Designs with the main feature ‘recycling’

Care for milk

Overproduction and continuous price drops have seen our appreciation of milk sink to an all-time low. With Care for Milk Ekaterina Semenova wants to reclaim the value of this characteristic Dutch dairy product.Dairy leftovers of milk are collected from neighbourhood households.

People’s Pavilion: 100% geleend

100% borrowed means that there was no screwing, glueing, drilling or sawing. All materials used had to remain intact. The People’s Pavilion was the central meeting point and discussion platform during the first edition of the World Design Event during Dutch Design Week 2017.

Photo: Filip Dujardin

Forz glaze

A research on glazes based on ashes of waste materials. Studio Mixtura explored different types of ashes, which appeared after recycling processes of general waste, glass recycling and paper recycling processes. These residues with a complex mineral composition compose Forz glaze recipes.

Plasma Rock

Landfill waste is transformed into energy with the only by-product being the Plasma Rock.
The quality of this nearly undiscovered and non-toxic material is that it is mechanically strong, dense and environmentally stable. Besides the aesthetic differences (Plasma Rock can be green or black), the rocks have differences in the number of elements, depending on the type of waste.

Future Remnants

Research into the influence of man on the evolution of new minerals and materials. The project shows the reaction of metals to ordinary household chemical agents.

Blood Related

As a simultaneous embodiment of life and death, blood is nature’s ultimate contradiction. It tells a thousand stories, steeped in meaning and mysticism. Yet, the very real modern narrative of blood as a mass waste material remains untold.

The New Age of Trichology

An innovative and sustainable research project, where human hair waste is recycled and applied in material and productdesign. The project focuses on the high tensile strength of hair.


A novel, reversible building system comprising dry‐assembled, interlocking cast components out of waste glass. Grasping from the high compressive strength of glass, the project explores the recycling of everyday glass waste into cast structural components for architectural and interior design applications.

Ignorance is Bliss

‘Ignorance is Bliss’ reincorporates value of metal waste from the industries, such as water treatment plants and soil remediation companies, into pigments for new valuable products and methods. Metals are crucial to our world, and, unfortunately, a non-renewable resource.

Fade to Stay

Colourfastness is considered a quality, but discolouration can never be prevented entirely. The dye inks in home printers and the pigmented inks on the professional market have different characteristics and, therefore, a different colourfastness. rENs experiments with a combination of various types of ink and paper, in order to control discolouration with the help of UV radiation.


No Mad Makers (Floor Nagler and Didi Aaslund) helps refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos to make bags from the sails of boats and the life jackets that are left behind on the beach. The refugees can take the bags with them on their journey through Europe.

The Salt Pup

A mixture of almost 90 percent sea salt, a small about of starch and water is heated and dried, leaving a white, hard, translucent material. The material is strong under compression force and weak under tensile force. The logical shape that follows from this is an arch or dome.


Using subterranean templates as moulds, the root systems of plants are channelled, forming a textile-like material. During the growth process the roots conform to the patterns and the root material weaves or braids itself. For her research, Diana Scherer is collaborating with biologists and ecologists of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

Flax Chair

A composite material consisting of a combination of flax fibre and PLA is applied in a chair: the Flax Chair. Due to the suitable oceanic climate, flax is a crop with a rich history in the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France. PLA is a biodegradable plastic with a lactic acid base. Both the long and the short fibres of the flax have been used.

Pretty Plastic Plant

Plastic is often recycled, but usually into colourless, practical products. The Pretty Plastic Plant consists of six machines that process plastic waste from households in the north of Amsterdam into façade cladding. The plastic is collected and sorted by colour, making all colour combinations possible. For example, four meeting rooms were recently created.


Helmond company Vlisco produces fabrics for the Central and West African markets. On her own initiative, Simone Post conducted material research on Vlisco’s waste fabrics and misprints. This study resulted in the Vlisco Recycled Carpet. The great variety of waste fabrics produces unique rugs, each with an enormous wealth of colour.

Hollow Tube Technique

Dirk van de Kooij is researching whether recycled materials can be used in a pulverised form, to which auxiliary materials are added directly, making energy-intensive processing of recycled materials unnecessary.

AGF Klasse 3

The goal of this project is to notify people of the AGF Class 3. Potatoes, fruit and vegetables (A,G and F) from this class have a 10 percent deviation or more and are not offered to consumers. Part of the AGF Class 3 is offered to animal feed companies to be used as livestock feed. The majority of these vegetables will disappear immediately on the compost pile. Renée Boute wants to make clear to consumers that there is nothing wrong with these products. She incorporated this objective in a cooking book that shows in a tasty way that fruits and vegetables from the AGF Class 3 do not belong on the compost pile.


In the Netherlands, mealworms are grown for the food industry. Now mainly as food for animals; in the future also for people. The mealworm originates from the mealworm beetle, which dies several months after laying eggs. Growers see these beetles as waste and throw them away. In order to reduce waste and reuse natural resources, Aagje Hoekstra examined how the beetles could be given a second life, as part of her graduation project at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU).

Invert Footwear

The Invert Footwear collection consists of pairs of different brands of sneakers and flip-flops. For example, Elisa van Joolen turned sample models of Nike skate sneakers inside out and created new matching soles made of flip-flops. The Nike sole became new sandals. Each pair of shoes is unique.

Protective Underwear

For her graduation project at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Julia Veldhuijzen van Zanten sought inspiration in the fact that more and more older people want to stay independent for as long as possible, and she started focusing on the emotional and ecological impact of a common problem: worldwide, one in four women and one in eight men have to cope with some degree of incontinence. That’s about 200 million people.

3D Print Canal House

The 3D Print Canal House is a three-year research project in which DUS Architects, in collaboration with a number of national and international partners, work on the printing of a canal house to study the possibilities of 3D printing in architecture.


In North-Holland, thousands of hectares of tulips are decapitated in May to retain the energy in the tulip bulb. Tulip growers do nothing with the tulip heads. With No-ink, Tjeerd Veenhoven has developed a process to give this flow of residual tulip heads a new purpose. First, the tulip heads are dried in a large rotating drum in the studio and then the stems and pistils are removed. The tulip’s petals remain.

Aera Fabrica

For her project, Aera Fabrica, Roos Meerman uses heat and air to blow up 3D-printed forms. Because plastic can quickly change from a liquid to a solid, it is possible to make the form flexible by heating the plastic, then blowing it up and letting it cool down again until the shape sets. Meerman uses PLA, a 100%-biodegradable material made from corn.

Clean Art

Jan Eric Visser (1962) has been transforming the inorganic part of his household refuse into autonomous works of art since 1987 as an ongoing project and his lifework. All sorts of waste items literally disappear in his sculptures, defining their shapes. Waste paper and coloured leaflets, processed and eventually impregnated with wax, make up the skins of the works.


Because of a snail infestation Lieske Schreuder discovered that snails produce wonderful patterns in paper when eating it. This functioned as the starting point for her research which led to her thesis and graduation at the The Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU).

In Bloom

People like to surround themselves with prints of flowers. Since the industrial revolution it is possible to print large amounts of flowers on fabrics.

Noorderparkbar – 100% reuse

The Noorderparkbar is a coffee shop in the Noorderpark in Amsterdam-Noord. It’s the first building in the Netherlands for which all used building materials were sourced at The bar was designed and built by Bureau SLA and Overtreders W, to become an extension of the Noorderkamer, the cultural home of the neighborhood. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays you can enjoy a coffee and tea at the bar.


Old crafts from the Biesbosch return with the seasons. The contempary poor quality straw and willow are cut in winter and bundled to function as a bench in summer. After the fall season, the benches disintegrate. They are returned to nature, to feed new and willow and reed.

‘6:1’ and ‘Ceramic Paint / Collection Cornwall’

The production of pristine white porcelain is a heavy burden to the environment: the production of one kilogram of porcelain produces six kilograms of waste, and the mining changes the landscape forever. The produced waste is not used in the ceramic industry, but disappears in our roads, buildings or is reintroduced into the landscape creating ‘pyramids’ of sand and minerals.

Kirsty van Noort was the second winner of the Material Award 2012

Reconstructing particles – Farrago

Reconstructing Particles is a research project investigating different possibilities of recycling, aiming to find new applications for waste and residual materials (industrial and biological) combined with different craft techniques, focussed on material innovations.


With ‘Agricola’ Gionata Gatto launched a series of design products based on criterias of low CO2 emissions and use of available local resources. The products are based on waste coming from the production and consumption of fruit, vegetables and cereals. In the Netherlands most of this waste is processed by companies that produce renewable energy from Biomass.

Makers Festival

The Makers Festival is a festival in Amsterdam that promotes the role of craftsmanship and production in today’s society.
In designing the layout for the festival the designers paid heed to the waste materials that could be sourced in the area as a way of minimising transport costs (the ‘harvest cart method’ used by 2012 Architects).

Fabric Facade

Insulating fa’ade fabric made from strips of recycled PTFR (Teflon) sourced from conveyor belts used in the food processing industry. The strips are cut out of five-metre-long rolls. The pallets used to transport the material are used as cutting tables.

Wooden textiles

A study of the quality of wood as a flexible material. The designer conducted research in the South Pacific, where tree bark is softened by beating until it can be used in blankets.

Pronkstuk / Centerpiece

A series of vases combining two traditional crafts. Broken Delfts blue vases are deftly repaired using a tracery of wickerwork. The result is a stunning new object that brings the shattered vases back to life.

Green Business Card

A business card made using an autumn leaf from the garden.


Throughout the Netherlands, the areas around railway and bus stations are overflowing with old, abandoned bikes that need to be cleared away.

Precious Waste

Precious Waste is a textile made from thin strips of plastic spun into delicate threads on a spinning wheel. Next, the threads are hand-woven into a large lap of fabric. The resulting textile is used to make new bags; the material can, however, be used for a variety of products.

De Goedzak

Every now and then everyone throws out items that might still be of value and/or useful to others. These items disappear in grey garbage bags and end up on trash piles. The ‘Goedzak’ offers them a second chance. The bright coloured bag with the transparent window attracts attention and allows you to scan its contents. If no one is interested in contents, the bag will simply follow the same path as the other garbage bags.

Pop Up Lace

When polyester is lasered, the result is a kind of high-tech lace. The polyester melts, giving the fabric a glossiness and more intense colour. And if, like the corsages, a colour is applied to the back, the paint pigment melts with the polyester on the areas treated by the laser. The colour gains a rich clarity and is visible both on the back and on the front.

Waste Materials

Wall hanging of merino wool, raw silk and the leftover wool of Drenthe Heath sheep dyed using various tints of the plant dye, woad.

Crunch Bags

Cardboard-like paper is wrinkled then glued usin unbleached cotton to produce al long-lasting, robust material. The series includes four kinds of sports bags, a style which is increasingly used as an everyday bag.


The glass industry is so complex that it is difficult for designers to know where to start. Klaas Kuiken takes two-litre wine bottles discarded by restaurants and hotels and transforms them into completely new bottles with completely different shapes. Irregular thicknesses in the glass walls create curvatures of varying depths. By constricting the body of the bottle at various points, new shapes are produced.

Waste Ware

Waste is used as a raw material for making new products. Coffee residue left over from the coffee roasting process of major Dutch coffee producers, is gathered, cleaned and heat-pressed. The resin that this releases is a natural binder; the material resembles Bakelite in both structure and colour.


A carry-case made from a mixture of dried wood chips and a home-made gelatine-glycerine biologically degradable adhesive. The result is a type of lightweight chipboard that is both robust and flexible and can be manufactured into sheets or kneaded like clay.


Jeans stand for freedom and individuality. How can you part with your favourite jeans, even when they have become too worn to wear? This is where Deadjeans comes in.

Bottle Stories

In the west, expensive specially-designed glass granules are used to facilitate the glass production process. In a country like Kenya, this kind of ground glass is not available, and the glass industry uses melted shards of windowpanes. But the glass this produces is stiff and tough to work, and is only pliable for a short time; which is a nightmare for any glassblower.


Yana, a felt cloth measuring 4 by 6 meters, is the outcome of a study of the properties of wools and felt.  The fabric includes Italian mountain wool and rabit angora.  It is made using an ancient Turkish technique for felting rugs and can be used as a curtain or partition wall.


In the Netherlands, two hundred rotor blades are rejected every year. The rotor blades are weather and wind proof and aerodynamically shaped. Using five rejected wind turbine rotor blades, 2012Architecten built a playground in Rotterdam. By connecting the rotor blades, they created a labyrinth that is a great place for kids to play. In the future, 2012Architecten want to other items of street furniture and skateboard parks from rotor blades.

Wool Filler

Wool filler to help darn textiles was devised to repair a hole in a woollen cardigan. Holes in woollen clothing are rarely clean tears – they are often frayed, laddered or surrounded by worn areas. This difference in the density and weave of the fabric is an ideal basis for felt which, as a non-woven textile easily adheres to any open structure. The unusual thing about felt is that it attaches itself automatically to a surface by means of minute scales. So, when felt is used to repair a hole, something new is created: a new section of fabric.

KAZMOK re-use

While searching for a material for the production of durable, strong bags, Dinand Stufkens discovered old conveyor belts once used by post order companies and flower auctions.

Seam Chair

When developing the Seam Chair and Seam Bench Chris Kabel worked with Materials Lab of the Air and Space Faculty at the TU Delft and composites manufacturer Lankhorst Indutech in Sneek. Chris Kabel used the material Pure, which is a 100% woven polypropylene textile (PP threads) with an internal core that melts at around 180 degrees C and an outside that melts at 130 degrees C. At the right temperature, the outer layer melts, fixing the remaining fibres. The result is an extremely hard recyclable material in contrast to the glass fibre-reinforced plastics currently used in the (furnishings) industry.


The NewspaperWood material, made from wood, lets it go back to being wood. To make a NewspaperWood ‘tree trunk’ the papers are individually glued and tightly rolled up. When dry, the material can be used. The result is incredibly like (solid) wood and, like wood, can be sawn, drilled, sanded and finished with wax, oil or transparent lacquers.

Jupperi, My grandparent’s house

Saara Vallineva, a student at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, used simple, recycled everyday objects like cardboard, a doormat, a tea towel and tablecloths for her installations. She cuts or tears the objects into pieces, using the strips to create something new.

Fragment Textiles

For her graduation project at the HKU in Utrecht (September 2009), Fioen van Balgooi researched ways in which fashion designers can design eco-effectively. This involved starting four projects with different designers, where the focus was: What is the effect of the design choice (materials, technique, colour, shape, user phase and service) on the environment?

Beleaf, bird houses made out of leaves

BeLeaf is a new and natural lightweight material made from leaves and natural binders; it is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. We still only use wood for various purposes but consider the leaves a waste product. Celestine Briët sees leaves as a raw material with a multiplicity of uses.

Aquadine Sculpture

The makers of Aquadyne, planks of recycled plastic used for drainage, eco-roofing and vertical farming invited artist Jan Eric Visser to come to England to create a sculpture from this new material.