As Canadians, we are one of the largest coffee drinking nations in the world, which contributes to the estimated 500,000 tons of waste coffee grounds created globally each year. Working with my partner Nicole Charles, we wanted to create a material that could use that coffee waste and formed in our created molds. We wanted a material that would have a solid concrete like feel, but did not involve high end forming machines.
A series of tests were done to try and find the right ratio between the coffee, the other waste materials and gypsum cement to get the highest percentage of coffee possible while still holding the integrity of the material. With the high amount of natural oils still in the grounds, the curing of the material seemed to be effected, prompting multi stage brewing to try and extract some of the oils.
As the material dries and water evaporates, natural staining occurs on the unfinished surface. When sanded down, a terrazzo like finish appears showing the coffee and whatever other waste materials have been added. If left raw, it has a soft stone like feel, but is not waterproof. This finish can be coated with different methods depending on the desired look, allowing it to be water resistant and easily cleaned.
Nike AirMax 2090
Material Innovation ⋅ Installation ⋅ Design
Can we learn from our past to build a better future?
This Air Max 2090 display is built on the foundation of our past, through materials exploration of repurposed and found material. It was designed and created with Nicole Charles.
The main structure is an ‘integrated marble’ — a mixture of Hydro-Stone gypsum cement with materials that were headed to landfill: sawdust, wood chips, acrylic offcuts and fibres, construction debris, and a pair of old Nike shoes. Inspired by the Reuse-A-Shoe program, an old Air Max shoe was ground down and used as a filler for this newer material. With the addition of these reused materials, we were able to offset the amount newer material that was used and turn waste into art without it being visually apparent.
The Acrylic LED lit fins mimic the ridges and lines on the heel of the Air Max 2090 and Air Max 90. Cut through the centre of the fins is an air gap in the shape of the iconic Air Max bubble.
The round shapes are an homage to the many ball sports Nike is essential to, and humanity's search for a future life on another planet.
The stand is a hexagon, one of nature’s strongest and most efficient shapes. It’s made from reclaimed hardwood flooring similar to that found in most gyms; a nod to the history of sport.
During the exploration of seeing how far I could push waste mixtures, I revisited an old life of mine where I was collectable toy maker. Dweller was a small sculpture is made from mixture of 75% waste construction debris from Toronto’s addiction to destroying and rebuilding. As the city is loosing its beautiful brick buildings filled with character to tall glass, concrete and metal monotonous condos, I wanted to make something that was always looking back at those structures that have been lost.
Each Dweller was hand cast with the bricks of the past causing no two to be the exact same.