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Second Skin – A Lifestyle Trend 2017/18

Second Skin-Interior Design & Lifestyle Trend 2017-©Eclectic Trends

It might sound weird to some, but skin future materials have been intriguing recently many design schools and graduated students. We’d like to raise the question of

What would happen if our skin could adapt to outside conditions flexibly, autonomously, and according to the location?
Gudy Herder


This Interior Design&Lifestyle Trend 2017 talks about research, innovation and new technologies.

As I wrote in our newsletter and getting a bit more personal about what I think about likable trends, when visiting the Off-Salone back in April, I found several examples of how intriguing the SKIN theme is to many designers.

At Material Futures (Central Saint Martin’s, London) they encourage their students to a multi-disciplinary approach to design taking materiality as the starting point of the design process. The most advanced (and probably controversial) projects are always showcased at their group exhibition in Milan. This year what stroke me most was a project by Tina Gorjanc where cells from human hair were transformed thanks to biotechnology into speculative commercial leather products. All existing legislation dealing with biotechnology today is united under the Human Tissue Act, which only addresses the handling of bodily materials for medical purposes. The question is for how long?

I read somewhere that in 2070 most of the designs are not done in design studios anymore but are most likely to be developed in laboratories. And I truly believe that will even happen sooner. The fact we talk about SKIN may attract curiosity or be the total opposite.

Second Skin-Interior Design & Lifestyle Trend Spring Summer 2017-©Eclectic Trends

Going back to our trend, let’s concentrate on Interior Design for now and see a few designers and artists who are immersed in the topic. It is a very interesting approach of how we want to feel in our skin, how our skin has to adapt to our environment and how to translate these questions into textiles, art and furniture.

Second Skin-Interior Design & Lifestyle Trend Spring Summer 2017-©Eclectic Trends

Andreea Mandrescu

Andrea runs a design company specialising in textile, material and surface design with various applications. The textile collections are an exploration of different materials that include faux fur, rubbers, leather and veneers on a variety of base fabrics. The fabrics are versatile, made to fit pattern garments for fashion design to being wrapped around the body as accessories. Similar range of fabrics is available for soft furnishings & upholstery which makes it a perfect fit for our Interior Design approach.

Natsai Audrey Chieza

Natsai Audrey’s project Voluntary Mutations explores the aesthetic possibilities of a subculture derived from an environment where D.I.Y stem cell biology becomes a not too far possibility. The hybrid approach of practice between science, technology, philosophy and craft is grounded in aesthetic sensibilities and inherent codes of textile design. If you start investigating textile design, that is a very common factor today.

Madalin Gheorge

The properties of the material are programmed according to the local requirements of the object thanks to future additive manufacturing technology. The human skin represents the inspiration for this chair project. From a biological point of view, it is non-homogenous, it is organic and it adapts according to the form of the body and functionality. The outcome is a chair unique in its shape, high level of comfort and a rather attention-drawing design.

Sonja Bäumel

Crocheted membrane is a self-initiated project by Sonja Bäumel translating scientific data into crochet pieces representing a design language in-between science and fashion design.

Second Skin-Interior Design & Lifestyle Trend Spring Summer 2017-©Eclectic Trends

Megan Mitchell

Megan Mitchell depicts in her Beautiful Human Decay project different types of decay and human insecurities in the most creative and interestingly beautiful ways. The result is an aesthetically beautiful series of photographs that feature a collection of intricate work of beads, fabric and buttons to create the impression of human limbs and nature in decay on people’s arms, kneecaps or calves.


British designer Gigi Barker created the handmade ‘skin stool’ and ‘skin chair’ to recreate the sensation of sitting on a naked body. ‘A body of skin’ by studio 9191 is a furniture collection that explores the intricate subtleties and varieties of the skin surface and the volumes of the flesh.The structure is accompanied by leather applied through classic upholstery techniques such pattern cutting, buttoning, and moulding that provide a potential familiarity and thus more subtle visual impact.

Lucy Glendinning

Lucy is a British contemporary artist who specializes in sculptures and installation pieces. What I really find interesting about her installation Skins 2 is the fact that they are no longer in a form that we recognize as human but we still see it to be ‘human’, which most probable has to do with the color of the material, too. I thought it was genius and could lead to much dialogue.

Front for Moroso

Creatures which are slightly unsettling yet docile and harmless. Anomaly is a project full of contradictions, halfway between visionary manipulation of a body and a design of a household pet-object. The natural colored leather is stretched over a wooden mould, then used to cover a soft foam seat, digitally milled to fit the shape snugly. Swedish design outfit Front promises “to awaken curiosity, affection or even repulsion.” The more often I stumble upon them on events, the better I like them! I guess it takes some time to acknowledge its humor and design…

Second Skin-Interior Design & Lifestyle Trend Spring Summer 2017-©Eclectic Trends

Simon Hasan

Simon’s approach can best be described as a type of Design Archaeology; a combination of historical research and hands-on material experimentation. He was asked to reinterpret Jean-Marie Massaud’s Archibald chair in a commission by Poltrona Frau and Wallpaper* magazine for its inaugural Handmade issue. Stripping back the generous layers of upholstery to reveal the unseen skeleton hidden within, Hasan made a new structural skin from boiled leather.

Floor van Doremalen

She considers herself as a visual storyteller, textile designer and material explorer and her work invites to touch and feel. She often creates unknown and surrealistic atmospheres and make them become tangible. The result of her work is usually a material or product applied for interior or fashion. I discovered her at the Off-Salone and was truly fascinated by her work.

Sarah Maloney

Skin, a piece Sarah has been working on, on and off, for nine years (!!) is a life size woman’s skin made from approximately 400,000 tiny glass beads and nylon thread; it hangs from the ceiling like a garment on molded acrylic shoulders. It was incredibly labor intensive to make as each bead could only be added one at a time. You should check the final page on her site.

SECOND SKIN  is just one of the themes I have developed for TIME OUT belonging to the Spring/Summer Trends for 2017, but it’s in itself a far too interesting topic to be dropped from the agenda. G, x

How about some extra inspiration?


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