Product Design Studio Featured in Fast Company

WasteLess 2015 is the fourth collaboration between Parsons School of Design and Poltrona Frau, and was led again by SCE faculty member Andrea Ruggiero. In this seven-week studio, third-year undergraduate Product Design students were challenged to design and develop new products using leather scraps that were collected over a period of two months at Poltrona Frau’s factory in Tolentino, Italy. The resulting prototypes seek to maximize the value of Poltrona Frau’s leather by transforming former scraps into practical and beautiful leather goods while minimizing waste.

Given the particular challenge posed by the limited size and irregularity of the leather scraps, the students were asked to focus on designing smaller products to complement Poltrona Frau’s existing Atelier collection of objects. The product typology was left up to the students but needed to be different from what currently exists in the Atelier collection and had to address a defined need. Large objects such as furniture or lighting were discouraged, instead, the focus was on accessories or objects for personal use in the home / office / travel categories. The students were allowed to incorporate secondary materials as long as they were responsible in choice, used sparingly, and appropriate to their design.

This year’s collaboration revisits the theme of wastelessness, originally explored in 2013. This theme is a result of Poltrona Frau’s continued commitment to sustainability and a value strongly shared and emphasized in the Product Design program at Parsons.

Fast Company recently featured this studio in its design section.