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– My design concept starts from a structural problem, not necessarily from a preconcieved aesthetical need. I am a waste management designer. 

Pieter Van Tulder, 2050 Furniture designer


Pieter Van Tulder’s design process starts from the pile of so-called waste. He intentionally designs with waste materials in mind, and aims to upcycle them, so they become useful and therefore valuable again. On this moment he works mainly with wood. Van Tulder doesn’t focus on one type of wood, but on the diversity of the waste wood available. 

Not only form and function is crucial in Van Tulder’s design process, but also finding ways to use the diverse waste materials. The reusing aspect mainly steers the whole design process. If a shape is too demanding for this upcycling process, the design is adjusted, not the material. 

Some techniques don’t work well on certain types of wood. For example, spruce and pine wood, that is found at large amounts in the Norwegian wood waste pile, doesn’t steam bend very well. Since furniture doesn’t exist out of only straight parts, Van Tulder still needs to find ways to achieve curves. At the same time, he has to make sure the production process is efficient, that all kinds of wood can be used, and that his production process doesn’t create too much waste. 

His furniture is designed to be sent flat packed and is easily assembled and disassembled. 

The dynamics in Van Tulder’s design and production process differ as well from a conventional process since he doesn’t allow himself to focus on only one type of wood. 


– The furniture industry’s focus on only a few types of wood, for example ash and oak, is catastrophic. These trees are mainly removed from valuable ecosystems if they need to supply a substantial production. 

Pieter Van Tulder, 2050 Furniture designer


Oak and ash are good for furniture making, but both living and decomposing oaks and ashes have their very important roles to play in valuable ecosystems as well. Knowing this, and that there are mountains of wood waste available, Van Tulder feels obligated to use wood from the waste pile. 


– I see myself as someone giving impulses to the market. My aim is to make more producers rediscover waste and consider it useful. Now I design furniture from waste wood, since there is still a lot of massive wood in today’s waste pile. The future waste pile will look different, and then I will put my focus on designing with other materials. 

Pieter Van Tulder, 2050 Furniture designer

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