Waste = Design

I am just back from New York and a whirlwind of museum tours. Design objects always have the strongest appeal to me and I was lucky to happen upon the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) directly across from MoMA. Their current exhibit is “Simply Droog: 10+3 years of Creating Innovation and Discussion” (Droog pronounced “drōch” with the -ch pronounced as a “k” as in “loch”, means “dry”). Since I’m a fan of Tejo Remy, Hella Jongerius and Marcel Wanders there was no way I could pass this up. The exhibition is smartly designed, placing the objects in the midst of 2D environments that give each appropriate context.

Suffice it to say, I spent a happy hour at MAD. It was all great but a few pieces stood out, particularly Droog's debut collection from Milan, which included Tejo Remy’s 'Chest of Drawers' and 'Rag Chair' and Marti Guixé’s 'Lamp Do Reincarnate'. As the product names suggest, the collective started out with a simple premise of re-purposing discarded items to make new works. These remain some of my favorite Droog designs simply because of the spirit with which they were created.

I also visited the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and viewed “Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500-2005”. Again, among many fascinating pieces (from ornate, portable cutlery of the European ruling class to a variety of airline place settings for business class), one group stood out to me. This time it was a collection of spoons designed by a german designer named, Tanja Fredrichs, called “Re-Spoons”. Each utensil was cleverly cut from handles of discarded plastic bottles.

Seeing beautiful objects created from trash brings a particular pleasure — the delight of unexpected revelation. We discuss it often at Tricycle because regardless of how many samples we replace, we still have thousands to address. Additionally we don’t intend to eliminate every carpet sample… some are necessary for specification. Begging the question: what can be done with them after they have served their purpose? We have started an internal project to explore concepts addressing discarded carpet samples. Our first lamp prototype, designed by Brent Wingfield (a Tricycle colorist and industrial designer), will be on exhibit at this year’s Green Build in Denver in the Interiors Networking Garden which we co-designed with Gensler. We plan to show more designs in the coming months. Have ideas of your own? Feedback? Send me an email at michael.hendrix@tricycleinc.com.

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