Cardboard Furniture – Morocco

Cardboard furniture – upcycling d’eco – morocco

  • Team : UPCYCLING D’Eco
  • Country : Maroc
  • Town : Casablanca
  • Type of activity : Arts & Design

Why opt for cardboard ?

Not always easy to find a furniture to make with cardboard. Sometimes, the idea just comes without thinking. But sometimes, we swing between several types. Some motives which could make you want to create your own cardboard furniture.

  • Cheap gear needed.
  • Infinity of shape is possible
  • It is YOUR realisation and that is priceless

Many attractive features :

Food for creativity, cardboard shows many advantages…

  • Ecological, it is recyclable and it needs very poor blank fibre
  • Economical, his price is very reasonable if we compare with other materials as wood, metal or even plastic.
  • Usefull and flexible, it is easy to stock flat and it allows many shape possibilities.
  • Light, easy to move (perfect for kids, for scenery)
  • Tough, more than we think ! His alveolar shape makes his performance better.

However, cardboard has limits. It doesn’t resist to fire and his worst adversary is named water. Treatments against fire which are ecological exist. They are sprayed on the cardboard during the aqueous state. It protects the material which stays recyclable. Finally, to waterproof it, a tiny silicone layer sould be sprayed on before assembly.

The manufacturing stages of both products

Manufacturing steps : Creating our own furniture is gratifying but we all don’t have savoir-fare or tools in woodworking. So cardboard is a good option. Without a lot of gear and recycling material within easy reach, make a cardboard table demands precision.

Zoom in on design and manufacture : the cardboard coffee table.

  1. Step 1 : Design of the table
  2. Step 2 : Cut and stick the cardboard
  3. Step 3 : Make legs of the cardboard coffee table
  4. Step 4 : Strengthen edges and vertex
  5. Step 5 : Put components together
  6. Step 6 : Finishing touches
  7. Step 7 : Cut the glass and put it up with the cardboard

Zoom in on design and manufacture : cardboard clock.

  1. Step 1 : Design the clock trough with Adobe Illustrator
  2. Step 2 : Stick the cardboard
  3. Step 3 : Cut it with the digital-control machine
  4. Step 4 : Finishing touches
  5. Step 5 : Put the motor
Upcycling D'eco-99612

Brick Bag – Spain

Brik Bag Project – Centre d’Art Social Comunitari Team – Spain

BRIKBAG: firts steps

We have made an analysis of different available materials, making tests of confection, resistance and environmental impact.

To make a decision we have analyzed different aspects:

  • Preparation time of the piece
  • Accesibility to the raw material
  • Recyclability of raw material
  • Weight of the material
BRIKBAG doc-36631

The selected material has been the brik: We had a lot of material due to our own daily consumption (milk, soups, juices … etc.). The brik continues being the most used for the sale of beverages.

“In 2012, on the EU scale, this material was produced in quantity of 936 382 Mg, from which 40% have been recycled and 29% used in energy recovery processes. Material recycling is a challenging task in case of Tetra Pak packaging”

Once the material is selected, we are dedicated to test different ways to separate the brik components: cellulose, plastic and aluminum. We tried different techniques in which the environmental impact was minimal: boiling water, soaking 24 hours, sanding …Eureka! Separating the cellulose and using the plastic and aluminum, we obtained a texture similar to a fabric: malleable, consistent and flexible. Besides, the fact of being able to wrinkle it allowed us to give that feeling “trashion” that we wanted to keep.

Brikbag CASC A3-63557

Tyre Bench – Ireland

Tyre Bench Project – Ireland

Why did we choose tyres?

We chose to focus our attention on bicycle tyres as they are a complex material and because of this, they are very difficult to recycle and can cause environmental pollution when disposed of incorrectly. Here at the Rediscovery Centre’s bicycle workshop, there is an endless amount of tyre waste and from here it is transported to Crossmore Tyre Recycling in County Cork where is it shredded and made into products such as equestrian rubber, tyre bales (used in flood control and road foundations) and tyre derived fuel. While this is a solution to bicycle tyre waste, we wanted to explore the design potential of this material and in the process create something that would raise awareness on this common type of waste.

There is an abundance of bicycle tyre waste around the world, especially in urban areas like large towns and cities. Dublin has seen considerable growth in bicycle use in the last 10 years, and figures are expected to keep growing. Below are two charts showing this increase:

Part of this increase in bicycle usage can be credited to initiatives such as the ‘Bike To Work’ scheme and ‘DublinBikes’, set up in order to increase the use of bicycles, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and promote a healthier, more eco-friendly method of daily transport.

The ‘Bike to Work’ scheme is a tax incentive scheme which aims to encourage employees to cycle to and from work. Under the scheme employers can pay for bicycles and bicycle equipment for their employees and the employee pays back through a salary sacrifice arrangement of up to 12 months. The employee is not liable for tax, PRSI, levies or the Universal Social Charge on their repayments making it an attractive option for people working in the city as they can make a saving of up to 5% of the retail price.


Why a bench?

We chose to design a public bench for a number of reasons: Many of us in the group had personal experiences of going to public parks are realising there was no place to sit down. Either there are no free benches to sit down on or none at all so for this reason we chose to focus on a park bench. Everyone gets tired and needs somewhere to sit down sometimes! We wanted to create a useful product that anyone of any age could use so there are no limitations in spreading awareness around tyre waste. We chose an outdoor bench instead of an indoor one so people had the chance to be outdoors more and enjoy the beauty of nature. This echoes one of the many reasons why people like to use bicycles!

The Design

The bench is designed to comfortably sit two people and is made from two main materials, plastic lumber for the frame and recycled bicycle tyres for the seat. Plastic lumber is a strong and hard-wearing material, commonly used in outdoor furniture and is perfect for our design and would further reinforce it as a sustainable and recycled product. Rubber tyres are durable and sturdy, making it suitable for use in our design. Its elastic properties make for a more comfortable seating experience as opposed to regular solid benches.

Apart from screws and staples, all the materials used in making the prototype were reused. We used timber salvaged from old discarded pallets, reused plywood from an old table and waste bicycle tyres from a bicycle repair shop. All materials for the build were sourced from the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, county Dublin. We designed the frame for Garreth to build and he showed us how to build it ourselves and helped with its construction. We did have ideas for using bike wheels as armrests but collectively decided to leave them out as they weren’t really necessary.

Initially we intended to use old rubber inner tubes in addition to bicycle tyres for our design, but following some further research into the material we found that when inner tubes are exposed to direct sunlight, the material actually begins to degrade…not at all suitable for an outdoor bench! Taking this into account we decided that in the case of damage, either through natural weathering or through vandalism, the design should allow for maintenance and repair. We added the ability to swap out tyres in case of damage which is a common issue for public furniture.

Instead of installing normal public benches constructed from conventional materials, why not utilise designs that are made from reused materials and hopefully inspire more people to think about recycling and the issues of waste.



This has been a really enjoyable experience for the team, we all agree that the best part of the project was seeing our design come to life and learning more about our creative potential when we work together as a team. Designing a product like this is not usually something that we would do and many of us were not aware of the design process or had ever heard of design thinking before Eco-Step. Coming up with concepts was fun and making something that was useful and you could actually sit on was really exciting!

Étagere Terrarium – France

Étagère Terrarium – The Creators Team – France

Waste is a resource that is too little used and unknown to the general public. Nowadays, only some seasoned craftsmen can handle them. They are the materials of tomorrow.

Waste is any residue of a process of production, transformation or use, any substance, material, product (etc.) that its holder intends to abandon. Nowadays in our society, we produce a lot of waste and very little is reused in a creative way. In this project, we strive to recover poorly recycled materials. Also, another question arose, very few people have access to green spaces or do not have time to go for a walk. We built our project bearing these two problems in mind.

After hours of research, we came up with the idea of bringing “nature” to the apartments. We thought the terrarium to be the most aesthetic method, however it takes up space. It had to be successfully integrated into an object or piece of furniture to reduce the impact in space.

At first, we thought to insert it in a table. But the material was not adapted to our expectations and we had to change our mind. The idea of several superimposed ecosystems pleased us. Like the shape of the “localriver” of Matthieu Lehanneur, but we decided to apply it vertically, so we opted for Scandinavian style shelving. We realized that the project was perhaps too heavy and imposing. We therefore sought to preserve the aesthetics but in a more compact and feasible form. We made a shelf with 4 floors or between each plank come 3 staggered terrariums.

The furniture will be dressed with beneficial health plants. The idea is to set up 2 terrariums of aromatic plants and only one to clean the air of the room. We selected the following species: Basil, Chives, Mint, Melisse Officinale, Croton and Chlorophistium. They will be planted in a substrate. The desire to clean up the air makes the furniture a productive type within the furniture environment. Our interiors are more and more polluted by different solvents present in the cleaning products for instance. The special interest of this project and to design a cradle for life consisting of materials intended to be destroyed. This symbolic virtuous circle has really brought us into the choice of materials and plants. The virtuous circle will valorize wastes destined to be destroyed in an aesthetic structure with a cleaning aspect. The plants will allow a more relaxed atmosphere. They are more and more used in enclosed spaces to create a sort of escape into a beautiful and natural world.

For the materials used, we wanted to choose fairly common waste. For this purpose, all the objects used are waste recovered within the ATELIER D’éco SOLIDAIRE.

We also examined the fact that these wastes are recurrent in everyday life. For our structure, we chose Oriented Strand Board (OSB) boards that are very commonly used in all types of construction sites around the world. These OSB planks are urban materials, very accessible to all, its raw appearance attracts more and more designers. Its properties are also interesting: it is solid, durable, of a very good quality and favors the wood from thinning (trees cut down in order to favor the development of the better trees). Then we decided to transform the plastic beer barrels to create our terrariums. These barrels are very practical to work and give a very good result. We used them because this waste will take more and more scale with its more accessible features than stainless steel drums. All the parts of this waste will be transformed, we used the bases of the barrels to turn them into the feet of our project, ” nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes” says Antoine Lavoisier.