SOPHIE ROWLEY X NEW YORK TIMES (2019)
FEB 5 2019
Sophie Rowley, the 32-year-old material designer, represented by Side Gallery, is among of a group of creators who are re-envisioning waste products as an abundant resource that can be manipulated by material experimentation and transformed into objects and materials that are beautiful in their own right. Rowley, a leader in the world of ‘up-cycling’ was horrified by the amount of waste produced by big corporations.
Whilst living in India the designer was working at the Mumbai innovation center, one of India’s largest manufacturing firms, the St Martins graduate joined a small team of designers tasked with cataloging the waste products the corporation produced and then recruiting local craftspeople to experiment with the discarded materials. It was there in India that Sophie Rowley was also inspired and discovered new weaving techniques from the local craftspeople.
“The ultimate goal is to out design waste”
The outcome was her award nominated Khadi Frays series. The series has been shown by Side Gallery, at PAD London as well as Salon Art + Design, New York in 2019. In 2020, the gallery took an impressive three-meter-long piece to Collective Design fair in Belgium.
On return from India, as well as the creation of her playful Khadi Frays series, Rowley developed her surreal Bahia Denim collection. The concept is a textile fabricated out of disused pieces of jeans, molded and joined together using Bioresin. The material is then cut into flat sheets which bears an uncanny likeness to indigo-hued marble. “The ultimate goal is to out design waste”, says Sophie.