Here are some of our favorite designers who salvage and repurpose discarded materials into art that functions as furniture. Take some inspiration from these artists and get creative in your workshop. There are lots of ways that you can make everything old become new again!
Loll Designs recently announced a new line called the Rapson Collection. As background, it turns out that Toby Rapson, son of the famous Ralph Rapson (architect of Greenbelt Case Study House No. 4), met Loll at an AIA event in Minneapolis and decided to work with the company to resurrect certain of Rapson’s chairs originally designed for Knoll in the 1940s. Loll and Rapson-Inc. came up with a couple prototypes and shared them at ICFF and Dwell on Design this year.
This is an inventive design for a shelf/storage solution that fits the occasion. Called BrickBox, the modular system is designed and manufactured in Barcelona by Antxon Salvador and Roger Zanni. BrickBox can be used for storage — assemble and stack — or transport — pack and grab a handle — and comes in two sizes: 10.6″ x 10.6″ x 14.2″ (small) and 21.3″ x 10.6″ x 14.2″ (large). Fair Companies featured the design in a recent video, which could help propel the company outside of Europe and into the U.S. BrickBox is searching for an American distributor right now. Pricing is between ~$40 – $60 per box.
Broom is another chair made by Emeco and Philippe Starck, but this one isn’t made with aluminum. As explained by Starck: “Imagine … a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic.” In this case, the dust is discarded industrial material — 75% reclaimed polypropylene, 15% reclaimed wood fiber, and 10% glass fiber — and the magic is a stackable chair.
Just in time for outdoor entertaining and BBQ, Loll Designs introduced a new line called the Fresh Air Collection derived from a flat-pack design for furniture originally intended to be shipped in a prefab, disaster-relief home. The home never materialized but that didn’t stop Loll from finishing their designs. The collection is made with paper-composite Richlite for structural bracing and recycled and recyclable HDPE (from milk jugs). Fresh Air includes a table at $760 and benches from $210.
Here’s an interesting product that got its start with a successful funding from Kickstarter. SmartDeco is affordable, engineered, blank furniture made with 100% recyclable Enviroboard — a light-weight corrugated fiberboard, like cardboard, but with a middle layer of oscillating arcs for strength. The flat-pack furniture is made in California and folds in places without the need of tools. Available pieces include a stand, dresser, and desk, and all of these items are available for about $65 or less each (white costs a little more).