Time has come for Teen age!

Published by Gaspard Tine-Beres on 26 September 2015

Design is born out of industry. Desired, expected, pampered and raised in an ideal home since our birth, we were covered with love and attention in this comfortable context of production.

We learned from our various phases. As infants (1900-1950), we learned the fundamentals of our species, necessary to our survival. The language (the plan), the economy (simplification), politeness (aesthetics). We had an idyllic childhood, and for many of us, this remains the most joyous time of our young lives.

As children (1950-2000) we were left to experiment, express our sensibilities, under the aegis of our parents who spared us the unpleasant responsibilities of adulthood (ethical, social, ecological and political implications of our productions). We grew up and now comes the time of adolescence. For about ten years, we’ve explored new fields, and our elders don’t understand us anymore. We want to empower - escape their reflexes and their necessities. We are no longer tied to industrial production, we are challenging it. We seek to create an open world, decentralised, collaborative, fair, free from excessive exploitation of resources and men.

The Re-Done Appliances project is an experiment of this transformation. Given the mass of electronic waste in our towns, the project aims to reuse electronics to rebuild new objects and distribute them locally. This project has allowed us to experience the local manufacturing associated with a re-use centre. It had a great impact via the press and exhibiting - we had really enthusiastic feed back from a lot of re-use centres globally - and we manage to push the project up to a production phase where we were able to actually manufacture a coffee machine inside London. But we had to stop there as we were not able to provide the manufacturer of each part we were re-using - and this was not allowed by european legislation…

The Polyfloss Factory is another project linked to recycling. The goal was to reuse waste plastics locally, based on existing know-how. To do this, we had the idea of creating plastic wool from waste plastic, which can then be reused as a textile: felting, spinning and knitting, or consolidated with folded sheet metal moulds. This technique is the first local plastic recycling machine, and has achieved various projects - from insulating a house in recycled material, re-using business waste and hosting workshops for children; allowing them to turn waste into small objects on the go. Despite being promising, the project hasn’t been able to become replicable and to be developed to create a business yet. 

So far, our work within open design doesn’t really have an economic reality - it’s probably still in the fledgling stage, but definitely hopeful :) We are the teenagers who experiment to create a better world, even if it remains utopian. We will continue to explore new avenues and new models, and we will continue to try to implement them - because from these experiments will raise a system and a working model that will allow us to be fully adult, in accordance with our values.

As designers, we are the most able able to participate in the transformation from the mass-production model (condensing production, possessing knowledge and specialising labour) to an open source model (making production local, sharing knowledge, unspecialising labour) thanks to what we’ve learned from our parents, we are not specialised, we have the know-how for replicability and we are serious utopians!

Gaspard Tiné-Berès (Re-Do-studio)
Emile de Visscher (Polyfloss)