Paper floor for temporary buildings, © Paprfloor
Young designers are increasingly addressing the worsening shortage of resources. They are reviving old craft techniques and using locally available raw materials. A special event area at interzum 2019 will demonstrate how a return to closed-loop material cycles could transform the world of design.
Scientists and other experts agree: we cannot continue to consume resources as we have been doing up until now. At our current levels of consumption, our way of life today probably cannot be sustained in coming generations. Young companies and designers are increasingly responding to this situation and addressing the threat of resource shortages. They are rethinking today’s material flows and recycling processes, and working to optimise the use and lifespan of resources. But instead of going down the high-tech route, they are reviving the almost forgotten knowledge of old craft techniques. For them, being aware of locally available plants and waste products is very important – this knowledge used to be handed down from generation to generation.
The special event area Disruptive Materials – Changing the Future at the upcoming interzum (21 to 24 May 2019) will be devoted to these materials and production methods. “The exhibition’s title draws on the term ‘disruptive technologies’,” explains Dr Sascha Peters. The renowned expert is curating the special event at the leading international trade fair together with his Berlin-based materials agency, Haute Innovation. “‘Disruptive technologies’ describes innovations that do more than merely bring about a shift in direction. They replace an existing system,” he says. The difference between disruptive materials and material innovations therefore lies primarily in the nature of the change that they produce. While innovations enable the further development of an existing market, the impact of disruptive technologies is much wider-reaching. For consumers, the effect of a disruptive change can usually only be felt after some time later. Just as the invention of LED lighting has gradually replaced the conventional light bulb, the materials on display in the special event area could have an immense impact on the design of furniture and interiors.
The Disruptive Materials Piazza will offer visitors at the forthcoming interzum insights into the large number of disruptive materials and technologies that are being developed and tested today. The exhibition is divided into four large themed areas. Alongside bio-based materials and natural growth processes, they will present solutions for improving product efficiency. The themed areas will also showcase digital materials and smart systems as well as production-related material innovations. The presentations will be accompanied by information on the materials’ characteristics, their applications and the product life cycles. The central focus will be on material flows, an aspect once overlooked entirely in mass production. The desire to create closed-loop material cycles is raising awareness of these developments, which could have a lasting influence on the world of interior design.