Category Archives: furniture

Sporty furniture

We’ve been teasing bikers about their furniture but the truth is that all sports seem to have a line of furniture. Since we’ve just been blogging about skate deck bags, here’s some furniture made from skate decks.

This stool by skurniture is rather elegant in a neo-50s sort of way but it seems to be their only design. They should do more.

Sports Utility Furniture have three products, a rotating table (Pass the bong, bro..)

a stool with bike rack

and a coat stand that utilises a bike stand as a coat hook, all done with a degree of style.

On the other hand you’d never describe this snowboard picnic table as stylish

nor this ski tip table although Snowshack seems to think they are. Eye of the beholder yet again.

Three legs good

“The Bucket Seat by Carl Clerkin makes moving your stool quick and easy!” is what they say on UrbanPeel where we found this. So there you go, another of life’s pressing issues resolved. Nonetheless, made of one chair seat, three mop handles and one bucket handle, the Bucket Seat is an elegant little collection of adaptively reused bits.

Street life

It’s one thing to write about converting 747s into mansions but ultimately that’s only for an extremely wealthy minority.

Homelessness is endemic throughout the world and in the US alone approximately 3.5 million people are estimated to experience homelessness at some point annually, a million of them children. Extremist right wing governments have exacerbated the problem by cutting back health and welfare funding to such an extent that in Los Angeles, for instance, impoverished hospital patients are regularly dumped on Skid Row, as captured on LA Police video below.

Homelessness itself has been criminalised in some cities and numerous attempts are made to make public spaces as uncongenial as possible for everyone except paying consumers.

Check out the anti-sit archives for numerous examples of inventive small-minded malevolence.

But there have been some interesting attempts to adapt and manipulate public spaces and street furniture to alleviate some of the problems of homelessness.

Australian architect Sean Godsell has adaptively reused both the park bench and

the bus shelter for use by the homeless. This flies in the face of the bureaucratic impulse to prevent the homeless from benefitting from any public facilities by putting armrests in the middle of benches, sloping the seats etc (warning: great architect, another crappy flash animated website).

Artist Michael Rakowitz‘s paraSITE proposes a parasitical adaptive reuse of waste heated air from air conditioning exhausts to inflate and warm a shelter.

It comes in several versions.

And although Lucy Orta‘s Refuge Wear is more artwork than practical she is attempting to blend and adapt our concepts of clothing and shelter into a practical unity.

The adaptive reuse of shipping containers is the bigger version of this type of homeless shelter and Sean Godsell’s Future Shack is a now famous example although it’s so good that anyone would want to live in it. But it’s time to face up to it, homeless and refugee shelter is going to be one of the big issues of the coming century.

Rubber fetish

It sure is ingenious but beautiful?…..we don’t think so. This is more furniture from bike bits. There seems to be as much bike furniture in the world as there are inner tube hand bags.

It’s hard to understand why bike bits inspire this much weird kitsch but at least it’s adaptive reuse. We have to admit that some of the things made by Bike Furniture Design are pretty good,

this for instance,

and this,

and this. Maybe bike riders like the other stuff. Chacun à son goût.

Wing it

The Mini desk reminded me that few years back I’d seen a DC3 wing desk in one of those house porn magazines so I went looking for it and here it is.

You can get a single wing

or if you are particularly obese you can get a double winger

and you can accessorize – a nose cone light for instance,

and every man needs a propellor or

a tail fin. I was sort of interested until I discovered they were around US$20k. But if you’d like one, get them here.

But this adaptively reused wing idea seems to then have been adaptively reused by Australian woodworker Ben Culley

whose Wing Desk does the whole thing in wood.

A lid opens when you punch your special code into a keypad, revealing a fitted interior work surface.

I’m afraid that both versions would only work for a clean-desk type of person and that’s not me. Where could I put my computer, how could I stop the mouse from running away?

I did have a clean desk type boss once, but I discovered in the end that he was a filing clerk at heart, spending most of his time filing things to keep his desk clean. He once told me that “your problem is you have too many ideas” which confirmed my suspicion that the clean desk is for the completely uncreative corporate clone who has a career but doesn’t have a life. Perhaps the ultimate desk and chair for that sort of person are these, made from adaptively reused pencils

by German artist Kerstin Schulz for Faber Castell’s one hundredth anniversary exhibition.

Although I’ve owned many antique desks and tables I think I’m a junk desk sort of person as well as an untidy desk person.

I’ve got lots of mismatched antique legs and for ages I have been going to make myself a desk in the style of this bench, but it will be a desk of many, many legs so I can use up the whole lot of them. One of these days.

Carcar

We’ve all seen those silly adaptations of the arse end of cars, where there are seats or beds in the boot (trunk to you seppos), all sitting in an awful tacky motel room. Or if you are feeling more tasteful, perhaps a car desk? (Thank you ChipChick).

Should we regard them as kitsch or post modern? Is there a difference? Should we segue into one of those Venturi-Scott-Brown debates about post-modernism, whether all architecture is either a shed or a duck, or was it a hot dog? No, but kitsch or not, one day soon we’ll have to do something with all those empty-tanked cars and turning them into furniture is not the worst option.

Hardcore Digital Aluminium Design turns car seats into lounges. This sort of corporate-reception-area aesthetic doesn’t do it for me but I do admire the ingenuity, all those “castors and weels, electric motors, car seats, black lights, LEDs, nautical fenders, and underwater telecomanded motors, it is a hand made collection of peculiar furniture and other multiple use design objects. All in motion.”

We prefer the swimming pool versions of the chair, floating on adaptively reused yacht fenders.

And you’ve got to admire the following as a piece of 100% pure PR bullshit:

Aluminium Digital Design is a construction system, a structural approach related to the concept of the digital display. As the digit, the initial basic element, combines with others to form numbers, letters or any 2-D representations, so in this case the aluminium profile, after being cut and perforated, combines through stable or flexible joints, in order to produce the desired forms. The successive articulation of such 2-D forms, allows the construction of 3-D objects.

That’s what I call quality drivel.

Consumer’s Rest

Frank Schreiner’s 1983 ‘Consumer’s Rest’ chair made from a shopping trolley is now a design classic. With a limited edition of only 100 they rarely appear on the market and when they do the price is skyrocketting. It must now stand as one of the earliest examples of a product remanufactured from another mass produced product.

I think we might start a bit of a research project to see if we can find anything earlier, but if you want your own we’re sure a bit of work with a grinder would do it.

Sit on a tuffet

A tuffet is a low stool or a clump of grass and you can sit on either. The days of the hedge carpenter and chair bodger may be long gone but you can still grow your own stool

Or you could even turn your lawn into an armchair…

provided you can stop laughing at this website long enough to order the structure.

Mowing could be a bit of a problem but who wouldn’t want something seen on Big Brother?

Adaptive repair

We’ve been a bit slow with posts in the last few weeks because we’ve been moving this blog and a few others we are involved in from blogger to their own websites, a small sign of their growing success. But we’re back to work now.

Let’s start with Bower, a repair and recycling centre in Addison Road Marrickville that does a neat line in new products…


hey, more inner tube bags…


nice light shades…


and The Platters.

But they also have a very sane argument in support of developing a repair and reuse culture. Nothing could be more unfashionable but as an occasional antique dealer with a very big shed full of half fixed furniture I can only agree with their worthy sentiments.