Tag Archives: recycling

Pecha-Kucha Barcelona, Vol.4

La cuarta noche de Pecha Kucha se celebrará en uno de los lugares más auténticos y creativos de Barcelona, el Palo Alto de Poblenou. Gracias a la Fundación Palo Alto, celebraremos el Vol.4 en su Nave XYZ el día 6 de Febrero. Apertura de puertas 19.30. Inicio de las ponencias 20.20.

Mercedes Quevedo, illustrator
Guim Valls Teruel, Electric Bicycle World Tour
Cristina González Gabarró, photographer
Xavier Font Sola, structural engineer
Patricio Abreu, Vaho recycled design
Niall O Flynn, industrial designer
Ignasi Pérez Arnal, sustainable architect
Marcus Willcock, designer & researcher
Stijn Ossevoort, fashion designer
Bailo + Rull, ADD Arquitectura

Pecha Kucha Vol.4
Palo Alto, Calle Pellaires 30-38, Poblenou
Metro: Selva de Mar (L4)
Apertura puertas: 19.30h
Inicio: 20.20h
Cierre: 23h
Foro limitado, ven pronto!
Entrada: 5€ (incluye 1 bebida)

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The Ballad of the Styrofoam Cup

Recycling and re-using ordinary everyday things to turn them into exquisite glamour-infused objects of art and design is a practice that has become increasingly mainstream, ever since it was showcased almost a decade ago now at the ICA’s Stealing Beauty exhibition in London, curated by Claire Catteral. I have been following the trend with great interest as it has seeped into the recesses of contemporary culture, as an easy conceptual shortcut to comment on the evils of our throwaway society, the excesses of consumerism, the beauty of anonymous objects and the need for sustainable practices.

This now hegemonic trend is about to be enshrined for good in the inaugural exhibition of New York’s new Museum of Arts and Design, Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary.  (Sept 27, 2008 – Feb 15, 2009). Here’s the blurb:

The exhibition features work by 50 international established and emerging artists from all five continents who create objects and installations comprised of ordinary and everyday manufactured articles, most originally made for another functional purpose. The exhibition includes works by well known designers, Ingo Maurer, Tejo Remy, and the Campana Brothers as well as internationally acclaimed artists, such as Tara Donovan, Xu Bing, El Anatsui, and Do Ho Suh.

Highlights from the show include American artist Tara Donovan’s Bluffs, a group stalagmite shaped structures made of clear plastic buttons delicately placed one on top of the other. Do Ho Suh, a Korean artist creates a jacket made of military dog tags, portraying the way a solider is part of a larger troop.

Paul Villinski, an American, creates beautiful butterflies out of his old record collection, producing a “soundtrack” of his life. English artist Susie MacMurray used yellow rubber washing gloves, turned them inside out and stitched onto a calico form to create an imposing out-sized dress.

Other featured works are made from buttons, spools of thread, artificial hair, used high-heeled shoes, plastic spoons and forks, shopping bags, and 25-cent coins to mention only a few.

The exhibition surveys the rich artistic landscape of much contemporary art, in which hierarchies among art, craft, and design are disregarded. In addition, the exhibition examines the ways in which artists transform our world, respond to contemporary cultural paradigms, and comment on global consumerism.

I offer today for your entertainment, a few snapshots of the humble styrofoam cup on its journey of reincarnation as a lamp, which of course hasn’t made it any more sustainable, but is nevertheless turning it into an A-list celebrity of the creative re-use gang.

If you have come across other interesting examples of this, please send me a picture! bcnd [at] narotzky.com

Styrene Lamp. Paul Cocksedge, 2003

"Styrene Lamp". Paul Cocksedge, 2003

“Untitled (Styrofoam Cups)” Tara Donovan, 2008.

“Untitled (Styrofoam Cups)” Tara Donovan, 2008.

Styrolight from Readymade.com (Issue 4)

"Styrolight" from Readymade.com (Issue 4)

Self-made Styrofoam cups chandelier posted on Apartment Therapy, 2005.

Self-made Styrofoam cups chandelier posted on Apartment Therapy, 2005.

Garbage Lamp, Peter Castellucci, 2008.

"Garbage Lamp", Peter Castellucci, 2008.

Disechos ’08 – Design and Creative Recycling

Disechos 08. Meeting about design and creative recycling, Valencia.

Disechos 08 is kicking off in Valencia today, a week-long exploration of low-tech sustainable design, through exhibitions, workshops and panel discussions. Disechos 08 incorporates the work developed by design studio Flou Flou through their ongoing MAKEA project, which explores recycling ideas by co-ordinating the contribution of outsider or non-professional design.

In July 2008, participants of Makea Tu Vida (Makea your life) spent two days roaming through the streets of the Raval and Eixample districts of Barcelona. They re-arranged and marked all the discarded furniture and assorted objects they could find with the MAKEA ‘brand’, as a sign of the need to recycle and re-use objects and make the consumption cycle more sustainable. Check out some great pictures of their street installations here.