The art of cutting a product in cardboard.
Ten years ago, I was circling around product ideas which had a built-in dimension of re-use and up-cycle in the core choice of material and in the further processing. At that point, I had a small design company and I was very keen to research and design products from scratch.
New products in the portfolio of my micro business came sporadically from ideas with 2D spreads of wooden veneer laser-cut and assembled into 3D lampshades or the cut-out idea of leftover design carpets transformed into a new multi-coloured product. The explorative prototyping process was fun as always – and the finished results on the market were perhaps naive but in some odd way, the products passed the test of the commercial market – But only for a small, selective target group.
In Denmark at that time, many design companies emerged from the cross-disciplinary creative industries creating interior products and building up businesses. The interior design product market was booming and some of the present companies which, today, are the quintessence of a Danish interior product design were established over that period of time.
When I arrived in the industry, more or less by chance, I came from the advertising industry specialising in direct mails for the B-t-B market. It sure is a bumpy road from being an Art Director to self-employed product designer and I, somehow, made an incredibly big amount of rookie mistakes navigating my way around this commercial product jungle for retailers and consumers. To me, it was a creative decade with a steep learning curve while running a business interacting with people from all over the world.
In the end, I found that the omnipresent question in the bigger picture was (and still is, to me) how to create a sustainable value chain and not only reduce waste but being able to create zero-waste in a product lifecycle.
Circular design is when the product lifecycle has been incorporated in the whole process from the start-making to the end-wasting. In that way, the product material either re-circles or is being re-used. The point is to process less of new, raw material and instead use more of material already in the market.
So back to the subject. In 2011 I was designing a product made by cardboard. A lamp shade. I named it CUT no. 1.
Cut no. 1 is a template for cutting out a lamp shade in cardboard. The idea was to reuse the cardboard packaging from a buy and transform it into a new design product instead of throwing the packaging away.
Now you can have it. The template. It is free to download. The print format of the template is 50 x 70 centimetres – so be clever if you have access only to print in standard paper sizes.
Go ahead. Enjoy!
Design, Photography and Words by Dea Simonsen