Storytelling, which is an act of talking of the history, worth or creation of a specific product, can help market a brand. The story can add identity to an otherwise anonymous product, and make it appealing to the consumer. By doing so, the product will be remembered above similar products on the market.
Storytelling can also be an outlet for people who wish to share their opinions and change peoples minds about the things we surround ourselves with. It can effectively grab the attention of the consumer and use design as a means of communicating a different set of values.
MAGNO Wooden Radio. Singgih Susilo Kartono / wooden-radio.com. 2007-2013. Pinewood and Brazilian rosewood etc.
The radio was invented in 1895 and despite of the fact that we now have the technological knowledge to produce flawless radios, Wooden-Radio has chosen to do something a little different. German sociologists Dr. Oliver Carlo Errichiello and Dr. Arnd Zschiesche specializes in branding and are behind the eco-social radio project.
The radio is designed by Indonesian designer Singgih Susilo Kartono, but is sold in Hamburg, Germany. The radios are handmade in Indonesia from sustainable wood and even the tools they use in the production are handmade. For every tree used in the production, a new tree is planted in the local area. Before the production-workers are allowed to work they have to participate in a year long educational course, where they are taught about working with wood; this ensures a high quality of finished products. This sustainable production shows that despite the often poor working conditions in Indonesia, there is ground for a sustainable company.
Wooden-Radio says about the design: ”All objects that surround us should be thought-provoking. Craftsmanship originally was the art of dealing with raw materials in a sensible and economical way.”
Laptop Sleeve 13”, 15”, 17”. Bangura Bags. 2012-2016. Recycled bike tubes, African textiles.
What does a laptop, bike tubes and the jungle of Sierra Leone have in common?
They are all important parts of the company Bangura Bags, which is a company holding sustainability and fair-trade as key-elements in the production of their products. The products are handmade by local tailors in Masanga, in the middle of the jungle of Sierra Leone. The bike tubes used in the production of the designs are waste products given to Bangura Bags by local bicycle mechanics. Using these waste products, they are able to give new life to otherwise useless material. When the bag is ready, it is marked with the name of the tailor who made it, giving the consumer an insight into the process of making the bag. This detail makes Bangura Bags’ products more personal and it sets them apart from the many mass-produced items we see in shops today.
Seal Bell lamp. Charlotte Bodil Studio. 2016. Sealskin.
The Seal Bell lamp is made of sealskin; a waste product from the Inuit-hunters of Greenland. The hunters eat the meat, but don’t always use the sealskin. The seals have lived their lives freely by the coast of Greenland and are part of the natural symbiosis between man and animals. The shape of the lamp is inspired by the head-shape of the seal, or more precisely the image of a seal peeking it’s head above the sea surface to look across the water. The soft, but durable material invites you to touch the lamp and hereby have a sensuous and tactile experience.
Hairdryer 3.0. SUPERLOCAL – 0 miles production (Andrea de Chirico). 2016. Ceramics, cork etc.
Local production means less transportation of goods and thereby less pollution. The vision to create sustainable products is the main goal at the design-collective SUPERLOCAL, 0 miles production.
"The goal of SUPERLOCAL is to provide an open production database for making everyday objects, and thereby give creative and critical tools to people for re-creating their world", says Andrea de Chirico, who is the designer and one of the people behind the initiative. Based on this idea he has created an alternative hairdryer using materials such as ceramics and cork. The hairdryer is produced in West London and all of the materials incorporated in the design are found within the local area.
Crystal Eye gearshift. Volvo. 2014. Glass, metal etc.
Champagne glasses. Volvo. 2014. Glass.
Even though Volvo is now in the hands of the Chinese, that doesn’t mean that the company has forgotten it’s origins. Swedish roots peeked out, when Volvo in 2014 started a co-operation with the renowned Swedish glass factory Orrefors. Together they have created an exclusive and luxurious design for the new Volvo XC90 Excellence model. A handmade gearshift in glass, which they have named Crystal Eye. Additionally, to emphasize the feeling of luxury, they have created crystal-cut champagne glasses for the car’s built-in minibar.
foto: Torben Arent, FDM