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  • Foto van schrijverJanneke de Haas

SEVEN ON THE SUNDAY

All the Information You'll Need on this Sunday.


A curation that shines her light on seven objects, concepts, questions, atmospheres or perspectives to instantly spark your creativity and bring good vibes into upcoming week. The seven of this Sunday? Seven sustainable designers to prove sustainability can be sexy as hell.


No. 1 - Dirk van der Kooij

The Dutch designer obviously tops this list.


Once upon a time in 2009, Dirk van der Kooij took a leap of faith and founded his studio pondering a very important question: can plastic be honest and durable?

It may seem like a straightforward query, but he decided to put it to the test.


And boy, did he ever! Using six pizza ovens welded together (yum), he proved that plastic can indeed be a superstar material. Behold, the Elephant Skin series was born. By recycling plastic and allowing it to cool outside of a mould, it wrinkled and contracted, creating a magical and tactile experience. It was as if the plastic had come to life and found its true identity.


Now, Dirk's studio brings out the best in plastic and shows us that there's beauty in unexpected places. The Elephant Skin collection was just the beginning of a wild ride. The studio found treasure in unexpected spots like old CDs, couches, and even sickly wood. It's the romance with unlikely materials that give the Kooij collection the function, texture and quirky charm.



 


Justyna Poplawska is a creative wizard who loves exploring the wonders of glass. She makes furniture and objects that blur the line between painting, sculpture, and design. Her secret? She's developed her very own material made from recycled glass, bioresin, and pigments. The colorful glass is collected from local artists and small factories, then pulverized into different sizes. This creates a stunning speckled effect against a pigmented background. Each piece is made by hand and is totally unique.


This sculptural lamp was her contribution to the latest Biennale of Craft & Design Denmark.


Check out more work: Justyna Poplawska.


 

No. 3 - Mike Ruiz-Serra


Meet Mike Ruiz-Serra, a young industrial design prodigy. His Pulp collection is all the rage in New York's design scene, and for good reason! Mike's secret ingredient? Paper pulp!


This non-toxic material is pulverized and molded into unique shapes. The flat surfaces are built on OSB, while parts with compound curvature are made over inflatable molds. Once the pulp dries, it's structurally similar to fiberglass but sands like wood. Starting with paper pulp reinforced plaster, the PULP collection has blossomed into a lineup of cool furniture pieces made with cast plaster and stone composite.


Mike's prototypes are dyed with natural colors like indigo, coffee stain, and India ink. He's even got a cherry-red polka-dot table that would make Kusama proud. Mike's talents extend beyond the realm of design; he's also a sustainability advocate. He believes that we need to stop chasing modern refinement and embrace sustainable production. Words of wisdom from a rising star.


Check out more work: Mike Ruiz-Serra


 

No. 4 - Jule Cats


Jule Cats is a Rotterdam-based artist who's fascinated by materials and the tales they hold, and her work is all about uncovering their beauty and emotional value. Layering is key to her art, as she builds intricate designs that provoke a sense of wonder and curiosity.


Her latest series, Flow, is a perfect example. Made from recycled mirrors, natural minerals, and acrylic resin, these vibrant pieces reflect the many memories that have come before and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.


Don't you just love having a table mirror that's framed in a way that makes you feel like you're starring in a Renaissance painting draped in luxurious fabric? Well I do.

Check out more work: Jule Cats & Rademakers Gallery


 

No. 5 - Charlotte Kidger


Charlotte Kidger, a London-based designer, transforms polyurethane foam dust into stylish tables, stools, and vessels in cool hues. Typically, the foam dust is either burned or dumped since it can't be recycled, but Kidger repurposes it into a durable and versatile composite material made of 70% waste foam dust and 30% resin. She hopes her innovative use of industrial waste will encourage others to value and repurpose waste. Waste never looked this good. The material can be formed into a variety of three-dimensional shapes, and each outcome is one-of-a-kind due to the manufacturing process.

These funky characteristics increase the worth of her creations by mixing the boundary between traditional crafting and industrial production.


Check out more work: Charlotte Kidger.

 

No. 6 - Sophie Rowley


Sophie Rowley has a thing for discarded denim offcuts. The New Zealand-born designer takes these unwanted scraps and turns them into cool furniture that looks like it was made from marble! Her material development project, called Bahia Denim, involves layering post-consumer denim offcuts and bonding them with resin to create a durable and versatile material.


Denimlicious.


The resulting furniture is playful and one-of-a-kind, with variations in size, color, and texture. Rowley's inspiration came from the construction of sedimentary rocks, and she wanted to show that waste materials can be transformed into something valuable and beautiful. Bahia Denim can be used in a variety of ways, including as furniture, wall panelling, or on interior surfaces.


Check out more work: Sophie Rowley.

 

No. 7 - Fernando Laposse


Fernando Laposse is a talented product designer who turns everyday natural materials into stylish design pieces. He's basically a magician with sisal, loofah, and corn leaves! He's not just a talented artist, though - his work tells a story. He's all about endemic design, which means creating objects that are tied to their cultural roots. Fernando even works with indigenous communities in Mexico to help create local jobs and bring attention to important issues like sustainability, biodiversity loss, and global trade. Oh, and he also made a furry chair out of agave fiber that's super comfy. Because who says design can't be cozy?


Check out more work: Fernando Laposse & Friedman Benda.



 

Now You Know. Eco-Friendliness Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Style At All.

In fact, sustainable design is all about creating beautiful and functional products that are environmentally responsible. From upcycling old materials to using renewable resources, sustainable designers are constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation. These eco-warriors are leading the charge towards a brighter, greener future for our planet. Don't blink, folks, because these trailblazers are changing the game of sustainability as we know it. Keep your eyes out for these visionaries.


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