LIVINGSCAPES

Trend research - Home: nature Re-created

Design harnesses the language of nature, re-interpreting the increasingly widespread desire to reconnect harmoniously with the environment and biological cycles. In urban contexts too, the domestic space is populated with small everyday objects that go back to our primeval roots and, by injecting new meaning into our habitual gestures, remind us of the beauty as well as the fragility of the terrestrial ecosystem.  

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Tale Co. is a Korean studio that brings new meaning to drinking rituals. The designers have come up with a set of ceramic cups, evocatively entitled Moon Glass, which reproduce the lunar phases as the liquid they contain is drunk. The set was designed with typical Asian liqueurs in mind – rice wine and sake – and, thanks to the contrast between the colour of the cups and that of the liqueur, the “moon” looks full when the bowl is completely filled and passes through all the different phases as it is emptied, “shaped” by the particular design of the base.

This creative group of designers has also come up with a special tumbler for whisky fans – the Matterhorn Glass – which has a crystal reproduction of the peak itself rising from the bottom of the glass. It quite literally makes for a glass of whisky on the rocks but, paradoxically, without the addition of ice, which real connoisseurs abhore.  

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The delicate Storm Tray, designed by Japan’s 24° Studio, also reflects naturalistic associations. The object in question is a tray made out of solid maple wood, which reproduces the movements of the waves in the sea surrounding the Japanese archipelago. 

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The undulating peaks and valleys of this versatile tray make it suitable for fruit, vegetables or appetisers. The two versions, rectangular or square, can be combined as desired to provide a sculptural, flowing domestic landscape. 

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The grain of the wood also makes each piece a one-off, because of the age and provenance of the wood and the climate in which it was grown.

Wood is the raw material used by Hualle, a Chilean brand, referencing ancient Patagonian craftsmanship. Its set of bowls for the IWE kitchen is characterised by its raw appearance, exuding the power of the unpolluted forest and its indigenous inhabitants, the Mapuche. Each piece is made by hand, painstakingly and patiently, and no two are alike. 

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Organic design is also the focus of the Biophilia collection of vases and containers. As its name suggests, the concept behind Swedish design studio Stoft’s collection is the biomimicry of the life cycle of plants. Each piece symbolises a stage in the growth of plants, from seed to sprouting, and has a distinctive shape that, when put together, creates a coherent aesthetic line.

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Capsula, the stone bowl, represents the seedpod, from which everything begins, Petalis is a china receptacle that represents the sprouting of a flower, Truncus is the jug from which branches appear to sprout. Lastly, Spore is a tiny vase that can metaphorically put down roots anywhere and can therefore be used in different ways, as a stopper or small vase. 

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The components can be stacked inside each other, spawning – quite genuinely – myriad different configurations.