Laura-Jane Atkinson

MA Design: Lab

The town of Kirkcaldy was once the global home of Linoleum, a flooring product crafted from linseed oil, pine resin and woodflour. By the sixties vinyl was invented – cheaper brighter, quicker. Linoleum’s social status and economy took a hit.

‘Lino Lab’ calls on you to unlearn your perceptions of Linoleum – betray the familiar, shake it off, speculate with a hammer, take a leap of faith into the abyss of un-acquiring.

With only one remaining manufacturer in the UK, the significant environmental and social values that Linoleum carries are at risk of becoming obsolete and are waiting patiently in limbo. These products aim to suggest an alternative future narrative for Linoleum by creating emergent design opportunities originating in the problems the industry faces, that allow these values to be reimagined.

The products re-appropriate Linoleum to a craft context – a context that is rooted in its production but rarely noted in its industrial setting. In doing so, new market opportunities are offered that invite you to re-acquaint yourselves with Linoleum under a divergent scenario.

The products debate the role that craft can play in contributing to more capable social, environmental and economic futures.

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