Charlotte Kidger

Charlotte Kidger creates colourful sustainable furniture pieces and vessels by using plastic waste stream from CNC fabrication.

Anchored by: Manasi Tahalani
Photographs: Courtesy The Designer

London based designer, Charlotte Kidger’s Industrial Craft Collection is a material based project focused around utilizing plastic waste streams associated with CNC (Computer Numerical Control) fabrication. The collection gives new life to undervalued and problematic polyurethane foam dust by turning it into multi-coloured pieces of furniture including pots/vessels and two large sculptural tables. Polyurethane foam dust is a by-product of CNC fabrication, a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The process produces a large volume of excess lightweight dust, which can’t be recycled, so its only means of disposal is through incineration or landfill.

The result was a durable and versatile composite material made from 70 per cent waste polyurethane foam dust and 30 per cent resin, which acts as a binder.The material has the potential to be cast in a range of three-dimensional forms of various scales. Through an applied and pragmatic approach, Charlotte managed to push the boundaries of the material to create an outcome that could be cut, sanded, engraved, put back into CNC and casted, just like wood. This new composite base material provides exciting opportunity for further design applications as well as finding a more permanent solution to the original waste stream.