A sustainable piece of furniture for the preservation of fruits & vegetables
Freskos seeks to change the common perception about food culture and the environmental impact of our choices. Also, to bring ancestral weaving techniques and craftsmanship on the forefront supporting and promoting heritage through creative partnerships. Challenging the use of natural fibers and their properties, creating innovative materials for contemporary human needs and resources management.
Freskos is an innovative, crafted system for the preservation of fruits and vegetables.
The partnership aims to bring close ancient yet natural ways of preserving with contemporary needs of food and life culture.
A research and reinvention of the properties of the selected natural/ locally sourced materials and the weaving patterns wish to lead to strong and durable structures that will empower the final design. A system where local, talented artisans are going to be collaborating in order to protect their expertise and spread their knowledge. This know-how can then be redefined
with modern techniques.
Upon the different needs of the fruits & vegetables, and by studying the best environment for each family, unlike approaches are going to be embraced based on the principles of modularity, weaving innovation and material transformation through mixes with natural binders or other fibers.
Almost 3 tonnes of food – including fruits and vegetables – are being thrown away globally, every day. Knowing that we are responsible for most of this food waste because we are not storing them in an appropriate environment or we forget them in the fridge, made us feel frustrated. In most cases, it’s a lack of knowledge rather than a willingness to store them in the most fit environment. What if we can bring nature inside our kitchen and be part of the preservation of our fruits and vegetables?
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
If we want to encourage people to care about the environment, we need to bring the environment back to the cities and inside our homes. It was then that the story of Freskos starts, with the desire to indulge a proper connection with the fruits & vegetables but also to promote a healthier lifestyle and combat food waste, through a holistic approach. Our goal was to share that with people and involve them in the growing, preservation and storing of their produce (fruits & vegetables) in order to appreciate their beauty, be more conscious and enjoy being part of Freskos experience! What we are suggesting is that people take care of their food in the same way that they take care of their plants and garden.
By looking into ancestral knowledge of preservation and combining with design skills and craft expertise we started to shape a new alternative for preservation at home in a more conscious way without losing the nutritional value and taste.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
Fruits & vegetables are still alive when we buy them. A combination of research and experimentation through trial & error helped us understand a lot about the different needs of fruits & vegetables in terms of humidity, light, air circulation, ethylene production and respecting as well the relations between them. That was our greatest challenge while developing Freskos. Freskos is a locally hand-crafted, modular, sustainable piece of furniture that helps eating healthy while being mindful of waste. It is an integrated structure that uses no screws, rather than local wood joinery techniques. It merges tradition with innovation, heritage with the future. Building the containers was a creative process where we learnt and explored a lot, challenging the fibers in forms, shapes and patterns. Materials as palm, jute, cork, bunho and hemp were carefully selected and used in accordance with their properties in order to create the best environment for each group of produce, but also to emphasize the value of fruits and vegetables without counteracting nature’s welfare. The sizes of the baskets were decided upon the recommended daily consumption of fruits and veg. By choosing native natural fibers as our main materials and basketry as our main technique we rethink craft for our contemporary needs.
It was not the first time that we worked together but the common passion for circularity, environmental welfare and design driven by nature is what makes this collaboration so resilient.
Despina and I met in a creative residency in France where we volunteered, helping to take care of the vegetable garden that provides the community with food. We quickly connected over our curiosity and passion for nature. Through Freskos, we discovered a lot about fruits & vegetables but also about the process, the importance of documentation as well as the necessary tasks to be completed in order to get the most out of this collaboration/ project. Being in contact with local craftsmen who are part of the production was also vital for the process. By learning about past knowledge, we could protect and promote cultural heritage and natural processes in our days.
In the future, we hope to be selling Freskos and promote the culture that follows it in a local production. We envision Freskos as the starting point for a series of products that embrace and forward sustainable solutions to our food culture and engage people in taking further action.
Collaboration gives the freedom to approach a topic from different angles, challenge societal questions but most importantly, to bring continuous improvement. As for Freskos, the way we treat our food implies the way we treat our bodies and minds and this is part of an overall culture that we want to spread.
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An environmental researcher and product designer with experience in different projects and areas of design. Despina is inspired by natural mechanisms and sustainable choices.
- DESPINA KENTEROGLOU
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Marta has been working as crafter and maker of natural and waste fibres/materials, exploring new possibilities to adapt to contemporary needs. She works in collaboration with other designers or developing her own pieces.
- MARTA SANDE CASTRO
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