Photo courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer Photo courtesy of Atelier Boelhouwer ©JannekevanderPol

8 Dutch Design Visions for a Liveable Earth Featured

Design Week in Milan means the most exciting collection of international creativity.

by Angelina Hazzouri 10 April 2019

It's Design Week in Milan, and you know what that means. Critically-acclaimed designers from all over the world will be bringing their most impressive - and most exotic - designs and creativity to the city. Here's what we want you to keep an eye out for: Future (H)eart(H): 8 Dutch Design Visions for a Liveable Earth. With an 8-strong lineup and the latest developments on biotechnology in contemporary design, Future (H)eart(H), in partnership with the Embassy and the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Milan, is prepared to amaze you with unusual and alternative materials used for the intricate designs, such as leather made of fat, bones and blood-driven materials from the waste streams of slaughterhouses, hand-woven fabrics made using ostrich feather yarn, and construction materials made from manure... sound exotic yet? It is.

Pascale Theron Studio

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Hand-woven fabrics from feathered ostrich yarn bring you the elegance of high-end fashion with a soft, light feel. Currently, ostriches are slaughtered for their meat and leather, but this alternative use of the ostrich for its feathers means it could live for nearly 40 more years, providing feathers naturally every 6 months. Feathers and fashion with a sustainable flair? Yes please.

Atelier Boelhouwer

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Artificially-engineered flowers that keep flowering will pique your interest with their bright colors and realistic aura, but the reasoning behind them will intrigue you even more. Food for Buzz serves as an emergency food source for bees, bumblebees, hoverflies, butterflies and moths, keeping these creatures alive in our ecosystem. These man-made flowers have been engineered to continuously produce flowers and revive insect populations.

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Studio Nienke Hoogvliet


Rather than using a traditional urn, MOURN mixes cremation ashes and a bioplastic called PHA, created by bacteria that clean our wastewater. By mixing the ashes and the PHA, an urn can be made into a solid object instead of the traditional container. Since the bioplastic will degrade slowly, the ashes will release slowly, creating a more pleasant idea of an urn.

Shahar Livne

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Designer Shahar Livne developed a new take on leather, inspired by the construction and de-construction of living subjects in the food industry. Using fat, bones and blood-driven materials from the polluting waste streams in the Netherlands, this material adds a new life to something that would have been wasted. Sound crazy? Maybe. Sound stylish? We think so.

Studio Tinus

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Studio Tinus goes back to basics with "Manureality," a collection of products with a focus on alternative interior materials. Questioning alternative ways to use manure, the studio decided to use manure as a building material in construction. Studio Tinus proves that anything is possible in interior design. Anything.

Related article: Future Innovation: Up and Coming Designers

Kuang-Yi Ku

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Chinese medicine demands rare wild animal parts, forming a major threat to conservation of wildlife. Designer Kuang-Yi Ku brings non-western perspectives to speculative, audacious designs proposing the use of emerging biotechnologies to create artificial animal parts for Chinese medicine. 

Philipp Kolmann

Philipp Kolmann does the unthinkable using Body Culture to represent architectural objects that invite bacteria into coexistence with humans. Yes, you read that correctly, coexistence. Kolmann strived to design a space for bacteria to thrive within human perception, provoking a "conscious relationship," as the designer describes it, that allows bacteria to maintain their communities.

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Studio Klarenbeek & Dros with Krown and Atelier Luma

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This creative combination of designers brings you their latest exhibitions "Krown & Algae Lab." Krown uses the fungal wires of mushrooms that act as a natural glue, using this to create ecological and compostable products, while Algae Lab uses techniques to absorb carbon dioxide, enhancing social structures and local production. Together, this creates decorative pieces perfect for your coffee table.


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