Sadly I have just been informed that the event below has been cancelled, however see the links below to find out about Wasteland the inspiring documentary by Vik Muniz and the Living Furniture Project in their new showroom/cafe in 22-26 Farringdon Lane. Please see our feed on the right hand column of the blog for more info on upcoming events. I will also be posting more on the London Design Festival for the next two weeks.
VIK MUNIZ LOOKS DOWN AT MAGNA’S PHOTO AND PORTRAIT (SCREEN GRAB) Artwork courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio
Next Monday, 16 September, there will be a screening of the award winning documentary Wasteland, as part of London Design Week. The film surrounds a landfill in Rio, Brazil and the lives of those that live and work on the site, while artist Vik Muniz creates art using discarded objects he finds among the rubbish.
While it has become easier to travel in a more authentic and creative way thanks to the internet and sites like Airbnb and couch surfing, this also counts for the buildings that you can stay in. This iconic tin shed in the Sydney suburb of Redfern (which is available to book through Airbnb) was built with repurposed corrugated iron.
In Australia corrugated iron is perhaps a more common building material than in European countries. This house has combined modern architecture with the rusty metal to depict the industrial past of the Sydney suburb.
Australian architect Rafaello Rosselini, whose aim was to repurpose an old tin shed at the back of a residential lot, describes the original building and the renovation process:
“The shed in its current state was dilapidated and structurally unsound. The original tin shed was disassembled and set aside while a new timber frame was erected. The layers of corrugated iron accumulated over generations of repair were reassembled on three facades.”
The grooves in the large metal sheets create an unusual facade at the front of the building, while the varying shades of rust and old paint create a worn out look you would be more likely to find in a scrap yard.
Inside the spotless white walls and the sleek wooden floors, show that salvage does not need to result in a compromise in style or quality.
On Rosselini’s website it states that the “project embraces that it will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.”
Upcycling is something natural and something very human. Creativity in a practical sense is not unique to designers. While upcycling has taken of as a trend in many countries, showing people both the value and the beauty of reuse, it is also changing lives. You can find upcycling pretty much everywhere, whether it is intentional or purely practical and out of necessity. Different countries and cultures will take on different approaches to upcycling but ideas seem to be everywhere. Alfredo Moser a man living in Southern Brazil has invented a very simple light using a plastic bottle some water and a drop of bleach. These incredibly cost effective lights are changing the lives of countless people in the Philippines where these ingenious inventions are being installed to save people spending money on very expensive electricity. It shows that sometimes the best inventions are the most basic ones.
The Pagri Stools by Studio Avni are made from repurposed silk Sarees. Studio Avni have created an upcycled and sustainable collection of textile poufs using the material from these old and discarded drapes.
Quazi Design transforms waste paper into colourful accessories, these Tehuti rings are made from discarded magazines.
Tehuti rings by Quazi Design
“We push the boundaries of our raw material, developing interesting techniques; including layering magazine pages to recreate the impression of wood, as if transforming the material back to its original form.”
Tehuti rings by Quazi Design
The discarded paper is used to create a wide range of sustainable products, from jewellery to interiors.
“We showcase our innovative paper fashion and each year we offer our customers cutting edge collections which are motivated by new approaches to recycling paper.”
Tehuti Collection by Quazi Design
Based in Swaziland, the company promotes craftsmanship and sustainability and offers training to designers and artisans interested in ethical design.
Products by Quazi Design are also available at Shake the Dust a design brand which specialises in ethical products and sources, commissions and sells hand-made, luxury homeware and accessories.
American artist Jeremy Underwood has transformed Houston’s waterways to showcase his sculptures made from discarded materials.
The project titled “Human Debris” reflects both the visual and environmental impact of people and urbanisation on the natural world. Underwood describes his work as a reinterpretation of the waste materials left behind “Human Debris is a commentary on what humans leave in the natural landscape.”
In his hometown of Houston, Underwood focused on reinventing these unwanted materials into something beautiful, while making a statement about the volume of waste channelled into these natural landscapes.
“The project spotlights the environmental condition of Houston’s waterways through the building of site-specific sculptures assembled out of harvested debris collected from the beach.”
Through this project he has made a bold statement about recycling and sustainability, he has not only highlighted the amount of waste left by humans, but he has also shown the value and versatility of these objects. “Each found material lends itself to a new creation, encompassing the former life of the debris into each sculpture.”
“These objects are simply artifacts to support the work, photographed in interaction with the landscape, then left to be discovered.”
Through his work he seek to challenge viewers to “reflect upon our consumer culture, the relationship we have with our environment, and the pervasion of pollution.”