recycling

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Design

Unused Microchips, Motherboards, and Other Electronic Waste Make This Upcycled Watch Tick

August 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vollebak

Recent reports estimate that the world produced 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste last year alone, a record high that’s expected only to rise. In an effort to prevent digging up precious materials like gold, silver, and aluminum just to return them to the ground later on as trash, the sustainable fashion brand Vollebak has introduced Garbage Watch.

As its name suggests, the upcycled timepiece is constructed with old motherboards, microchips, and computer parts, utilizing bright electrical cords as the strap with an open face and exposed mechanisms. “We’ve taken an ‘inside-out’ design approach with the Garbage Watch, making the functional inner workings highly visible,” said Vollebak co-founder Nick Tidball in a statement to Inhabitat. “Our aim was to reframe an often invisible and hazardous end of the supply chain, and make people think deeply about the impact of treating their wearables in a disposable manner.”

An undertaking in partnership with the Wallpaper* Re-Made project, the timepiece officially launches in 2021, although a waitlist is currently open. Until then, find more of Vollebak’s sustainable designs on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Stumble Upon Seven New Reclaimed Wood Trolls by Thomas Dambo in the Forests of Boom, Belgium

July 9, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

© Yannig Van de Wouwer

In anticipation of Tomorrowland’s 15th anniversary, the Belgium-based festival commissioned Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) to build seven of his world-renowned trolls throughout the De Schoore area in Boom. Like his previous installations in Copenhagen, South Korea, and northern Illinois, the new cast of creatures are built from recycled and reclaimed wood from pallets, buildings, and fallen trees. Carved wood forms geometric noses and human-sized feet, while scraggly tree branches create untamed hair and beards.

“Trash is a material and it only depends on how you work with it,” Dambo explained in a press release about the project. “We can design an entire world out of trash. We need to look at it and then think about what to do with it. That’s why I’m building these bigger-than-life scale projects. By doing that and involving people, they will open their eyes and see the possibilities and opportunities that lay in our trash. I hope that my art will inspire people to recycle and encourage them to be kind to nature and our planet.”

Although the trolls were built for the festival, visitors to the De Schoore recreational area can also happen upon the 13 to 60-foot-tall sculptures, in addition to an observation tower built from found branches. Follow along with Dambo’s friendly beasts on his website and Facebook.

© Yannig Van de Wouwer

© Yannig Van de Wouwer

© Yannig Van de Wouwer

 

 



Design

A Cherry Blossom-Inspired Torch Will Kick Off the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

March 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yesterday, on the first day of spring, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch was revealed to the public at a press conference in the hosting city. The floral design is inspired by Japan’s cherry blossom, a flower celebrated in festivals across the country each March. Conceptualized by Tokujin Yoshioka, the torch features five petal-shaped cylinders that will each contain a flame, and is constructed from aluminum waste from temporary housing built after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The materials and blossom concept are meant to reinforce the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay concept, “Hope lights our way,” delivering a message of support and unification as the torch is carried to the New National Stadium for the opening ceremonies. The official relay will be held for 121 days, beginning March 26, 2020, and be passed to 80-90 runners each day. Relay ambassadors for next year’s event include three-time judo Olympic gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura, three-time Paralympian Aki Taguchi, and actress Satomi Ishihara. You can see a 360-degree view of the cherry blossom design in the video below. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design Science

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

February 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, which can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

 

 



Design Photography

Recycled Packing Materials Sculpted Into Elaborate Renaissance Costumes by Suzanne Jongmans

November 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Jongmans uses her skills as a sculptor and costume designer to create recycled garments from packing materials such as Styrofoam, plastic sheets, and segments of thick bubble wrap. The costumes take the form of elaborate bonnets and high collared dresses which are then photographed on subjects in poses reminiscent of portrait styles from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Specifically the Dutch artist references paintings created by artists such as Rembrandt, Holbein the Younger, and Rogier van der Weyden in her styled photographs.

Jongmans draws connections between contemporary disposable materials and the aesthetics of fine silks or lace, presenting creative takes on centuries-old clothing. “The idea of making something out of nothing changes our look on reality,” she explains. “…Most people throw that [foam] away. I make clothing out of it; foam is my textile.” You can see more of her portraits and garments sculpted from recycled materials on her website and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Mischievous Wooden Trolls Take Over an Arboretum in Northern Illinois

August 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

This summer, Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) has brought his fun-loving and kid-friendly trolls to the Morton Arboretum near Chicago, Illinois. Six site-specific characters range from Joe the Guardian surveying the neighboring highway to Sneaky Socks Alexa hidden in a cluster of shrubs. Dambo constructed the large storybook creatures using reclaimed wood sourced from fallen trees and branches as well as retired pallets and packing crates. Each figure towers up to thirty feet tall, with reclining Little Artur stretching sixty feet long. The exhibition, titled Troll Hunt, marks the Copenhagen-based artist’s first large-scale show in the United States. You can see Dambo’s fantastical creations at the Arboretum through the end of 2018 (and possibly into 2019, weather-dependent). Follow along with his creations on Facebook.