When discussing reclaimed woods, we are usually talking about wood that has been used, machined, and shaped only to be repurposed and born into a new product. We typically think pallets, spools, deconstructed barns and broken down furniture. Material that has been machined, nailed, walked on, and weathered. But wood is also made into different products - cork, paper, and ping pong balls are just a few (yes, we said ping pong balls). What if reclaimed didn't just include actual wood? Well, that's exactly what one company considered when they decided to flip the model and reclaim paper to produce wood.
Mieke Meijer, a student at Design Academy Eindhoven, began with a stack of newspapers and an idea to upcycle newspapers into the wood product from which they were born. Beginning by simply gluing newspapers together, Mieke began to notice that as the material hardened, it actually took on some of it's parent's properties. Not only did it hold it's structural rigidity, but it was also machinable and sandable. This led Mieke to build a few pieces of furniture for a grade before he abandoned the project in 2003. In 2007, however, his passion was reignited when he met the design firm Vij5, a Dutch company that specialized in interior products with a specific focus on ingenuity and use of reclaimed materials. Vij5 took Mieke's concept and pushed it to the manufacturing floor where it would soon become a beautiful line of pristine reclaimed furniture and jewelry. NewspaperWood, as it was coined, was eventually presented to other Dutch designers to see what products they could manufacture. Here are some of the results of that experiment:
More recently, Mieke Meijer and Vij5 released a collaborative project they were working on with Peugeot. The Onyx, a concept car manufactured by Peugeot, showed off NewspaperWood well as the main material for the dashboard, door panels, and seats. The car debuted at the Paris Motor Show in late 2012. Here are some shots of NewspaperWood as a car interior product: