INDEX 2017 – Design for the Senses – By The Upcycle Architect

INDEX 2017 – Design for the Senses – By The Upcycle Architect


INDEX, 2017
Design for the Senses
From 22nd – 25th May, 2017, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, U.A.E was bustling with people attending the INDEX Design Series, 2017. It was packed full with brands and designers from all over the world.
The theme for this year’s event was “Design for the Senses” The essence was to take participants through a journey, involving designs which inspire every part of their sense organs.
The event also embraced the organic nature of design in interior environments that aim to stimulate designers into working with new materials and in new ways.
During the event, I came across specific brands and companies that caught my interest. This is with regards to their approach on environmental sustainability. Here are the top seven (7) and what they do.


Semper Green is a company that specializes in the development and supply of vegetation blankets for green roofs, vertical gardens/living walls and instant ground covers. Their passion for green and love of nature gave birth to them creating solutions for urban areas lacking enough room for greenery.
Green Roofs: Since 1996, Semper Green have cultivated vegetation blankets, gaining them solid experience in green on roofs. Their vegetation blankets come in several vegetation types ranging from Sedum, Herbs, Grass, Wildflower etc. They have low maintenance, light weight and are pre-grown for every type of climate.
Green roofs have numerous advantages such as water buffering, temperature regulation, sound insulation, air purification and helps encourages biodiversity.
Green Walls: Also known as vertical gardens or living walls. Semper Green walls help in the following;

1.Regulate temperature in urban areas

2.Biodiversity simulation

3.Absorption of CO2 and fine particles

4. Has a natural look

5. Insulation of sound
Their green walls are built up out of Flexipanels, making it easy to install on any wall (even curved surfaces). With appropriate maintenance cultures, Semper Green walls grow in the sun or shade, indoors or outdoors.
Ground Cover: Plant-covered embankments and roundabouts, landscaped slopes and beautiful public gardens are an attractive site. A pleasant living environment, erosion prevention and deterrence of weed growth are important reasons for placing ground covers.
Their pre-cultivated, biodegradable plant mats can be applied wherever mature ground cover vegetation is required immediately upon installation.


Biotecture is a company that specializes in the design and supply of hydroponic modular living walls. This system takes sustainability and stable system dynamics through thoughtful integration of living walls and architectural design.
They aim at transforming urban architecture for the well-being of people and the planet through innovative use of vertical greening.
Some unique features of Biotecture Living walls are;
1.Have great resilience and sustainability
2.Have a patented hydroponic system
3.Lighter and slimmer characteristics
4.Have acoustic properties
5.Have the ability to grow “pre-planted panels”
6.Use 100% closed loop recycled plastic


This is a company that focuses on using moss (a natural lichen) in furnishing and redefining interior spaces. Moss Trend use naturally growing moss found in Scandinavia as items of furniture. They are harvested and stabilized by drying. Solely for use in indoor environment, the moss is used to coat items of furniture intended.
Some benefits of having moss walls are; * They improve indoor air quality through a process called bio-filtration * Lower energy costs through evapotranspiration. The areas around moss walls are cooler during hot and sunny days and vice versa * Moss walls also help stabilize moisture levels * They reduce CO2 levels * Are aesthetically pleasing * Have low maintenance in gardening


Sirocco is a Danish family business that creates unique and sustainable interior decoration products from fascinating cultures. Their products are based on traditional crafts and materials from Egypt and the Sahara in Africa.
Materials used in the production of their items are naturally sourced and made from stone, copper, salt, palm, fish leather, recycled glass and traditional textile fabrics.
The company does not only aim at producing aesthetically beautiful interior items, but also strives to preserve culture, create traditional and hand crafted, sustainable and eco-friendly products.
Their new product line “Fish Leather Pillows” are made from fish leather from non-endangered fish species (e.g.: Salmon and Cod). These pillows are super soft and very durable.


This company manufactures handmade rugs from upcycled clothing offcuts, textile waste that would otherwise end up as landfill. They also support artisan communities who produce products with the lightest environmental impact.


A design studio that undertakes projects from product and furniture design, to interiors and architecture. The studio was founded in 2014 by Kizi brothers as an extension of the architecture firm, more focused on design, research and materiality.
Thistle, also called the wild artichoke, is a plant native to the western and central Mediterranean region, where it was domesticated in ancient times. Kizi Design Studio created new eco-friendly materials using thistle as the main substance and brought to life the first thistle furniture collection for hotels and restaurants.


Mr. Ghulamhussein Jhanjaria’s passion for saving the environment and contributing to its conservation led to the development of Treewise Pencils. These are pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper. Their aim is to ‘reduce’, ‘reuse’ and ‘recycle’
The pencils are non-toxic, sturdy as wood, water proof with HB #2 dark lead.
There are hardly any breakage while sharpening or writing and help in creating awareness towards environmental protection as no trees are harmed.
Adopting sustainable practices is paramount at some point in time our lives. This is because, at the rate we are going, the earth is speedily depleting and no longer sustainable. Over the years, we will begin to run out of certain natural resources that are needed in order for us to survive.

Let’s lend a helping hand to the environment and reduce our eco footprint.

Comments (2)

  • Rakiyat Odunsi Reply

    this is a great article, you too me through the exhibition like i was there also, i must say up-cycling is the best way to go. this has really given a lot of ideas and places i can go to for partnership. In Nigeria we have so much wast that can be turned to sustainable wealth. Thank you

    October 25, 2017 at 11:41 pm
  • Damilola Kuteyi Reply

    This is remarkable! Pencils from newspapers? Awesome!

    December 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

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