Changing perceptions of value
Design value has traditionally been heavily associated with the weight of materials used such as marble or ceramics.
The introduction of plastic as a material started as a post-war solution since it was a malleable and relatively inexpensive substance. Oil-based and typically non-recyclable, plastic became present in every aspect of life. However, it wasn’t until the twentieth century that plastic in the design world really began to evolve.
Kartell, established in 1949, was revolutionary to the furniture-design industry. Founded by Giulio Castelli, a trained engineer and biochemist, alongside his wife, Anna Castelli, were the first to introduce plastic furniture. Giulio fused his cutting-edge plastic production with Anna’s radical modernist design.
‘While the world swears off plastic, Kartell has found the right formula: to produce not only high quantities but also high-quality durable, recyclable, plastic design pieces.’ - Design Wanted, 2020
A family-run business, Kartell has collaborated with the likes of; Gae Aulenti and Philippe Starck and continues to innovate towards finding more sustainable solutions to plastic injection. Kartell is iconic in its ability to adapt playful methods to the tastes of the period, resulting in iconic classics that are still popular today.
Turning a ‘niche’ technique into a design production solution
Argot’s 3D printing technique was born out of a frustration and a desire to shift away from traditional materials towards more sustainable options. This production method is enabled by an open-source ecosystem that includes new forms of material and new developments in software and hardware.
We are able to play with settings and algorithms to generate new textures as well as mimic other materials such as stone, glass or ceramic. 3D printing has shortened the distance between a creative idea and the final object; going from sketch to computer to machine in 24 hours.
As the world’s production and manufacturing models begin to adjust to new environmental pressures, 3D printing has enabled decentralised, local and/or inner-city production. Acting as a sustainable design solution, it is a technology that re-materializes when historically, technology is something that de-materializes.
Argot Studio is a unique hybrid between designer and machine; working to fuse together both craftsmanship and technology in order to push the boundaries in object design.