The Dwell 24: Irene Purasachit

Irene Purasachit uses flowers and other biodegradable materials and strives for her designs to contribute positively to the environment.

For Thailand-born designer Irene Purasachit, being from a country with a strong manufacturing sector has heavily influenced her practice.

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"In Thailand, it has always been easy to produce something because there are so many markets. Ease of access has caused overproduction—with all the orders from the U.S. or Europe, the leftovers accumulate within the country."

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Purasachit started working with flowers in a floral design course in London and later experimented with floral fragments at Aalto University in Helsinki, where she now lives. Her experiments developed a biodegradable and oil-free material called Flaux, intended to be an alternative to textiles or leather.

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"I imagine that everyone could use Flaux as a regular material." Flower pigments from roses and carnations give each earthy-textured floral sheet its own unique color. 

Read the full Q&A with Irene Purasachit below.   

Hometown: Thailand.

Describe what you make in 140 characters. I design innovative materials and products made from them. My focus is on bio-based material concerning environmental and sustainable aspects.

What’s the last thing you designed? A clutch bag made from my own collection of materials from flower waste.

Do you have a daily creative ritual? Not really. I usually make a to-do list for the next day before I go to bed so that I know how to spend my day right when I wake up.

How do you procrastinate? Back home in Thailand, I would always go snuggle with my cat. Now that I am away from him, I usually video call him through my mom or I go for a walk in a nearby forest.

What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? A kettle! For no particular reason, I just want to have a kettle of my own design

Who are your heroes (in design, in life, in both)? Not a known person, but it’s someone I know that manages to find the right balance between being extremely productive in her work-life and spending quality time with her family.

What skill would you most like to learn? Time management skills, like how to be less obsessed with work. I’m in the phase where I am trying to find the right work-life balance. 

What is your most treasured possession? My cat.

What’s your earliest memory of an encounter with design? I felt like design has always been a part of my life. To me, design is in all the objects we use daily. A rubber band was probably the first object that sparked my appreciation of how the simplest design could have so much impact on our life.

What contemporary design trend do you despise? The Pinterest-minimalism/Instagram-able design projects in the experimental bio-material sector that are usually a collection of unknown mixtures in petri dishes on white background with not much thought for its future implementation.

Finish this statement: All design should... contribute to a better future. Whether it be a better future of the humankind or a better future of the earth’s ecosystems.

What’s in your dream house? My cat and a nice space for my to play around with materials.

How can the design world be more inclusive? Decolonization of designs, less Euro-centric approaches.

What do you wish non-designers understood about the design industry? That design is not only about the high-end, pricey products but it is embedded in almost all parts of our daily life. And that many design projects, especially the innovative-material ones, require time and resources to push forward from a design project to an innovation.

You can learn more about Irene Purasachit on her Instagram.    

View the 2022 Dwell 24!




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