Michelle Brand is an eco designer maker based in Manchester, England. Her work is in direct response to environmental problems, and her inspiration evolves from the unseen beauty of everyday objects.
‘Once a plastic drinks bottle is empty it is perceived as redundant and is thrown away. I wanted to challenge this wasteful paradigm’ Michelle Brand
Her designs extend the aesthetic life of a mass-produced object by giving it a second use. In addition this body of work highlights society’s throw-away culture and the need to provide additional resources for recycling within our cities.
Every bottle base in her designs represents a bottle that has been creatively diverted away from landfill.
The beauty of her designs is not only its aesthetic quality but also the importance and development of closed sustainable feedback loops.
Michelle supports the philosophy of slow design, as a counter-balance for today‚ fast consumer society.
Previously, she sustained her practice through her own local plastic collection round. Today she has a close working relationship with Emerge Recycling based in East Manchester. She has become their research designer-in-residence, preferring to work where the majority of her material is based. Working alongside her material supply chain emulates the natural ecosystem.
Michelle is all about system thinking and insists sustainable processes are of equal importance as product.
Michelle‚ vision for wanting to work alongside Emerge is information exchange and idea generation, focusing on Up-Recycling and Zero Waste. Michelle doesn’t believe in waste management, she wants to design it out completely.
But in the meantime she is designing products from the by-products of our consumer lifestyles. One of the things Michelle set out to do is dispel the misconception that design objects made from ‚found or reused parts‚lack a certain je ne sais quoi.