Sustainability exhibition Circular Futures: Next Gen shows how waste can be upcycled into luxe design

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SINGAPORE – A new exhibition titled Circular Futures: Next Gen at the National Design Centre showcases a range of tech-driven designs that are reusable and eco-friendly from concept to finished product.

Taking pride of place at the exhibition – which is produced by digital art and technology start-up Artacia and ends on April 9 – is the Chandelion, a spherical chandelier inspired by the humble dandelion.

Approach it and you will see that the structure, which measures 1.5m in diameter, is made up of 153 empty perfume bottles placed at the ends of slim, tubular spokes made from recycled aluminium cans with tiny LED bulbs at the tip.

The chandelier project is just one of many designs being showcased by Architectural Intelligence Lab or AirLab, a multidisciplinary research laboratory established at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) in Somapah Road.

Led by Professor Carlos Banon, AirLab combines additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – with parametric design (algorithm-based design) to reduce wastage and create new aesthetics in architecture.

The stunning Chandelion embodies an important message that the organisers of Circular Futures: Next Gen want to get across: Circularity – making reusable products via a process which is environmentally friendly from start to finish – concerns everyone, not just businesses or governments.

Also called “circular systems” or the “circular economy”, the concept is also key in prolonging the lifespan in the coming years of Singapore’s only offshore landfill for the nation’s trash, the Semakau Landfill in Semakau Island.

The show’s organisers assert that it is now possible to push the boundaries of design and sustainability to go from zero waste to exploring circular systems, emerging technologies an...

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