Posts tagged ‘recycled’

Two more design actions in the public realm.

The first via Core77 (Nov 2, 2010):

Artist Catie Newell has used reclaimed wood from an arsoned house in Detroit to create Salvaged Landscape, an installation within the burnt building itself. “Demolition of this severely damaged house was imminent, but instead of a traditional tear-down, Newell removed the charred wood timbers from the frame of the house and stacked them on their sides to form an outside wall that extends to become a moody passageway inside. The surface highlights the unburnt insides of the timber in its cross section, exhibiting the contrast between the char of the surface and the warmth underneath.”


Salvaged Landscape is supported by The Imagination Station.

The second via Inhabitat (Nov 12, 2010):

“In the historic downtown area of Lima, Peru, a new pop up green space has invaded the urban landscape. Invasion Verde, or Green Invasion, is an installation by architects Genaro Alva, Denise Ampuero, Gloria Andrea Rojas and industrial designer Claudia Ampuero, created as part of Gran Semana de Lima – also known as Lima’s Great Week…. Invasion Verde is an attempt to insert extra park space into a packed city, in order to improve the quality of life for Lima’s citizens.”


Photos © Genaro Alva, from Flickr

December 3’s daily design idea is with creativity, any space can be activated.

December 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

Keeping it in the (furniture) family.

Thinking of using an eco-friendly approach to furnishing your home? Here’s some inspiration: all of the following projects use elements from old furniture.


Isabel Quiroga brings Louise Nevelson-inspired aesthetics to home storage with Storyteller.


Matt Carr’s “Biblioteca Bookshelf,” available for $725 from Umbra; Thomas Wold’s custom “Fractured Fairy Tales” display unit.


HealthWorks’ adorably named “Chenches“; two pieces from the “Madame Rubens” collection by Frank Willems, who uses discarded matresses in his chair designs.

Retro Clock Table available (in the UK) from IC Innovations; Ubico’s Lennard cabinet, made with only recycled materials.

June 30′s daily design idea is one way to give your home a new look is to give your old furniture new life.

June 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Extreme concrete.

According to Wikipedia, “concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world.” If you’re like us at Daily Design Idea, then you probably could have guessed that. But I bet you also couldn’t have imagined how such everyday material has inspired the following three ingenious ideas:

via Dezeen (November 27, 2009):

“UK company Concrete Canvas have been awarded Material of the Year 2009 by materials consultancy Material ConneXion for their cement-impregnated fabric.”

I have yet to see it in person, but this material is one of the most interesting ones I’ve heard about in a long time. I’m especially intrigued by its uses for “rapidly deployable hardened shelters.”

via Greenopolis (March 29, 2010):

“UK company Affresol offers a truly novel building material called Thermo Poly Rock (TPR), which is… stronger than concrete, waterproof, fire retardant, and can be used to build low-cost modular housing. Each house built with TPR panels will save an average of 18 tons of waste material from being disposed of in landfills.”

I love that this material is innovative, environmentally responsible, and extremely practical. But more than anything, I love that “Affresol houses are specifically aimed at providing spacious, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom quality homes for lower income families.”

via Dezeen (March 18, 2010):

“Dutch designers Tejo Remy & René Veenhuizen have designed a collection of furniture that looks inflated but is actually made of cast concrete.”

In a press release for a show at the Industry Gallery in DC, which featured this collection, the designers talked a bit about their process: “The original idea was to work with big rubber molds to create a soft appearance,” said Veenhuizen.  Remy added, “We reduced the size of the works to make them more manageable. Then, as we experimented with the concrete, we became interested in the amount of pressure the concrete put on the molds, and how the end result made that pressure permanently visible.”

June 23’s daily design idea is think outside the box, the tradition, the expectations, and the mold.

June 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm 1 comment

The World Cup: it’s personal.

This year’s World Cup kicks off in South Africa on June 11, and it seems like the most personalize-able (and perhaps most commodified) World Cup yet. You can now make your own World Cup avatar, create never-realized matches with the 2010 FIFA World Cup video game, or take some inspiration from Lego Fussball and recreate historic World Cup moments using good old Legos and stop-motion.

On a different note, Nike is producing soccer jerseys for its World Cup teams made out of plastic bottles from Japanese and Thai landfills. Apparently it only takes about 8 bottles to make a shirt, it takes 30% less energy than making a comparable non-recycled shirt, and there’s still a clear design emphasis on comfort and wearability. Now there’s something that makes me more personally invested in World Cup-related commodities.

June 8’s daily design idea is the branding, corporate sponsorship, or commodification of something doesn’t have to eliminate all personal connection to it.

June 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Building with history.

It seems like David Belt, creator of the new interactive installation Glasphemy!, could get some inspiration from Skyy Vodka when it comes to his leftover broken glass. Some recycled Skyy bottles end up in high end countertops manufactured by California-based Vetrazzo. What’s especially great about this material is that you can clearly see the broken glass (unlike the very cool but less obvious recycled Coke bottles in the new 111 Navy Chair).

I believe that having some sense of your materials’ histories adds a really rich texture to any project, whether they are broken glass pieces or columns of 17th century timber salvaged from an old New York tenement. The more you know, the more special your project becomes. Brooklyn furniture designer Jeremy Pickett has the unique pleasure of being able to tell you exactly where pieces like his Trylle Side Table started:

“The Trylle Side table is made from the same walnut that I procure for all my walnut and cherry needs,” Pickett explained to me. “It comes from a family farm down in Delaware. About fifteen years ago, a family sold their farmland to a golf course developer and as part of the land sale, the family requested to keep all the trees removed from the land developers. And they have milled the most amazing collection of air-dried walnut, cherry, and maple slabs of wood. So a part of every project I do begins with a drive down to Delaware to hand select the wood and walk the grounds. It’s a privilege to be able to walk the grounds that the trees came from. It helps me appreciate the sacrifice of the tree and pay respect to them. To borrow a term from the food industry, it makes my furniture literally ‘farm-to-table’.”

The Trylle Side Table, made of solid walnut from a Delaware family farm, retails for $850. Contact Pickett Furniture about this piece and many others at (347)404-3066.

May 22′s daily design idea respect your materials by learning their stories.

May 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm 2 comments

Why not… make some furniture?

Hopefully my recent posts on furniture have made you think about how you could create some pieces yourself, so here are some more inspirations for you to peruse (as if newspaper benches, Panda bear chairs, and milk crate chandeliers weren’t enough):


Pawel Grunert‘s SIE43 chair


Annie the shopping trolley chair; Balloona Side Table; a Cartonniste bookshelf

You should also check out this fantastic how-to article in Popular Mechanics, which breaks down how one girl used an old bike to make a snazzy, spinning coffee table. If you’re slightly hesitant to go for it alone and happen to be New York-based, you could also take a class called How to Make Crappy Stuff Awesome at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. And then maybe one day you too will be selling gorgeous tables for over 3,000 pounds.

May 5’s daily design idea is try using your junk to furnish your home. After all, good-looking recycled furniture doesn’t only have to be made for Milan Design Week.

May 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm 2 comments

Furniture of waste.

I was so inspired by Re-worked‘s chair made of coffee grounds, that I started to do even more research into chairs made of waste products (and chairs that resulted in zero wasted materials). Here are three that really caught my eye:

Fox & Freeze‘s ff1 chair is “an indoor lounge chair made from 1 square sheet of synthetic felt.” Its entire structure comes only from careful folding and a few pieces of flax rope, but the chair is still impressively (and hilariously) strong. There’s also no excess/wasted felt (similar in spirit to Re-worked, who uses the cut offs from their recycled ash wood to make little bears).

Belgian designer Charles Kaisin also has some great recycling-based pieces with surprising strength. His innovative Newspaper Extendable Bench is made from old newspaper that is glued and compressed into a structural beehive-like grid. He’s also designed a version of the bench in plastic, with a stunning limited edition version at Mudam in Luxembourg.

At this year’s Milan Design Week, Emeco and Coca Cola launched the 111 Navy Chair, made of 111 recycled Coca Cola bottles. In the words of Emeco’s chairman Gregg Buchbinder “We’ve turned something you throw away into something you want and can keep for a long, long time.” Admirably, Coca Cola is the one that initiated the collaboration.

May 3′s daily design idea is look at what you’re sitting on, and try to figure out where those materials came from.

May 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm 5 comments

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