The Belgium-born, Florence based Praet has shredded and recycled copies of Art in America, Capitol File, Details, Fast Company and Robb Report mixed with clear resin to create 5 different designs – console, bench, side table, large table and large shelf – each in an edition of 12 with each design made from a specific title. Corresponding works for all the designs, except the large table, were also executed using shredded documents mixed with semi-transparent white resin to create the balance of the exhibition’s 9 works. Fossilized is part of the designer’s Shredded Collection, which originated out of his concern about sustainability and the amount of waste paper being generated globally.
Jens Praet is among the new generation of designers creatively addressing sustainability. His design vocabulary is streamlined, though rooted in classicism, and his work in Fossilized and the Shredded Collection toys with the availability and accessibility of information. For example, a table made of Shredded magazines – a form of communication – renders the magazines unusable as a source of information, but otherwise utile, perhaps as a magazine table. Similarly, a console made from classified documents – information not meant for general consumption – can be safely used in public because the data on the documents has been shredded and rendered unreadable. Praet also plays with the notion of boutique versus industrial design by re-purposing materials created for mass consumption into limited edition works.