At TerraCycle, we love recycling, upcycling and re-using as much waste as possible. We like to practice what we preach and what better way to showcase this and inspire our team on a daily basis, than to upcycle our own office space like all the TerraCycle offices around the world.
The European team has recently moved into an additional new office space which naturally needed the TerraCycle upcycling experience. A few weeks ago, Tiffany Threadgould, our US based Chief Design Junkie, and resident upcycling expert, flew to London to orchestrate the renovation of our new office space.
While she was here, we managed to ask Tiffany a few questions to find out a bit more about her background, her role at TerraCycle and all the crazy upcycling projects she has been working on.
When did you start at TerraCycle and what is your role exactly?
I joined the TerraCycle team nearly 10 years ago. I was the first designer on staff and I’m the Chief Design Junkie here. My team is responsible for all the recycled, upcycled, and collection system designs that come out of TerraCycle. We’re also responsible for the interior design of our offices. All our international offices are furnished with items that have been given another life. Old doors become desk surfaces, remnant carpet becomes a patchwork for the floor, light fixtures are made from coffee canisters and much more!
How did you get into upcycling?
I’ve been reusing items and upcycling my whole life. But it really became a passion of mine when I moved to New York City right after I graduated college. I had a very small budget and I furnished my apartment from cast-offs that I found on the streets. That passion inspired me to go back to graduate school to pursue a degree in Industrial Design. My graduate thesis was called Trash Nouveau.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! On garbage (rubbish) / recycling night I sometimes walk by an interesting object that I pick up and give new life.
What is your favourite upcycled project or the coolest things you have created across all the TerraCycle offices?
One of my favourite upcycled projects was the In-and-out board that we created for the London office. It was a group effort to create that. It was the idea of one of the staff members in London after seeing a similar project we made for one of our US clients. We created the framework for the board in the US and then several employees in the UK chose the glued objects to attach to the in-and-out magnets, and fixed velcro to the back of the names, so that they could be interchangeable. It gets rid of the need to sign-in every day on a piece of paper. After it was made, I even saw a few people taking selfies with the boards! When people are excited, that’s when you know that a project is a success.
What was the most challenging one?
One of the most challenging office projects was hanging up a sculpture made from 3D glasses in our Mexico office. When you create something without physically being in the space, you always have to be open to changes on the spot. It was quite tricky balancing on a ladder and trying to hang the sculpture at the same time. In the end, I took a carabiner off of my keyring to make it balance and work.
Do you have a favourite TerraCycle office?
Well, I am partial to the US office. We’ve put the most time and effort into this space. This is by far our biggest office and we’re constantly renovating it. A close second would be the London office. There’s great energy with the employees there and there’s a lot of space to work with.
What was the main challenge you faced when designing the London office?
Working remotely and having a limited time is always a challenge. We first take into account the immediate needs of the space, and then scale up from there with decor that will make the most impact.
What is your favourite thing that you did in the London office?
In addition to the in-and-out board, I also really like the world made from wine crate lids. It was a fairly easy project and ended up looking great on a freshly painted blue wall. Plus a star was placed in each country where TerraCycle is represented showing our International reach. Our largest concentration of countries is in Europe!
Find out more about Tiffany on her website. In the coming months, we will give you a tour of the Upcycled TerraCycle Europe office on the blog, so if you love upcycling as much as we do, stayed tuned!