Collecting used plastic packages & exploring different techniques to recycle them combining with textiles.
Define Product & Project Goals
Choose what type of product to design based on the results, conclusions and opportunities of the materials explorations.
& Market Research
Study about the culture behind picnic, the history behind it, and search for inspirations.
Mockups & Final Product
Sketching, building mockups & usability testing until achieving end result for final product.
& Reduce plastic consumption
Despite the high demand in western countries for separating garbage and recycling, the consumption of plastic is still high, especially as people keep consuming, and companies keep manufacturing. At the beginning of 2018, China closed its doors to garbage that is intended for recycling. Now Europe and many other countries are holding uncountable amounts of recyclable waste, which severely impacted the market and created economic crises around raw materials suppliers.
Some may believe that when recycling plastic, the problem is solved and the world is saved. In fact, plastic is here to stay long after we are all gone.
It can takes
years for plastics to decompose
Material Research & Explorations
The project has sprouted from material research that explores the use of recycled plastic as a material. I started by collecting different types of used plastic packages and sorted them by plastic types and colors. I shredded the packages into chips to be used as raw material for this research.
I started to combine different colors together from the same plastic type under the hot-press machine for a different amount of time to discover how the material reacts to the hit and to explore color pallets as well.
From Fashion to Picnic
Techniques & Inspirations
The combination of textile and plastic is commonly used in the fashion & sportswear industry. Some sports brands started to take responsibility and understand the impact of manufacturing countless clothing items every year. An example can be seen in some of the Adidas & Nike shoes, which are mostly made of recycled plastic & textiles. In the sports industry, there are a lot of techniques to bond materials together to make them more durable and water resistant, starting from over-molding, strong glues, and even heat-sealing. The technique of heat-sealing is commonly used to avoid potential waste, create strong and resistible bonding and make products recyclable.
After I learned about recycled plastic's abilities as a raw material, I decided to take it a step further and combine it under the same process with synthetic textile, Inspired by the fashion industry techniques.
A central discovery of the research was that when recycled plastic is hot-pressed into a synthetic fabric, it becomes an integral part of the fabric, and together they become inseparable.
This combination of recycled plastic and textile demonstrates softness in some areas and stiffness in other areas. By controlling this combination process, the two materials and their properties, one can design dedicated areas that can act as a soft hinge, but still keep the overall solid structure.
In this part of the research, I've created over 100 mockups to test different techniques that test the characteristics of these 2 combined materials.
Israel is the second-biggest per capita consumer of waste-generating single-use plastic in the world.
The rate of increase in sales of disposable utensils on Independence Day eve compared to the annual average
Disposable utensils being recycled in Israel
Of the total plastic waste collected in beaches & seas in Israel is disposable utensils
of the waste collected in Israel is disposable utensils
Define & Conquer
In Israel, the first thing consumers can act to reduce plastic consumption is to stop consuming single-use plastic utensils. After the great discoveries I had in my material research, I had to narrow down and focus on one product. Based on the alarming information on disposable utensils consumption in Israel, I've decided that the best use-case scenario for this research would be to redesign the picnic experience. The goal was to design a hybrid picnic blanket that will combine as many picnic elements as possible into one product.
What is a hybrid?
A hybrid is a thing made by combining two different elements to create a mixture of the two. This includes objects, species of plants or animals, or even a mix of characters.
In order to learn what kind of hybrids are there in products & objects, I searched for inspiration in the field.
Picnic - Where it has all started?
History & culture in art
A picnic is a pre-made meal eaten outdoors, usually eaten sitting on the ground on a mat or blanket, with family members or friends. The pre-made meal is usually brought to the place of the picnic in a cooler or in a "picnic basket".
The origin of the word "picnic" is the French word Pique-Nique, which appeared in 1692 in the book Origines de la Langue Françoise by Gilles Menage. After the French Revolution, the royal parks were opened to the French public, but entry was forbidden to the low society people. The French's recreation in the parks included meals that evolved into the picnic event we know today.
The most famous picnic painting is the work of the French artist Edouard Manet from 1862 - Breakfast on the Grass.
Today, some of the main features of picnic have remained, and others were replaced with more current trends. There are 3 main types of people that are having picnics:
The Whole Package
Pack home utensils in a picnic basket & dine in nature over a blanket or a picnic table.
Mix & Match
Packing whatever they have handy: Some disposable utensils, some home utensils and every leftover they have in the fridge. Will dine over a blanket or picnic table.
Less is More
Want to carry as little as possible and return home empty handed. Often bring disposable utensils or takeout and dine over picnic table located at the park.
Picnic Today - Look & Feel
Between Modern & Traditional
Morphology & CMF Inspirations for Plates
Between Modern & Traditional
Textile Weave & CMF Inspirations for Picnic Blanket
About prints, grids & layouts
An important part of my process was to go out into the "field", take observations, experience it myself, and take some inspiration.
Connecting Between Now & Then
With the intention to reduce this consumption in Israel, this project proposes a new solution to replace the usage of single-use plastic tableware. Tuzig is a hybrid picnic experience, which uses a heat-sealing binding technique to combine a synthetic picnic blanket with recycled plastic plates to be combined into one single product.
With a timeless design, Tuzig is combining traditional and cultural acts with a mindful way to keep our environment free of plastic waste.
Sharing is Caring
Be Part of the Culture
As part of the Israeli culture, the eating experience is shared between people and doesn't require cutlery, thus encouraging interaction between the picnic participants.
Compact & foldable
Take it anywhere
The picnic blanket folds into a tote bag that can easily be carried into your picnic adventure. A guideline grid, which is designed on the textile, helps to align the blanket on a picnic table, or mark the area for sitting and eating when the blanket is placed on the ground.
Don't worry about the mess
As clothing items with similar features can be machine-washed, this one too! The strong heat-seal bonding will keep everything intact. All you need to do is wipe down the dishes from any major food scraps and put it in your washing machine to be nice and clean for your next picnic adventure!