Living With Nature
Four questions for Elaine Yan Ling Ng, The Fabrick Lab
Living with Nature is a series in which we put four questions to artists, designers and other creatives with a connection to the natural world.
The Fabrick Lab is a Hong Kong-based consultancy exploring the future of textiles through such diverse lenses as electronics, biomimicry, interiors and installations. We spoke with its founder, award winning artist, textile designer and “techno fairy” (according to Elle Deco), Elaine Yan Ling Ng.
Tell us about a place in nature that’s special to you
The mountains in Guizhou, China. I have been working with ethnic minorities in Guizhou for years and the rice paddies and shapes of the valleys there hold a special place in my heart. Particularly significant to me is what this landscape provides us with: natural dyes such as indigo.
How do you Let Nature In?
I love having a big window space and balcony where I can breathe in the fresh sea breeze each morning. I also love seeing the in-between spaces between my plants and the wall — these are my calming moments, and I consider each a 'once in a lifetime' event. During sunset, the shadows cast by the plants change, just as the plant transforms from day-to-day. I love seeing the silhouette on the wall and observing how it changes with the light.
How does nature influence you?
I have always loved working with material that is harvested from nature. It's always one-of-a-kind and has its own character. I also love how natural materials can be both fragile and super-strong at the same time.
Tell us about something you’re currently working on.
In recent years I have been collaborating with Nature Squared to develop a material made from calcium carbonate called CArrelé. We have created a tile collection that uses eggshell waste and natural dye. Each square metre uses up to 3000 eggshell that would otherwise go into landfill. You can read more about it in this article for Dezeen.
Find out more about Elaine and her work at Fabrick Lab and Natured Squared via her website and follow her on Instagram.