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Room record. It's Our F***ing Backyard. Designing Material Futures. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

Stories by Hydro

Durability and versatility of aluminium material at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

During the exhibition "It's our F***ing Backyard," attention was drawn to the greatest challenge of our time: the climate crisis. Designers can make a significant difference by drawing on local knowledge and looking at materials radically differently. In doing so, they offer design that is both responsible and aesthetic, comfortable and accessible. At this exhibition, which revolved entirely around responsible materials, aluminium, of course, could not be missing.

In keeping with the theme, Hydro's aluminium scrap was chosen to be used as the backdrop for the artworks. This scrap, taken from aluminium profiles, was compressed into blocks that were then completely sanded and polished. "We chose simplicity in our design because the aluminium material is already so expressive and beautiful," said Sanne Schuurman, co-founder of design lab Envisions.

a room with a bed and a table with a chair and a shelf with objects on it

The Envisions design lab consists of more than 20 multidisciplinary designers who all share a fascination for experimental research and the process before a product is developed. Regarding their choice to collaborate with Hydro to create the exhibition design, Sanne says, "At the beginning of our selection process, we looked at the sustainability of aluminium. The process behind the material, the recycling of aluminium. So the approach for this collaboration was that we could borrow the material and afterwards Hydro would return it back into the production cycle."

Envisions believes that change can be made during the early stages of the process of creating products and materials can be used in innovative ways - ways that are not always initially considered. In addition, sustainability is an important topic within their working method. Demand for recycled materials is high, but so is looking at waste streams and marketing sustainable products. In this, they found a good partner in Hydro who also values sustainability. "It was a very fine cooperation characterized by enthusiasm and energy. We are also impressed with the Hydro Design Manual which shows that you are conscious of the design possibilities of the aluminium material. Hydro is a very complete company" said Sanne.

After the exhibition, the aluminum material was returned to Hydro where it was remelted and cast into new billets for reuse in new products.

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