Waste to design – creating new materials

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

It’s in the ability to see the beauty in what is supposed to be of no use, old, or trash, and envision the potential of such material, embracing its imperfections and creating something beautiful out of it… is the absolute creativity!

Here we are highlighting three innovative example of turning trash into functional new materials with proof of the durability to produce furniture. Using discarded natural resources such as sea weeds, grass and paper to create new eco-friendly materials that can be recycled or decomposed in nature at the end of there life-cycle. These ideas evolved with the aim of experimenting with natural raw materials to invent alternative future materials.

Carolin Pertsch stools:

Carolin created stools seats from seagrass – also known as eelgrass and seawrack – that she harvested from Zostera Marina in the German coast, where thousands of tones are washed away every year and collected to end up in landfills.

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The designer challenged her self to find a way in creating a new material using seagrass mixed with natural ingredients, like starch, water and vinegar, which she used as a glue in producing her own bio-plastic, that she then molded into stool seats.

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Seaweed and paper furniture

Designers Jonas Edvard and Nikolaj Steenfatt created a chair and a collection of pendant lamps with a new material using seaweed and paper. The seaweed was cooked in a glue creating its viscous and adhesive effect of alginate – a natural polymer found in the brown algae – then mixed with paper which resulted in a tough and durable material that looks like cork. The seaweed and paper was the molded into furniture products.

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This new material is not only strong enough to take the weight of a sitter it is also nonflammable as seaweed contains high quantities of salt. And after concluding its life-cycle the material can be broken down for reuse or used as a natural fertiliser, as it contains large amounts of nitrogen, iodine, magnesium and calcium.

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Lamp sheds using seaweeds:

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Here seaweeds strips are used to create lamp sheds. It’s designer Julia Lohman believes that seaweeds can replace leather, paper and plastic. The designer uses laser-cutting machine to create patterns in pieces of kelp before sewing them together, then stretches them into shape before the dry and take shape.

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