Gallery: ALUMINUM PULLTAB CHAIR: A La Lata Lounger


The phrase “A la lata,” translates as ‘to the can’ in Spanish. A commonly uttered phrase in Colombia, the expression itself also refers to the act of doing something spontaneously, with a great deal of enthusiasm. With Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos’ beautifully constructed A La Lata Chair – the concept of executing something amazing on the fly, using whatever available means, definitely takes on a whole new meaning. Meticulously assembled using 1739 recycled aluminum can tabs, Hoyos’ unique lounge chair incorporates traditional handicraft techniques with cutting-edge contemporary design, much like the chair version of the fabulous Escama bag. Durable and ideal for exterior use, the real beauty is in the fact that the chair is entirely recycled.

While sustainability appears to be the main motivation for the Colombian-born designer, issues of cultural identity are also taken into account here. With Hoyos’ creations, the emphasis is never entirely placed on the final product itself – equal attention is given to the the complete process, including how the product will impact the people responsible for its fabrication. By involving local communities in developing countries in the collection of the tabs and weaving of the material, Hoyos’ sees his chair as a means of generating a source of income for the needy as well as an environmentally-sound example of comfy, sensible furniture design.

Carlos Alberto Montana Hoyos’


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  1. ashley413 June 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    where do you find something like the metal frame part?

  2. CodyZ April 19, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    I like how the chair reuses rather than recycles. It seems like it’s saving energy by using pop tabs that have already been put into circulation rather than melting down aluminum from other sources.

    On the other hand I’d like it much more if instead of using zip-ties it used something more sustainable like a rope or twine of some kind.
    And while it looks cool I don’t really like how much plastic is wasted sticking out of the back.
    Imagine replacing that with the fringe of cotton rope. The whole seat could even be turned over and you would have a fuzzy chair.

    Just a thought…

    Try a greener coloured rope or twine and it would make it almost look like grass.

  3. AlexM April 7, 2007 at 4:43 am

    Great design! Almost green except for the fact that zip ties are being used… maybe figure ot a way to link the pulltabs together more sustainably, Ive seen chain made from pulltabs and the way chain maile is created. Still good effort.

  4. user23 March 6, 2007 at 11:50 am

    There is a can over there.

    This is a great project, it should inspire you to make your own, It has me, maybe one day someone will think the project I make cool enough to write a review about it. Thanks for the ideas. I got some beer to drink to get me there.

  5. carlos March 3, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Hi “all”, Im Carlos, the designer of the chair. Thanx for all your comments, its always good to learn from this. Some points to clarify: the people of inhabitat have been extremely ethical, its my problem not having a website. This product is just an experimental prototype, still not still being sold. It is indeed “hell of a lot of work” to assemble, and even more tocollect the tabs (although most of my friends had “hell of a lot of fun” drinking all kinds of stuff just with the excuse of helping me with my prototype :)))). However, the sustainable concern is more on the social aspect. In some countries in latin america or asia, much of the waste recycling is actually done by hand. This kind of projects give work to the poeple who classify the wastes, and also give jobs to urban handcrafters. Regarding the materials and environmental aspects, I agree its not totally solved. We should as designers try to follow BiIl Mc Donoughs Cradle to Cradle approach and think in the life cycle since conception of the product. But there is so much waste around already, that why not give it a try to use it in other ways?

  6. Jill Fehrenbacher March 1, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Hi “TUD”-

    If we didn’t respect this designer we wouldn’t have written about him in the first place. The designer does not have a website, so we can’t link to him. That said, we have provided you with his name and email address in the post – so you can contact him directly if you are interested in his work.


  7. German Salamanca March 1, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Excellent work! and as a Colombian Industrial Designer I´m so glad to see a Colombian design shown here on inhabitat.

    Hope Carlos keeps working to design great and green stuff like this one.

  8. Mike March 1, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Looks like a hell of a lot of work to me.

  9. jim February 28, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    …”the chair is entirely recyclable.”

    Well, the components are, but it seems it would be as much work to un-make the chair as it did to make it, wouldn’t it? Most wouldn’t bother with it – to increase recycling we need to produce with recycling in mind.

    Great design, though – and probably easily repaired should a zip-tie or two wear out.

  10. Matt February 28, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Is this really sistainable, or is it greenwash? There are thousands of plastic zip-ties in this chiar that cannot be reused or recycled without a significant amount of energy. Also, if the aluminum was recycled, it would save from having to mine new aluminum in environmentally destructive ways.

  11. Sheldon February 28, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Neatly done. I particularly like the fact that the 3000 zip-ties still have the bulk of the tie left on.

  12. Ritter February 28, 2007 at 2:18 am

    on the one hand, it is a neat use of aluminum can tabs, but isn’t it kind of wasting zip ties or what ever they are using to hold them all together?

  13. Bryce February 28, 2007 at 1:43 am

    There are links to the designer’s email address. I suggest you email him and ask how you can buy some of these chairs.

  14. Noreen Sullivan February 27, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Can you buy them>?

  15. the unlinked designer February 27, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    great design!

    *but what about linking to the source?
    who are these people?, how can I contact them?

    please be respectful with the designers and link back to them.


  16. nikelaos February 27, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    eva hesse, anyone?

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