Rossana Orlandi to launch initiative to create "guiltless plastic"

Milanese design gallerist Rossana Orlandi is launching a project aimed at changing the perception of plastic and ensuring the material is used responsibly.

The "guiltless plastic" initiative will start with a series of talks taking place at Spazio Rossana Orlandi tomorrow, Friday 20 April 2018.

Orlandi, considered one of the most influential curators in the design world, told Dezeen the project was driven by concern over pollution of the oceans by plastic waste.

"It's a sort of mission," she said. "I want to change the meaning of plastic. I want to make plastic guiltless."

She added: "The project will be launched on Friday with plenty of talks, showing how the sea is amazing but what a disaster it's becoming with all the plastic."

Woven plastic bottle Pet lamps by Alvaro Catalan de Ocon
Alvaro Catalán de Ocon, who creates lampshades out of discarded plastic bottles, is among speakers at the launch event

Speakers at the conference will include designers showing objects made of recycled plastic at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Milan design week this week.

These include Alvaro Catalán de Ocon, whose PET Lamps project creates lampshades out of discarded plastic bottles, and Dirk Vander Kooij, who uses robots to print items from recycled plastic.

Organisations and brands taking part include Pentatonic, a company that makes furniture out of waste materials, and Freitag, which makes bags and accessories out of salvaged tarpaulin.

Other speakers include Dirk Vander Kooij, who uses robots to print items from recycled plastic

A website,, will launch later this month and in the autumn Orlandi will launch an award to champion the responsible use of plastic.

"Plastic has become a horrible product, something that people hate," Orlandi said. "But at the same time it's super interesting because if you recycle, you can do amazing things with it, from industrial pieces to art pieces. There are immense possibilities."

Orlandi's initiative comes amid growing awareness of the environmental problems caused by plastic, and is the latest in a string of initiatives by the design community to promote the use of recycled plastic.

"Designers can help solve the problem," Orlandi said. "We can build beautiful pieces. I want to have many more designers and make people know about this."

The conference is open to members of the press only but Spazio Rossana Orlandi is open to the public throughout the week at Via Matteo Bandello 14-16.