Recycled Paperpulp Cabinet by Debbie Wijskamp

by , 11/03/09

debbie wijskamp, paperpulp cabinet, eco friendly furniture, recycled materials furniture

It never ceases to surprise us that much of good, sustainable design is also deliciously fun. Take Debbie Wijskamp’s paperpulp cabinets, for instance. They are what their name implies: drawers and shelves made out of pureed paper mache. And while I want to write sophisticated sentences with phrases like ‘materials reuse’ and ‘resource conservation,’ I just can’t help thinking about how glorious it must be, in a third-grade sort of way, to mash paper into furniture. Wijskamp’s process validates these daydreams.

You can watch as the designer churns gobs of glorious goo in a bucket, then shapes it into molds in this video. The dried cabinet pieces fit together like a puzzle, which she then glues and caulks into a solid mass. The resulting cabinetry looks like it was made from igloos, cookies, styrofoam, rice cakes, or snow — depending on what you played with as a kid.

The stacked pulp was recently on display in Eindhoven as part of the designhuis exhibition “Talent 2009″ for Dutch Design Week. That’s all well and good, but my question is: will there be paper pulp fights? I’m ready to fight other grown-up children in the name of sustainability.

+ Debbie Wijskamp

Via Designboom

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  1. Miss. Mya December 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I think this is very talented and imaginative; and I wish I could actually meet the person or talk to them on the phone who created it. I’m a paper mache fanatic and I will try to make something smaller like a footstool or chest first, but thank you for demonstrating a forgotten form of ART. MiChele M./Charlotte, NC

  2. vanessahescock May 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I would love to see the video, but it says it’s private.. Help!

  3. InventedArt November 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I think the above comment misunderstands the material a bit. Plaster would only be used as a mold material, the paper being cast into it. Plaster absorbs the water in cast paper, an important function that synthetic mold materials cannot achieve. Plaster is really pretty eco-responsible, too, as molds can be used hundreds of times. I suspect that the artist intended for her surfaces and edges to be textured, as paper can also be manipulated to create very smooth surfaces and sharp edges. True – a finer pulp would help if a smoother surface were the goal. Flax, like the more common cotton, is a renewable plant source for paper pulp, and makes a very fine, smooth surface when properly prepared. If solid-cast paper furniture really is the wave of the future, designers will create pieces and sets that appeal to various aesthetics, which may include the look achieved by Wijskamp, as well as more sleek designs, each of which might require a slightly different pulp and process.

  4. ugocrazy November 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I love the idea i can see this thing going further in the near future :
    Finer pulp,
    instead of plaster, maybe a biodegradable and sustainable manufactured polymer
    maybe this material can be laser of watercut for cleaner edges ans more design flexibility.

    Again i love it and i hope to see more soon!

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