- story by MaterialDistrict
NewspaperWood is a new material invented by Mieke Meijer, developed together with and licensed to the Dutch design label Vij5.
The underlying idea is simple. Every day, piles of newspapers are discarded and recycled into new paper. Mieke Meijer devised a solution to use this surplus of paper into a renewed material: NewspaperWood.
NewspaperWood shows a reversing of a traditional production process; not from wood to paper, but the other way around. When a NewspaperWood log is cut, the layers of paper appear like lines of a wood grain or the rings of a tree and therefore resembles the aesthetic of real wood. The material can be cut, milled and sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood.
NewspaperWood does not aim to be a large scale alternative to wood, nor to use all paper waste into a new material. The main theme in the project is ‘upcycling’ with which the manufacturers show how a surplus of material can be changed into something more valuable, just by using it in another context.
As a basic material, a local source has been used intentionally to create a local binding of the end-material with it’s resources. It also limits the transport-cycle to a minimum. Misprints and a surplus of day-old printed newspaper that has not been distributed create enough material supply to create the new material.
To actually upcycle the newspapers into our new wood-like material, we (temporarily) take the newspapers out of the already existing and efficient cycle of paper-recycling. We think it would be ideal to be able to bring our own waste material back into the circle again. Therefore we use a glue to construct the material which is free of solvents and plasticizers which would make it more difficult to recycle. With this it is not only possible to put our own sawing and sandpapering waste back into the circle, but also to bring the NewspaperWood products to the scrap yard for recycling.
All NewspaperWood development, production and application will be done by Vij5. There is no availability to purchase the material for third parties to work with, only to construct a project in direct cooperation with Vij5 and Mieke Meijer.