andrew simpson reincarnates junk mail into pressed paper products
all images courtesy of andrew simpson




as part of the london design festival 2014, 19 greek street will be adding a selection of sustainable design pieces to the café’s existing display. among the collection is the ‘junk press’ series by andrew simpson of supercyclers, which challenges the perception of junk mail being merely something to discard, and instead reincarnates trash as a raw material for functional use. the origin of the idea is that, try as we might, it seems impossible junk mail, but the other way to think about the situation is that there is a constant flow of free cellulose coming to peoples homes.simpson describes to uswith this raw material on tap, I started to look for applications for it and settled on paper plates.’

andrew simpson presses junk mail bowls
three small bowls have been made from discarded mail




the design of the press is sand cast in aluminum and has interchangeable molds to make a range of items; the product — bowls, plates, cups and coasters — are the output. by making a pulp from the paper sheets and water, simpson was able to manipulate the composite material into a sort of paste, that could be compressed into a specific shape.


‘we worked on a lot of test rigs to work out the best way to form the paper and in the end we worked out that the fully pulped worked better then shredded and that the strongest forms were created by applying the most pressure.’ simpson continues ‘the pressure removes the water from the parts as well as bonding the cellulose. the bowls we ended up making make the best use of draft angles to apply even pressure to the part and the form is a play on paper folding with the sharp ‘fold’ lines covering the internal of the bowls.’

andrew simpson presses junk mail bowls
the finished piece remains in the press




the device, and its interchangeable parts, are the first step in reimagining the possibilities of what is typically understood as trash. ‘paper plates and bowls are great for use at large gatherings and often form a part of the australian BBQ or picnic, but their single-use nature always feels wasteful and they are often too flimsy to use.’ simpon tells us ‘by making paper plates out of the junk mail they can be made thicker and stronger as the material (and labor) are free, and there is no longer the worry about disposing of them post use’

andrew simpson presses junk mail bowls
mail that would otherwise be discarded is recycled into functional tableware

andrew simpson presses junk mail bowls
the press is sand cast in aluminum and has interchangeable molds to make a range of items

andrew simpson presses junk mail bowls
the ‘junk press’ device

andrew simpson presses junk mail into bowls
a step-by-step diagram indicates the process of turning the junk mail into a bowl



about 19 greek street:


in 2012, 19 greek street began as a place for experimentation and advancement in design. the space has become the home to an interior design studio, a showroom/cafe, a complete materials library, a workshop (which turns waste from the streets into surface materials for architecture) and a gallery space showcasing and future-focused design. the gallery has been responsible the first-ever 3D printed furniture collection to the UK, the ‘endless series’ by dirk van der kooij, as well as hosting many other visionary collections by designers mathias bengtsson, werner aisslinger and karen chekerdjian



about supercyclers:


supercyclers are an ever growing collective of designers focused on building a sustainable future, and transforming perceptions of waste materials through the design of products and furniture.