upcycling

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Design

A Volkswagen Beetle Fender is Repurposed into a Vintage-Style Kart Designed by Aldekas Studio

August 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aldekas Studio

Those looking for an alternative to cars or reprieve from public transit can thank Aldekas Studio for a new set of wheels that’s both stylish and environmentally conscious. The Mexico-based designer repurposed the fenders and headlights of a Volkswagen Beetle— which officially is the Type 1 model that was released originally in the 1930s—into a miniature vehicle named “Bugkart Wasowski.” The kart’s curved body is attached to a bright red frame, which contrasts the olive green exterior. It has chrome handlebars and mirrors that mimic those on the original car, maintaining the integrity of the classic model.

Aldekas Studio shares many of its designs on Facebook, including a 3D rendering of a rustic version of the kart shown here. You also might enjoy this similar, two-wheeled project, aptly named the “Volkspod.” (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design

Fasten Seat Belt Sign Not Included: New Furniture Designed Using Retired Aircraft Parts by Plane Industries

May 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In 2016, Plane Industries (formerly Fallen Furniture) debuted a massive chair made using a reclaimed cowling from a Boeing 737 airplane engine. Over the last three years, the small UK-based company has continued to expand their array of furnishings and home goods that are designed and built with parts from civilian and military aircraft. Using exit doors, wheels, exhaust cones, and leading edge slats, Plane transforms them into functional lamps, tables, clocks, and chairs. Their newest design is the BAe 146 Cowling Chair, a smaller companion to the original 737 design.

Plane Industries was founded in 2012 and is led by two brothers who were inspired by their farmer father’s ethic of saving and repurposing materials. The team works out of a studio in Bath, England. See more from Plane Industries on Instagram and Facebook and shop the collection on their website.

 

 



Design

A Retired Bike-Share Bicycle Upcycled to a Beetle-Shaped Mobile Library

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Seeking to provide a new use for China’s enormous surplus of bike-share bicycles, LUO Studio recently designed a mobile library in the shape of a winged beetle. The studio’s founder Luo Yujie was inspired to create “Shared Lady Beetle” by a friend who teaches young children and often needs to educational supplies around. In a statement on the studio’s website the Shared Lady Beetle is envisioned as a “beneficial insect walking on the urban leaf.”

To create the mobile library, LUO Studio equipped a standard bicycle with two back wheels and an additional load-bearing wheel to accommodate the extra length of the design. Discarded iron sheets from automobiles form the library’s exterior, and the “wings” open to reveal three partitioned shelves that can accommodate books or other creative materials for kids.

The studio describes their mission as being “committed to creating more durable, friendly and quality space through creative thinking, craftsmanship spirit of devotion and caring for nature.” Luo is also the director at the Sustainable Village Studio of China New Rural Planning and Design Institute. Discover more of LUO Studio’s innovative and sustainable designs on their website, which features project descriptions in both Chinese and English. If you enjoy this project, also check out Weapons of Mass Instruction by Raul Lemesoff and Juan Martinez’s bicycle animals. (via designboom)

 

 



Design Science

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

February 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, which can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

 

 



Art

Discarded Books Get a Second Chance in Mike Stilkey's Towering Installations

January 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photo c/o Starfield Library

Photo c/o Starfield Library

While libraries are certainly safe havens for books, the always-evolving taste of readers and the inevitable wear and tear on each tome means that many books are eventually phased out and destined for the dumpster. Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey (previously) works with local libraries to give those books a second chance with his massive art installations. Stilkey arranges the faces and spines of books in groupings of varying size, ranging from a half dozen staked together to thousands-tall-towers that fill public spaces. With a combination of colored pencil, ink, paint, and lacquer, he then paints lively characters using the books as his canvas. The colors, sizes, and titles offer unique blends of backgrounds for dancing couples (both human and feline), dapper birds, and bicycling bears.

Stilkey uses fanciful colors and anthropomorphized animals to add a sense of timeless whimsy to his paintings, which have been exhibited throughout the US. The artist has also traveled the world to create site-specific installations in South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, China, and the Philippines. He will be installing a new work at the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California from January 23 – 27, 2019. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Intricate Geometric Patterns Hand-Pressed Into Aluminum Cans

October 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Sculptor Noah Deledda transforms everyday aluminum cans into works of art using nothing but his fingertips. Deledda carefully presses and creases intricate geometric patterns into the surface of plain cylindrical cans using carefully placed pressure from his fingers and the edge of his nails. The artist explains in a statement on his site, “Through sculpture I try to create something unique out of an ordinary object. In this case, a common disposable object. The technique itself also embodies this theme of elevation by implementing the incidental gestures of disposal, the ‘scratch, dent and crease.’ Through artistic principles these actions are re-imagined.” Deledda shares process videos on Instagram and his website, where his sculptural vessels are also available for purchase. (via The Kid Should See This)