The beauty of electronic waste : EDELPLAST

If the last generations were the consume-more generations than the next ones should be the consume-less generations.  Every human has the intuitive desire to create: we are all creators of some sort: some people write, others paint, others play a musical instrument and others take photos or just make cool things with their hands. But it seems that over the past decades, clever marketing boys in fancy suits numbed our creative minds by creating voids which we will try to fill or easily said, they want to convince us all the time to buy more stuff.   


A very recent example is the life spans of electronic product that are getting and shorter. Not only do the products have built-in obsolescence but consumers’ desire to replace products such as flat-screen TVs with newer model is also a major factor in the increasingly wasteful consumption of electronic goods. 

This phenomenon inspired Billie Van Nieuwenhuyzen, recently graduated as object & jewelry designer. Her interests lay in rethinking and reinventing waste material and so she created EDELPLAST, an initiative where she seeks the value of cable waste through concept, process and form. EDELPLAST is a research project that explores the possibilities of reinventing cable waste into a new, precious material. Graduated as a jewelry designer and silversmith, the first objects made out of EDELPLAST material are jewelry pieces. With high-tech waste being a product of our fast paced throwaway lifestyle, she chose to hand weave cables and wires from old electronics, a very slow and traditional technique. Through this contrast Billie expresses her criticism to our consumer society.

The flat woven surfaces are pressed and melted, followed by cutting techniques to create intricate patterns. The patterns can range from very graphic images to almost marble like patterns, researching when something might be seen as precious. Besides a jewelry designer Billie considers herself a maker and a material developer so her jewelry is only the beginning. And if we all started to think a little bit more like her, we could be starting a revolution.

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