Creative Use of E-Waste in Design

Furniture E-Waste RecyclingFurnoiture from E-Waste

Cubicle 2’ (detail pictured left), 2017, featuring iridescent car paint on CNC-milled and folded aluminium and stainless steel, and the aluminium outer casing of a portable computer

“Design duo Formafantasma has always paid special attention to nature and its cycles, and its work has often touched upon natural phenomena and materials. But for its latest project, the brand looked in the opposite direction, exploring waste systems as a means of creating furniture and objects in which the studio’s poetic visual language conceals deeper issues.

“Opening this week at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria, the ‘Ore Streams’ project was developed over two years of research and comprises different media including physical objects, video documentary and animation. The body of work addresses production and consumption, and the shift from mining precious metals to them being readily available overground in the form of discarded technology.

‘Our human greed for metals has grown to such an extent that, by 2080, the biggest metal reserves will not be underground. Instead, they will be above the surface as lingots stored in private buildings or otherwise circulated within products such as building materials, appliances, furniture and an ever-growing market of consumer electronic products,’ they explain.

“Designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin spent months interviewing recycling experts including e-waste recyclers, academic researchers, electronics producers and NGOs working in developing countries. The result is a series of videos documenting these conversations, as well as the process for recycling electronics, and an animation by the pair that explores alternative recycling strategies.”