind the ancestral way of life.” In keeping with the ideology, the chair will have a lifecycle of three months, after which it becomes completely biodegradable.
Photo Courtesy of Booo
Dutch company Booo, based out of Eindhoven, has a mission to replace the world’s bulbs with LED lights. They work with a range of well-known innovators to create energy efficient and artistically crafted bulbs, such as the one by designers Formafantasma that was shown at the 2013 Milan Design Week. The bulb was made to look like the joining of two leaves and functions as both a light and shade in one.
Photo Courtesy of Jannis Huelsen
Biodegradable Bacteria Seat Cover
Forget factories or design studios, what if you could grow your furniture? Designer Jannis Hulsen used a form of cellulose bacteria to grow covers for wooden stools. The result is a soft, biodegradable cushion that feels a lot like leather. The bacterial concoction was given the name Xylinum and seems more science project than creative endeavor. First taking a liquid form, this cellulose “skin” hardens and even has the capacity to have its characteristics altered by rearranging the genetics of the bacteria’s organisms (no big deal).
Photo Courtesy of Leonardo Talarico
Just when you thought tofu was only for fueling the granola crowd, designer Leonardo Talarico dehydrated a bunch, shocked it with some heat and made a chair. Italian-born, Talarico has collaborated with some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Mercedes-Benz, and has won several awards for his work. So, when he’s not working on the flashy, high modern design pieces for cushy office spaces, Talarico is finding ways to create furniture from food (in case any type of apocalypse is still impending), which seems to be the very essence of the green movement.