Design stories are seldom tidy, single entities with colours and ideas in an easy to digest vacuum. The big macro themes: the economy, climate change, health, culture, don’t simply evaporate. Instead, they morph into different forms.
And so, we see with this issue. In Plant, we take ongoing discussions around the urgency of connecting to and working with nature alongside sci-fi like fears about the dangers of the plant world. We are aware of the irony here, as we pose the greatest threat to our surroundings, but this anxiety in itself is a fascinating facet of where we are now and plays to deeper existential fears about the future.
There are complex drivers behind our design direction Plain, not least growing inequality in the world, the inexorable rise of luxury markets and algorithms of envy encouraged by social media.
We note the emerging desire for monolithic stone and wood from the wealthiest consumers, the sheer scale and size of which prohibit even the most enterprising mass market copyist.
An underlying theme sees both our stories play with scale. With Plant, this manifests as a subtly strange quality that belies traditional trend-takes on nature, instead looking to the fantastical, the improbable and the sheer otherworldly beauty of the natural world. With Plain, scale is used as a not-so-subtle indicator of wealth.
Also, in this issue
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Image credits from top:
Lee Rentz; Studio Malm | Ugress (Weeds) at Milan Design Week 2022 | Photo courtesy of Alcova; Wonmin Park | Stone&Steel | On Earth at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Paris | Photo Benjamin Baccarani courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery; Ethan Stebbins | Les Ateliers Courbet | Wabi Sabi Dovetail Bench | Photo Joseph Kramm of JAR Studios for Les Ateliers Courbet