repurposed materials

26
MAR
2019
Charlotte Kidger recycled industrial waste furniture

INTERVIEW: Charlotte Kidger creates furniture made from recycled industrial waste

Material designer Charlotte Kidger showcased her work at the London Design Festival last year. With plastic named as the Material of the Year, her collection of furniture is made from recycled industrial waste – polyurethane foam dust, which is a byproduct of 3D model... Read More →
11
NOV
2018
Ian Berry denim artist

INTERVIEW: Art and installation made from repurposed denim by Ian Berry

At school Ian Berry was known as the art one. But around aged 18, he didn’t turn up for his art foundation course and listening to those who said art wasn’t a way to make a living (something he now campaigns against when lecturing at schools and universities), went to... Read More →
05
OCT
2018
Co-founders-of-Elvis-&-Kresse-at-home

INTERVIEW: Inside the renovated mill and home of Elvis & Kresse

In 2005, Kresse Wesling and James Henrit launched Elvis & Kresse*. A certified B Corporation, their sustainable luxury line of bags and accessories is made from genuine de-commissioned British fire brigade hoses that would otherwise be destined for landfill. They have now... Read More →
28
JUL
2018
Bottletop flagship store Regent Street London

3D printed interior at Bottletop store on Regent Street

Bottletop have been creating their signature handbags made from recycled aluminium ring pulls since 2002. The brand collaborates with artisans in Brazil, Kenya, Nepal and Indonesia, whilst also running a number of global initiatives through The Bottletop Foundation, which you can... Read More →
18
JUL
2018

5 of the best art installations made from waste CDs

In an age of Netflix, Spotify and iTunes, we continue to leave behind a large trail of redundant CDs and DVDs. Turning those discs made from layers of aluminium and polycarbonate plastic into something useful, let alone beautiful is no easy feat. In the UK, only a handful of... Read More →
08
JUN
2018
Planks of recycled wood

Enviromate: An online marketplace for used building materials

According to data gathered by the Green Building Council, construction, demolition and refurbishment accounts for around 120 million tonnes of waste in the UK each year. The value of that perfectly reusable material ending up in landfill – 13% of which is still new and... Read More →
05
MAY
2018
Miniature sculptures inside toilet rolls

The extraordinary world of recycled cardboard art

With more of us shopping online, cardboard packaging is fast becoming one of the most ubiquitous materials we discard on a daily basis. Elevated from its humble status, this post explores how artists have been able to exploit its creative potential in unexpected ways, through the... Read More →
14
APR
2018
Radiator chair

10 of the wildest chair designs made from repurposed materials

When it comes to reusing unwanted materials in an innovative way, it seems the humble seat can be made from just about anything. Looking at the designs below, seating can also surprise and delight as a striking art piece. If you’re sitting comfortably, read on to see some... Read More →
30
MAR
2018
Daniel Heath in his studio

INTERVIEW: Handprinted wallpaper and surface design by Daniel Heath

Daniel Heath is an award-winning independent wallpaper, textile and surface designer. After training in silk screen printing at the Royal College of Art, he set up his East London studio in 2007 to create bespoke hand printed wallpapers and hand crafted interior surfaces. Key to... Read More →
03
MAR
2018
Grant Aston wood and ceramic contemporary sculpture

10 selected works of contemporary sculpture from Collect 2018

Collect is an annual international contemporary art fair held by the Crafts Council, now its 14th year. It brings together 40 galleries from around the world to London’s Saatchi Gallery. The display of beautiful objects was a feast for the eyes. Several works demonstrated... Read More →
18
JAN
2018
Clock made from upcycled bicycle wheel

Art and design made from used bicycle parts

When used bicycle parts get a second life as something beautiful, the term ‘upcycling’ couldn’t be more apt. Although an advocate of all things eco, I am one of the few Londoners that doesn’t do cycling – in fact, you couldn’t pay me to get on a Boris Bike. But... Read More →
06
JAN
2018
Pop up space made with crumpled tracing paper

5 pop-up spaces created from repurposed objects

Some of the most creative ideas for pop-up spaces, pavilions and temporary structures involve the repurposing and reappropiation of found objects and materials. Repurposing whatever you have to hand, perfectly sets the tone of spontaneity for a casual pop up bar or exhibition... Read More →
25
NOV
2017
Tree of Glass by Lee Broom

5 of the best zero waste Christmas trees

I used to believe that Christmas just isn’t Christmas, without a real tree. There’s just too much nostalgia associated with that familiar pine scent. But our obsession with having a real tree, is costing us. In 2014, it was estimated that 160,000 tonnes of Christmas... Read More →
11
NOV
2017
Chair cover made from shredded waste textile by Ragamuf

Could we make homeware from upcycled clothing?

The rate at which we produce and throw away clothes is leading to inconceivable amounts of textile waste. According to the 2017 report by Pulse of the Fashion Industry, only 20% of discarded clothing actually gets reused or recycled. The majority ends up in landfills or gets... Read More →
08
SEP
2017
Lights made from repurposed crystal bowls

Lighting made from repurposed glass objects

Lighting in the 21st-century can be made from all kinds of repurposed ephemera – and not just glass mason jars. From spectacles to drinking vessels, these works by expert designers show how a resource we have in abundance – ordinary glass objects, can be transformed... Read More →
28
JUL
2017
Repurposed yoghurt pots installation

Modern ceiling designs made from repurposed materials and objects

I’m sure once upon a time, the only thing that adorned a shop ceiling was CCTV and smoke alarms. But when it’s time to refurb a shop, bar, hotel or restaurant, it’s not just about changing up the walls and furniture; it seems many designers are utilisin... Read More →
16
MAR
2017
Jo Gibbs at work in her studio

INTERVIEW: Artist Jo Gibbs transforms found objects with pattern

Born and raised in Battersea, Jo Gibbs is a London-based artist who started off her creative career in textiles. It all began with her first Saturday job at Tooting market. Jo worked on a fabric stall with a lady called Lybette who took her around all the wholesalers in Brick... Read More →
06
MAR
2017
Renovate Innovate book by Antonia Edwards

Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes book

New homes and interiors book There are many reasons to be joyful about finally entering March 2017. Snowdrops and daffodils are now gracing our London parks with their cheerful presence. Days are slowly but surely getting longer and we can finally come out of hibernation. On top... Read More →
09
FEB
2017
Manoteca book cover

Manoteca book features fantastic furniture by Elisa Cavani

I first came across the work of Elisa Cavani, whilst doing research for my book Upcyclist. Hailing from Bologna, Italy, Elisa makes whimsical lighting, desks and furniture pieces made from found objects, all of which can only be described as the epitome of one-of-a-kindness. Now... Read More →
17
JAN
2017
modern lakeside holiday cabin

Garage renovation turned beautiful cabin on Vashon Island

The creators behind this impressive garage renovation are Graypants, a design collective led by Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker, who work from their studios in Seattle and Amsterdam. Renovated in 2013, the award-winning holiday cabin was an architectural debut for Graypants, and... Read More →
08
DEC
2016
White and gold porcelain Christmas jumper decorations best Etsy shops for Christmas

The best Etsy shops for Christmas decorations

There is something about ‘handmade’ that goes so well with Christmas. Perhaps it’s the thought of all those elves in Lapland busy making toys… how do they do it? Best of all, it offers the perfect excuse for anyone with a crafty inclination, to make... Read More →
03
NOV
2016

A beautiful eco botanic restaurant interior at Väkst Copenhagen

When I came across the eco botanic restaurant interior of Väkst, overflowing with lush green plants, I looked over at my wilting coriander and thought – yep, it’s really time to step up the amount of plant life in my living space. If you’ve managed to embark on... Read More →
04
OCT
2016
wooden stool made from recycled plastic bottle joinery

New life for recycled plastic bottles as furniture joinery

Making something useful with discarded plastic drinking bottles is one thing. Reusing them to make something useful AND aesthetically gratifying, is a whole other (much more difficult) ball game. These little stools don’t just look effortlessly cool however, they pioneer a... Read More →
29
SEP
2016
Debris Chair made from ocean waste textile by Carmen V Machado

Chairs made from ocean waste textile

Cockpit Arts is a London-based business incubator for craftspeople at the start of their careers. At this year’s London Design Fair, they presented the marvellous Debris Chair by Carmen V Machado. As part of her MA project at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Carmen... Read More →
20
SEP
2016
Upcycled chairs for kids bedrooms made from old jeans by Jeanbag

10 Brilliant Upcycled Chairs for Kids Bedrooms

One of the best things about kids is their shamelessly weird and whimsical tastes. A chair that looks like a bunny rabbit? Yes please! Perhaps this is why creative furniture upcycling is so perfect for kids bedrooms – they’re guaranteed to love the quirky stuff. From... Read More →
14
JUN
2016
Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 installation by Alejandro Aravena

Upcycled waste installation at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

100 tonnes of waste generated at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2015 was reused for an installation at the 2016 Venice Biennale by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. Curating this year’s exhibition and the 15th of its kind, the co-founder of Elemental reused 10,000... Read More →
12
APR
2016
Bentu-Design-recycled-construction-waste

Homeware made from recycled construction waste by Bentu

Reuse at its best, Bentu Design proves that a reclaimed ‘look’ is not all about worn patinas, rough edges or shabby chic. These products are beautifully clean cut and streamlined, despite being made from a mix of cement and recycled construction waste, something which... Read More →
21
MAR
2016
Ilaria-Bianchi

INTERVIEW: Artist Ilaria Bianchi

Ilaria Bianchi is a furniture and product designer from Pisa, Italy. She studied Industrial Design in Turin, and after winning a scholarship moved to Stockholm where she did work experience in the studio of Fredrik Paulsen. Relishing Paulsen’s vibrant, crafty approach, she... Read More →
17
FEB
2016

Reclaimed wood installations by Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels

Artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels is an Australian-American artist living in Brooklyn. The New York art institution Clocktower Productions where Bothwell Fels was former artist-in-residence, describes her work as ‘submerging environments built into existing architecture,... Read More →
03
FEB
2016
Budri-Earthquake-5.9-by-Patricia-Urquiola

Patricia Urquiola for Budri Earthquake 5.9 Collection

In 2012, the storage room of Italian marble company Budri was hit by earthquake Emilia, shattering hundreds of beautiful slabs of marble into shards, in a matter of seconds. In 2013, designer Patricia Urquiola created a collection of stunning geometric creations from the broken... Read More →
22
JAN
2016
Fallen-Furniture

Plane Industries furniture made from upcycled aeroplane parts

Popular with aeroplane enthusiasts, there’s a whole host of designers looking for ways to reuse material from decommissioned aircrafts. In the beautiful city of Bath, one company getting it right. Plane Industries specialise in crafting unique clocks, lighting, tables,... Read More →
30
NOV
2015
Estudio-Beldarrain

Reclaimed railway sleepers clad library extension

San Sebastián based architectural firm Estudio Beldarrain have created a new extension to the Municipal Library in Azkoitia, Spain using reclaimed railway sleepers. The library itself is a converted station building, but the old railway track had been removed. In order to put the... Read More →
10
NOV
2015
Kyle-Bean

Incredible creations from everyday objects by Kyle Bean

Kyle Bean is an award-winning London based illustrator, director and set designer. From sculptures made from eggshells to tube maps made from drinking straws, he creates playful, concept-driven imagery for editorial and commercial projects, as well as installations for fashion... Read More →
04
NOV
2015
Susie-MacMurray-Cloud

Cloud by Susie Macmurray made from reclaimed barbed wire

From her Promenade (2010) featuring 105 miles of gold thread to her musical manuscript installation Resonance (2013), we continue to be amazed by Susie MacMurray‘s creations. For Cloud (2015) at The Great Hall, Winchester, MacMurray’s latest installation is made from... Read More →
26
OCT
2015
Scott-McMillin

Art from reclaimed car parts by Scott McMillin

California mixed media artist Scott McMillin chops up reclaimed car parts to create geometric works of art. Scrap metal from cars is cut into squares and rectangles and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle to create textural wall sculptures, some of which closely resemble paintings by... Read More →
06
OCT
2015
Angela-Mathis

Upcycled money upholstery by Angela Mathis

The idea of upcycled money may seem paradoxical, but Angela Mathis isn’t the first to make art out of cold hard cash in order to play with our perception of value (see this post on Justine Smith). This Swiss-born/London-based designer however takes the reuse of currency to... Read More →
25
SEP
2015

Prairie King by Stuart Haygarth

Stuart Haygarth was one of the first artists we featured on Upcyclist, along with his reconfigured collections of found objects, transformed into stunning chandeliers. A more recent piece from 2014 is Prairie King, which is based on a body of work inspired by the concept of play.... Read More →
19
AUG
2015
Herrwolke Telebeute

Lamps made from upcycled cardboard by Herrwolke

Telebeute Lichtobjekte is a beautiful 50cm telescope shaped wall lamp made from upcycled cardboard. The light is designed by Michael Konstantin Wolke of Berlin atelier Herrwolke and follows in the footsteps of his Beute series of pendant lamps, also made from strips of used... Read More →
11
AUG
2015
Brothers Dressler

Wood offcuts for Lululemon storefront by Brothers Dressler

Brothers Dressler are a design duo based in Toronto specialising in one-of-a-kind production. The brothers work on projects ranging from furniture and lighting to special commissions, with a commitment to using found, reclaimed and locally sourced materials. “Ou... Read More →
15
JUL
2015
SerpentSea mats made-from-upcycled-ropes

Accessories made from recycled marine rope by SerpentSea

Serpent Sea was founded by New Yorker Sophie Aschauer in 2011. After a sailing trip to Nantucket, she began to make colourful mats out of recycled marine rope. Using ropes that showed no signs of wear, she weaves the mats using four kinds of knot called Bonny, Drake, Morgan and... Read More →
13
MAY
2015
karen-ryan-second-hand-upcycled-everyday-objects

Art from upcycled everyday objects by Karen Ryan

Unwanted junk is the medium of choice for British designer Karen Ryan, who graduated from the RCA in 2001. She first encountered raw materials such as broken televisions and abandoned furniture in a long alleyway behind her grandmother’s flat. Seeing furniture from her... Read More →
05
MAY
2015
Art made from upcycled maps by Matthew Cusick

Seascape art made from upcycled maps by Matthew Cusick

We return to the work of Matthew Cusick, an American artist who has created a visual vocabulary using cut out maps from atlases and books. Previously we featured some of his portraits and cityscapes, also made from upcycled maps. Another subject favoured by Cusick is the... Read More →
20
APR
2015
Daylight portrait made from upcycled film negatives by Nick Gentry

Portraits made from film negatives by Nick Gentry

A while back we featured Nick Gentry‘s ethereal portraits painted on to floppy disks and film negatives. Nick Gentry is inspired by the evolution of consumerism, technology, identity and cyber culture. The British artist continues to create fascinating works of art made... Read More →
12
APR
2015
Art made from upcycled PET bottles by Veronika Richterova

Upcycled plastic bottle creations by Veronika Richterová

Czech artist Veronika Richterová is an aficionado when it comes to the upcycled plastic bottle. Using heat and various methods of technological processing, she has created curious translucent ephemeral sculptures, lighting and installation from recycled plastic PET bottles. Her... Read More →
05
APR
2015
Multiplasticas lighting sculpture made from upcycled plastic trash by Brunno Jahara

Lamps made from litter by Brunno Jahara

These intriguing functional works of art are made from litter collected by the National Recycling Group in São Paulo, Brazil. Brunno Jahara is the talent behind the vividly coloured lamps and vessels which he produced in 2012. His aim was to draw attention to the amount of... Read More →
07
JAN
2015

New Hotel Athens by Campana Brothers

Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana are renowned for  their reuse and re-appropriation to make furniture and interiors. Since launching in 1983 they have built an international reputation with works founded on the principles of reinvention an... Read More →
16
DEC
2014
anthropologie-holiday-window

Anthropologie upcycled Christmas windows

Anthropologie opened their first store in Pennsylvania in 1992 and are renowned worldwide for their stunning window displays. These creations are mostly made from humble, recycled and repurposed materials by 190 display artists. Here are a few winter themed favourites from over... Read More →
06
DEC
2014
nudie-jeans-camper-detail

Homeware made from upcycled jeans by Nudie

Swedish company Nudie Jeans have upcycled 2700 pairs of old, worn out jeans into limited edition rugs and camper seats. The In-and-Out Seam Camper Seat was inspired by Sweden’s love of camping and is made from the in-and-out seam from nine pairs of jeans. The Rag Rug is... Read More →
09
JUN
2014

Lighting made from reblown glass bottles by Studio Swine

The São Paulo Collection by Studio Swine is a range of lighting and furniture inspired by the Brazilian tropical modernism of the 1950s. They have created bottle bulbs for the lighting pieces which are made from beverage bottles that have been heated and re-blown into an eclectic... Read More →
19
MAY
2014

Upcycled homeware by Nanawo

Nanawo are a Polish design trio who specialise in upcycling waste objects into household goods. As well as working to commission they have a series of products available to buy on their website including food storage tins made from titanium damper pipe covers, childrens’... Read More →
11
MAY
2014

Upcycling by Athens collective Kollektivemind*

Kollektivemind* are an Athens based design team specialising in architectural research and implementation. Projects such as Argallios (loom) pictured above explore the potential of reuse and upcycling. Argallios took place at a primary school on the island of Crete and made use... Read More →
21
APR
2014

Sculpture from discarded paper cups by Lisa Hoke

Lisa Hoke‘s fascinating sculptures and installations are made from discarded paper and card, paper cups and household goods. Combined, the sprawling clusters of waste looks like blooming flowers and organic formations, highlighting the beauty in the colourful consumer... Read More →
07
APR
2014

Beijing concept store Trash ‘n Diamond

Trash ‘n Diamond are new concept stores in Shuangjing and Wudaokou, Beijing.  The shops buy and sell clothes and stock everything from H&M to MaxMara, setting themselves apart from most other vintage shops in the city. The owner Fang Fang initially studied graphic... Read More →
14
MAR
2014

Art from dissected books by Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Alexander Korzer-Robinson is a UK based artist who creates beautiful book sculptures using cut out images from old encyclopaedias and books. His work contains narratives that try to explore and deconstruct nostalgia, creating what he describes as our ‘inner... Read More →
03
FEB
2014

Upcycled interiors at Hamburg’s Superbude Hotel

These spaces in the Superbude Hotel-Hostel in Hamburg were designed by German design firm Dreimeta.   The listed building was once a Deutche Post switching centre and one of the core principles of Dreimeta’s design was to incorporate typical local everyday items and... Read More →
06
JAN
2014

Lampshades made from x-rays

This lampshade made from x-ray film was a school assignment by Swedish graphic designer Sture Pallarp in collaboration with Elin Hedlund and Emmelie Karlström.  Taking x-ray sheets that would otherwise be thrown away, the design plays with the concept of viewing anatomical data... Read More →
02
JAN
2014

John Lewis Christmas 2013 window display

Before it gets taken down, Londoners should make sure they check out this years Christmas window display at John Lewis on Oxford Street and the Peter Jones branch at Sloane Square.  The display by Chameleon Visual Ltd includes Arctic hares, bears, squirrels and penguins all made... Read More →
27
DEC
2013

Packaging tape art by Mark Khaisman

These images are created with layers of packaging tape.  The artist Mark Khaisman puts the tape onto a clear backlit acrylic panels which gives the effect of red room film development.  He carefully applies and removes parts of it to create varying levels of opacity and reveal... Read More →
17
DEC
2013
Amish Barn Star

Amish Metal Barn Star

These beautiful metal barn stars are made by Amish communities in America using traditional methods.  Believed to bring good luck, they are made from reclaimed tin salvaged from old farm buildings.  Purchase for £37 from Not on the High Street here.   Images via Not on the... Read More →
03
DEC
2013

Suitcase furniture by Maarten De Ceulaer

Loving this beautiful work from Belgian designer Maarten De Ceulaer. Perhaps more repurposing than upcycling i.e. reconfiguring suitcases into furniture, but very smartly done nonetheless. Desk of Suitcases (pictured above) from The Leather Collection is made from suitcases and... Read More →
12