German designer Cordula Kehrer has been working with traditional craftspeople in the Philippines for several years to produce Bow Bins, upcycling broken plastic rubbish bins using sustainably harvested rattan.
“The production of the Bow Bins enables the Aeta people, which are the original tribal inhabitants of the Philippines, to make a living and send their children to school. The Aeta have suffered racial discrimination and retreated to the mountain area where they also do – amongst some farming and hunting – traditional basketweaving. All material used comes from local and sustainable resources in the Philippines.”
“I am desillusioned because I feel design could be so much more, so much better than what is currently being celebrated and therefore aspired to…I think designers are missing the whole point of design, actually, as a problem-solving activity, rather than engaging in just producing more stuff. I am worried about the obsession with newness which takes resources and time away from dealing with all the critical issues of our time – if designers could be freed up from trying to produce more glitzy bullshit in order to be seen and be the next darling in the design-world, and instead focus on, say, homelessness, obesity, social isolation…imagine what a better world we could make.”
Cordula Kehrer interview with Pencil and Pipette