Here at distinctive, we truly believe in designing with nature rather than against it, that is why when we saw this year’s concept of the Rado Star Prize, ‘Design Inspired by Nature’, we couldn’t be more excited to take a look at some of the finalists and winners. Throughout this year’s prize, materials and textures such as stone, wool, leather and indoor flora were popular, and all used in unexpected and unusual ways.
Some of our favourite projects included ‘Argillite’ by Caroline Kable. The designer states that the work is inspired by human’s inherent connection to the stone, something which has been a part of history since the dawn of time. The stone structure is placed within a domestic environment, juxtaposed against the typical nature of the stone material.
Another favourite is by designer Ian Barsanti titled ‘Pinched Ottoman’. The structure is completely developed from a singular two-dimensional sheet of leather, pinched to form a three dimensional structure, held together with simple brass bolts. The end result of this is a structure able to support a person’s weight, whilst also evoking the shape of a leave, or sea coral. As it ages, the leather will age and change colour, which will only add to the beauty of the design.
The winner of this year’s award comes from Parsons School of Design graduate, Susannah Weaver, titled ‘Felted Concrete’.
In this project, the opposing materials of wool and concrete are combined together in an unexpected, yet complimentary way. The wet concrete is poured and warmed, while the raw wool is sheared, spun and added onto the concrete mould. As a result, the wool and the concrete are combined to look as if they’re a singular material. It is this experimental nature of the project that draws us into the design, and allows us to completely appreciate the natural elements used with the design.