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Cork thread proves versatility in design win

What's New? | June 20, 2018 | By:

Lexus International announced 12 finalists for this year’s Lexus Design Award. Among the young designers’ projects to be recognized, was DIGITALAB’s “CO – RK system,” which was one of the four prototype winners.

The creators call it a generative system that connects cork thread, a low-tech, sustainable material, with generative design to create products and environments at multiple scales that have multiple functions.

Cork thread is a non-fibrous, 100 percent natural product with a color and look that’s similar to jute. Robust and comfortable, it’s also washable and environmentally friendly.  It can be produced with a thickness of about 1 mm, while keeping its abrasion resistance.  The design studio developed an algorithm that allows the creation of multiple shapes and spaces (lamps, chairs, tables and exhibition spatial systems) that can be adapted to a specific function.

The annual Lexus Award, co-organized by, drew a record 1,319 entries from 68 countries and more than 4,000 participants under the theme “CO-” a Latin prefix meaning “with or together.” The theme promotes creating new possibilities through collaboration, coordination, and connection. The four prototype winners received a mentorship by an acknowledged professional to develop a prototype of his/her submitted work; Lexus covered the prototype production costs.

DIGITALAB, based in Portugal, is a creative lab, architectural office and design studio focused on generative design and digital fabrication.  Led by Ana Fonseca and Brimet Silva, it develops projects in product design, art installation, interior design, architecture and digital research.

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