- United Make
What are we able to do with waste coffee grounds from our thirst for more coffee? Latté is a hand-made lampshade using recycled coffee grounds that are usually discarded. The waste grounds are collected from local Melbourne cafes and sun-dried for 96 hours before being mixed with a special resin. Each lampshade is completely unique; the dappled light that comes through every lampshade is one of a kind, much like a leaf, tree or person.
Latte was born out of curiosity and an accident. Whilst we were experimenting with different types of byproduct materials (that ordinary people would discard) we accidentally stumbled upon a concoction that allowed coffee waste to grow with a resin. This beautiful experiment was encouraged by our local barista in Richmond that needed lampshades inside her cafe. The accident led us to create a completely unique and upcycled product that has a strong bold form with unique material aesthetics that is very Melbourian.
Every year, over 3000 tonnes of coffee waste is produced in Australia. Less than 10% is recycled while the rest goes to landfill, when coffee grounds are sent to the landfill, they decompose to produce methane – a greenhouse gas with more than twenty times the global warming dangers of carbon dioxide. So rather than allowing the coffee waste to go into landfill we see a second life for these beautiful beans – with every latte lampshade we reduce 5 cups of coffee grounds going to waste.
Latte is a small project with a big heart, it starts the conversation to tackle the issues of discarded materials in the 21st century and aims to help show creative approaches where craftsmanship, design and reuse can be not only useful but also beautiful.
The process of mixing discarded materials to be used as a household good is innovative. The waste coffee grounds are all locally sourced, prepared and mixed. We fabricated the lampshade moulds that allow the reactions to beautifully grow and set within the mould, after demoulding, the object would create remarkable translucency and uniqueness – a very artisan and unique lampshade.