Repurpose, Redesign

Despite an entire Monday spent extolling the many virtues of cardboard furniture (although dingy brownness was not one of them), I am still in a recycling state of mind, possibly because all the trash floating down our street is making me sick. No more Church's Chicken cups, beer cans and gross dirty band aids in my yard, please! While I haven't found a use for old band aids yet (and I'm sure I never will), I have found a veritable cornucopia of cool items designed from repurposed materials.

repurposed montage

Clockwise from top left: San Francisco Metro Map Bowl by Etsy seller picapicadesign, Recycled wool blanket purses by designer Tieneke Beunders at Ontwerpduo, Recycled aluminum pop top purse by Brazilian designers at Escama Studio, and Recycled packaging lights by Anke Weiss seen at Yanko Design.

I am obsessed with maps (look for a future post devoted solely to their geographical goodness), so I adore the bowls by Picapica, and all the purse are very cute, wearable, and environmentally friendly. Yay trashless yard! The lamp made from recycled packaging is also a nifty idea, and it just goes to show that with a simple light kit (sold at Hope Depot or Ikea), many objects can be reborn as lighted sculptures. Par example, regardez Francois Legault's amazing spoon chandeliers at Unik:

francois legault

I'm relieved that he used spoons instead of forks. I am not sure how I would feel about a million pointed tines aiming at my eyes as I gazed up at their splendor.

Meanwhile, Tineke Beunders over at at Ontwerpduo is busy building more pieces out of materials that make you wonder why anyone ever discarded them in the first place.


The chair (which, in real life, I am quite sure is NOT as large as the cupboard), is strung like Danish rope cord but with old telephone wires. Being one of the landlineless legions, I had forgotten telephone wire even existed, but then I remembered waaay back to my awesome clear Swatch phone and its colorful guts. It's a very surprising use of materials, I think. And the cupboard made of old metal file boxes really belongs in my house. I want it and its filthy industrial patina so, so badly.

If you're looking for something a little more classic, something that screams less "Hey, I am recycled!" and more "Hey, I cost a sh*tload of money!" then look no further than the Phillipe Starck designed Kong chair, modeled after the ubiquitous Ghost chair, but this time cast and welded with 88% recycled aluminum:

kong chair

I've got to say that those are some sexy chairs. Unlike the other pieces I featured today (all of which I am still in love with), the Starck chair bears no mark of its original incarnation as a thousand common cans. It must have cost a small fortune just to get the base materials into a finished state, so I'm sure the $2000 price tag is somewhat justified.

Maybe they'll get recycled one step further and show up on Craigslist. Knock a zero off and those babies are mine.