Graduates 2017: Matilda Grover


Remote community workshop from Matilda Grover on Vimeo.

 I don’t want to design more products that solely use virgin materials when there are enough in the world. What I’m interested in designing are products that act as catalyst for change and education.”

3D Design & Craft student Matilda is working with hard-to-recycle TetraPaks, linking with a South African township community.

Tell us about your grad show project Matilda

“I’ve created a technique for removing the layers of paper, plastic and foil from Tetra Pak packaging which is really hard to recycle – I think there is only one place in the UK which does it – and I’ll be making products from this.”

It started as part of a second year project called Wiki-waste workshop, run by Nick Gant and Dr. Ryan Woodard but I’ve developed it into a community scheme for my final project, linking up with a township in South Africa, teaching women there how to make producrs from their waste Tetra Paks too. The university has a connection with this foundation in South Africa through Anthea Rossouw which is how I became involved (visit the Dream Catcher website).”

It was inspiring going to Nepal in November. I visited a couple of social enterprises, one where they employ women and pay them fair wage making textiles. I’m also making some furniture for my final project, using simple tools, replicating what they have to use where I was in Nepal.”

matilda grover

Above: woven Tetra Pak recycled materials

How will the skill-share projects actually work?

“I’m designing a contextual framework which can be used by different communities which have social, environmental or economic needs. I’ve created a pre-recorded video of a ‘how to make it’ guide – on YouTube and the idea is the viewers can make products from the Tetra Pak materials through watching the tutorials – one of the products I’m working on is a whole blanket that folds up into a picnic bag.”

I have done an online workshop already – Anthea recruited the women and facilitated the workshop for me. I had to do massive ethics application!”

matilda grover tetrapak materials

How have you found the 3D Design & Craft degree?

“It’s been great – and hard. I have a young child so the university allowed me to do the second year over two years – so I’m now on my fourth year. When I was 19 I did an art foundation, then I went away did lot of travelling and had my daughter. I really feel like I’ve learned a lot here and developed strong ideas.”

What next?

I’m hoping to do the Sustainable Design MA at Brighton part time. I would like to lead workshops in schools or abroad and introduce people into the idea of making with waste materials.

I’m really interested in people working within a group and I find that more satisfactory.

I would like to run a workshop in Nepal with women, teaching them how to make furniture that incorporates waste materials. People are often scared of making furniture or larger products, but I would like to help them become confident in making. When working in communities I think it is important for projects to have a strong sense of longevity.

Where can we see more?

Follow Matilda on Instagram and watch this space for YouTube tutorials.

Find out more about our BA(Hons) 3D Design and Craft course here

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