Welcome back! This is our third installment in the Leapfrog Project series. Today, we’ll take a look at a project called “Reborn” and its main lead designer, Hong.
The Reborn Project is a collection of living-room furniture created with up-cycled materials, and produced by Beautiful Company. The Reborn Project has been led by Hoang Thu Hong, one of the Sustainable Product Innovation (SPIN) project designers (you could see her being interviewed as part of the video in the previous post).
Beautiful Company is a small Vietnamese wood company making products for domestic market. To differentiate themselves, they wanted to make sustainable products out of up-cycled products. The challenge is as big as, culturally in Vietnam using brand new products is better seen than recycling, as it is a sign of wealth and prosperity.
The Reborn Collection
The Reborn collection aims on balancing aesthetic and function, creating beautiful furniture out of upcycled and recycled material.
Firstly, the concept is based on customers’ need to create functional and time-saving products. As Hong explained:
They want products to organize their place in a smart way, with a good atmosphere, relax and easy-clean. Besides, they tend to choose objects with multiple functions.
Secondly, the designs are based on up-cycling principle which is to reuse object or material in a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. Hong used secondhand discarded furniture and collected pallet wood from import/export industry to recreate innovative and modular designs.
Sustainable Design Methodology
Based on Design for Sustainability (D4S) methodology of the SPIN project, Hong, and Beautiful Company worked with 3 sustainable design dimensions:
- Recycled material
- Local material
- Longer Lifetime of the products
“There are variety local materials which could create better quality products using good skilled Vietnamese craftsman.” Hong said. Furthermore, using local materials reduces the environmental impact of transportation and preserving the local eco-system.
As an example, using pine wood from pallet wood in Vietnam instead of wood imported from South America (which is often the case in Vietnamese furniture production), we estimated a reduction of the environmental footprint from 6 to 12%, depending on the indicator.
On the first hand, Hong used pallet wood from the import/export industry in which she chose the most adapted to re-design.
On the other hand, Hong went hunting for old furniture to recover some useful parts of them, such as these bed heads.
Hong used SOLIDWORKS apps to design the new products based on the second-hand product design, on which she design the new parts, such as making a sofa with storage units.
We estimated that using 100% recycled material, like pallet wood reduce the environmental footprint from 48 to 76%, depending on the indicator!
Longer Lifetime of the products
Finally, by creating products that up-cycled instead of thrown away, their lifetime is extended. With a longer lifetime, we consume fewer products and reduce the environmental impacts.
Finally Hong and the Beautiful Company created a collection that has an average of 40 to 90% of carbon footprint cut-off, depending on the products. “Now the collection is displayed in Hang Xanh (Green Street) showroom where awareness and education is provided about how to up-cycle old products to give a longer life-time”, Hong said.
Inspired by the Reborn Project, Hong continues to create innovative designs out of pallet wood, hoping to produce them soon.
If you are interested by other use cases, educational materials, and news about the Leapfrog Project, stay tuned and follow the frog…