Option Studio: The Upcycle Studio
Instructor: Peter Ortner
Weave is a modular seating system that incorporates the upcycled airplane woven with natural fibres or recycled nylon and can either be used as individual seating units for domestic use or arranged horizontally and stacked vertically to form larger aggregations, acting as larger activity zones and resting areas for public spaces. Developed through rapid prototyping and digital fabrication techniques, Weave acts as a proof of concept of the creative use of unconventional upcycled materials to create new and meaningful product that promotes upcycling and circular design.
Design Inspiration and Form-finding
Originally inspired by weaver birds and how they created their nests out of natural materials collected from its surroundings, we wanted to weave together both the upcycled man-made aircraft windows and natural materials in the form of wood and natural fibres to create each module. We initially modelled our pavilion in the form of a weaver bird nest, but eventually decided on a gentler curvature to accommodate the aggregation of the module in the larger scale.
The modules are designed with minimal use of materials and ease of assembly in mind. These is to streamline the manufacturing process while allowing consumers to repair and replace parts when damaged.
The airplane windows are braced by two Y-pieces, their unique shape and orientation minimises the use of wood without compromising on its structural stability. The grooves on the Y-pieces and at the bottom of the legs facilitates the stacking of the modules, while slots of the Y-pieces allow the modules to be connected alongside one another with the use of the bracket piece.
We intended for Weave to approach circular design in two main principles: Eliminating waste and pollution and circulating of products and materials. By optimising our design through physical prototyping and digital fabrication, we minimise the use of additional materials while turning the airplane windows into value-added furniture.
We envision product manufacturers like IKEA to use CNC routing to prepare the wooden pieces and the windows while packaging each unit into simple kits that will be available for household use individually, commercially available in multiple units for public spaces, and temporarily rented to event spaces, exhibitions and galleries that may be temporary. The flexibility of the Weave module means that it can be easily reused and redistributed in the various scales, allowing it to remain as part of the cycle for longer durations.
Service providers help with the assembly, repair and maintenance of Weave modules, providing support and replacement parts to ensure that each unit can last longer before ending in the landfill.
Additional parts will be made available for purchase so that the wooden pieces, when taken apart and dismantled, can form other household products such as tables, planters and display stands, further extending the lifespan of the materials used in the manufacture of the Weave.
Unused aircraft windows and natural cord can be returned to the manufacturing plant for recycling and reuse in future units.