Mind & Matter


From Paper to Wood

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Newspaperwood by Mieke Meijer and Vij5.


According to the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona at Tucson, dendrochronology is “the dating of past events (climatic changes) through study of tree ring growth.” A new material project by Mieke Meijer and Vij5 brings new meaning to the study of tree rings, however.

“Newspaperwood” is a product made from recycled newspaper that assumes the form of engineered lumber. The Netherlands-based designers wanted to find a better solution for excess newspaper that is typically thrown away or downcycled. When Newspaperwood “logs” are cut, the layers of revealed material bear a striking resemblance to real wood—and the material may be cut and processed like conventional wood.

In Newspaperwood, the printed word becomes a new source of material information. According to Meijer, Newspaperwood enables the “reversing of a traditional production process; not from wood to paper, but the other way around.”




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.