Ghent design festival shows potential of sustainable materials

The first edition of a new design festival is set to start on Friday in Ghent, displaying the potential of sustainable materials. Visitors follow a route along different locations, with the Ghent Design Museum as the most important stop. There they can discover, among other things, the possibilities of new sustainable materials made of coffee grit or algae.

"Young designers are very conscious about which materials they choose", says curator Siegrid Demyttenaere. "They don't want to burden the planet anymore. This is what they are taught at art and design schools." The festival management wants to launch an appeal to the industrial sector to come and discover the potential of sustainable materials.

"Young designers are very conscious about which materials they choose. They don't want to burden the planet anymore."

Because the possibilities are already there, only an increase in scale is needed to make the new sustainable materials widely applicable. Design can play a role in integrating these creative solutions. "We invite people to come and see and meet the designers. Because they have ideas. The projects we show are often collaborations between designers, scientists and industry. They show that it works," says Demyttenaere.

Design Fest Gent does not aspire to become a large-scale event and is initially aimed at some 5.000 visitors. It will be a biennial event, organised for the first time this year around Ghent's Design Museum. The building is temporarily empty, on the eve of a large-scale renovation. The empty building will be decorated one last time entirely around the theme of sustainable design.

The first design festival will run from 22 April to 1 May.




Photo shows an installation at Design Fest Gent, a new ten-day festival which provides space for designers to present groundbreaking ideas, with a focus on sustainability. © BELGA PHOTO JONAS D'HOLLANDER

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