Inspired by the amount of paper waste produced by local industries, Dear Human set out to create a product that would put that waste to work. Their material explorations resulted in Wallpapering, a series of 9” hexagonal tiles cast from recycled paper, and sourced from local businesses.
The studio - previously based in Vancouver and now Montreal - was founded in 2011 by Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O’Connell, who both describe their work as “offer[ing] an alternative perception to overlooked everyday landscapes, by revealing the hidden potential of places and objects.”
Their projects explore craft traditions, sustainable making, and unconventional material (re)use.
Each paper tile is hand-cast using air-release dies and undergoes a long drying process. The paper is shredded and pulped in studio, allowing the designers to play with subtle variations in colour and texture that result from the materials used. Once dry, the tiles are screen printed with bright patterns.
Whether tiles are installed in a small grouping as wall art, or used across an entire space, they add an undeniable sense of whimsy to a space. Acoustic testing shows that there’s a functional quality to the tiles too; they perform similarly to acoustic foams and cork boards, softening the noise levels in residential or commercial spaces.
The tiles can be simply put up with a little construction adhesive, or double sided tape for more temporary installations, but whatever your needs are, the designers work with clients to come up with patterns and pairings to suit the space.
Design is often described as a process or means of adding value to material. Wallpapering is an example of material metamorphosis, turning something discarded into something cheerful.
To learn more, checkout Dear Human's brilliant portfolio.
All photos courtesy of Dear Human.
Researched and written by Miranda Corcoran, an Industrial Design and Digital Media student at OCAD University.