Have you ever wondered what happens to discarded aircraft? A long time ago I saw a documentary about aircraft ‘graveyards‘. This is what they call these places where they park decommissioned aircraft. There are a few of those places around the world. It’s just jaw-dropping to see all those aircrafts standing there. Of course, the question arises what one can do with this huge amount of metal. And of course upcycling can be part of the solution. In the world of upcycling, there are some very creative people who use aircraft parts to create an astonishing design. Just have a look at work by AERO-1946, MotoArt and Redesign. They all create fantastic upcycle design made out of aircraft parts.
Engine cowling creates a new experience
A few weeks ago I came across another upcycle design that makes one have a second look at discarded aircraft. Furniture design company Plane Industries, based in Bath | United Kingdom, created a real eye-catcher. They took the engine cowling of a Boeing 737 and upcycled it into a colossal, luxurious and spacious chair. It spins weightlessly on its highly polished spun aluminum base. This chair is quite impressive just by looking at the high gloss flawlessly finished shell. The dark interior is upholstered in the highest quality leather and the shining frame is hand polished. The dimensions of this unique piece of furniture are 200 x 200 x 200 cm [HxWxD].
When I saw this chair for the first time it reminded me of an iconic design from the ’60s. I’m talking about the Ball Chair  by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. One of the most remarkable chairs in the furniture history of the 20th century. Living in Eindhoven as a kid I frequently visited the Evoluon, a science museum erected in 1966 by the electronics and electrical company Philips. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Evolution was about interactive exhibitions which were very new at that time. And one of the things that has stayed with me was that they had a few ball-shaped chairs. Don’t know if they were the original ones, but it was a treat to sit in one of them. Sitting in that chair you experienced a cozy and calm atmosphere, protected from outside noises. It acts as a kind of private space to relax in.
Because of my experience as a kid in the Evoluon I can imagine how it must be to sit in this stunning version of the ball chair, the 737 Cowling Chair.
“Using reclaimed, authentic aircraft parts, from planes steeped in history, Plane Industries take pride in exploring the most innovative ways to breathe new life into these remarkable feats of engineering to design.”