Heath Nash is a local product designer that deals with sustainable and ethical values in all his designs. Nash has his own environmentally conscious business called Heath Nash Corporation, which has been operating since 2004. With a background in Fine Art and Sculpture from the University of Cape Town, he spent his final year experimenting with off cut printer cards, staples, and masking tape. His continuous experimentation with found objects led Nash to develop a playful away of exploring materials that use trial and error. By working with recycled paper he found that, his techniques worked well with folded die-cut panels of polypropylene (considered a low-toxin plastic that is tolerant to heat). He began to use this technique to create a range of sustainable lights. This then developed into using recycled plastic as a way of promoting recycling to the South African public and to give his range of products a more ‘South African feel’.
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His main concern of the design and manufacturing industry is the reusing of materials. His company explores materials that are taken for granted and largely ignored or unseen by the public. Nash finds beauty in unexpected places, whilst creating opportunities for many people to thrive (Nash employs local people and uses locally recycled and relevant materials).His philosophy is to engage with creativity through experience, and to engage reality through creativity in a sustainable manner. All the products are 100% handmade, environmentally aware, conscientious, and they speak about the realities of contemporary South Africa on many levels. His company offers exceptional pieces of décor and lighting for any given space or specification.
The process of the creation of sustainable lighting:
Many used plastic bottles are collected from various recycling and waste collection areas around Cape Town (including a number of schools that they have formed allianceswith). The bottles are washed and cleaned thoroughly (using eco-friendly cleaner and
degreaser). Parallel to this process, their wire components are hand-formed. These wire units will form the basis of the structures for the repurposed plastic to be attached to later. Once the bottles are flattened (by cutting their tops and bottoms off), various flower
shapes (and abstract forms) are hand-cut from the plastic sheets. These shapes are then creased into semi-rigid forms by hand, and attached one at a time to the wire components mentioned above.
Finally, the wires with flowers/shapes attached, are built into the products. This process is extremely time-consuming (and much more
difficult than to simply make products using virgin material). While all this added value handwork and labour makes their products more costly to produce,but they remain passionate and committed to recycling other people’s rubbish© into beautiful things, and seek out clients who share their philosophy.
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