For industrial designers, craftspeople, or anyone who creates, the question of what can be reused becomes more pressing by the day. Plastics, paper, metal, food-waste, textile, wood, glass, concrete, etc., when a product or a material is all used up, those of us living and working in this culture of waste are left with is common practice for all the waste that cannot be recycled and ultimately results in a lot of ash being produced.
"Incinerator (waste-to-energy plant; waste incineration plant), Industry park H"ochst, Hesse, Germany. Presumably the largest incinerator in Germany with a capacity of about 675,000 tons per year." Photo by , are becoming increasingly scarce. And yet Ten Tije's Bottom Ash shows that even material that seems entirely spent can still be recycled for production.
The bench that Ten Tije constructed brings the idea to life. Minimal and modular in construction, the design alludes to its origins in its color and texture. While recycled material products often forcibly remind users of their recycled-material-origin, Ten Tije's bench doesn't necessarily presume that the user is focused on the production story behind the material.
Yet knowing where a design came from, and where it is going, should be on the minds of all designers. Where as more and more concerned customers are becoming interested in ecological-value of the products they buy, the consideration how designers manifest product life, aesthetically, is important to consider. Here Carissa Ten Tije is successful in creating a subtle story for this object, that in its material construction is defiant of the idea that any material is unusable or utterly spent. One that hopefully inspires other designers to question the materials they need and remind them that nothing comes from nothing.