Rachel Knight’s 8.3 Billion aims to raise awareness of the amount of plastic waste we create through teaching DIY recycling using two small appliances to create jewellery from waste plastic. The jewellery begins as simple, stackable pieces, designed to attach together in different formations, allowing the wearer to personalise by adding and removing sections to change the lengths.
As more plastic is used and more modules are created the jewellery begins to look more like chains which gradually wrap around the body and beyond, echoing plastic’s own history -from beginnings as versatile wonder-material to overwhelming environmental problem.
The biggest human impact on the planet is the manufacture of new things (Porcelijn, 2017) and for Knight one of the biggest ways design can change the world, is by not creating new products
“Why do we need to upgrade and replace things that aren’t broken with brand new products. Why can’t we focus on using what’s already here? The way we live needs to change to use things until they break, get repaired and break again. This is the direction design needs to take”.
Knight takes inspiration from ethical, sustainable design practises. Using natural materials, limited components and manufacturing processes, her projects are aimed environmentally aware consumers and strive to to educate using conceptual design.