Designers across the world are embracing the sustainability trend by creating eye-catching and unique products using recycled paper.
#21DaysofTrends: Recycled Paper Products
Pulping paper is a low-tech process that designers today are making use of to create sustainable, innovative products. The concept of recycling is not new and most of us have implemented some sort of system at home to separate our organic waste from the rest, but some creatives have taken it a step further and challenged themselves to develop directional designer products that are both beautiful and environmentally friendly. Gone are the days of sustainable products looking drab and unimaginative, as proven by these four international designers and their distinct recycled paper creations.
1. WooJai Lee
This young New Zealand designer is changing the conversation around recycled paper. Since completing his studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 2016, WooJai Lee has been continuously exploring the contrasting nature of the material, mixing recycled newspaper pulp with glue, wood dust and offcuts to create a marbled mixture that can be pressed into simple brick-like moulds. These 'PaperBricks' have a similar consistency to that of wood, and can be cut, glued and drilled to create furniture, as seen in Lee's range of tables and benches. 'I wanted to give paper rubbish a new life as a much stronger and longer-lasting material,' he says, adding that he has plans to further develop the material to create wall panels and room dividers.
2. Nienke Hoogvliet
Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet is committed to using materials that can contribute to a more sustainable world, so much so that she looked to the sewer for her Waterschatten homeware range. The collection features delicate decorative bowls, a large dining table and rectangular suspension lights all made out of cleaned and reclaimed toilet paper. Hoogvliet says that by combining the toilet paper with brass accents, she wants to show that the paper pulp has 'great value' despite its origin.
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3. Valentina Carretta
Italian designer Valentina Carretta has collaborated with notable names including Roche Bobois, Bosa and Miniforms over her extensive career, but one of the most exciting is her partnership with Seletti, for whom she produced a collection of lights made from coarse recycled paper. Named after the story of how explorer Christopher Columbus proved his critics wrong by making an egg stand on its tip, the Egg of Columbus lamp range is based on the notion that things may appear impossible to achieve until somebody proves that they are not. Carretta combines moisture-resistant recycled paper with striking red electrical cord to present unique lamps and lights that create twirling shadows when illuminated.
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4. David Gardener
British design engineer David Gardener takes the concept of using recycled paper as a design material to new heights with his Packaging Lamp. Inspired by the over-packaging of products, the lamp's shade and stand double up as its packaging, holding the electrical components including a bulb and socket until the lamp is ready to be assembled. The main structure is made from sturdy, biodegradable pulped recycled paper similar to that used for egg boxes, which is pressed into a mould of a traditional table lamp, but whose shape is actually determined by the elements that are packaged in it.