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Ignorance is Bliss is a continuous design project founded by Agne Kucerenkaite. The research-based project utilises industrial waste and secondary materials and converts them into interior and exterior products of higher value. Ignorance is Bliss is giving a new identity to waste and to the built environment, with empathy for planetary health.

The foundations of Ignorance is Bliss date back to 2016. Agne Kucerenkaite began by analysing industrial metal waste from diverse sources and reclaiming it as a pigment for ceramics, glass and textiles, with a limited-edition homeware collection as an outcome. Over time, the project’s complexity grew into in-depth theoretical and material research of diverse waste, leading to small and large-scale design applications. Ignorance is Bliss is an umbrella term for ongoing experimentation and disruptive cross-disciplinary thinking, which gradually develops into techniques and products that can be applied as architectural building materials and interior surfaces.

Since the Industrial Revolution, ignorance and negligence have generated environmental pollution on a mass scale. Production facilities worldwide are calculating residues by tonnes and are facing difficulties with their disposal. The conducted research with various waste streams shows that most can be repurposed in creative ways and become a part of circular models. Ignorance is Bliss solutions substitute factory-produced substances with waste or create completely new formulations and materials. Surprisingly, the irregularities present in residue lead to more vibrant design objects. Ignorance is Bliss projects primarily focus on industrial waste and by-products as these are usually consistent, ensuring a reliable qualitative supply. Typically, secondary raw materials don’t meet the ‘industry standard’ or are contaminated and are therefore dumped or downcycled. Reusing waste decreases the need of natural resources, reduces environmental pollution and allows materials to be used to their fullest extent.

We spend around 90% of our time indoors, thus we need to consider the health and environmental impacts that products and materials have upon us through their life cycle. Ignorance is Bliss adopts a holistic framework by a comprehensive study of materials and their footprint. The complexity can only be understood through collaborative working, transparency and ongoing dialogue throughout the disciplines. Upscaling is pivotal to the project, while still keeping a balance with crafts. Products are functional, aesthetically pleasing and designed for greater longevity. Waste still has a negative connotation in our society, but Ignorance is Bliss visualises and utilises it as a raw material for opportunities, rather than limitations. The resulting products will hopefully become a thread connecting past abuse with current reuse and future (blissful) awareness.