Gallery: STElla CHAIR: Made from Mexican Bus Seats


It is a fact of life, that for many young architects starting out on their own, paying jobs are quite scarce. In Mexico, the amount paid for those jobs is certainly less than that in other countries. So, when a client gave the option to the group of architects known as T23, of waiting for payment for work completed or a couple of hundred disused fiberglass chairs from the Mexico City Sistema Transporte Eléctrico (STE) bus line, they chose the chairs, got creative and formulated the STElla chair.

Their idea was to change the context of the chair from something static and attached to a wall inside a bus, to a chair that could be mobile and used for a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. The architects, Christian Von Wissel, Francisco Salazar and Onnis Luque, designed a simple but effective base to which the repurposed chair could be attached and painted them a variety of colors to give them a sense of an object and individuality. Since they were originally made with durability in mind they are sturdy and perfect for an outdoor balcony or alcove setting.

The STElla chairs are infused with a healthy dose of Mexican kitsch that has become Mexico’s calling card around the world. These chairs embody the Mexican characteristic of inventiveness that comes out of the economic necessity to reuse and refashion objects from their original intended use.

The T23 members are able to customize the color of the chairs and have recently published an alternative guidebook to Mexico City. While they do not have a website for the chair design, you can email Christian Von Wissel for more information.


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  1. royalestel April 2, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Reuse. nice.

  2. Gonzalo Villarreal March 23, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    La adaptacion es parte de nuestra cultura (mexicana), ejemplos como este puedes encontrarse todos los dias en mexico. Incluso Victor Papanek, describe varios objetos, no solo de méxico en su libro “desgn for the real world.”

  3. k.doyle March 23, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    It is wonderful that the product is preventing the bus chairs from reaching the landfil. But where do you think these chairs are gonna go after their lifecycle? Can they be recycled? …

  4. Rachel March 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Less landfill, always a plus! And they look good too. The arms are the only issue. Nothing a little tweaking couldn’t fix.

  5. AnnMerideth Hughston, U... March 23, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Why not put it on some sort of spring stand. Similar concept of a rocking chair/ or just a bumpy ride on a Mexican bus…

  6. Villarreal Robinson March 23, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Definitivamente la silla forma parte de la idiosincrasia Mexicana. La adaptacion que fué hecha para otro uso (fuera del asiento en los camiones publicos) representa para algunos Mexicanos una pieza artistica, propia de su mera cultura.

  7. EDWIN D'VALLE, BFA/IA, ... March 23, 2007 at 9:55 am



  8. Alicia SIlva March 23, 2007 at 9:46 am

    the idea is great they should go for more recycling concepts
    I love the possibilities for colors
    More ideas for you to explore:
    stackable possibility
    double bench
    triple bench
    benches that can be bolted to the floor so they can work as urban pieces all around the city
    maybe some simple padding on the seat for extra coomfort
    congratulations iIt is great to see people with lots of creativity (even to get paid) design works

  9. Gloria March 23, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Is there not a trip factor with the front rail?

  10. Richie March 22, 2007 at 9:39 am

    P.S. Arm rests ?

  11. Richie March 22, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Intriguing. Close… but still needs work. How so ? Rebend the ‘armrest’ part of the metal frame to be less angular and more rounded, so that arms can indeed rest comfortably on them ! This design is real close. A little bit of tweaking could take it over the top. Also: What about plastic, or rubber, floor glide tubing pieces wrapped around the bottom ?

  12. architechnophilia March 21, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    that’s a intriguing remix to an otherwise functional piece of work.

  13. Will March 21, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    i love stuff like this

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