Can refuse be reimagined as raw material? And can it be beautiful? In the hands of 26-year-old designer Charlotte Kidger, the answer is yes and yes. While enrolled in the Material Futures graduate program at Central Saint Martins in London, she began examining the industrial waste stream. Her eureka moment came when she happened upon polyurethane foam dust, a by-product of CNC 3-D model production that’s typically destined for the landfill. Kidger combines the leftover powder with a pigmented resin binder, which is then cold-formed in molds and left to cure for 8 to 12 hours.
Natural defects exposed during casting become rough edges and unique details for the resulting vessels and tables. “This is where the collection’s name is derived from,” Kidger explains of the origins of Industrial Craft. Following an exhibition during the London Design Fair, she plans to expand to larger tables, consoles, and even retail fixtures. Perhaps she’ll help make reducing waste fashionable.