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!
Gruba Repurposes Wooden Roller Blinds
Gruba is Argentinian architects Gabriel Pires Mateus and Maria Constanza Nuñez. Committed to creating “spaces and objects that provide alternative solutions,” they have designed a line of furniture, S.O.S. de Barrio, made from wooden roller blinds that Buenos Aires residents typically discard. Recycling the bits and pieces, they join them together into chairs, coffee tables, and loungers that revive the commonplace into a sophisticated elegance.
Most of Gruba’s work is focused on salvaged materials. Their “La Cartonera” line of tables is made from corrugated cardboard sheets that manufacturers have discarded because they weren’t of the best quality for their purposes. They also repurpose recycled wood into flooring and paneling.
Oxyd Factory Repurposes Automotive Parts
The Oxyd project gets its inspiration from the metal on old cars, with a special penchant for corroded, dented, and scratched materials that “bear the mark of time, weather, and wear.” From found objects, mostly the hoods and trunks of antique automobiles, they fashion tables, artwork, and accessories that occasionally incorporate logos or decorative details from the original piece. The one-of-a-kind creations are frequently named by the make, model, and year of the automobile from which the materials were salvaged. Accessories include coasters and iPhone cases.
Balzer + Kuwertz Repurposes Shipping Pallets
German designers Yanik Balzer and Max Kuwertz have teamed together to design a set of three chairs from a single Euro pallet “with almost no waste of material.” The EUR-pallet (a.k.a. Euro pallet) from which these chairs are crafted, comply with the European Pallet Association (EPAL) specifications which prescribe dimensions of 47.2”×31.5”×5.7” and a pattern of 78 nails. Not new to upcycling, Balzer + Kuwertz won the 2012 Core77 Design Awards honor in the DIY category with their Ready-Made Design Objects.
Get inspired to make your own shipping pallet furniture or check out what’s for sale from Gas & Air Studios, another group of innovators who are making everything old become new again.