Is it plastic? Is it natural fiber? These mini-bins are both – and are handmade by indigenous tribes in the Philippines.
Nature vs. man-made can make for a strange visual juxtaposition, as evidenced by these mini-basket-bins, hybrid trash cans that fuse cutting-edge vision with traditional artisan craft. They’re made for Areaware whose pieces always offer a left-field take on everyday objects (realistic pig sculpture money banks, vases made of coiled rope, banana-bunch fruit bowls) .
Made by the indigenous Aeta people of the Philippines using traditional basket-weaving techniques, they’re trompe l’oeil for the trash. For centuries the rattan used by the Aeta to make their baskets grew in the forests of their tribe’s ancestral domain; now it is cultivated commercially, to protect homelands threatened by loggers and mining companies. The Aeta work is part of a fair-trade program that ensures they are paid reasonable prices for their craft, and protects their well-being.
Blending hand-woven and sustainably-harvested rattan with colorful plastic, these bins have a serious philosophical purpose: they beg us to consider questions about the nature of design in the modern world, the role of the handmade, and the place of craft-based cultures in a globalized economy.