Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pimping the Upcycled Pad Pt 1.- Mummy, There's a Bathtub in The Loungeroom

So far we've looked on the wearable side of upcycling, but how about upcycling in the home?
During a conversation with a friend the other day, I was discussing what I was up to with this series of atricles. I fear at the moment, upcycling suffers from the public perception that organics did in the earlier days: it's a realm for environmental activists and hippies and is really all too much effort and expense. With the aide of advocates, the socially conscious and companies such as Macro Wholefoods bringing organics into the mainstream, there is a definite shift occurring in perceptions.

The aim of my game is to have upcycling enter the consciousness of society as a completely normal and preferable thing to do. Easy, breezy and fun. I am merely a small cog in the wheel, but this is the aim of my game!

This friend mentioned that perhaps the reason upcycling into home objects wasn't more prevalent was that most people look at a brick and a fence pailing and think house with a fence. I look at a brick and a fence paling and think bookshelf.

However, perhaps where the notion of upycling furniture suffers a little is in the notion that it needs to be quite raw or rustic. This, and that if it is not, it's still very much in the realm of the artisan rather than mainstream.

The following upcycling furniture producers prove that sentiment VERY wrong!

Mummy, There's a Bath tub in the Loungeroom....

... and his name is Max.

Cleverly designed by the team over at reestore, this bath tub chaise is amusing, upcycled and functional without compromising on aesthetics.

Other contemporary & curious conversions from reestore include Agnes the car bumper sofa and Annie the shopping trolley chair.

Amazing. Inspiring. Funky. Clean. Contemporary. Junktion both amuses me and makes me want a bigger space to live in so I can have a piece or two.

Founded in Tel Aviv in 2008, Junktion produces pieces made from everyday objects and takes them out of context to create pieces that are useable, functional, viable and sometimes unusual.
The commitment behind Junktion is that we already have enough "stuff" in the world, but we can still satisfy our human need for more stuff!

David Stovell first caught my eye for his rolled newspaper table.
Inspired by bundles of newspapers left outside of shops on a Saturday night, Stovewell’s simple yet beautifully effective Sunday papers explore the “compressed life cycle” of the material:
“[they] have a cultural and economic value, and that the same product has a different set of values by Monday morning, in that the news is old news and their value is for pulp. I wondered that if by simply repackaging, the material life cycle could be extended."

David innovatively uses the headlines and images of the papers to create patterns and design. I find the glass topped table made out of what looks like the equivalent of the Sunday Magazine. The scope for cusomisation to your home is endless.
Best of all, David provides "How to" instructions both via PDF and video. He does this to "...encourage people to look at the materials around them."

Another interesting paper offcut piece from David is the Stack Table.

Made from printer's offcuts, the stacks of the paper that form the legs of the table are mechanically held together by Oak caps. There is no glue involved!

But surely one of the major users of forest products in the home is the floor.

I was speaking to another friend the other day whilst sitting amongst the mouse house chatting about how I have the urge to paint everything white. But then, I said, I would want a black floor. Well the team at Ting have the perfect solution for me (at about $75 USD per meter):

Upcycled leather belt flooring by Ting

Inghua Ting established TING in 2000. Following her graduation from the Royal College of Art, Inghua worked in Japan developing innovative, futuristic fabrics. However, working at the forefront of fabric technology led her to considering sustainable issues, and the challenge of designing and producing a desirable, luxury product from recycled materials. Inspired by old leather belts, reclaimed seat belts, old braces, vintage leather saddles, salvaged fabrics and tie silks. Inghua cleverly incorporates these materials into new designs to show them off to their best advantage.

Next: Part 2: No Skating in the House!

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