carsten in der elst shares his final thesis project that examines the moral and ethical responsibility of product designers. titled ‘HEAVY DUTY’, the work comprises a series of furniture pieces that have all been made using various material offcuts and byproducts.
the ‘shotcrete chair’ in the production site
all images courtesy of carsten in der elst
the project by the cologne-based designer looks at the consumption of natural resources and in particular the waste materials that are formed as a byproduct. ‘by producing material goods for society, the industry is consuming natural resources – a heavy duty. inevitably, a part of the production energy is used to generate waste material, which form and potential is usually disregarded in the ongoing process. to honor every bit of these limited and valuable materials, this project is trying to redefine the existing role of the unmindful product designer. this is an appreciation of our materials and processes.’ – carsten in der elst.
production of the shotcrete collection: the concrete is shot on a substructure made of wooden offcuts and chickenwire – this process takes place 4m underneath the street
the collection includes a chair made using offcuts from a stone quarry and sidetables formed using the waste material from an industrial forge. in this way, carsten in der elst explores alternative uses of what was once considered waste, and the outcome is a series of creative and beautifully raw pieces.
the ‘grauwacke chair’ is made using offcut material from a stone quarry and manufacturer
to realize the project, carsten in der elst visited different production sites, which he has documented in the images here. the resources of these locations were examined and utilized to design furniture and home objects. unlike conventional mass production, the byproducts and circumstances in the collaborating companies dictated the scope of each design, resulting in unique pieces. during the project, these materials become objects with a story worth telling. the following documentation portrays the origin and atmosphere from which the product was brought to life.
video of the ‘grauwacke chair’ being made
‘returned objects’ one & two created from bringing disregarded products together
during the serial production of wood turn-products, b-quality goods are generated
the ‘forged sidetables’ are made with a force of 10000 kg – they weight around 50kg each
while creating industrial parts for ship engines, byproducts are generated, which made the forge collection
during the production of candles, an indefinable mixture of paraffin, stearin and beeswax occurs. wax furniture is made from this byproduct wax that is usually sold to a pitch torch factory.
foam seats are made from the byproducts of the mattress industry. after assembling layers and cutting the (re-)built block of foam into seating objects, they are coated with polyurethane.
aluminum skin bench is made of byproducts of the aluminum industry. big blocks of aluminum have a bumpy skin from the pouring process. before precise milling processes, this skin needs to be removed.
exhibition for graduation 2020
project name: HEAVY DUTY
design: carsten in der elst
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom