The Now & Then project

The Now/Then project examines where modern day products originate and how they affect our environmental footprint. These 24 products are explorations to show people where products come from and what a sustainable alternative might look like. What are the changes we can make today to make sure there will always be a tomorrow? This is a stepping off point for thinking: Every decision we make impacts the world around us.


There is a massive demand for paper around the world. For some high quality papers like cardstock, there are large amounts of waste during the manufacturing process.
After in-depth research on the paper making processes of Chinese xuan-paper and Japanese Washi, Fang & Yuan was inspired by the special texture of traditionally hand-made paper. This product simplifies the traditional paper making process, by eliminating the need for professional skills or of space-occupying equipment.
Prepare the paper pulp, stir, filter it & let it dry. Making a unique postcard is simple with Fang & Yuan.

The nettle is a surprisingly useful plant; it has properties similar to those of spinach and ginseng combined, such as an abundance of Vitamin A and Iron. So why don’t we make more use of it? If you have ever been stung by a nettle, you’re probably hesitant to get close to one again, but don’t let that stop you!
The Gentle Nettle Glove allows you enjoy this wonderful plant much more comfortably. Look around you, and you will see that the sparsest patch of grass could become your own little corner shop.
The glove is crafted from Swedish reindeer skin that protects your hand and the integrated mesh allows for ventilation, while the V-shaped blade helps you to break off the stems.

One of the main culprits of solid waste is product packaging; a material designed only to protect another product with no intention of being used after it has been unpacked. Paper, bubble wrap & co can only use re-used so often.
This linear and unnecessary material use has given rise to the Ceramic Packaging. Inspired by a Lund-based ceramicist this packing is intended for, but not limited to, protecting ceramics.
Ceramic Packaging uses two sturdy wooden frames, each wrapped in a web of elastic, which when combined by contact edges suspend and protect your valuable art works. Ceramic Packaging are practical for exhibition transports, and can even be used to display the product through the many ways the packaging’s structure can be assembled.
Designed by Jingying Ma.

PALL is a stool composed only of natural materials: wood and a hemp rope. The individual parts can be easily disassembled and given back to nature without a negative impact on the environment.
Packaged flat, this product is easy to assemble: thread the rope through the legs, the seat top and the twisting cross according to the included instructions. Once the rope is threaded and tied as instructed, the last step is to give the stool its structural integrity. This is achieved by simply twisting the cross and locking it into the seating surface. The greater the tension the sturdier the construction. Now PALL is ready to go!
Designed by Viola Vallon

This concept is a suggestion to change our burial habits, specifically cremation, into a biodegradable system.
Funerals are stressful. Giving family members something they can hold on to can reduce stress levels, especially when it is a mini-urn, a tactile device that can help say goodbye during the service.
Each mini-urn holds a symbolic part of the ashes, is made from a different kind of wood, polished softly, and shaped to fit the form of our hands. Following the service all mini-urns are gathered in the lid of the main urn, which forms a shallow vessel, and the body is buried as a whole.
Designed by Lisa Merk

Water is an essential resource for life on earth, and unfortunately in some parts of the world it is scarce. Ewa is designed to collect water; it uses the principle of condensation to harvest humidity from the air around us.
Colder temperatures underground cool the surface of the container which water vapor then condensates on and the vertical wind turbine drives a fan that maximizes Ewa’s efficiency. It can be used where water isn’t safe for drinking, or where it’s limited to vital uses such as drinking and cooking.
The name Ewa is short for Earth, Water and Air – the vital elements for Ewa to work. It is also a reference to Eve – the creator of life.

Designed by Anton Nordenson

Before the invention of the coffee machine, people drank “slow coffee”. Today, people most commonly drink coffee made by a machine. The way we drink coffee is quite linear; using single-use filters and paper cups is an unnecessary consumption of paper resources.

Slow Coffee Table provides a space to make coffee in the traditional way, making the preparation process more like a ceremony. Most importantly, the preparation here is cyclic. A metal coffee filter is used instead of a paper filter, the rinser under the faucet makes cleaning more convenient and thus encourages the use of reusable cups. Slow Coffee Table also contains a collection container for coffee grounds, which can be composted.

Designed by Ruoxi Zeng

Nowadays, chemical pigments and dyes are used in most printing and coloration applications. Anything from clothing to packaging to the food we eat can contain chemical dyes that are toxic or harmful to us, our ecosystems or the environment. We flush them into our wastewater, they leach into groundwater through improper disposal, or are dumped into natural water systems for lack of better water treatment.
Plant Ink brings the traditional process of ink making into the 21st century. In this simple step-by-step process, it encourages the use of natural dyes found in one’s immediate surroundings to make an ink like no other.
Designed by Xiaoru Chen

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