Anja Sopic Design
Cologne | Germany
ANJASOPICDESIGN is an interdisciplinary research and design studio, facilitating a dialogue between art & design. We create stylistic, aesthetic, and narrative models, which are speculative by nature and are essentially determined by the convergence of different aesthetic forms of representation.
It is undeniable that sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic in almost all areas of everyday life. As a design studio, we are also increasingly concerned with this topic: Every year Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when people consumed the entire biological resource budget for the year, this year it was as recently as August 22nd. People currently consume around 60% more than what our planet can renew – or in other words, as much as if we were living on 1.6 Earths. As a company that manufactures and sells products and is part of one of the largest industries, we are on a fine line, as we like to provide our customers with new products, while at the same time running the risk of continuing to push the spiral of resource consumption even further.
The one and only question that arises for us is – how can we reduce our resource consumption (for raw materials) and adapt the production and distribution of our products so that we as a company can significantly reduce our ecological footprint. Our approach is primarily aimed at promoting and practicing upcycling. We know that this aspect, or should we say the strategy, is only one out of many on the way to a more sustainable industry, but it represents a beginning transition from past production methods to a much greener future. We have started to use recycled parts of old, disused furniture and combined them with new and more natural materials. The first project of this kind was the Spider project, where we turned a used swivel chair from around 1950 into a lamp in 2017. Not only was it interesting to see how the function of a piece of furniture had changed, but we also recognized the potentials of upcycling – less waste production through reusing furniture (building) parts while saving energy and material on the way. Since 2019, we have not only extended the range of our lamps, but we have focused even more on the materials to be processed during our production. We are now using mainly recycled or organic materials in all of our projects. Our fabrics are particularly characterized by their strength, durability and sustainability. Additionally, we avoid to extensively print on fabrics in order to maintain the natural characteristics of the material. We also use recycled wood as basic material for our furnitures, where we preserve the natural wooden look and haptics by abandoning varnishes and paints.