WATCH: This London designer turns seaweed into lights and furniture

Written by By Laleh Gharahbaghian, CNN

We love the juxtaposition of space-age and rustic design in Murray Bartlett’s works.

The London-based designer’s latest contribution to the Ecovore Food Foundation’s annual garden-to-table events is a “syntheticized pipe” stool that features a custom color palette of shells and glass. At the Efosa event in Hong Kong on January 6, 2018, Bartlett gave an audience of fashion and food nerds a tour of the workshop where he is in the midst of converting these dishes into commercial products.

A Sun Berries work in the workshop that makes up the new stool. Credit: Murray Bartlett

Who’s keeping track of your work?

So many people all over the world are doing their own thing. When I first started this, I thought ‘ok, let’s do a single-minded and distinct work.’ And now I realize there’s a lot more to it than that — an entire entanglement of different disciplines within this one building, and working out how we make these products happen in harmony.

By creating and performing these multiple cycles, I’m able to push through my creative process, I’m the driving force of all this. And for me, this is why I’m doing it: I want to be able to transport ideas, leave them, go and do something else, and be aware of my place in a bigger world. I always say that I’m living a life where I don’t have to have my head stuck in the middle of things.

The seating at the Macrogarden event in Milan in November, 2018, is fashioned from 18 kilograms of seeds. Credit: Murray Bartlett

“Sun Berries”

You have a connection to sunflowers, the first artificial flowers. It’s a case study of sustainability in action.

I’m interested in reinventing technologies — in fact, technology is part of the whole process of me, personally, finding my identity. There’s something else going on in every piece that we make, whether it’s using your own food products or not. Every physical product, whether it’s sugar or fruit, in some way, it has to be shaped out of some other material, or it doesn’t work. That’s what I want to work through.

Sun Berries make-up a bright blue stool. Credit: Murray Bartlett

The driftwood lamp uses branches sourced from a wetland site in Lisle, England.

The wood in that lamp is from a wetland site in Lisle, England. I don’t want to explain what that means, but I want you to just know it.

“Fiddle Waddle in a Lamp”

You work in a variety of media — furniture, packaging, industrial process — and beyond textiles, jewelry, and even scenography. What’s the main goal?

I’m interested in food and food concepts. I like experimenting with this — working out how I can share ideas with people, how I can engage, where I can show what we’ve made and a bit of transparency about it. There’s nothing new about having our hands in the project, and our hands outside the process.

The kit includes a water purifier in the front, drip irrigation and products for making pastures from fabric.

I find that food-related work brings people together — that’s a lovely thing about doing it. I like people finding things in their kitchen. The water purifier is there to help people learn more about it and how to use it.

The workshop made up the main part of the Euromega in Istanbul. Credit: Murray Bartlett

“Fiddle Waddle in a Lamp”

The workshop made up the main part of the Euromega in Istanbul, Turkey.

A man on the other side of the globe finds the tools and materials to make the lamp.

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