Summer Semester 2010,



In many countries in the world, industrial waste materials are recycled due to poverty and material shortage. Many of the objects that were born from necessity, now have a cultural standing and the intricate craftsmanship of the respective country attached to it. They show the colourful culture of recycling that mirror the remnants of industrial over-production and combine old artisan craft work with improvised production in an imaginative way. The abundance of industrially produced waste and the idea to re-use it is currently gaining momentum in the Western World.

The source material for InSideOut comes from an abandoned building in Berlin Friedrichshain. It is a 78-meter long electric cable, originally used for a doorbell, consisting of six colourful wires, mantled with white plastic. Usually dispensed cables and wires from private households, offices and public buildings are not recycled, unless the copper in the wires is extracted and re-sold. The InSideOut project explored the possibility to re-use the entire electric cable.

A simple hand weaving technique usually utilized in basket weaving, traditionally using straw, sea-grass and other plant fibres, was employed. Strands of material were bundled and then tightly covered with the same fibres. The resulting flexible but sturdy strings are arranged in a spiral manner and used to make round or oblong objects such as mats, baskets, trays or other vessels. This technique is known worldwide: Bee keepers in England build hives with this technique, while in Africa it is used to weave baskets and mats.

InSideOut utilizes discarded electrical cables using the basket weaving technique. The colourful inner wires are freed of their cover, and wound around bunches of the same plastic cover as described above. The cable remains the same, yet its construction, aesthetics and tactile qualities are completely transformed. The material is fully recycled. The metal base for the InSideOut Stool was found on the street. Its seat was created using reclaimed electrical wire, which was also used to cover the metal base. The resulting chair is weather-resistant for outdoor use and can be disassembled for easy recycling.

The InSideOut Stool was made from recycled material using traditional basket weaving techniques. It is not meant to be a highbrow design product, but a useful object for every day use, which utilizes simple and comprehensive recycling methods.




Supervision Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Heike Selmer
Project categorySemester Project