Ones to Watch

The de­sign minds be­hind Chop Value turn chop­sticks into some­thing new.

Western Living - - CONTENTS - Rose­mary Poole

San­ti­ago Martinez and Felix Böck, ChopValue, Van­cou­ver ChopValue is the story of waste meet­ing in­ge­nu­ity. In 2016, Felix Böck, a PhD can­di­date in the fac­ulty of forestry at UBC, no­ticed bam­boo chop­sticks from take­out or­ders ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in his girl­friend’s kitchen drawer and, us­ing lab fa­cil­i­ties at the univer­sity, he cleaned, coated and heat-pressed them into hard-wear­ing coasters, tiles and shelves. Next came a city-wide chop­stick re­cy­cling pro­gram at res­tau­rants, shop­ping cen­tres and the air­port to gather more un­wanted and dis­carded chop­sticks (and help busi­nesses cut down on waste-dis­posal fees), and later, with project man­ager San­ti­ago Martinez, an ar­chi­tect and de­signer by train­ing, a divi­sion of mod­ernist fur­ni­ture and in­te­rior de­sign ser­vices for com­mer­cial spa­ces. By the end of this year, ChopValue will ex­pand to Vic­to­ria, L.A. and Mon­treal. Credit goes to sin­gle-use uten­sils with seem­ingly end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties. “One of the big learn­ing curves, in terms of the com­pany, has been un­der­stand­ing the full stretch of the ma­te­rial,” says Böck. “It per­forms so well in so many ap­pli­ca­tions.”—

Ma­te­rial Gains San­ti­ago Martinez (left) and Felix Böck of ChopValue found de­sign gold in dis­carded chop­sticks.

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