Monday, August 4, 2008

Global warming pervades furniture design.

About a year ago now, Sir David Attenborough released the incredible documentary series Planet Earth. Like all his documentaries it was ground breaking, incredibly shot, and most importantly, it effected people and makes them think about things that are difficult to think about.

Usually, it's pretty hard to make me cry. Extreme illness, frustration or the disemboweling scene in Braveheart are about the only things that do it. In one of the Planet Earth episodes a Polar Bear swims out during the spring thaw to find food, he swims and swims and the icebergs get fewer and fewer and watching it my heart just sank. Finally he makes it to a very small island that is populated with walruses, but he was so weak and hungry that he couldn't eat any of them. His claws and teeth couldn't even scratch their skin.

At the time, a lot of people said "Why didn't the film crew step in? Why didn't they save him?" But that would be missing the point. Saving this one starving little guy would not have made a difference, even if it were logistically possible to do so. Filming this, on the other hand, and having it narrated by the world's most highly respected naturalist, raises awareness. People who won't listen to Al Gore or Greenpeace will be more likely to watch Sir David, and hopefully, start thinking about the effects of global warming while there is still time to do something about it.

Taking a leaf out of the Attenborough book, the Mexican design collective Nanimarquina is presenting their "Global Warming Rug" at this year's furniture fair in Valencia, Spain. If I had a spare couple of metres in "Buddy" I would seriously consider getting one ;)

'traditionally carpets have been tools to communicate a culture’s messages. at nanimarquina we want to continue
this practice. and so we have come up with our global warming collection as a platform for communication.
the mexican design collective, NEL, found us a way to carry out such a project, a way of spreading a clear message:
an invitation to reflect on the contemporary world around us. the name says it all: global warming. the loneliness
of a small polar bear surrounded by nothing communicates the urgency of the message. the global warming rug
is a proposition of hope; the potential for a better future, a possible world.' - nanimarquina

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