Inspired Products | November 2013
Long live Villages
The traditional practice in India of lining homes with cow dung inspired Swedish Designer Karin Auran Frankenstein
For years Indian villagers have used cow dung to line the walls of their houses, a cheap way to create thermal insulation. Cow dung then started to be used as an ingredient in the manufacturing of adobe mud bricks to serve the same purpose. Swedish designer Karin Auran Frankenstein was for a long time fascinated by this technique and wanted to do something with this process. Her visit to India in 2008 gave momentum to this desire. ôI travelled in the north of India, spent time in Varanasi, Bodhgaya and had a longer stay in the middle of middle, in Kumharpara, near Kondagaon in the state of Chattisgarh. I spent time in a small craft village and learnt a lot from the local craftspeople. We experimented with their traditional adobe techniques and my ideas of objects and together we built a huge sofa under a beautiful tree,´ she tells us. When Karen returned to her homeland she experimented using the same technique to create smaller objects, but to her disappointment, the material was too fragile in thinner versions. After a lot of experimentation she finally found a solution! ´I found that mixing a type of Mongolian papiermache that includes starch with the adobe resulted in suitable mixtures for my ideas,´ she shares.
This discovery gave birth to the products we see here...
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