Sustainable Systems class visit to Maximum Paris

Students from Kathryn Frost’s Sustainable Systems class went to Ivry, just outside of Paris, to visit the Maximum Paris workshop. In an industrial site adjacent to the city’s incinerator, the designers at Maximum create furniture and functional objects entirely from waste materials. Their model is to partner directly with manufacturers and industries who have a steady stream of byproducts, including plastic powder, wood from wine barrels, scaffolding and street barriers.

Students got to see behind the scenes of every furniture article. They explored Maximum’s unusual collection of pieces currently being explored for future collections. Everything — from ultra-light plane parts, to expired fireman’s jackets — meticulously catalogued on organized shelves. The resulting chairs, tables, benches and shelves are elegant, unique pieces that change the way we think about “waste.”

Students made the connection between waste and clever design, and how this collaboration can create an evolution of make and reuse.

How can our design change the future? How can we remake what has already been made?