As part of the 2011 London Design festival / Brompton Design District ENLIGHTENED WASTE was the first UK exhibition to showcase the work of French-Mexican designer Thierry Jeannot (Mexico City) and Austrian artist Gisela Stiegler (Vienna). Both Jeannot and Stiegler use waste packaging material to create enchanting light sculptures.
– Chandeliers made from around 1000 discarded pet (plastic) bottles, sourced and constructed with the help of some of the most disadvantaged residents of Mexico City.
– A series of lamps and sculptural furniture carved out of expanded polystyrene packaging material obtained from Viennese fish markets.
The pieces surprise and disturb our clichés and preconceptions about the value of materials. They fake luxury objects, just to transfigure into one themselves.
The chandeliers resemble crystal, reminiscent of Baroque or glass-blown pieces from Murano. The polystyrene lights appear like ivory or alabaster.
Jeannot also exhibited his new jewellery collection – made similarly with elements of the pet bottle – and mounted a special installation of the pieces.
By re-staging our unwanted material the designers demonstrate pure and genuine upcycling, reminding us to value and respect our resources and look at the possibilities for raw material afresh.
Both designers have intriguing parallels within their work. The pieces look into history – the classic chandelier and the baroque inspired carving. They are made of hated and non-valuable materials – the PET plastic bottle and expanded polystyrene – which the designers transfer into fully loveable objects, made possible through their deep obsession of just working with that one raw material and having pursued that over many years. Both designers’ work resembles another material, referring to crystal, glass and alabaster, concrete or plaster. The pieces’s strength is furthermore nourished by repetition, the repeated assemblage of the PET bottle elements which reflect and the light perfectly as well as the repeated strokes of the carving knife.
‘Green Transmutation’, Chandelier , 2010
Ca. 500 reclaimed PET plastic bottles, Aluminium construction,
8 arms, 8 bulbs, handcrafted
‘Transmutation 1’, chandelier, clear, 2011,
ca. 1000 reclaimed PET (plastic) bottles, Aluminium construction, 16 arms and 16 light bulbs, handcrafted
Gisela Stiegler,‘Two-floor lamp’ from the series ‘Lampenfieber’, 2011
Carved expanded polystyrene, coloured
Thierry Jeannot, ‘1/4 Litro’ – Jewelry – Ring Installation
’1/4 Litro’ Ring: in Gold / Amber, Fuchsia / Ruby, Clear / Diamond and Charcoal / Quartz, 2011 Recycled coloured PET (plastic-bottle) elements and handcrafted re-used sterling silver .925 different sizes
‘1/4 Litro Ring’, is a jewelry project by Thierry Jeannot, following his interest in the material of the PET (plastic) bottle, which he has been exploring intensively over 7 years.
A material that represents the most eminent detritus of our consumer culture, enters a new life and gets genuinely up-cycled into a luxury and beloved object. The four different colors the designer chooses for the dying of the plastic material are mimicking the precious stones diamond, amber, ruby and amethyst.
Packaging for ‘1/4 Litro’ Rings
17-25 September 2011
Brompton Design District
8 Egerton Garden Mews
London SW3 2EH
EXHIBITION DESIGN BY DAVID WELLER AND DANIEL McGHEE
Many thanks for the kind and generous support: