Think Outside the Cardboard Box
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
By Sarah Murray
Dumpster-diving and great design are two concepts that do not always go hand in hand. But the design team at graypants studio has managed to make it fashionable. Starting with discarded corrugated cardboard boxes, Johnathan Junker and Seth Grizzle make interesting, creative, and sustainable pendant lamps. The cardboard is laser cut and flame-proofed, then glued together and electrified.
Calling themselves a "conceptual design studio," the pair, whose background is in architecture, have designed everything from upcycled chairs to houses. The design duo have been challenging themselves to make eco-friendly and well-designed products since creating a chair out of a sheet of plywood for a design competition. By utilizing sawdust, they were actually able to turn a single sheet into three fine-looking chairs.
Their spectacular handmade "Scraplights" are unique works of art, due in part to their use of sustainable practices. Because they get their materials second-hand, each light fixture is guaranteed to be different from the next. Even the adhesive they use is non-toxic and safe for the environment. They also use a specially formulated flame-retardant spray on each light.
In addition to giving back to the earth, the team also gives back to their community. It works in conjunction with local students in Seattle and social works programs in Holland to employ both up and coming designers and workers. Individuals with disabilities are able to learn about recycling while developing a skill working with their hands.
Responsibility is not just an afterthought for graypants, it is the core of its projects from start to finish.