Material

Rubber

By

Made in

Circular 223 Recyclable 123 Recycled 125 Rubber 2

Rubber
Rubber
Rubber
Rubber
Rubber

Photos: Ronald Smits

Rubber, a design material

As a product designer, van Dijkman has always been interested in working with new materials and transforming them into functional and sustainable products. In this project, she shows the potential of a recycled industrial material such as rubber and demonstrates the possibilities for creating new and innovative products that also fit into the world of design.

Rubber waste is a significant environmental issue as it is non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose naturally. The disposal of rubber waste can have negative impacts on the environment, including contaminating soil and water resources.
This project aims to highlight the moral and ethical responsibility of product designers and showcase the potential of a recycled industrial material.
DRI Rubber, a company that specialises in recycling rubber worldwide, has already shown that recycled rubber can be used effectively in a range of applications, including agriculture, transportation, and mining. Through mechanical recycling, rubber waste can be shredded into small pieces and processed into new products. This recycling process is not only environmentally responsible but also economically viable.

By drawing on the knowledge and expertise of DRI Rubber, van Dijkman is creating circular products made from recycled rubber matting that can be integrated into our daily environment and be recycled again in the same company. Raw-chunky cut-outs are used to create a series of furniture pieces showcasing the material’s unique properties like its dark colour, its strength and hardness, as well as it’s resistant to abrasion, friction, water and extreme temperatures which makes it a perfect material to use outside.
The outdoor set is meant to be industrial-looking, it shows the patterns of the matts as the objects are coming directly from the industry. Every shape of each piece is the outline of another piece, meaning that 100% of the material needed was used in this project. Smaller objects like candleholders are the smaller scrap pieces that were created during the making process. As the material is very heavy, van Dijkman chooses to work with pieces that slides into each other. This way each object, especially the bigger ones, can separate in different pieces and can be transported. The shapes are simple and geometric, with clean lines and sharp angles and the finishes are rough and unpolished, highlighting the imperfections of the recycled materials which is also adding to the rugged look and feel.

Making process

For her graduation project, van Dijkman wanted to focus on an industrial material and find a way to focus on a waste stream, as she has been doing with biodegradable materials beforehand. After visiting a few different companies with very different materials, she was amazed by the amount of rubber tires at DRI Rubber in the Netherlands, that were creating this landscape of waste mountains. She visited the company and dived into the workshops to experiment with the material. After some research, she decided to cut the rubber with water-cutting technique to create the final outline of the pieces. Every shape of each piece is the outline of another piece, meaning that 100% of the material needed was used in this project. Smaller objects like candleholders are the smaller scrap pieces that were created during the making process. The pieces are then slipped into each other, creating 3D objects with the 2D pieces.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

Rubber

Credits

Robert de Ruijter