Salone del Mobile Milano Shanghai


Trend research: SuperNormal – Low Tech


The increasingly widespread use of the new technologies, which are progressively
making for more “intelligent” ways of managing domestic life (a subject that will
be the focus of the Phygital House macrotrend), is accompanied by a return to
lower-intensity technologies. On one hand their use evidences a conscious
of ancient traditions and, on the other, a responsible attitude to the
use of available energy resources and to the impact design choices and lifestyles
have on the environment.


Egloo was conceived by the young Roman designer Marco Zagaria, seeking a lowcost solution for heating small spaces. The small heater, made of terracotta with 3D technology, enables the temperature of a room of approximately 20 m2 to rise by 2° or 3° in around half an hour, simply by harnessing the heat generated by four candles, without any electricity.


Another design that has gone into production thanks to crowdfunding and the
enthusiasm of its supporters - which saw the pre-set target figure double - is
Lumir C, an intriguing Korean design that cleverly manages to combine tradition and innovation. It is a table lamp that works without electricity or batteries but, again, simply by candlelight.


Simply place the heat source under the lamp – a similar method to the candleholders of old –and the thermal energy lights the LED diodes, according to the Seeback thermoelectric effect. This  is enough to make four hours of light, diffused or targeted, with no energy costs and with no polluting batteries to be disposed of.


Lumir C is available in several colours and in either a shiny or a satin finish, and
is easily transportable to any part of the home that needs it, inside or outside.
Moreover, when a perfumed candle is used, the chosen scent will permeate the
space along with the light.
Underscoring the nostalgia effect is a forgotten extinguishing technique: simply


Korea’s Jihyun Ryou has come up with a groundbreaking project, Save Food From The Fridge, from what can currently be regarded as the leading experimental design hub in the widest sense of the term, the Design Academy di Eindhoven. The artist has reflected on the way in which food is stored, fruit and vegetables especially, which we have relegated entirely to the refrigerator, forgetting that fruit and vegetables continue to live and “breathe” even once harvested and that, dusting off the traditional popular customs handed down from generation to generation, alternative and more natural techniques can be employed to preserve their integrity.

Jihyun’s solution is, therefore, a shelf on which the vegetables can be stored, equipped with a basin that collects the water used to keep them damp and which produces enough humidity to keep them fresh, lowering room temperature by a few degrees but maintaining it above that of a refrigerator. The same technique can be applied to fruit bowls, piercing them and setting them on top of a base containing water. She was inspired by the technique employed by her grandmother, an apple grower, to keep them in perfect condition prior to sale.


Lastly, to ensure spices, garlic and onions are kept fresh, the tubs just need enough space for a handful of rice that will absorb the humidity, preventing the formation of lumps. In this way the designer hopes to bring the ancient savoir-faire, handed down orally, back into our everyday lives, applying it to our objects/furnishings and making people aware again of the essence of foods as living organisms.