Crafted from repurposed materials, these arresting furnishings help to better the world around us. Here, we examine these upcycled furniture ideas and take a moment to appreciate their high-end craftsmanship.
Stackabl, a digital platform by Toronto design firm Stacklab that allows users to create one-of-a-kind pieces from leftover, locally sourced materials, has joined forces with New York-based gallery Maison Gerard to launch its inaugural collection. As part of the platform’s introductory designer capsule series, Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson, designed this Madame Chaise Lounge. Layers of stacked felt remnants (a Stackabl signature) form a modern version of a traditional chaise, while the jolt of pink is an ode to midcentury fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
James Shaw’s colorful and tactile Plastic Baroque Chairs prove that a problematic and mundane material can be reimagined into something beautiful. Shaw has worked with plastics for nearly a decade and created a special extruding tool allowing him to further push the limits of the material’s assumed potential. The fruits of his labor are on display with the whimsically imperfect arms and legs of these lightweight chairs, which are topped with removable patchwork corduroy cushions.
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
PET Lamp is on a mission to rethink plastic bottles through lighting design. The Madrid-based company conceives pieces featuring a bottle at the center, embracing the humble material rather than concealing it. The Eperara Siapidara model is made by artisans in Colombia (the company works with a network of craftspeople around the world who specialize in unique designs) and boasts a colorful woven shade made from paja tetera palm tree leaves—an abundant resource in the region. goodeeworld.com
British designer Jane Atfield’s RCP2 chair, inspired by Dutch furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld’s 1923 Military Side Chair, was one of the first pieces of furniture made exclusively from recycled plastic. Now, a series of re-editions have been commissioned by Emma Scully Gallery in New York City to celebrate the design’s 30th anniversary. A thought leader in conscious design, Atfield’s original RCP2 chair is featured in the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
PRIDE OF PLACE
The rich craft traditions of India are at the heart of Tantuvi, a rug company founded by former fashion designer Arati Rao in 2015. The Malachite Rug, shown here, is made by artisans in Rajasthan using reclaimed silk remnants collected from the sari industry. Its geometric step-like pattern is a nod to 400-year-old stone staircases—some of which still stand today—found in Northern India that were built to access water sources. Featuring yarn carefully colored by hand, each design can take up to two months to complete.
A Space, the female-founded design and art studio, created their Barbican collection during the pandemic’s lockdown when resources and supplies were scarce, which forced them to utilize materials at-hand. Case in point: the Barbican Mirror No. 1 is made from miscellaneous plastic and paper waste and finished with natural pigments. Described by the pair as “brutalist-ethereal,” the assortment spans furniture, lighting and accessories whose origin story is a direct response to a shared global experience.
PHOTOS: LESLEY UNRUH