> posted by   on March 23rd 2013

Ambiente 2013: Top 8 innovative uses of materials

When discussions about limitation and future problems with raw materials are on the political agenda, the designers are already busy being creative. This year, Ambiente was very rich in all kinds of materials, their combinations and new implementations and finishings.

Top 8:

Handmade resin table ware by Nashi Home, an Australian company. Products are soft like silk, with a smooth touch and very characteristic unregular patterns. They are heavy-weight and very decorative with light.


Plastic storage boxes and home containers by Swiss company Rotho.  The new finishing appearance of their new Silk&Velvet Line grabbed my attention. The surfaces of the products are very sensorial with a velvety-fabric feeling. It is a completely novel process designed by Rotho, involving the finest materials that are applied onto a high-quality plastic. This highly innovative technical solution has been patented by Rotho.


German classic household products manufacturer Heilo presented their AluBag design concept. It is a paper trash bin with an Alu-creased look. It is a soft product that you can change into whatever shape you like. It is amazing to see how a company such as Heilo has made a mental step in forward thinking.


Another interesting materials choice and combination is the Bread Warmer by Mastrad SA. It is a rattan basket with a removable and washable linen cover holding an innovative ceramic warming-stone disc at the bottom. This disc has to be heated in the microwave and then put back in the cover; it keeps bread warm up to 45 minutes.


Danish company Menu presented a Multibasket designed by Norm. It is a brand-new kind of basket, an aesthetic, durable and functional hybrid between a tray and a basket. A multitude of functions for all occasions and locations adds to the subtle aesthetic that has become the trademark of the designs of the Menu products.  With the handle elegantly along the side of the Multi Basket, it becomes a simplistic tray on your table. However, when you lift the handle, it will lock into position and become your favourite basket again. Fitted containers with small cooling elements will keep your food chilled and fresh and the airtight lids can function as butter boards. Materials: felt, bamboo, silicone and plastic.



“A girl that went to fetch water” designed by Peter Simonik really amazed me. The simplicity of the design and use of iconic elements! I don’t want to discuss the functionality and all the specifications. Just focus on the purity of the idea!


Raili Keiv is an Estonian-born female designer who has primarily worked with porcelain. Looking for new design approaches through experimenting with different materials, she came up with very a interesting match between porcelain and concrete.


Poetry in metal products by Latimeria designers. The items are mostly organically shaped, whether it is the branch-like pasta fork and salad set or the leaf-like serving dishes. They are carefully brushed to bring out the glow in stainless steel or finished with a velvety surface, Velvet Steel.  Velvet Steel is stainless steel in a new and surprising sense with a surface that shimmers in blue nuances, creating magic shapes and feeling smooth like velvet to the touch. Velvet Steel is a unique technique created by Latimeria Design Factory.


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