Imagine customising and submitting your own furniture design in public space. It’s possible with Print Your City of Rotterdam based Research & Design studio The New Raw. With their online customisation platform, citizens become creators and can give new shape to their plastic waste by following a few simple steps.
The New Raw was founded in 2015 by architects Panos Sakkas and FoteiniSetaki. The bigger vision behind each of their projects and products is to contribute to a closed material cycle for plastic, raise public awareness, and stimulate local production. Their team of designers and architects uses robotic 3D printing with recycled plastic to develop and implement circular design concepts of high aesthetic value and societal impact.
In 2016, the concept of Print Your City was first demonstrated in the Netherlands. The XXX bench was initially designed for the city of Amsterdam. It is a bench made out of the same amount of plastic waste two Amsterdammers produces every year. Print Your City explores the concept of applying 3D printing to plastic waste, as a way to re-design urban space. As the name suggests, Print your City is a call for action, rallying citizens to recycle household plastic waste in order to transform it into raw material for public furniture, via a 3D printing process.
Last year their project achieved a new level when they took it to Thessaloniki, where Print Your City became part of the ambitious Zero Waste Future programme, conceived and powered by Coca-Cola in Greece in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Ecorec and Ogilvy Greece. This project explored the possibility of using the city’s plastic waste in order to build public space with new technology and citizen’s involvement. As part of a large-scale project, city residents were asked to collect the plastic lids of their countless bottles. The lids were shredded, heated, melted, and transformed into a temporary installation of a series of 3D printed street furniture that is made from household plastic waste and robotic 3D printing at the Hanth Park square.
Citizens were able to shape the designs and uses of each unique object according to their needs via an online customisation platform. Through the customisation process, the user could choose which public space will house their piece, as well as the shape, colour, and specific integrated functions that will promote a healthy and environment-friendly lifestyle in the city. Objects could feature a bike rack or a mini gym, a tree pot, or even a dog feeding bowl or bookcase. Users also got to know the equivalent amount of plastic that needs to be recycled. In this way, the public space develops sustainably by accommodating the demand for plastic from local resources. More than 2.900 citizens voted where and how they wanted to see the new furniture of Thessaloniki. About 800 kilos of plastic waste was recycled and printed with 3D printing.
The New Raw recently moved into a new office in Rotterdam and extended its facilities with two new robotic arms for processing plastic waste with multiaxis printing. We are eager to see what new products, projects, and R&D’s this year will bring!