From Waste to Design Artefact: Riccardo Cenedella’s “Carpet Matter” Series

In the quest to find novel materials and techniques to address the issues of sustainability in today’s design scene, the Turin-based designer Riccardo Cenedella has turned to carpet waste and a low-tech design approach. “Carpet Matter” is his ongoing series of works that repurpose a material that usually ends up being in incinerators or deposited in landfills.

For the upcoming Venice Design Biennal, Cenedalla will be presenting his “Carpet Matter” collection, consisting of a wide range of objects – from chairs and side tables to lighting fixtures.

View all works by Riccardo Cenedella, including the “Carpet Matter” Chair 1 >

During his studies at the renowned Central Saint Martins, he was heavily influenced by the work of the French philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss and his theories about the “bricoleur”. As a result, he developed a design method which is hands-on and less reliant on advanced technology. This is evident in the “Carpet Matter” artefacts: each waste object is heated and reshaped by hand through Cenedella’s process involving in-depth research into the composition of synthetic materials.

“Through hands-on experimentation and material research into synthetic materials, working as an alchemist with ingenuity and persistence, I have developed a technique that allows me to reshape and repurpose this material for the creation of new design artefacts, thus avoiding carpets ending up in dumpsites,” the designer explains.

Given the severity of carpet waste in the UK – 40,000 tons of carpet are discarded each year – Cenedella successfully identified an area of improvement where he actively intervenes by developing a novel design process. Having created this methodology for repurposing carpet waste, Cenedella has also taken on the role of professor at IAAD Turin to pass on his findings, knowledge and fascination with material experimentation. This further highlights the significance of contemporary design in realizing our vision of a sustainable future.

Explore repurposed collectible furniture by Ricardo Cenedella through ADORNO’s exclusive curation of his work. Browse Cenedella’s objects and visit his showroom >


Riccardo Cenedella lives and works in Turin. He works with both private and public clients. His pieces have been exhibited at Collectible in Bruxelles, SWING Design Gallery in Benevento, EDIT Napoli, the London Design Festival, the Milan Design Week, the Affordable Art Fair London, and the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. In addition to working as an independent designer, he is a university professor at IAAD in Turin (Institute of Applied Art and Design) where he teaches Product Life Cycle Assessment.

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