Waste in the City – Week 13

5 Nov


Week 13 is the last entry for our weekly bolgs. And for this week’s class each of the group is presenting the final ideas as well as revised visual maps, it was really interesting to know what’s other groups’ concept. Next week is the final week which is also the week we need to present our final template and the project model. I think my group is doing a really great job that we already done the most of the works in this week, since we were working quite hard in the last couple of weeks, therefore, I think we have sufficient time to prepare our final presentation.


Next week is also the National Recycling Week (founded by Planet Ark in 1996), So in Sydney it will have a series of activities from 8~14 November, which the aim is to bring out the national focus to recycling subjects and further push the idea into the local areas. One of the biggest events in the next week is the “Big Aussie Swap”, this event will be spreads out to different local areas in different dates. So I already feel really excited to join this event. I think the swap party will be really fun whist people get “new” things but they are also saving the environment, which help those resources out of the landfill and have a second life.

Aussie Swap Party 2010 advertising on youtube: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x48hdBAkspM&feature=share&gt;.



Planet Ark 2010, National Recycling Week, Viewed on 5 November 2010, <http://recyclingweek.planetark.org/about/>.


the revised visual map +template for week 13’s presentaiton

1 Nov


Waste in the City – week 12

29 Oct

In week 12, finally my group finished all the painting work for the polystyrene boxes and now we need to come up with different arrangements for the bookshelf which provide as some options for other groups in class to decide which display style is more suitable as the final display bookshelf model. And we did several different arrangements with photograph each of the styles, which will be a record document and might be easier to show to the class with photos.


And in the afternoon lab we discussed about what should we do for the improvement proposal, and in the end we come up with the some ideas; the first one is to have a “Bio Cup Marketing Campaign” to reduce the coffee cup problems in the Union Street area. And the second major problem according to our research is lack of composting bins in the apartments property, therefore, we decided to solve this problem by build a company called “Com-partment’ which provides composting service allow the recycling of food waste for the residents in pyrmont area. And another waste problem we found in the pyrmont area is those polystyrene boxes in the fish market, however, as we already decided in the very beginning part that we will reuse those polystyrene boxes into a bookshelf, hence, our idea is to create a furniture design business and placed big recycle bins in few spots in the fish market (probably two spots) which allows fish shops or processors to put their waste polystyrene boxes in the bins and those polystyrene boxes will eventually be reused as bookshelves.


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Waste in the City – Week 11

23 Oct

In week 11’s lab, a lot of discussion happened between my group as well as with the other groups’ member. Our final idea is to use polystyrene boxes upcycling into a bookshelf. It is quite different to decide the colour scheme for those boxes, as it is required to match the colour with others’ project since our shelf is the display model for our lab. Eventually, we came out the idea to use those main solid Lego colours which included the colour of Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, Orange, Grey, Green and white. (Reference image is shows the research I did before I brought up the Lego colour scheme idea)


Our Polystyrene Boxes Colour Scheme

And after Vanessa consulted with Marie and bring up about our idea for the colour scheme, Marie suggested that it is better not use too many colours which might disturb others’ work, which this point I am also feel agree with. Therefore, in the end we decided use “Red, Blue and yellow” as our final colours and leave the insides of the boxes white which is more flexible for others to match their final models to the white colour without any interruption. Also, darlinghurst group also asked us to add up one more colour, since they mentioned that their final model might be disturb if the boxes are not in white colour (on the outside of boxes’ surface). We accepted their suggestion as well, hence, now there are gonna to be four main colours in the boxes for the shelf (Red. Blue. Yellow& White).

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Within two weeks time and we need to submit our final model also with our improvement proposal, which is pretty intensive for us. For our group, I think we are very clear about what we gonna do for our final model, but we still struggling for make an improvement idea, which I think we should concentrate on this part in the following week. Which the idea might be comes up from the major three problems within our area: 1) Lack of compost bins in residential area (apartment). 2) Waste of polystyrene boxes in fish market area. 3) A lot of disposable paper coffee cups been generated daily in the Union street area.

As our final model will be use polystyrene boxes as our main material, therefore, Marie suggested that it is good to research more information about recycle or reuse of polystyrene and a good example she shows us that there is a polystyrene model that has been reduce down to 2 % (see photo below) which is very good reference for us. That is a project that UTS is currently doing and the end items are selling to China, and it’s become the main materials for producing disposable camera’s equipments.

Polystyrene boxes reduced down into 2%






Lego colour scheme:

Brickset LEGO set guide 2010, viewed 12th October 2010, <http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=532>.

Waste in the City – week 10 (TED)

12 Oct


Today’s Lecturer Clara Vuletich, she is a Research Assistant from Textiles

Environment Design (TED) Project at the Chelsea School of Art, London. TED

research group is consisted with designers. Teachers. and researchers,

connecting curriculum developments, live project and research opportunities.

(Since 1994)

In the beginning of lecture Clara says she has never actually works in textile

industry and the most of her knowledge is comes from conceptual research. It’s

makes me even more interested about what she going to give us in her following

lecture. Her presentation is divided into four parts

v    The introduction of TED and their design strategy

v    The rise of craft

v    New technology

v    Movements

Clara mentioned about the TED’s strategies “the Lifecycle thinking”; the idea is

that every stages of lifecycle are involved with environmental impacts, and the

different options at the point of disposal have very different benefits. Which is

what TED doing which not only help themselves but also help designer to clarify

the environmental issues, and educates them aware about sustainable impact

when they designing things. TED’s mission is also helps designer to know where

to begin with, which designers might feel great complexity when they think of

the words “sustainable environment”.

These days, “design” is not just means designing something, but might involved

with many other important elements, which “the slow movement” will be a good

example, this movement was occurred around 1980s, and now the idea is using

everywhere, even in our life style- the way we live and eat. And in my opinion,

What’d TED doing is kind of using slow movement’s idea, but applied the spirit

into the design industry. Which I think is very important for all the designers

from different disciplines to know about the idea. After all, designer is design

thing for people to enjoy the better lives; therefore, the design process and

outcome should be not destructive to either people or nature environment.


Clara says she (TED) is having a workshop in Transition Towns, which is

famous since it is a zero waste town in Brixton, London. In there, they

encouraged people “reuse” stuffs, the workshop they created is teaching kids

how to reuse things such as quilting. Back to our city life, huge amount of waste

people generated daily is because we never think of our behavior could create

great impact to the environment. therefore, when thing broken we throw away,

in that way, gradually we lose our hand skills!………..

How to prove “we lose our hand skills” ??????????

the evidence can be found in our quilting workshop after Clara’s presentation,

which I found is really interested, I think apart from fashion student, the rest of

us do not have much experience to sew things. But, Sewing time is always fun,

it takes time but also is good chance to sit down and chat with people while you

also doing your “work”. After 1 and half hours, we all finished our quilting pieces,

mine is terrible which reminds me of those primary school kid’s works@..@

Waste in the city – Week 9

5 Oct

Week 9 is the first week back from the break and also we are in the half way of

this semester. This afternoon lab, we started to gathering together and

brainstorming what should we do for our group design project. I think today’s

class is quite important since we need to make a final decision for our design

project. But unfortunately our group missing two important members today, it

caused some difficulties for further developing the ideas in the beginning of our

discussion period. However, the good thing is our group identified the three

main waste problems within the Pyrmont area two weeks ago when the visual

map has been designed. Those three main waste problems are now can help us

to decide which direction should we go with.

These is the 3 main waste issues in the Pyrmont:

  1. Take away coffee cups (café; restaurant)
  2. Polystyrene boxes (in the fish market area)
  3. Lack of compost bin at the residential property

And after we discussed with tutor, we decided to choose polystyrene boxes as the

re-design item for our group project. But the problem is, we unsure where is

those boxes come from; is from fish supplier or from the fish shop?

The characteristic of polystyrene box are light and can keep the temperature,

but also it is easy to break and difficult to wash. Hence, if we can create a new

box which reinforce the hardness of the surface but still keep its merits that

might be good as a new environmental friendly product. But, the problem is how

can we find the materials; also, the cost might end up become too expensive.

During the brainstorming, three of us are toward the direction of re-design box.

Although, in the end we choose to go some alternative ways since the most of the

polystyrene boxes they (The fish market shop’s staffs) discard in the bins might

come from fish supplier not those fish shops themselves (Through some pictures

I took when I did the waste research in the fish market, the surface of

polystyrene boxes shows the name of the company which some of them are fish

supplier firm and the firm might be not from Sydney; one of the box I found in

my picture shows the company is from Tasmania which is accord with the

reason they need to use the polystyrene boxes to keep the temperature down in

order to keep the sea food fresh in the deliver process) Therefore, we assume

that the supplier would not willing to buy boxes which cost a lot more than the

normal polystyrene box which they using at the moment, moreover, that is why

those shops in the fish market they don’t care about reuse those polystyrene

boxes since they will receive more boxes every time when they purchase

something from fish suppliers. (According to my interview survey toward 3 fish

shops’ manager or owner, the result indicates that the most of shops do not

recycle or reuse polystyrene boxes)

For the alternative ways- we thinks it will be good that if we can “reuse” those

polystyrene boxes which been discarded in the fish market area. Vanessa, she

raised a really good thought, which is re-using those boxes and makes them

become bookshelf. As the polystyrene (in the fish market) is very light plus in

rectangle shapes with similar size, hence, it can be moved and rearranged into

different shape shelf to fit into the space.  Cheerful : ) ….Seems this idea is

workable, also, the bookshelf model might be stand out for our lab in the final

exhibition. However, back to reality: ( . Now, we need to start to collect the

polystyrene boxes from the fish market; problems might occur since it might be

need some permission for collecting those “waste”. Hence, we might need to

contact with the fish market committee or shop owner to see how many box they

able donate to us for our project. Additionally, as Lizzie suggested our

polystyrene boxes could also be use as a concept, not necessary to build up a

certain model (bookshelf). Thus, from now I think we need to works on what is

the most proper way to “re-use” our polystyrene boxes. Besides, Vanessa will go

to check the exhibition room this Friday with Lizzie, and after that we might

more clearly about the space of exhibition room, which will be easier for

planning the structure of our design.

HUON company website-Huon Aqua 2008, Huon premium Tasmanian salmon, viewed 5th October 2010, <http://www.huonaqua.com.au/huon.php&gt;.

Waste in the city – week 7 (The Smith Family- Site visit)

14 Sep

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Our week 7’s schedule is visiting the Smith Family Site where is located on

Villawood; takes around 50 minutes train from city to Leightonfield station. We

were visiting the site and viewing their textile recycles process.  The date 14th of

September, the weather was terrible. Windy plus heavy raining, however, the

most of us still made it, traveled a long way to the Smith Family Site.

The staff there is very kind and they were all keen to answer all the questions we

asked. In the beginning section, we all sitting in a room for a small welcome +

introduction lecture which help us to understand what is Smith Family about

and the idea and purpose of their motivation to doing the textile recycling for

such a long period.

The most exciting part for me will be the tour section, we allocated into 6 small

groups and there is a guide for each group, the guide brought us look around

different sections in the firm, our guide his name is Paul, maybe because we are

the last group so he spent longer time (compared with other groups) to explain

in details on each departments. He talks about what each department for, the

staffs’ duty and also talks through some functions of the machines…etc.

The first stop of our tour was the “Textile distribution section”. I found that the

most of the staffs are female (Asian Ladies) who are doing clothes distribution

into different categories. Paul says the most of them works for this firm around

10~15 years. (After train them, they want to keep them) And since this job not

require communication skill (English), therefore, even they cannot speak fluent

English, however, they can still doing well for their duty. Paul also mentioned

about the reason they only use female in this section is because male is not

careful enough when they doing the distribution. When we passed through the

storage area we saw hundred sacks of clothes already been truss up and ready

to be transit into other countries. In this firm all of the cardboard boxes are

reusable; they use the box over and over again until it cannot be loaded

anymore. Paul also took us to the heavy work department, with a lot of big and

heavy running machines which produce thick textiles such as carpets, textile


I will never forget this experience it is worthwhile for us to travel such long way

to there. I still remember few weeks ago when Kerryn (the morning lecturer in

week 5) gave us the lecture which made me feel really interested about textile

waste, also after viewing the short documentary film “T-shirt travel”, makes me

feel like to know more about the textile waste problems and also the

recycling industry. So that I think this site visit trip was fascinating which is

related with what we are learning in this lab, which provides some useful

information for our next group design project as well. In addition, it is good to

know about the textile recycle process even just for broaden and enrich our