Art and Accessories with Recovered EVA Foam, by Carla Tennenbaum


Brazilian artist Carla Tennenbaum has found a way to turn tons of EVA foam leftovers into colorful pieces of art and accessories. Tennenbaum explains that her aim is to, "explore the frontiers between graphic arts, artisan work and objects design through the development of de-construction and reconstruction techniques to apply with industrial waste."

She began working with EVA foam in 2000, when she found this material was not recycled and, therefore, used to end in landfills. Her two main lines are called Party and Kinetics. The first is a set of puffs in which the transparent plastic covering shows the hundreds of small pieces of EVA foam inside (picture above). The second is a collection of pictures 'painted' with the same material.

Keep going for more pictures!

Via Casa Claudia."Given my inclination towards plastic arts, EVA foam has always been a very interesting material to me. I feel it allows an easy and immediate manipulation, generating an infinite set of variants and allowing itself to be used like form and color particles," explains the designer about her interest for the material.

The Party line was the first to be developed by Tennenbaum, as a way to express the usefulness of the EVA foam. "It was a way to show the massive amount of EVA foam leftovers there is in Sao Paulo. I was looking for simple shapes that could be explicit in showing how this material could be repurposed," explains Tennenbaum.


A puff from the Party line.
Kinetics was the second development. For the confection of these pieces (pictured below), Tennenbaum uses a special technique to avoid glue and chemical bonders: the EVA foam remnants are applied directly on fabrics.

The chromatic variations are a result of the lot of leftovers the designer gets, so each piece is unique.

This set of 'pictures' have been awarded the hOLAnDA prize in 2003 during an exhibition in Amsterdam organized by the Latin American Design Foundation (LADF), and have also won a first prize at the Design 21 International Design Award 2005, promoted by Unesco and the Felissimo Group, which led the work to exhibitions in Tokyo, Kobe (also Japan), New York and Paris. Tennenbaum's work has also been showed in the Milan furniture fair, in Vancouver, Canada, and in Lisbon, Portugal.


Picture from the Kinetics line, by Carla Tennenbaum.

Another picture from the Kinetics line.

Third example of the pictures produced with EVA foam leftovers.

Additionally, since 2007, the designer has begun working with people excluded from the formal work market in Sao Paulo, teaching them how to recover EVA foam in order for them to generate income and develop their artistic skills.


A pencil pot, also produced by Carla Tennenbaum with EVA foam waste.

To find out more or get in touch with the designer, go to her website (in both English and Portuguese).

And if you like this, don't forget to check the many other Brazilian designers and artists we've featured: Carlos Motta, Lara Donatoni, and Gooc are just a few. Brazil category in TreeHugger.

::Carla Tennenbaum

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