By Jordan Medeiros | Week 07 Post 06
Mieke Meijer and Vij5, a dutch design duo, have collaborated to elevate sustainability and regeneration into modern times through their creation of NewspaperWood. By adhering rolls of out-of-date and local newspapers, which exist in surplus throughout the world, with solvent-free glue, Meijer and Vij5 have managed to create an up-cycled and “organic” low-scale building material (CityMetric, Dezeen). Aesthetically, NewspaperWood resembles a marble timber, utilizing the newspaper print to create a marble, grain-like pattern.
Although NewspaperWood takes enormous leaps in terms of regenerative building processes, some logistic issues arise when considering the innovative building block. Foremost, strength would be a logical issue to arise when newspapers come into play. Much like the strengthening of wood through CLT, the individual papers are layered hundreds of times upon one another, allowing for a durable and sturdy base. Furthermore, the “timber” pieces can be cut in varying thicknesses allowing for even stronger bases, if necessary.
Secondly, the durability of the NewspaperWood could cause contention when considering its viability in usage, specifically fireproofing and waterproofing. Sealants and coatings could be applied, much like with timber, to make the newspaper logs fire resistant and waterproof making its application to interior projects very feasible. However, the application to exteriors and elements exposed to the elements are still a point of contention with this material. The nature and components of NewspaperWood make it extremely difficult for it to function efficiently and appropriately under these conditions, therefore, at the current stage of its development, the timber-like structures can only be applied to small-scale interior project such as furniture, jewelry, and car interiors.
Dutch NewspaperWood projects the interior and furniture design realms into one of modern regeneration through its up-cycling of existing waste into organic and sleek applications, a model process for other design modes and processes.