We never thought the Frankenstein approach would work for eco-design, but Dutch designer Jetske de Groot shows that it works beautifully. A refreshing change to all the super-slick design at the Milan Furniture Fair, de Groot’s chairs and tables are as sustainable as they are appealing. The project, entitled ‘Multiple Family’, is driven by a brilliant, simple approach: take two or more broken chairs or tables, and fuse the non-broken bits together to produce a new, functional and completely unique design.

Jetske de Groot, Multiple Family, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Spare Space and Friends, Milan 2008, Academy Minerva Groningen

‘Multiple Family’ evolved from de Groot’s from her design coursework at Academy Minerva Groningen in the Netherlands, and stems from questioning the furniture designer’s role in a world that already contains so many tables and chairs. Working closely with her customers, she creates a new design from previously worthless, defunct designs. After helping them pick elements that will work well together, she then fuses the pieces together using the signature epoxy that signify an original de Groot.

Customer involvement is something that de Groot finds fascinating, as well as a key part in creating a deeply personal, special design. By creating new from old, unique from generic and meaning from the mass-produced, de Groot is helping build a relationship between user and furniture that lasts throughout the piece’s rejuvenated lifecycle.

+ Jetske de Groot
+ MILAN 2008: Green Design Highlights from Salone