Further is a traveling hospitality laboratory through which we transform hotels across the globe into temporal hubs of cultural exploration.
Few places are as steeped in such an exquisite dichotomy as Greece—where antiquity and innovation collide like nowhere else. This is why we brought together a global community to pay special attention to how Greece honors tradition and brings the essential into the present day. From the rugged, rolling hills of Crete to the pulsing metropolis of Athens—Further undertook an exploration of circular thinking through the theme: Circle Back Circle Forward. Drawing on creators who look to old wisdoms and practices as inspiration for regenerative design, discussions were roused from a worldwide perspective and there was quick consensus that the current model of take-make-waste will not bear longevity. But the solutions already exist and likely always have.
Rooting us in the local land and this mindset, Suzanna Laskaridis, the founder of BlueCycle, calls upon her knowledge from years in marine shipping to tackle some of the more than 640,000 tons of fishing gear lost at sea every year. After collecting waste created by the shipping and fishing industries, the integrated circular economy company turns it into high-quality pellets that can be sold back to the plastics industry. Compelled by the surrounding ocean environment, the designers use robotic 3D printing to create beautiful new pieces, such as furniture, from upcycled marine plastic.
Speaking to the prescribed shift in thinking, designer, author, and activist Julia Watson tells us, “You need an understanding of your present moment to move into an alternative future that’s not just engaged with a high tech idea of progress at the expense of everything.’’ In her book, Lo—TEK, Design by Radical Indigenism, she beautifully narrates a multi-generational approach to design by telling the story of the living root bridges built by the Khasi people of Northern India. Over thousands of years the Khasis have developed an intricately trussed system of root bridges that fortify over time. “The first seeds sown for these bridges were planted for generations to come. It’s that kind of thinking,’’ Watson says.
A well-known character on the island of Crete, Antonis Farsaris left his job as a successful hotel manager to bake traditional Cretan bread, installing a wood-fired oven in an old industrial workshop belonging to his father.
A true cultural ambassador & producer, Vassilis Grigoropoulos has taken his national pride for the arts from New York to Beijing.
The Dutch-based designer founded her self-titled studio in the pursuit of new material research, experimental, and conceptual design.
Balancing joyful creativity and considered ecological impact, London-based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse specializes in transforming humble, often overlooked plant fibers like sisal, loofah, and corn leaves, into refined design pieces.
A fairly simple mandate to collect ghost nets and other sea trash and put it to good use has driven Suzanna Laskaridis in some big-impact projects.
Echoing the need for new models, Mexican artist Fernando Laposse is living proof that art can drive this dialogue while providing the template to work from. Not only does he sustainably grow the natural fibers for his artworks—including sisal, loofah, and corn leaves—he creates meaningful employment opportunities for indigenous Mexican communities and has been integral to both craft and crop regeneration in the process. Speaking to his vision, Laposse says, “We need new metrics of wealth… community wealth, ecological wealth.”
The thread of the past informing the future comes with new urgency to capture knowledge held by our ancestors. When Antonis Farsaris started to see the industrialization of food production on Crete, he resolutely knew there had to be an alternative. He left his job as a successful hotel manager to bake traditional Cretan bread, installing a wood-fired oven in an old industrial workshop belonging to his father.
Against the backdrop of a rescued Benaki Museum textile studio, a conversation around the future of materials naturally developed. Here, in a light filled industrial workshop buzzing with spinning spools and the clanking of rare looms, the owner described single-handedly saving the space and craft, which would have otherwise been lost. With utter reverence to these revived arts, the new material designers entered. Nienke Hoogvliet, founder of the Dutch-based Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, believes that design can inspire change. Hoogvliet’s extensive research into seaweed and fish skin has led to collaborations with leading material designers, creating high-end design pieces and furniture while changing perspectives and systems. ‘‘I am hopeful that designers can bring more (people) on board to make the change happen,’’ she says. To which Laposse adds with optimism, “Design can communicate complex ideas.”
A holistic approach to well-being, a focus on slow-paced living, and a verdant outside world blending harmoniously within, all define this new take luxury at Cretan Malia Park.