The art of plastic

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.

The Nature Step is a shower mat complete with grass seed

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 Puzz-LED is a modular furniture system with LED lights
The Puzz-LED is a modular furniture system with LED lights

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.

The Snowflake decoration is 100 per cent recyclable
The Snowflake decoration is 100 per cent recyclable

Bin 2 Bin runs from 23 September – 7 October at Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7.

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  • John Root Stone November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Fantastic collaboration. Love The Nature Step. Perhaps this should kick-off a series of mash-up exercises like these that bring together ideators from various corners to create new, sustainable ideas, offers, and answers? Imagine a collaboration of Royal College of Art and [insert group]…

    John Stone

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