Who are you?
My name is Valeria Solari, I was born in the early 80s in a small town call Villa Alemana in Chile. I grew up in a time where the only way to break boredom was by creating games and inventing with what we already had at hand, we spent the afternoons together with friends watching horror movies and going out to see nearby forests, coexisting with the surrounding animals. My father had many tools and devices to fix, with them I had my first experiences with objects that I would later understand to be designed, I realized that they were not random objects, that there were people behind who create their appearance and designed their shapes for our daily use. I was attracted to assembling things using elements that I discovered among my father's treasures, often unrelated, I could give them a new purpose. In that practice, I began to realize of everything that was available around me, of things that ended up being useless because they were no longer for the use they had before, or they were no longer so new and would end up in the trash if they were not reused.
That observation and the desire to create led me to study Graphic Design since I felt that designing solutions was something I wanted to investigate with the need to focus on a more conceptual plane and understand how to carry out the ideas that revolved around my head.
In my time at university, I learned about tools for the creative process and how to give effective solutions to design problems on a multimedia level. With this knowledge and acquired experience, I soon felt able to generate my own projects and collaborate with other people more linked to the cultural and educational field, something that I try to keep active until now, in this time I was able to add a more sustainable perspective, which attracted me since I was little, but at that time I did not know that it would be my way of continuing in the creative field.
What are you doing?
Two and a half years ago I migrated to Berlin with the idea of further investigating in the search to find a means in which to apply my experience in design for a greater good, where the current environmental problem could become a subject to be solved.
In this search, I found guides that showed me the great problem that there is with plastic at a local and global level, and how, from creativity and experimentation, I could contribute to creating awareness of what is happening with this and how to give a positive turn to the problem.
With this idea in development, I meet Belén Calderazi, an architect from Argentina who joined me with her creative and organizational strength to create 4UPCYCLING, a project that reuses plastic from disposable bags and gives it a new use by developing products that have a better shelf life.
The name Upcycling derives from a call for creative reuse, the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials and better quality products with more environmental value, this is what defines the process of our products, and we have put the 4 before because of the type of plastic we use, LDPE 4.
Lately, we have taken an important step in our search to create awareness of the reuse of existing plastic materials by holding workshops where attendees can create their own products made entirely of reused plastic.
Why do you do it?
Since I became aware that I could create with disposable things, I have realized all the possibilities that have not been explored yet and many more that may exist.
I feel that I am constantly learning new things, breaking paradigms and ingrained customs, at the same time that I perfect the processes, it allows me to keep on connecting with people and groups that share the same vision of repairing the environment where we operate, and to generate changes in mentality and well-being in my chores.
What is your projection?
I feel that there is a long way to go in the field of caring for the environment, of being aware of what is damaging us, as well as having the urgency of being able to repair the damage already done, it is also an opportunity to start proposing something different and take the issue of sustainability seriously, project ourself to a more sustainable lifestyle, if we all modified our bad practices a little with waste and unnecessary consumption, our lifestyle would change noticeably.
With 4UPCYCLING we want to continue to grow and spread the word that we can create with existing resources, as well as to open the possibilities and instances for more people to join in this challenge.
More about 4UPCYCLING in the following link: https://www.instagram.com/4upcycling