If your idea of recycling or ‘upcycling’ is throwing a carton of milk into a green bin or making a pen holder out of a toilet roll and sticky-backed plastic, then Bloomberg can give you something to think about.
Waste Not, Want It is the latest in a series of specially commissioned art and design projects created for Bloomberg Philanthropy by consultancy Arts Co.
It challenged artists and designers to create furniture, lighting and installations made almost entirely out of Bloomberg’s own waste for the news agency’s London office.
Faced with mountains of cable flex, cardboard boxes, keyboards and computer mice stored in Bloomberg’s off site warehouses, the different makers have come up with surprisingly desirable designs.
Nina Tolstrup took apart and kiln dried 250 used pallets, transforming them with the help of high end cabinet makers into a round conference table and a set of chairs.
Raw Edge’s The Pond is a ‘bucolic seating environment’ made from wooden pallets and keys from keyboards, arranged around redundant computer monitors that feature an animation by Norwegian Oscar Narud.
Hundreds of computer mice make up Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’ chandeliers in a structure that mimics a plant behaviour known as infructescence where clusters of fruit ripen together – the functioning LEDs in the mice glow to suggest they are ripening.
In a large-scale take on the habit of turning rubber bands into balls, David Batchelow created large balls of waste cable flex recovered from Bloomberg’s waste facility Silvertown. The Dog Balls of more than 10 km of cable weigh between 20 and 150 kg.
Other designers include Linda Brothwell and Alon Meron, and Random International which will install a large installation for the London Design Festival in September.
Waste Not, Want It is the start of a rolling programme of commissions by designers using Bloomsbury’s waste. And according to Sigrid Wilkinson of Art Co, may results in all public areas or meeting room furniture being made entirely from waste.
Certainly, a cloud of pulsating computer mice, the perfect finish of an expertly treated pallet and the humorous effect of colourful keyboard buttons can certainly show that with a little imagination – and, granted, some top class design nous – transforming waste can have stunning results.
Waste Not, Want It launches at Bloomberg Space, 50 Finsbury Square, London EC2A this evening (27 July)