In Search of Sensory Experiences
Founded in 2019 by material and interaction designer Bonnie Hvillum, Natural Material Studio explores the potential of underappreciated or unseen materials and spaces to create highly engaging, sensory experiences.
Hvillum has always been concerned about sustainability within the design industry; through her studio, she explores innovative new applications for the residue we leave behind by researching, designing, and producing unique, bio-based materials. Describing her approach as "very childish, with a naive beginner's mind," she works at the intersection between art, science, and design for clients including Noma, Frama, Dinesen, and Calvin Klein. In 2023 she named the first winner of the prestigious Bentley Lighthouse Award. The Award recognises designers who are curious and courageous in their approach and whose work has had a beneficial impact on social and environmental sustainability, inclusivity or community empowerment.
How does Natural Material Studio work with sustainable materials?
Natural Material Studio is a cross-disciplinary Danish design company that drives toward expanding our collective understanding of and relation to materials. To do so, the studio works from a renewable and circular point of view, with science, biology, technology, design, and art as the building blocks for every project. We strive to create the new normal for sustainable living.
What is the exhibition's theme or subject, and how does it relate to the overarching theme of 3daysofdesign this year , "Collaboration"?
- All our work centers around the human-material interaction in the context of a given space. We live in a fluid system where everything informs and influences, and we want to bring that fact forward as the core - not only of our practise, but also of this exhibition. We hope to sow the seeds of understanding that the world is not human centered, but that we are part of a much larger, complex, situational whole. We believe this perspective will help us shift the way we perceive nature - seeing it not as a "separate entity" we can control or extract resources from, but rather something we as humans are part of, and living in harmony with.
How do you see your work evolving in the years to come? What are the primary issues or concerns you see in your industry and how do you hope to engage with them?
- I see our studio growing organically and expanding its multi-disciplinary work. We would like to continue working in site-specific installations that exist at the intersection of science, art, and design, with sculptural elements that have a function as well as a narrative.