You probably recycle don’t you? You might have an extra green bin, or different coloured bags that separate out everything that your local council can recycle. Or perhaps you even reuse items as an alternative to their original function (Art Attack springs to mind). Well, Bloomberg Philanthropy is pushing the creative thinking beyond even the capabilities of Neil Buchanan and has commissioned a series of art and design projects as Waste Not, Want It – an example of ‘upcycling’.
Bloomberg themselves provided the designers with the ‘waste’ materials from their own warehouse rubbish. Cables, keyboards and computer mice, and copious volumes of cardboard later the waste has been transformed into some surprisingly creative products.
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez created a chandelier inspired by infructescence (that’s the ripening of clusters of fruit, don’t you know), with dip coated computer mice. He even fixed up the LEDs to represent the actual ripening of the fruit!
250 kiln dried pallets became a conference table and set of chairs courtesy of Nina Tolstrup.
My favourite, however, has to be David Batchelow’s “Dog Balls”. Reminiscent of rubber band balls as a kid it has the perfect balance of decorative art and creative thinking to make a really desirable product out of something that, when used as cables, we are continually struggling to hide and tidy away. They consist of over 10km of cable and the largest weighs an incredible 150kg!
Finally “The Pond” from Raw Edge offers us “‘a bucolic seating environment” created from keyboard keys and old CRT monitors fixed up to run an animation by Oscar Narud.
Sigrid Wilkinson of Art Co was so impressed that she can one day see “all public areas or meeting room furniture being made entirely from waste”, and I’m inclined to agree. The term ‘waste’ itself could well become obsolete and things will just continually be combined and upcycled instead.
If you know of anymore upcycling projects that I ought to know about please leave a comment below.