The development of NewspaperWood (then called NewspaperWood) began in 2003 as the result of a research project by Design Academy Eindhoven alumnus Mieke Meijer. After a collaboration with Vij5 in 2007 and a joint presentation of the material in 2011, the material underwent a long development process. We are proud to be one of the founders of NewspaperWood bv and still use the material for several products in the Vij5 collection.
How it all started
Every day, piles of newspapers are thrown away and recycled into new paper. During her studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Mieke Meijer thought of a way to use this surplus of paper in a different way and to turn it into an innovative material: NewspaperWood.
NewspaperWood allows newsprint, which is made from wood, to become wood again. The NewspaperWood has surprisingly many similarities with the properties of (solid) wood. When the NewspaperWood is sawn, the different layers of the paper come to the surface. From a distance, this looks strikingly like the grain of wood or the annual rings of a tree, but if you look more closely, you can even discover a letter here and there.
The paths of Mieke and Vij5 (Arjan van Raadshooven & Anieke Branderhorst) crossed for the first time in 2007. On seeing the NewspaperWood in Mieke's portfolio, a collaboration was quickly born. Mieke and Vij5 pre-
sent the product for the first time together during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in 2008. After that Mieke and Vij5 continued the development of the material and the production process.
First NewspaperWood collection
For the launch of the first product collection and the international presentation of the material, Mieke and Vij5 asked a group of talented Dutch designers to experiment with NewspaperWood within the collection of Vij5 .
The main goal was to create an open attitude and to explore the possibilities this new material had to offer. We wanted to embrace the experiment and create an open character for the project as a whole in order to keep future possibilities open and within reach.
This diverse collection was successfully presented in Milan in April 2011. Since then the material NewspaperWood has been presented at various exhibitions and fairs at home and abroad.
NewspaperWood does not aim to become a large-scale alternative to wood or to recycle all paper waste into a new material. The main theme of the project is 'upcycling'; we show how a material surplus can be used in something more valuable by using it in a different context.
Despite the fact that current newspaper printing techniques are so efficient that proof prints and first unusable copies are kept to a minimum, there is still sufficient basic material available for us. In addition, we use the 'newspaper of yesterday' which has not been distributed and is already old news today ... all this gives us a perfect and local source of basic material!
In order to 'upcycle' the newsprint to NewspaperWood , we take it (temporarily) out of the existing paper recycling cycle. Our aim is to be able to bring our own residual material back into the cycle as well. That is why we use a glue without solvents and softeners that would make recycling more difficult. This not only makes it possible to bring our own sawing and sanding waste back into the cycle, but also allows the actual products to be disposed of with the paper waste, so to speak, although of course we hope that they will be cherished for a long time.
Due to the growing success of NewspaperWood , Vij5 and Studio Mieke Meijer are now joining forces in a new separate company called NewspaperWood bv. This company is dedicated to the production and development of the NewspaperWood material in order to research new semi-finished products, products and innovative applications.
For more information, please visit our website : www.newspaperwood.com
A number of articles on NewspaperWood that appeared around the time of the launch: