Flax is a crop with a strong European heritage. As it grows well on the coastal areas of Western Europe, a strong industry and economy has flourished around flax It leads to many contemporary processed products. We all know the fine linen cloth, lace, linseed oil, linseed oil-based paint, to name a few. However, the production of fibre-based products is increasingly delocalised to other parts of the world. This pressure from a globalised economy is leading the flax growers and processors to reach out to scientists and designers looking into the potential of this versatile crop beyond its traditional products.
Linseeds, linseed oil and byproducts are the subject of investigation for the project of Studio Plastique as they set out to explore and design innovative ways to apply them. Their ultimate aim is to offer alternative and diversified visions and opportunities for the European flax industry that stands under great pressure from global competition.
The research is conducted in collaboration with scientists and researchers from various fields and is divided into five levels of understanding:
Food – an exploration of the attributes and benefits of linseeds and linseed oil as a nutriment.
Hygiene – an exploration of the antibacterial and hygienic properties of linseed oil.
The Seed – analysis of the seed itself, its contexts of production and transformation.
Material – the understanding and development of various new and exciting material and design possibilities based on linseeds, linseed oil and byproducts.
Geopolitical – mapping of the economy and politics of flax and its products.
Design Museum Gent
Selection as part of DING (Design in Ghent), the new wing of Design Museum Ghent.