Born in Málaga (Spain), Jorge Penadés studied Interior Design at Escola Superior de Disseny i d’Arts Plàstiques Llotja in Barcelona, before graduating in December 2014 from IED | Istituto Europeo di Design in Madrid with a Master´s degree in experimental design and conceptual thinking.
´Structural Skin´does not start from an interest in the advantages of a material, but from its disadvantages.For Penadés, «Leather is a beautiful material but very inefficient in terms of its manufacturing process due to its natural origins No matter which tanning process a hide went through, the quality of a piece of leather depends directly on the part of the animal that came from. The higher the movement, the lower the quality; some experts indicate that just the 13% of a hide is top quality and up to the 43% is considered good quality. This fact means that companies involved in the production of leather goods produce a large amount of discarded materials, leftovers and offcuts.»
As a thesis project, Penadés developed ´Structural Skin´, this new material made out of leftovers from leather factories. The self-produced material is 100% coming from animal resources, so any resin or chemical component has been used along the production.
The binder is fully biodegradable and this fact allows the process to be returnable. The outcome can be re-heated and re-shaped again which means that nothing is lost and therefore the whole material is re-usable.
The objective is to reintegrate the offcuts from the leather industry into their own companies by creating different objects that can be used for displaying their leather goods. Two furniture pieces has been designed to launch the project, a hanger and a side table; with the hanger 28kg of leather offcuts has been reintegrated and 12kg with the side table.
New furniture pieces will be developed with monochromes and also mixtures of different colors, further developing the aesthetic side of the material.