PostIndustrial is a concept for 21st century home goods that are made from abandoned 20th century communication infrastructure.
(That’s about half the circumference of the Earth)
As people move away from cable TVs and wired phones towards fibre optics and 5G, older communication infrastructures are getting abandoned in favour for newer ones. Coax cables are everywhere. It's in your walls, your basement, and even on your city's street.
By weight, coax cables are less than 1% copper. After visiting our local scrapyard, we learnt that these wires are simply tossed in the landfill because it’s not worth it to strip and recycle its many layers.
Cable companies have gotten away with this form of urban pollution because of outdated policy and a lack of awareness. Cleaning your home and city from coax cable improves property value, and up-cycling cables prevents them from entering the landfill.
Product and Communication
Post-Industrial’s goal is to up-cycle abandoned communication infrastructure and turn it into household products. Each item we sell decreases the amount of waste that litters the city and may end up in a landfill. Residents and homeowners are encouraged to learn how to safely remove cable and can send in cables for discounts on products. Post-Industrial also incentivizes scrapyards to help collect wires by purchasing the coax cable they collect.
We prevent abandoned cables from ending up in the landfill.
Our products help get rid of wires from Pittsburgh’s streets and basements.
Big telecom and electric companies have installed coax cables in most homes and connected them to telephone poles. When electricians or demolitionists take these cables down, they send them to the scrapyard or landfill.
Post-Industrial incentivizes local scrapyards, electricians, and residents to turn in abandoned cables by establishing a market value for the wires.
Our team visited a local Pittsburgh scrapyard and learned that the lack of copper in coax cables meant it had no value recycled. We spoke with all of the big cable companies and learned that when they do cut down wires they throw them away. While collecting the wires to use in testing and prototyping, we talked to several local pittsburgh residents. Our team realized that most people didn’t know the wires were dead and could be taken down.
Most people cannot tell the difference beteween communication cables and electric cables. Fewer people are even aware of their rights to demand communication companies or landlords to remove these abandoned cable.
Months of experimentation went into finding the best construction method for coax cable. Many different methods were tested including: weaving, gluing, soldering, jigging, and more.
An innovation isn't really innovative when only a few know about the idea.
In this sense, this project is not complete. We've came up with a novel method of up-cycling coax cable, and now the next step would be to spread the idea. The plan is to use social media platforms like Youtube and DIY communities like Instructable to spread this idea with a video. Combining social media with Design has huge potential, and I'm currently practicing this craft with a few videos first before I re-engage with this concept.