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If the stakes in play were not all important, “sustainable development”, “ecological design” and “respect for the environment” might easily pass for catchphrases. As is always the case when crises arise, some creators jump on the bandwagon without really knowing what is happening, and their lack of discernment often turns serious reality into caricature.
Seeking to bring levity to the subject, the Growing Materials exhibition opening in January 2008 at the VIA in Paris, demonstrates new possibilities for using renewable materials such as timber, multiplies and composite fibres from vegetable origins. The exhibition emphasises sublime applications for timber that have emerged, begging the conventionally perceived extremes of fine finish for period pieces or industrial milling and processing for mass production.
Pieces on display include biodegradable plates and bowls pressed from wasted vegetables, fruit, tea and coffee; the ecopod coffin made from 100 percent recycled paper; tables made from lasercut sustainable bamboo; floorlamps made entirely from paper, and a bentwood chaise longue made from locally sourced British oak.