16-24
FLOC. & BRICK

FLOC. & BRICK

By Tucktite- 16th September - 18th September 2023

Floc designed by Amber Thompson is a collection of cloud inspired sculptural lighting made from carded wool to highlight the growing crisis within the wool industry.

BRICK is constructed by Michael Czerwinski from discarded pink exhibition carpeting to expose the volume of unchallenged waste within the design world.

 

FLOC. By Amber Thompson

Wool has been heralded as one of the world’s most sustainable fibres. So why aren’t we using it?

Furniture designer Amber Thompson has created Floc, installation lighting made from carded wool, designed as a result of material exploration and research into the crisis happening within the wool industry.

To put things into perspective, in Ireland, the value of wool has dropped by almost 93% (The Anglo-Celt, Seamus Enright, 2020). This has come about because of increased dependency on synthetics across all industries where wool could be used, and the Coronavirus pandemic. This is shocking, as the return on wool once paid farm rent for a whole year. Now, the financial return is less than the cost of shearing. As a result, many farmers are burning their fleeces out of frustration.

Thompson explains “I couldn’t understand why such an abundant, versatile, and sustainable material was going to waste. Humans bred sheep to grow excess wool for monetary gain, now synthetics have come along, we no longer want it, but we have all these sheep that need to be sheared to survive, it makes no sense. We need to start re-using this traditional and compostable fibre to help tackle 21st century issues; it’s a win, win scenario.”

Floc is the result of a material exploration project which explored the process of yarn spinning. The aim of the project was to raise the perceived value of wool by presenting it in an innovative way, and highlighting its many key advantages that can contribute to a healthier planet and society. Transparency was also a fundamental driver behind the project, to allow for full traceability of materials and processing to further add value. Wool was sourced from a flock of Romney sheep in Romney Marsh and processed by a local hand-spinner from Sheffield. Colour variation was created naturally using dried hibiscus leaves, exploiting another of wool’s inherent qualities- colour absorbency.

Amber wanted to press pause halfway through the processing of wool, to demonstrate the beauty that the fibre can present once carded, before being spun into yarn. “We are so used to seeing wool as a woven or knitted material; as a result, maybe people aren’t fully aware of how it is processed and its versatile potential. I wanted to challenge this notion by demonstrating how exploiting a less familiar earlier step of the process can present wool in an innovative and beautiful way…  an intangible way. This added intrigue to the product with the intention of drawing people in to learn more about wool.”

Inspired by the intangible nature of clouds, Floc is intended as an installation piece for public spaces.

There is an overarching need for increased utilisation of this amazing fibre to better both the planet and the wool industry. Floc aims to raise awareness of this.

 

BRICK by Michael Czerwinski of Studio Tucktite

Why have design fairs and exhibitions still not fully redesigned the way they build a show to minimise or eradicate waste?

Studio Tucktite Director Michael Czerwinski has created BRICK from carpet offcuts salvaged from the build of Grand Designs Live at NEC last year. Speaking with senior members of the event team about sustainable design – whilst standing in a fully and freshly carpeted football pitch of a hall – Michael asked “so where does all this carpet go next week when the show is over?”

The outcome of this conversation was a challenge set by Grand Designs Live to make something from their offcuts that would celebrate the qualities of the material beyond its primary use, A dynamic statement about challenging waste and innovative approaches to problem solving suspended as a giant mobile in the voids of NEC and Excel. A welcoming centrepiece at subsequent events.

As co-director of GREEN GRADS, a platform for showcasing recent design, art and engineering UK graduates focussed on sustainability issues, Michael Czerwinski has been inspired by the integrity and ingenuity expressed by the young talent he helps to promote. BRICK demonstrated that we have the skills to rethink, reappropriate and redesign. But it’s actually not easy and it requires massive effort.

The carpet is a partially woven and partially compressed composite of plastic material.prone to creasing but resistant to folding, shaping and heat welding. To successfully work with it required a rethink of traditional craft skills focussing very much on the engineering of tailoring to make the material behave and react with flair. No adhesive was used to contaminate the material and render it non recyclable. Each brick form was assembled from 10 accurately pattern cut components folded, stapled and lightly stitched into shape. With effort, each brick can be dismantled and fully recycled.

The point here is the recognition that these processes are undertaken ‘with effort”. The construction and design industries thrive on the consumption of highly processed highly engineered materials that are all too easily disregarded and consequently discarded.

BRICK was originally 48 giant carpet interpretations of a traditional London brick suspended high in voids of NEC and ExCel. In its last incarnation it forms an immersive and intimate installation at Studio Tucktite HQ.

Event Times

16th September 2023 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
17th September 2023 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
18th September 2023 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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