Local Ecologies

Local Ecologies

As coronavirus has meant that we must stay home in isolation for long periods of time, it is highlighting the importance of local sourcing and production. Many people have had to work from home, including artists and designers. Therefore, designer Sanna Völker has curated a collection of seven furniture and homeware pieces, which were created during coronavirus lockdown. These not only reflect the current unique limitations, but also show how localised design could lead to more environmentally friendly products. Products that are defined as environmentally friendly are usually based on what they are made from or their recyclability. But it is important to also consider how far the product, or its materials, have to travel between its origin, manufacturing site, and yourself. It is also important to know where the products manuals are made and how they are made. Ensuring that they are made responsibly and from sustainable sources.


The project, called Km Zero, includes designs made by seven different Spanish design studios. They were tasked with creating products crafted within one kilometre of the designer’s home, with the materials also sourced within the same radius. The project explores the possibilities of local production at a time in Spain where people were only allowed to go for walks within a one-kilometre limit. Many of the designers were surprised to find what was in fact around them, with many of them working with extremely close workshops and artisans. Two benches and stools, a teapot and ceramics set and a trio of vessels, were created.


Some of the designers took the opportunity to create objects which deal with the topic of loneliness and look at the importance of community and collaboration.

Marta Ayala Herrera’s wooden bench with two separate round seats separated by armrests to reflect isolation. 

Paula Clavería created a stool focused on materiality. This was made from abandoned rubble and granite pieces found on her local street. 

Barcelona’s Turbina Studio smooth bowls and plates are embedded into roughly textures bricks. ‘Future Archeology’ is made to look like fossilised artefacts but are in fact made from fired clay and cast stone. 

Omayra Maymó’s stool is made from rope created by a local artisan. The grass fibre called esparto, which is native to Spain, has been wrapped around a geometric frame to form the solid stool.


Sanna Völker

Sanna Völker is a Swedish-born designer who works between Scandinavia and Spain. Her work focuses on the harmony between rawness and refinement, within objects and furniture. Human intervention in nature and society is a theme that she explores, along with over-consumption and environmental issues. Völker self-produces and commissions works by local craftspeople as she is intrigued by craft and how traditional materials or techniques can be transformed into contemporary pieces. As Well as creating her own pieces she also works as a curator and design teacher?. Each year she curates an exhibition which captures the current moment. Last year the Sisters show focuses on female empowerment, femininity and social justice. 

Völker also contributed a teapot herself, called Presence, to Km Zero. Which, when water is poured into the strainer, slowly drips into the main body of the pot reflecting on time. This piece was made in collaboration with a local ceramics workshop. 

Sanna Völker
David Fiene



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