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Renew design: creating new products from existing factory waste

 “Noticing its beauty increases the possibility that it will be carefully handled.”  ‘On Beauty and being just’ by Elaine Scarry pg 65

Refute our perception of waste as being unappealing or useless. New products made most entirely from factory waste for your interior.

Goal to make waste scarce by giving it function and value. Designing modular systems that incorporate waste in the making of new products.

Accumulation and transformation of factory waste. By means of simple repetition transforming the appearances and meaning of familiar objects. Searching for large-scale applications for waste. Refuting our perception of waste as being useless by designing modular systems to build and re-create new products made from factory waste.

Ever since my study as an industrial designer in the Netherlands I came to an obvious conclusion, that there is an overflow of products in this world. And I set my self to find a way to not add to this fact but to seeking ways to create from what already exists. And at first it seemed somewhat the reverse way of designing. Because I was taught to design from an idea and function to then thoughtfully and precisely create the fitting parts to a finished functional product. But what I did was precisely the opposite look for already existing parts that could ensemble a functional product.Today I am working on my life’s dream to create new products from existing factory waste. And my first attempt and effort to solve this problem has resulted in my modular lamp design called ‘Switchica’.

Managing our waste with care already makes it more valuable. But transforming waste, making use of its added value by converting it into something useful, this I see as my goal as a designer. ‘Renew design’ of which Switchica is my first product, is a concept that seeks to create new products from existing factory waste with the use of modular systems.

I believe that if we look into designing systems that enable us to incorporate factory waste into new products, in the future we can integrate these same systems when designing new products, and see waste more as a resource to build new products. Reverting waste back into the cycle of production.

“Mother nature wastes very little and uses practically every thing…..Using resources in one form until they can be transformed into another use later in time” (Mike Biddle TED TALK 2011)

“We recognize and understand the value of feeling, even unique. But with materials, it makes sense to celebrate the sameness and commonality that permit us to enjoy them – in special, even unique, products – more than once. What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if The Industrial Revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in cradle-to-grave life cycle but in reincarnation?” (Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough pg 103.)

We normally see something as valuable when it is scarce, but waste is not scarce, in fact the total opposite is true. If we look into the meanings of waste, it’s a thing that is considered worthless or the act of expending something carelessly, we can conclude that if we manage to make waste scarce by applying care into renewing its use and beauty, it will cease to be seen as waste. The equation sums up to a unique new product with an appealing added value.

Changes work just like money, but today we need changes more then we need money. Money has become a measure of how much people care. Because when millions care on the markets they make it worth money. But change works in similar ways the more people are looking for the same changes the more will change but the incentive is not money but positive change. And I think our economy should focus more on the changes we are capable and need to make then on the value of money. You tell me, what is more worth to you? I believe money has become less valuable in the sense that people are looking to make more changes and experiences then to earn more money.

As a designer/artist my focus has always been on change. And this is a very tricky thing because it is always different and never the same but this is exactly what fascinates me of it. I like to find ways to enable change as well as to create solutions based on the changes we face.

What I have come to realize is that we all create this waste; each one of us, and this is the one reason why it has gotten out of hand. But the good news is the reverse is also possible, each one of us can in no time get rid of it in just the same way it has been created. Following the same example Mother Nature gives we can also transform this waste into something new that we can use again. I am a true believer of this and if you agree, then soon waste will be history. This is the beauty of change. But we have to find our own way to change, and this is why I write this down. And hopefully help you to find your part in it too.