Date of Issue2015
School of Art, Design and Media
The direction came as an interest in looking at social and environmental issues stemming from my travel experiences in certain rural areas in Tibet. What disturbed me was the fact that they had access to these “modern” synthetic materials such as plastic bottles, food packaging etc., yet they do not have the appropriate facilities to dispose of or process these synthetic waste; nor have they been educated about the effects. Having witnessed it first hand during my travels, much of the plastic waste have been dumped into rivers or left sitting on grass hills, with the locals believing that the waste would simply disappear somewhere. Furthermore, upon having done more research, I came to realise that this issue goes beyond land pollution that affects villages. In fact, much of the waste ends up in oceans due to illegal waste disposal techniques or simply due to negligence. Recently, many images pertaining to marine animals being starved to death by accidental ingestion of plastic objects (which they are unable to process) were started circulating around the internet, highlighting and catching the attention of many social groups and international organisations which have begun looking into marine waste collection in a large scale. Indeed, much needs to be done and international/government intervention will be required for a successful implementation for projects of such an immense scale. Therefore, this FYP project attempts to address the issue from a small scale, a Do-it-yourself (DIY) manner in hopes of bringing awareness to the issue of plastic pollution. Hopefully finding ways to engage the public in recycling their own plastic waste in a fraction of the cost of the carbon foot print of industrial scale recycling. Having a small scale DIY recycling system would also allow rural villages to have access to plastic recycling techniques, making use of waste plastics to make useful daily objects. However, after an attempt at small scale plastic smithing, due to various technical and safety issues (which will be expounded later in the report); the project took to another direction, to focus solely on designing with the physical properties of plastic bottles. The challenge was to find a method that enhances the material quality of the plastic, allowing it to break away from the context of being a cheap waste plastic bottle. Methods would include up cycling it to form lamps instead of melting and recasting it. The final solution was developed as a modular lighting system which allows one to incorporate DIY shredded plastic bottles to form elegant sculptural lamps. The modular nature of the design allows for multiple configurations, hence increasing the potential lifespan of the design through allowing variety. The modular nature also increases the overall sustainability of the design as one is only required to replace a single faulty module out of the entire lamp; contrary to replacing the entire lamp.
DRNTU::Visual arts and music::Design::Product
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University