Dirk Van Der Kooij’s Endless chair is a marvel that uses just one plastic string bent back and forth to form its innovative structure. The best part? The chair is made entirely from recycled refrigerators! Committed to environmentally-friendly design, Van Der Kooij chose to give new life to old fridges, saving them from scrap yards and landfills. Recycling the refrigerators also gives a little personality to the chairs (each one is a different color) yielding a unique chair for each color combination.
The Eindhoven-based designer commandeered an old robot, whose previous life was in a Chinese factory, and gave it a new station in life – as a furniture designer. The robot took about a year to train (reprogram) into a controllable chair maker. After the refrigerators are pulverized and melted, Van Der Kooij adds pigment and the robot gets to work. Distributing a single molten plastic string, the robot applies layer upon layer in Van Der Kooij’s design, reversing direction to build up the plastic layers until the chair is complete.
Because he had previously struggled with pesky molds, Van Der Kooij solved his frustration by dreaming up this new string chair process. The chair’s production process is also easy to comprehend, which is an important goal for the designer as well. The resulting chairs, some in pastel colors, resemble carefully formed pulled taffy, and combine functionality, sustainable design and aesthetics.