Academy Student enters Virginia Commonwealth University Design Competition

26 January 2010

14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into oceans annually around the world. This waste represents a huge economic burden on all the countries and on the environment itself. There is every reason to think of alternatives to simply “throwing things away”. Designers and artists have been thinking of ways in which to reduce garbage and re-purpose some of what we throw away while making beautiful and useful objects. We can always re-use more of what we throw away to make something useful..

The Viriginia Commonwealth University at the Qatar Campus organizes a competition every year, the winner of which receives a full scholarship.  Participating students were asked to take a look at what people in their community are throwing away and consider innovative ways in which these items could become useful products. They were asked to take everyday discarded or recycled materials and re-design them into functional products.

Samira Abbas, a DP2 student has entered the competition and decided to make a chair.  This is her brief that she wrote about the design of her chair: “Many claim that ignorance is bliss but I believe it should never be the case to the environment. Ignorance leads to pollution. People do not realize the impact of careless disposal of items in their routines. I decided to make a chair, because it is a piece of furniture that is used globally. Plastics, rubber and metallic objects are commonly disposed non-biodegradable items. Since there is no way of destroying these items without polluting the environment, I based my art piece on these items so as to produce a useful item. A car tyre for the seat platform, a bicycle tyre for back-rest that covers the edge of a domed shape metal sheet, the 4x8 ‘Comfy-tyre’ is ideal for domestic use. It has enhanced comfort from hand-made cushions out of pieces of cloth, a clear plastic bag, bottle tops, polythene bags cut and painted into flower and leaf shapes. On the edge of the cushion is a piping effect made from a piece of cloth stuffed with paper bags and painted gold to make. The painted designs on the tins attached to the tyre, acting as chair legs were inspired from Swahili art”.