Ethically responsible? Socially minded? Back to crafts? Yes. But Artecnica has been one of the pioneers, also, of aesthetically sustainable design.
Trained as a fashion illustrator originally, Iran-born Tahmineh Javanbahkt, co-founded the Los Angeles company with her husband, Italian-born architect Enrico Bressan in 1987 and by 2002 had established the sub-label Design With Conscience to focus clearly on green products. One of the most high-profile of these projects was conceived by Dutch designer Tord Boontje, whose TranSglass vessels, though made from humble, used beer and wine bottles, are included in New York MoMA’s permanent architecture and design collection. More recent projects include sustainable die-cut cork cases inspired by the bare-bones beauty of traditional envelopes. When the Media Arts Lab (MAL) at the TBWA ad agency asked Artecnica to find a way to recycle their large-format billboards, the studio used them to line the interior of each case: a wallet, a clutch and a handbag.