Recycle, renovate, repurpose
Weaving my way through the stands at a trade show I came across this interesting piece of old furniture which sat amongst the swish polished contemporary pieces. In an area called ‘Designers’ Block’ I was expecting to see new weird and wonderful pieces but not a battered old chest of drawers.
Standing nearby was Tom (Thomas Forsyth) who said, “This is Aschenputtel” and went on to describe it as an experimental work, the result of a collaboration between himself and Owen Gildersleeve. (See more about this piece of furniture in this magical little video.)
Apparently some of the renovation was really difficult and time consuming, and it was intentional to leave the paintwork shabby. Colourful paper petals were painstakingly cut from paper and then laid under a perspex drawer lining. Gentleman’s silk ties were patchworked into place to line the top opening part of the chest, (which was once a drawer).
After admiring the different elements of the new piece of furniture we chatted about eco friendly design and sustainability and when I came back to my studio I spent a few minutes refreshing my understanding of the terminology.
- Sustainability is the capacity to maintain a system for a long time, perhaps indefinitely so we can utilise and replenish the planet’s resources responsibly.
- Many items are over designed and over engineered so we must ask the question, “Can it look good and do the job using less material?”
- Although renovation, which protects and preserves, is not necessarily a cheaper option it is right and proper to conserve the valuable and aesthetically important.
- Recycling is concerned with saving resources and finding innovative uses for waste material.
- Up-cycling brings something back to a useful life, possibly with a whole new purpose.
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