the essence of design
An aesthetic and ethical journey through materials, from the most traditional to the most innovative and sustainable ones
The choice of materials is one of the key elements in making a good interior design project, whether it is a workspace, a commercial showroom or a home environment.
From the very first briefs with the client, a tone of voice is identified that can be representative of the values and narrative intended to be portrayed externally.
It is what we might call the style, personality, or the way of dealing with stakeholders.
In terms of communication, each ‘substance’ has its own ‘touch’ which strongly affects the intended imprint of the environment design.
For instance, using a moodboard composed of more traditional materials will convey a perception of solidity, authority, and strong attachment to roots, while the use of innovative solutions will tell attitude for change, constant research and creative openness to the future.
Some materials, such as wood and stone, can then be deployed both in projects where elegance and finery prevail and in projects more oriented to the perception of naturalness and indoor comfort.
In this direction, a number of recent international researches have analyzed the health and wellness benefits of wood interiors in homes, businesses, places of learning, and places of care, identifying physiological and psychological benefits, such as improving a person’s emotional state and level of self-expression, reducing blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels.
Even the use of different types of stone shows this trend to consider them as indispensable elements in interior design, thanks to their versatile characteristics of wholesomeness, sound absorption and thermal insulation.
Moreover, the combination of these natural elements with glass and steel allows to enhance their materiality and charm, creating contemporary, functional and exclusive settings.
Floorings, claddings, partition walls and desktops represent an increasingly broad field of application for natural materials, also thanks to evolving processing technologies that expand their transformational possibilities.
At the same time a trend is emerging, particularly among young designers in the international design community, showing an ever-increasing attention and sensitivity to the environment, experimenting with new methods based also on the reuse and recirculation of raw materials.
This is the case with completely biodegradable cellulosic materials; or other made from fragments of ruins, upcycling industrial waste, dried fruit shells or more extreme solutions such as recovering cigarette butts.
Biologically grown materials using yeast and bacteria in a fermentation and biotic process are also being studied.
New biodesign strategies are continually being deployed to offer innovative alternatives that redefine the use of energy, water, air and waste with a view to circular economy and to saving the planet’s resources.