Designers and researchers join forces to imagine the home of the future

Batten’s Bala Mulloth and chemical engineering professor Gaurav Giri, co-founders of Hava Inc., are one of nine design teams commissioned to provide the public with a glimpse into the future of home furnishings and objects for a show titled Hybrid at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.

Designers and Researchers Join Forces to Imagine the Home of the Future
Hybrid's creative director Stephen Todd, with the HAVA pendant light and purifier.

A tombstone and funerary urn made from the possessions of a deceased person are to go on show at the Powerhouse Museum from Saturday.

The End of Life memorial comes from the studio GibsonKarlo and the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of NSW. Together they make up one of nine design teams commissioned to provide the public with a tantalizing glimpse into the future of home furnishings and objects, in a show titled Hybrid.

Hybrid's creative director, Stephen Todd, sees commercial potential for Gibson Karlo and SMaRT's process, which combines waste textiles and plastics into a hardened, waterproof material akin to terrazzo. It also has recycling potential and offers sentimental appeal.

"It creates something quite beautiful that can exist as a modern sculpture and actually has elements of that person within," Todd said.

For Hybrid, which opens Saturday, select design studios were paired with researchers and asked to create home objects and furnishings for the year 2030.

"We wanted to focus on future homes because that's intriguing but we didn't want science fiction," Todd said.

Recycling limits, rising temperatures, fossil fuel reliance, multi-generational households, and bad news fatigue were some of the conditions design teams were asked to consider in the urban context.

"The idea was, rather than just do a show of existing designer works, which would be like a trade show, what if we challenge them to work with someone else creating in a different field," Todd said.

Industrial designer Charles Wilson collaborated with University of Virginia academics Gaurav Giri and Bala Mulloth to reinvent the domestic air purifier.

Related Content

Bala Mulloth

Garrett Hall at Sunset

Stay Up To Date with the Latest Batten News and Events