Product designer Vicente Varella from the Netherlands formed and exchange team with Dessiré Velez Cadillo and the team from KOMMA – Jugend und Kultur, cultural youth center in Esslingen, Germany. Prior the exchange, KOMMA wanted to introduce recycled plastic sheets in their public installations and furniture pieces in order to raise environmental awareness within the city of Esslingen. As a product designer specialized in working with waste materials, Vicente would provide training workshops on how to successfully design a product using recycled plastic sheets.
The workshops were open to the general public and we received people from different backgrounds and ages ranging from 16 to 50+ years old. Since KOMMA is a cultural center for youth the majority of the participants were in their early 20s. Another objective of the exchange was to create a bench out of recycled plastic sheets, in order to be displayed as a physical representation of how recycled plastic can be a valuable material, triggering further conversations on the topic. It was already part of the exhibition at the cultural festival of the city of Esslingen and later on it will wander around for display in different public spaces. Finally, the documentation of creating the bench will be soon available to the open source community!