RISD's Recyclable Composite Furniture

RISD’s Recyclable Composite Furniture


This experimental project by a group of RISD furniture students uses a recyclable composite twine  to construct furniture with impressive results.

Recyclable Composites showcases innovative applications of advanced composites in new contexts. Existing composites rely heavily on irreversible resins, which cannot be recycled. Twintex®, a commingled glass and thermoplastic polypropylene fiber filament, is solidified by a reversible heat treatment. Twintex® products are thermoplastic composites which can be recycled. Therefore, they present an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional composites.

Through a rigorous developmental research process, students explored the material Twintex® beyond its conventional use to create dynamic furniture and lighting fixtures. These explorations, while highlighting the potential of recyclable composites, are pushing the boundaries of both design and customary manufacturing techniques. Recyclable Composites manifests the Furniture Design Department’s commitment to research, innovation and sustainability as key pedagogical areas of focus.

Read about each piece, the artists and their processes  here or here.

Exhibited at IIFC 2011.

Photos via RISD

Project Leader: Lothar Windels, Assistant Professor

Exhibition made possible through the generous support of Klinger Engineering, Whately, Massachusetts and Owens Corning