OMA designs a waste landscape exploring the potential of our daily waste
Can sustainability go hand in hand with pleasure?
The hospitality industry, in its approach to achieving user comfort and enjoyment, has traditionally been an antidote to sustainability. The proliferation of single-use plastic and copious amounts of waste ending up in landfills by the hospitality and tourism industry has long eluded ambitions of achieving a circular economy. However, the Potato Head hotel brand has gone to great lengths to pursue zero waste. Twelve years ago, he opened Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak, Bali, as a tropical modernist creative village on a mission towards zero waste hospitality. Inspired by the tradition of duality and balance inherent in Bali, the brand, in its choices of designs, facilities, collaborators, practices and philosophy, is committed to reducing the waste it puts into discharge every year.
An exhibition titled Nothing is possible charts the journey of Potato Head’s progress towards zero waste across all disciplines of design, creativity and culture. The three-month showcase is curated by longtime OMA brand collaborator and managing partner David Gianotten along with Shinji Takagi. Hosted at the National Design Center Singapore and opened alongside the recent Singapore Design Week (September 16-25, 2022), the showcase offers a key lesson in sustainability. Curation confirms that zero waste and the experience of comfort and pleasure are not mutually exclusive, and that creative efforts across disciplines can transform materials at the “end” of their life cycle into a reservoir of resources.
The atrium of the 1000 m² exhibition space is transformed into an immersive landscape of waste illustrated with the help of objects, photographs and videos. Scattered across the floor in piles of rubbish including plastic, bamboo, wood, textile, glass and polystyrene waste, the overwhelming nature of the display captures the amount of waste generated by our daily habits. A somewhat orderly chaos of visual curation guides visitors to see beyond the surface of the waste and interrogate the aesthetics within.
Contrary to the orchestrated disorder of the ground, are suspended from the ceiling of the installations made up of the same waste which is below. The compositions – reflecting the potential of our everyday waste – include a circular assemblage of bamboo stools, a series of chairs constructed from reclaimed plastic and everyday objects made from waste textiles, to name a few. -ones. At the center of this showcase is a fenestration pattern created using discarded wooden shutters. Projected onto a circular metal frame erected on the ground, the work takes place in the middle of the atrium, creating a dialogue between the waste landscape and its creative transformations. These works were designed by long-time Potato Head collaborators, including Indonesian architect Andra Matin, Catalan industrial designer Andreu Carulla, Jakarta design studio BYO Living, Bali-based environmental engineers Eco Mantra, American artist Futura, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, British furniture designer Max Lamb, French director and photographer Thibaut Grevet, London design studio Toogood and the National University of Singapore.
The exhibit also includes a timeline tracing Potato Head’s journey since 2010, including highlighting its zero-waste initiatives in Bali. The brand’s operating schemes are further elaborated through an open source presentation of the ongoing waste management program at Desa Potato Head, a resort town in Bali.
Further into the exhibition, installations by street artist Futura take over the courtyard space, creating an informal gathering space, while a circular gift shop placed at the exit showcases waste-based products and installations. recycled plastics.
Nothing is possible revolves around the mantra “Good Times, Do Good”. He promotes the idea that “there is no single global standard for sustainability and that sustainability is an ongoing exploration of new ways of creating and living based on available local resources and shared knowledge”. Potato Head and OMA, longtime collaborators, aim to amplify this principle by realizing a new world of hotel design that is not only comforting, but also caring. Additionally, Ronald Akili, Founder of Potato Head, shares, “Hospitality has long been the source of so much waste and destruction, but after years of commitment to doing better and making many mistakes along the way , we have discovered that it can be a force for good for the environment and local communities. Through collaborations with visionaries who share our mission to build a more sustainable future, we are able to approach each problem as a opportunity to do something beautiful.We hope our journey can inspire and facilitate change so that our industry can be sustainable.