Client: Self-initiated at the Royal College of Art, London, EnglandDesign Team: Designers: Kristine Matthews, Sophie ThomasPhotos: David Spero
When Kristine left Seattle for London to study at the Royal College of Art, she was alarmed to see soda cans routinely thrown away with the trash. In the college cafeteria, only disposable, polystyrene cups were available for hot drinks. British classmate Sophie Thomas found the wastefulness equally disturbing, and together they devised a response to get the college to start recycling. One week’s worth of college waste was collected and displayed in a prominent gallery: 5,700 polystyrene cups and 1,600 soda cans. Posters were printed on reclaimed workshop materials and profits from ceramic coffee cup sales funded the purchase of new recycling stations throughout the college. The project won the RCA’s Faber & Faber Prize for Best Collaboration between a design and illustration student, and Kristine and Sophie later went on to form the thomas.matthews design studio in London.