NY Design Week’s “Under / Over East” Show Focuses On A Much Overlooked Design Object: The Toilet Paper Holder

Toilet paper is a product with which we interact on a daily basis without necessarily considering the impact of such an ordinary object on the planet. For example, not only does it take an average of 37 gallons of water and a gallon of chemicals to produce a roll of toilet paper, these chemicals used to make comfortable toilet paper in turn release toxins in our backyards. water. PlantPaper, a company offering a more sustainable, bamboo-based alternative to regular toilet paper, is trying to raise awareness of this problem in an attempt to reverse this environmental damage. An unconventional way to get the word out? Get involved in New York Design Week.

The Under / Over East toilet tissue holder designer collection on display at 106 Eldridge St. in Manhattan

Following on from their first successful event in Los Angeles in 2020, PlantPaper has partnered with Marta Gallery to produce “Under / Over East,” an exhibition which opened on November 13 with a reception at 106 Eldridge St in Manhattan. This design exhibition showcases artists’ interpretations of a humble bathroom: the toilet paper holder.

Lee Reitelman, one of the co-founders of PlantPaper, said when it came to thinking about how to organize an interesting creative event, “We were interested in the toilet roll holder, which, like toilet paper, has long been an afterthought for most.It’s something that people don’t really look at or take great pride in choosing. So we thought, what better way to get people to look at their bathroom and think a little differently about their choices than for artists to approach this particular design problem. ”

The toilet paper holder designed by artist Emily Schubert is currently installed at Lil Deb’s Oasis in Hudson, NY

Jaye Kim’s design on display at the Salter Room / Picture House in Brooklyn

To complete the show with some interesting up and coming artists, Under / Over teamed up with new PIN-UP publisher and furniture designer Emmanuel Olunkwa, who recruited over 25 artists to contribute their own creations to the show. The roster is a mix of established designers, architects and artists, including names like Gaetano Pesce, Minjae Kim, Simone Bodmer-Turner, Dong-Ping Wong, Ellen Van Dusen, and more.

Atypical to your regular design week shows, “Under / Over East” works more like a walking tour than a gallery show. Artists and designers have been invited to create two editions of their toilet paper holders, and while one is mounted and visible 24/7 in a storefront on Manhattan’s Eldridge Street, their other piece will be installed. in a location in New York so people can experience it up close. Reitelman says the PlantPaper team “loved the idea of ​​pointing to a community of businesses, restaurants, clothing, stores, that we feel connected with in terms of ethics and values. And we wanted to. sort of steer our audience in the direction of these places, just in the spirit of reopening the city, people taking over public life, seemed important and fun to be able to do that. “

John Sohn’s “Pillow for Toilet Paper” exhibited at Sky Ting Yoga

The design inspired by Sam Stewart’s reels at MATTER

If you want to experience the pieces yourself and enjoy a creative walking tour of the city, you can find all the locations on the Marta Gallery website. Each work has been produced in an edition of 2 and is available for price request through Marta Gallery.

Under / Over East will be on display in multiple locations around New York City until December 31, 2021.

More works featured in Under / Over East:

Design by Ellen Van Dusen

Design by Nifemi Ogunro

Design by Simone Bodmer Turner

Design by Minjae Kim

Design by Natalie Weinberger

Design by Axelle Dechelette

Design by Ellen Pong

Design by Ian Felton

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