‘Joining Bottles’ is an experimental joining technique using plastic bottles.
Plastic bottles hide an incredible property: under heat, they shrink. Around objects, they can join things together and create functional structures.
Tool of empowerment
Seen as a genuine tool for empowerment, the ambition of the project is to give an opportunity to people to engage in the making of their own furniture through a recycling and meaningful process. It aims to reveal the creative and empowering potential of plastic bottles in order to shift the way we perceive it.
Millions of plastic bottles are used and thrown away each day, which makes it such an available material. Everyone comes accross plastic bottles. It means that the ‘Joining Bottles’ technique can be applied everywhere in the world by anyone.
Plastic bottles are made of PET (Polyethylene Terephtalate). It is a thermoplastic. By heating it (at 300°C), it shrinks. In order to achieve this, I use a heat-gun but it also works with a lighter or a fire.
Strength and possibilities
The strength of the joins depends on the grooves made in the wood. Deeper they are, stronger the join is. Such a join allows to build functional structure such as furniture, allows to increase the length of timbers, to join offcuts together, to repair a furniture broken leg and so on.
Sharing the technique
Because it is such an available and affordable technique, and has a strong potential of empowerment, I believe this technique is meant to be shared. To do so, I worked with the R-Urban Wick community, based in the vibrant area Hackney Wick of London. R-Urban is a bottom-up strategy that explores the possibilities of enhancing the capacity of urban resilience. Therefore the project embraces its democratic value and contribute to the do- it-yourself culture.
I will run more workshops in London and plan to make it open-source.