Design James Shaw, the designer who transforms plastic
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James Shaw, the designer who transforms plastic

Giorgia Massari

Today we’re talking about James Shaw, a British designer who has developed a very unique technique. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Shaw is deeply committed to the theme of recycling. Upon leaving the academy, he constructed a device that transforms recycled plastic, a kind of extruder that gives plastic a second life. With this “gun” in hand, James Shaw creates fun and colorful works, maintaining the original color of the plastic and in some cases adding natural pigments. The creative process is more akin to that of a sculptor. At high temperatures, plastic is malleable, but it solidifies quickly. Therefore, the process must be fast and improvisational. The end result is astonishing. From pastel-colored seats that hark back to a childlike sphere to vibrant candelabras, James Shaw’s pieces have a contemporary aesthetic, which pays close attention to waste and resource reuse.

James Shaw’s work aims to interrogate material, systemic, and formal approaches to object creation. Frequently, his work considers the resources that surround us, challenging the notion of “waste” to create new materials of extraordinary beauty. His production, active since 2013, has captured the attention of the general public, earning him a series of significant accolades. He has been nominated for the Design Museum Designs of the Year Award and won the Arc Chair Design Award, reaffirming his prominent role in the field of design. Not only have his creations impressed the audience, but they have also found their place in the permanent collections of some of the world’s most renowned art and design museums. These include the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, and the Montreal Museum of Art. His work continues to inspire and challenge conventions, furthering his mission to redefine perceptions of materials and the intrinsic value of the art of creation.

Courtesy James Shaw

Designproduct designrecycle
Written by Giorgia Massari
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