The Pagri Stools by Studio Avni are made from repurposed silk Sarees. Studio Avni have created an upcycled and sustainable collection of textile poufs using the material from these old and discarded drapes.
This pouf is also available at moorbi.com
Furniture Magpies create furniture from discarded materials, providing an alternative to adding to landfills. These unique constellations that use a combination of discarded furniture, look more like art than functional objects.
“Furniture Magpies offers an alternative to mass produced furniture, specialising in regenerating old furniture to meet the desires of modern consumers.”
This coat stand is made with the back of several dining chairs, the design blends different chair styles while retaining the individuality of each component.
Furniture Magpies emphasise the importance of the history and memories carried by the pieces that make up the final product.
“Our work strives to retain the character and story of the furniture we use, allowing the user an insight into their items original identity.”
All of these items are also available at moorbi.com.
The Living Furniture Project is a design studio and workshop with a social purpose – creating jobs for the homeless. Located in East London, an area with a visible housing problem, the project aims to encourage training and creativity to address this growing problem. It not only highlights the issue of homelessness but also takes a positive and practical approach in attempting to solve it.
The People Behind the Project
The Living Furniture Project involves a number of design creatives and experts in reclaimed materials, these include:
- contemporary upcycling luminaries Donna Walker and Nic Parnell,
- Geoff Walker who has twenty six years experience in bespoke carpentry and has designed the stylish interiors of bars like Barrio East and Dalston Superstore,
- Sarah Baulch, who has been regularly featured in Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and on TV for her upcycled fabric designs,
- Yinka Ilori, a prodigy designer regularly asked to exhibit his furniture in Berlin, Milan and London,
- Kat Wight, an acclaimed pattern designer who previously worked for Laura Ashley,
- Kat Hamer who is an Australian eco-fashion designer and social entrepreneur, and
- James McBennett, founder of innovative furniture start-up Fabsie.com
The company works in partnership with two homelessness charities – Crisis and Providence Row, who refer their clients to the workshop for a range of paid and unpaid training and work programmes. Each Apprentice is given technical training, structured mentoring and pastoral support – a personal development programme which has been designed in conjunction with the partner charities.
The project has taken on two homeless Apprentices since launching in January 2013, and is taking on two more in May. The aim is to employ ten Apprentices by the end of the year. Apprentices will stay with the company for up to six months and are then helped with finding a job elsewhere in the furniture industry.
“The first time an Apprentice finishes a piece can get quite emotional – holding something unique in their hands and thinking – I did that.”
Donna Walker, designer on the project, explains her motivation for joining “I like the idea of skill-sharing, I use it a lot in my own work – I learn making skills from my colleagues and I teach them mine in return. So skill-sharing with the homeless is my way of giving back to the local community.”
Designer Nic Parnell adds “I like the idea that a high level piece of furniture can be made by anyone, of any skill level, if they’re given the proper tuition. I’m very excited to be part of the project.”
The Living Furniture Project source all their materials sustainably – using reclaimed plywood or shipping pallets, or restoring old pieces they find in salvage yards, skips or on the street. The company already has a network of spotters and collectors who identify opportunities to reclaim waste in the construction, textile and manufacturing industries. Below is a short video explaining how the Living Furniture project works and how you can buy bespoke made furniture from them.
A combination of Roy Lichtenstein, South African slang and upcycled design. Yameng Li has reimagined a simple recycling idea into a work of art, by painting this unique tyre chair in collboration with Tyred, at the Design Indaba Conference 2010 in Cape Town.
The LA based multidisciplinary artist, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga (better known as Caro), has created the CONNECT Series of spectacular, cascading, and seemingly traditional chandeliers. These chandeliers however, are not made of glass or crystal but have been carefully crafted using discarded bike parts.
Caro professes that she became inspired to create the series when she started exploring the “third function” of materials. She describes the lifecycle in three stages of discarded materials being transformed and reclaimed into something new –
1. they serve their original function
2. their original function becomes obsolete and they become ‘trash’
3. they cease to be ‘trash’ as they are transformed into something entirely new
Through this process she seeks to transform objects deemed to be excess waste by “effectively reclaiming the ‘discarded’ and ‘invisible’ to create something far more powerful and commanding.”
As a result the “chandelier itself becomes a metaphor of reclaimed power.”
The CONNECT Series chandeliers are influenced by both modern and Victorian styles, as well as by bike culture, and a strong belief in the concept of sustainability and environmental preservation.
“The idea for ‘The CONNECT Series’ began from seeing pots and pans hung from a makeshift pot rack made from a bicycle rim. It inspired me to make a mobile made from a bike rim, bike tube, and bike gears. The result was lovely but too simple and it was the semantic mistake of calling it a bike ‘chandelier’ and not a mobile that led me to make a proper chandelier.”
Caro has a unique gift for recognising value and functionality in unwanted objects, allowing these to serve a purpose even if it greatly differs from their original use.
“In her art and her life, Caro works to find beauty in the discarded, and challenges the necessity of the new.”
Yes take a closer look, these stunning chandeliers are made of bicycle chains draping down in elegant swathes. Carolina Fontoura Alzaga uses old discarded and broken bicycle chains to create these fixtures using her artistic talent and skilled craftsmanship. The result is astonishing, proving that the gift is in the quality and composition of each piece.