EXPLORING SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE WITH IQRA HUSSAYN
This month’s theme explores sustainability, calling on emerging talent to understand the importance of using sustainable products and reusable materials when designing.
Carry on reading to discover what inspires these designers on a daily basis and listen to their trend predictions around sustainability in the design industry.
INTRODUCING THE DESIGNER
I am a product and furniture designer who works with a variety of materials from metal to traditional woodworking with the design ethos based on thinking through making, utility and observation. I focus on making experimental and hand crafted products and furniture, celebrating the beauty of materiality and traditional craftsmanship. Throughout my work I emphasize my personal cultural narrative, coming from a dual heritage background. Celebrating both my English and Pakistani lineage I use my design practise to explore my identity.
My interest in design came from witnessing my siblings who have all gone down through a creative route, as well as coming across Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of design in the early stages of my Design education. I became fascinated by making and designing in the most traditional form through product and furniture design, exploring the value of craftsmanship and it’s continuous impression in the design industry. The variety of work that I came across from Alexander Hay, Ishinomaki Lab and Alex Hellum inspired my way of thinking which ultimately began the challenge of understanding what is ‘good’ design, and how can I be a part of it.
Sustainability is important now more than ever in the design industry. Not only does it aid us to become more conscious about what we make and how we make it, but it can also help us explore design in the most creative way possible. Designing in a sustainable path has the potential to stop this ‘throwaway culture’ that we are taking part in which has granted a huge impact on our natural resources. Consequently eliminating short lived products and decreasing waste, and moving towards enhancing the manufacturing of durable designs that not only have a longer lifespan but are well made and intuitive.
What inspires you most on a day to day basis?
A lot of things inspire me daily. I look towards everyday objects that I come across, whether that be at home, at a studio or on the side of a street. I find being open to my surroundings and being observant can spark ideas that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Also my cultural heritage I find has a lot of interesting backgrounds when looking into design, especially with traditional furniture making as it has proven to aid me towards sustainable design within my work. I find including that part of my identity tends to inspire me the most in evolving as a designer.
What’s your go to stimulus when you start to create work?
I often find myself starting with material engagement to get working, as I find that working physically can help with conceptual idea generation. I follow an ethos of ‘thinking through making’ which I believe is quite important as a designer as it allows one to gain a deeper understanding of design and materiality. This can enable the discovery of more efficient methods of design. I frequently make discoveries while experimenting with materials which would not have presented themselves had I been working conceptually.
I think the most sustainable products are the ones that have a sense of emotional durability. Reducing the consumption and waste of resources can happen through enabling an emotional connection between consumer and product. That connection establishes a longer lifespan for products as those designs are well made, responsible and tactile, which the user can get to know and add value to.
How do you think trends will change as the design word becomes more sustainable?
Companies and designers will be implementing a way of designing that doesn’t involve producing products that last for a short amount of time. Obtaining materials that are locally sourced, promoting the local industry and reducing international shipping, which results in products that have a local vernacular. Moving the design industry towards this path of designing could potentially remove the non-sustainable trends within the consumer society.