University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Crafting waste: a re-evaluation of a furniture practice

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 15:29 authored by Niklavs RubenisNiklavs Rubenis
The fundamentals of design provide tools and a way of thinking that is universal and transferable-design can be applied to anything at anytime. Everything around us, particularly the built environment and the 'stuff' we use - and the often-resulting waste - has been an act of design. Design, therefore, could be a powerful mechanism, an influential force and a potential driver for change. Although still often approached as simply a styling or aesthetic exercise, design is rather a highly complex activity consisting of a combination of social, cultural, ethical, historical, environmental, technological, economic and even emotional layers. Through practice-led research I have been re-evaluating my understanding of design and how this can be distilled and applied to the field of furniture. By combining high-level practical skill and craft sensibilities fused with standard manufacturing technology (computer numeric control), I am approaching my work with an aim to reimagine how the utilisation of ubiquitous 'stuff'-material that would otherwise be generally classified as domestic waste-can be adapted, reused or reappropriated into potential objects of value. The outcomes of this research currently comprise several pieces that are experimental in material use and serve strictly as furniture prototypes. Acting as case studies that seek to identify an alternate approach to design, this work aspires to give value and meaning to objects through materials deemed to have none.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 2015 Unmaking Waste Conference


K Thornton




School of Creative Arts and Media


University of South Australia

Place of publication


Event title

Unmaking Waste

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Waste management services; Design; The creative arts

Usage metrics