If we came for Nienke Hoogvliet’s swoon-worthy research on using seaweed and algae to create furniture and textiles, then we definitely stayed for Waterschatten. Made in partnership with the Dutch water authorities, who are experimenting with recovering raw materials from wastewater, Waterschatten involved the construction of a large dining table, a set of pendant lights and a range of bowls, employing – wait for it – recycled toilet paper as the primary material.
The aim? To combat instinctual negative associations with the waste material, and open both the public and the industry’s eyes to its infinite possibilities – a task studio NH is no stranger to. Besides the cellulose from the paper itself, the water authorities can also reclaim other materials, as well as precious energy. Each drawer in the long Waterschatten table highlights a possibility for the program, which uses fine sieves to collect the materials from the water. Although the way sustainability innovation is blowing up in the material textile product design industry right now, somebody had better tell Nienke that we’re going to need more drawers.