Watch this inspiring Ted Talk from 2010
People have always made the best of what they have or can find. Poor communities around the world survive by endlessly recycling and up-cycling. We all improvise solutions to common design problems. Here are some spontaneous solutions regularly made by cyclists ;-).
Some designers specialize in using recycled material from found objects. Take a look at Boris Bally’s production which is mainly based on old road signs. He calls his hand-made methods, humanufacturing.
One of his designs was for a range of elegant Transit chairs (2008). Here is a description of the technique he uses to make them. Check any words you are not sure about.
- Boris Bally first selects old enamelled signs from scrap. His choices are based on colour, imagery, condition, material, thickness and surface.
- Blanks are traced with a template and cut to size with a metal bandsaw.
- The parts are shaped using a small brake press. Holes are drilled and edges deburred. The tongue-and-groove pattern in the seats is shaped with a jigsaw and jeweler’s files.
- Screws are inserted and the parts aligned. The feet are cut from tube and turned on a small lathe. Champagne corks are slotted in and the tubes are fixed to the legs.
- The chairs are taken apart and each component is scrubbed by hand.
- Parts are inspected and stamped.
- They are given a final deburring, then sprayed and sealed.
- Parts are reassembled, inspected for fit, then taken apart again and packed in a recyclable cardboard box ready for shipping.
Some people and designers can get over-excited with the principle of transforming or appropriating found objects. Visit this site at your own risk.