Precious Plastic by Dave Hakkens is a bespoke open source machine that lets consumers upcycle their own plastic waste to make new household objects. The blueprints of the machine and a guide on how to use it are made freely available through the Dutch designer’s website. “It’s almost like the idea of a designer becoming an enabler,” Radical Matter co-author and Franklin Till co-founder Caroline Till reflects.Courtesy FranklinTill“He wants you to reuse your own plastic waste and through a sort of home factory, produce your products based on necessity,” she adds.
Courtesy Franklin TillS tructural Skin by Spanish designer Jorge Penadés is a furniture and lighting series that employs a new material comprised of leftovers and offcuts from the leather industry.Courtesy Brenda Germade Dutch designer Mieke Meijer’s NewspaperWood material was first developed based on the idea of turning the age-old process of milling wood into paper on its head. Rather, she generated a new solid composite by meticulously gluing stacks of old newspaper together. Ironically, this layering technique produced a visual effect similar to wood grain. Over time, she began using solvent-free adhesives. Meijer created household accessories like lamps using the material but also applied it to various industrial applications, including the dashboard of a Peugeot concept car.Courtesy Mieke Meijer Agar Plasticity by AMAM is an ongoing material research project that explores the potential of biodegradable algae as an alternative to imperishable synthetic plastic packaging. The project garnered the trio a 2016 Lexus Design Award.Courtesy Kosuke Araki The Ocean Cleanup by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat is a hypothetical energy neutral system that works like an artificial coastline to intercept, concentrate, and extract ocean debris including plastic waste, to be recycled.Courtesy Erwin Zwart The Ocean Cleanup by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat is a hypothetical energy neutral system that works like an artificial coastline to intercept, concentrate, and extract ocean debris including plastic waste, to be recycled.Courtesy Erwin ZwartOpen Desk is an online resource that allows consumers to choose from a large selection of open source designs that can then be produced through a global network of local makers.Courtesy FranklinTill“Open Desk uses digital fabrication to create at a smaller scale that is closer to the end consumer,” Till describes. “There is less energy required to ship products around the world.”Courtesy FranklinTillHair Highway by British design duo Studio Swine explores the potential of human hair as a renewable resource, as human populations continue to increase. Courtesy Studio Swine The unlikely material is an alternative to dwindling luxurious materials like horn, tortoise shell, and tropical wood.Courtesy Studio Swine Material Illusions by Berlin-based designer Sophie Rowley was an exploration into common waste materials including denim, paper, styrofoam, and glass. Using a sense of craftsmanship, these sourced composites were transformed into functional sculptures, reflecting what the designer calls a “a man-made and nature-simulated sample palette.”Courtesy Sophie RowleyRadical Matter.)” Though it hasn’t completely rectified the company’s environmental impact, the Apple’s new Liam Robot is able to pull apart 1.2 million iPhones a year. The components are then sold to recyclers. The company’s ultimate goal is to establish a closed-loop supply chain, in which it will no longer be necessary to extract raw materials. (Note: This and all the following projects are not featured in Radical Matter.)Courtesy AppleIKEA’s Kunsbacka kitchen cabinet fronts are produced using recycled wood wrapped in a film made from recycled PET plastic bottles. “IKEA released at least 60 new products last year that all focused on the utilization of waste,” Till explains.Courtesy IKEAIKEA’s Odger chair is made of a wood plastic composite, where 30% of the material is wood, a renewable source, and at least 55% of its remaining materials is recycled plastic. This means it has less impact on the environment than virgin oil-based plastics. Courtesy IKEAThe new Tånum rag rugs is created using leftovers from IKEA’s quilts and fabric production. The rag rug technique was first championed by Finnish design student Erik Bertell and has now been applied as part of equitable initiatives in Bangladesh that employ local craftspeople.Courtesy IKEAReally. is a subsidiary of Danish textile brand Kvadrat that upcycles end-of-life fabrics into a new solid, high-density board material that can be used in both furniture, interior design, and architecture. Courtesy KvadratBritish designer Max Lamb created a series of benches and tables for the Really.’s Milan Design Week 2017 showcase.Courtesy KvadratVlisco is a Dutch company that produces Batik-print fabrics for the African market. Due to a high standard, a lot of rejected prints become waste. After extensive research into the brand’s practices, Dutch designer Simone Post created a series of Vlisco Recycled carpets that upcycled the discarded material into a new application.Courtesy Label/BreedChinese design studio Bentu Design developed the I table series using left over stone and ceramic aggregate.Courtesy Bentu DesignThe Circular Speakers by British designer Tom Meades reflect the circular economy model and rely on the ability to separate plastic that can be re-melted an infinite number of times.Courtesy Tom MeadesLithoplast is a new material composite developed by Israeli designer Shahar Livne as the result of her ongoing Metamorphism research project into plastiglomerates (i.e. materials produced when plastic waste and natural materials fuse). The designer considers a future in which most natural resources will have disappeared and our notion of what is natural will be challenged. Levin suggests that we will end up mining such hybrid materials.Courtesy Alan BoomMush-Lume lamp by Brooklyn-based designer Danielle Trofe emphasizes the important of grown rather than manufactured materials, in this case a mushroom-base mycelium.Courtesy Danielle TrofeRadical Matter co-author and Franklin Till co-founder Caroline Till reflects.”
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