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Natural and synthetic: variations and influences

At ML Engraving the development of increasingly high performing engraving techniques goes hand in hand with artistic research on design and fashion trends, which have an important impact in defining guidelines for designing a new product. This is because we feel that surface textures contribute on the same level as shapes and materials to defining its identity.

Updating and research are a constant work in progress in our Texture Factory, which for the Plast trade show, created a collection that reprocesses some of the concepts offered by the international design scene.

The selected theme is “the dichotomy between natural and synthetic” organised into a play of complex structures and nuances that can be especially full of cues for our search for new finishes and embossing.

Synthetic becomes natural

The relationship between natural environment and artificial interventions has reached a new level of intensity. A need was felt to create reassuring, intimate environments, where the selection of materials plays an essential role. Technology is everywhere but you don’t see it, it is hidden in “natural” shapes, materials and colours. An extremely functional, but non-invasive technology.

ML18156/ ML18157/ML18158/ML18159: these 4 proposals are part of this theme area. The texture is reminiscent of something material and organic, like the surface of a rock, stratifications of material or weft of a fabric, but not clearly identifiable as something precise. A similar embossing lets the object enter the surrounding environment and gives it a strong emotional impact on a tactile level.

ML18155: this wood effect texture is part of this concept in a broader sense. The search for a natural effect here is aimed at highlighting the consistency and materiality that characterises this element, more than its aspect made of veins and knots. It is a calm representation, created thanks to an engraving technique that includes low depth etching. It is a change in trend that deviates from the stylistic choices popular in previous years where wood was created in an almost caricature and intentionally marked manner. The precursor of this style was Philip Starck for the JoaSekoya (link) project where the wood needed to be “cartoon-like”.

Natural becomes synthetic

If on one hand technologies and furniture, which help make life more comfortable, are always surrounded by an atmosphere that is anything but synthetic; it is also true that nature can always be filtered through a completely artificial eye. Many design proposals follow this direction: a search for things in nature that can be transformed into a repeatable pattern, like honeycomb, the shape of an insect eye or the structure of organic tissues. The key word in this case is regularity.

ML18154: this proposal is not just simply attributable to geometric structures, it goes beyond that. Its special nature is due to the calibrated repetition of a honeycomb web that creates a play of light making it “alive” and dynamic. The engraving technique is based on a series of precise instructions that make it possible to obtain the same effect when the subject is changed.

Contact us to request your copy of the Texture Collection and to be always updated on our textures. 


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