Every year we go look for the latest in sustainable design. Every year the post gets shorter.
Design shows aren't what they used to be; the Internet ate them. The Interior Design Show in Toronto is Canada's biggest, and I have been covering it for years, looking for all the newest in sustainable, green design. Alas, sustainable design is not what it used to be either; everyone says they are doing it but it's really hard to tell. I did like the design of the pop-up "milk stand" that Design Milk did. This was so simple: just cardboard boxes, all of which can be folded flat and reused.
We create contemporary objects and pieces of furniture that are multifunctional or modular because we believe that this extends their useful life and therefore avoids (on a small scale) waste, over-consumption and over-furnishing homes. Our work is therefore part of a sustainable design approach more so as all our objects are locally made. We design our objects to be funny with unusual shapes and we make sure they can fit well in any room. Because they often serve several purposes, in different parts of the house, they fit perfectly in small spaces.
I usually find the most interesting stuff in the Studio North section, where young and new designers can be found. Cody James Norman uses a giant industrial glue gun to squirt out plastic into different forms, like this bowl made from your usual household recycling.
Most of his work is made from plastic he gets from industrial recyclers.
Cody Norman’s work examines the relationship between art, design, and craft using digital fabrication alongside traditional, analog methods of production. He creates objects that incite conversation about materiality and process. His work explores perceptions of automation and human capital through the use of industrial robots, 3-D printing, and handheld extrusion tools. Cody is currently pursuing an MFA in 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
But he is at the IDS with his very interesting sofa design for small spaces. It flatpacks down to a small box and has thin arms and back to not take up nearly as much space as your usual sofa with cushions this size. It also is wired for storage and charging of your phone and even has built-in lighting.
Edible Futures hit all the sustainable and green buttons, but it deserves its own post.