New Zealand, land of astonishing natural beauty, landscapes that almost seem false as they are so incredible and unusual. Land of sensitive and unique flora and fauna, tatoos, the haka, sheep and cattle…and err interesting public toilets. You may think it strange that such a facility is to be featured on this blog for it’s design aesthetic, but it is a pretty strange sight.
Travelling up to the northern tip of the country to a small town called Paihia, I noticed the small vibrant structure immediately. At first it looks more like a small brick a brack shop or a tourist vendor. However as you come closer you will notice the sign written in multicoloured and individually styled letters reading the words “Paihia’s Wee Toilet”.
The small box like building is decorated with metal toilets that have been converted into plant pots. Long wild grass potrudes from the disused boat that sits on the roof. Wooden benches line the small coves, proving practical for waiting children. The sloping walls at the entrance allow for a degree of privacy while washing your hands while also welcoming in sunlight. At night the public toilets light up in neon pink and green making it look even more inviting but also fooling some tourists into believing it is a silent dance venue.
And who may be responsible for such an eccentric piece of architecture in the middle of a tiny remote town on the other side of the world – Hundertwasser of course. The eccentric artist and architect spent a considerable amount of time in New Zealand and although his contribution to Paihia’s architectural landscape was small, it is certainly significant. He would have no doubt also been pleased to know that it was certainly the cleanest public toilet I have ever visited.
The DO School is offering a unique one-year program for emerging social entrepreneurs that will provide training, mentoring and empowerment to young entrepreneurs to help them start their own ventures. Selected Fellows will receive a full scholarship covering the tuition fee for the year.
The DO School invites applications from motivated individuals from around the world to participate in the DO School Sustainable Cup Challenge. Applications are now open to young people aged between 21 and 28 and will close on September 15th 2013. Successful applicants will show exceptional motivation to contribute to solving the Challenge and will be encouraged and supported to develop their own social venture and in the areas of eg. sustainable product design, campaigning and branding, environmental activism, recycling and waste management.
The DO School Fellow Group
The programme will run from February to May 2013 and the selected Fellows will spend the first 10 weeks of this one-year program on the DO School pop-up campus in New York City! The following 10 months will be spent in their home countries implementing their own ventures.
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.
If you were wondering what to do with all your old toys why not use them to create art. This is what Robert Bradford did when he came across a box of his children’s old toys. Rather than discarding the collection of tiny plastic figures he used them to assemble colourful sculptures.
Terrier toy sculpture
These have since been exhibited in numerous cities all around the world.
Rhino toy sculpture
Most of his sculptures are of dogs, but he has also sculpted rhinos, ostriches, camels and fairies.
Sniff toy dog sculpture
Bradford has shown the wide range of different styles available when using recycled materials.
Ostrich toy sculpture
Recycling can be the source of inspiration as well as comprising the materials for the art work.
Roccapina V Chair by Yard Sale Project made from colour graded hardwoods. Photo courtesy of YardSaleProject.
The unique block design is put together piece by piece, held together by glue and reinforced by screws. The chairs are made with absolute precision, starting off as smooth distinct shapes and moving into a pixelated jagged edge. Despite its chaotic appearance, there is a lot of order in the making of the chair each block adjoining to another is of a different colour. The designer Ian Spencer stated that “There are actually a lot of rules to the chair, but an absence of predictability. It’s not anarchy.” The YardSaleProject exhibited at London’s Designersblock at the Southbank Centre last weekend.
Roccapina V Chair back view. Photo courtesy of the YardSaleProject.