FORM Magazine – April 2023
English | 86 pages | pdf | 55.75 MB
The word alchemy comes from the Arabic word al-kimiya, whose original meaning roughly translates to melt or cast a metal. In a figurative sense, it means to turn simple materials into gold, a pseudoscience that flouris hed in the Middle Ages and also kept the writer August Strindberg occupied in the years around the turn of the last century.
It is, as we know today, impossible. But within art, crafts and design, it is a highly realistic ambition. Creating something valuable from something simple is in fact a very fitting definition of artistic professions.
We also know today that it is an absolute necessity. Instead of robbing the earth of its finite resources, we need to reuse and refurbish our existing furniture and belongings.
For the design industry, this is an urgent issue, which is often answered with more or less masked attempts at greenwashing. This tendency is especially evident at the big fairs, and we need to keep a close and critical eye on it.
However, on a smaller scale, for individual designers and design collectives, it is more of a rule than an exception to recycle used products, rubbish and waste.
In this issue of Form, Carolina Soderholm interviews some pioneers in the field who transform everything from scrapped electric scooters to waste bits of Italian marble into new products.
Elin Seittu also visits young designer Gustav Winsth, who broke through with a shoe shelf he made by melting and reusing rubber granules.
Even if many of these projects are small and local, they do point the way to a more sustainable future for which the big producers should also take responsibility. The urgency is real.
But of course we must also find room for joy and optimism in the design world. In this issue of Form, you will find an essay by yours truly about the role of humour in design.
And with that I conclude that tongue-in-cheek will have more success than knee-slapping flatulence humour. Do you agree?