Water Fountain and Personal Fresh Air. Images by Design Academy Eindhoven
One of the shows that stood out this year at the Milan Furniture Fair was the Design Academy Eindhoven's Question exhibition at the up and coming district Ventura Lambrate. With all this excess of design and the various crisis going on (environmental, social, economic,...), it is nice to see that one group sat down and asked questions about the role of design. And they encouraged visitors to ask questions too as can you on their web site. Here a few of their questions and answers we liked particularly; beautiful water coolers, air filtering office desks, and recipients with human measures...How can a water cooler be sustainable?
We love how this beautiful water cooler works- it's surprising and much more pleasant than most plastic water fountains you find in offices. Designer Lizanne Dirk created this earthenware to get people to drink tap water and ditch the plastic bottles. This fountain, which keeps tap water cool without using electricity, gives tap water a special place at home or in the office; a place to meet. Sure enough plenty of people were gathered around the drinking fountain to admire its aesthetics, and to try the custom-made glasses and carafe with rubber valves will fill automatically when placed on the nipples, filling the glasses form the bottom up.
Can we purify toxic air with plants?
There was definitely a trend of plant-growing furniture at the Salone this year, and Personal Fresh Air by Julio Radesca de Carvalho fits right in. Since offices often suffer from bad air quality, the designer wanted to find a simple way to improve the indoor air quality, so what better than add plants? Radesca did the maths: twelve house plants per person would be enough to filter the air indoors. A dozen of three very ordinary species - the areca palm, the sansevieria and the epipremnun aureum - can keep us alive even in a completely closed space. The result: a slick office desk with a hydroponics system to fit twelve plants that are easy to maintain. Plus you can hide behind them from your boss!
Human Measure and Fragment of Nature. Images by Design Academy Eindhoven
How can our measurements connect to the resources we use?
We like a lot of the stuff we see at Milan, but we are still using up resources way faster than we should. Designer Digna Kosse tackles the fact that our consumerism has grown out of proportion by visualising an exact human measure. Using water, she has determined the volume of her own body parts and taken this as a measure for a series of 25 bowls. The largest bowl shows the volume of her torso, the smallest one represents her little toe. If you were to fill each bowl with food, you would be eating an entire body.
How can furniture be reproducible yet retain its connection to nature?
A series of gorgeous wooden furniture by designer Lex Pott called Fragments of Nature, surprises with little details where you can still identify the original tree trunk the pieces were made from.
Visit the Design Academy's web site to see more answers to questions such as whether design can play a role in the communication between different cultures in the urban space (by Gionata Gatto, see his Bike-powered Lamp), how to honour our tears by Roos Kuipers, how traditions relate to culture (by FormaFantasma, also see Autarchy) or the amazing family tree by Guy Königstein. ::Design Academy NL
More from the Milan Furniture Fair 2010
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Live Bio-resin Performance by Breaded Escalope (Video)
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Saved by Droog (Part II)
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Bike-Powered Lamp by Gionata Gatto
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: The Green Preview (Slideshow)
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Autarchy by Studio Formafantasma
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Plants that are Lamps, Lamps that are Plants
Milan 2010 Furniture Fair Preview: Saved by Droog
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Indestructible Umbrella? Senz Uses Extreme Sports to Find Out (Video)
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Japanese Designer Grows Chandelier Out Of Crystal
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Super Posh (and Pricey) Green Furnishings by Moroso
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Tomato-Powered Light? Wild Light Innovations by D-vision Students
Milan Furniture Fair 2010: Cookie Jar Encourages Healthy Eating