Tactile Legerity


Cork: New appliances of a manifold natural material

We've all experienced it at one time or another: we've been invited to dinner in a nice atmosphere and are looking forward to a promising wine. However, we wait in vain for the hoped-for 'plop' of the cork – instead the bottle is opened by the host with an unaesthetic twist of the screw top (which of course doesn't necessarily mean that the wine isn't as good as it promised to be). Cortica von Daniel Michalik, 2004 Cortica von Daniel Michalik, 2004
In bottles of wine, the best-known use of natural cork as a material, it is increasingly being replaced by plastic corks, crown corks, screw tops or glass stoppers.
However, almost imperceptibly this natural material is undergoing a massive expansion in other areas of product design.
Ondawallpanel by Daniel Michalik, 2005 Ondawallpanel by Daniel Michalik, 2005
Cork enables innovative production methods and new ways of interaction with the environment. Widely praised as a pioneering force in green trends, this tactile and unconventional material provides natural solutions to a number of product design requirements: cork is resilient and springy, sound absorbing, shock and fire resistant. Among aware designers and consumers cork is valued as a combinable and environmentally friendly material which is both sustainable and reusable. This natural material is 100% watertight, resistant to rotting and is therefore ideally suited to both inside and outside use. It's a popular material for children's products, too, because it is low in weight, tactile, easy to maintain and is soft and warm to the touch. In other words, cork has a wide range of applications. Special coatings which keep thin cork strong and flexible are applied in addition to processes such as casting and bending. As a result cork comes not just in the form of flooring but more and more also as bowls, stools, lamps, vases, sideboards, floating pool chairs and even as cast cork with Swarovski crystals. Or as a chaise longue which is ideal for relaxing with a bottle of good wine – opened with a corkscrew, of course. Wash-Basin by Simpleformsdesign, 2008

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