circular by design: really taps 8 designers to meddle with materials during milan design week

circular by design: really taps 8 designers to meddle with materials during milan design week

really is a new company co-owned by kvadrat that upcycles textiles to create materials that challenge the design and architecture industries. for their first exhibition during milan design week last year, max lamb and christien meindertsma participated with textiles. for this year’s edition, really invited eight designers — raw edges, front, benjamin hubert/ layer, christien meindertsma, jo nagasaka, claesson koivisto rune and jonathan olivares — to demonstrate the potential of solid textile board and acoustic textile felt for use in furniture and interiors in an exhibtion titled circular by design.


all images courtesy of really



curated by jane withers and njusja de gier, the exhibition ‘circular by design’ at via palermo 1, shows how all of the designers have taken a very different approach to working with these new materials. seeking a balance between the real and the intangible, the designers have demonstrated the characteristics and possibilities of really’s material, while also highlighting the value of waste as a possible resource.




as well as providing compelling furnishing solutions, these pieces also quietly resonate as emblems of the complexity of our times and changing understandings of waste and environmental impact,’ curator jane withers says. ‘the intention behind these really projects is to show how beautiful things can be made out of the massive global problem of textile waste, and also to foreground the shift in perception, processes and logistics needed as we grapple with the issues of waste and begin the transition from a linear to a circular economy.’




‘a year ago, we launched really, an initiative arising from the pressing issue of textile waste,’ anders byriel, CEO of kvadrat explains.‘the reception has been way beyond our expectations, and we have been heartened by the design industry’s enthusiasm for a material that is made from end-of-life textiles and designed for a circular future. in our second series of commissions, it is exciting to see how notable designers are applying Really’s rst materials to furniture and interiors and also engaging with the narrative and challenges of a circular economy, and the urgent need to design out waste.’

jo nagasaka’s ‘colour studies’ focuses on the surface of solid textile board and the designer’s exploration of the different character of each board. taking a simple geometric chair as a canvas for his experiments, nagasaka uses experimental processes such as colouring, sanding, brushing and bleaching to create surface finishes to express the character of each board the four boards.



jonathan olivares’ ‘solid textile screen’ continues the sequence of spatial partitions by alvar aalto (screen 100, 1935) and charles and ray eames (plywood folding acreen, 1946). made from panels of solid textile board it is joined with zipped textile hinges that allow the screen to be extended and shaped into different positions.




front’s, ‘textile cupboard’ is a wavy sculptural form inspired by the designers’ wish to express solid textile board’s textile origins and create the illusion of soft, owing fabric. the cabinet’s oating form references the drape of a curtain or the way a cloth hangs over a table, giving form to the object beneath but also disguising it.



benjamin hubert from LAYER’s ‘shift’ is a modular, flexible display and storage system for retail use. in its ‘still’ position, shift is a at acoustic wall panel from which elements fold open to serve as display shelves and storage. without screws or bolts, kerfs cut into the shelves allow them to unfurl like a textile and brackets swing out to support these horizontal surfaces.



christien meindertsma’s acoustic fur is composed of strings of acoustic felt of varied lengths that can be stuck to magnetic wallpaper allowing the user to easily create free-form compositions. as the hanging grows in density, its acoustic effect increases. once the magnets are removed, the strings can be shredded into really granulate and reimagined as new products. other participating designers include claesson koivisto rune’s ‘bibliothèque’, a freestanding shelving system constructed using slender rigid sheets of really solid textile board to give it a sharp geometry.


the exhibition can be seen during milan design week at via palermo 1, brera design district.

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