How can we reuse old materials to generate fresh ideas? Join designer Nicole McLaughlin for a hands-on workshop exploring techniques for prototyping a design using everyday items. Inspired by McLaughlin’s process, participants will conceptualize and build their own pair of “trash sandals.” Along the way, they will have the opportunity to enhance their design literacy skills and build a network with other participants who are interested in exploring innovative practices for their classrooms and organizations.

No prior experience in design required. Recommended for ages 16+. 

Participants should gather recyclables or otherwise discarded items before this workshop, as we will be utilizing found materials. Tools such as tape, safety pins, and scissors may be useful as well.

Nicole McLaughlin is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. McLaughlin‘s accessible, witty, and functional practice serves as a reminder that sustainability is actually an operational philosophy. By transforming discarded objects into works with new, imaginative, and often unexpected utility, McLaughlin shows how a circular approach to design and manufacturing can help us reframe waste as an opportunity. 

She has partnered with Hermès, Nike, adidas, Reebok, Puma, The North Face, Arc’teryx, Merrell, Christian Louboutin, Crocs, HBO, Calvin Klein, Woolrich, Jacquemus, Opening Ceremony, and Warby Parker. 

Nominated for the Beazley Design of the Year 2020, her work is currently on display at the Design Museum in London. This spring, her work will be exhibited at MAD Brussels as a part of their upcoming show around United Fashion. 


This free program will feature breakout rooms and will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation in this program, please email us at or let us know when registering. 

About Design Snacks

Build your design toolkit! Design Snacks is a series of hands-on workshops exploring techniques and strategies for participants to incorporate into their own practices, classrooms, or organizations. Workshops are held every other Wednesday beginning March 3, 2021. Participants are not required to participate in all workshops. Find out more about all upcoming Design Snacks programs. 

Design Snacks are made possible with major support from Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation. Generous support is also provided by The Hirsch Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.