A design competition, held last week during Green Office Week, saw students from Design Time, a design school based in Woodstock in Cape Town, produce office furniture made from used and discarded car parts. Europcar initiated this project to reinforce and highlight the need to adopt the three Rs - Reduce, Re-use and Recycle - to make work environments more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Forty-one first and second-year students were divided into 18 groups to use discarded car parts from the car rental's depot and its old billboard vinyl. The material included tyres, mirrors, seatbelts, exhaust pipes and car seats, amongst other things.
The students were given six weeks to conceptualise and finalise their designs with the help of a mentor, Heath Nash. Nash is a designer/artist famous for making recycled products with a uniquely South African and environmentally conscious slant. His range called "Other People's Rubbish", which champions the process of recycling and innovative re-use, is made from used plastic bottles and galvanised wire.
He was the Elle Decoration SA designer and lighting designer of the year in 2005/6, and also won the title of British Council South African Creative Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006. In 2010, Nash was awarded in an eco-lighting competition judged by Ingo Maurer at Finland's premiere interiors show Habitare.
Three groups were chosen as the winners by a panel of judges including Nash and won cash prizes up to the value of R10 000.
"The students' designs were incredible; they all produced unique and innovative pieces out of scrap. They definitely proved that we can reduce, re-use and recycle pretty much anything," says Zavi Stein, GM of marketing at Europcar.
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