Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. Here are examples of their work.

The exhibition is running until January 4, 2009 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Swiss industrial designer Yves Béhar meets with indigenous women who run an organic chocolate cooperative in Costa Rica.

Béhar’s final design calls for stainless steel and sustainably-harvested Costa Rican hardwood. His chocolate shaving tool is designed to rest on the lip of a mug and resemble a twig.

Béhar’s final design includes an organic chocolate patty in a jute bag and a shaving tool. Shavings from the patty are poured into a hot cup of milk or water to make a traditional Costa Rican chocolate beverage.

New York industrial designer Stephen Burks refines his design of a prototype he created made from raspberry jamwood, a tree native to southwestern Australia.

Burks created a piece carved from jamwood that allows for the easy collection and processing of plant-based materials for use in the skincare line. He also created a complementary suite of jamwood containers to hold the cosmetics.

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius stirs heated chicle latex in the Mexican ejido Veinte de Noviembre (November 20th Farm Cooperative).

Jongerius works on her tallest piece (measuring 29 inches) in her studio. The piece is made from polyurethane rubber, ceramic and porcelain. Chicle latex is used as a decorative element as well as to bind the three pieces together.

Architect, artist and furniture designer Maya Lin in her New York studio, examining different types of FSC-certified wood from The Nature Conservancy’s property in northern Maine.

The wood used for Lin's bench came from FSC-certified land managed by The Nature Conservancy.

Dutch textile designer Christien Meindertsma knits her commissioned wool rug in her studio.

Meindertsma’s rug is comprised of 11 individual 30-inch-by-27-½ inch tiles.

Sheep from the Lava Lake Ranch, where organic sheep wool was sourced for Miendersma's commission, are herded through the town of Hailey, Idaho.

Designer Abbott Miller experiments with how alternative textile elements might connect to the frame of the chair.

Using FSC-certified plywood from Bolivia, Miller designed a chair whose components can be shipped flat and dry-assembled with a rubber mallet.

The chair design highlights the beauty of Bolivian wood, while also yielding three chairs per sheet of plywood, with a minimal amount of waste.

New York fashion designer Issac Mizrahi during a fitting session. Mizrahi used salmon leather to create an ensemble that includes a dress, jacket and shoes.

New York fashion designer Issac Mizrahi used salmon leather to create a dress, jacket and shoes.

Fishermen catch salmon in southwest Alaska.

New York jewelry designer Ted Muehling looks at ivory palm nuts in a carving hut on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei.

Muehling created a lei by stringing flowers made from vegetable ivory on a black silk cord.

Kate Spade New York handbag made from undyed jipijapa with an FSC-certified morado (Bolivian rosewood) handle.

Kate Spade New York handbag made from loosely woven cotton with an FSC-certified morado (Bolivian rosewood) handle.

Israeli industrial and furniture designer Ezri Tarazi refines his design using bamboo poles from China.

Round sections of bamboo hang from a metal structure to create a chair. Each section is suspended from a metal rod that allows the rings to turn.

Tarazi's installation of bamboo totems moves the dense landscape of China’s bamboo forests indoors, creating a domestic forest that supports a range of living arrangements.

The Design for a Living World Exhibition

Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. Here are examples of their work.

Ten leading designers have been commissioned to develop new uses for sustainably grown and harvested materials in order to tell a unique story about the life-cycle of materials and the power of conservation and design. Here are examples of their work.

The exhibition is running until January 4, 2009 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

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