Embed sustainable practices in industrial and marketing processes. It is the most rational and pragmatic step of a commitment which, between greenwashing and merely speculative research, finds its balance in a concrete productive attitude that speaks of transition and new models in serious way.
Sometimes it seems impossible, but if you look closely it is already happening. And it's good news, because the choices of the industry and big brands impact not only on the environment in a concrete way, but also on people's mindset. As well as more generally on professional and human well-being. We talked about it with Diego Grandi.
The materials of the (real) transition: Diego Grandi
Diego Grandi: “For some time, practicing sustainability in industry meant creating products in which aesthetic recognition passed through visibly recycled material and, in part, this is still the case.
But when the industry invests in research it does so with the aim of creating a product capable of competing on the traditional market, in which evidently the formal part has decisive importance.
With Saib we started research a couple of years ago to use a Scandinavian patent already used for ground surfaces. The new Matheria collection is the result of our joint work and the aim is to enter the kitchen tops sector.
We have arrived at a surface that is deliberately indistinguishable from others produced in a traditional way, but infinitely less impactful and with uncommon aesthetic, resistance and durability characteristics. The real news is the endorsement of the multinational Egger, of which Saib is part, which testifies to the desire of a large industrial group to systematize a reality experimental, believing in it”.
Time, money and patience to achieve a sustainable and competitive result
Diego Grandi: “The melamine cannot replace natural stones and kitchen worktops impose a tactile and visual, as well as functional, relationship that is very different from that found with other surfaces. There is a different scale and a different point of view, a closer tactile and visual relationship.
After two years of research, tests and prototypes we arrived at a satisfactory result. Mathera is a panel made of regenerated material covered with a layer composed of wood powders, stones and quartz with an infinitesimal thickness. The production process is clean, does not contain formaldehyde, the aesthetic result is very convincing and the performance is very high.
The work of design for industrial sustainability
Diego Grandi: “I was asked to give life to surface life and imagine a collection capable of making the new material readable. There is a different scale and a different point of view, a tactile and closer relationship.
The initial request was to facilitate Saib's entry into the world of cooking. I worked with an imaginary linked to natural materials: stone, granite, plaster. Three different collections were born: Selce, Areia and Gypso. They are three-dimensional samplings of sandstone, chalk and split flint surfaces.
Every single collection recalls the chromatic scale of the material of origin. Cold grays for flint, warm colors for chalk, granules of quartz dust that make the surface uneven for sandstone.
The application of the coating is done in three steps: the mixture of natural stone powders is spread on the chipboard, it is humidified, printed to achieve a three-dimensional texture and ends with an infrared passage.
Sustainability and economic performance
Diego Grandi: “Mathera is a new type of panel, technologically advanced, which marks a decisive evolution compared to customized HPL collections thanks to its significantly lower weight, capable of considerably simplifying transport and installation operations , and the ability to be 100% regenerated at the end of the use cycle.
It is a material that is processed at low costs, with technologies that any kitchen company has in-house.
There is therefore a saving of resources also in the finalization phases. Traditional laminates require more production steps and involve more expensive outsourcing both in terms of logistics and in terms of energy and costs.
From a design point of view, Mathera is a surface that can be treated like stone to the touch and to the eye, but is infinitely lighter, cheaper and more versatile. It was created so that Saib could enter the kitchen worktop market competitively, it is a perfect covering for any use, from walls to furnishings".