Rhode Island School’s Department of Furniture Design to Present Recyclable Composites

With sunken, web-like chairs and light fixtures evoking the slot canyons of the American Southwest, Recyclable Composites puts the work of 12 RISD students on display, pushing the boundaries of design while directly addressing issues of sustainability.

Recyclable Composites showcases innovative applications of advanced composites in new contexts. Existing composites rely heavily on irreversible resins, which cannot be recycled. Twintex®, a commingled glass and thermoplastic polypropylene fiber filament, is solidified by a reversible heat treatment. Twintex® products are thermoplastic composites which can be recycled. Therefore, they present an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional composites.

Through a rigorous developmental research process students explored the material Twintex® beyond its conventional use to create dynamic furniture and lighting fixtures. These explorations, while highlighting the potential of recyclable composites, are pushing the boundaries of both design and customary manufacturing techniques. Recyclable Composites manifests the Furniture Design Department’s commitment to research, innovation and sustainability as key pedagogical areas of focus.

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