Kevin Cheung describes himself as an environmentalist and sustainable product designer. He upcycles all kinds of waste into everything from iPhone cases and slippers to electronics. Case in point, the boombottle. “This is the project that kickstarted my upcycling journey,” Cheung said. “The Boombottle is a speaker system made from a waste plastic container. By using the plastic bottle as the soundbox, It provides a rugged, lightweight body to become a portable speaker.”
The boombottle is made of a plastic jug. Transformed into a portable electronic speaker, the boombottle even lights up with LED lights that make the bottle glow in the dark.
Cheung upcycles rather than recycling materials because it takes less processing and is more eco-friendly. He loves giving materials new life and purpose. His upcycling transformations include turning everything from felt to wallpaper into new lifestyle goods.
While Cheung used to design other electronics, he found that they often weren’t very durable. After just one year post-college in his designer job, he quit and started creating products out of waste instead. Now, his portfolio includes everything from boombottle to a “cycling piano.” Cheung has even made laptop sleeves made out of carpet scraps. Nothing is off-limits as Cheung designs a new way to a zero-waste life.
This upcycling process doesn’t mean he’s pulling things out of the trash, though. Cheung goes to companies and stores where goods might be thrown away and sources materials directly from them. The boombottle is his most famous creation, and it’s made out of old bottles that contained medicine at medical facilities.
Cheung is based in Hong Kong and says that every design tells a story of the original product it came from. A trip to New York City inspired him as he discovered the cycling culture spurred on by the city’s dense population and traffic woes. Perhaps this inspired Cheung’s cycling piano made out of reclaimed wood. If you’re ever near West Kowloon Cultural Park, you can catch one of Cheung’s cycling piano tours on Saturdays and Sundays.
Via Yanko Design
Images via Kevin Cheung