Something lovely I saw at Dutch Design Week was Mieke Meijer's Newspaperwood. NewspaperWood(or KrantHout in Dutch) is wood made from paper.
The process of turning recycled newspapers into wood consists using a roller on the newspapers and using a special water soluble glue to bind them. The resulting NewspaperWood can be cut, milled, sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood. I'm fascinated by the idea of reversing a traditional production process: not from wood to paper but the other way around. I also like the way it looks. This just proves that recycling does not always have to produce ugly or boring materials.
Mieke has already made special editions of the wood such panels from a specific date or region. At one point you might be able to get a kitchen table made of the sports pages, a chair made from newspapers from your birth year or a financial crisis headboard.
Mieke, a Design Academy graduate, is currently working together with design label vij5 to develop NewsPaperwood.
Arjan van Raadshooven of Vij5 told me that they are actively looking for other designers to come up with products made out of this innovative material.
There is actually a 3D printer out there that uses paper (on a roll) as a medium. It rolls the paper out, cuts out the profile with a blade, and the rolls more paper out stuck on top. The result looks a lot like wood. I hope shapeways gets one of these printers!