Some product designers just aim to make beautiful objects, some put their effort into making something beautiful and environmentally friendly, or even something that will help preserve the biodiversity.
He has invented a veneer for furniture and interiors made from the husks of Mexican corn. His collection, Totomoxtle, showcases objects and furniture padded with this colourful veneer.
As you can read on Fernando Laposse website “this project goes far beyond simply aesthetics. Totomoxtle focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico, and creating a new craft that generates income for impoverished farmers and promotes the preservation of biodiversity for future food security.
Unfortunately, the number of native varieties of Mexican corn are currently in sharp decline. International trade agreements, aggressive use of herbicides and pesticides, and the influx of highly modified foreign seeds have decimated the practice of growing native corn across the country: It simply isn’t very profitable anymore. The market now favours standardised features which can only be obtained with genetically modified and hybrid corn. Additionally, the majority of the corn harvested worldwide is used to feed cattle or transformed into secondary products that range from sweeteners for processed foods to bioplastics, therefore nutritional quality is not a priority. “
I think it is important to highlight this new generation of environmentally aware designers, who invent new uses for waste and recyclable materials.
I love warm hues of Totomoxtle veneer and its tactile feeling.
Fernando Laposse is definitely one to watch.
(Photograps from Fernando Laposse website)