While most people in Paris are asleep, there's a group of designers wandering around the streets in the search of useful scrap. Furniture designers Duccio Maria Gambi and Mattia Paco Rizzi's Chapitre Zero initiative salvages wooden pallets, unwanted furniture, and assorted pieces of wood to create cool guerrilla furniture throughout the City of Lights. The innovative urban project aims to enrich forlorn public spaces with unexpected street furniture built under the cover of night.
Chapitre Zero started early last year when a group of Paris-based designer friends, encouraged by Gambi and Rizzi, decided to make use of found scrap materials. They first brought back their finds making the recycled furniture in their workshop, but they soon realized it made more sense to build the tables, stools and chairs directly on site.
In a sort of nocturnal performance, the team of designers first search for unwanted wares and materials, plan the design to fit a site and then set up their own one night atelier. They bring torches, cordless power tools, handsaws, and plenty of screws to have everything they need at hand. Everything from unwanted furniture to scrap that Parisians discard is considered as construction material with endless possibilities.
The Chapitre Zero street furniture not only gives a new life to the waste people discard, but also gives something back to them. The guerrilla creations are custom-made in the streets and have a beautiful rough and ready aesthetic. Old doors, recycled pallets, and random pieces of wood are quickly assembled as functional street designs for everybody to enjoy.
The nocturnal furniture creations have popped up around Parisian streets, along the Seine River, and near busy city areas like Metro stations. This includes a communal roofed seat at the Belleville Metro Station that has been used as a distinctive meeting point for three months. At the moment it is a mystery why the council hasn’t ‘cleaned up’ the furniture, as it is totally illegal, but the pieces have done much to energize nondescript spaces into communal areas.
If you want to join Gambi and the team, or want to start your own nocturnal guerrilla furniture where you live, don’t hesitate to contact Gambi for some useful tips!
Images © Michael DePasquale for Inhabitat. Do not reproduce without permission