During the LOLA show, I learned many interesting facts about industrial ecology, biophilic design and biomimicry within the student presentations.
My absolute favorite presentation was on Stickwood which is an ultra thin wood paneling product that you can peel off and stick to a wall for a decorative effect. The presentation touched on nature centered design that was defined as design that is centered on and from nature, looking at elements and things that we can substitute. Normally, it is very harming for the environment to have wood paneling that is super thick and uses harmful chemicals in the adhesive. I found it very interesting that the adhesive was a natural adhesive made from honeycomb.
Another interesting presentation was on reducing waste of the leather industry and alternative leather sources. I learned about how much leather is wasted because it doesn’t have a rectangular form, it is an organic shape, so pieces are wasted since it is more difficult to place cuts for apparel. A solution is Bionic Leather which is much more sustainable, natural, but cultured in a lab to grow leather instead of harvesting it from animals. Modern Meadow is a company that grows the leather, and other options for leather is that it can be made from food, such as pineapple leaves!
Another interesting presentation was the Speedo swimsuit that uses technology from sharks. Dermal denticles on sharks are like scales on different sizes to assist their movement through the water. Speedo uses this for the swimsuits, which was so effective that the suits were banned from the Olympics! What an excellent example of mimicking nature!
The fourth LOLA show that I found most interesting was the presentation over the Interface “adhesive” called “Tactiles” for carpet tiles. The problem in the interior design industry is carpet waste and harmful adhesives. Interface Tactiles were designed specifically by elements from gecko feet, so that the tiles can be connected to create a floating floor, and then when removing the tiles from certain sides, they release from each other quite easily for simple replacement.
I enjoyed listening to Dr. Armstrong’s passion for what she believed in. She was not partially invested in sustainability, but has truly “embraced” the idea. I learned that it is very possible to minimize my closet size, but will need to spend some time analyzing exactly what elements I want to keep! And then, of course, find a sustainable way to repurpose or pass on my extra unwanted clothing.
The first TED principle I found interesting was using multiple materials for certain garments. This addresses sustainability by providing the greater opportunity to reduce waste. This could be designed into interiors to possible create a new trend, of furniture being made from many others! Another TED principle was reducing water and energy waste in textiles. This is an interesting topic because with interiors, there is a huge movement to create finishes on fabrics that are stain resistant, durable, etc. but there must be ways to go use more natural resources! Design for ethical production was the third principle I found interesting because there are so many things that we do not consider, and how our actions may be hurting others, and we may be inadvertently supporting unethical work environments. We must take a stand as designers to ensure the elements we are purchasing or using are being produced ethically!
Simply by being aware of the TED principles, designers can keep an eye out for unethical and unsustainable practices, and choose to make better decisions!