If I told you I took a miter saw to a child’s KidKraft kitchen, slapped a square of Plexiglass on top and called it art, well, you might call me crafty. Others might call me crazy. And a few might offer me cash. The latter is the reaction that architect Greg Lynn is hoping art lovers will have toward his new collection of one-of-a-kind furniture made from recycled, melted kids’ toys. And so far, he is right on the money.
Architect Greg Lynn is perhaps best known as the king of ‘Blobitecture’ -building amorphous looking, blobby structures using algorithms and computer aided design. Now the king of blobitecture is getting a bit more personal with a new interest in re-appropriation, in a project Lynn is calling Greg Lynn Form. The project re-appropriates select plastic toy specimens, and using a computer-aided mathematical production method, shapes the toys into blobby ‘bricks’ to construct these artistic furniture pieces. Someone is clearly impressed – as their entry into the 2008 Venice Biennale won a Golden Lion for best installation project.
An introduction to the project reads: “When my son Jasper and daughter Sophia were small children, my family consumed and discarded numerous large scale rotomolded plastic toys.” It’s a scenario most American parents can empathize with. “Recycling these toys into building elements, furniture and objects of use was the inspiration.”
Of course recycling children’s toys in order to make art pieces is nothing new. A fine example of child-toys-as-art is the Campana brothers’ 2004 Baquete chair (below). Made from “mixed plush toys and iron,” the artists used “all sorts of stuffed animals mixed to form the unconventional upholstery of this chair”. Yet the method used by Greg Lynn’s firm, which makes use of complex mathematics and robot technology, is indeed quite novel.
So, before taking a look at the pictures featured here and jumping to the ‘I could do that’ conclusion, I suggest visiting the website of the design firm to learn more about the process (videos are featured). While there, consider handing off your unwanted ride-ons, as Greg Lynn Form will, “send you a check, packaging and prepaid postage.”