It is estimated that by 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in dense, urban areas. As a reaction, designers and students are exploring the problems of, and solutions to, urban living as well as re-introducing daily products with a sense of new-found luxury.
Milk Lab, Designers Re-invent Milk
With milk being in the spotlight following the expiry of the EU-enforced quota on production, as an attempt to re-invent milk as a luxury commodity, 10 designers including Sebastien Bergne, Marti Guixé and Sismo along with students from two of France’s most prestigious design schools are exploring new ways to consume and use milk.
Dairy farmers in the UK alone produce more than 13bn litres of milk each year, yet the ways in which milk is consumed and produced is not without controversy. UK farmers are paid around 27p for a liter of milk, but the average cost of production is just over 30p. Milk, and the design potential around it, is the focus of this new exhibition.
The exhibition showcases new containers, flavor pairings, recipes and venues, and looks at milk as a material, exploring water-soluble polymers and using milk in a new type of natural ink. ‘Most of the proposals bear witness to contemporary concerns: sustainable development, land conservation and reconnecting the urban with the agricultural,’ says designer Sebastien Bergne, whose project Hot Milk Lab is featured.
The Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience
Another example is “The Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience”in London. Part greenhouse, part pneumatic bubble, the Spa is a restorative space for people and plants. Visitors can explore a living library of plants and herbs before entering a hermetically sealed chamber at the rear. Inside, agricultural-grade fog machines will dispense a fine medicinal mist infused with essences from natural fragrance and skincare brand Haeckels.
‘We’re running different sessions in the day that look at how this fog can energise and calm, and really appeal to the senses,’ explains Wingfield. ‘We’re looking at different types of nutrients and minerals that you can put into the fog, and exploring how these different essences enter the skin.’
The installation represents a public engagement initiative concerning the future of water, whose shortage impacts all of us.
Luscious Food Craving
Now that food has become the muse to so many product designers and artists, we are starting to see more and more attempts at reinventing how we eat. Luscious Food Craving’s porcelain set of dishes is intended to redefine how food is presented and eaten, ultimately adding visual appeal and increased value to the experience. The various angular ceramic objects and mirrors challenge tableware standards, and in their words is a, “multidisciplinary experience design that considers food and eating.”
Photo by Masha Bakker