Scrap Design Innovation brings together creative minds at NID to convert fragments of junk into alluring products.
‘Frugal Innovation’ if we dwell on the term correctly also amounts to conversion; cheap resources are converted into meaningful products and when design experts join in the results can be magnificent. Aiding this thought process is Pravinsinh Solanki, Founder of “Scrap Design Innovation”. Educated in Italy, Pravin is a furniture designer and an NID Alumnus; he heads the furniture and interior design department at NID. He has a special interest in bamboo furniture and heads the Bamboo Initiative department too at NID, Ahmedabad.
Day in and day out products are manufactured which simultaneously leads to the generation of a lot of scrap. The idea of Scrap Design Innovation was to utilise this scrap – to design functional and appealing products like lampshades and pen stands and more. “At the same time care has to be taken that manufacturing process should not be expensive” says Solanki “If the end product is process oriented or depends heavily on technology, it is not something which can be designed by a lay man. And the idea of scrap design innovation was also simplicity, something that can be designed using basic tools unless off course we are looking at mass production”
Under the guidance of Pravinsinh Solanki numerous students have designed a host of products from scrap. To begin with there’s Marco designed using salvaged auto parts. Designed by Sangam Sinha it uses the grills of a Pleasure Scooty. In the words of the designer “I saw the grills on a Pleasure Scooty while waiting for the traffic and the form of the chair struck me. The journey began in search of the grills. The final form of the back rest gives it an industrial look, pure metal and frame-structure. So cushions were added to give it an organic touch, just like the frame-structure of our body, the skeletal system has organs which are mounted onto the frame. The chair doesn’t revolve 360 degrees, but once you start swaying left and right, it brings you back to the original central equilibrium position through torsional effect of the reworked suspension, making it playful and inviting piece of furniture while keeping comfort and human motion tendencies in check.”
From a chair which espouses an industrial chic we move on to one which is truly vibrant – Marshmallow – designed by PoujaBiharilal this colourful marvel utilises the iron framework of an old rusty centre table and converts it into a comfortable seat. The product features pouches of waste cloth pulled in through a rope mesh weaved together to form the base and the backrest of the seat, the pouches act as cushion. The used of rope is limited to the upper part of the product, in the lower part the colour treated bare iron is left as it is. Marshmallow can easily add a good deal of opulence in a well thought interior design scheme, speaking of opulence reminds me of Opulent – a pendant lamp designed by SharyuAmadkar. Unless you are an expert, you probably can’t fathom that this unique piece has been designed using industrial washers. For vibrancy orange coloured washers were chosen and joined together using rivets, a minimal use of acrylic was necessary to ensure that is space for embedding a bulb holder. Scrap Design is not limited to the realm of interiors alone it can also be utilised to design specific products like Bugxy -designed by BananiBugxy is storage cum play table designed for children. The product was designed using electrical pipes, teak wood and plywood. It can also be used a seat if desired.
Unlike the above mentioned products designer Arup Guha’s seat Overflow dons a minimal avatar; One day Arup Guha found himself staring at sheets of unused meshes which ideally would have found its way to the junkyard, and the idea of Overflow was born. The mesh has been rolled at the base to give it strength and treated polystyrene has been used at the top – the end product, one must say, looks light and impressive. The utilisation of metal, wires, washers, tyres and mesh in thinkable but Rubik’s squares, is that even possible designer MangeshKamble says “Yes Indeed” and unveils the Qubi a centre table using Rubik’s squares, the intention was clearly to make the product colourful and also allow the user to change the shape of the product.
Though a variety of raw materials are utilised under the Scrap Design Innovation project, tyres continue to retain their individual popularity. A testimony to this fact is Dooby and Tarangan – Dooby is a pouf like seat designed by Designer Dhananjay Kumar, the product uses small tyres covered with waste fabric and a layer of sponge inside whereas Tarangan is a lamp designed by Karishma Mistry Tarangan uses discarded scooter tyres connected together with metal rings. At the top a circular frame creates an aperture for the LED bulb holder and connects the ensemble to a chain. For vibrancy Mistry utilises golden colour inside the tyres.
As the conversation heads to a close Solanki makes the most important point “Most of the jugaadu products are not visually appealing but that is where the design innovation lies, at Scrap Design Innovation we take this as a challenge and key in the factor of the aesthetics so that the end-product is pleasing to look at. In a way we don’t just stop at the regular or the generally accepted framework of a low key invention we move beyond it. As a design professional and a part of NID I feel these novel products should be mass produced, for they epitomise sustainable use of resources in a visually appealing format. For mass production the design rights for these products can be acquired from NID at very nominal prices.”