Sustainability is certainly a rising value in the world of design. More and more studies are incorporating sustainable criteria into their work processes. Some even find in sustainability the reason for their existence.
This is the case of OiKo, founded in 2015 by the Alumni Jose F. López-Aguilar and Salva Codinach, who define the project as "a design studio and materials consultant focused on the transition to a circular economy." OiKo was born after both López-Aguilar and Codinach found a lack of initiatives in this field: "when we wondered what a 21st century industrial design studio should look like, we understood that what we wanted didn't exist or we didn't know where it was, so we decided to jump into the deep end and form a stable work team".
“We already had clients so we were able to start with certain inertia” they explain, which is why the growth of the studio has been so organic. They currently have a team of five people and are strengthening the network of local clients and starting international projects in Sweden, Austria or Italy.
Scientific concepts of sustainability
In OiKo they work with scientific concepts of sustainability in each project, either something as small as a signage of a reserved, or a collection of furniture for a major design brand or the conversion of an industrial process.
"We don't want to launch products continuously, we are more comfortable choosing a few but intense ones, full of affection and attention and in which we can control every detail to make sure that what we do is an option that breathes from the ecological and social values we believe in. We try to make things the best we can, and it is true that we have not always succeeded, but these mistakes have also given us a lot of knowledge that must be taken into account in order to propose new and more effective solutions in the future" they say.
Design and manufacture with post-consumer recycled plastics
One of the projects they are most proud of is the Hook lamp, with which they won the Red Dot, the Green Product, the German Design Award and the Iberoamerican Biennial of Design, among other awards. "We are very happy especially for what is not seen, for what it meant to star to design and manufacture with post-consumer recycled plastics, and the technical and aesthetic universe that involves, and, on the other hand, for something as invisible and essential as relocating a production that ‘naturally’ would have been in China ”they emphasize.
They are also very pleased with Aflote.org, a social collection and recycling system for post-consumer cork stoppers. "This initiative, launched together with Lluís Morón, is a perfect example of what we are trying to do with all our projects: minimize the environmental impact and maximize the social impact" they explain.
The first pieces made from recycled Aflote cork will be seen in a few months under the brand of a major winery. López-Aguilar and Codinach hope that the new society that is approaching after the confinement "will know that sustainability is not an option, but the only way to live."