E Floor

Jan 09 - 2020

Sustainable materials and products – masses of them out there apparently, but how do we properly assess exactly how sustainable anything is? There are various schemes, labels and means of accreditation, great variation between and within countries, huge scope for monetising the sustainability industry and the larger the organisation the more obscure the details.

One way of negotiating this minefield is to seek out smaller businesses who produce one or only a few things. For example Foresso who have a single product, a timber terrazzo sheet material made from timber and plaster waste and 0% VOC resin cast onto an 18mm birch plywood substrate. Locally sourced, using 85% recycled material and aiming for 100% asap by developing a resin-free binder, the finished product is inherently durable and can be returned and ground down to start again at the end of its use.

Perhaps because this is a relatively small business, or maybe because they are highly skilled and totally committed, Foresso have clear sight over their whole operation and make all decisions based on environmental consideration.

A beautiful material, with clearly described sustainable credentials.

 

Foresso timber terrazzo

Dalston kitchen flooring

Azure Mono / British Oak in a pale blue binder

Ivory Duo / British Walnut and Cedar of Lebanon

 

 



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Foresso kitchen floor Foresso Ivory Foresso Azure

How To Live It

Apr 21 - 2019

Paul Smith in the FT How to Spend It magazine, dedicated as suggested to outrageous consumption, advises contrarily exactly how not to:

“Many people commission interior designers and have beautiful houses, but they often lack a strong personal connection to the owner. Another way of doing it is to build up your interior over time, by buying pieces when you travel or spontaneously when you see them. To me, home is made up of all those things you've collected in life.”

This makes me wonder if living the throwaway-life is a generational and possibly short-lived thing. Growing up in the 60’s we not only did we not have any money, there was nothing to buy anyway. Hard to imagine – no on-line, takeaways, gadgets, Ikea, cheap flights, instead a lot of charity shopping, making and cooking, writing letters.

Will kids revert in the wake of climate emergency, social inequality and instant-access boredom?

 Paul Smith



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Paul Smith FT quote

24 hours in Milan

Mar 27 - 2019

Broken Nature Design Takes on Human Survival

Alice Rawsthorn wrote about Paola Antonelli and this exhibition in Wallpaper and in her series of Instagram posts on women in design, which led me to visit this vast, staggeringly beautiful, revealing and even hopeful exhibition.

Humans and the natural world: what have we done, what are we doing, and is there such a things as restorative design? Too much to see and take in in one visit, I'm working through the catalogue.

One example, a housing project by Chilean architects Elemental where limited resources are used to design and build half a good house, for completion as and when by the resident. Incremental design, shifting prejudices and addressing social inequality.

XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di MilanoMarch–September 2019 



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Elemental Chile Broken Nature Broken Nature poster

Quiet & Brave

Sep 07 - 2018

A peaceful few days by the sea near Girona in a hotel hiding a green ethos behind its high-design walls – the first hotel in Europe to receive LEED certification. With the benefit of a perfect centre-bay site, surrounded by pines, the original 1907 building and new additions are connected and wrapped by dry-planting and vegetable gardens. What you see is an age-old sympathetic fabric of plaster, stone, corten, cement tile and natural fibres, behind which are the less visible but vital systems to allow tourism to co-exist with environmental respect: water management and recycling, herbs and veg grown organically on site or close by, kitchen waste composting, PVC and formaldehyde-free materials, natural ventilation and solar panels. A thoroughly local experience, and an example of how to design well in and for all senses.

If visiting don't miss Mar d'Empuries Beach Bar practically in the sea, drinks & music, treading lightly.

Spotted: Marset Jaima lamps.

 

Hostal Spa Empuries

L'Escala, Costa Brava

Design Francesco Ranocchi

In collaboration with Eco Intelligent Growth

LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design



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H Empuries 2 H Empuries 7 H Empuries 5 H Empuries 9 H Empuries 4 H Empuries 3