What if we designed for all people’s health? What if we considered the health of everyone involved in making something? From the extraction of a fiber, to processing, to weaving, to packaging, to selling, to wearing, to disposal, and everyone who lives near the factories and landfills and drinks the local water?
If we consider everyone involved, then our design process might be radically different.
This exhibition was organized by Parsons Healthy Materials Lab in partnership with DesignWork at Eileen Fisher, and in a celebration the 2018 launch of the MFA Textiles program at Parsons.
Parsons Healthy Materials Lab is dedicated to a world in which people’s health is placed at the center of all design decisions. DesignWork, a new expression of Eileen Fisher, is exploring radically different design processes which consider people and planetary health. Their project “Waste No More” demonstrates a process with circular economy philosophy at its core.
“DesignWork is embodying the art and design of conscious consumption. DesignWork creates at the intersection of creativity, ecology, and architecture, and is concerned with the beauty of the discarded and the potential of the repurposed… A truly circular venture, DesignWork is about more than the reuse of old into new. It’s an upending to the conventional cycle of consumerism: from manufacture, to use, to disposal. It’s opening up the apparel industry into multiple industries; rethinking the traditional roles of materials; rerouting familiar supply chains into surprising new systems. DesignWork is an effort to bring together art and invention, artists and businesses towards a zero-waste, high-design future.”
Wallworks are large-scale, one-of-a-kind hangings composed of felted scraps of used EILEEN FISHER clothing. The variability in materials, colors, and techniques renders each piece wholly unique. The size and textural quality of each creates a striking addition to private and public spaces. Wallworks were first displayed in the Waste No More exhibit at Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, the prestigious furniture and design trade fair.
The color wave in the window is built out of garments collected from the Eileen Fisher take-back program. This represents the volume of materials used in the cycle of production of consumer products.
As we confront the pervasive problem of waste and consumption that contributes to dramatic changes to the earth’s climate, collaborations like this one between Parsons Healthy Materials Lab and Eileen Fisher call attention to these dire problems and compels designers and consumers to confront our practice and personal consumption today.
DesignWork and EILEEN FISHER
Parsons Healthy Materials Lab and Research Assistants, Jacob Olmedo and Maanasa Sivashankar
Derek Porter and MFA Lighting Design Students, Gabrijela Korac, Reisha Duarte, Xingying Peng
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