On Wednesday, May 18, the ARRI Kino in Munich hosted an international sustainable design awards ceremony organized by the Green Future Club as part of the Munich Creative Business Week. The Polish brand VANK won the international Green Product Award 2022 and received a special mention from a 26-member jury - Editor’s Choice - in the Interior & Lifestyle category. The nominated product was the brand’s acoustic bio-panel – the essential element of VANK’s acoustic office pods, mobile walls, and wall installations.
This year, the 9th edition of the Green Product Award saw 1,500 entries from 50 countries and 52,000 public votes cast for 100 products. The most forward-thinking product, service, and material concepts were awarded for environmental protection, contributing to long-term change, innovation, and design.
VANK’s creation was additionally presented at an exhibition in the centre of Munich during the Munich Creative Business Week. The display container was divided into 3 sections: New Plant World, Rethinking Plastics, The Second Life of Food. Each of these sections was arranged using our sound-absorbing mobile walls made of: biocomposites, rPET non-woven fabric, and banana fibre and natural turmeric-dyed fabric, respectively. It’s an exclusive debut collaboration of VANK, Qwestion, and Dyeluxe, brought to life by Green Future Club.
VANK proves that smart and durable plant-based materials are a suitable substitute for conventional raw materials in the manufacture of wall panels, movable partitions, and cubicles for work or meetings. The manufacturing process of its innovative panels uses biocomposite materials based on renewable fibre crops. The new material replaces petroleum-based polyurethane foam in VANK’s products and translates into obvious environmental advantages. The panels contribute to the development of circular economy and have a negative carbon footprint. By steering clear of primary petrochemicals and using renewable raw materials instead, CO2 emissions, which are considered one of the main causes of global warming, are reduced. Flax and hemp absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contribute to the climatic stability of our planet.
Wellbeing and eco-acoustics
VANK’s state-of-the-art acoustic panels are a combination of pro-environmental values and every individual’s need for wellbeing. VANK’s technology produces shapes that guarantee reduced reverberation and room noise. The 80x40 cm biodegradable panels are available in 5 3-D patterns and can be customized by designers to become creative wall finishes in office environments, public spaces, and residential buildings. DIAMOND, WAVE, FLAT, ELLIPSE, and COLUMN can form large geometric decorations or even cover entire room walls. Light beige or dark brown organic textures offer a minimalist, natural look of the interiors they decorate. The panels can also come in the form of mobile walls or desk partition screens.
Prize after prize
The VANK bio-panel was also recognised by the jury of the Deutscher Nachhaltikeitspreis, becoming one of the finalists in this year’s edition of the competition. It won the German Design Award in the Iconic Awards: Innovative Interiors competition.
A little bit of a side note here: the distinctive DIAMONDS shape already received the iF Design Award in 2016, and the new design ELLIPSE by MML was awarded the MUST HAVE award this year.
People behind the design
The VANK bio-panel is the brainchild of: Anna Vonhausen, VANK’s designer and creative director, and Marcus Vonhausen, VANK’s business development director, responsible for the new material featured in the product. VANK is also open to working with architects. The ELLIPSE pattern was designed by the architectural studio Mili Młodzi Ludzie. The panel collection offers a variety of configurations and arrangements, which makes it easy to come up with own patterns and designs. This way, the solution contributes to the discourse on design and aesthetics in the face of a climate crisis.