[Laura Tarrish] In an effort to decrease the use of new raw materials, designers around the world are turning the tables (pun intended) on conventional production processes. Instead of making paper from wood pulp, papers — in this case newspapers — are being recycled back into “wood” planks and other building materials.
In 2003, while still a student at the Netherlands’ well-known Design Academy in Eindhoven, Mieke Meijer created NewspaperWood. In 2007 she began collaborating with Dutch design label Vij5, where the product is now being produced and applied to a variety of products. Issues of the local daily Eindhovens Dagblad are rolled together to create newspaper logs that are then milled into workable planks. The resulting material boasts a unique “wood grain” texture with the allure of the printed word.
“Framed”: Designed by Breg Hanssen commissioned by Vij5, with NewspaperWood created by Meike Meijer
“Tabloid Tables”: Designed by Floris Hovers, commissioned by Vij5, with NewspaperWood
“Reading Light”: Light is off when newspaper is inserted into tube, turns on when paper is removed. Designed by Christian Kocx, commissioned by Vij5, with NewspaperWood.
Lori Weitzner’s Newsworthy gives another option for recycling yesterday’s news. Woven in India on traditional handlooms using nylon filament and recycled newspapers sourced worldwide, it is a modern alternative to wallpaper or grasscloth. (And who said print is dead?!)
Aesop, an Australian line of plant-based skin care products, has an impressive track record of engaging retail spaces. The tiny Nolita outpost, which opened in September 2011 — their first in the U.S.A. — is no exception. Wandering into the shop last fall, I was immediately drawn to the walls, which, it turns out, were made from thousands of sheets of recycled New York Times. Aesop’s corporate philosophy not only embraces an appreciation for the arts and the written word but also designs each of its international shops with a nod to the local community and its history or culture. The Times was used first in Aesop’s kiosk in Grand Central Station and then more formally, to subtle effect, in the interiors of its Nolita store, both designed by Brooklyn architect Jeremy Barbour.
Laura Tarrish is a regular contributor to Felt & Wire. She is also an ephemera collector, a map lover, a collage illustrator and has an incredible collection of miniature chairs. Laura’s limited-edition cards and wraps are available for sale at Bridgetown Papers in the Felt & Wire Shop.