This is not a one-way street, beyond being a form of self-expression, our homes influence the way we feel in a constant symbiosis. One doesn't necessarily decorate their home according to how they are, they decorate it according to who they want to be.
In a world that's constantly changing, the way we want to feel changes along. An accumulation of crisis and growing complexity has fuelled the need for simpler places, cladded with low-maintenance materials that focus on our well-being. Serenity and calmness are key in all of this, resulting in plant-based materials that are eco-conscious, as a counter-reaction to what's happening all around us. Beyond being visually calming, these materials could also affect our physical well-being, through purifying and antibacterial properties.
When moving away from the land, into the sea's depths, we find Seaweed Fibre from Neptu. They are made from seagrass fibre balls - built up from the leaves of the Posidonia plant - that are flushed to the Mediterranean coast. The material has excellent natural properties such as poor flammability, high mould resistance and a moisture-balancing effect. Another deep-sea colleague is Intelligent Moss by Freund, a lichen plant with capped roots, which stops the plant from growing while remaining alive. Because of this, the plant purifies the air while being easy to handle, a versatile partner for any space that focusses on well-being.
Altogether, these materials form a material palette that has a positive influence on our well-being. They are an antidote to our busy and complex modern-day lives and exude the state of mind that we want to have. Beyond having a positive effect on humans, they are all leaving behind a neutral imprint on our environment, contributing to a positive holistic dynamic.
Exemplary is the Asparagus Composite from Anton Richter which, as the name suggests, is made up of leftover asparagus skin. These leftovers are dried, during which it turns into a brownish and durable material with wood-like properties. Despite its robustness, the material can be easily dissolved and returned to its natural state, making it completely biodegradable. Because of the material's natural adhesiveness, the process doesn't require a binder or glue and is made up of 100% asparagus. Another vegetable-based material is the Leek Composite from Maximilian Schatz. This compostable composite is made from leftover leek plants, which after the harvest are shortened at the upper part. These leftover materials are pressed and fibre moulded, ready to be used as environmentally friendly components.
The high-performing, lightweight, and low-cost biocomposite is made from carbon-negative flax fibres, which reinforce the material. It serves as a conscious alternative to synthetic materials such as plastics, glass-fibre composites, and even carbon fibre. Lastly, we find the Korteccia bark fleece from Life Materials which is based on a traditional Ugandan material produced with traditional craft techniques. Considered the predecessor of modern non-woven fabrics, Korteccia is made entirely from the bark of an East African fig tree, which regenerates very quickly with no damage left behind. As a mono-material, Korteccia contains no binders, dyes or other additives, making it 100% biodegradable.
Asparagus Composite - Anton Richter
Leek Composite - Maximilian Schatz
Korteccia Bark Fleece - Life Materials
Seaweed Fibre - Neptu
Intelligent Moss - Freund