Laser cut machines produce a significant amount of waste which includes also some of their own parts. The elements of the loading table – sawtooth shaped metal beams – need to be replaced every 2 to 3 weeks approximately. Due to the laser’s temperature the teeth melt irreparably and the beams are then sold at a very low price as recyclable material. This project intends to give a second purpose to these elements as whole, tracing strategies for their up-cycling. Unlike other remains related to the periodic production these pieces form a constant amount of waste of always the same shape. Moreover they are produced by the company itself. These two characteristics permit the use of this waste as raw material for another design process.

The intention is to explore the possibilities of redesigning the shape of the original elements within their functional frame in order to facilitate their second life. Then after their first use the elements will be cut and/or bent in order to obtain more stability and to gain their new shape. Eventually they may be treated against corrosion and can further be combined with other materials.

The fortuitousness of the melting process turns the standard elements in unique pieces. In this way the laser machine incorporates into the industrial process a component of uncertainty, usually a distinctive feature of crafts.
The reboots is an open project based on integrating into the design process the idea of the object’s second life. A first part of the research was presented in the context of BIO50 – 24th Biennial of Design of Ljubljana, within the section Hidden Crafts (mentored by Tulga Beyerle). This specific objects realized in collaboration with a Slovenian metal company were realized as open structures rather than as finished products with the intention to allow the collaboration of other professionals in their further development.

Alessandro Fonte studied at the Unical di Arcavacata (University of Calabria) and at the ETSAV of Barcelona. Shawnette Poe studied at the University of Arts Bremen. They live and work between Italy, Germany and Slovenia. Their work as a duo develops alongside their individual research since 2009. They use diverse media in the fields of both visual arts and design research. Their works have been exhibited in Europe, Africa and America, by institutions including MAXXI Museum RomeBIO50 – 24th Biennial of Design Ljubljana, Dak’art OFF- Dak’Art – 11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Italian Pavillion at the 54th Biennial of Art Venice, Bramante Cloister – Rome.


Shawnette Poe