When leftovers become sustainable art
Silvan Kuhl and Catia Koller spent three months working on the «Mediterranean Nights» project at the Workshop for Sustainable Scenography of the OFFCUT materials market in Zurich - including creating a giant octopus, a coral reef and a number of jellyfish. The unique aspect of the sculptures and other objects is that they were made mainly from materials destined for the scrap heap. «We use leftover materials to produce something new,» says Silvan Kuhl, the joint project manager. «In so doing, we can show that reutilisation is not just sustainable, but also inspirational from a design perspective.»
Inspiring through sustainability and expressive materials
Following on from the hummingbirds and flowers created for the «Lima Garden» project in April 2021, the pieces for the BRIDGE food market were OFFCUT's second staging project. The marine world has been on display at the Europaallee in Zurich for several weeks now. It is clearly a hit: «Our visitors are amazed, fascinated and have been pulling out their smartphones to take pictures,» says BRIDGE Director David Böhler. «In addition to the aspect of sustainability, we like the design language and expressive materials. The materials appear unpolished and genuine and thus match the BRIDGE identity perfectly.»
The OFFCUT materials market
Much of the leftovers used for the project come from the OFFCUT materials market, where used materials are stored and resold as raw materials. The Workshop for Sustainable Scenography was founded by OFFCUT Zurich in December 2020 and shares the principle of creatively reutilising waste materials. The OFFCUT workshop closes a gap in the sustainable design process. «We now not only collect and sell leftover materials, but also use them to produce new, completely unique creations. In this way, we extend the lifespan of used and discarded materials,» Kuhl says.
Supported by the Migros Pioneer Fund
OFFCUT was founded in Basel in 2013 and has been supported by the Migros Pioneer Fund as a pioneer project since 2017 both to open additional locations in Zurich, Berne and soon in Lucerne and to build up a nationwide network. «The Workshop for Sustainable Scenography in Zurich impressively demonstrates how leftover materials can be recycled creatively,» says Migros Pioneer Fund Project Manager Samira Lütscher. «It's exciting to see how new facets are constantly popping up at all the OFFCUT locations. The network helps materials markets benefit from each other's know-how.»
Photo/Stage: Nik Hunger
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