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"recycle" Tag


Community to change the system


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dave Hakkens creates machines to recycle plastic. The concept Precious Plastic is that everywhere, everybody can build themselves these machines and recycle their plastics. For me, the most interesting point in this concept is the community around it. He says

“To start up an idea is a powerful tool to use these days. A designer is able to bring people together by just sharing an idea or a potential solution.”

 

Dave Hakkens and his projects are accessible in two points.

Most of his design projects are often provides with open-source instruction videos and blueprints, so it is presenting as a do it yourself project. You can inform yourself, make your own machine or your design object, share on social network, and use it. Make and use these projects is to be active to change the system, and be a designer as well.

Furthermore, he is very active on social networks. On Youtube (with 122 000 followers), he often published videos to clearly explain his projects, how to make it etc. But also he has a certain way of life that you can clearly see in his videos called Story Hopper. Some links: here and

here.

If I had the opportunity to talk to Dave, I will ask him if he thinks that in addition to this solution to reduce plastics wastes we also must have to adopt a minimalist and zero waste attitude. And the answer is manifestly yes. These videos fit perfectly with the sharing of opinions and go further in the ideas that he wants to give. He offers more than just designer content while playing with the border of social network influencers.

Also on his website, you can find the forum where you can talk with people around the world. It’s nice to see all these people who said « I want to recycle plastics but I don’t know where to start » Finally I understood that in this big community, some other little communities are created to make projects easier. On the topic, someone answer: « try to find people, and build an association or something with many people to reduce costs!»

 

bojimansV3 Exhibition during the Dutch Design Week 

 

I am wondering how this concept can grow and evolve in the rest of the world. Are social media enough to share his ideas? The definition of the word community by the Oxford dictionary is: “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common“. Dave Hakkens and his projects are accessible for those who know him and who share the same interests. Plastic machines were at first introduced in a museum as an exhibition. So a certain public is interested to see it and in this kind of place, it doesn’t have the same purpose. It is difficult to apply something that you just saw in a museum. You can maybe just except to have a discussion but not really a revolution. What effect would he have if he presents his project in a hardware store? 

I knew Dave Hakkens thanks to my sculpture class at the Rietveld Academie. Indeed, some students were able to create one of the plastic machine, the injection machine. I spoke with one of these students and she gave me an interesting reflection: « He says that everyone can build those machines, it works for us because we are in art school, so we have all the materials needed and we always can find a way to be creative with the plastic machine, but not sure it’s the same in poorer countries, because it has a cost and maybe they did not hear about the Precious Plastic project»

 

PLASTIC MACHINEInjection machine in the Rietveld

 

Dave Hakkens went in 2015 to Ganah for research. Also just a few weeks ago, he shipped a big container to the Maldives, to clean ocean. It is important because “the risk” of this way of building plastic machines is to build them for a personal use or very restrained, as the weekend handyman in his garage. But create this container, place of many workshops to recycle plastics can expand the utilization. Indeed, it can not be an activity in its own right, but it should really be part of our way of life and as we can not spend our time recycling plastic, we may wonder if this community of active people is enough? What about the big industries? In fact, there is a start-up called The Plastik Bank which collaborates with the big industries. Plastic waste that invades the poorer regions of the world is collected by local people and then sold to companies that recycle it. But finally, Dave Hakkens gives the opportunity to communities to create something with plastic, be autonomous in the research and then win money (if they decide to). It is really like build something new, maybe a new society.

 

To say goodbye: very interesting article on other people who tried to find solutions for plastic wastes. 

The Mysterious Endless Chair


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The  ’Endless Chair’ by Dirk van der Kooij. My eye was caught by this chair when we went on a design trip with our class. We went to an exhibition with the most bizarre and special chair. There were a hundred chairs, old and new ones, crazy but also very simple ones. But the Endless Chair stood out for me. It stood in a corner, a beautiful light blue  object with a color that could not have been created by hand. When I came closer I saw that the chair looked very complicated but simple at the same time. It almost looked like it came from another planet, so clean and refreshing in its structure and design. Immediately it raised the question: ” What’s the material and how is it made?”

The Endless Chair is designed by Dirk Van Der Kooij, a dutch designed who graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2010. During his study he got fascinated by an old 3D printer for his final project. He turned an old robot arm from China into his own 3D printer. This was not just a normal 3D printer, van der Kooij is the creator of the first worldwide robot which can extrude furniture pieces from 100% recycled material. This machine wasn’t made for mass production because you can only produce one product at the time. One chair has a production time of approximately three hours.  Dirk van der Kooij is trying to produce products that have the qualities of a industrial produced object but without the strict rules of mass production.

endless

In this video you can see how the chair is made 

Van der Kooij wanted to change the bad image that plastic gained in the last decades, plastic is often seen als a cheap and breakable material, It is actually durable, beautiful and elastic. I can make objects, unknown as plastic ones”, he says. He and his robot create strong, powerful and creative objects. He doesn’t aim for the perfect outcome of 3D printing, he likes the little mistakes that the big robot arm makes. The 3D printer doesn’t make flawless designs like normal 3D printers would. Although the chair looks very clean and sharp when you look closely you see that the chair has little bumps and imperfections.

endless

A close up of the material and structure of the chair

 

Not only how the chair is made is very but also the material what it is made from is very special, all his chairs are made from old refrigerators. Small bits of recycled refrigerators are poured into the top of the robot arm and melted into the beautiful design. Dirk van der Kooij doesn’t really look at the process of recycling as a solution to be green and re-use our waste, he sees it as a new conceptual way of working. He likes the aesthetics that recycled material gives to an object: “Recycled material has a history that can be literary seen in the product. That gives particular beauty and layering.” 

The chair is build layer by layer. When you see chair being printed, it lays on its side, often van der Kooij makes beautiful gradients of color, which is easy to do with this way of production. The first time I saw this chair I saw in it a beautiful shade of light blue, it was one of his prototypes, I actually love this prototype, because in the beginning the robot arm was only able to make very angulair shapes. Later the robot arm could make rounder shapes. Not only I loved the angular shape of the prototype, I also really liked the color of the chair, it didn’t have a gradient, but it existed out of a light blue colored plastic that changed a bit all over the chair. Very simple but extremely beautiful. It reminded me of a cloud, very soft but also very strong.

Dirk van der Kooij is always looking for new ways to improve his designs, by always making new steps and trying out new things, his production process leads to him in a quite natural way to the production of new and more shapes. I would love to have these amazing and very special chairs in my kitchen, with their rich and interesting history.

 

Burial of his former carrier


Sunday, November 30, 2014

From my visit to the exhibition ‘The Future of Fashion is now’ at Boijmans the installation from the artist CC stays strongest in my mind. It was a large installation where the main part was a wooden structure that reached the ceiling. The structure formed few shelves that were full of multicolored sculptural mountains. For me it clearly stood out from the tailor dummies and hanging cloths that were around.  On one side of the structure were hanging four lighted-up squares that showed a man’s face, hands and feet.

 

De_Boijmans_seizoensaftrap_22

 

When I started to research CC as an artist I found out that he is formerly a hat designer. Known as Christophe Coppens or The Mad Hatter from the Country of Surreal Art and Comic Books, Belgium. CC is now living and working in Los Angeles.

 

f_pg06coppens

 

His career as a hat designer started when he was only 21 years old. In May 2012 he decided to make an end to that career, he closed his business and became a full time artist after 21 years of designing. He had been producing art work together with the designing but came to the conclusion that he could no longer combine the two. As he said:

“You can’t be a good artist with the mentality of a fashion designer. And I didn’t succeed at being a part-time artist.”[x]

It was surely a hard decision for him but an important one as he didn’t want to get lost in the design world where he had to distinguish between how things should be and how they have to be. Staying there he couldn’t be himself and use all the creativity he bears.

Coppens started making the mountain sculptures one week before closing his business. The first mountain developed during a lesson he took from the ceramic artist Mister Hugo Meert. Soon he made another one and then more and more. Perhaps the mountain shape was natural for him when working with the ceramic after all these years of hat designing. Considering the shape of hats may often be compered to mountains. As he moved to Los Angeles all the mountains around the city and the different shades of colours during different day light had an effect on him. He could surely relate that beauty to his work.

The first mountains were made out of ceramic. Later he started using his old clothes to make the mountains after noticing that all his clothes were linked to the person he was before becoming a full-time artist. The clothes were literally costumes for the outwards person he showed in interviews as a hat designer. It wasn’t Christophe Coppens himself. It didn’t fit him anymore he said, figuratively speaking. He also used some of his old furniture for the sculptural mountains. It became some kind of capsule of his past.

 

6a00e55290e7c48833017ee9241566970d-800wi

 

His first exhibition after becoming ‘fulltime artist’ showed his mountain sculptures and was called Everything Is Local, Landscape part 1. It was exhibited in Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam [x]. It was an emotional landscape that kept a hold on to the past at the same time as it looked at the future with joy.

The exhibition immediately attracted a lot of attention, especially in his home country’s press. The Belgian magazine Standaard gave him three stars of five and published an article with the title: Hoedje af voor Coppens (Hats off for Coppens).

Later he made and showed the work called The Hills Are Alive: Landscape part 2. It was exhibited in Tokyo and was livelier than his first one. Full of mountains each with it’s own personality he related Landscape part 2 to the shops he used to have full of hats [x].

His installation for the exhibition ‘The Future of Fashion is now’ at Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam is a collection from both Landscape part 1 and Landscape part 2. There he puts together mountains from the two exhibitions making up the current exhibition that he calls Landscape part 3.

It’s interesting how the mountains are mounted on wooden stands that may be references to theater stages. I get the feeling that the stands help the mountains to reach higher and then not only physically but also mentally. It becomes more of a showpiece then something that could be practical, just as his hats.

 

De_Boijmans_seizoensaftrap_21

 

All these years of hat designing might have been necessary for the work CC is making today. Now as he is using materials from his past and the memory of who he was before, recycling it to make new art. These are memories that he is ready to put aside but at the same time still wants to enjoy and keep in reach. Probably the lighted-up squares from Landscape Part 3 demonstrate this closure or some kind of a burial of his former carrier. The location of the squares indicates that the man is being crucified and the man is believably his own former identity. It therefore seems that CC is finally ready to say goodbye to his former identity as a hat designer, or what? Will we maybe see his resurrection in his next exhibition?

 ccloooooka

Tips from CC: Enjoy the present and wear sun screen [x],

 


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