Sustainable design made from recycled materials is more than just the converting of discarded objects. Product designer and innovator Dirk Vander Kooijs furniture and interior accessories are beautiful examples of how one can reutilize garbage and in the process manage to create something exceptional.
3D-printed furniture made out of 100% recycled plastic waste
The young Dutch had quite a simple idea. So simple and so brilliant an idea, that even he himself questions why no one had it before him: Vander Kooij produces 3D-printed furniture made from 100% plastic waste. He may seem modest in interviews, but with his furniture and through exhibitions in the MoMA in New York and the Vitra Museum, he has acclaimed international fame.
The german online portal Wand und Beet writes: ”Whatever Vander Kooij touches, has a fresh, individualistic, almost avantgardistic look. They are no every day furniture, rather furniture like something out of a future lab, furniture of tomorrow for contemporary people, practical and not at all braggy.”
A brand new way of furniture handicraft
A 30 years old 3D-printer inspired Vander Kooji in his final project at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, where he studied from 2005 to 2010. The printer laboriously wove strings back and forth with great accuracy and created shapes, in a low resolution however. First he had to accept the old machines limitations – that the product becomes somewhat pixilated– and then use the materiality that emerged in the printing process as a design feature. Then something outstanding came into being. In his own words: “When one accepts the structures low resolution and learns to appreciate it, not trying to hide it, then the product becomes a true piece of jewellery “.
One of the printers disadvantages was that it couldn´t produce larger objects, like furniture. A discarded specimen of a robotic arm from automobile industry made it possible. Before he could print the first piece of furniture, he spent 18 months adjusting the robot. The construction and remodelling of machines is not just a source of inspiration, but the foundation for his work. The machine usually comes first and then the design is developed. Dirk Vander Kooji even said in one interview that machine constructor or even innovator would be a more suitable professional title than designer.
Chairs, tables and lamps – every piece of furniture is unique
The raw material for Vander Koojis furniture is plastic powder from old shredded refrigerators. The printing machine turns the plastic powder to liquid plastic, and then it gets printed in one singular long thread into vases, lamps, tables or chairs. The machine needs circa 3 hours for one chair. The furniture gets very sturdy, and every piece is unique.
Have a closer look at Dirk Vander Koojis colourful collection in our online shop. Whoever wants to invest in design classics of the future has come to the right place: