Many of AV Design Studio’s customers and followers have been exposed to, and are acquainted with, the brand’s design language, and the style, quality, and functionality of AV products. Many of them, however, are unaware of what stands behind our products, their added value, and the important “green thinking” ideology and story that AV has emblazoned on its banner, engages with, and promotes.
So, the penny dropped (although somewhat belatedly), and I realized that I really should be telling the story behind the studio, behind AV products.
AV Design Studio engages in upcycling.
What’s the difference between recycling and upcycling?
In recycling, a product or product waste undergo a complicated treatment process, which ultimately produces a whole new raw material. The new material’s quality is inferior to that of the original product, and it is used to manufacture products of a completely different nature.
For example, plastic bottles. After the recycling process they’re transformed into new materials, like fleece, which is used in the textile industry.
In upcycling, the product or material is reused, or repurposed, without undergoing a treatment process. For example, when an old car tire is transformed into a coffee table, or when old Louis Vuitton merchandise is repurposed and becomes a distinct new leather goods brand. By upcycling, we leave out the polluting treatment process, and benefit from new products, which in turn prevent us from purchasing new materials that will ultimately be turned into waste in the future. Upcycling is unquestionably a more environmentally friendly approach.
How does it happen in practice?
We work in collaboration with various Corian factories, mainly the one at Regba Kitchens – which is where it all began, with a little girl who grew up around the factory.
The factories manufacture Corian for the heavy industries, for kitchen countertops, wall panels, sanitary surfaces for hospitals, and more… At the end of the manufacturing process, there are small pieces of Corian left – waste – and tons of these pieces pile up. This so-called waste is disposed of by being buried, which causes soil pollution.
This is where AV comes into the picture with a vision of bringing about change: instead of sending the waste for underground disposal, we collect the small pieces of Corian, and breathe new life into them. We cut them to size, we heat, glue, saw, engrave, polish, and create luxury design products for the home and the office; at times combined with other materials, always striving to preserve the connection between the values of the world of design and the values of environmental protection. This way we “rescue” the Corian from underground disposal, save the soil from pollution, and our customers can enjoy elegant design products. Thus, waste from a hotel reception counter is transformed into unique Shabbat candle holders.
We have no control over the quantity of Corian we get, or the colors and sizes of the pieces. So, to create certainty within the uncertainty, our products are made in the same forms, but they come in many and varied colors.
White Corian is the most commonly used in industry, so we regularly collect white Corian waste. Consequently, our products are initially available in white. In addition to the classic white series, we’ve created various collections based on different colors and textures, as well as limited editions.
You can image what it’s like in the studio when we get a delivery of a rare and unique color – our excitement
knows no bounds!
Our most high-end series is the ART candle holders, which are made from Corian of unusual colors in mosaic form, in a long and complicated design process, and the sequence created in it is virtually impossible to replicate.
Throughout the entire design and manufacturing process, we meticulously maintain the quality and finish of the products, strive for intelligent use of Corian, constant exploration of the material, highlighting its hidden beauty, for less conventional, innovative design thinking, and just as important – for green thinking.
I believe that as an industrial designer, I have a responsibility to work respectfully and more economically with raw materials, taking the environment and the future of the planet into consideration. Many designers before me, both in Israel and around the world, adopted this line of thinking, which is establishing itself as a design approach, and is gaining increasing momentum.
2020 has proved to us, and has highlighted and intensified for us, more than ever before, the importance of looking to the future and taking nature into consideration.
Photographs: Or Kaplan, Aviv Kurt