All throughout April we are focusing on the ‘Design Revolution’. With Milan Design Week coming up innovation is on everyone’s minds and we kick things off with a Q&A with a new product/material from young designer, Conor Taylor.
Conor recently partnered with with materials and surface manufacturer Solomon & Wu. Their extensive experience with varied and complex projects in more than 40 countries allow Foresso to tackle even the most demanding of applications.
So Conor, as you know our theme for April is ‘Design Revolution’ – What about Foresso do you think is revolutionary?
As far as I know it’s the world’s first timber terrazzo! It’s a more sustainable version of the traditional stone terrazzos, while retaining many of the same qualities in its versatility, durability and aesthetic. It’s amazing recently to see so many people engaging with new materials, and especially those that make use of waste as a raw material rather than something to be discarded.
How did the idea for Foresso come about?
Foresso started as an exploration of wood waste while I was working in a South London carpentry workshop. I wanted to make something as a reaction against the culture of disposable interiors that also celebrated the variety and beauty of woodgrain. Terrazzo has a long history of reusing offcuts and waste from the marble and stone industries so I wanted to take those traditional values and apply a modern eye to them.You say that each colourway was inspired by London – Can you explain the idea and process for this?
For me a big part of sustainability is knowing the provenance of the materials that I use, and for me terrazzo is very much a material for cities. So to try and give a sense of place to each colourway I used my experiences of growing up and living in London as inspiration.
For instance, in the early 60s my grandmother moved to a flat in Holland Park from Cyprus when it was still full of tradesmen, refugees, and immigrants. I’ve lived in the area for a few years and the terraced houses in wide leafy streets are now highly desirable, with the interiors stripped back and painted white. I wanted Bianco Mono (London Plane timber in a white binder) to be a slightly tongue-in-cheek take on this. At first glance clean and modern but at closer inspection it’s full of this complex Victorian timber.How did you get involved with Jake Solomon and what is his part in this?
Once I got to the stage where I was fairly confident in making full sheets I approached Jake as I knew I would not be able to produce any kind of volume on my own. We hit it off quickly and have been working really closely together for a little more than a year now . Together we’ve done a huge amount of development on the material and production processes, without his support it wouldn’t have been possible to take Foresso to where it is now.
What’s in the future for Foresso and what’s the next step for you?
Coming up soon is a collaborative exhibition for Salone Del Mobile with Maresca Interiors and Fromental, they’ve designed some really amazing Foresso pieces for it.
As far as Foresso development goes we’re currently working on incorporating lime plaster waste into the binder to replace cement, we can source this from foundries which produce tonnes of the stuff as waste from the mouldmaking process and hopefully can keep increasing the proportion of recycled material. I’m aiming to use more waste than we produce. Other than those it’s full steam ahead with production and projects!Contact Conor Taylor at www.foresso.co.uk