Micaella Pedros is a product designer driven by the topics of energy, empowerment and culture. Inspired by the values of democratic design and do-it-yourself dynamic, her work aims to unveil the creative potential of local resources through within-reach technologies.
Her work comes from a mixture of thoughts, ideas and objectives converging towards the concept of design for empowerment which resonates with the concept of buddhist economy, developped by the conomist Fritz Schumacher in his book Smal is beautiful: a study of economics as if people matter. To briefly quote him, he says that “from the point of view of Buddhist economics, production from local resources for local needs is the most rational way of economic life”.
She obtained her Master’s degree in Design Product at the Royal College of Art of London in 2016 where she developed her philosophy and practice alongside with her travels.
Joining Bottles is an experimental wood-joining technique using shrunk plastic bottles. By heat, a simple plastic bottle is transformed into a wood bonding material offering a meaningful and accessible way to build functional structures. Both materials, wood and plastic bottles, are widely abundant in cities and other places. There are lying there as waste, waiting to be reclaimed by people. Joining Bottles seeks to contribute to new beliefs based on what we, as individuals and communities, can do with what is available to us. In some countries, this project can make a real difference, promoting the collect of plastic bottles and wood waste, and helping people to empower themselves.
The technique can adapt itself to different shapes which allows to compose structures from any appropriate found materials. The different types of wood and plastic bottles available are dictating the final aspect and composition of the work. In that sense, a unique conversation is engaged within each piece. Encountering random materials and shapes triggers new unexpected and beautiful relationships. It creates more space for randomness and spontaneity, in other words, for human attributes in the creative process.
Before starting the Joining Bottles project, I was actually experimenting on resin from pine trees, developing the concept of native technology based on typical local materials. While I was pouring the heated resin onto everything I could find on my workdesk to see how materials interact with it, I decided to pour it onto a plastic bottle. Under the heat of the resin, the plastic started to shrink. As I was just finishing a project about joinery, it then just clicked. Following that spark, I explored the idea of using plastic bottles as a bonding material, developing the Joining Bottles technique by understanding its limits and possibilities through making.