Revamp: Natural Benefits

By Jo Phillips

Viscose and nylon vs. cotton and silk
Faux wood or plastic vs. natural wood
Synthetic rubber vs. natural rubber…

This list can go on and on. Modern people learned how to create a substitute almost for all of the existing natural sources. All the polymers (macromolecules composed of many repeated subunits) that are human-made are called synthetic polymers. And A LOT of everyday things contain synthetic polymers (money, for example). Obviously, synthetic polymers have created lots of environmental problems. That’s one of the reasons why so many people consider using bio alternatives at the moment, why organic things become more and more popular, why more people are finally starting to think about environmental issues… Thankfully, a lot of modern artists and designers are trying to carry a message of how important it is to think about our planet’s future.

Natural wood offers beauty and complexity. Wood can be used by artists to create various forms of sculptures and crafts, and wood can also be used to create useful everyday items such as furniture and musical instruments. There is hardwood (maple, oak, walnut, birch, balsa, etc.) and there is softwood (pine, spruce, fir, etc.).


Natural wood

Jessica Nebel’s intention is to make people think about our environment and about things we do every day. Her recent project in collaboration with H Furniture is a space saving series that consist of a multi-functional use Ladder and a Hanging Rack that can be folded up against the wall when not in use. The designer used solid oak and American walnut to create the hanging bar All the leather elements have been created by master craftsmen.


Handcrafted Belt Series by Jessica Nebel for H Furniture

Ariele Alasko from NY started working with wood in order to build furniture for her own apartment but soon this little hobby of hers turned into a full time job. She creates variety of things from large pieces (tables, headboards, wall panels) to wooden spoons, her most recent love.




All by Ariele Alasko

Silk is a natural protein fiber and it is composed of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. Generally, only the silk of moth caterpillars has been used for textile manufacturing. Silk is absorbent that’s why its so comfortable to wear silk cloths in warm weather and while active.

silk cocoon

Natural Silk

Sanna Annukka from Brighton works as a printmaker and textile designer. She often finds her inspiration in traditional cultures all over the world (especially in her beloved Lapland). Her own textile range is made of pure silk.



By Sanna Annuka

Jute is a vegetable fibre that is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus. Sounds too abstruse… Basically, jute is one of the most affordable natural fibers and is second only to cotton in amount produced. It’s often used to make twine and rope. But it can be used in fashion as well. For example, lots of designers make beautiful bags out of it.


Natural Jude

indigo jute bag by polo ralp lauren

Indigo Jute Bag by Polo Ralph Lauren

Prada woven jute bag

Woven Jude Bag by Prada

Natural Foods

Going natural or organic is not only about fashion and design, of course. The first and most obvious step is food. And while we are used to see products on the supermarket’s shelves labeled as organic, organic restaurants and cafes are not that common. Maybe in London and LA there are quite a few good places but in the rest of the world there is a lack of places that serve truly organic food.

Italy is getting there in its special way! Leading quartz manufacturer Caesarstone, in collaboration with British designer Tom Dixon, will present a unique food concept at ‘The RESTAURANT by Caesarstone & Tom Dixon’ at Milan’s Children’s Museum (MUBA) in the Rotonda della Besana during the 2016 Milan Design Festival. Italian food design studio Arabeschi di Latte curated a collection of recipes that explores the power of nature’s elements in the menu. The restaurant will let its visitors experience rare, element-inspired cooking techniques with fresh and unique experience. To make it all a bit less confusing, here are some of their recipes:

AIR – Skyfruit
cream | meringue | fruit of the air | egg | aromatic herbs

In a small collection of recipes, air is the very matter of preparation. Egg is the fruit of this environment, its versatile combinations with air and whipped cream arranged with other uplifting counterparts to create a landscape of aromatic clouds and void.

For this purpose, the vacuum sealer and mixer work with Air’s transforming powers creating density of all kinds.

WATER – Frozen “stracciatella“
clear stock| frozen herbs and vegetables | egg | parmesan

Hot steaming broth transforms thin layers of crackling ice into a moving green, tinging the liquid slowly as it circulates with floating pieces of parmesan and egg. A version with a twist of the traditional “stracciatella”.

An induction zone and chill blaster transform water into all its states.

Other recipes are inspired by Earth and Fire!



‘The RESTAURANT by Caesarstone & Tom Dixon’, images by Amandine Alessandra

Would you be willing to go organic?

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