Mandy Roos and Victoria Ledig

Mandy Roos and Victoria Ledig are examples of two designers that push singular materials beyond their conventional application. ‘Softie Wanted’ is an assortment of products designed for Form and Seek.

In this collaboration they have revamped dull and lifeless industrial foam to create this fresh, fun and bold collection of lounge furniture.

“In search of the humour and inner nature of materials, they combine the industrial, profane and fanciful. Creating tangible imagery through material experimentation that roots in play.”

The materials used include Foam cut-offs from industrial production and reused climbing rope. Their inventive ideas for elementary substrates is genius. It just shows that even the simplest material can be made into something quite spectacular. I love that the importance of sustainability is heavily present in this design.

Design Milk

The Narrative of Making: Rethinking Soft Materials

Design Milk is a website I regularly browse looking for inspirational designers and innovative ideas.

My focus is on material and how I can push the boundaries of design. Searching materials on design milk I came across this unusual furniture collection that I was eager to find out more about.

The designers were students, from Rhode Island School of Design that specialized in textiles and furniture design. There brief was to re-think how soft materials are weaved, knitted, crocheted and knotted in furniture design.

“simple metal frame that is juxtaposed by bold, upholstered extrusions. Much like a weaving with unfinished edges, the chair is a picture of controlled chaos.”

I have been playing with unconventional materials and combinations of materials with apposing qualities but I feel I am coming to a bit of a rut and stuck for how I can push this further. This article in particularly has helped me to re-evaluate my concept and think how I can really investigate materials. I love this idea of reworking how a material is made and I would like to look into this further. I am now thinking about ways I could use technical processes that are traditionally used for industrial materials on fabrics. For example, I would like to see what happens if I use the sand blaster on leather.

3D Wall Tile Inspiration

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Sculptural wall paneling brings a space to life by:

  • Adding three-dimensional architectural components
  • Texture immediately draws the eye and creates an artistic focal point
  • Wall paneling with metals and woods is a great way to create a modern look
  • The use of an inlayed pattern above draws the eye and carries the viewer across the space
  • Turning the wall into the main statement of the room makes it easy to use minimal and simple furniture design.

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Still researching colour I went to the library to find the latest Mix Magazine to see if I could find any inspiration or suggestions of colour in there. The current issue of mix includes exciting new trends for Autumn Winter 2018/19.

I had previously seen a few trends in Elle Decoration and on WGSN but nothing that really related to what I wanted to explore.

I came across this exciting trend in Mix called beyond which I found to be really intriguing. This trend is about recapturing sensory experiences. Encouraging appreciation and awareness of the objects that surround us and making us consider tactility through senses. Beyond challenges the current digital dominance by embracing touch, sound, sight and taste.

Tactile materials are key in my work and having already research unconventional materials that I want to use I feel this trend is perfect for informing my ideas. My aim is to create surfaces that are designed to be touched.

Some key phrases and words I picked up on from this trend include:

  • Rejecting thought for feeling
  • Powder coatings, wood often bleached, raw and unrefined, rough and polished surfaces
  • Ceramics mimic texture and visual representations of natural materials
  • Fabrics are breathable and sensorial – silicone, scent treated materials, chunky yarns and plays on matt and sheen
  • Instinctive and sensorial
  • Liquid and Solid – Materials that play with perception
  • Our diminishing senses are re-ignited through enhanced sensory environments as a way of reconnecting with our primal selves.

Colour is a powerful tool for creating sensory products’ – predominantly pale and pastel shades – The palette includes powdered peach, sherbet lemon, metallic blue, pale peppermint, sugared violet. Neon coral, glowing Jaffa orange and finally a rich kohl brown.

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I would like to use this palette but also add some of my own colours which I have found prior to this, which are suitable for Autumn/Winter 2018. I think the combination of soft, gentle neutral shades with energetic and neon colours will really help to express the playfulness throughout my experiments. I think the proportion of colour is something I will need to think about also, depending on what I am trying to communicate.



material Lab

Bethany Walker

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Bethany Walker is a mixed media artist known for her unusual combinations of cement and textiles. The contrasting materials create captivating tactile pieces creates entirely by hand.

“Ruffled textiles soften concrete whilst concrete brings a masculine edge to the delicate, feminine fabrics.”

 Each piece is unique in both shape and colour. Her work investigates the urban environment, taking inspiration from every day things that most people overlook. She gives examples of some of these on her website which include weathered billboards and smashed windows.

Interested in apposing materials I am currently experimenting with fabric and industrial substrates. Bethany Walker has given me lots of ideas of how I could trap the unconventional items like sponge, leather and paper in materials like concrete, jesmonite and resin.

I like the idea that her work gives a renewed appreciation to the materials involved.