If you are looking for great examples of objects born into a second life, Deptford Design Market Challenge is just the ticket. As part of the London Design Festival’s green schedule of events, The Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank is housing The Deptford Design Challenge until 25th September. Twenty-six international designers, including Conran and Partners, Stuart Haygarth, Martí Guixé, and Based Upon, were invited to redesign discarded objects from Deptford Thrift Market, turning market bargains from a broken desk fan to a dirty sofa into new and functional designs. Challenging the preconceptions of usefulness and beauty, the designers were asked to use their talents to re-work the item; creating something unique, desirable and functional.

By re-interpreting the discarded, the aim of the Market Challenge is to inspire and encourage designers to think about re-using what is available before creating an entirely new product from scratch. The possibilities for regeneration are endless: compressing or manipulating the object; reengineering it; using it as an image for a website.

The small collection of designs are exhibited amongst a mass of white painted material goods, from the odd mobile phone, a walking boot, a tea set and a camcorder. The work on display holds interesting value to the recycling of discarded material products. Three key re-designed objects I found today included a discarded guitar named “No Strings Attached” from Conran and Partners which intelligently combines iPod technology with a musical classic, Gitta Gschwendtner’s shuttlecock lampshade “Shuttlecock Science”, and the “Nanny’s Chair” by Life is a Suite, made from second hand tea cloths and aprons.

+ Deptford Design Challenge