Kami pots and lights at the exhibition Poetry Happens
Ventura Lambrate, Milan in April 2011
It's time to take a closer look at the works of another of our favourite designers from this year's Fuori Salone. During our roundup in April as guest blogger's on TheDesignfiles.net we touched on the work of Oliver Bischoff and Danilo Durler who are Ett la Benn and who created their biodegradable kami collection for the collective exhibition of clever Berliners "Poetry Happens". We sorta kinda stretched the supercycling envelope a little to include these honorary supercyclers.
One step more sustainably mindful than ceramics, the technique of air drying cellulose that Ett la Benn are using for their beauitful pots and lights is pretty close to zero emissions in production and is 100% biodegradable. Not that you would want to let any of these covetable objects biodegrade - but good to know that whatever happens they are not going to contribute to landfill (or ocean-fill for that matter).
Supercyclers: ett la benn, what inspires you?
ett la benn: Anything can inspire our work: articles we read, things we observe in nature, people we meet, anything really.
Supercyclers: Many supercyclers are collaborating in pairs. How did the two of you meet and where do you work?
ett la benn: We met back in 2006 and decided to collaborate as a team. We tried, it worked out, and so we moved into our studio in the heart of Berlin where we still work. Our team is constantly growing and it feels good.
Supercyclers: How did you stumble onto the process of making the kami collection?
ett la benn: The process of the 'kami' collection builds on an earlier project. It all started a year earlier, when we worked on the 'malva' lights. With these, we also used cellulose as the basic material. We felt then that the potential of the material had not yet been fully exploited and so we continued experimenting.
Supercyclers: What exactly is the material - and what are its properties?
ett la benn: The material is natural cellulose which is 100% biodegradable.
(we googled cellulose and found it composes up to 90% of plant matter (depending on the plant) and is what we usually think of as roughage in our diet)
Supercyclers: We have noticed that you have shown your techniques on the pictures on your website. Is it something you would like to encourage others to try to do themselves using your methods and know-how to achieve a low energy form of production for objects?
ett la benn: Documentation of the process is quite important to us, especially as we produce so many different prototypes - it is nice to have an overview about the different stages the project is going through, and in the end it is possible to piece together and observe a cohesive documentary.
Supercyclers: Where can we find the kami collection?
ett la benn: At present we are in talks with a producer about the kami pots, but it is possible to purchase the kami lights -
honorary supercyclers - ett la benn