Creating Consciously: Dust London
Meet the design duo spilling the tea on sustainable sculpture, by which we mean using traditional techniques to transform tea waste into luxurious homewares and design materials. To celebrate our Conscious initiatives, we invited founders Matthew and Michael to embark on a new challenge - creating an in-store installation by recycling Browns’ very own cardboard packaging. Below they tell us more...
Can you tell us about the work you’ve created for Browns East?
Entitled Haptic Maps, our series of sculptural objects explore the potential of organic, sustainable materials in design. We wanted to push the material to challenge people’s expectations of sustainable design.
The sculptures have been made with our Papier Rock material, and each piece has a functional purpose that has influenced its design, and the forms respond to influences from early hand carved stone and clay artifacts.
Can you tell us a little more about your processes and your sustainable production methods?
All of the sculptures have been made using excess cardboard packaging supplied to us by Browns. The cardboard was delivered to our studio, where we separated out the boxes and sheets into the different variations. The cardboard is then torn and soaked until the fibres begin to break down.
Our processes are largely influenced by traditional paper making tools and techniques from the 19th century. We wanted to depart from the mass-produced methods familiar in design today and celebrate handmade techniques that enable each object to be entirely unique.
What were some things you had to consider when creating the work for Browns East?
We allowed for the organic nature of the material to inform each piece. The Papier Rock transforms as it dries, with the pigments becoming richer and lighter as the surface patterns slowly emerge. There is an element of discovery and chance within this process that mirrors the inherent ageing of natural materials.
What was your route into your current practice and how did you come to work together?
Michael studied fine art and spent six years working in artist studios and exhibiting across London, whilst Matthew studied architecture. We knew each other from a young age and shared design ideas. Dust London was born out of an ambition to set up a studio that explored our mutual interests in design and passion for organic and sustainable materials.
What would be your dream project for the future?
We’ve spoken about plans to design a large-scale public installation that has both an architectural and structural purpose. It will house interactive sculptures made with our Papier Rock material that will demonstrate the extensive range of pattern and colour variations that can be achieved.
Our work is grounded in sustainable materials and organic processes that we feel could respond to natural environments. We plan in future to build exterior sculptures that respond to the history and aesthetic of the landscapes surrounding them.
Lastly, what’s on your Browns Wishlist?
We’ve been hard at work on the Haptic Maps sculptures and will be celebrating with a meal at Native once it is installed. Michael has his eyes on the Native Fish Fillet - Seaweed Tartar, Brown Crab Rarebit, Brioche, whilst Matthew will be keeping it grounded with the Fermented Potato Waffle, Yeasted Onion and Mushroom Parfait.
Dust London’s installation will be on view at Browns East from 9th June until 21st July 2021.
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