The furnishings industry is rife for a rethink. Here, three companies finding innovative ways to put social responsibility at the fore.
Magali Avezou and François Maugin, founders of French creative studio La Succulente, describe themselves as “curators and engineers,” Avezou says. The duo champions work by emerging artists “who are researching questions of durability, diversity and migration, and translating that research into aesthetic, tangible forms,” she continues. A recent collaboration with artist Côme Di Meglio explored mycelium, the root–like structure of fungi, which was used as a living architectural material to build a domed pavilion at Milan Design Week last year. “A physical experience that calls on our senses may have a higher impact on our psyche and understanding of a topic,” Avezou notes. la–succulente.com
“It’s time to make pieces that create radical change,” says Philip Raub, CEO of furniture manufacturer Model No. Following the farm–to–table concept, the Oakland–based company is focuses on domestic, hyper local sourcing and production. “Our approach is intentional, of a compostable nature,” Raub explains, noting their use of reclaimed woods from a supplier just outside the city and 3D–printed designs featuring a plant resin produced from agricultural waste. Model No.’s product line is wide ranging, in addition to custom projects with architects and designers looking for an alternative to traditional methodology. “Our model is set up to move quickly—we don’t keep stock; we’re made to order which also minimizes our carbon footprint.” model-no.com
Third–generation textile maker Kathryn Sanders is revolutionizing digital printing from her Missoula, Montana, studio. “Whatever idea you have about digital printing will vanish when our textiles are in your hands,” she says. Sanders has reimagined performance fabrics—utilizing water–based non–toxic inks and techniques requiring less electricity—to balance art with durability. “If used correctly, digital textile printing can be as powerful a tool as the loom,” adds Chief Creative Officer Leana Becker, who is overseeing a new bespoke program for interior designers. The studio works with local and national artists (especially those from underrepresented communities) as well as established brands like Philomela to bring unique designs to life. “We have unlimited colors and the ability to change scale at the touch of a button, plus digital printing is the most sustainable way to print textiles today,” Sanders explains. westernsensibility.com