AFH Booth at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC, March 17 - 20, 2011
"The possibilities are endless!" says Jamison Sellers, AFH's 3-D Studio Project Coordinator, "We're just beginning to explore what we can do with this material." Jamison is animated when talking about AFH's new ReVision bar stool tops made entirely from recycled plastic bags. Only recently designed and developed at AFH, the new "earth friendly" product, along with the new and improved ReVision furniture and wall tiles made from recycled magazine strips, debuted at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC.
The AFH booth was a show stopper. According to Jamison, "The AFH booth was so crowded, we never had a break." To add to the excitement of the busy weekend, AFH received the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Social Responsibility Award in a show with over 300 brands of furnishings, fixtures, fabrics, and appliances that drew thousands of visitors including design professionals and consumers.
"We showed visitors the three stages involved in turning plastic bags into a stool top. We had an acrylic box filled with 200 colorful plastic bags. Sitting on top of that was the oven ready plastic bag press we developed. Above the press, mounted on the wall, was a sample bar stool top with a bulls eye pattern. The display was a hit. People were drawn in and they'd ask "What IS this? What is AFH?" "We had lots of opportunities to tell visitors about AFH, our mission and our products", says Jamison, who helped staff the booth along with Marketing Director Rich Frank, Mentors Nick Farnham and Mary Nguyen and youth artists, Nhi Nguyen and Cameron Akeredolu. "We made sales, took orders and learned that there is great interest in our ability to customize our designs."
Cameron and Jamison show pride in the innovative process for the all -plastic stool top
Nick and Cameron answering questions
The story behind the plastic bag stool tops: The creation of the new all plastic stool tops grew out of Jamison's college thesis project. He explored the process of melting plastic bags into "plastic lumber" when he was a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design two years ago. At AFH, he and the youth artists in the AFH 3D studio designed a 13" round hand- cranked round plastic bag press that is used in AFH's oven. They found that filling the press with about 200 plastic shopping bags or an equivalent volume of dry-cleaning and newspaper bags, along with the right combination of heat and pressure yields a 1 and 3/8" thick stool top. Experimenting in the past few months, AFH youth artists discovered that high density polyethylene bags (#2) didn't perform as well as low density polyethylene #4 bags, and that sequentially placing flat bags into the mold achieved the best consistency. "The first layer of stool top is created by arranging and fusing colored bags in a pattern with an iron and placing it in the bottom of the press " says Jamison. This technique makes it easy to create branding and/or patterns on the surface.
The next step will be to make a mold for plastic top side tables, and then larger tables, then benches and then....well, as Jamison said, the possibilities are endless. First, AFH will need to figure out how and where to get an oven large enough to accommodate these plans. Jamison is already looking into this, "And, also, we want to design, build and distribute collection bins for plastic bags to get the local community involved."
Why is the stool top named the "Gyre"? The Pacific Trash Gyre is the name given to the floating vortex of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean said to be the size of Texas. Plastic trash never biodegrades; instead it breaks down into ever smaller particles which collect and eventually work their way into the food chain. Reusing plastic bags to create furniture is one way to keep plastic out of the ocean and to reduce waste -- and as Jamison points out, the bar stools with plastic tops an steel legs are fully recyclable. "You can melt down the steel base and the plastic top and reuse the materials again."
ReVision 2.0 tables, stools and tiles were also in demand at the Architectural Digest Home Show. Each piece is designed and built by youth at the AFH 3-D studio. Recycled magazines become colorful table tops, stool tops, and wall tiles, when sealed in durable and VOC-free resin. Table and stool legs are made of steel. AFH youth designers turn paper into geometric strips and place them strategically into molds. Each piece is distinctive in color, pattern and look.
ReVision 2.0 table top, pixel pattern, made from folded magazine
strips set in VOC-free resin, 16" x 16"
strips set in VOC-free resin, 16" x 16"
ReVision 2.0 Origami pattern Side Table 16" w and 24" h $550
Jamison in the AFH 3-D studio
To see the whole ReVision line and place your order,