Hi Everyone! This week I’m going back to discuss some interesting topics about sustainability. Some of these came up in our latest webinar with Forta Pro, which was a huge success. It was amazing to see how many people emailed me afterwards to say that my speech resonated so I decided to go into details about the topics closest to me and to all interior designers in general.
In general, it is important to avoid blindly following the latest trend. While a new style might bring interesting design cues to an interior, abusing it would exactly cause it to lose personality and for it to mix with the many copies that every year pop up here and there when some new trend arises. In some cases, it might even damage a project if not used properly.
On the contrary, every interior has to have a strong personality. Regardless of its final use, whether private or commercial, it should clearly show your client’s vision and identity (or your client’s audience’s) and tell a story. This can be achieved in different ways, and I suggest starting from a strong concept.
Secondly, the sustainable interior design has to be timeless also in a more material sense. This means it is important to not overdo it. Simplicity is, in fact, another key to make an interior last long-term as is flexibility. These two characteristics do not just play into the space looks, but also in its adaptability to different needs and preferences, as well as its ease of maintenance.
The features one needs to consider when choosing materials for an interior are their thermal insulation capabilities (discussed in the articles linked above as in our guide to Energy Saving in Interior Design in 2021), their quality, and their need for maintenance. As well as their entire life-cycle to assess the overall environmental impact.
Who brings all these factors together?
After this needed premise, I wanted to see if there is indeed someone capable of bringing all these concepts about sustainable interior design together. And well…Of course there is. I am talking about an amazing brand I discovered while working on a project in Denmark. It’s called Stykka.
This is not a sponsored article, but just an enthusiastic review of what I saw so far that also makes me hope for a greener and smarter future in Interior Design.
As it happens in every other field today, this leap forward is possible thanks to strong digitization of the design and production process based on a cloud-native platform. The company produces bespoke furniture solutions and defines itself as a Construction-Tech Startup.
The pillars of Stykka’s technology-based approach are durability, maintenance-optimisation, and sustainability all aimed at creating a circular system.
Through the company’s platform, each piece of furniture is identified through a QR code and provided with a digital twin. This allows not only to quickly share data with architects and subcontractors but also track down each piece whenever a replacement or a new part to substitute is needed.
The theme of sustainability is seen also through the developers’ perspective. Stykka’s furniture pieces, in fact, are also designed with easy installation, refurbishment, disassembly, and replacement in mind. This along with the choice of specifically durable materials contribute to the significant cost of ownership reduction. Additionally, the management of furniture orders as ‘fleets’ through the digital platform further reduces the operating costs and time spent on each step.
I find it really interesting how Stykka decides to focus on the total cost of ownership rather than just the initial costs of production and fitting. Their products will perform better and save money in the long-term. It makes me wonder why we aren’t all already thinking this way as common practice, but the reality is that so many times we still focus on the initial costs. Instead, the products we buy have a whole life after the purchase and THAT is the part we should rather focus on as it involves the final users directly.
I also mentioned durable materials. Stykka indeed prides itself on exclusively using FSC100 plywood cores paired with HPL surfaces for its pieces. These should be much more durable than other common materials such as MFC and MDF which not only might contain more non-sustainable components, but also make upcycle and repair impossible.
Stykka represents an extremely interesting and innovative example of technology dedicated to improving Interior sustainability through durability, waste, and costs reduction while also creating a unique ecosystem and user experience. And most of all, it does all of that with beautiful, minimal, and clean lines in typical Danish style. Hopefully, we’ll see more and more integration of design and technology bringing value, traceability, and sustainability.
I am Martina, an Italian designer based in London. I spend most of my time designing interiors or writing about it. I also love travelling. You may find me walking around the East End of London, drinking coffee and stopping at every single bookshop I bump into.