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7 Top Sustainable and Circular Designs from INTERZUM 2019

Ready to find out the most innovative, sustainable and circular designs from the INTERZUM FAIR 2019?

Whenever we design a product, project a building or even consume goods, we create a series of environmental impacts. Nowadays we have all the tools to measure our impact on earth and this gives us a great opportunity to challenge the ways we think about materials, production and design.

Every single material has a story to tell about its production and even more about its disposal. Designers can choose to tell a sustainable story whenever they partner with nature.

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Last month, the German trend forecasting agency HAUTE INNOVATION took part in the Interzum Fair in Cologne (Germany) with the exhibition “Disruptive Materials – Changing the Future“. Featuring more than 100 projects, the exhibition demonstrated how new materials are the main drivers of product innovation. 

We have chosen seven of the most intriguing projects from “Disruptive Materials” to share with you.

Let us walk you through a circular future, through the most innovative Material Design Trends from Interzum 2019.


The most innovative Material Design Trends from Interzum 2019 / 7 Designs


Aectual Floors

The Dutch company Aectual showcased its beautiful sustainable 3D printed floors. They use colossal robotic 3D printers to create the frame for these floors and bioplastic made from plants to print them. Due to use of recycled and environmentally friendly materials, these floors production creates very little or no waste at all.

The floors can be tailored to fit spaces of any shape and size, and can be created in all kinds of designs – from traditional patterns to custom motifs. It is a perfect combination of how sustainability can walk hand in hand with creativity.

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Anima Collection

Japanese designer Kosuke Araki has created a series of tableware and vessels using daily food waste. The series, called Anima Collection, intends to make users reflect on their daily basis about consumption habits. All the products are made from carbonized vegetable waste mixed with animal glue and finished with urushi, a Japanese lacquer that historically has a close connection with food.

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FIDU Technology

The Polish company Zieta has developed a revolutionary technology named FIDU. This technology allows the creation of innovative, bionic shapes and fully recyclable objects using mass-production processes and tailored shaping methods.

At this fair Zieta showcased a line of pressure-inflated metal furniture pieces done with this technology. The stool, for example, is made from hydro-formed metal: two sheets of metal are welded together following the outline of the stool, which is then filled with fluid under pressure. The legs of the stool are then bent into place.

Zieta is currently working on implementing this technology in architecture as facade elements, and in industry as ultralight constructions.

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3D printed Algae Glass 

The Dutch Studio Klarenbeek & Dros transforms living algae into bioplastic for 3D printing. The outcome is an elegant collection of 3D-printed bowls and vases. The designers believe that the algae polymer could be used to make everything from cosmetic bottles to tableware and then ultimately replace plastics made from fossil fuels such as oil.

The studio’s ultimate goal is to create a biopolymer 3D printer local network: the 3D Bakery where people can ‘bake’ organic raw materials, just like fresh bread.

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Butong Concrete Panels

Butong, a concrete producer, showcased its concrete panels that are created by pressing a cast substance between two form-matrices with extruded cells – thus creating panels consisting of two mesh structures. The panels are suitable for architectural and interior purposes, such as ceilings or vertical gardens. Its holes can be filled with concrete, glass, or they can be unfilled, depending on the requirements.

Due to its 3D-structure, the flat panels use 80% less concrete compared with solid concrete panels  with the same resistance. As a result, there is a significant reduction on C02 emissions. When used as a green-walls the panels can also help to tackle the drastic and harmful decline of insects population in urban environments.

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Stone Web-Expanding Space 

Basalt, a rock formed by cooling lava, has very valuable mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties. All these qualities have encouraged designers and companies to explore this rock and develop the eco-friendly Basalt Fibber. The Berlin-based design studio Rapp + Unger have created Stone Web, a series of crafted modules made from basalt.

To make the modules, fibber is soaked in resin and wrapped web-like around a shape. Once the resin is cured, it leaves a skin of basalt Fibber. Depending on the thickness of the filament, the surfaces exhibit different densities and strengths. The modules are very light and stable and can be used for small scale applications, such as furnishings. Otherwise, when combined, they can be used for the creation of large spatial structures or urban furniture due to their scalability and production optimization.

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Indigo Acoustic Panels

Studio Flaer is a German design studio dedicated to create products that address key issues such as circular economy. At Interzum, they have unveiled their elegant Indigo Acoustic Panels, which draws upon Taiwanese cultural heritage. Emblematic local patterns, traditions and customs are translated into these sound-absorbing spatial structures.

The panels are made of 100 percent organic bananas and mulberry fibres, dyed with indigo plants, and framed with bended bamboos. In order to create a biological closed loop, all materials are treated to be non-toxic and biodegradable.

If you have reached the end of this article and after all these amazing projects you are feeling hopeful about the future, welcome to the club!

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