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Embassy of Rethinking Plastic
A sunshade like a foliage


by Nicole Marnati
This project is part of Embassy of Rethinking Plastic

A cloth that gives shade, but also lets a little sun through, such as the foliage of a tree. It is made of one material, making it easy to recycle. With the Hint project, Sonia Bemelmans graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven last year. She will present the results at the entrance of Yksi Expo.

Most products embody solutions for a problem. This project, however, originated from an experiment. Sonia wanted to see whether it was possible to make a material that could have two different properties when heated; a dense state and a more open state. This could mean that a product, which had to be made out of two materials before, can now be produced with just one material.

Sunshades are known to be very muggy and usually block all the sunlight. Sometimes however, half-shadow is desirable too. This is how Sonia came up with the idea of weaving polypropylene ropes into a sunshade. Subsequently, the woven material would be partially heated to create density locally. By applying this technique afterwards, the customer has more pattern options to choose from.
The sunshade functions as a wicker roof above you. It casts a shadow of a fine hole pattern, which provides shelter from the sun. By alternately creating more density, the cloth will act as a tree’s foliage.

The use of polypropylene as only material makes the sunshade simply recyclable.