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RECKONstruct spotlights the materials revolution underway in the United States and documents how the design studio of New York-based furniture company Humanscale reimagined a simple stool through three different approaches to sustainability—using naturally grown materials (bio-fabrication), harvesting unused waste (circular economy) and mimicking nature’s engineering solutions (biomimicry). 

To measure the sustainability of each of the three designs, Humanscale partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SHINE program—Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositve Enterprise. Evaluating all three stool designs using a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) confirmed and quantified land, climate, water, and energy impacts, among others, from materials sourcing to transportation to manufacturing to actual use. Ultimately, each stool is measured for its environmental “footprint” and “handprint,” or how it can help fix the broken nature that surrounds us. 


Using materials including bio-fabricated mycelium from Ecovative Design, plastic from fishing nets harvested from the ocean by Bureo, a member of NextWave Plastic’s consortium of materials suppliers committed to mitigating environmental contamination, and non-recyclable municipal waste, the stools have the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, reduce ocean plastic pollution and avert methane emissions from landfills.


New York-based lighting manufacturer Stickbulb provided the pavilion’s lighting installations. Stickbulb turns wood from locally demolished buildings, decommissioned water towers, and fallen trees into a system of modular LED beams. The Bough pendants on display are made from 300+ year old redwood salvaged from a dismantled water tower at 32 Court Street in Brooklyn, New York.


An immersive film, produced by a Los Angeles-based team of engineers and designers at global engineering firm Arup, contrasts the innovative design concepts with conventional manufacturing approaches. The concept of the immersive film emerged from a consideration of the disconnect of design exhibitions from the outside material world. The curatorial team wanted to invite Triennale visitors to experience the reality of the material sources and supply chains that make possible the design objects on view throughout the exhibition, choosing an innovative 360-degree filming and audio recording technology to original filmed sequences to tell the full materials lifecycle story. In the exhibition, viewers are immersed into situations as diverse as a California coastal forest, an active rock quarry operation in Kansas, Humanscale’s New Jersey manufacturing facility and a construction recycling yard in Southern California.develop





September 1, 2019 and is curated by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design and Director of Research & Development at The Museum of Modern Art. Broken Nature reflects on the relationship between humans and environments at all scales—from the microbiome to the cosmos—including social, cultural, and natural ecosystems.xhibition of La Triennale di Milano, titled Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, takes place from March 1 to The XXII International E







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