Fiber Mates is a collaboration between Laura Jungmann, Jonathan Radetz, Martha Schwindling and Elena Tezak.
The designers make use of a new production process developed and patented by a German engineering company: Any kind of fiber –from textile threads and shredded plastic bottles to natural fibers like wool, hemp or wood– can be mixed with a thermoplastic bonding fiber and blown into a mold, where it gets heated and pressed into the final 3D shape. This process can be used to upcycle industrial scraps or waste and to replace energy-intensive and toxic PU foam processing. Besides the environmental advantages it is also highly efficient in the use of raw material and it doesn’t require pre-products in the shape of mats or blocks. All leftover fibers can be reused, and already pressed forms can be torn again and reused for the process. The production method further allows for complex variations of density and shape in a single part.
At Salone Satellite 2018 in Milan the four designers present a series of seating elements and room dividers that illustrate the potential of pressed fibers as a resource for the furniture industry while further reflecting the designers’ interest in modularity and materiality.
Different kinds of viscose fibers
Perforated aluminium and steel pressing mold
Design by Laura Jungmann, Jonathan Radetz, Martha Schwindling & Elena Tezak
Recycled PET, recycled polyester, recycled wool and hemp.
The Ripple Cushions are stackable in many layers. Due to the rippled surface relief, the single cushions interlock. They can be used as a low floor cushion or piled up as high as a regular stool. The prototypes are made from various fiber materials and illustrate a multiplicity of densities.
Design by Laura Jungmann and Jonathan Radetz
Recycled PET, recycled wool, polyester, steel connectors.
The Tangle Screen appears as an organic structure that can grow in every direction. The single modules, made from recycled PET and wool fibers, are slightly flexible and can be connected at three points into a dynamic, three-dimensional, open network.
5-Part steel mold for the Tangle-module
Polyester fibers to mix with thermoplastic bonding fibers
Design by Martha Schwindling and Elena Tezak
Recycled polyester fibers, wool fabric, steel buttons, silicone rings.
The Soft Screen modules are three-dimensional pillows that can be easily assembled into loose, open structures, or closed surfaces that make for effective, acoustic room dividers. Recycled polyester fibers are laminated with different color fabrics on each side. Manifold layouts are possible in the composition of this versatile screen.
The Fiber Mates are:
All images by Robert Hamacher
Special thanks to Egon Förster / Fiber Engineering