Christchurch based social enterprise Rekindle advocates for the potent capacity of design, architecture and craft to facilitate our connection with the material resources around us. Led by occupational therapist and maker Juliet Arnott, over the last eight years the organisation has established major projects exploring the potential of material reuse and resourcefulness. The Resource: Rise Again project was developed in response to better understanding commercial waste in New Zealand, a waste stream that remains relatively unchecked by Government yet is much larger than household waste.
Enabling five paid positions for designers to focus intensively on commercial waste, the brief required participants work through a process of research, material testing and product development to consider meaningful design solutions for waste otherwise destined for landfill. In selecting design teams comprising of professional designers, architects, academics and craftspeople, Resource Rise Again draws on the symbiotic relationship that already exists between creative making practices and resourcefulness.
The exhibition at Objectspace presents two design outcomes by industrial designer Clark Bardsley and architect Andrew Mitchener, made using waste from commercial CNC cutting of MDF laminates. 'Isocle' is a decorative and acoustic wall tile system for commercial environments, each tile is created by splitting and sealing MDF shapes cut from waste areas of sheet. 'Herring' is a family of furniture that is easily assembled without glue or fixings. The size and spacing of the interlocking fingers that form the basis and identity of the collection are derived from the 3/8” cutting tool that is standard on all CNC cutting machines.
Illustrating the wider goals of the Resource: Rise Again project, Bardsley and Mitchener demonstrate that design thinking and craftsmanship can transform the perception and value of a material, not only for the consumer, but for those that produce the waste in the first place.