06/09/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2021 03:11
The coordinators of the exhibition's set design chose different combinations of cork with various components, such as recycled rubber, recycled EVA and recycled Pu. The exhibition was inaugurated on June 2 at the Casa do Design, in Matosinhos, thereby launching the second edition of the Porto Design Biennale. The non-cork materials are derived from surplus products from the automobile, footwear and tyre industries. The cork-based material derives from by-products generated during the production process of cork stoppers, or cork that does not have suitable characteristics for the production of stoppers.
The installation consists of 104 tubes that operate as an antechamber for the Museum of Vibrant Matter, the main exhibition of the Porto Design Biennale 2021. From the outset, the idea was to build a playground that has a life of its own, that will invite visitors to immerse themselves in the exhibition. It creates an amphitheatre where people immediately sense the appeal of local materials - whether biological, technical or hybrid - and harmonise with them in order to take better care of each other, and of other living beings, soil, water and geological elements.
The creatives responsible for the installation - Miguel Flor and Cristina Hora - said: 'how could we design the present initiative and this exhibition without including the greatest Portuguese reference in the field of sustainability? In this Museum,of Vibrant Matter, AMORIM lives and endows new life. The company challenged us creatively and will certainly challenge the spectators who visit the exhibition'. The duo also used cork panels, printed using serigraphy, to materialise the entire communication project for the exhibition at the Museum of Vibrant Matter. Cork-lined benches and tables are the other objects in the exhibition that use this genuine Portuguese raw material.
'One of Corticeira Amorim's principal strategies, and also one of its biggest challenges, is the valorisation of its raw material and any waste that is generated,' explains Cristina Rios de Amorim. 'Under the motto nothing is lost, everything is valued, Corticeira Amorim has been making a continuous effort since 1963 to optimize the use of cork and maximise the added value of this valuable raw material. All the by-products generated in the production process are incorporated into other applications with high added value. Even the material that can't be incorporated into products is valued as an energy source - biomass - which is considered to be neutral in terms of CO2 emissions.'
But the responsibility for this 'living matter', cork, goes much further. It extends, for example, to the support of sseveral cork stopper collection and recycling initiatives across the five continents and, although no trees are cut for the production of cork, some of these programmes, in particular Green Cork in Portugal, contribute to reforestation initiatives with native trees, including cork oak trees. In 2020, 100% of cork was used in the production process. Over 80% of the materials consumed by Corticeira Amorim are renewable (over 85% if we also consider recycled products), 90% of all non-cork waste was sent for recovery, 66% of energy used was sourced from biomass (essentially cork dust), and 736 tonnes of cork were recycled at the end of its life. Since 2008, revenues from the cork recycling programmes have made it possible to plant over 1.2 million native trees in Portugal through Quercus' Common Forest programme.
The Porto Design Biennale is organised by esad-idea, Research in Design and Art and is promoted by the municipalities of Porto and Matosinhos. It aims to promote Portuguese Design in dialogue with the global context, assuming the importance of the discipline in the production of culture and critical knowledge and in answer to the most urgent contemporary issues. The Porto Design Biennale, whose first edition was in 2019, seeks to promote Design as a common language for reflection, questioning and sharing in a global context of intense uncertainty and accelerated change. The Porto Design Biennale's set of exhibitions, conferences, workshops and publications, although concentrated in a limited period of intensive programming, aim to generate a continuous volume of discussion and thought about Design as a contemporary discipline that has imminent protagonism and responsibility in collective life and in environmental survival. The 2021 edition of the Porto Design Biennale, under the theme Alter-Realities: Designing the Present, is curated by Alastair Fuad-Luke. In this edition of the PDB'21 we intend to look at the practice of design as a vehicle to create new ways of relating to the city, feeling empathy for the life around us, drawing closer to local production processes and looking at work and leisure from the perspective of well-being.