Five projects that highlight circular design at Southern Sweden Design Days 2024

Fashion garments made from airbags and furniture crafted from “unattractive” materials are among the projects on show at this year’s Southern Sweden Design Days in Malmö.

Organised by architecture and design centre Form/Design Center, the annual design festival Southern Sweden Design Days showcases work from national and international participants across design, architecture and crafts.

Operating under this year’s theme of ‘care’, the festival’s fourth edition is populated with work by designers aiming to tackle carbon emissions in their respective industries – with a particular focus on locally-produced artwork and products.

Here, we have collected five projects that highlight this year’s focus on care, sustainability and circularity:

Airbag Project at Southern Sweden Design Days
Photo by Anders Ahlgren

Airbag Project by Malmö Upcycling Service

A collection of garments made from 200 reclaimed airbags was showcased as part of a group exhibition led by design studio Malmö Upcycling Service at this year’s Southern Sweden Design Days.

Created by a group of local fashion and textile artists, including Studio Soriano, the collection ranges from bespoke handbags and jackets to lighting and conceptual designs.

The exhibition, which was curated by industrial designer Anna Gudmundsdottir, explores the potential reuse of waste airbags. These are currently “impossible for the industry to re-use and extremely hard to recycle”, the designer said.

Nöj Dig! at Southern Sweden Design Days

Nöj Dig by Finn Ahlgren 

Furniture company Nöj Dig has exhibited a collection of its furniture built from “discarded, unattractive materials” at this year’s event.

Led by designer Finn Ahlgren, the work by Nöj Dig focuses on accepting the aesthetic limitations of objects. It therefore builds with already-worn materials, in order to anticipate the future wear and tear of a material.

Among the collection are chairs and storage cupboards constructed from an assortment of reclaimed wood.

Therma Testa at Southern Sweden Design Days

Therma Testa by Flemming Tvede Hansen and Isak Worre Foged

Displayed within the Planetary Boundaries exhibition, Therma Testa features a wall assembled of modular ceramics defined by a twisted and glazed top.

Made solely from local clay, the project by professors Flemming Tvede Hansen and Isak Worre Foged from the Royal Danish Academy explores how this material can be used to form “expressive, functional and thermal building elements.

The shape of the ceramics was designed to enhance the cooling potential of the clay-based wall.

The Aesthetics of Crushing at Southern Sweden Design Days

The Aesthetics of Crushing by Nina Erichsen and Jacob Bang

Similarly exhibited within the Planetary Boundaries exhibition, The Aesthetics of Crushing explores the use of ceramic waste as a substitute for the use of fresh clay in building projects.

The project by Nina Erichsen and Jacob Bang showcases experiments into the process, which sees crushed discarded bricks being mixed with clay particles before being moulded into new objects.

The results of the experimentation are rough, textured objects that aim to promote circularity in the construction industries.

Superlab at Southern Sweden Design Days

Design for Circularity by Superlab

A collection of flat-pack furniture comprised of a table and two benches made from reclaimed wood was highlighted at this exhibition by design laboratory Superlab.

Advocating for awareness of a product’s environmental impact, the Design for Circularity exhibition by Superlab uses user-friendly systems to clearly outline recycling and reuse options for their products.

These systems include providing barcodes linking to Digital Product Passports that explain a product’s materiality, measurements and potential reuse and recycling instructions.

The photography is courtesy of Southern Sweden Design Days, unless otherwise stated.

Southern Sweden Design Days is taking place at venues across Malmö from 23 to 26 May. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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