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Flexible polyurethane foam: industrial waste becomes useful and valuable

During Milan Design Week 2021, Spaces Isola hosted the exhibition Window Display - Foamy Fantasy, a thematic installation that aimed to highlight the design sensitivity and dialogue between design and industry, promoted by Pelma, for almost 60 years one of the most established companies in the flexible polyurethane foam production sector.
Curated by Finemateria of the Milanese duo Stefano Bassan and Gianluca Sigismondi, the installation aimed to examine flexible polyurethane foam from the micro to the large scale, according to four different objects and interpretations. 


The valorisation of polyurethane foam waste


Industrial polyurethane foam waste has a precise physical identity, a hidden potential and its own uniqueness. The visitor was therefore asked to change his perception of the concept of waste to make it an object rich in value, thanks to a different and new interpretation. The installation, which is a continuation of the Comfort/Uncomfort project presented at EDIT Naples in 2020, focuses attention on enhancing the value of polyurethane foam, highlighting its merits and bringing to light its defects, considering it from a new, original point of view. 

The installation in four window displays

The installation is a combination of techniques, processes and ideas that have been experimented and synthesised over the last 12 months in four different works displayed in four window displays: the Mucchio, the Tappeto, the Blocco and the Minerale. 

Il Mucchio highlights the iconic form of the waste heap; irregular shapes of various densities and colours can be seen. In this window display, one perceives the impressiveness of the waste mass which, after a process of cutting out, becomes a fundamental component of a chair. 

Il Tappeto combines all the company's expertise in cutting processes into a single large product. Retrieved from the mattress production line, these soft cuts are developed to bind layers of different densities.

Il Blocco, on the other hand, reveals the purity of polyurethane foam; a set of regular, single-material modules.
Finally, il Minerale is the smallest, most solid, inorganic element. A symbolic object that, with the appearance of a mineral, portrays the beauty and preciousness of what was once a waste and is now a jewel. 

Pelma S.p.A.

Via Mazzini, 500, Bassano Bresciano, 25020, Brescia, Italia

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