Agne Kucerenkaite is a material designer from Vilnius, Lithuania, graduated in Design Academy Eindhoven and currently based in the Netherlands. Agne enjoys working with raw materials, transforming them into valuable products, methods and systems, seeking interaction between design, society, industry and environment. Her design process is characterized by in-depth research, experimental approach and handson practice, motivated by historical and sociocultural contexts. She analyzes how various global social and cultural influences are altering our practices and creates socially responsible projects that show relevant potential and can be scaled-up.
Since the Industrial Revolution ignorance and negligence have generated overloaded landfills in our throwaway culture.
Ignorance is Bliss
… is an ongoing project, a platform, where theoretical and material research is conducted, waste and secondary raw materials are upcycled to small and large scale applications and transformed into products, and which encourages collaboration between designers, environmentalists, scientists, architects, manufacturers, multinational companies and global players.
Reincorporating the value of metal waste by applying it as a pigment
‘Ignorance is Bliss’ began as a project about reincorporating the value of metal waste by applying it as a pigment from industries such as drinking water supply and soil remediation companies. Agne Kucerenkaite experimented with various techniques to find the use of this waste product by conducting broad-scale material research including ceramics, textiles, and glass.
The colors are retrieved purely by using pigments from waste.
In this project, surprisingly, the more contaminated the raw material, the greater the potential is for designed objects. Agne Kucerenkaite uses waste, instead of buying industrially produced color pigments from these same metals.
In 2017 Agne Kucerenkaite got a commission to translate her research into a series of ceramic tiles, which were handmade and colored 100% using industrial metal waste. Tiles were integrated into the interior of Jordy’s bakery and restaurant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The interior was a success, leading to upscaling the tile production.
Agne aims to challenge the current industrial color mass manufacture by producing tiles and other interior and exterior elements where the color is retrieved using 100% pigment from metal waste. In 2018 she started to work with the tile factory ‘Albarello’ in North Holland, which intends to produce using zero waste principles. These tiles are unique, not standardized and will gradually change towards a more environmentally friendly version. Single designers and studios such as Agne Kucerenkaite are important towards the stimulation of new approaches to sustainable innovation as there is more space for experimentation in finding creative ways and taking risks.
Circular Economy and sustainability are macro trends
… which are rather a necessity. Agne is confident of her role to recover the value of a currently‘valueless’ and even toxic metal waste in a functional, process-efficient and scalable way.