SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social SciencesПравильная ссылка на статью:
Manufacturing of Concrete Products Using Modern Varnish and Traditional Chinese Lacquer / Изготовление бетонных изделий с использованием современного лака и традиционного китайского лака
Дата направления статьи в редакцию:29-12-2019
Аннотация: В данной статье показана возможность совместного применения бетона и лака для изготовления дизайнерских изделий. Авторскими примерами являются проекты «Листья и птицы» и «Лабораторная посуда». В исследовании описаны характеристики китайского лака, бетона, а также особенности китайских лакокрасочных технологий. Оба проекта нацелены на достижение различных задач. В частности, в первом проекте продемонстрировано, как через работу с современным материалом – бетоном – возможно новое воплощение развития традиционных лаковых ремесел. Второй проект – это реализация концепции «защиты окружающей среды» посредством повторного применения материалов в рамках художественного творчества. Основным стал метод интеграции дисциплин, используемый в дизайне как междисциплинарной научной области. В частности, применялись различные исследовательские подходы из материаловедения, культурологии, химии, искусствоведения. Оба упомянутых проекта оказались весьма успешными, благодаря низкой себестоимости материалов и их использованию во многих областях техники и искусства. Кроме того, идея совместного применение материалов разного свойства, качества и времени изобретения показала свое преимущество. В частности, улучшить качества бетона (а именно – решить проблемы его водонепроницаемости), характеризующегося поровой структурой, стало возможным за счет покрытия его полимерным материалом – лаком.
Ключевые слова: Бетон, Лаковые изделия, Китай, Россия, Лаковое искусство, Дизайнерская посуда, Экологическая идея, Скульптура, Городское развитие, Современный лак
Abstract: This article is devoted to the combined use of concrete, lacquer and varnish for production of designer products. The author’s examples are the projects “Leaves and birds” and “Laboratory glassware”. The study describes the characteristics of Chinese lacquer, concrete, and features of Chinese lacquer technology. The two projects have different objectives. In particular, the first project shows that a new embodiment of the development of traditional lacquer crafts is possible by means of the work with modern material – concrete. The second project is the implementation of the “environmental protection” concept through reuse of materials within the framework of artistic creativity. We use an integrated approach in the design as an interdisciplinary scientific field. Particularly, various research methods were applied from materials science, cultural studies, chemistry, and art history. Both projects were very successful due to the low cost of materials and their practical application in many areas of technology and art. Moreover, the idea of the combined use of materials with different properties, quality and time of the invention has shown its advantage. For example, in the course of experimental practice it was discovered that it was possible to improve the quality of porous material concrete (namely, to solve the problems of its water resistance) by coating it with a polymer material lacquer or varnish.
Keywords:Sculpture, Ecological idea, Designer tableware, Lacquer art, Russia, China, Lacquer products, Concrete, Urban development, Varnish
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate on the example of two design projects the possibility of joint use of concrete, lacquer and varnish to create products. Each of the materials has certain characteristics.
Concrete is a product of the silicate industry; clay and limestone are main raw materials for the production of it. Concrete is quite simple to use in the manufacture of various products, since it does not require firing, unlike, for example, ceramics. Concrete products reach the required level of strength and hardness without additional exposure to high temperature . In addition, this material is characterized by relative cheapness, due to the frequency of its use in the construction industry.
Modern studies have shown that the strength of concrete and its porosity are closely interrelated . After drying, the concrete becomes a durable form suitable for use, but when exposed to moisture on this form, it begins to break down, because the concrete can react with corrosive substances, including gases . This situation can lead to erosion of the concrete structure. Therefore, increasing the strength of concrete products to make their service life longer is of great value.
According to materials science theory, coating porous materials with polymeric materials can reduce pore permeability. Through the study of professional literature and experiments, the author came to the conclusion that the technique of using concrete with varnish and lacquer can improve properties of concrete and thereby expand the sphere of environmental design .
The similarity of the author’s projects lies in the specific combination of materials that is very important today, because of the search for new technological ideas by designers. At the same time, each of the projects has its own goals, is filled with certain content and focused on solving particular author’s tasks. For example, in the first project the author presents designer tableware called “Leaves and birds” (树叶鸟, Shu ye niao) (Figure 1). The aim of this project was to demonstrate the possibility of combining tradition and innovation through the use of modern material concrete together with Chinese lacquer, which has a thousand-year history and unique properties of resistance to water, air and high temperatures.
The second project is called “Laboratory glassware”; it consists of three concrete blocks (Figure 17-18). This project is conceptually focused on implementing of the idea of environmental protection. The aim of this work is to show the cultural, social and commercial significance of the ecological idea within the framework of environment design.
Project 1: Designer Tableware “Leaves and Birds”
Project Concept and Name
In the context of the widespread revival of interest in traditional art, painters, architects, designers face the problem of a harmonious relationship between new technologies and traditional methods of creating various kinds of art projects. Today a lot of designers think, “tradition can be a source of innovation rather than an obstacle” [5, p. 124]. For example, using craft-based design, “it is possible to create radically new materials and artifacts by exploring traditional or forgotten technologies in manufacturing” [5, p. 135]. Designers and architects use the technique of stylistic interpretations in the design of residential interior with the introduction of archetypal elements, while obtaining new artistic and figurative solutions that represent a semiotic space .
“Leaves and birds” is a project of designer tableware. The author refers primarily to the functionality of this product, to the question of why we need tableware. When creating the project, it was necessary to move away from the culinary traditions and habits of different countries, and overcome geographical, state and cultural boundaries. The author wanted to pay attention only on the level of functionality as the main condition for the use of tableware. From this point of view, tableware can be divided into two main groups – plates for wet and for dry food. Plates “Leaves and birds” can only be used to place dry food. It is suitable for the food design.
Figure 1. “Leaves and birds”. Size (length * width): large (405*405); medium (265*265); small (150*150).
The title “Leaves and birds” comes from the same-name Chinese tale (“Leaves and birds”, 树叶鸟, Shu ye niao) written by Bing Bo (冰波). It is a picture book for children, which started to be published in 2009 in the Chinese province Zhejiang. The geometric shapes of the plates are based on the interpretation of the maple leaf shape. The structure of their shape uses the origami principle, calculated in such a way as to evenly distribute the weight of the product at different positions in space. The abstract texture of the surface illustrates the free movements of the bird in flight: the flapping of wings and the waving of feathers in the wind.
Materials Used for the Project Creation
The “Leaves and birds” project used concrete, varnish, Chinese traditional lacquer, linseed oil, gold leaf.
It is worth noting that the Russian traditional art of Khokhloma painting played an important role in the formation of the content basis and the choice of materials for the project “Leaves and birds”. Khokhloma is an ancient Russian folk craft that appeared in the 17th century in the village of Khokhloma. According to the Soviet art historian V. M. Vasilenko, “Khokhloma painting was a kind of imitation of gold and silver tableware of ancient Russia” . Production of lacquer products in Russia in the 17th century was carried out in the workshops of peasants. The products themselves, having a strict household function, were used more in festive moments. Besides tableware, Khokhloma painting were used for decoration of massive stools, spinning wheel bottoms, tables and chairs, in general, wooden furniture.
Looking once at the product with Khokhloma painting, the author imagined that it would be possible to separate the painting itself from the object on which it is drawn, and thus create a new product. And the painting itself could become real fruits and berries. In this case, the cook carries out the food decoration as if he “paints” the plates.
When creating Khokhloma painting, there should be used linseed oil, lacquer, watercolor paints, aluminum powder (previously used silver, tin powders). After drying, the product darkens, hardens, and becomes moisture resistant. Thanks to the unique technology, the wooden product is similar to gold, which is why Khokhloma still received the unofficial name “Golden wood” (Figure 2).
Figure. 2. Khokhloma painting
As for the Chinese traditional lacquer products, they have a deep history; emperors in ancient China long before the Common Era patronized this kind of art craft. In the 1970s, in Southeast China (present-day Zhejiang province), wooden vessels, covered with a lacquer were found in layers of the early Hemudu culture (河母渡文化 Hemudu Wenhua, 5000-3400 BC). In addition, in 1977 wine cups covered with lacquer were found in the North-East of China (modern Liaoning province). Consequently, by the 4th Millennium BC there were several regional centers that have mastered the skills of using lacquer in China .
Both state and national production of lacquer products developed in Ancient China. The presence of the work “Records of the lacquer finishing” (髹饰录, Xiu Shi Lu), which appeared during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1662) tells us about the state level of production of lacquer products. According to this work, the lacquer could be used in the creation of musical instruments, household items, weapons, writing materials, architectural constructions, ritual and funeral items. According to this book, “the nature of the varnish lies in its strength, the elegance of the lacquer lies in its brilliance” .
Traditional Chinese lacquer is a resin of the so-called “Chinese lacquer tree” (Toxicodendron vernicifluum, 漆樹, Qi Shu), which is the plant of sumac family (cashew family or the Anacardiaceae) . For this study it is very important to know that the Chinese lacquer, besides laccase and water contains urushiol, a substance of an extremely complex chemical composition . Resin of the “lacquer tree” is resistant to water, air, it can withstand temperatures up to 200–250ºC (according to some reports, even up to 400–450ºC), does not react with acids and alkalis, protects against damage by insects, can preserve wood and woven fabrics, protect metals from corrosion. It is also a universal adhesive substance that can be applied to any surface, from stone and metal to woven fabric and paper. At the same time, urushiol gives to the lacquer the qualities, which in many respects make the work with it rather complicated. First, it contributes to the rapid thickening of the collected resin, which before forced Chinese masters to constantly look for ways to artificially liquefy it. Secondly, raw lacquer is poisonous (causes the Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, also called Toxicodendron dermatitis or Rhus dermatitis); so all procedures for its processing and production of lacquer products require certain precautions .
The most suitable conditions for drying Chinese lacquer are warm temperature and humid air (20-300 C, relative humidity 80%-90%). If we talk about Khokhloma painting, the product, on the contrary, requires drying with high temperatures: the product should be tempered for 3-4 hours in a furnace at a temperature of +150- +160°C.
Steps of Creating the Project “Leaves and Birds”
Initially, the author made a concrete form of the designer tableware. For casting a high quality product, sand of the silicate should be carefully mixed. The entire concrete preparation process can be completed in just one hour. Of course, the time it takes to create a concrete mold can vary; it all depends on the complexity of the product’s form. After cooling, certain parts of the concrete mold may undergo some changes, for example, it can be polished, painted.
The first step: creating a mold. With the help of 3D modeling technology, there should be determined the scale and nuances of the model shape. After that the author made a silicone mold to make the process of creating the concrete mold easier.
The second step: the process of cementing the mold. With the use of a silicone mold the author made the concrete mold. The presence of air inside the poured mold violates the integrity of the product, so the author needed to shake the mold to make bubbles with air rise and go out, this time the concrete must be still liquid. After that the concrete mold was dried.
The third step: drying of the concrete mold. The product should be away from direct sunlight, put in a ventilated area. It can be dried for 12 hours in winter and 5-7 hours in summer. This test was conducted in the Chinese capital Beijing. For similar processes in other regions / countries, their specific climatic conditions must be taken into account.
The fourth step: leveling of the concrete product. The concrete product was removed from the silicone mold for leveling. The surface of the dry concrete product can be leveled with special putty in several layers and subsequent grinding.
The fifth step: lacquer coating. Before lacquer coating, linseed oil was applied to the product, in order to give it a golden shine like in the Khokhloma painting. Then the product was lacquering with a cotton pads. Varnish was applied to one part of the concrete plates, and Chinese traditional lacquer – to the other part. Varnish and lacquer were applied in at least three layers. During the test, it was found that two hours after coating the concrete with a thick layer of Chinese traditional lacquer, the surface of the product turns black, but when applying varnish, the concrete surface does not blacken. This is clearly seen in Figure 3 (Figure 3).
The sixth step: applying lacquer to certain parts of the product for gluing gold leaf. Using a cotton pads, lacquer was applied to selected parts of the product and then, after it dried up a little, gold leaf was glued. After that, the product was considered finished.
During “Beijing design week” held in 2016, the work “Leaves and birds” was chosen by the journal “Vision” (青年视觉 Qingnian Shijue) to participate in the festival of design “FOD SHOWROOM” (“FOD意匠SHOWROOM”, FOD Yijiang SHOWROOM, FOD – the name of the company, which organized the festival) (Figure 3). This festival was a platform for international communication of young designers, artists and craftsmen with production companies.
Figure 3. Project “Leaves and birds” at the festival “FOD SHOWROOM”
In the same year, “Leaves and birds” took part in a food photography exhibition hosted by BOSCH in a large mall of household appliances in the center of Beijing (Figure 4). During the event, this work served as a set of functional tableware for invited chefs who treated visitors to Chinese and Italian snacks.
Figure 4. “Food photography” exhibition, organized by BOSCH
In the work “Leaves and birds” traditional knowledge of Russian and Chinese lacquer crafts are used in order to expand the form of presentation of Eastern and Western dishes. The new form of presentation creates individuality in the approach to customer service and has a creative impact on the work of chefs. The consumer can experience an unusual contrast combination – a delicious dish served on a plate made of a material that is mostly used in a completely different situation and sphere.
“Leaves and birds” (Figure 5) is the interaction of calm and humble Chinese painting with technological approach in the creation of products. This is a kind of allegory of the relationship between man and nature in the big city. The author hopes that the work “Leaves and Birds” could help young people, living in a “concrete jungle”, find a balance between the technogenicity of the metropolis and the creative approach in life.
Figure 5. Large plates (405 mm*405 mm)
Project 2: Environmentally Friendly Sculpture “Laboratory Glassware”, Made of Concrete with the Use of Baking Varnish
Project Concept and Name
Historical roots of ecological ideas in design can be found in 19th century, but only consequences of damaged environment after World War II made governments of all countries begin to acknowledge and implement projects of ecological design .
During the national videoconference on environmental issues held by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the 12th five-year plan for energy conservation and reduction of environmental emissions was adopted. Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao stressed that society and the state should recognize the great importance of energy saving and emission reduction in the strategic and overall perspective, implement a comprehensive program of work on this issue and build a resource-saving and ecological society .
Ecologically sustainable development can allow “people to have a comfortable and equitable lifestyle” . Saving energy, reducing emissions and an environmentally friendly lifestyle became a concept of urban development that is characteristic of our time. In turn, the application of the idea of sustainability in environmental design, on the one hand, is an important step for the construction of an economy focused on protecting the environment from pollution. On the other hand, it certainly solves the problem of expensive investments.
When investors and designers jointly apply the concept of “eco-friendly lifestyle” to re-design the urban environment, then the new space of the city becomes more functional, meeting modern aesthetic and economic needs. In the modern “hyper-industrial era” , such ideas arouse respect and positive attention from the population. For example, at the beginning of the XXI century in China and Russia were created unique design projects: “New Holland” in Saint Petersburg (previously, on the territory of the man-made island there were barns for storing the timber used in the construction of ships, and a sea prison was created in the famous “bottle”) and “798 Art Zone” in Beijing (also called as Dashanzi Art District, it was designed on the site of the electronic equipment factory) (Figure 6). The reconstruction in these two territories not only reflects the concept of environmentally friendly urban development. It is also an opportunity for the two governments to stimulate economic growth through an attempt to redesign, reuse the original city buildings, and integrate the concept of an environmentally friendly city with cultural development.
Figure. 6. The project “New Holland” at the top, at the bottom – “798 art Zone”.
In the “hyper-industrial era”, many states strive to make art zones out of abandoned buildings. Other examples of urban renewal can be German HafenCity, Salts Mill in England, Stary Browar in Poland and etc. This phenomenon not only shows the coinciding trends in the economic development of different countries, but also meets the social needs of a large number of people who adhere to an environmentally friendly lifestyle. This attitude to the objects of material culture is consistent with the author’s idea of creating environmentally friendly sculpture, namely the idea of using space and materials in full measure, including the reuse of artistic raw materials. As an environmental designer, the author made an environmentally friendly sculpture of concrete with the use of baking varnish called “Laboratory glassware”.
According to the previous president of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao (2003-2013) socio-economic development is to make economic construction a central task, to comprehensively promote economic, political, social and cultural development . In the process of China’s socio-economic growth, Beijing higher education institutions are recognized as cultural centers linking China with society and international space as a whole. In China, the phenomenon of “cultural tourism” is very common, including visits to campuses of universities. University and college tours are organized in Beijing, where the creative industry is one of the most competitive. It is expected that this kind of “cultural tourism” will be a breakthrough in the future economic and cultural development of the city.
In this regard, the administration of the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology (北京石油化工学院, Beijing Shiyou Huagong Xueyuan) asked the author of the article (who is also a teacher at this university) to create a sculpture project for the park of the institute campus near the laboratory complex of the School of Chemical Engineering. The following requirements for the implementation of the project were put forward before the author: 1) sculpture is a decoration of the campus; 2) the form and content of the sculpture should emphasize the distinctive features of the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, convey its style and culture; 3) it is necessary that the project meets the requirements for construction work permitted on the site of the institute, for the campus maintenance and its safety; 4) the sculpture should attract the attention of visitors and thereby increase the popularity of the School of Chemical Engineering and the Institute itself among applicants and students.
The author, as the team leader, set a goal to attract students, listeners of the author’s course “Fine Arts and Design” to create the sculpture. The introduction of practical projects in teaching process, the analysis of design work, training in design methods, all this contributes to the academic success of students. Moreover, students through the creating of some designer projects can take the first steps to get acquainted with the future profession. Such tasks are equated to internship at the university, which provides the basis for students’ professional experience in employment. Also, in the author’s opinion, the project has a certain value for teaching, showing the possibility of joint work of the teacher and students.
As mentioned earlier, the sculpture is located near the “School of Chemical Engineering”, so the name “Laboratory glassware” is not accidental. The sculpture consists of three parts; its shape is similar to an Erlenmeyer flask (conical flask). On the sides of each sculpture there are carved shapes resembling other varieties of laboratory glassware, namely a rubber dropper, a test tube, a reparatory funnel (Figure 14, 15).
Materials Used for the Project Creation
The choice of materials for creating a project always directly affects the final production budget. The administration of the institute, together with the author of the project, determined the final sculpture budget within 30 thousand CNY. Because of the relatively limited budget, the Institute negotiated with teachers and students for a free part of their work. For students and teachers the main task was the most perfect embodiment of the project concept. The money was mainly used for the production, transportation and installation of the sculpture. Considering the budget limit and the need to maintain the quality and environmental friendliness of the project, the author chose concrete as the main material of the product.
There were several questions at the stage of material selection. Firstly, the safety conditions, limited space and the location of the sculpture outside the building required an improvement of the quality of the base material. Secondly, it was necessary to control the time of the technological process, to achieve the least losses in the manufacture, installation, technical additions and subsequent use of the sculpture. Thirdly, the materials chosen by the author served as “mediators” of the creative process, they should be related to the main theme of the project: a sculpture created on the initiative and for the educational institution. Fourth, the material should reflect the trend of socio-economic development, have a specific social significance. As a result, the author selected concrete as the main material and varnish which was used for the external coating of the concrete product and could significantly improve the quality of concrete, in particular, reduce the risk of erosion of the concrete structure.
The inner empty part of the sculpture was made of construction waste, which was a sand and gravel formed by crushing concrete waste. According to preliminary calculations, the amount of concrete (including construction waste) was more than 70% of the total volume of the used materials. It is known that in the process of creating a new product, harmful substances are released into the environment; and the reuse of materials can significantly reduce it. The total weight of the three sculptures is about 4 tons. Due to the filling of the inner part of the structure with a sand and gravel, the release of carbon dioxide into the environment is reduced by approximately 17%, compared with monolithic sculptures. Thus, the use of construction waste during the project creation corresponds to the concept of redesign and environmental friendliness in the production of art products.
Steps of Creating the Project “Laboratory Glassware”
After the author and his assistants decided on the materials for the manufacture of the product, they needed to analyze the area where it was supposed to be located. So, the author collected information about the flow of people, paths of the park, planting, spatial scales, lighting at different times and seasons of the year in this area, so it was possible to guess what color and size the product should be (Figures 7, 8). Based on the data collected, the design team performed software modeling of how the sculpture should be illuminated (Figure 9). Such a comprehensive study of the site helped to define the concept of the product space, to set the limits of the discussion of the project between students and the teacher.
Figure 7. Information about the flow of people and paths of the park.
Figure 8. Information about planting and spatial scales of the sculpture’s site.
Figure 9. Illumination of the institute; software modeling of the illumination of the project’s area.
After describing the site where the sculpture should be installed, the author had to make the model of the construction. Using 3D modeling, each of the sculpture parts was created. Basic color was determined to be white, and for a rubber dropper, test tube, reparatory funnel were chosen, respectively, red, yellow and blue (Figure 10, 15).
Figure 10. 3D model of the project “Laboratory glassware”.
Builders were invited to work on the production of sculpture. They completed the tab reinforcement for the subsequent installation of the product. Initially, the builders used polystyrene foam to create an exact copy of the sculpture, which made it possible to finally determine the size and verify the proper proportional relationship between the sculpture and the environment: length * width * height = 2700 * 600 * 3600 mm, thickness = 220 mm (Figure 11).
Figure 11. The model, made of polystyrene foam, and the installation site.
After the proportions, details and the size of the structure were approved, it was divided into modules. This method is necessary to facilitate welding works and fill the inner part of the sculpture with the construction waste (Figure 12).
Figure 12. Sculpture modules.
The builders began to make the sculpture from the bottom up. Concrete modules were assembled in order, welding was performed inside the structure; a steel sheet (approximately 10 mm thick) was attached to the base, with the help of which the sculpture was fastened to the reinforcement on the installation site. Then the sculpture was filled with construction waste; the modules were cemented until the basic shape of the product was created (Figure 13).
Figure 13. Work with the modules, steel sheet and inner part of the structure.
When installing and connecting the modules, it was necessary to use a polyester putty to cover the cracks (Figure 14). The putty should have dried completely for subsequent coating of baking varnish. When coating and leveling the putty, builders had to pay special attention to the following points: firstly, this step of the work is an adjustment of the shape of all the details of the sculpture, which ultimately affects the creation of the overall shape of the product; secondly, the nature and quality of coating of putty affects the adhesion of two materials – concrete and baking varnish. If the layer of putty is very thick, it can lead to poor durability of the varnish and its peeling.
Figure 14. Puttying the modules of the sculpture, the sculpture after puttying.
The author used a varnish that dries at relatively low temperatures (140-180℃). Before transportation and until the varnish was completely dry, fastenings were installed around the sculpture to protect it (Figure 15). By using the method of coating concrete with baking varnish, the author was able to resolve the issue of destruction of the sculpture after possible moisture penetration. So, there was created the situation of air isolation of internal structure of concrete that excluded occurrence of erosion and contributed to an increase in service life of a product.
Figure 15. The product after coating of baking varnish.
During transportation and installation of the sculpture, putty and varnish were used at the installation site to eliminate damage to the product (Figure 16). In other words, there were used the same technologies and raw materials as in the manufacture of the product, as a result, the visual perception of the entire design project was not impaired.
Figure 16. Moving the sculpture with a crane, installation of the product.
The sculpture was installed in March 2018, so far there have been no cracks, peeling of varnish (the minimum air temperature in Beijing is 13.9 ℃, the maximum is 39.9 ℃) (Figure 17, 18).
Figure 17. Photo of September 2018, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technologies.
The name of the design product “Laboratory glassware”, the name of the author of the design (the author of this article), as well as a list of all students involved in the project are written on the right photo (Figure 17). The time of installation of the sculpture (March 2018) and a description of the design concept of the sculpture are written below.
Figure 18. Photo of March 2019, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technologies.
Both author’s projects were aimed at the implementation of specific goals. The project of designer tableware “Leaves and birds” is a successful example of the use of modern material concrete and traditional Chinese lacquer. The concept of “Leaves and birds” product is a harmonious combination of tradition and modernity. The source of the content of this project was Russian Khokhloma painting. Plates made by the author are the basis for Khokhloma paintings, and the painting itself in the project “Leaves and birds” can serve as the art of the cook, who carries out the decoration of the dish.
The concept of the second project “Laboratory glassware” is as follows: the sculpture should not be inanimate, it shows the intellectual heritage between teachers and students and their academic ideas; it expresses the ideal of harmonious development of society and the environment within the city; the sculpture is a kind of a “recorder” of the ideas of this Institute and its unit – the School of Chemical engineering; the sculpture is not just a completed project without further history, it should reflect the beginning of a long dialogue and interaction between the Institute and society.
By creating a concrete sculpture coating with the baking varnish “Laboratory Glassware”, the author highlighted three important directions for the development of an ecological concept within the framework of environmental design: 1) cultural: the idea of an ecological lifestyle promoted by the international community contributes to the evolution of the design industry in general; 2) social: design has the function of popularizing in society the ideas of a healthy, sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle, it also affects the system of higher education; 3) commercial: re-use of materials helps to reduce the cost of design products. In addition, the application of ecological ideas in artistic creativity contributes to the development of human civilization, international exchanges, thereby forming the basis of a system of science and culture focused on environmental protection. According to Su Le and Zhao Hong:
Environmentally friendly sculpture in design is an artistic product that corresponds to the concept of sustanable development, meets the government’s work in the field of ecological construction and protection of nature. In the long term, such projects will receive significant support [16, p. 84].
Both projects reflect two very relevant trends in artistic creation: the search for traditions in the modern world, a combination of tradition and modernity; the use of environmental ideas within the framework of design art. These trends were realized through the use of concrete, varnish and traditional Chinese lacquer in the manufacture of “Leaves and Birds” and “Laboratory Glassware” projects. From a technological point of view, a big role in the success of the two design works played a price advantage of materials and their use in many fields of technology and art. From the point of originality of a product, it is possible to tell that joint application of materials of different property and quality to reduce their shortcomings (including the solution of a problem connected with water resistance of concrete) is some kind of technological innovation.
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