Don’t let waste go to waste

Don’t let waste go to waste
Waste patterns and “Wiener Werkstätte”

by Benia Curt Hirsch

Don’t let waste go to waste introduces students to patterns and design and the “Wiener Werkstätte”. With the web app Repper, patterns can be generated based on an existing photo or specific details of uploaded images, using different Rapport functions. This project explores patterns and the rapport technique in art and fashion. Students create their own rapport patterns based on photos of packaging waste. They also gain insights into rapport printing in textile design, old printing techniques, and the patterns of artists of the famous “Wiener Werkstätte”. This assignment fosters the students’ inspiration-finding abilities and encourages them to deal with packaging design and waste.

The starting point for this idea is the rapport technique, as it is known from textile printing. In this project, rapport printing is approached using the designs of Maria Likarz-Strauss (1893–1971), Felice Rix-Ueno (1893–1967) and Vally Wieselthier (1895–1945), all of whom were designers of the “Wiener Werkstätte”. All three created many designs that eventually became print patterns for textiles, with rapport being the production technique. Numerous of their designs are available in the online archive of the Museum of Applied Arts Vienna (MAK).

The project’s second focus is packaging material. Even though in many cases it is hardly noticed consciously or only used for a short time, a lot of creative thought goes into packaging materials. And nevertheless, it usually ends up in the trash relatively unnoticed. This project aims to encourage students to take a second look at the packaging, analyze its design and create their own rapport design based on their observations. In addition, the class could visit the local waste sorting plant, to experience the problematic side of packaging waste on-site.

  • Introduction: “What is a rapport print?” and introduction to the Repper app.
  • Trip to a landfill – photo studies and discussion about waste and waste management.
  • Select 3 photos, print them in different sizes on A4 format
  • Create a collage in A3 format
  • Scan or take a photo
  • Upload a photo of packaging waste or the collage on Repper and create 3 patterns
  • Analyze the patterns in a work diary with regard to the following questions:
    In what way does my pattern have a different meaning to me than my original photographs of the trash?
    How could I continue to work with the pattern I created? What three-dimensional form could be developed with my pattern?
  • Presentation of the patterns

“Wiener Werkstätte”:

The user interface shows the process of creating a pattern from a gold-green-brown design of an ice cream package, finally turning it into a design for a long dress with short sleeves.
Don’t let waste go to waste

My waste pattern © 2022 by Benia Curt Hirsh is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Benia Curt Hirsh, studies at the Department Art and Education, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Author’s Encouragements
The Repper web app makes it easy to create patterns and rapports. Students can thus easily create different designs, analyze them and follow up on them. This teaching concept can be implemented as a short version or in a longer discussion, in connection with art-historical topics (“Wiener Werkstätte”) and/or feature excursions on the topic of waste (waste recycling plant).