Italian designer Riccardo Cenedella used discarded carpet broadloom to make bespoke textured furniture, to call attention to this abundant and underestimated product in our waste stream. Each object is made with pieces of wasted carpet, turned into textured design artefacts.
The UK produces around 400000 tonnes of waste carpet a year and only 10% is recycled properly. The rest is sent to the incinerator for energy production or end up in landfills. Since most of the carpet is made from petroleum-based synthetic fibres, depositing it directly into the environment is going to prove extremely harmful. Through hands-on experimentation with synthetic materials, of which the vast majority of carpet is now made of, he developed a technique that allows him to reshape and repurpose this material for the creation of new design artefacts, avoiding carpet from ending up in dumpsites.
The carpet is first cut then heated up using a hot gun. The heating process is a very craft procedure because there is no control of the temperature so everything depends on Cenedella’s ability to understand whether the material is hot enough or need more heat. Eventually, the material is shaped using different moulds and once it cools down, it keeps the shape. After the material is cold the different parts can be assembled using custom made bolts that work both as functional than decorative elements.
The final output is a collection of objects, each of them one-off, characterized by a texture that resembles coral. Each outcome is unique and bespoke, in fact, due to the nature of the material, even using the same moulds and process to make multiples of the same part. The aim of Riccardo's project is not to purpose a solution to the problem of carpet waste, which will involve the effort of industry and consumers, but rather to raise awareness about the amount of waste we are producing and show the possibility of this matter.