Vij5, a Dutch furniture and home interior design label founded by young entrepreneurs Arjan van Raadshooven and Anieke Branderhorst, just launched a unique line of furniture and home décor items made from recycled newspaper.
The material – appropriately dubbed NewspaperWood by designer Mieke Meijer – is made up of stacks of compressed newspaper that are formed into logs, which can be cut, milled, sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood.
The innovative material was unveiled at an exhibition in Milan earlier this year. To prepare for the event, the company handed the material over to a group of talented young designers. Here’s what they came up with.
Designer Breg Hanssen was fascinated by the indeterminable but distinct color of the NewspaperWood material. To emphasize the vibrant hue, Hanssen combined the material with contrasting colors and incorporated it into a cabinet design. Within the rigid frame, newspaper planks act like real wood.
When designers Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders, who collaborate on the Ontwerpduo label, saw the wood-like appearance of the material, they knew they wanted to symbolize tree bark in their design. The end result is a series of hanging frames made from NewspaperWood that has been covered in colored paper.
To bring the material back to its roots, designer Christian Kocx created a funky and functional reading light that doubles as a newspaper holder. The light switches on as soon as the rolled-up newspaper is removed for convenient reading. When the newspaper is put back into place, the light will switch off.
Fascinated by the collection of letters and words that make up the NewspaperWood material, Greetje van Tiem decided to analyze the alphabet for her creation. Fragmented and simplified in to abstract forms, letters serve as drawer handles on this innovative desk design.
rENs, a label founded by design duo Renee Mennen and Stefanie van Keijsteren, took NewspaperWood beyond furniture and home décor. The team regards the material as an archive of words, sentences and stories and decided to bring those stories home through an innovative jewelry design. If you look close enough, you can sometimes see characters and even words in the brass-framed pendants.