While it has become easier to travel in a more authentic and creative way thanks to the internet and sites like Airbnb and couch surfing, this also counts for the buildings that you can stay in. This iconic tin shed in the Sydney suburb of Redfern (which is available to book through Airbnb) was built with repurposed corrugated iron.
In Australia corrugated iron is perhaps a more common building material than in European countries. This house has combined modern architecture with the rusty metal to depict the industrial past of the Sydney suburb.
Australian architect Rafaello Rosselini, whose aim was to repurpose an old tin shed at the back of a residential lot, describes the original building and the renovation process:
“The shed in its current state was dilapidated and structurally unsound. The original tin shed was disassembled and set aside while a new timber frame was erected. The layers of corrugated iron accumulated over generations of repair were reassembled on three facades.”
The grooves in the large metal sheets create an unusual facade at the front of the building, while the varying shades of rust and old paint create a worn out look you would be more likely to find in a scrap yard.
Inside the spotless white walls and the sleek wooden floors, show that salvage does not need to result in a compromise in style or quality.
On Rosselini’s website it states that the “project embraces that it will continue to change with time through rust, decay and repair.”
This is an interesting video about urban farming in Tokyo, Japan. A recruitment firm in the centre of the city has integrated greenery into its office space, even using the harvested produce in the staff canteen. Fruit sprouts from the ceilings, while other plants serve as partitions in the open plan areas. The subtitles are a little difficult to see, so I would advise to watch the video on a larger screen.
Apart from making beautiful jewellery, Quazi Design have a lot more to offer. These beautiful woven bowls combine bright colours and elegant smooth shapes to form the perfect bowl for your home.
The brand, which is based in Swaziland, takes pride in its African style while also having a strong belief in sustainability and respect for the environment.
Quazi Design is a member of SWIFT Swaziland fair trade network and has worked closely with other local handcraft businesses. The range of woven bowls uses simple patterns to create a unique look typical for the small African Kingdom while combining it with a modern style.
“The business was co-founded by Doron, a designer from the UK and Flotsam, the local magazine distributors. Doron became the driving force behind the enterprise and since 2009 has lived and worked in Swaziland building a sustainable business model with a dynamic balance between economic and social goals, believing that design driven handcraft can be a powerful tool for empowerment and economic independence. The core of our business is pushing the boundaries of craft and sustainable design through innovative techniques and continuous product development.”
Products by Quazi design are also available at Shake the Dust a design brand which specialises in ethical products and sources, commissions and sells hand-made, luxury homeware and accessories.
Upcycling is something natural and something very human. Creativity in a practical sense is not unique to designers. While upcycling has taken of as a trend in many countries, showing people both the value and the beauty of reuse, it is also changing lives. You can find upcycling pretty much everywhere, whether it is intentional or purely practical and out of necessity. Different countries and cultures will take on different approaches to upcycling but ideas seem to be everywhere. Alfredo Moser a man living in Southern Brazil has invented a very simple light using a plastic bottle some water and a drop of bleach. These incredibly cost effective lights are changing the lives of countless people in the Philippines where these ingenious inventions are being installed to save people spending money on very expensive electricity. It shows that sometimes the best inventions are the most basic ones.
This is a photo taken just several steps from the Opera House in Sydney, looking towards the city centre across the edge of the botanical gardens. The view shows a combination of nature, high rise urban buidlings and a building site. I like the contrast of the raw earth, the big tree, the sky and the commercial tower blocks in the distance.