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Reused Plastic Waste Pavilion - Pop Up / Drop Off

2d / 3d Transformation - Inflatable Hypar Structure from Concentric Welding of Waste Plastic

The Pop Up Drop Off advocates for design activism that raises awareness about film plastic waste in New York by using repurposed materials to design and make a lightwei ght self-forming inflatable structure.

The purpose of this installation is to engage a general audience about film plastic recycling and its problems in NY State by making waste into a 3d spectacle. The structure operates as a temporary drop-off location for plastic bags and other film plastic waste that not only collects plastic to be recycled but also encourages community members to participate in film plastic recycling and seek out permanent public drop-offs for future recycling. Currently, in-store drop-offs are the only way film plastic can be recycled in New York State! Pop Up/Drop Off can be re-used and installed within any neighborhood to promote better consumer recycling habits for film plastic. The project presents a form of design activism that incorporates geometry, material consciousness, and public exhibition and stands as a physical visualization of film plastic waste and its environmental issues, such as plastic bag recycling.

The Pop-Up’s double saddle shape - created by a pattern consisting of concentric square tubes - serves a dual function: the concave spaces act as collection areas, while the convex spaces form the roof of the structure. The upper quilt is colorful and the lower quilt is made of various white leftover pieces to let the colors of the upper sheet register on the lower sheet. The design also addresses an optimized use of fabric as high-stress areas are made with heavier sheets to reduce material use. This kind of material optimization is often disregarded as the manufacturing time increases and projects become economically unfeasible.

The students project was picked up by Pratt's marketing office and caught the attention of Design Pavilion. We were invited to continue the research into inflatable hypar structures and reusing waste membrane material for the 2022 NYCxDesign exhibition. The structure was produced for Design Pavilion in collaboration with Pneuhaus in 2022 and was exhibited in Times Square at NYCxDESIGN in May 2022 and as part of Upstate Art Weekend at LexArtSci in Lexington, NY. The Pop Up Drop Off serves as an easily deployable drop-off location for film plastic recycling. The expressive double saddle form and colorful patchwork of recycled material draw attention to how waste material can be used to design architecture for public exhibition and community engagement.

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