sábado, 2 de junho de 2012

Lufa Series_by Fernando Laposse

This self‐directed project was the result of an extensive exploration of the qualities of loofah to try and control it to a point where it can be incorporated into functional objects. Each of the resulting objects exploits one or many of the qualities of the material, like lightness, translucency, heat insulation, texture, shock absorption etc. The loofahs were cut in various ways, mixed with other materials like cement and wood, sewn together, flattened, and moulded. Once I had a mental archive of this very pragmatic information I went on to design the actual appearance of the objects, always trying to make the material the main point of interest rather than the object itself. I did all the work on the loofah and the terracotta, by hand and worked closely with a local carpenter in Mexico City during the development of the project.

Loofah is the edible fruit from a vine that is related to pumpkins and cucumbers yet it grows vertically attaching itself to trees. Once this fruit matures it is then dried and harvested, and is mainly used for scrubbing. What is wonderful about this fruit is that in tropical countries a farmer can produce up to 8000 of them per hectare since they can be guided vertically using much less surface area (Oxfam). They are also harvested after only 6 months; they use very little nutrients from the soil and leave almost no roots behind, making it a very sustainable option when compared to wood or even cork. Overall, the project aimed to push the association we have with the material beyond the realm of the bathroom to be present and perform other roles in the rest of the house giving it a new perceived value.-

Room dividers: Maple, polyester coloured thread.
Lamp: Maple, white cement, marble dust cold led bulbs, loofah is treated with Teflon flame retardant spray.
Coffee table: Maple, steel.
Hot Chocolate set: Terracotta, waterproofed cement.
Planters: Spun aluminum.
Words and photos: Courtesy of Fernando Laposse

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