Updated: May 19
At Milan Design Market we’re in love with design, especially when it serves a purpose beyond making a space prettier or a functional object better looking. Today we are happy to tell you the story of UNIQAMO, a Studio from Switzerland where all of the previous ideas come together.
They don’t have a regular production, they believe that the act of creation can be special in itself. The studio has a partnership with the St. Jakob Foundation, involving people with disabilities to be part of the creation of something beautiful.St. Jakob is famous for its joinery, where people with a disabled got the chance to educate and to make their own living.
To create sustainable products in a social way and to have a good relationship with all your partners are key pieces of the brand. This people may be autistic, blind or have different needs from most of our readers. But through the labor done together the pieces end up being something more than the sum of their parts, they blur the line between design and social responsibility.
This studio develops shelves and storage systems with upcycled wine crates, instead of having them thrown away once the wine bottles are completely taken out, they believe that these objects could serve another life. The pass of time seen in the pieces is fundamental, considering that this objects already “served their purpose", it means they were used, they will be unique like no other because not every crate went through the same conditions, you can see the pass of time through them.
This kind of initiatives show us how it's possible to reach a realm were design is about more than creating more plastic waste, many of this goals and objectives at UNIQAMO could be also taken into consideration by other studios, reaching out to local communities, empowering the disadvantaged, reusing materials, involving the production in part of the story making of every piece.