Giving a second life to wood waste

Building to rebuild one’s self

France
Helping people in difficulty to regain control over their accommodation and reintegrate into working society while encouraging the independent production of objects made from recycled wood

Building to rebuild one’s self

Project leader
logo Entropie

Duration of the partnership
2018-2020

Location
France

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The project and its aims

The aim of the Entropie project is to offer “supported independent production” courses to people described as members of “severely excluded groups”. These people, who are in socially difficult positions with little hope for gaining employment, are put up in an apartment (through Totem, a partner of the project) following a period of drifting. Very often, the smallness of the accommodation offered to these people and the trouble they have taking control of their new living spaces hamper efforts to make the solution long-lasting.

In this context, workshops are offered to enable the people to make furniture they need for themselves, thus helping to improve their living conditions and create an uplifting and suitable living environment.

These courses, each lasting 40 hours, give people an opportunity to educate themselves in eco-design and woodwork. By acquiring technical and methodological skills in a supervised workshop, they improve their prospects of gaining fresh footholds in society and the working world.

With this in mind, the association forges partnerships with various local bodies for the collection of material. The idea is to design practical, durable and ingenious furniture by encouraging creativity and originality so as to demonstrate that re-employment can be both environmentally-friendly and a source of inspiration that can add genuine value to the items produced.

Lastly, since the process of “social reintegration” also entails changing the ways other people view these people in difficulty, the Entropie project intends to promote the creations made at the workshops to the general public at local level. An exhibition of works will be held, showcasing the quality of the output and the paths of the participants in order to encourage similar approaches to preparing people for re-employment.

The beneficiaries

This project is aimed at 20 people considered to be among the severely socially excluded and supported by the Totem apparatus.

They will take part in the courses and make objects they need.

But this project will also have numerous indirect beneficiaries: people and organisations who live or work with these people in difficulty, families and the Totem apparatus, as well as visitors to the exhibition!

What makes the project special

Entropie’s philosophy is rooted in sharing knowledge with everyone, solidarity and promoting independent production. Design also lies at the heart of the association’s approach, and every workshop is also intended to be fun.

This is considered to be a pilot project insofar as the focus is on achieving qualitative results before widening it to reach more people.

I’ve been working on civil service with Entropie for several months and am fully engaged in the ‘Build to Rebuild One’s Self’ project. The project started with Laeticia, a dynamic and highly-motivated 26-year-old whom we helped to make a high sleeper bed with several built-in storage units and which was ideally suited to her cramped new apartment. Alongside these we forged ties with several local wood recycling organisations, such as L’Alternateur, which is located on Les Echelles and provides equipment for performance art, or Ulisse 38 in Grenoble. From them we pick up bits of old furniture, industrial cast-offs and planks of wood from old performance art shows, which we recycle to make our creations, giving them an environmentally-friendly, original and inventive dimension!

Raphaëlle Simoneau a civil service volunteer with Entropie working on the Build to Rebuild One’s Self project
logo Entropie

Project leader Entropie

ENTROPIE is an association that promotes a new way of producing objects based on independent production by teaching people to make things from the materials around them. It uses free design and shares manufacturing blueprints free of charge on its website.

The association runs workshops for beginners’ in cabinet-making and woodwork and, by so doing, strives to uphold the values of people-first education with the intention of remaining accessible to people living in precarious situations.

Entropie works actively to advance a new model for an environmentally-friendly society based on mutual support, collaboration and the free circulation of knowledge.


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