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Is this lamp really made of dirty old t-shirts laminated with collected plastic bags? YES! These lamps are a result of a co-design project between Katryna Carter and a group of teens affiliated with a Rhode Island-based after-school program, Riverzedge. Riverzedge is an after-school arts program based in Woonsocket, one of the state’s poorest towns. The program aims to educate and employ under-served youth in the arts through screen-printing training and contract work. The youth are taught and paid to design and create paintings, t-shirts and logos for local businesses.

Over the course of several weeks, Carter teamed up with five students there to introduce them to a 3D design process and develop a collaborative project to be marketed alongside their other products. Together, they designed these lamps made from a composite plastic material consisting of their reject t-shirts heat pressed between layers of used plastic shopping bags. After pressing, the flat plastic sheets were cut into an x-shaped module and snapped together to form various configurations for lamp shades as seen here. The lamps range in size from 8″ to 15″ diameter.

The material was created with a Kingston Press located on the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design (where Carter is a graduate student studying Industrial Design). The machine is essentially two large irons whose faces are pressed together at pressures up to 1000 PSI. It was built by a class of Industrial Design students at RISD as part of the Waste-For-Life initiative which aims to create livelihood options for garbage collectors in Argentina. Carter’s project was an attempt to add a local context to the potential of the press.

Project Team:
Katryna Carter (RISD), Jasyn Agin (Riverzedge), Gabriel Silva (Riverzedge), Emily Henriott (Riverzedge), Time Howe (Riverzedge) and Manny Dubois (Riverzedge)

One Response to “Riverzedge Greenworks Lamp Made from Old T Shirts and Plastic Bags”

  1. oddwee says:

    where can I buy your stuff? I think you should look into the makers fair and Grommet for getting your info out there this is great! thank you
    A Special Ed aid who loves to see teaching that is how to think not how to test!!

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