3D Alchemy Students' projects 2012-2013

Natural resources on this planet are fast running out, which has already caused a number of designers to look towards the concept of recycling to produce new objects. Within this project, students in Foundation Art & Design were encouraged to design and develop sustainable 3D objects under the theme of alchemy. By gathering recycled materials, or using resources that are sustainably sourced, students developed their own products to facilitate a low carbon future.

Click on any of the profiles below to follow the progression of the student's work from conception to creation.

» Elliot

Pallets are in abundance, and the wood can be utilised in so many ways. Wood is simple to work with so utilising the pallets to create something should not be difficult, however, care needs to be taken if it is worn or weak. I plan to source pallets by asking building sites if they have any spare.

I have chosen to create an outdoor chair; the chair can have many designs and fashions, but I am focusing on Martino Gamper for inspiration.

Elliot 2

Elliot 3

» Harriet

Instead of wasting more resources, we should use the ones that we already have to create different things. It is possible to produce products that you never knew were made out of recycled materials, which is a mark of a great design. There are some really unique and random ideas out there right now, for instance, paper made out of sheep poo.

There are some great designers who utilise sustainable resources to take inspiration from. An example is a house made of newspaper which represents what an individual would go through in their life - you can literally read what the walls had seen and heard.

The material I have chosen to work with is paper. I experimented with newspaper, which was too thin. Card or very thick paper is a much better medium because it stays together and folds nicely. I have decided to create a lighting piece, using a lazer cutter to cut out shapes which will produce interesting light patterns and shadows within a room. I want a disco ball kind of look, but instead of the light being reflected off of mirrors, it is coming from within.



» Joe

Before this course, I did not know what Sustainable Development was; I have a good grasp of it now, and in particular how it applies to my work. One of the problems of working with sustainable materials is that there is no guaranteed amount or standard of quality. This makes producing things on a large scale increasingly more difficult. I also encountered some difficulties working with my initial experimental materials; hard woods required significant effort and body weight to cut and sculpt, whereas softer woods were more malleable and easier to manipulate.

One prolific designer I like, obtained commissions from the likes of Louis Vuitton, using wire gloves under the theme of the seven deadly sins. Tom Price is another great designer who has produced some innovative work with chairs.

My final design piece is a non-functional piece of art, but it could easily be made into a functional piece. I have worked with layered card, interspersed with paper and fluorescent pink perspex. The layers add depth and interest, and the colour adds contrast - it is volatile! I have made my design quirky by adding the labels 'back' and 'bum' to the relevant part.


Joe 2

Joe 2

» Kara

I view sustainable development in terms of my design and 3D Alchemy as a consistent development of ideas, however, I know that it is inclusive of renewable resources, because it is important to be environmentally friendly. I don't see any difficulties working with the materials I have salvaged from the junk shop, but they may require more time and effort to work with.


Final piece

» Nicki

My initial idea was to create a pinboard using a lot of recycled corks which I collected. I experimented with different colours and picture frames. The medium was difficult to work with- I had to use a saw, which gave a more jagged edge.

Through idea progression, I developed the pin board idea towards coat hooks and door knobs. The piece will function as a practical rack for keys, coats, umbrellas etc. I plan to use a tree branch sample, or instead of wood, I could use string anchored to the floor and ceiling, with hooks and door knobs for hanging.



Nicki 3

» Scott

I initially looked in junk yards to find materials for my design. However, in the end I obtained cut offs and salvaged materials from College. I recycled materials from fashion, for fashion. Materials are not limitless, therefore it is important to look in to, and invest in more sustainable design as it will become more and more prevalent in the future.

In my experimental stage of design, I worked with wicker and raffia type materials, but these were difficult to work with. I particularly like the oval shape - I would like to make my design out of wood, with some cushioning material to make it more comfortable. The designs could be expanded even, to make beds for example.

Scott 2

Scott 3

» Sian

I view sustainable development as consistent development of recycled materials, which can be used for near enough anything. For my design, I am making a table out of a suitcase. It will be multi-functional operating as both a coffee table, and a place for storage. I sourced my suitcase from a local junk shop in Bedford. I initially looked online, but because the demand for vintage items is quite high, they were very expensive. When sourced locally, I managed to buy it for a bargain £3.

I plan to cut out MDF to strengthen the top and the base. I plan to either cover the top of the suitcase with a cushion cover or put perspex over the top, to keep the vintage feel to it. The legs will be made out of clothes hangers, supported by an MDF leg.

The designers I have taken inspiration from are Lisa Tilley and Katie Thompson. Thompson makes suitcases into chairs, so I chose to build on this idea and create a table.


Sian 2

Sian 3