Design student Willem Zwiers has given new life to discarded second-hand books, creating a unique furniture collection showcased at the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate show during Dutch Design Week. Named Transformed Remnants, the collection includes a side table, desk lamp and a bookshelf crafted from books, including Bibles and self-help literature, sourced from local second-hand shops destined for disposal due to minor defects. Zwiers estimates using several hundred volumes for the three pieces. Here is a detailed report on FURNITURE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (FDT).
In his studio, Zwiers removed the book covers and used a circular saw to cut the books into horizontal strips, maintaining each spine for structural integrity. These book sections were assembled like Tetris blocks, fitting into hand-made molds, saturated with diluted wood glue, and compressed with rubber bands and wood clamps. The resulting composite resembles particle board but features a swirling texture reminiscent of marble, preserving the rough edges of the original material.
The furniture displays individual words and cut-off sentences on its sides, providing a visual link to the source material. While the pieces are stable and capable of supporting small items, they aren’t yet strong enough to bear the weight of a person. Zwiers envisions further development, exploring higher pressure and vacuum techniques to enhance strength, potentially paving the way for chair designs in the future. The Transformed Remnants collection thus challenges the perception of discarded books, transforming them into functional and visually intriguing furniture pieces.
Image credit: Nicole Marnati
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