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Working with Industrial Spaces to Exemplify Reuse


Reflections from Garreth Smith, Collaborator on the WISER LIFE+ project.

Posted on 20th May 2017

“From the initial interaction with the WISER project, meeting the wonderful team and right up to the brilliant new centre’s launch, it was a blast every step of the way.”
Garreth Smith, Designer/Maker discusses his recent experience creating the interactive art exhibition at the Rediscovery Centre.

Having come across my material exploration work, Sarah Miller reached out to me to see if I would be able to produce a unique piece of work to complement the spirit of reuse and recycling evident throughout the centre. Sarah had seen my NCAD degree show work, a project that promoted a new method of recycling waste crisp packets into skateboards and hoped that we could collaborate to create an installation in to correspond with the Rediscovery Centre’s official launch. As the centre’s ethos of creating value from waste products aligns perfectly with my own, I was delighted to be involved. Crisp packets are currently of no value for recycling purposes, owing to their awkward combination of foil and plastic, so through this project we were going to give value to something that previously was unusable, all while highlighting the issues related to disposing of this complicated material.
On arrival, I received a very warm welcome to the centre and introduction to the RDC team. I was going to be designing a collective art piece that would grow over time with the centre itself and allowing interns, volunteer, trainees and others who worked with the centre to add to the installation. Inspired by the Rediscovery Centre’s logo and drawing on my own intimate knowledge of the material, we decided to create a board of magnetic triangles that could be added to and arranged in many different ways, allowing for a playful and meaningful aspect to the installation. The tools for creating the magnetic triangles would be left with the centre allowing more pieces to be added over time.

The RDC were kind enough to allow me access to a space in the excellent furniture workshop for the duration of the project, where I worked for a couple of weeks with the added bonus of Ger Griffin’s delightful acquaintance and expert advice. It was a refreshing and insightful experience, working at the centre, and it was great being surrounded by such positive and energetic people, who were committed to innovative reuse and recycling waste. The passion and enthusiasm towards sustainability was infectious and really spurred on my efforts.
While I worked on the installation I became friendly with the many interns at the Rediscovery Centre as well as the many Ballymun locals who work there. Everyone was so kind and willing to help out which for me was one of the best aspects of the centre. It seems that the centre is building a budding community space and I see a bright future for it. I visited the RDC two years ago as part of research into sustainability and seeing what they’ve accomplished in the meantime is just incredible. A beautiful old and historically iconic building, saved from abandonment and dereliction. It would be great to see more places like it throughout the country!
Launch day at the centre was thrilling. I performed a live demonstration showing the process of creating the pieces of the installation and answered any questions the visitors had. Also had the delight of meeting the Minister for the Environment, Dennis Naughton TD, which was an added bonus. Dennis and all the speakers on the day had some nice words for us. The team at the Rediscovery Centre worked very hard to bring everything together on the launch day. At the end of the day, it was lovely to share a glass of wine with them and celebrate all of their hard work coming to fruition!

I’d like to thank Dr. Sarah Miller, the RDC team and everyone who came along to the launch and wish you all the best in the future and hope that you can continue to grow and inspire.

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