Environmentally Thoughtful Waste Paper Decor from Studio ILA

Hilal Gungor, a Turkish paper artist, says every day is Earth Day and I couldn't agree more. To carry this pearl of wisdom into her work, she founded Studio ILA two years ago, where she focuses on sustainability through the recycling of waste paper and the transformation of everyday objects.


rustic waste paper mache vase containing dried hydrangeas displayed on wood surface


Hilal has a degree in Industrial Product Design and worked as a product designer and technical expert in the automotive and machine industry for nearly two decades before relocating to Lyon, France due to her husband's job. This is where she started Studio ILA.


rustic tall sculpted vase and smaller rounded vase, both mottled black and white, displayed on wooden surface.

Most often Hilal works with cellulose and clay to create rustic, yet chic home accessories, such as vases, lamps, bowls, stools, and even side tables in a manner that supports the ecological aspect of modern design. 



bright pink table lamp with rough;y textured surface with off-white cylinder shade


She uses natural dyes to color objects made from a waste paper pulp mixture via a process that she has developed via trial and error.


many unpainted paper bowls stacked on wooden surface

I invited Hilal to tell us about this process:

Egg cartons, cardboard (Amazon boxes, for example), magazines, and junk mail are just a few types of household waste that are transformed via my organic process. I will start by telling you that knowing the material is very important. I studied for a long time just to learn the subject, as the density and quantity of the ingredients are critical.


hand displaying orange and white roughly textured paper bowl

First of all, it is necessary to separate the papers according to type; sometimes I use a mixture of all of them. As with the ancient technique of papier mache, the collected paper must be soaked until the cellulose fibers are further separated by gentle mixing. Natural adhesive is added and the pulp is then ready for the product to be designed.

one purple and one green geometric side table with roughly textured surface
side tables

I want to push the waste material to question expectations of sustainable design. Each item is unique. I do a lot of sketching to develop my ideas and I also experiment with paints before turning the ideas into useful 3D shapes.


shallow pink and white roughly textured paper bowl

Sometimes I combine my own materials with recycled products that I find in secondhand shops. My goal is to prepare special projects for interior architects in order to spread the idea of sustainability in home decor. 


stack of four roughly textured paper bowls in shades of purple, blue, and green displayed next to sheaf of lavender

Hilal will be participating in Lyon's Galerie Pop Up France on October 14, located in front of Pilo Hotel, 10 Mnt des Carmélites.


young blonde woman with head bowed while filing small object held in fingers

Hilal Gungor


You'll find Studio ILA on Instagram


Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Honestly, you make this sound so... pretentious ... like you need a degree to put recycled paper in the blender and reform it- in the 'ancient technique of paper mache' -I have been doing this for decades and making beautiful art without the need to sound so self important- your work is coarse and unfinished looking, like you didn't care about it- what exactly are you trying to communicate here? It seems like you want to just push some gimmick rather than really create art from your heart. Put some soul into this and see where it goes for God's sake

    1. Hello Anon, it would be great to see your art too... will you share your website or social media links please?


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