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Cow dung audio system and canine hair rugs: Modern upcycling at Singapore Design Week

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Cow dung audio system and canine hair rugs: Modern upcycling at Singapore Design Week

Written by Oscar Holland, CNNSingapore

Southeast Asia has a waste downside. The area accounts for half of the ten nations through which essentially the most plastic air pollution leaks into rivers and seas, in accordance with the World Financial institution. And along with their very own manufacturing, nations like Malaysia and Vietnam are among the many main importers of client waste from the developed world.

Maybe, then, it’s little shock that recycling, reusing and repurposing have been main themes at this 12 months’s Singapore Design Week.

Throughout the 10-day program, which concluded Sunday, native and worldwide designers grappled with environmental threats — and the position design can play in assuaging them. Lots of the most modern examples of upcycling have been discovered on the occasion’s Discover Design Truthful, which spotlighted the work of younger creatives from across the area.

The showcase, dubbed Emerge, was broad in scope, although curator Suzy Annetta recognized a robust “trash to treasure” theme.

“There’s actually fairly a broad variety, by way of what supplies designers are utilizing and the place they’re salvaging them from,” mentioned Annetta, who can also be founding editor of Design Anthology journal. “A few of it’s post-consumer, a few of it’s post-industrial and a few of it’s agricultural.

“Designers are, by nature, inquisitive — and they’re downside solvers,” she mentioned, including: “There is a excessive stage of consciousness of what the problems are, and of doing one thing small, in their very own means, to attempt to fight them. And I feel we would all wish to see these (concepts) be scalable.”

Listed below are seven eye-catching merchandise and prototypes from throughout the Singapore Design Week program.

Cow dung equipment

Design Truthful Asia/Marc Tan

Cow dung could also be a pure materials, however additionally it is answerable for polluting water and emitting gases like methane and ammonia. Hoping to counter the environmental affect of farming in Indonesia’s West Java province, designer Adhi Nugraha developed a way for reprocessing the waste into sturdy family home equipment.

A staff led by Nugraha, who can also be a instructor and researcher on the Bandung Institute of Know-how, cleans the dung with water, which in flip removes the scent. It’s then mixed with scrap plastic and wooden glue in a mould earlier than being dried at low warmth till laborious.

To this point, the venture has resulted in placing lamps, stools and even residence audio system. The manufacturing course of is straightforward and consumes little or no power, which means that villagers within the space might quickly have the ability to take part in — and generate earnings from — the gadgets’ manufacturing.

Washer tube lamps

I Am Not David Lee studio

Singaporean artist and designer David Lee turns washer ducts into placing flooring, desk and ceiling lamps by inserting LED strips into the versatile hoses earlier than bending them into distinctive shapes. The ensuing sculptural kinds (additionally pictured high) usually take the type of what he calls “scribbles,” which may be wrapped round ceiling fixtures to offer the looks they’re floating above the room.

The lamp collection, known as “Ugly Ducting,” is, for now, a set of prototypes in growth.

Plastic waste furnishings

Nationwide Design Heart

Realizing that they have been each culprits and victims of air pollution on the Indonesian island of Bali, the house owners of a well-liked seashore membership and lodge, Potato Head, have launched into a six-year “zero-waste” quest. Working with varied artists and designers, together with Dutch structure agency OMA, the corporate reassessed every a part of its operation and co-developed processes and merchandise that assist cut back its footprint.

The exhibition “N*factor is Doable,” opened as a part of Singapore Design Week, charts this journey. Among the many shows are examples of seashore membership furnishings made utilizing supplies recovered from the encompassing shoreline, together with deck umbrellas constituted of palm tree bark and chairs produced from plastic trash. The mission is ongoing, and whereas the corporate has drastically lowered its waste output, the exhibition can also be refreshingly sincere concerning the work that continues to be.

Canine hair rugs

Singapore Design Week

On common, Singapore’s canine grooming companies every lower off over two kilos of fur a day, in accordance with native designer Cynthia Chan. As an alternative of letting it go to waste, the latest graduate used methods together with felting, tufting, knitting and compression molding to show the leftover hairs into “pelts” that can be utilized as family rugs.

Canine fur might not be a serious pollutant however her pure fur merchandise supply a sustainable and cruelty-free various to artificial ones. Chan hopes to “additional examine the uncooked, expressive qualities of those fibers,” she wrote of the venture.

‘Versatile’ sawdust

AIEVL Design Studio

Indonesian designer Denny R. Priyatna used his spot at Singapore Design Week to showcase a desk and chair made utilizing conventional carving and weaving methods. What’s equally spectacular, nevertheless, is what he did with the leftover sawdust.

Mixing totally different wooden sorts and adhesives collectively, the commercial designer discovered that utilizing a small quantity of glue, somewhat than resin, created a extra pliant, paper-like materials he calls “versatile” sawdust. He then layers the sheets to various thicknesses, or combines them with leather-based scraps from his workshop, to provide equipment together with pen holders, vases and different containers.

Espresso and waste paper desk set

Phuong Dao

Cooped up indoors throughout the pandemic, Vietnamese designer Phuong Dao turned to what was round her: newspaper scraps, cardboard and outdated espresso grounds.

When compressed and mixed with an adhesive, these waste supplies can be utilized to construct sturdy furnishings. Take the designer’s low desk and chair set, which she named “Cà Ràng” after a type of Vietnamese range that households have historically gathered round.

“It was the place to socialize, share tales and heat by the fireplace,” she defined over e-mail. “These days, households usually collect in the lounge so I wish to switch that spirit into this area.”

Manufacturing unit waste fan

Design Truthful Asia/Joseph Rastullo

Throughout the pandemic, Philippines-based designer Joseph Rastrullo mentioned he was approached by mates working at varied industrial amenities — together with air con producers, truck factories and electrical wiring and building corporations — asking what they may do with their waste supplies. “I advised them, ‘Give me no matter scraps you could have and I will create one thing,” he defined.

The result’s a spread of high-end, bespoke design items, together with a chic drinks cupboard and a geometrical electrical fan constituted of metallic wire offcuts. The latter can take as much as three weeks to make by hand, although Rastrullo is now searching for methods to mass-produce the gadgets.

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