A Flip Flop Story by Diederik Schneemann

Milan 2011: Rotterdam designer Diederik Schneemann presents a series of vases and lamps made from recycled flip-flops found washed up on Kenyan beaches at Ventura Lambrate in Milan this week.

Called A Flip Flop Story, the project involved working with UniquEco, a company that salvages discarded flip-flops and sands them back to reveal their original bright colours before melting down into new material.

Schneemann's pieces include a tulip vase on wheels, a vase with a drawer in the front and a lamp with a power outlet in the base.

The project is on show at Ventura Lambrata, Via Massimiano 23- 27, Milan, Italy until 17 April. See all our stories about Milan 2011 »

Here are some more details from the designer:


‘A Flip Flop Story’ …been trodden on, travelled with, badgered and scarred but still moving on…

The Rotterdam based designer Diederik Schneemann presents his ‘A Flip Flop Story’ collection at Object Rotterdam 2011. Gallery Judy Straten will represent him. It’s a tale of thousands, intensively used and scarred Flip Flops, which after many wanderings, have been transformed into sustainable design objects, ready to start a new story.

It are the Flip Flops’ telling the story. They are discoloured, worn, torn, patched up and eventually tossed away or lost. After a long trip through Asia or Africa they end up in sewers and in the ocean. Then they are washed up on the shores of Eastern Africa. There they are found, collected, and eventually reclaimed. Now the old Flip Flops are transformed and ready to start a new journey as autonomous handmade objects. They are on their way to the Salone di Mobile in Milan later this year. But first they preview at Object Rotterdam coming February...

The Story Behind the Story:

Is it possible to create awareness, and if so, should one do it with a pedantic slap on the wrist or can one achieve it through playfulness? ‘A Flip Flop Story’ is a colourful collection of objects with which Studio Schneemann wants to demonstrate that old materials can be reused and transformed into extraordinary and sustainable products. ‘A Flip Flop Story’ collection is being made out of reclaimed Flip Flops. They were washed up on the beaches of Eastern Africa and sometimes came from as far as Asia. In Kenya the Uniqueco Foundation collects them, partly to clean the beaches from these heavily polluting slippers and partly to make new products in their workshop. In corporation with Studio Schneemann they manufacture ‘A Flip Flop Story’ collection in Nairobi.

By doing so they also help a number of Kenyans to make a living. By sanding these weathered and discoloured Flip Flops back to their original glory, I felt myself going back into the past, back to my childhood imagery. Cranes, tow trucks, planes and tanks, it all moved, towed, pulled, it was all DOING something... This inspired me to transform these indestructible, polluting and worn-down slippers into playful products. And so ‘A Flip Flop Story’ by Studio Schneemann was born: a collection of sustainable design objects in which the eventful travel tales of worn Flip Flops is captured and translated. ‘A Flip Flop Story’ collection now has a new story to tell.

‘A Flip Flop Story’ at Object Rotterdam and Milan 2011:
‘A Flip Flop Story’ by Diederik Schneemann is represented by Gallery Judy Straten at Object Rotterdam 2011, from February 10th - 13th, and by Studio Schneemann from April 12th -17th at Salone di Mobile, Ventura Lambrata, Via Massimiano 23- 27, Milan, Italy.

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