Aesthetics of Sustainability

Aesthetics of Sustainability

Aesthetics of Sustainability aims to explore and define the aesthetics of a new generation of sustainable materials.

Research project (2019)

Sustainability is one of the most important topics of the 21st century. Design, as a discipline of innovation, must play a leading role in optimising the environmental impact of all by-products and processes in the production of designed goods.
 All too often, most people take a stereotypical view of “sustainable products”. They are often associated with dirty colours and unpleasant aesthetics, owing to the use of second-grade, recycled, “primitive”, natural or non-processed materials. Furthermore, they are usually associated with higher prices or inferior quality.



Aesthetics of Sustainability aims to explore and define the aesthetics of a new generation of sustainable materials. The goals of the project are to push boundaries, explore aesthetics and define a contemporary language of sustainable materials and products through a systematic process of investigation, experimentation, creation and development within the context of product design.


The low impact of products is not only necessary, but it is also about to become a unique selling point for manufacturers. The tipping point when eco-friendly materials become more easily available and financially competitive on a larger scale will soon be reached.
The outcome of the project is a series of 14 dossiers on the explored materials as well as mock-ups and prototypes of the resulting products.
The project offers a future generation of designers an array of operational tools and knowledge which explain how to discover, analyse and process seminal materials, how to work best with their qualities and how to turn them into functional yet aesthetically intriguing objects.

Main applicant
s

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Thilo Alex Brunner (project leader)

Research team

Christophe Guberan (senior researcher)
Camille Blin (professor)
Augustin Scott de Martinville (professor)
Margherita Banchi (research assistant)
Carolien Niebling (research assistant)
Maxime Guyon (photographer)
Nicolas Polli (photographer)

Visiting lecturers

Yves Corminboeuf, Alexandre Echasseriau, Adam Fairweather, Beat Karrer, Chris Lefteri, Yves Leterrier, Mieke Meijer, Axel Norlander, Martin Postler

Students

1st-year MA students in Product Design, ECAL, class of 2018-2019:
Johannes Bauer , Pablo Dorigo , Nikola Gaytandjiev , Céverine Girard , Matias Görlitz , Fritz Gräber , Xinyi Jiang , Luisa Kahlfeldt ,Pavle Vanja Konakovic , Napat Pongpanatnukul , Vittorio Solleciti , Lei Tuo , William Verity , Ilseop Yoon

Period

september 2017 – july 2019

Supported by

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Strategic fund of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO RCDAV)

Dissemination

Publication
Thilo Alex Brunner, Aesthetics of sustainability. Material experiments in product design, Zurich: Triest verlag, 2020 (contributions by Christophe Guberan, Chris Lefteri, Ala Tannir)

Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez
Spreads from Aesthetics of Sustainability. Material Experiments in Product Design, edited by Thilo Alex Brunner, graphic design by Federico Barbon. © ECAL / Jimmy Rachez

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Paper Paper Bin ECAL / Fritz Gräber. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
Isofloc LM, shredded newspaper by Isofloc AG ECAL / Fritz Gräber. © ECAL / Margherita Banchi
Isofloc LM, shredded newspaper by Isofloc AG . ECAL / Fritz Gräber © ECAL / Fritz Gräber
Isofloc LM, shredded newspaper by Isofloc AG ECAL / Fritz Gräber. © Maxime Guyon

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Granulated rubber, shredded recycled outsoles and footwear manufacturing scraps ECAL / Lei Tuo. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
Granulated rubber, shredded recycled outsoles and footwear manufacturing scraps ECAL / Lei Tuo. © ECAL / Lei Tuo
Slippers ECAL / Lei Tuo. © Robin Bervini
Granulated rubber, shredded recycled outsoles and footwear manufacturing scraps ECAL / Lei Tuo. © Maxime Guyon

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Sleeping bag ECAL / Luisa Kahlfeldt. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
SeaCell™, fibre made from eucalyptus and algae extracts by Smartfiber AG ECAL / Luisa Kahlfeldt. © ECAL / Luisa Kahlfeldt
SeaCell™, fibre made from eucalyptus and algae extracts by Smartfiber AG ECAL / Luisa Kahlfeldt. © Adrien Sgandurra
SeaCell™, fibre made from eucalyptus and algae extracts by Smartfiber AG ECAL / Luisa Kahlfeldt. © Maxime Guyon

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FlaxTape™, natural fibres harvested from the linen plant by Eco-Technilin ECAL / Nikola Gaytandjiev. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
FlaxTape™, natural fibres harvested from the linen plant by Eco-Technilin ECAL / Nikola Gaytandjiev. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
FlaxTape™, natural fibres harvested from the linen plant by Eco-Technilin ECAL / Nikola Gaytandjiev. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
FlaxTape™, natural fibres harvested from the linen plant by Eco-Technilin ECAL / Nikola Gaytandjiev. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli

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Ricehusk pencils ECAL / Xinyi Jiang. © ECAL / Nicolas Polli
Rice Husk, hard protecting coverings of grains of rice ECAL / Xinyi Jiang. © ECAL / Margherita Banchi
Rice Husk, hard protecting coverings of grains of rice ECAL / Xinyi Jiang. © ECAL / Xinyi Jiang
Rice Husk, hard protecting coverings of grains of rice ECAL / Xinyi Jiang. © Maxime Guyon

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