Jens Praet Turns Paper Into Furniture
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: from the artist’s Shredded Collection, the Marble Edition console and stool and the Frame Magazine Edition table; Jens Praet
Jens Praet likes to play with trash. The Belgium-born artist incorporates waste paper into his works, creating usable furniture and everyday objects—but also cultivating an awareness of the amount people generate every day. Industry Gallery, here in the District, is hosting Praet’s first stateside exhibit in January, which will feature works from what Praet has dubbed the Shredded Collection and which will include a piece made entirely of shredded issues of Capitol File. We got Praet’s take on greening art, showing in DC and what’s next on the horizon.
What was your inspiration for creating furniture from recycled and shredded paper?
When I was studying at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, in The Netherlands, I was shocked by the amount of waste paper [generated] every day and decided to find a use for it. What started as a research project turned out to be a growing furniture collection that transformed seemingly useless documents and leftover magazines into valuable and useful objects.
What is the goal for your exhibition at Industry Gallery?
I want to introduce my work to US collectors, curators and critics, and I especially want to stimulate
the conversation about the role design can play in dealing with waste.
Do you practice green living at home as well?
At home and in the studio, I try to do my best to live green—print less, recycle more—but I think
the Shredded Collection shows that we can be and need to be more entrepreneurial about living
green and reducing our carbon footprint.
You just opened a new studio near Florence. What projects are you working on there?
Along with the series for Industry Gallery, I’m finalizing a line of lamps for a Norwegian lighting company and working on a collection for an Italian furniture company.
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.