I first became aware of the problem that electronic waste, or “ewaste,” poses to the ecosystem through the documentary film Manufactured Landscapes, which played here in New York a few months ago. In the film, you see a whole community in China dedicated to tearing apart ewaste "” used motherboards, keyboards, monitors and the like "” and separating the metals that can be reused from the used-up waste. That waste is mostly toxic, and we don’t have a good way of dealing with it so it tends to sit in landfills and slowly contaminate the soil and water supply.
But Chilean designer Rodrigo Alonso has a better idea of what to do with ewaste. A much better idea. His N+ew project (“no more electric waste”) combines ewaste, epoxic resin and aluminum repurposed from soda and beer cans, and turns it all into a stool that is as much a piece of art and a conservationist statement as it is a place to put your butt. When you go to Alonso’s very swank website you’ll see the stool in all of its disheveled glory under the “designs” tab. You’ll also find Alonso’s other, more domestic but no less intriguing designs there. Alonso calls this his “happy ideas lab.” Aptly put, sir.