Monday, October 3, 2011

Marc Harrison part 2: Musing on a sustainable practice

Re-appropriation of Packaging Material

There are 2 forms of re appropriation in my practice; the first form is the recycling of waste or low valued by-product, a material that has had a first life and has either been discarded or stored waiting for a second life. This is best seen in Husque and the use of the Macadamia nut shell as a key ingredient in a composite material used to manufacture design.

The second form of re-appropriation is the assembly of particularly low valued mass produced products into higher valued products in a way that is energy conservative. The objective of this form of re-appropriation is to create with minimal defacing of the objects used, in other words, low energy input with zero to low waste.

This series of light features is focused on the re-appropriation of packaging materials. Traditionally packaging materials are designed to be cheap and effective as they are generally understood to have short lives as second cousins to the products that they envelop. So they are generally inexpensive and very assessable, and also very recyclable.

Image: Sushi Pendant light 

The sushi pendant lights, are a composition of takeaway sushi containers and wax lunch wrap and fishing line. The containers are a double layer sandwiching crushed lunch wrap diffusers and chain linked into octagonal layers. The layers are then threaded together and suspend over a naked energy efficient light bulb. The containers create structure while the paper creates diffusion.

Image: Sushi Pendant light (detail)

The Power Shake is a table lamp consisting of a torch, milkshake container and drinking straws. All parts have been sourced from a supermarket, in fact at the end of the installation, both the torch and the containers where returned to the supermarket.

Image: The Power Shake

Pop light is a roll of bubble wrap with an energy efficient lamp. The core of the roll is pushed out to create both the stem and the cavity for the light source. The bubble wrap is left completely intact.

Image: Pop Light 

The sausage installation is a roll of small goods elastic stocking, energy efficient light spheres, butchers hooks and bridal loops. The stocking holds the spheres like a boa constrictor and the hooks suspend the stocking from the ceiling while the bridal rings help create the loops that hang.

 Image: Sausage Light
All images courtesy Marc Harrison  

This form of creativity, childish in many ways, is a generator of ideas. I find that the moment a viewer sees it and then registers how it is made is critical in defining its success. It’s this ability to surprise the mind that provides nourishment, and creating nourishment with minimal impact is the spirit of sustainability.

Husque website 
Sustainability stories link  
Marc Harrison is one of the top ten  finalist in the 2011 Bombay Sapphire Awards website 
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