The Material- Leather scraps

''The European footwear industry produces in excess of 1000 million pairs of footwear each year, of which 70 percent has a leather upper material. It has been estimated that this process generates 100,000 tonnes of leather waste, most of which is disposed of by landfill or incineration. However, increasing legislation and environmental concern is resulting in these disposal options becoming more difficult and hence more expensive. The European Footwear industry is already under price pressure from South America and Asia and increasing costs due to waste disposal will hinder the ability of a company to compete on the world market. An industry wide approach would help to identify viable means of recycling leather, particularly finished leather. This would benefit not only footwear manufacturers but also industries such as furniture and automobiles.''

Facts from

''Recycling of waste leather from footwear and other industries.'' LIFE97 ENV/UK/000489

The project-Medina

The starting point of the project is to use the cuts of the leather waste as a pattern, thus guiding the material research its design application.

The concept of the project is designed graphically:

The leftovers are first soaked and drained, before being graphically organized into a composition in a mold and then heat pressed. This process binds and solidifies the previously flexible and fabric-like material in stiffened panels.

This pictorial project fits perfectly into the application of surface materials such as wall coverings, carpets, and room dividers. Medina will take the form of a triptych of mashrabiyas inspired by Middle Eastern countries. Material patterns would also play with the division of the space and light inside the frame of the object.

The research would explore leather processing in Arabic countries and patterns traditionally used.