Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Clutching at the last straw

Alex sent in Scott Jarvie's Clutch chair made of 10,000 plastic drinking straws. As I'm guessing the straws aren't salvaged from the local soda shop, these pieces may not be that sustainable. I've been trying to give up the straw lately, which is working OK for me, but not so well for my 3-year-old. He's never so happy as when we're making straw-wrapper worms at a restaurant. Of course, the Clutch series is more art than furniture for your home, and these make an interesting commentary on our disposable culture. It's worth looking at the designer's other work. He has some furniture pieces that make very efficient use of materials.
For those of you on the Process 376 team, we're meeting up tomorrow to show our work. See you there! For the rest of you, we'll be posting photos soon.

Images from Scott Jarvie (via Everyone is an Art Director). Thanks to Alex for the tip.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Put down your pencils

Inspired by our latest Process 376 project to make magic from the Craigslist free section, we've been posting designs that elevate the mundane and disposable. These sea inspired sculptures from Jennifer Maestre take the sharpened artist's pencil to a prickly, wonderful place. I love the way the pencil "fabric" has a soft side and a dangerous side.

The pencil pieces are charming, but the ones made of little more than nails, zippers, and mesh really took my breath away. Wow.
There is also a line of pencil jewelry available via her Etsy storefront. Pretty, pretty and on my holiday shopping list.

Images from Jennifer Maestre.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fashion Friday: Ecouterre

Today's Fashion Friday post isn't about a local SF designer, but about a fantastic new online publication. Inhabitat has expanded their suite of eco-design websites to add Ecouterre. Not just for fashionistas (eco-istas?), this one is also good for designers, with lots of details on new materials as well as great photos (check out their eco-take on fashion week). They even have an article on the salmon leather we mentioned yesterday.

Happy reading, and have a great weekend!

Image from the Mr. Larkin runway show, courtesy of Ecouterre.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fashion Friday: Smokin' Salmon

The Nature Conservancy invited ten designers to create new objects from sustainable materials. The results are featured at the Cooper Hewitt in NYC. All the projects are interesting, but this one deserved a special mention. What is that, you ask? Leather? Leather paillettes, individually hand-sewn into place? That's not green!

It's not leather. It's salmon skin, which is a waste product from the food industry. The shoes are salmon skin, too. Now all they need is a clever marketing term: Loxy Leather, Luxe Lox, Coho-mina? Salmon skin sounds like it could be smelly (or deep fried), but Coho-mina sounds like it wants to be made into shoes.

More details on the full exhibition here: Design for a Living World. It's open through January, if you want to check it out.
Dezeen also has a great summary and more photos.

Images from Dezeen and the Nature Conservancy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Playing with matches

As a glass artist, I have a soft spot for any creative reuse of glass items. Designer Jen Pearson reclaims small bottles (easily found at surplus outlets--the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse often has a nice supply of these), etched the bottoms and added some "strike anywhere" matches. Voila, so much lovelier than those dog-eared books of bar matches. Available via the Fernseed shop on Etsy.

Images from Fernssed on Etxy. Thanks to Re-Nest for the tip.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Adoptabot: Robot orphanage

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of Cat Bishop's robot sculptures. Artist Brian Marshall has a similar love of robots, but with a much more industrial aesthetic and a great photographic eye. Adoptabot, "the first robot orphanage," is filled with lonely creatures looking for new homes. Where does one guy even find that many vintage oil cans?
Images from Adoptabot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bright idea: Oyule (oil) lamps from incandescent light bulbs

Friday fun for you: Sergio Silva's Oyule (oil) lamps made from light bulbs. It's a "modern-day light bulb that has traveled back in time." It's almost too clever, and the execution is beautiful.

Images from Sergio Silva. Thanks to Green Upgrader for the tip.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flat-pack Hack

You all know that I'm a sucker for flat-packed furniture. Ronen Kadushin has taken this further by sharing his Hack chair through a Creative Commons License. Ronen says he was inspired by the Open Source software model. So, if you love this and have access to a laser cutter or CNC, you can download the files to make your own. It's made from a single sheet of metal, with nothing but a few clever origami folds required to pop it into chair form.

The design is aggressive and angular, and it may not be your style, but I love the concept of open source design.

Images from Ronen Kadushin. Thanks to Dezeen for the tip.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Odds & Ends, Bits & Pieces

At Process 376, we've been working on a project using curb finds and other urban freebies, so it seemed like a good time to feature the TESTLAB project at Studio Jo Meesters. "TESTLAB is an experimental ongoing project about rejuvenating and reusing discarded materials." These furniture pieces were all made from discarded wood beams and leftover blankets.
I love how the woven fabric details and colors make the materials choices look deliberate and fully considered. This is always a challenge working with recycled materials, and these pieces strike a nice balance, showing their humble origins without being visibly made from "trash."

Images from xx. Thanks to Design Year Book for the tip (via NotCot).

Friday, September 11, 2009

reMade USA: hell bent for leather

These bags from reMade USA are recycled and SF-made. Designer Shannon South prowls local thrift shops for dated leather jackets, then turns them into these lovelies, right here in SF. Every detail is considered--Even the linings are vintage scarves. If you want one custom-made from that purple leather number you wore in high school (fringe? What were you thinking?), you can send it in. If you're not that sentimental, or if you had better taste in your younger years, she'll gladly use something interesting you found at Thrift Town. Of course, you'll have to beat her to it.

Most people don't consider leather "green," but these bags are a double win, putting eco-friendly products in the market for those who still want leather, and reusing fashions that are well past their freshness date. It's all part of South's approach to being a product designer, and this shines through in her work:
reMade USA was born out of the concern with creating yet another product to add to the gazillions already on this planet. I have a strong belief that if one is to be a product designer, there’s an important responsibility in thinking about what materials might do to the environment and how the people manufacturing them are being affected.
If you want to know more, there's a great article on reMade in Fast Company. The bags are destined for Barney's (SF and NY) this fall. Get yours now, before the fashionistas turn them into the next hot thing.

Images from reMade USA. Thanks to Alex for the tip.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drop your schubLaden!

SchubLaden means drawers in German. Berlin-based designer Franziska Wodicka makes modern-looking new furniture from salvaged drawers. I've blogged this look before, but these drawers have a nice patina to them, with lots of old painted pieces and some modern industrial and glass drawers mixed in. More details and photos at the SchubLaden website.

It's worth checking out the Design*Sponge article for behind-the-scenes photos of the designer's studio, with drawers stacked to the ceilings.

Images from schubLaden. Thanks to Design*Sponge for the tip.

Monday, September 7, 2009

99 bottles of chair on the wall...

Designer Pawel Grunert created this chair for the "Eco Trans Pop" exhibit in Milan. More concept piece than practical furniture, it's still interesting. Check out the truss detail on the back.
Images from xx. Thanks to The Contemporist (via NotCot) for the tip.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tagger's (de)light

Breeze Block (aka Portland artist Jake Rankin) makes these out of used spray cans. You can get one in your favorite color, even green. Alex loves them. You will, too. Enjoy!

Images from Breeze Block. Thanks to Green Upgrader (via Alex) for the tip.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bonne Nuit

These lovely Bonne Nuit lamps are made by hand in Brooklyn (it's always Brooklyn) by Sarah Foote. There's not much more to say. Admire and enjoy.

Images from Bonne Nuit. Thanks to Design*Sponge for the tip.