Repurposed Designs

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Author: Judee Shipman

Repurposing, also known as adaptive reuse, is the use of products and materials for purposes other than originally intended. Examples include worn out tires fashioned into furniture, candy wrappers turned into handbags, and cardboard canisters used as lampshades. This project invites you to create your own unique repurposed design(s).


How can we develop new uses for old products?


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).


  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below)
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Create a colorful, imaginative display of existing repurposed designs.
  6. Make a list of items that need repurposing such as e-waste, batteries and mattresses.
  7. Invent your own original repurposed design.
  8. Create prototypes of your design.
  9. Write your findings in a detailed report.
  10. Include photos, diagrams, models and demonstrations in your science fair display.
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