Material of the Year: Jesmonite

London Design Fair announced Jesmonite as their ‘Material of the Year’. The innovative and relatively new material has been a big focus on Design Insider this year as well, especially with our very own Jim Biddulph taking a particularly keen interest, so we decided to make a special feature film during London Design Fair exploring how different designers and artists are using the material.

Jimmy Macdonald, Founder and Director of London Design Fair commented on Jesmonite saying;

“Over the last twelve months, we have most often been surprised to find that Jesmonite has been the medium for some of the most vivid colour displays and fine detail in the products we have been most intrigued by.”

But first a bit of history about Jesmonite…

  • Jesmonite was invented in the UK in 1984 by Peter Hawkins.
  • The original compound was an acrylic-modified gypsum composite which is still sold to this day.
  • It was conceived as a safe alternative to fibreglass (GRP) and as a lightweight alternative to cast concrete.

Now we know the history, lets explore how designers are using it;

We managed to grab an interview with designer and makers Zuza MenghamKatie GilliesOrnamental Grace and Ariane Prin

How do you feel about Jesmonite being LDF’s Material of the Year? Please leave any comments below.

What material would you like us to explore next? let us know by commenting below or by tweeting us and using the #MaterialStory


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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