Discover a new material: NewspaperWood

published in: Design By Ricardo Hernandez, 05 May 2011

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NewspaperWood // Image Courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood // Image Courtesy of Vij5

When we think of wood and paper, we usually see it in this manner; wood=source, paper=result. What if we flipped the model and saw paper as the source and wood as the end product? This was the concept behind Mieke Meijer's project at the Design Academy Eindhoven. To think of paper as the end state of the product was limiting. With so much paper as the end result of making newspapers, Mieke envisioned an opportunity to upcycle the process and re-create wood.

NewspaperWood // Image Courtesy of Vij5

Being a student, Mieke Meijer seeked the most practical way to re-create this and taking a stack of newspapers, he began glueing them one by one. By rolling it as tight as possible, it started to form through aggregation. This experiment proved to have some similarities to actual wood as it deformed and could be sandpapered. As most students do, the project got a grade and was left behind to begin a new one. It wasn't until 4 years later in 2007 that Mieke met Arjan van Raadshooven and Anieke Branderhorst of designlabel Vij5, a Dutch designlabel with a collection of interior products characterized by their simplicity, ingenuity and the use of existing elements. As Arjan and Anieke are designers as well, they see the value in mentoring and assisting young designers to polish and see their initial concepts manufactured. Vij5 helps them implement the necessary processes to production, assembly and marketing as it is crucial in this era of globalization.

From A to Z // NewspaperWood desk by Greetje van Tiem
Image Courtesy of Vij5

From A to Z // NewspaperWood desk by Greetje van Tiem
Image Courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood was a laborious and time consuming process when it was first conceived. Their many brainstorming sessions, workshops and experiments, the team was able to find solutions to make this a viable marketed product. As a realized product, NewspaperWood is a series of layers a paper that appear like grains of wood or rings from a tree.This upcycling process gives new life to what some consider recyclable waste. This extends the life of paper therefore using less energy to change its state for new use. NewspaperWood is not a replacement to wood as a material, it is merely a new way to use paper and shape it to create new textures, forms, furniture and other products.

Framed // NewspaperWood cupboard by Breg Hanssen
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Framed // NewspaperWood cupboard by Breg Hanssen
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Framed // NewspaperWood cupboard by Breg Hanssen
Image Courtesy of Vij5

NewspaperWood was presented in Ventura Lambrate during Milan Design Week 2011 where they invited a team of young Dutch designers - rENs, Breg Hanssen, Greetje van Tiem, Ontwerpduo, Floris Hovers, Christian Kocx & Tessa Kuyvenhoven -  to experiment with NewspaperWood for their first time. The same way they ventured into helping a young designer polish the initial idea, they gave the polished material back to the designers to see what they would come up with. Vij5's exhibition in Ventura Lambrate was held in the decayed car garage named 'Autofficina' to add more character to this diverse and unique set of products using NewspaperWood.

Display Cabinet // NewspaperWood cabinet by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Display Cabinet // NewspaperWood cabinet by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Paper Frames // NewspaperWood frames by Ontwerpduo
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Press to open // NewspaperWood cabinet by Floris Hovers
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Sample series // NewspaperWood jewelry by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Sample series // NewspaperWood jewelry by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Sample series // NewspaperWood jewelry by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Sample series // NewspaperWood jewelry by rENs
Image Courtesy of Vij5

Reading Light // NewspaperWood lamp by Christian Kocx
Image Courtesy of Vij5

United // NewspaperWood stool by Tessa Kuyvenhoven
Image Courtesy of Vij5

sources:

Vij5

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TAGS: MILAN 2011
  • friend
    dimitris | 2011-05-05 23:04:34

    this is very exiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • friend
    petit | 2011-05-07 07:17:51

    but the paper is still made of wood, so it's still wood > paper, but he only continued that process to >wood again. And when it gets recycled - it has to become wood pulp (w/ other materials, of course) all over again. Still, beautiful stuff.

  • friend
    Nicole | 2011-05-07 17:45:14

    I'd be concerned about acidity & deterioration/yellowing. Do they deacidify the newspapers first? Looks great at any rate, but I wonder how it'll look in a few years.

  • friend
    SoLoveLy{decoration} | 2011-05-11 11:08:18

    amazing and really clever idea,
    beautiful result
    i love that
    bonne journée
    sophie *

  • friend
    kallirroy | 2011-05-17 19:56:13

    this , with the papier...super intressant but what about water? it s water proof? just asking... kalli

  • friend
    Ann | 2011-05-18 09:29:36

    We have a church built by paper in Taiwan, it is really a building that people can go inside . to use paper as material to make things is great, which gives us an alternative to recycle paper can do not only recycle paper but something else.

  • friend
    Steve_0 | 2011-05-26 21:04:38

    How does it behave as a material? What is its strength rating compared to wood?
    Is it energy efficient to produce? Does it take 5x the amount of input energy of regular wood, only to produce something that is 1/10th as strong and usable as wood? It's not enough that a material can be recycled at any cost. The cost has to be less than the resulting benefit, and either the cost must be lower, or the benefit higher than new materials. Recycling in itself is no magical quality.

  • friend
    Roel | 2011-06-27 13:21:57

    Mieke is actually a girl's name in Holland, so it should be: ...stack of newspapers, SHE began gluing them one by one.

  • friend
    Jeryl | 2011-07-05 16:37:34

    Brilliant idea, but what happens when it gets wet? The article conveniently avoided mentioning weathering.

  • friend
    lewis | 2011-08-19 21:37:21

    I love this! Great use of reusable materials!

  • friend
    Tony | 2011-08-27 01:07:25

    Would a varnish possibly help reduce the yellowing? or is the glue used enough to keep the oxygen out so it slows/ prevents the yellowing anyways.

  • friend
    Balpeaux | 2011-09-06 08:38:11

    (@Steve_O) If we begin to see the benefits of it now, we'll surely find out the ways in which it can be made in cheaper ways. Great idea!

  • friend
    taeshawn | 2011-09-08 00:21:27

    i like the idea but this looks like it would be INCREDIBLY sensitive to water

  • friend
    Mahesh | 2011-11-09 11:05:41

    Excellent material for use as translucent screening (thin slices) to make lamps. Could this be treated like papier maché i mean fused as well to increase thin sheet strength? Great idea though!

  • friend
    Mara | 2012-01-06 23:11:59

    Can the newspaper "wood" then be recycled into something else once its life as a desk or necklace is over, or does it turn a recyclable product into eventual landfill fodder like that plastic decking made from recycled bottles that itself cannot be recycled again? How about the glues, what are they made of - is this product just encasing the newspaper in toxic junk like some of the OSB type products?

  • friend
    diseño grafico sevilla | 2012-02-14 01:55:16

    el mejor ejemplo de reciclaje de un material. Por cierto, los diseño de los muebles son fantásticos.nnEnhorabuena por el post!nnSaludos.

  • friend
    John | Estudio de Diseño | 2012-10-02 01:49:26

    No puedo creer que algo tan sencillo de ese resultado tan mágico.

  • friend
    Will | 2012-11-11 00:49:48

    Talk about working against the grain :)

  • friend
    nikita | 2013-09-15 15:15:06

    Hey sir. It's a fantastic idea. I loved it. Please can you tell me the procedure of converting newspaper into wood. I have to make some eco friendly project in my college programme. So it would be very helpful if you can give the details for making this. Thanks.

  • friend
    dorria | 2013-09-24 05:19:57

    Brilliant idea , I love this.. Great use of materials

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