UNITED KINGDOM / DENMARK /ARGENTINA :: NINA TOLSTRUP & STUDIOMAMA: RE-IMAGINED CHAIRS & PALLET PROJECT

Made from discarded and reclaimed furniture pieces, and now also shortlisted for the London Design Museum Design of the Year Awards, this limited series of bright and vibrant chairs was created by Nina Tolstrup from Studiomama, after she found a pile of disused furniture dumped near her east London studio from which she salvaged this selection of torn chairs, and decided to give them a second chance.

With the help of local craftsmen the chairs were practically stripped down to their metal frames before new elements from seats, cushions, to back- and armrests were added. But what really did the trick was the colorful textile upholstery by David David, and produced by Gabriel, one ofEurope’s leading suppliers of furniture textiles –taking them to an abstract, throne-like level.

Created in 2012, Re-Imagined Chairs is described by Studiomama as “a project born out of questioning our resourcefulness and our attitudes towards waste. It builds on the Studiomama’s interests in expediency and re-using the existing, and speaks of our ability to see the potential in the overlooked and unloved.”

The series of one-off pieces was designed for Marc Peridis’ new London gallery 19 Greek Street in Soho and was presented during the London Design Festival. A few of the pieces are also available to purchase from the gallery.

In 2010 the same studio launched the Pallet Project, a furniture collection comprising a bench low and high, as well as a floor lamp, created with reclaimed wood taken from pallets. The collection also came with DIY-instructions that could be purchased on Tolstrup’s website on how to make your own pallet chair. The Danish born, Paris-trained and London based designer also had a number of pallet chairs customized by British artists including Gavin Turk, Cornelia Parker and Rachel Whiteread, auctioned off to raise money for an organization set-up by photographer, gallery-owner and charity worker Cecilia Glik in a devastated slum in Lugano, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, offering unemployed the opportunity to manufacture the chair in their cooperative using Tolstrup’s instructions and locally-sourced pallets, without the need for supply chains.

“As with Pallet Project,” says Tolstrup, “ there is a message contained in ‘Re-Imagine’ and that is to inspire and encourage us to look again at the unloved furniture in our homes, streets and markets and to make it anew. This is not just a sustainable approach to design and making, but a social one too. It shows how, through working together with local craft people and pooling resources, we can re-imagine the second-hand and redesign our everyday surroundings with our own touch of personality”. (mb) (2010/2012) www.studiomama.com, daviddavidlondon.tumblr.com/

Image: Dezeen

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