In light of the industry’s continued drive for sustainability, the team behind the Formes de Luxe Awards decided, for the first time in the competition’s history, that eco-design would be the guiding principle for its annual trophy. Entrusted to French company MMB, a Normandy-based specialist in models, prototypes and 3D-printing, the brief was succinct: the trophy should communicate sobriety and elegance, while utilizing natural materials. We unveil MMB’s winning design.
“While the brief was quite open and gave ample room for creativity, it was the sustainable angle that guided my approach throughout the project,” explains MMB Product Designer Julien Bernard. “My design was intended to crystallize a moment in the packaging creation process; the two ‘wings’ that form the top of the trophy are meant as an envelope that both protects and instills a sense of desire. They demarcate and give structure to a space that is anything but finite — a volume where emptiness becomes a space in itself,” he muses. The trophy’s “lightweight” aspect resulted from Bernard’s desire to use a limited amount of raw material.
From the very beginning, MMB opted for vacuum casting manufacturing to accommodate the use of a bio-resin and also due to the streamlined design. The master cast, however, was 3D printed using stereolithography, and from this a silicone mold was made to cast the parts.
The upper part of the structure is composed of a perfectly crystalline resin sourced from French firm Bioresin. “From an aesthetic standpoint the result is no different to a classic transparent resin, the difference here being that it is entirely bio-based,” Bernard points out.
The resin “wings” are positioned on a polished brass plate that rests on a base of untreated light-colored linden wood sourced from a local carpenter near MMB’s site in Normandy.
In keeping with its green strategy, none of the components underwent finishing techniques. MMB is even looking to forgo the use of glue to assemble and hold fast the three elements: wings, plate and base. “The structure is designed so that the pieces are shaped so precisely that they will fit together without needing any adhesive. If needed, we can add a few dots of (bio-based) glue, but we’re hoping not to need that option,” comments the designer.
The trophy’s one decorative touch is the FDL Awards 2020 logo engraved with a frosted effect inside the top structure. “The graining that gives this frosted effect comes from the master cast,” explains Bernard. As the silicone mold reproduces the finishes of the master model, in this case MMB polished the master model except for the engraved area, where it created a graining effect via sandblasting. "When the pieces are unmolded they are perfectly transparent save for the engraving that is frosted.”
The winners of the 2020 edition of the Formes de Luxe Awards will be announced on November 19th. Stay tuned!