How would you like to step out of a shower on to a bath mat made to allow lush green grass tickle your toes? Yeah, I wasn’t too sure about that one either. But the Nature Step bath mat is just one product that a collaboration between Italian design company Fratelli Guzzini and Royal College of Art students yielded after a week-long workshop.
Students from the RCA’s Innovation Design Engineering Department, led by architect Daniele Bedini, were tasked with creating design concepts for domestic products made from 100 per cent recycled plastic. Fratelli Guzzini, best known for their posh coffee machines and sleek kitchenware, has now put the thirteen best ideas into production for an exhibition, called Bin 2 Bin, next month.
During the workshop the students studied a number of sustainability policies and looked into how 100 per cent recyclable plastics and existing manufacturing processes could be used to create home accessories and furniture.
The resulting exhibition will show the looping life cycle of a 100 per cent recycled object from its beginnings to its life and rebirth as a new object. The new products involved include the grass seed bath mat, a LED-lit modular furniture system called Puzz-LED, and Snowflakes, a decorative interlocking shapes that can be assembled in a number of different ways.
The plan is that Guzzini will introduce bins into its shops to collect unwanted products at the end of their life so that they can be refashioned into new things. A worthy week’s work, even if the resulting products are a bit off-the-wall.
Bin 2 Bin runs from 23 September – 7 October at Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7.