Our economic system is in turmoil. Our resources are becoming scarce. In the meantime, we stick to the same economic models, producing more products, producing more waste.
What if, in an alternative economic model, income tax is replaced with tax on raw materials? What would this mean for the design industry? Will designers offer alternative ways of creating materials, will they specialize in upcycling, concentrate on services, go digital, or do something else?
"Material Matters: a future furniture fair," features 20 design companies - both real and imagined - that might come to thrive given the change in policy. The imaginary future fair aims to inspire designers to develop alternative business models urged by material scarcity and economic upheaval, striving for a real fair next time. Material Matters takes part in Domus Open Design Archipelago, a collective laboratory that previews the future of design, located at the beautiful Palazzo Clerici.
"Every year a visit to the International Furniture Fair reminds us that the design industry is saturated," said Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog. "This is our 20th time at the fair, and we wanted to imagine under what circumstances the design industry and the furniture fair might show signs of change."
The real and imagined companies include:
Crow Works trains crows to collect bottle caps. Sea Treasures fishes plastic debris from the sea and turns it into commodities on the boat. UP offers a range of goods made with dead stock. Gallery sells what used to be ordinary goods as collector items. Play Shop gives you the feeling of a shopping experience without the option of buying anything. Waste Watchers teaches you how to outfit your house without buying new products.