Creative reuse of the most abundant resource in the world – trash – has allowed Arthur Huang to invent 20 new materials per month, with applications ranging from fabric to architecture. His backpack– shoebox for Nike Air Max sneakers is a masterpiece
Arthur Huang is a structural engineer and architect. He has pioneered the use of building materials that adhere to the principles of the “circular economy” and is specialised in post-consumer waste recycling. In 2005, he founded Miniwiz, a company dedicated to the innovative upcycling of consumer trash and industrial waste. His mission is to diminish the great disparity between eco-consciousness (sustainability and recycling) and the bleak reality of the market: a lack of financially feasible products. Under Arthur Huang’s leadership, Miniwiz has pushed boundaries beyond all expectations, with his company winning the Earth Award in 2010 and The Wall Street Journal Asian Innovation Award in 2011. In 2015, Miniwiz was recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. (Technology Pioneers are start-up companies working on the design, development and implementation of new technologies and innovations.) Huang’s aim is to have a positive influence on the changing of global consumption patterns.
Giorgio De Mitri: What is your line of work and how do you approach it?
Arthur Huang: Our approach is biomimicry. We always try to use geometry and engineering software, taking advantage of all the material data we have created over the years. We invent roughly 20 new materials every month, using the world’s richest resource: trash.
G.D.M.: Your upcycling projects include collaborations with brands and architecture. Tell us about that
A.H.: Architecture is a core specialty and a passion at Miniwiz. We have executed award-winning projects in 15 countries around the world. At the same time, we work with an array of influential and recognised global brands to help them redefine and reconceptualise their identities. Since 2014, we have been working with Nike designers to develop innovative materials created from motherboards (printed circuit boards) and casings for the NikeLab stores, retail spaces that feature modular fixtures made out of recycled e-waste. Seeing we always try to push the envelope, we strive to achieve maximum performance and aesthetics with low environmental impact.