One of our favorite eco-design visionaries Cohda Design recently brought its amazing recycling design process to the public by staging an interactive event that showed off its recycling machines and allowed the public to participate in the process of turning plastic bottles into beautiful designer chairs.

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As part of the Design Council’s Dott 07 conference in Newcastle UK, Cohda Design created the Recycling Factory, a live public display that “allowed visitors a front-row seat in viewing a range of recycled products being born.” Members of the audience were asked to bring along plastic waste that was then transformed by Cohda’s U.R.E. process, creating a range of functional design objects. Culminating two years of research, the aim of U.R.E. (the un-cooled recycled extrude process) is to “(A) view waste packaging as a valuable resource as opposed to an ecological difficulty, (B) utilize the embedded energy present in waste plastics, and (C) generate a new recycled design aesthetic.”

This live-show technique, pioneered by Design Miami/Basel this summer that showcased designers working in open studios throughout the exhibition space, is a new take on the design process, signaling the rise of a “design as performance” model. Over the nine-day event, running from October 20-28, the Cohda space filled what started off as bare display occupied only by a set of machines that would produce these second-life plastic designs.

Along with many individuals and enterprises hoping to spread an awareness of their work and highlight their process, an archive of time-lapse movies from the Recycling Factory can be found on the Cohda website.

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+ Cohda Recycled Plastic RD4 Chair