Courtesy of Daniel Michalik
Parsons School of Design students visit the Portugal-based cork manufacturer Corticeira Amorim to apply their lessons to new cork designs.

Go See "The Thick Skin: Cork in the Constructed Environment"

May 17, 2023
On display at NYCxDesign, May 18-24 at the Canal Street Market, the exhibition features cork's capabilities as a material with projects born from a collaboration between Parsons School of Design and Corticeira Amorim.

Cork oak trees in Portugal offset 10 million tons of carbon annually and produce oxygen for the atmosphere, according to 100% Cork. These trees reinforced the socio-economic health of the southeastern Portugal region and through the harvesting process offer a renewable and sustainable option for future applications in architecture, industrial and interior design.

Parsons School of Design and Corticeira Amorim (a leader in cork manufacturing) partnered to allow students to explore this with “The Thick Skin: Cork as Material for Designing New Futures.” Through in-person instruction and hands-on application sessions at their factories and research labs in Portugal, students were able to experiment with cork applications on various scales to create chairs, barstools, bowls, decorations, and anything else they could imagine. They worked to develop usable design forms and applications that enhance sustainable harvest and manufacturing of this valuable material.
Daniel Michalik, assistant professor of product and industrial design, worked alongside his students to focus on research and experimental design of cork for its potential uses in the constructed environment. They learned a hectare of cork forest absorbs over three tons of greenhouse gas annually.

Those projects will be on display at the Canal Street Market during NYCxDesign, May 18-24. There was an opening reception May 18 from 6-8 p.m. For more information and to see the full list of NYCxDesign events, click here.

About the Author

Lauren Brant | Editor at BUILDINGS

Lauren Brant is the editor of BUILDINGS. Prior to joining Endeavor Business Media, she served as deputy news editor at a daily and editor of a weekly newspaper. She is an award-winning editor and writer.

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