Sustainability comes in many forms but the very concept of it is simple and it plays an immense role in our everyday lives. It is about developing a man’s need for the present without compromising the ability to change for the future. 

The principle of sustainability is about the capacity to maintain the quality of use while lessening the carbon footprint. This principle may be applied in a wide range of economical variety from start-up businesses or big architectural firms, or even within our own houses. The possibilities of this concept are limitless. One example is an artisanal artist from Bangalore who promotes the use of paper and brings out its sustainability.

Meet Jenny Pinto the woman behind the first artisanal paper studio in Bangalore. She is also an advocate of many sustainable projects all over India, including the creation of the banana paper. According to her, she loves the look and sense of beautiful paper while exploring various natural fibers. She’s fascinated with the process of papermaking wherein the fibers yield to water, break down, then only bond again in water to form a fragile translucent sheet. 

After being left under the sun to dry, the paper shrinks and warps. With this, the structural pattern of twisting and dancing in slow motion forms primarily inspired her poetic journey with papermaking. Pinto’s fond of mixing paper with easy-to-procure-products like brass, wire, and the like to create stunning sustainable home decors and fit-outs. 

Pinto started making handmade paper in 1998 after 17 years of making TV commercials in Bombay, she decided to do papermaking. She produced recycled journals and various stationery products out of the papermaking business. Her design studio, Oorjaa, has grown into a family of 35 artisans and three designers. 

The idea started from being an experimental studio that designs paper lights, she has delved into the potentials of paper as she sees it as an unexplored material. Jenny began making paper from fibers of banana, sisal, mulberry, and grass. 

To start with, we have listed 10 of Jenny Pinto’s sustainable projects and exhibitions:

1. Banana Paper

Amazed by the versatility of the banana plants of Kanyakumari, Jenny Pinto developed its unique quality of strength, luster, and malleability into the art papermaking. Although the process may be very tedious and labor-intensive, the results in the paper have made her work with other artists to stretch out the product.

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2. Traces of Time Exhibition

Aside from developing products, Jenny Pinto also held exhibits that showcase her products. Like her Traces of Time Exhibition last 2008, it focused on the art of papermaking. The exhibition captured the heart of Pinto’s works and how sustainability in papermaking is possible together with the hard work of her partners as well.

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3. Fiber Fables

Water hyacinth is known to be an invasive plant, it is a tenacious weed that causes a lot of damage to bodies of water, forests, and wildlife reserves. From this issue, Pinto devised the weed into something useful. This is one of Jenny Pinto’s work in Oorjaa where she handcrafted faux concrete and made use of hyacinth fiber into several types of lamps as a solution to one of the ecological problems creating a sustainable product.

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4. Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-Sabi is another Oorjaa’s collection wherein they developed faux concrete from waste and then adorned it with silver finish embossing on the design of the products.

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5. Oxide

Similar to Wabi Sabi, this type of sustainable products are made up of fiber-concrete with a different palette of earth and sky tones encased with different recycled materials such as wires.

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6. Shadow Play

The Shadow Play collection was inspired by the traditional shadow puppetry native to Indonesia and South India. This set of products came along with banana paper and fine cutwork of other fibers that were developed in the papermaking business.

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7. Uncork

For this particular collection, Uncork has been using harvested tree bark that regenerates every nine years into several types of light that are mostly used as an accent for the industrial approach of architecture and interior.

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8. Urbania

Urbania is one of Jenny Pinto’s set of collections that uses paper as the main material. In this particularly sustainable lighting handicraft, she has taken into account the geometry of urban architecture as well as juxtaposing line and light with paper shades and granite.

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9. Elements

Just like the other paper collections, Elements collection design follows organic shapes and was inspired by the environment such as the forest, waves, and natural forms that shape up the world.

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10. Dori

The Dori collection was inspired by a Japanese philosophy of ‘mottainai’ which means ‘no waste’ and the art of tie and dye. Leftover paper scraps were used to create patterns.

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These projects are just an example of how one can utilize a certain material to its fullest form. Although at first, it may be used for its primary purpose or considered to be a commodity if one will just look from a different perspective and give light to the creativity, it may turn to a program that has many uses as well as something that will help the environment.

Author

It started with a spark and the next thing she knows, she’s on fire – that’s how Vimaluz Amairah or Vam started her journey with architecture. She is in constant curiosity about the world and how to make it better to the core of her profession as a future architect – the human person.

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