Milk Bottle Wall

This wall created a dynamic solution that met the needs of a client, reused an on-site waste stream, and saved a load of materials and money. The Westend Pumphouse on Murray St, Hobart, had been undergoing a refurbishment since the beginning of the 2012, and one of the requirements was a wall that would screen the entrance to the toilets from the new restaurant area, but still allowing light to flow through the building.

With the café/restaurant using more than fifty bottles a day, a wall created from milk bottles turned out to be the ideal solution. In the end, the cost of the metal framework and the locally manufactured brackets and plates, were less than ten-percent of using traditional materials. The fact that the bottles were reused on site really adds to the character of the work. If any bottles are damaged they can simply be replaced on-site.

Not only can the bottles easily be replaced, they can also easily be reconfigured in different patterns, and by deleting bottles, shapes, figures, letters and numerals can be created from negative space. The fact that the wall can be reconfigured allows ongoing collaboration, yet without compromising the integrity and originality of the design. Staff at the Westend Pumphouse regularly reconfigure the wall, so it could well be different each time you visit.

Just think how many cafés and restaurants throughout Hobart, Australia and the world, that are using single-use plastic containers to provide milk for customers’ coffees. It only took a couple of months to collect the two-thousand, two hundred and eighty milk bottles to fill this wall, from just one café. So you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that there are a lot of bottles being landfilled everyday around the world.

What really matters is seeing it. You will be amazed at the way the translucent plastic is transformed by natural and artificial light to create a constantly changing array of subtle hues and tones. The way you don’t encounter the full magnitude of the wall until you are well inside the building is quite magical. The difference from one side of the wall to the other is also interesting, something you really need to experience first hand.

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Coathanger Bowl

This bowl is made from plastic coathangers woven together and simply held together in tension. It plays with the ideas of form and function, and the contemporary obsession with repurposing obsolete products into überobsolete products. The essential form and strength of the coathangers are subtly manipulated while still retaining their original purpose. The bowl can be deconstructed and the coathangers used once again. The bowl, without any real function, questions the ongoing need to create more new products, which seems only matched by the need to create more new categories for rubbish. But rubbish is as rubbish does. With so much already made, the first question the twenty-first century designer, living in a world of diminishing resources, must ask themselves, is: Do I really need to make this?

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