Bora Hong’s Cosmetic Surgery Kingdom project draws parallels between the world of design and the plastic surgery phenomenon in South Korea. She performs “chair surgery” on old seats to forcibly make them fit the platonic ideal of classic Eames chairs.
Jacqueline le Bleu lends new form to faded tomes by turning them into fabled furnishings with a new lease on life. Her recycled book creations range from tables and stools to benches and chairs.
Rising design star Etienne Reijnders pulled off one of the more impressive feats of upcycling we’ve seen by transforming two shopping carts into an elegant sofa. Reijnder’s economy of materials is remarkable (no external parts were needed), and the mesh frame flexes comfortably when you sit on it.
Etienne Reijnders also showcased a trio of Shopping Cart Chairs that are so beautifully finished you’d never guess they’re made from recycled materials.
Most fiberboard furniture has a limited lifespan before it cracks and gets kicked to the curb. Erik van Katwijk found a way to breathe new life into this overlooked material by stacking pieces together and milling them to form brand new lamps, chairs, and cabinets.
Lolo Palazzo founder Laurence van Seventer transforms scrap metal and industrial objects into refined designs that hint at their former use. Her gothic Bicycle Chain Chandelier casts intricate shadows upon nearby surfaces.
Inhabitat favorite Piet Hein Eek repurposed a stack of old windows and doors into a luminous vitrine for an exhibit entitled “Waste Not, Want Not, the Dutch Re-Design.”
Wouter Defrancq’s no-screw, no-glue Tight chair is held together by utilitarian cargo straps that create a cushy seat and backrest.
Have you ever stopped to consider the environmental footprint of your appliances? In 2013, every Belgian citizen produced about 50 pounds of e-waste. Seeking to improve this trend, Siemen Cuypers used recycled plastic to 3D print a coffee machine that can be assembled locally and easily repaired.
Anneleen Swillen performs material alchemy to transform plastic dishes, boxes, and packaging materials into colorful jewelry that calls disposable products into question.
Joop Couwenberg’s cantilevered, stackable Kurkkruk stool consists of just two pieces – a minimalist steel frame and a comfy seat made from recycled cork.
Mattias Bovijn collaborated with Sien Industries to create a lightweight container for transporting drinking water to areas where it is needed most. The Aquaca container is made from coated fabric and is meant to provide a flexible, packable alternative to rigid jerrycans.
Robin Berrewaerts gives hard concrete a flowing, organic form by pairing it with sculpted wood bases in his Concrete Pine Series.
Arbijt’s Slim Stool is a minimalist marvel that can be folded up and stowed away when not in use. The entire design is cut from a single sheet of wood, and strong integrated magnets secure the seat to the base when the stool is folded away or set up for sitting.
Sweden-based Sophia Lithell’s basket-like Naver Stools are upholstered in delicate strips of birch bark that are left unfixed to curl at the edges.
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Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat