The planet is dying. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) reported that human activities, mainly greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel, is the main cause of climate change. The second leading cause is deforestation. Between 2021 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas, according to a UN report.
One Haiti-based architecture student pushes for sustainability in furniture design and architecture. Timothée Adolphe, 19, created a 3D rendering of a chandelier made out of bike wheels. This design, titled Golden Chandelier, highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for Life on Land, which calls for sustainable forest management and protecting biodiversity.
Currently living in the Dominican Republic, Adolphe spoke with Arts Help about his design and his hopes for the future.
Your design, Golden Chandelier, is made out of bike wheels. How did you get this idea?
I was sitting in the backyard of my parent’s house, and this old bike that I don’t use anymore because, you know, I'm older now. I'm bigger than the bike, so I can't use the bike anymore. The bike was mostly junk, it wasn’t being used for anything. So, I said, what if some of the pieces in the bike were used as aesthetics, or designs, instead of laying out there in the backyard as trash?
I thought, what if the bike wheels could be up there somewhere and have some LED bars in them, like a chandelier? Like you see how fans are up in the air, and the bike wheels would look a little bit like a fan. So, I said, maybe the wheels would be good parts to use as a chandelier.
How does your design help reduce negative impacts on the environment?
The fact that this design itself promotes less junk and more transformation, it's like recycling. Transforming the junk into something aesthetic. This design would have been at the junkyard and when things are in the junkyard, they are smashed in, created into things that most of the time are sent to other spaces to be incinerated, which creates smoke and affects the atmosphere.
Up to this point, you’ve trained yourself in architectural rendering. What has this process been like?
It’s been a very beautiful journey. I started using 3D figures when I was 14. It was basically in video games. There's this game called Minecraft where you place blocks, and by placing all the blocks you can create a miniature space like a little house. After three to four years, I started thinking like maybe I can upgrade from video games to real software. So, I had to purchase a PC and see how I can use professional software. You know most of the time, I try to get advice from professionals and make them see my designs and offer their opinion on them. Basically, most of the time, they are satisfied with my work.
How do you combine designing furniture with architecture?
An architect can be a fashion designer or a furniture designer. Because architecture is basically having to play with shapes and creating a form that is good to be seen. I think that architecture is connected to furniture design in the first place.
What does the future look like for you?
From now on, I'm planning on entering an architecture school in the Dominican Republic. I think it's for a four to five-year program. And after that, I’m planning on executing my talent in the world of professionals.
What are some branches in architecture that you’re interested in?
Urban planning and residential design. Mostly when you participate in urban planning, you have a much wider aspect and information about how the city or the place is structured. You have an opportunity to regulate how the living space is designed and how the people there are living. And for residential design, I started designing houses, but not buildings. So, I will continue to design houses for people.
Thank you. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I have other designs that I haven’t exposed yet to the community. They are mostly about green roofs and green design. Green design is about putting trees in architecture, instead of having them outside the house, they are inside and in the house.
What inspired you to get into green design?
Well, my home country, Haiti, is having a huge problem in the green area. Deforestation is at a high right now, and people are cutting trees down to build houses without replacing them. Nobody cares about planting trees. And we don't really use the most efficient ways to cook food. We cut down trees to produce charcoal, which we don't replace. Having those types of designs used in the country might affect not only the way the people think about trees, but also when they are building, I think it would be a sensibilization to make them think about the trees as an asset to protect the country instead of an asset to build charcoal.
To see more of Adolphe’s work, visit his online magazine on Instagram.