Supercyclers – Sustainability and Aesthetics

Supercyclers are an ever-growing international collection of designers focused on building a sustainable future into the products they create, transforming perceptions of waste materials and the way we use things in the process.

Supercyclers at No.19 Greek Street

We met Sarah K, one of the supercyclers, at No. 19 Greek Street during the 2012 London Design Festival and she showed us around the top floor of the building.

Unexpended Polystyrene Box | Mark Vaarwerk © Supercyclers | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Unexpended Polystyrene Box | Mark Vaarwerk © Supercyclers | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Sarah told us that the aim of the collective is to create beautiful objects while remaining as sustainable as possible, without letting this affect the quality or the aesthetic of their creations i.e. “recycling materials without looking like recycling“.

Framed NewspaperWood | Vij5 + Breg Hanssen © Supercyclers | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

The cabinet made from ‘NewspaperWood’ by supercyclers Vij5 and Breg Hanssen was particularly remarkable as it resembled both the look and feel of wood and is a perfectly functional recycled building material. Supercyclers encourages the collaboration of different designers, revolving around the idea of taking an object and transforming it into something new. Artists will use materials in a certain way while sticking to a sustainable theme.

Cut Out Template Lampshade: The print is downloadable from the internet for a small fee and the lampshade is folded and pieced together according to the instructions.

Quilt Light | Tamara Maynes | © Supercyclers Courtesy of 19 Greek Street. The template is downloadable here and the lampshade is folded and pieced together according to the instructions.

The wide theme allows for a lot of experimentation and both traditional and modern ideas are encouraged. Designs such as the juice maker encourage a more sustainable lifestyle in going back to basics, while other new/contemporary ideas may lead towards a more futuristic approach.

Juice Maker

Stir It | Postfossil | © Supercyclers Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Sarah along with Lianne Rossler came up with a unique way of reusing plastic disposable straws. The concept is ideal for a long dinner table. The straws are filled with water, which doesn’t leak out due it is long and narrow structure and thin stems can be placed inside acting as a horizontal vase. The simple design is easy to recreate and were featured in Green Magazine Australia as a great way to reuse materials that would normally end up in the bin. In the United States alone 500 million plastic straws are thrown away daily and are not recycled.

 Horizontal Vases

Yours to Care For | Sarah K + Liane Rossler | © Supercyclers Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Sarah and Lianne were also inspired by the idea of foraging while searching for plants to place into their individual vases, when they both realised they were now looking at the foliage in their neighbourhood differently. By making holes in the straw they were also able to combine different leaves with one another creating hybrid plants.

Plastic Fantastic

Plastic Fantastic | Sarah K + Liane Rossler | © Supercyclers Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

The projects developed by supercyclers are intended to inspire and encourage creative processes among the public and in the design world. The ideas presented by the supercyclers are both things you could make at home or objects that are aimed to provoke design and development in a certain area rather than being intended for practical use – such as the Plastic Fantastic series. Many projects carry a philosophy or a specific method behind the work but all of them are united by the common theme.

Kite Stool | Blakebrough + King | ©SupercyclersCourtesy of 19 Greek Street

Kite Stool | Blakebrough + King | ©Supercyclers
Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

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Number 19 Greek Street – Storytelling, Recycling & Contemporary Design

© Jamie McGregor Smith | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

During the London Design Festival one  of my favourite venues was 19 Greek Street. This brand new gallery established by Marc Péridis, Designer and Creative Director of the design studio Montage, aims to be London’s hub for craft, excellence and socially responsible design.

19 Greek Street

The impressive six-floor Victorian townhouse aims to become a centre for distinctive design storytelling, bringing together handpicked pieces from international design studios, as well as housing the UK outpost of ESPASSO, the much acclaimed US specialists in modernist and contemporary Brazilian design.

JZ Tea Trolley | Jorge Zalszupin | © Espasso
Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Cantante Lamp | Etel Carmona | © Espasso
Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

19 Greek Street seeks to merge elements of social responsibility, recycling and contemporary design. The top floor design studio / workshop allows users to engage with the design processes of highly crafted pieces from the Australian design collective supercyclers.

Supercyclers | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

It features both commercial and non-commercial pieces in exhibition and showroom environments, while also featuring a screening/lecture room and a workshop space where guests can engage with the process: the work behind the work.

Solar Sinter | © Markus Kayser | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Solar Sinter | © Markus Kayser | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Fuelled by an innate sense of curiosity and exploration, Péridis’ extensive travels through the world’s design hubs of New York, Miami, São Paulo, Berlin, Milan, have set the tone for the space.

© Kate Elliott | Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

This inaugural collection showcases works by an international stable of established design talents alongside emerging newcomers. The pristine white interior allows each exhibited piece of furniture to be presented individually and stand out to show every detail.

Elements | © Juan Pablo Naranjo Courtesy of 19 Greek Street

Péridis says of his decision to set up 19 Greek Street: “I am one of those people who plays with design like a child plays with his toys – with amazement and bewilderment, seeing an infinite potential in everything I find. This is design. So, for me, the idea was simple. I found a building that was looking for stories to tell, and I found stories that were dying to be told.”

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Natural Grain Kite Stool, London

Natural Grain Kite Stool by Blakebrough + King  © Supercyclers.
Photo Courtesy of 19 Greek Street. The stool was created from natural food by-products such as wheat and rice straw and moulded using resin.