The other side of the Design Academy Street was designed by students from Thomas More.

The proposed projects could be summed up under the heading ‘No More’: No More waste, No More fast furniture! The students presented an inspiring portfolio on how to prevent and/or use residual waste, and how to extend the life of furniture.

Take the Ficci concept by Bent Fierens: one solid coupling piece, or building block, for the complete assembly of the furniture. With the cross-shaped element you pin the KD parts together, and you fix the construction with one bolt. You can use that one coupling piece for the legs and the backrest and the seat and so on. You can construct a bench, chair, or stool with it, and later convert these into other configurations. You can make a bench and stool from two chairs. It is easy to replace a broken part. That one building block lays the foundation for life-course-resistant furniture design. Throwing things away is not an option, but reconstructing and repairing them IS!

Nonah Wouters also offers a circular, long-term alternative with Parasit: a lounge chair, a desk, or a bookshelf. The textile is easy to roll up or out. You can put the KD concept anywhere, use it and then take it with you.

With Rover®, Tom de Koninck tackles the problem of the industrial waste mountain. Why residual waste? What can you do with that? With this in mind, he scoured the local production companies beside the river Dender. His motto: Surplus (is) Underestimated. This ‘raid’ on residual materials is the starting point for his design process. It’s an upside-down (design) world: first there’s the material, and on the basis of this a design idea follows. The chairs are made of lasered metal plates, the residual waste from the mechanical engineering company Gilbos (Aalst). Old slatted bases, the curled wire residues of metalworking, and trimming residues in the production of rubber closures for aerosols.… ‘Rover ® aims to take circular design beyond anecdotal one-offs.’

There was so much more to admire among the talented, up-and-coming designers. In short: a must-see for the furniture industry.

All photos were taken by Katoo Peters.